“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."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Privatize government education system and get government out of student loans

Don’t ban guns, ban government schools | Letter to the editor

Public schools have become impersonal, sterile and monolithic — like most government institutions.

What have all the school shooters in recent history had in common? They all attended public schools.

It is time to consider whether guns are the problem, or whether perhaps the educational environment in our schools has deteriorated to the point where our children are no longer safe.

School shootings are not the only consequence of this unsafe environment. Children are traumatized in less obvious ways as well.

Public schools have become impersonal, sterile and monolithic — like most government institutions. Kids are falling through the cracks. This makes the schools less safe. Government schools have become incubators for the sort of tragedies we are seeing today. We also see an increase in mental health disorders and overall malaise amongst our children and even the staff.

Private schools are more caring, personal, boutique, couture and tailored to the individual child’s needs. Private security is safer too. Children are more nurtured and can follow their passions. Parents are more engaged and teachers have more freedom.

This is not at all a critique of our teachers or staff. Their hands are tied. They too are left unprotected, dealing with issues they are not trained to address and bound by institutional mandates. They lack the resources or time to give individual attention to children so that they don’t slip through the cracks. They are left to fill the role of parent, guardian, counselor, confidant, friend, nurse, psychotherapist and…teacher. It is an impossible job; all while being “handcuffed.” Heck, they can’t even hug a child nowadays.

There will be a lot of talk about more gun control but to focus singularly on one factor is being dishonest and simplistic. The problem we face as a society runs much, much deeper. These guns have been around for decades but this problem is merely a couple decades old.

The real issue is the deterioration of our education system. That is the conversation we need to have.

At a private school with smaller classes, a teacher, counselor or other staff person would have likely seen warnings signs early on. But in the government system funds are misappropriated and “circle the top,” leaving our children and teachers vulnerable and scared. The learning environment in our government schools has deteriorated and these school shootings are a symptom of much deeper systemic issues that it is time to talk openly about.

Let’s increase access to private schools: choice, charter and vouchers.


  1. According to the Program for International Student Assessment, which collects test results from 65 countries for its rankings:

    * In reading, students in 19 other locales scored higher than U.S. students

    * In science, 22 education systems scored above the U.S.

    *In mathematics, 29 nations and other jurisdictions outperformed the United States

    Journalist Henry Mencken said it best in 1924 when he wrote that the aim of public education is "to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality."

    It is time to hold the Department of Education accountable for the crimes of the educators.

    1. American author and veteran educator Samuel Blumenfeld and journalist Alex Newman have taken on the public education establishment as never before and exposed it for the de facto criminal enterprise it is.

      "Crimes of the Educators" reveals how the architects of America's public school disaster implemented a plan to socialize the United States by knowingly and willingly dumbing down the population, a mission now closer to success than ever as the Obama administration works relentlessly to nationalize K-12 schooling with Common Core.

      The whole-word method of teaching children to read – introduced by John Dewey and colleagues in the early 20th century and which permeates Common Core – is a significant cause of dyslexia among students. Public education's war against religion, the "great American math disaster," promotion of death education and the government's plan to lower standards for all so that "no one is left behind" are destroying the logic, reasoning and overall educational prowess of America's next generation.

    2. In the United States another form of utopians, the "progressives," have tried to destroy traditional America by strategically dumbing down her people.

      America's future is being crippled on purpose in order to fundamentally transform the nation, its values and its system of government. Laid out a century ago by progressive luminary John Dewey, the fruits of his schemes are plain to see today. Dewey got rid of the traditional intensive phonics method of instruction and imposed a "look-say," "sight" or "whole-word" method that forces children to read English as if it were Chinese.

      The method is widely used in today's public schools, which is a major reason there are so many failing public schools that cannot teach children the basics. This can only be considered a blatant form of child abuse.

  2. Last week, the Oklahoma Education Association – the state's largest education union – demanded raises for teachers, support staff, state employees and additional funding for education.

    Legislators have until April 1 to find $812 million in new funding for the next fiscal year before a potential state-wide school walkout the following day.

    “Schools will stay closed until we get what we are asking for,” OEA President Alicia Priest said in a press release.

  3. A group of parents from New Milford, Connecticut has hired an attorney to articulate their concerns about the decision by their school district to allow students to participate in the national student walkout held Wednesday to advocate for gun control.

    In an email sent to Breitbart News, the parents – who wish to remain anonymous – argue the student walkout might appear to be a fairly innocuous First Amendment event to honor the students killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting and to advocate for gun control.

    However, the parents add, the decision involves issues concerning “adherence to law and policy, the manipulation of minors, the misuse of tax dollars, and indoctrination and political activism during school hours.”

    They are especially concerned the student walkouts were organized by the Women’s March, an anti-Trump organization with ties to radical anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan.

    In an interview with Breitbart News, the parents’ attorney, Deborah Stevenson – with expertise in constitutional and education law – spoke about the parents’ issues with their school district’s decision to allow students to participate in the walkout.


    1. {...}

      On March 12, Stevenson sent a letter to the New Milford Board of Education, superintendent Joshua D. Smith, and New Milford High School principal Greg P. Shugrue – which she made available to Breitbart News. Stevenson wrote:

      My clients have asked me to notify you that this event violates state law, on the basis that state and local public funds are being used improperly to advocate for a political issue and to influence how voters will vote. Because it violates state law, we demand that the New Milford Public School District’s Superintendent and Board of Education immediately cancel the event, and rescind any association or prior involvement in it.

      In addition to citing the Women’s March Network or Women’s March Youth Empower as an organizer of the student walkouts, Stevenson added that “the event is promoted by the Action Network, which touts itself as ‘an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes.’”

      “Thus, it is promoting the event for partisan political purposes, to influence voters to one side of an issue currently before members of the public,” she wrote. “This event is not simply a ‘student initiated remembrance.’ It is an event aimed at engaging students in a political ‘movement’ to affect ‘change’ and to encourage them to vote for that ‘change.’”


    2. {...}

      On Wednesday, Michael P. McKeon, attorney for the school district, wrote to Stevenson, in a reply that was made available to Breitbart News, that the school board “has absolutely no connection with” the Women’s March Network and the Action Network.

      “To the extent that either group has referenced the New Milford Public Schools on their websites or in any other manner, that is neither at the behest of nor with the consent of the Board,” McKeon argued, adding:

      Furthermore, the mere fact that some outside organization unilaterally or in cooperation with some third party over whom the Board has no control lists, cites, or otherwise references the Board does not transform the Board into its agent or representative, nor does it impute to the Board any perspectives, philosophies, or political agendas such organization might have.

      McKeon further asserted that, as Smith and Shugrue indicated in a letter to parents, “Students at NMHS have indicated that they too want to make a statement and be a part of the movement.”

      In the letter, made available as well to Breitbart News, Smith and Shugrue wrote that the district’s middle school students “also expressed an interest in participating in the broader conversation,” and would have a “grade appropriate, optional opportunity that focuses on civic participation.”

      “Clearly, this morning’s activity is student initiated and student driven,” McKeon said, dismissing all of the parents’ issues.

      Stevenson, however, told Breitbart News that Connecticut, and likely many other states, has statutes pertaining to the use of taxpayer dollars to fund political protests. She said it “defies logic” how McKeon “can make an argument that the walkout is not connected to a partisan or political issue.”

      Breitbart News asked whether school districts could be faced with further litigation if they do not allow students who wish to hold walkouts for other causes to do so.

      “That’s absolutely a valid concern,” she said. “There are equal protection laws as well, and if you are allowing one group to have free speech on your campus for a partisan purpose, then, obviously, it’s discriminatory not to allow an opposing point of view. So, it absolutely does open up the school districts to litigation and all sorts of other problems.”

  4. Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, said between the hundreds of million needed simply to keep up with Florida's rising student population plus the $400 million response to Parkland, there wasn't much money left to go around. He noted that beyond the base student allocation, extra money was provided for teachers' bonuses, which the House preferred to do rather than fund salary raises as the Senate had sought.

    "I understand their position because they're going to fight for their districts," Diaz said. "But having a special session to find a pot of money that's not there is not effective."

    Florida has $3.3 billion in reserves, but Diaz said there isn't a political will from Republican leadership to dip into those funds to satisfy the superintendents' demands.

  5. Private schools are more caring, personal, boutique, couture...."

    Boutique ?

    Couture ?

    How bourgeois.

  6. My people all grew up with phonics, many walking to a one room school house 2 miles away, often getting the Chilblains in the winter going to and fro.

    It was 1st through 8th grades, though sometimes there weren't any students in some of those grades.

    Maybe 20 students all told.

    My folks all got college degrees eventually.

    I don't know how they survived out there in the winter. No electricity.

    Things were tough, but good somehow.

    No drugs, no fights....

    1. Lonestar School.

      Still there, repaired now, and open to the public as an historical site.

    2. Yeah, my grandpa's final year of school was the 8th grade.

    3. No school buses, but two schoolmarms.(teachers)

    4. My grandfather's was the 6th grade, when he left and went to Stockholm.


  7. Closing a school is never easy. Closing more than one compounds the pain.

    Officials of the San Bruno Park Elementary School District are faced with that difficult reality.


    San Bruno Park has closed several schools in the past. The city lost one of its two comprehensive high schools, Crestmoor, due to low enrollment in 1980.

    This history of academic loss tends to color anything that’s on the table now in that North County community.

  8. Trump boasts about making up facts about trade deficit to Trudeau
    Mike Murphy

    President Donald Trump boasted about making up facts over a trade deficit to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a fund-raising speech Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.

    The Post said it obtained audio of Trump’s remarks at the event in Missouri, where he told the crowd that he had no idea if the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, but insisted to Trudeau that there was.

    “He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump said, the Post reported, as he mimicked Trudeau’s voice.

    “I said, ‘Wrong Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. ... I had no idea. I just said ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong Justin.’”

    “He said, ‘Nope we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well in that case I feel differently,’ I said ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said ‘check because I can’t believe it,’” Trump reportedly said.

    “‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit but that doesn’t include energy and timber … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”

    According to the U.S. trade representative, the U.S. has an overall trade surplus of $12.5 billion with Canada. It is the second-largest trading partner of the U.S., totalling $544 billion between the two countries.

    According to the audio, Trump went on to describe allies such as the European Union, Japan and South Korea of economically pillaging the U.S. for decades, and called the North American Free Trade Agreement a disaster, the Post reported.

    He also hinted at withdrawing troops from South Korea if a better trade agreement was not worked out. “We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said, according to the Post. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

    1. That is your man Deuce. I presume you continue to be proud of his negotiating skills and his grasp of the issues.

      Are you also one who would point to the bankruptcy of Toys R Us and the loss of 30k jobs as the beauty of creative destruction, the marvel if leveraged buyouts?

    2. Toys R US has been dead man walking for thirty years.

  9. .

    In case there was any doubt.

    Larry Kudlow to become Trump's chief economic adviser.

    Nuff said.


    1. .

      Trump argues that more changes are coming as he tries to clear out the 'dead wood'.

      Translation: Trump will replace people who disagree with him with 'yes' men. Kudlow is the latest example, a faux economist who has been completely wrong about every major economic event in the last quarter century. Kudlow's major appeal for this president is that he completely agrees with Trump's reverse-Robin Hood economic policies. And noted free-trader, Kudlow can be 'flexible is the price is right.

      According to the Globe and Mail,

      But Trump said Kudlow has "come around" to see the tariffs as a useful tool for renegotiating trade deals.


  10. Guys bullshitting? Negotiators exaggerating? Politicians Lying?

    Slam dunk. - "I cannot tell a lie." - The Trojan Horse. - Clinton/Lewinsky Affair. - “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it”. - “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.” - “We’re going to lower your premiums by up to $2500 per family per year.” - “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, now or in the future.” - "We found the weapons of mass destruction." - "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." - "Read my lips: no new taxes." - "We still seek no wider war." - “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

    1. The ole they did something bad so it's good when I do it excuse. Brilliant!

      Even more brilliant - "Guys bullshitting? Negotiators exaggerating? Politicians Lying?" Trump gets caught out on all of the above and you think it buttresses his negotiating position. Brilliant analysis old man - worthy of Moe.

    2. .

      Trump's a dick's dick

      Trump not only admits lying he brags about it, he laughs about it. And according to the tapes, his base (wealthy contributors) were laughing right along with him.

      Lies and fake news are the mother's milk of the Trump movement. And why would the base support this? Well, Jenny Lee is soul-sister to the Twins...

      Life was Chaos until I chose to become a Conspiracy Theorists

      Jenny (or Doug, or Bob, or Trump's base)...

      Life as a conspiracist is delightful. I can suddenly explain everything and — like the United States’ Conspiracist-In-Chief — I have decided I am no longer culpable for anything. As a conspiracist all my bad decisions are fake news and my life is run by a greater force...


    3. .

      Of course, Jenny is being satirical. The Twins? Not so much.


    4. What in the world are you rambling on about with this conspiracy stuff ?

      That's not Doug nor I, nor you nor even Ash, that's the fellow from Phoenix.

    5. .

      Come on, Bob, you and Doug put up fake news and conspiracy theories here all the time. It's hard to tell who puts up the most. Doug's got his Gateway Pundit. You've got a whole list of fake news sites. Doug recently put up a fake news report about the kids down at Parkland being actors. The crazy Ron Johnson conspiracy theories have been pushed here. Secret societies. Pizzagate. Seth Rich. Obama's birth certificate. The list goes on. With you guys, this place has become an Infowars clone.

      And there's no excuse. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is. A few minutes on the internet checking these things out would probably tell you that; or at least, it might give you reason to pause before jumping in with both feet.

      Of course, Jenny Lee is talking about you boys.


    6. Obama's birth certificate

      I say again....just take a good look at the guy, and his Kenyan'dad'.

      Facial resemblance ?


      Where did O'bozo get his height ? His 'dad' ? His mom ?

      Nah and nah. Couple of shorties.

      He got it from his biological father, Frank Marshall Davis.

      Which, oddly enough, makes O'bozo a 'natural born citizen' !

      Not all conspiracy theories are created equally.

  11. Kudlow as economic adviser doesn't generate a lot of confidence here.

    I'd just as soon have Ash, or, on a lucky day, Quirk.

    Thankfully neither Kudlow or The Donald drink, though Kudlow certainly used to do so.

    1. .

      I don't know. If Kudlow still drank he might at least have some kind of excuse.


  12. Developmental Update

    aaaHA !

    Have scored a new civil engineer since my other and I had a 'falling out'.....I had been warned by everyone not to hire this guy but did anyway since his son worked in loans at the bank and I had zero problem getting the money.

    My new guy is a grizzled old retired fart who won't charge me much. Papa said 'buy from the old, sell to the young'. This applies to hires too....the old remember the value of money as it was in their younger days.....

    All is well today.


    Good move.

    He's never around, doesn't help with the kids, and is kind of a shit anyways.

  14. Heh heh heh

    Column: Do the laws of Identity Politics compel Sen. Warren to take DNA test?

    Elizabeth Warren

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asks a question during a March 1 hearing on Capitol Hill. Warren recently has been asked whether she would take a DNA test to prove she is of Native American descent. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)
    John Kass John KassContact Reporter
    Chicago Tribune

    Isn’t it delicious that Fauxcahontas, aka Sen. Elizabeth Warren — the liberal Massachusetts Democrat toying with a 2020 presidential run — is refusing to take a DNA test to finally prove whether her self-serving claims of Cherokee heritage are true?

    Actually, watching Warren squirm and Chuck Todd all but flagellate himself for having to ask about the DNA test on “Meet the Press” was more than delicious.

    It was tasty, kind of like a French omelet with crab meat at a fancy restaurant frequented by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

    "I know who I am, and never used it for anything. Never got any benefit from it anywhere,” Warren said, protesting too much.

    Oh, no, of course not.

    She just claimed Native American status while teaching law at Harvard, and Harvard flaunted it as proof of faculty diversity. It’s all about checking the right racial boxes.

    And until she takes that DNA test — or releases the findings to show that she is indeed part Cherokee — it will dog her, like some rogue beast of liberal Democratic identity politics, trotting behind her wherever she goes.

    The liberal Democratic Media Complex does not love this story. But Warren’s DNA drama gets to the heart of the thing.

    Democrats are thoroughly dominated by the hard left now, and except for bizarre socialist economics drawn from “The Big Rock Candy Mountain,” they’re all about identity politics all the time.

    The Democratic Party is hip-deep in the politics of race and gender, and uses these as tools to carve and parcel out power, resources and benefits, relying on skin pigments and chromosomes (or the lack thereof), grievance and victimhood.

    Identity politics has been the left’s recipe for years, and watching Warren squirm was just the thing to whet the appetite. Not like a Bobby Flay burger exactly, or a Dutch oven full of Gordon Ramsay’s epic spicy lamb shanks, or Jacques Pepin’s Oeufs En Cocotte.

    Rather it was something like “Cold Omelets with Crab Meat,” an alleged down-home, authentic Cherokee recipe submitted by Warren for a book weirdly titled “Pow Wow Chow” just a few years ago.

    Yes, there is such a book, still available on Amazon. And no, you can’t make this stuff up.

    It turns out that Cold Omelets with Crab Meat, Warren’s “Pow Wow Chow” Native American recipe, might not actually have been all that big along the infamous Cherokee Trail of Tears. It was, however, a favorite treat of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and of Cole Porter at Le Pavillon restaurant in New York decades ago.

    And it was most likely lifted — you might say she Joe Bidened it — from a 1979 New York Times piece by Chef Pierre Franey.

    “…to make matters worse,” wrote Politifact in 2017, “some of the (Warren) recipes appear to have been copied from The New York Times wire service.”

    The Boston Herald’s Howie Carr wrote he found three pilfered Warren recipes in the Native American cookbook.

    “They ought to change the name of the next edition of ‘Pow Wow Chow’ to ‘Pow Wow Ciao,’ and Granny Warren can write a farewell address to any moonbats left who believe anything she says,” wrote Carr.


    1. Quirk manned up and took a DNA test.

      We should demand no less from Fauxcohantes.

    2. Or maybe it was Quirk's sister, or someone.

      Anyway I remember Quirk announcing the pleasing results.

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