“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Political Indoctrination of American Public Education

Socialism Viewed Positively by 36% of Americans
Majority of Americans positive on capitalism, entrepreneurs, free enterprise, and small business
by Frank Newport


PRINCETON, NJ -- More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of "socialism," while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives.

Now why is that? Do you think this could have something to do with it?

National Education Association

Total Membership: 2,767,696

Political Affiliation:

Democrats 1,781,502 (91%)
Republicans 170,600 (9%)
Others 4,000 (0%)


  1. The US public school system has been ceded to the American left, the unions and the left wing of the Democratic party.

    It will never be taken back.

    However, it can be dismantled and should be. It is a threat and an anachronism. There is simply no reason not to privatize the government school system.

  2. There is simply no reason not to privatize the government school system.


  3. "Majority of Americans positive on capitalism, entrepreneurs, free enterprise, and small business"

    And at the same time, a very solid majority came up through the public school system. Certainly the population of flyover country that is considered the bedrock of political conservatism, does not significantly patronize private education.

    My children did both, as well as taking turns at home-schooling.

    The private schools were flamingly liberal, while offering far more challenging core curricula, while the public schools (with the notable exception of one in NoVa) were just flat-out stultifying, making an awful, uninspiring hash of everything. The SHAPE school was decent, but falls into a neither-this-nor that category.

    As an advocate of greater independence from state schools for families, I still think family background and social culture play a far greater role in one's political attitudes than does one's formal education.

  4. Start with the 10th Amendment.

    Assuming there is public and political will to reform, begin by gradual undermining of the agencies of the left's empowerment.

    Diminish Department of Education powers over state and local school systems, however that might be done. It's a "goal," not an "objective." Eventually abolish the department.

    Eliminate unfunded mandates, and then don't fund any mandates.

    It's taken a century to reach this dismal situation. It may take a century to get out of it.

  5. It's always been that way for as long as I can remember, around here. The professorship, and the high school teachers, all dems, it's where their bread is buttered. None of them really do a goddamned thing.

  6. heh, you should have seen the scores of the Idaho and Washington teachers on the teachers tests.

    Might as well just close the schools.

  7. I barely made it out of (a very highly regarded) high school - even that narrow escape requiring the employment of cattle prods by concerned parties all around - and still managed to discover the considerable blessings of capitalism, along with much else. When I was free and on my own to do so.

    Had I thought I could get away with being a dropout, I would have gladly said, "Ciao!"

    My only other formal education (and the only I ever took seriously, making it a rather novel experience) was as a 97E. Which, really, is too funny.

  8. I'm in a foul mood, it isn't quite as bad as I painted.

  9. Well, and DLI.

    Which required nothing in the way of willful application and was therefor a Grand Old Time.

  10. I took a history class at the Seventh Day Adventist college in Walla Walla one summer just for the hell of it.

    That was an experience, I can tell you.

    So I'm not sure privatizing is the answer, either.

  11. The girls all had long skirts and no makeup. History started just a little while ago, and everybody was vegetarian.

  12. nothing wrong with long skirts and vegetarians.

  13. Didn't really say there was, just a statement. Some of them were really nice.

    Beats Berkeley.

    There was some stuff happened before Mesopotamia, however. Lots of stuff really. Like the paleolithic. But you'd never quess it from that history class.

    We learned all about Noah's Flood, and stuff.

  14. There wasn't any dope smoking on campus, or cigarettes, either.

  15. My daughter goes to a Christian college.

  16. Probably a good choice.

    But these folks had the world beginning about 5,000 years ago, which is not really a supportable idea these days.

    There are lots of good Christian schools out there, didn't mean to imply the opposite.

    And I'd rather have my daughter in a long skirt and no makeup rather than the opposite, when I think about it.

  17. I heard it's actually a very good school for ministry but for one who is not a creationist and is a science major, praying before calculus sometimes is just a little weird.

  18. heh, even prayer before calculus wouldn't help me.

  19. Awe, come on Bob, you couldn't have been that bad.

  20. It's odd, I got all A's my first year in college, and that included a couple chem classes too, my brother damn near flunked out. Turned himself around. He's the doctor, I'm the farmer. I was never any good at math, it just didn't interest me.

    So, yes, I am that bad.

  21. Our problem is in our "High Schools." They are geared for an agricultural/industrial society. We are no longer, That.

    Our boys and girls have to learn how to operate a computerized drill press, and repair robots. They have to be fluent in Excel, and all of that other stuff I'm not.

    Right now, when the boys graduate high school they're fit for the Army, and not much else. The Girls? McDonalds.

  22. It helps a hell of a lot to have fire in the belly. And a good supportive woman. Both of which he had. Once he got going there was no stopping him. He developed this kind of one pointed concentration, a marvel to behold.

  23. Kids, and their teachers, have always been liberal. The kids grow out of it.

    Boys will vote the same way as their fathers about 85, or 90% of the time IIRC.

  24. DLI--Dry Cleaning and Laundering Institute

    I must pay you more respect, Trish. As I know I've been rude in the past, I can only ask your forgiveness.

  25. Oh, most of them are "fit" for College, but the drop-out rate in college for boys is astronomical. A whole lot of them just don't want to be there, or to do the stuff that's on the other end of the diploma. They need a back-up.

  26. It's true, most kids follow the parents lead on politics. Maybe not so much on religion.

  27. Well, it's time to give the women the rule of the world for awhile anyway. See if they can do any better. It's hard to see sometimes how they could do much worse.

  28. Right now I'd recommend an apprentice program in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. Maybe a program in same at a good technical school.

  29. Nursing.

    Guy down the street, his grocery store went bust, midlife crisis, took the nursing program at LCSC, gets a hell of a good salary now. And that's here, where salaries are poor.

  30. And yet I think one of the greatest losses to us in mass education is the Humanities.

    I know back in VA we had endless discussions regarding the wisdom of having specially designated high schools for science and technology and the fine arts - nothing remotely wrong with either - and precious little else for the Humanities, which should be the foundation, or the leavening agent really, of the scientific and artistic worlds.

    It's a shame.

  31. Factories are, continually, cutting jobs, and producing more. More production, more unemployment.

    Last quarter, Ford ramped up production, and cut their labor force. And, they're "unionized."

    We've got to move a lot of production back here, away from "there." But, it's got to be profitable. If our workers are going to out-compete a Chinaman/woman who will work for $2.00/hr they've got to be able to operate some really high-end equipment.

    Just remember something. All of those B-2's, F22's, F-15's, etc. are maintained by high school graduates. Always have been. The kind of training these guys are getting in their first 6 - 12 months in the Service is they type that we need to be making available in our "industrial education" classes.

    Wood-working, and auto repair will only take you so far.

  32. I was at DLI-SF. Since closed. Even better.

    Did I like it?

    I loved it.

  33. My daughter is heading for graduate school to be a physician assistant. She wants to pursue sports medicine.

  34. ANYTHING Medical.

  35. Good for her!

    Coffee at the Casino time for me.

  36. Trish, any other languages besides Spanish?

  37. You go to the casino for coffee?

  38. Sounds better than, "I'm gonna go blow Fifty Bucks." :)

  39. Yeah, I guess, if you look at it that way. I prefer a coffee house.

  40. Now we know why he doesn't sleep.

  41. Oh, no. See, we do the division of labor in this family.

    We have a Spanish linguist. My husband.

    We have a German linguist. Me.

    We have a French linguist. The dotter.

    And we have - but God forbid you say anything to him about it, the reluctant-as-all-hell-dual-languager-but-have-a-Colombian-girlfriend - a rising linguist who is probably going to beat the pants off of all of us in the end.

  42. PAs and Nurse Practitioners are my preference whenever given the choice at Primary Care level. Experience with both in CA and AR has been excellent.

  43. She was only going to apply to one school but her advisor told her to apply to more than one because there's a big demand for them right now. My sister is a nurse and she said all the doctors use PA's now.

  44. Subject: BBC World Have Your Say
    Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 13:04:39 +0000

    My name is Xavier Zapata, I'm a journalist for the BBC World Service in London and I help put together the global affairs discussion show World Have Your Say. Today we're talking about Wole Soyinka's comments about Britain being a crucible for islamist extremism. I saw your blog post today and would like to invite you to share your opinions on the show today. We'll be speaking to people in Britian, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Yemen and Pakistan so the conversation would be very global. We would most appreciate your contribution so if you're interested give us a call on +4402075570626. The show goes out at 18:00 GMT, which is five hours from now. Do get back to me with your phone number if you don't want to make an international call and I can get straight back to you,
    Many thanks,
    Xavier Zapata
    Broadcast Journalist
    BBC World Service
    Bush House

  45. There's nothing like incentive.


    Wes that DLI at the Presidio? I had many good visits with friends who lived just back of the Presidio golf course. We'd ride bicycles through the base to get over to the bridge, and on to Marin, or down to Fort Point.

  46. The Post

    Pity the decent normal Brits.

    It was their rulers and masters that allowed the trashing of the country by needless thoughtless immigration by opportunistic people that were cultural misfits in England, and in fact held their hosts in contempt, much as the English left held their perceived lessers in England in utter contempt, seeing them as racist dolts needing cultural diversification and guidance.

    The British establishment, after doing their damage in the Muslim World, have in their self righteous penance, taken a once great country and in thirty years turned it into a cultural sewer.

    The English intellectual left has a lot to explain for and one day will be brought to account for what they did to Britain.

    Meanwhile the United States needs to come out of the sentimental fog of seeing Britain as it was in the fifties and sixties.

    Britain has become a security threat to itself and to the United States. One example is that Britons can come into the US without a visa. Other countries such as Poland must have visas.

    There are far greater security threats, home grown, weaned, educated and radicalized in English schools than any other country in Europe. The United States needs to wake up, face reality and examine its visa policies regarding the UK.

    Britain is euthanizing their culture. That is their problem. There is no need to make it ours.
    ____________ the Post

  47. DLI-SF was off the Presidio. An old five-story Marine hospital on a lovely promontory and just a short walk away from Baker Beach.

    I and my roommate (who still, along with others, teaches interrogation at Huachuca) occupied the old blood lab.

    Bonus: We had our own a sink.

  48. Better yet, give Xavier rat's phone number.

  49. I get in enough trouble arguing politics with my mother.

  50. LT, :)

    Glad I wasn't drinking anything.

    Yeah, Rat'll talk to'em.

    Air ye gonna talk to'em, Deuce?

    Tell'em I said that anybody that has Kings, and Queens, and bonny idjit Princes deserves anything they git.

  51. This is total bullshit:

    WASHINGTON--The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.
    FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.

  52. They always wrap an assault on civil liberties with some smutty reason that puts them on the high moral ground.

    Child pornographers make up what percent of the population? That is their reason to spy on everyone. It would make the East German Stasi proud.

    ... and while I'm at it what is all this bullshit about checking people's credit scores before giving them a job. Being unemployed means you are not earning an income. They expect them to have the AMEX plum card?

    Who gave these agencies permission to keep KGB type dossiers on everyone?

  53. And why is everyone going out for coffee?

  54. Because it's safer than the Internet?

  55. Cause it's free and todays the T-shirt drawing, which I didn't win.
    You ought to take 'em up on that, Deuce.

    Tell them they're f..... if they don't do something and soon.

    WiO is a good choice.

  56. I won last week though.

  57. I was listening to Canadian Broadcasting the other night, must have been Russia night.

    What a hell of a mess. The alcoholism is really out of control. Whole villages without men, all dead from demon drink. Gorby tried to close the liquor stores, things got worse, as the black market vodka isn't so healthy. Now Puty is trying to discourage drinking by raising prices, the upshot will be the same, according to the expert, cheap home brew will kill even more. The women have to really work to find a man, even a drunk one, the ratio is so out of kilter.

    No wonder there are so many Russian woman advertising themselves on the international meat markets.


    Then they had a guy on about doing business in Russia. Don't. Period. You got no protection whatsoever, the KGB boys will take your assets, maybe your life. The entire Russian government is a criminal enterprise. No court system worth a shit.

    Don't do business in Russia, that's the word, under any circumstances.

  58. The holographic interpretation can also obviously also be used to account for the perception of “spirit forms”, a common feature of Stage V experiences and deathbed visions. Just as object-forms are, theoretically, from a holographic point of view, a function of interacting mind patterns, so, too, are encounters with “persons” in “spirit bodies”. Such entities are, then, the product of interacting minds attuned to a holographic domain in which thought alone fashions reality. The fact that communication
    between the near-death survivor and the “spirit-form” is usually said to be telepathic in nature again points to a world of existence where thought is king. From this angle, one can easily see that the manifestations in this high order of reality could easily transcend the forms of our sensory world. As individuals whose consciousnesses are rooted in the natural world, we can only speculate on the levels of mind that may be able to influence perceptions in the frequency domain associated with Stage V experiences.

    Before concluding our discussion of this domain, we must return to an issue we raised but did not resolve earlier: the matter of hell.

    Stage V experiences, as we have seen, are almost always described in terms of paradisical imagery; the individual appears to enter a world of incomparable delight. Yet, in discussing Rawlings's work, we saw evidence that near-death survivors sometimes have hellish experiences. The bulk of the evidence plus the methodological shortcomings and tendentiousness of Rawlings's research led us to conclude that such experiences are probably very much rarer than Rawlings himself claims, but that they do sometimes occur.

    The question is how to account for them.

    Rawlings's own interpretation is that hellish experiences simply refleck a lack of a personal commitment to Christ. In this respect they serve as a warning of the ultimate consequences of failing to make such a commitment.

    Without wishing to get entangled in theological issues, I must confess that I find this interpretation too simplistically doctrinaire for my taste. But quite apart from my personal opinion, even some of Rawlings's own evidence fails to square with his interpretation. For example, Rawlings cites the case of one man, described as “a staunch Christian, the founder of a Sunday School, and a lifelong supporter of the church”, who had multiple near-death experiences, the first of which was hellish while the remaining two conformed to the Moody pattern. That kind of variation is not explicable on the basis of Rawlings's interpretation. Neither is the fact that, according to Osis and Haraldsson's cross -cultural research, Hindus have very much the same kind of paradisical (or Stage V) deathbed visions as do Christians.

  59. My own interpretation, naturally, is quite different. Rawlings is not the only investigator to find evidence of an occasional near-death experiential sequence that begins unpleasantly and ends well. Robert Crookall has also described this sequence (sometimes, however, in connection with out-of-body experiences only) and so has Moody. In addition, Ritchie has recounted a detailed personal example of this kind. The sequence, in fact, when it is reported, always seems to be from “bad to good”. My interpretation of hellish near-death experiences is predicated on this particular sequence.

    In my view, what is happening in these cases is that the individual is “passing through” a lower frequency domain (although he may occasionally—temporarily--”get stuck” there). This domain is also a holographic reality and is organized in precisely the same way as the paradisical realm we have already considered. The principal difference is in the nature of the minds that are interacting to create this reality.

    Even if this kind of interpretation is correct, however, there would still seem to be a problem. Why is this domain so rarely reported compared to the paradisical realm? One proposal has it that the tunnel phenomenon serves as a shield to protect the individual from an awareness of this domain. It will be recalled that the tunnel effect itself was interpreted as representing a shift in consciousness from one level to another. Functionally, this state of affairs can be compared to a traveler riding a subway underneath the slums of a city: the subway tunnel prevents him ever being directly aware of his surroundings although the slums are there. Instead, like the typical near-death survivor, he begins his trip in darkness and emerges into the light.

    That this is no mere fanciful analogy is suggested by one of Moody's cases. One woman, who was believed to be “dead” for fifteen minutes reported that during one stage of her experience she became aware of what Moody calls “a realm of bewildered spirits”. In describing this realm she says that:

    ....what I saw was after I left the physical hospital. As I said, I felt I rose upward and it was in between, it was before I actually entered this tunnel.....and before I entered the spiritual world where there is so much brilliant sunshine (that I saw those bewildered spirits).

    In my opinion, then, the near-death survivor is usually kept from having a direct awareness of this realm, just as, for perhaps different reasons, he usually has no recall for his “return trip”. Hell may exist as a “lower frequency domain”, but most near-death survivors never seem to encounter it and, if they do, only a tiny fraction seem to “get stranded” there. What may happen after the initial stages of death—something this research cannot speak to—remains an open question.

    Conclusions tomorrow

  60. Hell may exist as a “lower frequency domain”...

    Would that be lower than the frequency experienced with onset of tinnitus, or higher?

    Would large doses of Ginkgo biloba be beneficial for sinners, given its therapeutic effects in treating, or at least mitigating, the vibrational irritation of tinnitus?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  61. I and my roommate (who still, along with others, teaches interrogation at Huachuca) occupied the old blood lab.

    The fellow who sports the tee from Hooters Bogota studied those arts at Huachuca. DLI-Monterey is in his future, also.

    Small world.

  62. Boy, I wish that I had gone to the Dry Cleaning and Laundering Institute years ago.

  63. One friend and old classmate also teaches the strat debriefer course, while the husband of another, who finished as an instructor at SERE, is out at Huachuca again as well.

    I don't think I know anyone at DLI right now.

    We ended up getting 20 - count 'em - 20 inches. And it's still lightly snowing.

  64. The Happy World of HUMINT...Can't beat it.

  65. I had tinnitus for awhile, went away all by itself, irritating 'as hell' though when it was going good.

    Always wear ear gear in the tractor and combine.