Sunday, September 30, 2007

Comment and Response

OK, Anonymous is going to force me to write a book review that has gone wanting for months (read Anonymous's comment below).

Before discussing the US involvement in any foreign affair, especially war, one must first read and consider the insights found in the book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A critical examination of the foreign policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and its aftermath, Edited by Harry Elmer Barnes with the collaboration of William Henry Chamberlin, Percy L. Greaves, Jr., George A. Lundberg, George Morgenstern, William L. Neumann, Frederic R. Sanborn, and Charles Callan Tansill.


This book, published in 1953, takes the reader on a journey through the period of world war. Along the way, the reader will be challenged by chapters that show how US ended up in each war; the reasons and the outcomes.

The reader will reach the aha conclusion that Iraq, and soon to be Iran, are simply extensions the public policy of many politicians; a policy of perpetual war in order to achieve perpetual peace.

Yet, we never ever see the peace dividend, though we continue to invest in war and death. Along with the hope for prolonged peace, the propaganda about democracies always straying from war can finally be discarded.

Many of the same folks that truly believe government is an abject failure with regard to social policy and domestic matters truly believe that government is the altruistic force with regard to foreign affairs. It as if government abroad is righteous, always seeking the ethical and moral ends, while government at home is incapable of ethical and moral ends.

Certainly, I agree with the second part, yet I don't understand the leap of faith that one can hold in government which allows logic to clear the chasm between the vision of government abroad and its historic actions.

Anonymous claims that US involvement in WWI was moral, the right thing to do, when, in actuality, US involvement in that horrible European war was strictly a matter of Wilson's grandiose plan for the US Empire -- a plan that Bush and the neocons have adopted wholeheartedly. The reality is that our entrance into WWI simply extended the war another year, added almost 1 million dead, and led to the rise of Hitler some fifteen years later.

What about WWII? Weren't American soldiers fighting for freedom for hostage Europe? Well, they may have been fighting for that cause, however Roosevelt sold out to Stalin, thus muting their efforts and lives. You see, the end result of WWII was over half of Europe enslaved under communist rule. The same result occurred in China where the politicians again sold out to the communists.


In the end, close to 100 million noncombatants were murder under communist rule. So much for world freedom.


Oh, and by the way, Roosevelt was so enamoured with Stalin and Mussolini that he tried to establish their policies on American soil, to ingrain these policies in the American soul. In the end, he and subsequent presidents have done an effective job at instituting socialism in the land of the free.1 So much for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Perpetual War details the steps taken by politicians to drag the US into war. The intentions then were the same as today: the broadening of US borders and sphere of control, plus money and power. Its the same old same old, some things -- evils -- never change.


By the way, WWII and the Korean Conflict have never ended. We are still act as the occupying force in both Germany and South Korea. Does Anonymous truly believe that the government has any intention of leaving Iraq, especially given the construction of a $1 billion plus embassy, a fortified embassy that is nothing less than a military base for long term occupation?

So, we agree that government is incapable of good intentions within our borders, but Anonymous still holds onto the vision of the well-intentioned government abroad. I challenge him to read Perpetual War so that we can continue our discussion. Oh, did I mention, the book is free for download at Mises.org.

Of course ... Go Ron Paul ...


note:
1. Of course, Wilson wanted to institute the Prussian socialism of Bismarck.



Anonymous said...

I have to say that this article is way below the usual high standards of this blog. Then again, there aren't very many articles on Ron Paul so the pickins must be slim.

Ron Paul is a novelty act, and the GOPs Dennis Kucinich. Dr. No's career position on taxes and spending is the object definition of integrity--and a model that his colleagues in the GOP should aspire to; but his positions on global affairs and national security are so thoroughly discredited that he appears insane uttering such silly musings. Ron Paul opens his mouth and it sounds like he's channeling the feel-good mumbo jumbo from Hoover's "Peace Programme" at the outset of WWI (or, for that matter the other isolationist junk that Harding and Coolidge espoused before him).

WWI showed them wrong, just as WWII showed them wrong. The detente-loving isolationists ("peaceniks") showed what non-intervention did in Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, etc. Then came Reagan who reminded us all just how ridiculous that mindset was. And now the isolationists will try to make us believe that playing nice with the Chritian loathing, West-hating psychopaths in the Middle East will charm them into liking us.According to Paul's (and the Paulians') twisted logic, if we stop putting out fires then fires will never happen.

History shows us just how ridiculous Ron Paul's positions are.

Go McCain.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A great primer on monopolies

If you like this, you will also like what Mises and Rothbard have to say about monopolies. -- Jim
A Politically Incorrect Guide to Antitrust Policy
By D.T. Armentano
Posted on 9/15/2007


The United States has had antitrust legislation at the federal and state level for more than 100 years. (The Sherman Antitrust Act [1890] and the Federal Trade Commission Act [1914] are the basic federal statutes.) The laws make illegal "every contract, combination … or conspiracy in restraint of trade" and any attempt to "monopolize" through merger or acquisition; in addition, "unfair … and deceptive practices" are also forbidden. Given this broad regulatory mandate, antitrust law is arguably this nation's oldest ad hoc "industrial policy." But whether any of this regulation has ever made economic sense is entirely debatable.

Two recent legal developments illustrate the ongoing ambiguity of antitrust policy. The first involves the Supreme Court decision (Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, Inc., 2007) to allow manufacturers to set and enforce minimum prices, a practice knows as resale price maintenance. This decision breaks with decades of precedent and has been hailed generally as a step toward a more rational antitrust policy.

The second development is the attempt by the Federal Trade Commission to block Whole Foods, Inc. from acquiring the Wild Oats company. But unlike the Supreme Court decision above, the FTC's action has been widely ridiculed as an exercise in pure regulatory nonsense. Indeed, a district court judge recently denied a preliminary injunction against the merger.

Of course they do ...

Of course they live to run your life. -- Jim


They Live To Run (Your Life)
by Rick Fisk

DIGG THIS


It is striking when watching the media-anointed choices for President, how much emphasis is put on their ability and desire to run things. Speaking to a crowd of 200 in San Diego, Rudy Giuliani said, "The leading Democratic candidates have never run a city, they've never run a state, I don't think they've ever run a business of any size." Rudy is running to run. I doubt that he'll get very tired in spite of this. He has a real passion for running people's lives. Just ask New York fire fighters.


There's a lot of running in politics. The candidates run for office (hurry!) and there's a running theme in the media: "Who is most qualified to run your life?" (Vote here!)


Doesn't it seem strange that a guy who made millions with his post-911 security company, would want to temporarily leave his company to be President? I mean really, if you had a successful business, why take a job that pays about 10% of what you could make in the private sector? For most politicians, I think it's the running. When you run people's lives, there are just never enough lives to run. When you've run the lives of seven million, stepping down to a cadre of three figures is a real let down.

continue reading ...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cato Institute and Government Planning

Here's a great new book from Cato Institute. -- Jim

Dear Friends:

30 years of research I have been conducting throughout the United States culminated last week with the Cato Institute’s release of my new book, The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future.

I am extremely proud of this book. It deals with some of the most frustrating and infuriating issues that impact our lives every day: housing costs, traffic, crime, how forests are maintained, how the communities in which we live will grow, how new developments around us are created, urban renewal, and much more.

The title of my book doesn’t pull any punches, nor should it. Government planners still control much of our infrastructure and land, and they believe they know how far you should live from your job, how big your backyard should be, and how cities and forests should grow. They say that if you want to live in pleasant communities, enjoy beautiful wilderness, and get to work on time, they should be in charge. Well – the facts prove them wrong.

In spite of government planning, traffic congestion, unaffordable housing, diminished environmental quality, and spiraling government costs have gotten worse. As you’ll read in the book, they frequently result from short-sighted plans going wrong, with warning signals ignored or dismissed by government planners along the way.

What’s the answer? I cover that extensively, with solutions that include incentives, government limits, the power of the marketplace, and reforms that can help solve social and environmental problems without heavy-handed government regulation.

I do hope you’ll consider reading The Best-Laid Plans. The Cato Institute has set up a page on its
website and it can also be found in bookstores nationwide or ordered by calling 800.767.1241.

My best wishes and thanks,

Randal O’Toole

P.S. As a special offer for you, the Cato Institute will give you 30% off the cover price through their
website. Just enter the code “Planning” when prompted during the check-out process.

Locked Up From Faith: The new trend in rehabilitation

Why would anyone want to keep prisoners from books about Christian faith? Sounds like Roman Empire. Hmm ... -- Jim

From the CS. Lewis Society:


Religious Books Banned in Federal Prison

In the name of "fighting terrorism," federal Bureau of Prisons bureaucrats are banning any religious books in prisons not on the Bureau's short, restricted list of approved books. Among the books banned are ones by C. S. Lewis, Rick Warren, Paul Tillich, Karl Barth, Moses Maimonides, Charles Schuller, Harold Kushner, and many, many other authors. The wholesale censorship has ordered federal prison chaplains to comply based on the premise that library materials should be "free of discrimination, disparagement, advocacy of violence and religious radicalization." The purge resulted from a 2004 report by the Office of the Inspector General in the Justice Department that recommended that prisons take steps to avoid becoming recruiting grounds for militant Islamic and other religious groups, the New York Times reported.

New York Times
Washington Post
USA Today
Topeka Capital-Journal

A class action suit has been filed by two prisoners in upstate New York, one a Christian and the other an Orthodox Jew.Needless to say, C.S. Lewis was a very strong opponent of literary censorship, as he discussed in a number of his books, including PRESENT CONCERNS.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wisdom from the Future of Freedom Foundation

From today's Future of Freedom Foundation Update:



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]


From Monday's Future of Freedom Foundation Update:



Monday, September 24, 2007

Not understanding the process of a spontaneously-ordered economy goes hand-in-hand with not understanding the creation of resources and wealth. And when a person does not understand the creation of resources and wealth, the only intellectual alternative is to believe that increasing wealth must be at the cost of someone else. This belief that our good fortune must be an exploitation of others may be the taproot of false prophecy about doom that our evil ways must bring upon us.
— Julian Simon

Beasley speaks, but doesn't understand

Monday's edition of the Columbus Dispatch noted this tidbit from James Beasley, director of ODOT, "ODOT is 'inundated with projects that cannot be funded in the foreseeable future.'"

So? Don't we all have projects -- ideas -- that are in need of funding? That is life in a world of scarcity. Yet, to the state official, the response is always additional taxes. They refuse to recognize the laws of economics when their looking to spend someone else's money.

Nothing left for the Democrats

Today's Columbus Dispatch listed just some of the proposed fall agenda items for Ohio's GOP. Tops on the list is the re-regulation of Ohio's electric industry. Does anyone think the Republicans can regulate the power companies into efficiency? With a socialist agenda like that, what can Democrats possibly propose? And, what difference really exists between the two parties?

Education in Colonial America

Not too long ago, schools were not run by the government. In fact, the sythesis of knowledge that became the Declaration of Independence -- the belief that government must be retrained -- could naver have occurred in government-run schools. -- Jim





Education in Colonial America
By Robert A. Peterson

Mr. Peterson is Headmaster of The Pilgrim Academy, Egg Harbor City, New Jersey. He teaches economics and is constantly in search of ways to support and defend the principle of voluntarism in education.

One of the main objections people have to getting government out of the education business and turning it over to the free market is that “it simply would not get the job done.” This type of thinking is due, in large measure, to what one historian called “a parochialism in time,” i.e., a limited view of an issue for lack of historical perspective. Having served the twelve-year sentence in government-controlled schools, most Americans view our present public school system as the measure of all things in education. Yet for two hundred years in American history, from the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s, public schools as we know them to day were virtually non-existent, and the educational needs of America were met by the free market. In these two centuries, America produced several generations of highly skilled and literate men and women who laid the foundation for a nation dedicated to the principles of freedom and self-government.

The private system of education in which our forefathers were educated included home, school, church, voluntary associations such as library companies and philosophical societies, circulating libraries, apprenticeships, and private study. It was a system supported primarily by those who bought the services of education, and by private benefactors. All was done without compulsion. Although there was a veneer of government involvement in some colo nies, such as in Puritan Massachusetts, early American education was essentially based on the principle of voluntarism.

continue reading ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gee, maybe parents are right

My latest blog posting at Mises.org(Mises.org):








Gee, maybe parents are right

by Jim Fedako


Because you can never have too many mathematicians, engineers, and rocket scientists ... [1]

The eSchool News online headline reads, "Report reveals a disconnect between what policy makers believe is important for students--and what parents and kids think they need for themselves." Shocking? No.

Parents working in the private sector understand which skills are important, and they have a better understanding than any government official of their children's abilities and goals.

Parents do not need nanny officials to nudge them in the right direction. But, as always, the nannies believe that they know more than parents. And, if parents do not adopt the party agenda, there is always the hammer called legislation.

Hey, politicians, state officials, and school administrators, ignore this report from Public Agenda and let parents do what's best for their children.

Don't all these folks ever grow tired from running the lives of the rest of us?

note:

1. Well, of course the Soviets did.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another big hoax: National board certified teachers

Today's Columbus Dispatch reports on the number of national certified teachers in area schools.

First off: There is no evidence that certified teachers are any better than the run-of-the-mill teacher. And, there is much evidence that these teachers actually produce lower results as the national board certifies teacher knowledge and qualification in pedagogies that are ineffective at best.

Secondly: To produce a students per certified teacher stat is absurd. Oh, it's interesting for discussions and debates, but it has no meaning. Assuming -- falsely -- that nationally certified teachers produce better results, what in the world does the per pupil statistic matter if your child is not in a classroom with such a teacher?

The average is not some ether that permeates a school. Some people, and some reporters, do not know when it is appropriate to use average, and when its not.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Olentangy Finances: Hiding money under the mattress?

The Olentengy School District claims that it is in dire need of another property tax levy. Things are bad, and the district is running on a shoestring. Yet ...

The
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is the audited document that details the financial position of the Olentangy School District. It's lengthy and a little esoteric for average readers, but it is a wealth of information.

The CAFR -- available on the district and state auditor websites -- is addressed to the board and community. In a representative form of government, the community gives the power and responsibility of governance to its elected officials. So, the board needs to read the CAFR and understand all of its nuances. Yet, I would venture to say that not a single sitting board member has ever taken the time to read this annual report. By not doing so, the board simply allows the administration to run the schools. I term that lazy and irresponsible at best.

Also, the district is required by state law to create a
Five-Year Forecast every October, with an update every May. In addition, the district is supposed to update the forecast whenever a significant change occurs to its financial position.

The board approves the Five-Year Forecast and any subsequent updates, after which the forecast is sent to the state department of education (ODE). The latest version of the forecast is available on both the district and ODE websites.

A momentary diversion. The district earns investment income from surplus operating funds -- cash -- invested in a number of investment vehicles. The income from these investments is deposited back to the operating fund. The district also earns investment income from the cash received from the sale of bonds; cash that has not yet been used to pay construction costs. The income from these investments is initially deposited into the building funds.

School districts cannot use revenue generated from the sale of construction bonds for operating expenses, but districts can use the investment income resulting from these bonds for any purpose, subject to board approval.

OK, we have a CAFR and a Five-Year Forecast, as well as investment income from operating surpluses and bond sales.

The Five-Year Forecast is reporting an approximate $3 million shortage for FY 2009. This is the reason for the dire need for a March 2008 levy. However, the 2006 CAFR reports over $3 million in investment income resulting from construction bonds. They wash.

Keep in mind that additional investment income was generated in FY07, as well as being generated this fiscal year.

It is prudent for the district to hold onto that money as a contingency should something occur during construction. However, since the majority of construction will be completed by the start of FY09, the majority of the investment income will be freed from contingency planning and available to be moved to the operating fund.

So, the questions to be answered in just a few weeks are these: Will the district recognize its stash of bond investment income as operating funds in order to wipe away the FY09 negative balance on the October Five-Year Forecast? Or, will the district hide its investment income under the mattress and continue to claim that the end is near?

I'm betting that the latter is the case, as the district has remained too quiet over its investment income for too long.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Getting the facts straight

Question: Do Olentangy residents receive a premium on the value of their homes due to the school district?

That's what the board, administration, and supporters claim. But, is it true?

Two ways to find the answer:

1. Run a statistical analysis on home values in Scioto Reserve. I pick Scioto Reserve since it spans two school districts: Olentangy and Buckeye Valley. The results: No statistical difference exists that can be explained by the district.

2. Call MI Homes and ask if there is a difference in their sale price in the Cheshire Woods development based on the district -- Olentangy or Big Walnut -- where the lot and/or home is located. The answer: No.

There you have it: Two ways to answer the original question, and the same answer each time.

I wonder: Will the district and its supporters continue stating that which is not true? You can bet they will!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thomas B. Fordham and STRS

OK, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute pushes for state solutions, but that does not discount their analysis of the problem.

Here is the coming issue: an increase in the amount taxpayers contribute to the teacher retirement system. This will directly impact future property tax increases. But, of course, it's all for the kids. -- Jim



THE OHIO EDUCATION GADFLY: SPECIAL EDITION

A Special Edition of News and Analysis from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
September 20, 2007

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Billions by the bucket full: How much can school kids afford for teacher retirees?

Ohio taxpayers and school children have been dealt another dose of bad news with the revelation that almost $10 billion in expected health-care costs for retired teachers could be added to the already staggering $19 billion in liabilities of the State Teachers Retirement System.

While the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) already provides a health-care program for retirees, legislation (H.B. 315) pending before the Ohio General Assembly would obligate the system to assume liabilities for the program and fund health-care benefits in the same way that STRS is supposed to fund the pension liability. The effect would be to add at least $9.8 billion--the STRS's figure--in health-care costs to its obligations.

According to a Thomas B. Fordham Institute report issued in June (the most recent valuation), the system's unfunded liability for pensions alone already stood at $19.4 billion.

Money to cover these added costs would have to come straight out of the budgets of hard-pressed local school districts and/or the paychecks of their hard-pressed teachers. To hold districts and teachers harmless would mean saddling taxpayers with enormous additional burdens. Under the current pension-health system, school districts pay 14 percent of an employee's salary into the system while employees add another 10 percent. Under the legislation, working teachers and schools districts would each pay 2.5 percent more within five years. But there's no guarantee that these larger contributions would cover future costs any more than current contributions will cover future pension checks.

The proposed legislation makes an already bad situation worse because nothing in the bill looks at the underlying problems facing STRS. The system costs too much. It's overly generous in that it highly subsidizes expensive health-care premiums for retired teachers until Medicare kicks in at 65 and it encourages teachers to retire at 55 or 57 when the average American is working to 65 or 67. The proposal is also counter to private-sector moves to reduce health-care costs and it emphasizes how much more generous the fringe-benefit package is for public school teachers than for many other professions. In fact, the number of private-sector employers offering retiree health benefits dropped from 20 percent in 1997 to 13 percent in 2002, according to research published recently in the Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Robert Costrell, professor of education reform and economics at the University of Arkansas, and Michael Podgursky, professor of economics at the University of Missouri, wrote the Fordham report, issued in June, and entitled Golden Peaks and Perilous Cliffs: Rethinking Ohio's Teacher Pension System."

Ohio is one of the few states to fund its optional retiree health-insurance program through its pension system. Given that STRS members retire well below the age for Medicare eligibility (65), there is a gap of many years to be covered by this expensive program," Costrell and Podgursky wrote in the report. Even worse, spiraling retiree health-care costs, paid by working and future teachers, are likely to drive down their wages. And, if offering health-care entices even more teachers to retire early, then both health-care costs and future pension liabilities will increase even faster.

The new health-care proposal makes the Fordham Institute's concerns even more alarming. The STRS unfunded pension liability already far exceeds that of the state's other four public pension systems combined, despite the fact that STRS's membership is little more than one-third of those systems. The Fordham Institute report pointed out that unfunded liabilities have skyrocketed even though employee and district contributions have more than doubled since 1945 because teachers retire earlier, live longer, and draw pensions far longer than most other American workers.

Without an overhaul, the system's expense will hurt efforts to attract and retain the high-quality teachers that are the keys to strengthening education in Ohio. The report offered some concepts that Ohio should consider in restructuring the STRS system from the ground up, including:
  • Transparency. The accrual of benefits should be simple and clear. There should be no opportunities for gaming the system.
  • Sustainability. The pension system should be self-funding. The system should not be subject to the pattern of benefit enhancements when the stock market is up, followed by funding shortfalls and contribution hikes when the market turns sour. Benefits should be tied to contributions.
  • Move away from defined-benefits. Ohio should move quickly toward a defined-contribution or cash-balance system.

Ohio's legislature showed foresight in creating embryonic defined-contribution and cash-balance type pension programs. However, STRS efforts have focused on patching the broken defined-benefits system. If Ohio built on its earlier reform efforts, it could lead the nation toward a teacher pension system that better serves both its fiscal and educational needs.Access Golden Peaks and Perilous Cliffs: Rethinking Ohio's Teacher Pension System
here.

By
Michael B. Lafferty; Terry Ryan

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About Us

Nationally and in Ohio, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, along with its sister organization the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, strives to close America's vexing achievement gaps by raising standards, strengthening accountability, and expanding high-quality education options for parents and families. As a charter-school sponsor in Ohio, the Foundation joins with schools to affirm a relentless commitment to high expectations for all children, accountability for academic results and transparency and organizational integrity, while freeing the schools to operate with minimal red tape. The Foundation and Institute are neither connected with nor sponsored by Fordham University.

Contact Us
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

400 E. Fifth Street, Suite 250
Dayton, Ohio 45402
Phone: (937) 227-3368
Fax: (937) 443-0098
Web: www.edexcellence.net

Quote from Tocqueville

Tocqueville wrote a lot about freedom ... and it still rings true. -- Jim

From today's
Future of Freedom Foundation Update:



Friday, September 21, 2007

[Some people] have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity. Despotism, therefore, appears to me peculiarly to be dreaded in democratic times.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Theories in education

If you believe the Teachers College of Columbia University, the leading theorists in education are still Karl Marx and John Dewey. Let's talk about the promotion of Marx, as if 100 million dead is not enough.1

I know, I know, there he goes over the top again. But, I don't make this stuff. I just read it and pass it on -- editorial comments included.

Simply subscribe to TCRecord This Week, the weekly email update from the Teachers College Record -- it's free -- to see what drives the agenda in so-called elite education colleges. This week's edition is just another example of the nonsense that goes by the name of scholarship. Read the lead article,
Learning Democratic Reason: The Adult Education Project of Jürgen Habermas by Stephan Brookfield, before it moves from free content to subscription-only content.

By the second page, you will have been treated to passages such as, "Giving up 'the old Marxian dream of total change' is necessary in Habermas's view if we are to work to achieve realistic and specific social change in particular contexts." Not to fear, as "(a)t times Habermas refers to himself as a Marxist, declaring in one breath that 'today I value being considered a Marxist.'"

According to Habermas, Marx failed because he didn't synthesize his theories with democracy. You see, Habermas simply wants a blend of Marxism and democracy -- the Habermas utopia. Hmm, that sounds suspiciously like the public school vision of utopia.

Yes, the whole stew is there, piled high with Marxist rhetoric, steeped in a broth of the theories -- materialism, etc. -- that drove the world to madness.

Keep in mind that the Teachers College is one of the leading education schools -- teachers of public school teachers. Again, I don't make it up, I just report it.

Note to Olentangy residents: The Teachers College Record considered the nonsense of Ruby Payne to be over-the-top; too far out. Yet, this is the agenda running
your schools, an agenda you support with your tax dollars.

note:

1. The estimate of the number of noncombatants killed by communist/socialist governments in the Twentieth Century.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A truism, 150 years later

It was correct then, it is correct today! -- Jim

From today's
Future of Freedom Foundation Update:



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand; or your republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth; — with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions.

— Thomas Babington Macaulay, Letter to Henry Stephens Randall [October 9, 1858]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The end of the cupcake, and Liberty

My latest blog posting at Mises.org(Mises.org):








The End of the cupcake, and Liberty

by Jim Fedako


It has been said that political movements which appear anemic, confined to the corner tables of beer halls and coffee houses, can become juggernauts overnight with the right dose of ideology, and favorable general mood and climate. Certainly history confirms as much.

Today, it starts with the cupcake. You know, the 200 calorie right-of-passage distributed at every elementary birthday party. Add the insatiable appetite of many for collective health and well-being to the requisite general disdain for individual liberty and common sense, and, before you know it, the statist do-gooders will be shoving carrots and celery down the throats of children and their parents. Happy birthday!

Newspapers are now running
articles on obesity and cupcakes in schools. That's right, the 200 calorie morsel is the root cause of the supposed obesity crisis. And, forcing children and parents to eat carrots and celery instead is the way to curb the expanding American waistline. That plus a lot of state indoctrination of course.

The localized and uncoordinated movements that are currently hitting just a few schools are about converge with more coordinated efforts coming from public school organizations, local health departments, and über-health nuts. This meeting of the minds -- and collectivist ends -- will create a juggernaut that leads to more than just a ban on cupcakes and similar treats in the classroom. It will lead to the end of personal choice, and Liberty herself.

A little over-the-top you say. Yet, turn the clock back thirty years and realize that no one back then would have believed that smoking would be banned from private businesses and, now, private condos and townhouses.

Therefore, we must guard our Liberties from even seemingly innocuous assaults that occur at the local level, or we will soon find the general mood and climate change as Liberty and Freedom give way to statism and collectivization. And, yes, it all starts with the cupcake.

Note: Of course, in a pure show of hypocrisy, local school board members still toss candy to the kids during parades. That's because the elected officials truly know what's best for kids. Cupcakes in the classroom? Evil! Candy while trolling for votes? Priceless!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Here's an idea for the eco-socialists and the bobbleheads

Japanese businesses are raising office temperatures to 82 degrees; all in response to the Japanese government's call to address global warming. I give us 6 months before the eco-socialists propose the same, with the bobbleheads saying, "Hey, that sounds like a great idea!" To be followed by legislation and enforcement.
-- Jim


From OneNewsNow.com, sign-up for their daily NewsBrief:

Japanese workers endure heat to fight global warming
Jim Brown
OneNewsNow.com
September 15, 2007

Japanese workers are now sweating in hot offices as a result of the country's campaign to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan's three largest banks recently ordered their 1,600-plus branches to raise their office temperatures to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in an effort to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and energy costs. Many businesses and government offices in Japan are also dropping requirements for employees to wear formal attire to work.

FoxNews.com columnist Steve Milloy, also the editor of JunkScience.com, says the Europeans and the Japanese have their own geopolitical interest for pushing global warming.

"What they want to do is make U.S. business less competitive because they want us to switch [from] using coal, [which] provides half of our electricity, and switch into more expensive forms of power generation like natural gas," says Milloy. "And of course, that will raise the cost of manufacturing, thus making us less competitive. So this is kind of like a national crusade for the Europeans and the Japanese." He then adds, jokingly, "It's unfortunate that they're making their people sweat about it."

Milloy says the green movement and the Japanese have different motivations for pushing global warming.

"The greens have a ... hardcore left-wing, socialist political agenda that they're trying to advance through global warming, and it's not about the environment. The environment is like this green camouflage that they paint their political agenda with," explains Milloy. "The Europeans and Japanese have an economic reason for pushing global warming, and so the two were cooperating and working together against the rest of us here in America."

Milloy says enacting a cap on carbon emissions would be foolish for Japan or any other country because there is no scientific evidence that human activity is causing catastrophic global warming. The Wall Street Journal notes a physiology professor at a university in western Japan as saying 82 degrees Fahrenheit can be comfortable only if you are "thin, naked and stay still."

All Original Content Copyright 2006-2007 American Family News Network - All Rights Reserved

A letter to the editor and response

I submitted the following letter:
Dear Letters Editor:

If I were to state the following, wouldn't you think that I had lost my moorings?


"Your class determines everything: your eating habits, your speech patterns, your family relations. It is possible to move out of the class you were born into, either up or down, but the transition almost always means a great disruption to your sense of self. And you can ascend the class ladder only if you are willing to sacrifice many of your relationships and most of your values — and only if you first devote yourself to careful study of the hidden rules of the class you hope to enter."

Wouldn't you be offended? Wouldn't you wonder why I am advocating the class conflict theories of Karl Marx?

Yet, this reasoning — from Ruby Payne's book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, as reported in the June 10, 2007 edition of the NY Times — was recently adopted by the Olentangy board and administration as part of "the literature that forms the research base" of the district's Continuous Improvement Plan.

Keep in mind that the only research conducted on the content basis of this book and its framework concluded that Payne is way off the mark (Bomer, et al, Teachers College Review, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2007). Regardless, the book, and its errant ideas and ideals, were the basis of the district's recent teacher in-service/curriculum day (9/17/2007).

Yes, the district has spent close to $400,000 (when including employee costs) on Payne's "framework" which our elected officials knowingly approved and applauded.

Twenty years from now, as we wonder what has happened to this nation, remember the programs that our elected officials approved, and advocated. And, remember that we paid for those programs with our tax dollars.

Jim Fedako
I posted a letter similar to the one above on an education listserve and received a response from a Framework trainer. The woman applauded Payne's work -- no kidding, did I mention that she was a Framework trainer -- and stated the great things resulting from its application in schools nationwide.

As there is no positive research on Payne's framework that I can find, and since Payne self-publishes, thus bypassing editorial review, the writer kept falling back on the fact that Payne is a "high-dollar consultant."

Sure, in the land of fools, the charlatan is always highly paid. My response:
Please note that the quote was pulled from the NY Times article on Payne and her framework; an article in praise of her work. The quote was a paraphrase of Payne's beliefs -- and it is in-line with what I have read from her elsewhere. It does sound oddly like Marx though.

Just as with Marx, no one has yet defined middle class and poverty class. Can someone provide a succinct definition? Marx never did either, though he used classes for his purposes also.

And, just like Marx's system of class logic -- Ludwig von Mises coined the term polylogism to describe this nonsense, Payne creates a system of class values without any definition of class. Nice!

If, as stated, Payne's message resonates with urban districts, why are they still abject failures? Come on, after 30 years of her influence, where's the improvements? High dollar? Yes. Effective? It appears not.

You have to love consultants who live off tax dollars yet never seem to produce results. I have come to learn that my district has used Payne consultants before. Yet, we fail our lower socioeconomic students year after year. So, what's another $400K wasted out of a $120 million budget?

I have experience teaching impoverished students. I never could pigeonhole their value systems anymore than I can pigeonhole my neighbor's value systems. But, then again, I am not the high-dollar consultant.

Though, I would put Grigori Rasputin in that category -- a high-dollar consultant. So, high-dollar consultancy is not always such a safe neighborhood.

Jim

Sean Corrigan and Peak Oil

As usual, Sean Corrigan hits it on the mark. The following post is from the Blog at Mises.org. Jim




Malthus and Mein Kampf come to Cork
Sean Corrigan


For those who like their environmental gloom'n'doom spread with a thick dollop of Utopian totalitarianism and garnished with a slice of Galtonian pseudo-science, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas holds its sixth annual conference in Ireland this coming week.

Present will be the usual motley of silk-suited Carbohypocrites - each avidly promoting their tax-eating, alternative-energy start-ups - a gang of anti-capitalist activists, a squawk of sensescent members of the political elite, and a whole Bronze Age roundhouse of associated Gaia worshippers.

A flavour of what will be on offer can be had from this excerpt from one Nate Hagens of the Vermont-based Gund Institute of Ecological Economics (sic):-


The economic system that has ruled the planet while populations have grown will have to choose different ends on a full planet, which implies different means. Supply will gradually become inelastic in a world constrained by energy and power density, temporally and spatially diffuse alternative energy options, and increasing limitations to non-energy inputs such as soil, GHGs, land and particularly water. But perhaps more importantly, demand is inelastic too. We have evolved particular neural mechanisms through 250,000+ generations as hominids, and millions of generations as mammals that a)cause us to compete for resources, b)allow our systems to by hijacked by novelty and c) cause us to focus our attention on the present, rather than the future. The talk will discuss habituation, addiction, hedonic adaptation and other recent neuroscience research showing that homo economicus fails at its most basic assumption -- that man is rational. But where we cannot change the way we are wired, we can change what the metric is. Sociological research already shows that we are not happy with more pecuniary accumulation, but are happier with more social interactions, friends and community. Politics is genetic. Economics is cultural. We have to work on changing this cultural carrot, which will then dictate how best to use the remaining high quality fossil fuels.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We're all wasting away

Jonathan Kozol, education writer, is fasting in protest of the forthcoming reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). I disagree with NCLB, but for very different reasons than Kozol.

Kozol's whining rationale for his fast is
here. It is interesting to read the comments to his post, many think Kozol is a living saint. I, on the other, think he is just another socialist with an affective disorder.

As such, Kozol misses the point. He decries the current state of education but supports continued government control and interventions. Doesn't that also make him mad, as in crazy?

To expect that the same action will lead to different results is a standard definition of insanity. Read his article and see the mind of the government utopian.

Here is my reply to Kozol:
How ironic! I recently ended a fast over NCLB -- the warm pancakes loaded with maple syrup did me in this time -- and have started anew. Hopefully I can outlast the grilled burgers this evening as my personal protest is oh so important. Later today, I will be distributing "Why I Fast: How self-indulgence can lead to media exposure," my manifesto of pride absent humility. Amazingly, Sen. Kennedy still has not called. Nor, my mother for that matter.

Jim

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Modern Day Political Advertising


Modern Day Political Advertising
by Jim Fedako

Subliminal advertising. Those in my generation recognize this concept to be any attempt to create a subconscious desire; usually around soda and popcorn at movie theaters. The idea was to sneak images of movie fare into enough frames of film in order to generate an insatiable craving, but not so many frames as to be recognized by the conscious mind. While the idea was slick and sounded imposing, it never actually worked.

Supraliminal advertising. Once again, the attempt is to create a desire, or at least sway an opinion. Here, the advertiser is overt in the use of manipulation, so overt that most viewers and listeners miss it completely. While subliminal advertising never produced results, supraliminal advertising is quite effective. Witness Thursday’s speech by Bush.

Anyone who watched or listened to Bush experienced the most obvious use of this manipulation technique that I have heard in a very long time. As Bush rambled on, he was using a not-too-subtle speech pattern and repetition of words in order to incite the masses. And, it just might have worked.

How many times can a listener hear the repeated terms – extremists, al-Qaeda, and terrorists – before the words begin to alter the emotions of the listener? Well, for me, I was done with his speech within minutes; gone from listening to content and reduced to counting references to the Bushian mantra three. He both raised my blood pressure and altered my chemical balance; I was enraged. Not to worry, I was not enraged in a manner as expected by the Bush White House; enraged into joining or supporting the Emperor’s modern Crusade. However, I am enraged nonetheless.

Nevertheless, there will be many who will sleep, toss, and turn, while those three words play over and over. The boys and girls in DC are smart; they do not let Bush speak off the cuff. No, they planned the whole speech – it's content, cadence, and choice of words – for an effect. Knowledge of psychology is essential to any propaganda campaign.

Thursday, Bush played the role of Goebbels, doing his very best to keep a tiring nation in war. It was as choreographed as any scene from Triumph of the Will or speech given in the closing days of WWII; the repetition of the big lies, references to dangers home and abroad, the need for continued military interventions, and the absolute requirement that the true patriots remain steadfast.

On one hand, we are to believe that the "war" is being won, while, on the other hand, extremists, al-Qaeda, and terrorists lurk in every corner. On top of that, in a very 1984-esque twist, the Iraq government is now our trusted ally, and the Iraqi citizens want us there. We are not involved in a civil war that may drag on for years. No, we are engaged in a pitched battle for the future of civilization; guest fighters of an appreciative host nation.

We are there to defend democracy; the pot of gold at the end of the mythical political rainbow. Yet, democracy is nothing more than the will of the majority of voters. For good or ill, the majority gets to claim the moral high ground by winning at the polls. Who in their right mind wants that? Those who believe that they can win the popular vote and run amuck over the minority of course.

Our nation was not founded on such a political structure. No, this nation was based on the principal of negative property rights; whether believed to be given by God or by nature. Without the protection of property from government – the will of the king or majority – no one is free.

Bush is not some modern day Jefferson quoting Locke, Mills, and Mises. Instead, Bush is defending the Anschluss to a crowd desperate for new conquests. Or, maybe he is desperately spinning Baghdad as a victorious Stalingrad campaign just before the encirclement.

Regardless of reality, the mantra is repeated often: extremists, al-Qaeda, and terrorists. Bush intertwined those words to such a degree that they have lost any separate meaning. They are now interchangeable, yet still able to spark fear or anger in many.

Of course, Bush's speech was not about information, it was pure double-speak – manipulation. As you replay his speech in your mind – or, watch it on YouTube – consider the scene of White House bunker rats as they drafted it. I am certain that the writers were not sitting around thinking about how they could honestly present their case. No, they were looking for ways to play the nation, manipulate the folks based on a mantra of fear and anger. Most likely in a manner reminiscent of Goebbels in the Berlin bunker.

Of course, there will be no congressional investigations of such attempts at manipulating American citizens. Put a few shots of hot, buttered popcorn in a reel of film and you will be testifying before some subcommittee of Washington bozos. However, manipulate those very same citizens with outright lies, as well as mantras of fear and anger, and the DC committee rooms will remain empty and silent. Why? They all play the same game, whether White House or Congress. And, no one wants to give it up.

Let's return to our old rallying cry, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," and send packing the political advertisers – the manipulators – and their fear-mongering tales of, "Extremists, al-Qaeda, and terrorists."

September 15, 2007

Jim Fedako [send him mail], a homeschooling father of five who lives in Lewis Center, OH, and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Olentangy spends close to $400,000 on class values garbage

$400,000 to instruct teachers on Marxian class conflict nonsense. That's right. Monday's teacher in-service/curriculum day is going to be based on class values educationist babble.

Olentangy parents and taxpayers, you can't smirk at the crazies in California and believe that your children are attending a Pollyannaesque Midwestern school district. No, your children are attending California schools just three years later -- three years being the time it takes for district administrators to adopt the latest CA wacko garbage.

As long as you abdicate your parental rights to those who run the schools for their purposes, more of this is going to come. And, it will only get worse.

read more here and here ...

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation adopts centralized state planning

According to the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, "Ohio's public education needs as much retooling and redesigning as the state's economy, and strong leadership from the top would surely pay big dividends."

And, that is considered a conservative solution; top-down state planning. Government has become the Golden Calf of many who claim to be conservatives.

Hazlitt, Where art thou?

My latest posting at the blog over at Mises.org:

Hazlitt, Where art thou?

Today, NPR (All Things Considered) reported on the recent passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act by Congress. Oh, if life were so easy. Another few hundred dollars in per-student Pell Grants, lower interest rates, and capped loan payments will transfer more wealth, but the bill is not -- as advertised -- the "largest single investment in college aid since the GI Bill."

Two aspects of the bill -- in need of a Hazlitt-style analysis -- clearly display either a lack of economic knowledge or purposive obfuscation.

First: The bill places a cap on all subsidized loan payments so that students will never have monthly payments that exceed 15% of their post-college income. According to Sandy Baum of Skidmore College, "So, if you borrow so much money that you can't reasonably make the payment out of your post-college earning, there is much better relief than before."

If the post-college salary does not provide enough to make student loan payments, the student wasted scarce resources obtaining their degree; the economy does not require the level or type of education acquired. What goes unseen is that capping payments does not change this fact. The cap simply places the burden of waste on the backs of taxpayers instead of the student.

Second: The bill forgives loans for those who enter "public service" fields, such as firefighting and early childhood education. The unseen result will be more "public service" graduates chasing tax-funded jobs.

Just like the original GI Bill, none of this can be considered an investment. Another wealth transfer, but not an investment..

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ron Paul at Johns Hopkins

"A Traditional Non-Intervention Foreign Policy"
Speaker: Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX),
candidate for the Republican Presidential
nomination
September 11, 2007
Hosted by: SAIS Center for Politics and Foreign Relations

Another EdWatch Action Alert

From EdWatch.org, Jim




Wednesday September 5, 2007
ACTION

NCLB Welcomes Children to 1984 and the Village
Karen R. Effrem, MD – EdWatch Board of Directors

Contact Your U.S. Congressman here.
Or call 202-225-3121.

Tell them:
Oppose the Committee Draft of NCLB Funding.
Support the A-PLUS Act.
Sign on as a cosponsor of A-PLUS.

Contact the House Committee on Education & Labor
Committee members

Details here

Democrat and Republican liberals on the US House Education and Labor Committee have released their discussion draft for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Both Hillary Clinton, as the “mayor” of the government “village” which wants to raise our children, and the ghost of George Orwell, author of 1984, are well represented in this draft. What began in 1965, ostensibly as an effort to help poor children improve academic achievement has grown and spread like a monstrous cancer that is destroying academic achievement and freedom, parental autonomy, privacy, and the ability to maintain our republic for ALL public school children.

  • No number of amendments can fix this terrible proposal.
  • Urge your Representative to oppose this proposal when it becomes a bill
    and support the A Plus Act (HR 1539).

Here is a small sample of the many dangerous, freedom-robbing provisions present in this bill, in addition to the continued tyranny of adequate yearly progress requirements that will never be met and the international education that undermines our American principles of freedom discussed in our last alert:


“Big Brother is Watching” - National Education Database: Within four years of the reauthorization of NCLB, states must develop a comprehensive dossier of every aspect of your child’s academic life starting from preschool onward through college or risk losing 25% of their Title I funds. Title I is the largest source of federal education funds for states and individual schools. This system is supposed to be put together by a council of teachers, administrators, union representatives, big business, and researchers that will all have access to your child’s data. Among the many required data elements are –

  • Unique individual student and teacher identification numbers that track every aspect of a student’s performance and hold teachers accountable for teaching the national standards that masquerade as locally derived standards;
  • Enrollment and demographic data on every student including the NCLB category into which they fall, attendance, and program participation data;
  • Individual statewide assessment scores required by NCLB;
  • The reason a student may not have taken the state NCLB assessment;
  • Transcript data, including grades and courses taken;
  • Graduation and dropout rates, college entrance test data. We’ve seen this type of invasive federal medical data collection system before. For example, through HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), drug companies and all manner of other researchers and government agencies have access to your private medical data without your permission, while spouses and family members have trouble accessing that same data without going through complicated bureaucratic hoops. Far from improving educational achievement, this data collection system will give government bureaucrats, especially those of the federal variety, further reason to meddle in and control the education, family life, and raising of our children.


“Hillary’s Village” – Full Service Community Schools: In order to conform to the utopian plan of 100% proficiency for ALL students and to comply with the Education for All international agreements, the Committee has also expanded the 21st Century Schools current grant program. These schools will offer programs in early childhood including Head Start, mental health (despite skyrocketing rates of diagnosis and drugging of even young children), careers, parenting education and oversight by government-defined outcomes, and “other services consistent with this part.” Among the purposes of 21st Century Schools are:

“Enabling families to participate in the education of their children” – This language sets up the legal foundation for advancing a deceptive and perverse power grab by government authorities. Presuming to “enable” parents to participate in the education of their children is to assume government as a higher authority over children than parents. It will entail major meddling in the private lives of families as well as collecting massive amounts of private data on individual families.

Enabling “principals and teachers to complement and enrich efforts to help all children reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014” – Universal proficiency is utopian. Attempts to comply forces outcomes to a meaninglessly low level and a teaching to the test. Political mandates are not magic wands. Numerous national experts and several state evaluations have admitted that 100% of schools will fail to make AYP by 2014.

“Ensuring that children come to school ready to learn every day” – Sadly, “ready to learn” in the federal government’s eyes means that young children are ready to accept all sorts of non-academic indoctrination dealing with gender issues, mental health, careers, and environmentalism that have nothing to do with reading and math or closing the achievement gap. (See our alert on the Head Start bill). Back in 1946, Edwin Broome, a disciple of government education architect John Dewey, said in the Montgomery County (MD) blueprint for schools, “The end results are that the school makes itself indispensable to all phases of community life. In the future development of school programs, the service program will receive increasing emphasis until the school becomes in fact the agency to which all people in the community turn for assistance.” And mental health advocate and author Edna Copeland said in a 1995 book, “I truly believe that schools will become our mental health agencies of the future, especially for children.” Both predictions are coming to pass with this proposal. Is this what we want for our children’s future and our nation’s freedom?


“The Sky is Falling” -- Environmental Education: While vigorously, but ludicrously, claiming that they are not interfering in local curriculum or standards development, the feds now want to subsidize K-12 environmental standards that will, among other things:

  • Promote and develop curriculum aligned to these standards;
  • Use environmental education as an “integrating theme” for all other academic subjects, so that our children may be indoctrinated and scared with all sorts of controversial, if not downright false, pseudo-science about global warming, over-population, people being a curse upon the earth, and more.

Reduce “nature-deficit disorder in students” by having students spend time in nature to increase achievement, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, and child obesity. “Nature-deficit disorder” is a euphemism coined by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” The phrase masquerades as a scientific “disorder.” Will this be another dubious “disorder” to be treated with drugs?


Support “the national effort to enable all students to demonstrate competence in environmental learning.” With Al Gore refusing to debate credible scientists with data that is inconvenient to him, with the recent admission in a June, 2007 study funded by the Department of Energy that man-made carbon dioxide is largely irrelevant to the earth’s temperature, with the admission by Swedish environmentalists that recycling is “a waste of time and money,” and with the poor performance of American students on international tests, the last thing American students need is a takeover of every academic subject by Chicken Little -- that man-is-evil radicalism masked as concern for the environment.

“Better Achievement Through Chemistry” – NO Protection from Coerced Drugging: The Committee refuses to protect children from coercive drugging in schools, despite the fact that the House passed that measure by over 400 votes during two consecutive sessions of Congress. Chief authors Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) continue their great efforts on this measure. The facts are that two million children are on the most potent and dangerous antipsychotic medications. The unscientific diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children has increased 40-fold in ten years, and the FDA has placed ADHD drugs like Ritalin under warnings for increased psychosis and sudden death in children.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EdWatch Action is a 501(c)4 that promotes the work of EdWatch. Contributions to help continue the work of EdWatch Action are welcome. Please click here. To subscribe or unsubscribe, mail to: edaction@lakes.com with "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the SUBJECT of the message. net

Join the Central Ohio Ron Paul Meetup Group

The Columbus Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group

The mission:

The mission of this group is to organize, mobilize, and get active in spreading the Ron Paul message throughout Central Ohio. Our goal is to do our part to see Ron Paul achieve success in the Republican Primary and, ultimately, the presidential race. We also plan to have a lot of fun along the way.

Join and support Ron Paul ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Homeschooling and public education

Two great articles:

On homeschooling (from Mises.org) ...


Homeschooling Comes of Age
By Isabel Lyman
Posted on 9/10/2007 [
Subscribe or Tell Others]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the modern home education movement was in its infancy. At that time, most Americans viewed home-styled education as a quaint tourist attraction or the lifestyle choice of those willing to endure more hardship than necessary.

What a difference a few decades makes.

continue
reading ...


On Gramsci and public education (from EdNews.org) ...

In the Midst of a Second American Revolution
By Nancy Salvato Columnist
EdNews.org

Antonio Gramsci and Ayn Rand; each notable for their distinct yet conflicting views on the role of the individual in society, were both heavily influenced by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Each denounced physical coercion employed by police and armed forces, or as Rand would say, by "communist thugs". Both wrote about the revolution's influence on their belief systems. That is where their similarity ends.
...

In other words, he believed that the classroom should be student centered and that students should construct their own knowledge instead of teachers instructing the students on the subject matter. The learning material should be made relevant to the students' experiences instead of broadening their horizons by exposing them to what they might find boring or difficult. He didn't have very high expectations for the majority of students. Also, he realized the values that the school needed to impose in order to get the students to buy into the new governing philosophy and discard the old might conflict with those of the family.

continue
reading ...

It's the law!

It really is the law!

From today's Future of Freedom Foundation Update:



Monday, September 10, 2007

It is not true that the legislator has an absolute power over our persons and our property since they pre-exist him, and his task is to surround them with guarantees.It is not true that the function of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our wills, our education, our opinions, our work, our trade, our talents, our recreation.Its function is to prevent the rights of one person from interfering with rights of another in any of these matters.

— Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law” [1850]

Monday, September 10, 2007

Can't let Massachusetts beat us, can we?

A ballot issue to end the income tax in Massachusetts! Wow! Will your state be next?
-- Jim

Small Government Newssm
Thursday, September 6, 2007


The official publication of the Center For Small Government
http://www.centerforsmallgovernment.com/

Publisher: Carla Howell Editor: Michael Cloud
small government is possiblesm


A message from Carla Howell and Michael Cloud

Dear Friend of Liberty and Small Government,

If it were possible to put an Initiative on the Ballot to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts - would you want it?

What if Ending the Income Tax in Massachusetts had nearly a 50/50 chance of winning in 2008?

What if this End the Income Tax Ballot Initiative could set in motion copycat Ballot Initiatives in 4 or 8 or 12 more states in 2010 and 2012?

If this were the first step in dismantling Big Government in America, if you could help make it happen, would you want in?

It is possible. But don't take our word for it.

Just look over the amazing but true facts, figures, and information.

Because when you learn what we've learned, you'll be as excited as we are.


Three Surprising Massachusetts Vote Results

1980: Ronald Reagan for President won Massachusetts with 1,057,631 votes.

1984: Ronald Reagan again won Massachusetts - this time with 1,310,936 votes.

2002: Our first End the Income Tax Initiative in Massachusetts got 885,683 votes - 45.3%. We did it with volunteers, a small budget, and advertising spending of less than $89,000.

All in Massachusetts. The state that elected and re-elected Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, and Mike Dukakis.

What's going on? What was behind Ronald Reagan winning the Massachusetts Presidential vote twice? And what was behind our 45.3% vote to End the Income Tax?

We'll tell you about that in just a couple of minutes. But first...

Our Ballot Initiative Ends the Income Tax

No tax on wages. No tax on interest or dividends. No tax on capital gains. No Income Tax.

Our Small Government Act to End the Massachusetts Income Tax Ballot Initiative is a bold first step to make government small.

We've formed the Committee For Small Government to do this.

We've already submitted our ballot petitions to the state Attorney General for certification.

We're getting ready to launch the petitioning in early September. We have barely 63 days to collect over 107,000 raw petition signatures.

But why is this important? Why try to repeal the income tax?

What Are the Benefits of Ending the Income Tax in Massachusetts?

1. Our Ballot Initiative will give back over $3,600 each to over 3,000,000 Massachusetts workers. $3,600 average. Each worker. Not just once. Every year.

2. It will take $11 Billion out of the hands of Massachusetts Big Government - and put it back into the hands of the men and women who earned it. Not just once. Every year.

3. In productive, private hands this $11 Billion a year will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in Massachusetts.

4. This will force the state legislature to streamline and cut the waste out of the Massachusetts state budget.

5. This will force the state legislature to get rid of the failed, flawed government programs that don't work - and often make things worse.

6. It'll make the state legislature accountable to Massachusetts workers and taxpayers - instead of the government employees, lobbyists, and special interests who profit from high government spending.

7. With less government and no income tax, Massachusetts will become a magnet to private, productive businesses and individuals. More good jobs and more good workers.

Wouldn't these benefits get you to the polls on Election Day in 2008?

Does Ending the state Income Tax Go Too Far?

Ending the Massachusetts Income Tax would roll back the state government spending 39% -- to the 1995 budget.

Between 1990 and 2007, the population of Massachusetts rose from 6 million residents to 6.5 million. In 17 years, the population increased 8.3%.

During the same period, Massachusetts state government spending more than DOUBLED.

During the same period, most city and town government spending also more than DOUBLED.

Reducing state government spending by only 39% leaves the state government more than it needs.

Why We Can Get this Initiative On the Ballot

Because we did it before. In tough circumstances.

We launched our 2002 End the Income Tax in August, 2001. Within 40 days, the 9/11 Terrorist Attack took place. It dried up our media coverage and crippled our fundraising. Within 90 days, the Internet Bubble of 1995 to 2001 popped.

Many of our supporters, donors, and volunteers worked in high tech businesses.

Despite these crippling events, we scrimped and scavenged enough money and volunteers to collect and file over 100,000 raw petition signatures before the fall 2001 deadline. And we successfully completed the 2nd, legally required petitioning, of another 17,000 raw signatures in Spring of 2002.

With half of the donations we expected - we got on the ballot.

In 2001, we started with a lot of donors and supporters from Carla Howell's US Senate race against Teddy Kennedy. We started with unbounded energy, momentum, and a network of volunteers. This helped us get through 9/11, the Internet recession, and hard financial times.

This fall, we'll need to collect 107,000 raw petition signatures. So it won't be easy.

But we did it last time. And we've learned some very important things we didn't know then. With your support, we can do it again.

Can We Get Serious News Coverage For This?

We believe we can.

Despite the fact that we got very little TV, radio, or newspaper coverage the last time.

Why? What's different this time?

Last time, the Mainstream News Media didn't believe us. They thought we were deluded Don Quixotes - tilting at windmills.

Political pundit Jim Braude told his TV and radio audiences that we wouldn't get over 20% of the vote.

Look at the 2002 polls.

The Boston Globe's last pre-election poll on our End the Income Tax initiative claimed that the Yes vote would be 34%.

The WHDH-TV News/Suffolk University poll showed our Yes vote at 34%.

The Boston Herald's poll showed the Yes vote polling at 25%.

All 3 polls claimed to be accurate to within 5%.

But on Election Day, we got 885,683 votes. 45.3% of the vote. Why were all the polls so wrong - and so low?

After Election Day 2002, over 300 newspapers reported our astonishing results. They expressed shock that 45% of the voters voted to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts. In the home of Ted Kennedy, Mike Dukakis, and John Kerry.

Last time, the mainstream media wrote us off.

We have the polls and data from last time. Can the Mainstream Newspapers, TV Reporters, and Talk Radio pundits really afford to make the same mistake twice?

We have no absolute guarantees that the News Media will give us strong coverage.

But Ron Paul's Internet buzz, infectious excitement, and continuous promotion and publicity show that it is possible.

We may be on the verge of the Internet-driven news coverage that Ron Paul's campaign has developed.

In the same way, the mainstream media may just read our news releases, interview Carla Howell and Michael Cloud on their shows, and give us escalating coverage this time.

Why?

The New Media. The Blogs, websites, and Internet activists will cover us. Internet reporters will drive mainstream and old media into covering us more.

Just as they did for Ron Paul's Presidential Campaign.


Why the New Media of the Internet May Make a Huge Difference in our Initiative to End the Income Tax


Good News: There are more than 2,000 Internet News Media outlets we can reach out to who are receptive and responsive to our Small Government Mission to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts. Free market, business emphasis, small government, supply side, fiscal conservative, tax cutter, and constitutionalist - websites, blogs, columnists, and other magnificent disturbers of the peace.

Great News: The Ron Paul for President Campaign is a shining case study of Self-Starter/Entrepreneurial activism. Activism did not trickle down from the campaign to the Internet. It percolated up from the Internet to the campaign.

Ron Paul's bold, small government message and mission excited and ignited tens of thousands of Internet activists. They organize and activate themselves. They launch their own promotions of Ron Paul for President. They experiment, learn from, and teach each other what works - and what doesn't. They get better and better.

Blogs. YouTube. Websites.

Michael Cloud has closely followed this incredible Internet activism since February. He's paying close attention to this. We can model, adopt, and adapt the best stuff we find. We'll ask for advice. Share what we learn. And build on what they are doing. More importantly, so can our supporters.

The Ron Paul for President Campaign continues to demonstrate that small government ideas attract and involve hundreds of thousands of young people who have never been involved in politics. It is reviving and re-energizing people who have nearly lost hope in the cause of individual freedom.

Why Our Ballot Initiative May Help Ron Paul in New Hampshire

In fact, our End the Income Tax Ballot Initiative in Massachusetts may create a synergy with the Ron Paul for President Campaign's efforts in the New Hampshire Primary.
We are right next door to New Hampshire. So are our volunteers. Our campaign to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts is 100% in sync with Ron Paul's campaign to End the federal Income Tax. With his calls for small government.

And Ron Paul's campaigning in New Hampshire may well help us in Massachusetts.

Why Ronald Reagan and Ending the Income Tax both did far better than expected in Massachusetts

A little earlier, we said we'd tell you why.

Blue Collar Workers. Working Class Voters. They are productive, contributing members of society. Ronald Reagan appealed to their common sense about government. So did we.

Blue collar workers know that government is wasteful. They know that "every tax cut is a pay hike." Huge numbers of them voted for Reagan - and they voted "Yes" to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts.

There's more.

How You Benefit From Getting Involved

You may not live in Massachusetts. Many of our best supporters don't.

If you live outside Massachusetts, you won't get the direct benefit of not having to pay the state income tax.

Why should you get involved? Why should you donate money so that Massachusetts workers can end their Income Tax?

So you can make history. So you can be a vital part of "the Tax Revolution Heard 'Round the World."

It's more than bragging rights. More than pride. It's your chance to be part of the new American Revolution For Small Government.

There's more.

California's Proposition 13 inspired copycat Tax Limitation Ballot Initiatives in over a dozen states. From 1978 through the mid-1980's, tax limitation fever swept the United States.

Term Limits Ballot Initiatives caught fire in the mid-1980's. They burned bright for a half-dozen years.

Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives exploded into public attention in the mid-1990's. Only the active resistance of the DEA and the Federal Government has kept a lid on them.
Ballot Initiatives against Eminent Domain swept America in 2006. More are on the way.

Imagine that our Massachusetts Ballot Initiative to End the Income Tax wins in 2008. Partly because you helped make it possible. Imagine inspiring and instigating copycat Ballot Initiatives to Repeal the Income Tax in 4 or 8 or 12 more states in 2010 and 2012.

You can help set this in motion.


How You Can Make a Real Difference

We need to collect over 107,000 raw petition signatures between September and November, this year. We have to sort, separate, and distribute them to 351 different town clerks.
Hard and exacting work. We have to get it right to get on the ballot.

We must start now. Will you help us?

Barely more than 63 days to petition this fall. In the rain. In the cold. In "Tax-achusetts."

We must hire and manage skilled professional petitioners to ensure success. They cost money.

We are thrifty and frugal. As careful with your money as you are. As we proved last time, dollar for dollar, we give you more bang for the buck for your donation.

Great News - and an Amazing Opportunity for You

In the last 6 years, petitioning costs have risen. Inflation plus supply and demand. Dozens and dozens of ballot initiatives and candidates needing millions of petition signatures have driven up the cost.
But we have 2 ways to drive costs down.

1. Petition early - mid-September through early November - before the ballot initiatives and candidates in other states need the petitioners.

2. Your best donation now cuts petitioning costs. Money in the bank is leverage with petitioners. Some have been burned by organizations that could not or did not pay them. Or didn't pay them in full. Or didn't pay them on time. Money in the bank means they will get paid for their hard work. And it lets us negotiate a lower cost - since they can count on getting paid - in full and on time.

With your donation now - so we can petition early, and make sure workers get paid - we may be able to drive petitioning costs down to $1.50 a signature.

Can you, will you please donate $1,500 today to help us get 1,000 signatures - for our Ballot Petition to End the Income Tax? 1,000 petition signatures out of the 107,000 we must collect.

Or will you please donate $750 today for 500 signatures to End the Income Tax? Your $750 donation today will make a big difference.

If you can and will make a donation of this level, thank you.

But maybe you're one of the hundreds of readers on a tight budget. Many of our best supporters are.

Over 40% of our supporters donate $65 or $85, $25 or $45 when they can. These 40% were vital and indispensable to our extraordinary results with our last End the Income Tax Ballot Initiative. Are you one of these terrific individuals?

Will you help us? We need you and your contribution to help make this happen.

Can you, will you please donate $65 or $85, $25 or $45 today - to drive down petitioning costs - and help us get the 107,000 voter signatures needed? Will you please help now?

Join us, and make history. Help us dismantle Big Government.


Please donate now by credit card by
clicking here.

Or please write your check or money order out today and mail it to:

The Committee For Small Government
6 Goodman Lane
Wayland, Massachusetts
01778

Your donation is our budget. Please donate generously. Please donate now.

Thank you.

With your active help, small government is possible,


Carla Howell Michael Cloud

2007 Copyright Carla Howell and Michael Cloudsmall government is possiblesm, small government is beautifulsm, Small Government Pledgesm and Small Government Newssm are Service Marks (SM) of Carla Howell and Michael Cloud.
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