Sunday, March 2, 2008

open forum 11




Reg Golb said...

Who will you vote for?

Fiery said...

none of the above.

they are universally crooks and evil smarmy bastards.


Reg Golb said...

I will probably vote McCain, or write in myself. I will be 40 this fall, I am natural born citizen, I think i am constitutionally acceptable.
I would never vote for Hil or BHO (no I am not comparing him to OBL)

Do you think they tell their own kids that they need to government to take care of them? I can hear The clintons and obama now "You can't be anything you want to be, unless I get elected"

There is an interesting dicotomy of wanting to be a servant (socioeconomically, a rather low ranking member) and believing you are the smartest, best equipped, most "ready" to answer the phone at 3:00 in the morning, person for running the biggest (and best)country in the world.

Fiery said...

Now I'm tempted to write you in. Of course I'm not sure they will know who "Reg Golb" is. :D

Johnny said...

believing you are the smartest, best equipped, most "ready" to answer the phone at 3:00 in the morning, person for running the biggest (and best)country in the world.
It is not the biggest country in the world! As far as being the best I find that highly dubious also.

Richard said...

I think, by "biggest" Reg means 'most powerful', economically and militarily. If not in total, certainly on a per capita basis. It was rather a vague 'bigness' remark (Poodles, watch it! :-)

As for the best in the world, well, can you imagine what other countries that had that economic and military power would be like???? At least America is still a symbol for individual rights and capitalism, even as it undermines them. No other country does that.

Having said that, it is AWFUL that by not acting on its own principles, it gives those principles a bad name. The Left is making sure of that, and the Right worsens it by pretending religion is the basis of Rights. What a nightmare combination.

I thought Bush vs. Kerry-Gore were the ultimate assholes of American politics, but all the candidates for both leadership roles are so far up America's ass the nation is developing appendicitis.

I think Jefferson would commit suicide if he were alive to see what was happening to America, and had as little influence as you and I. But, I do believe America, as it declines, is doing much better than any other nation would in the same situation. Those nations, and/or the citizens who think that way, are like armchair athletes, all full of shoulda - woulda - coulda, but they wouldn't have any better solutions if they were in the same 'shoes'.

Sorry, sort of, about the horrible and mixed metaphors.

Reg Golb said...


Not all of us U.S. American don't have maps. And Miss S. Carolina doesn't represent everyone in public school.

Poodles said...

Richard... DAMMIT!

Vote for me! Write in Poodles!

I promise to make churches illegal... isn't that why the fundies are afraid of our kind running for anything?

Poodles said...

OH and seriously, if the phone rings at the Clinton house at 3 am she should just pick it up, tell him to make sure he wears a condom and go back to sleep.

Reg Golb said...

Great comment poodles. Safer sex, nice touch.

Reg Golb said...

"endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

I think it is a big leap to think TJ would endorse suicide, let alone do it. If God gave us life, who are we to claim the right to end our life as one of the "certain" ones?

Richard said...

Reg, the operative word is "if".

Mum and Dad gave us our lives, not God. As such, our lives are uniquely human, not like that of animals, because we are conceptual beings.

We must live by the proper functioning of our (rational) minds. We do not live primarily by sunlight, or tooth and claw, but by thinking and acting according to your thoughts. To live, then, we must be free to choose our own course, and to benefit or suffer accordingly as we work towards our own happiness. That is, to Live in this World, we must have Liberty to act in an upon the World, and must be able to keep that Property which is the product of those actions which, if wisely chosen, will bring us (material) Happiness. Those Rights must be maintained throughout a society of peoples, so that all may live securely according to their personal values and interests. Because those Rights are necessary to the survival of the reasoning man as a Natural Being they cannot be taken away, any more than one can remove a lion's teeth and expect him to survive. That is, those requirements for his survival are inalienable.

Each one of us must respect the other's Life, Liberty, Property and pursuit of Happiness. If any human seeks to block those requirements, then he violates that person's safety from others in that society and attacks his very existence . He has dismissed life, liberty and/or property on principle and therefore has dismissed them as they apply to himself.

TJ did not see his or anyone else's life as belonging to God. His use of Creator, was as an explanation for the existence of the Universe, not as the Creator of Man, nor as a tireless and relentless meddler in human affairs. Such affairs were the full responsibility of each man in accordance with his most wise understandings and choices. Since a man's life is his own, it is his own to take*.

*an irrational man may be saved from himself, without it being a violation of his rights.

Reg Golb said...

I don't think TJ used the word if.

"His use of Creator, was as an explanation for the existence of the Universe" however he viewed it, it seems hard to believe that a word like "creator" came from a rational mind. Maybe you should save TJ from himself, doesn't sound too rational by your standards.

Reg Golb said...

Here is a great article about failure in our schools.

If only Reagan could have abolished the Dept. of Education.

Richard said...

Reg, it was you who used the word "if", to which I referred.

You then went on to say "it seems hard to believe that a word, like "creator" came from a rational mind. Maybe you should save TJ from himself, doesn't sound too rational by your standards."

The difference is between your view of God's imaginary character and Jefferson's view. In Jefferson's view something, call it The Creator, God, or whatever, must have created the Universe, but it was clear that this Creator did not meddle in men's lives. Life was left to each man to work out. Morality was for men to learn. Prayer, icons, altars, incense, steeples, etc. were all BS.

That is awfully reasonable, for the time! Today, there is no such excuse. The evidence is plain. Rational selfishness, applied through capitalism and individual rights transformed America from a land more like uncivilized parts of Africa to the most economically successful nation ever.

Other regions (Canada, Western Europe, Australia & N.Z.) have been dragged along by America's example, but those that did not follow suit (Mexico, S. America, Eastern Europe, Asia) have remained almost as backwards as America was in 1800. Why? Their religious views still underpin the morality that drives their politics! (This is true of Communism too, as it simply replaces sacrifice to God's Children with sacrifice to the Collective. What is the difference?)

Most of the people in those countries are still living on a Medieval view of the Universe, even as they drive cars, work in factories or run small businesses and communicate by e-mail and the Internet. Many even use the latter to promote religion and/or communism/socialism... about as smart as "Jews for Hitler" sending out banner ads of ovens. Fundies in America have the least excuse, and are therefore the most reprehensible.

Richard said...

Reg, the author of the article you point out has perhaps grasped the easy part: that there is a problem, and that the Public School system ought to be abolished. Then what?

The following applies as much to Public Schools as to Sunday Schools:

Ayn Rand
The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971)

"The production of monsters--helpless, twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted--goes on all around us. But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler. They do not hide, they practice their trade in the open, the results are invisible. In the past this horrible surgery left traces on a child's face, not in his mind. Today it leaves traces in his mind, not on his face. In both cases the child is not aware of the mutilation he has suffered. Today's comprachicos do not use narcotic powders. They take a child before he is fully aware of reality and never let him develop that awareness. Where nature put a normal brain, they put mental retardation. To make you unconscious for life by means of your own brain, nothing could be more ingenious. They are the comprachicos of the mind. They do not place a child into a vase to adjust his body to its contours. They place him into a school to adjust him to society."

Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Address to the German Nation (1808)

"Resistance to the full-scale institution of government compulsory schooling will only last for one generation. The first generation affected will accept it as a natural part of growing up."

The proper solution is private schools with teaching staff who understand and explicitly apply epistemological principles to train their young clients in the correct use of their minds.

Reg Golb said...

I agree, free market has to be the answer for the masses.

Richard said...

Reg Golb agrees! Wow. Well, mostly "wow".

Reg, in this context, there is no such thing as "the masses". The free market is the answer for individuals!.

Keep in mind that "the masses" or "the public" is comprised, only, of individuals.

Note that I included Sunday Schools as a place where children's minds are warped by The Comprachicos of 'education'. I used the term 'Sunday Schools" as standing for all religious education.

Reg Golb said...

And yet individual will have to decide. What is the local options are not good for your child, then it is us to the parent to homeschool. OH, I see where you are going, you will decide for us. That is what you are after all along.

Richard said...

Reg wote
"And yet [the] individual will have to decide. What is [if?] the local options are not good for your child, then it is us [up?] to the parent to homeschool. OH, I see bwhere you are going, you will decide for us. That is what you are after all along."

You have read a lot of what I have said on this site. How can you possibly draw such a conclusion?

Of course I would not decide for you! As an advocate of freedom I truly believe you should be free to make your own choices.

Getting rid of public education does more than just make private schools more available, they will be more varied in the kinds of educational approaches they use, too. so, you will have more freedom to choose the type of schooling you want to pay for.

Better yet, you will have more money to spend towards your kids' education, too. You will not be taxed to pay for a bureaucrat-heavy school system that does not teach your children as you desire. The private schools will have to be more fiscally efficient to compete, so your dollar will go farther.

Of course, you or your children will see that certain schools do more to advance the lives of their students than others. Those schools will prosper, while the poorer ones will slowly vanish, to all children's benefit.

Richard said...

WorldNetDaily reports:

""A California court has ruled that several children in one homeschool
family must be enrolled in a public school or 'legally qualified' private school, and must attend, sending ripples of shock into the nation's homeschooling advocates as the family reviews its options for appeal."

The court approved the wording of the law:

". . . the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education."

". . . keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where
(1) they could interact with people outside the family,
(2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children's lives, and
(3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."

The whole thing is a denial of your individual rights and freedoms. Much of the argument is based on the notion that education is "the socialization of the child" rather than a method of training his mind so he can think for himself.

Worse, it approves of an open ended indictment that if "something [is] amiss" the thought police can act against homeschoolers in any way they happen to feel. If you are not rich enough, or are not teaching global warming, or sex, or multicultural history, or evolution properly, and you don't change, then they have "something amiss" allowing them to tear your children from your home. If they do not like you, and find that your children are not studying the approved politically correct stories, then they can say that constitutes something amiss".

Your children must be absorbed into, and work all their lives for, the grand American Collective. Individuals and individual freedom be damned.

Poodles said...

I'd be in favor or totally private education, but I am biased since I don't have kids, never will and live in a place where big families are prevelant and I'm tired of paying for those choices they make.

Richard said...

Hey Poods, that's not "biased", it's good sense! They chose to have the kids, and it's their job to take (financial) responsibility for them, not yours.

You didn't ask to join the grand American kibbutz, but America's fearless leaders and the voting American kibbutzniks require that you do your part, nonetheless. So much for "the land of the free"!

Check out the kibbutz link, it is rather interesting. E.g.
"The early kibbutzniks wanted to be both free from working for others and from the guilt of exploiting hired work. Thus was born the idea that Jews would band together, holding their property in common, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

I bolded "exploiting" because it is classic communism to view the people who have and use money to be exploitative. How did they get the money? Blank-out. Did the laborer agree to accept a certain value in money for the value of his labor? Blank-out. Why did the paid laborer want money, instead of chickens or shoes as payment? Blank-out.

How anti-American can American kibbutzniks get? Blank-out.

evolveintobirds said...

holy crap! first the ruling in Wisconsin and now this in California!

my eldest just submitted a persuasive essay in his virtual high school english class titled: "Home Education is a Real Alternative". she downgraded him because "Social interaction and shaping of one’s personality in relation to the society are possible only in a public school environment." this coming from a teacher of a VIRTUAL SCHOOL.

Richard said...

Dear EIB,

If you and your son are are willing, could you put the essay, "Home Education is a Real Alternative" up on a web page?

I would like to fisk it ;-) but in a good way. Seriously, as I think it will be a good example of a child product of Homeschooling, as well as of an argument that is worth reading.

evolveintobirds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
evolveintobirds said...

geh...i hate html.
it's at the top of my blog.

Richard said...

Thank-you EIB!!

I have commented about the essay on her blog.

I also recommended two things, which I will repeat here:

I recommend, to all home schooling parents, this amazing book on reading which applies to learning in general: Study Methods & Motivation (Pb)
by Edwin A. Locke. I recommend buying it from the first link, but it can also be found on Amazon here.

You may also appreciate this short article on reading. It is excellent. I particularly agree with the author's view that 10 of 12 books one should read/year should be non-fiction. Too many people, who love reading and promote it, actually just read to escape, and really only learn disparate facts and fantasies.

Richard said...

From Thrutch, verbatim:

Although I don't think government should be involved in education at all, it is interesting to see examples where at least some competition is allowed within a socialized system. And surprisingly Sweden offers us such an example.

A few telling excerpts from the article:

The second charge is that this funding system creates educational apartheid. If money follows pupils, won’t a socially damaging segregation between the best and worst schools be a natural consequence? Were it not for the evidence of the Swedish model, it would be easy to imagine any such proposal being still-born in this country. But there is now a mass of academic studies — one surveying 28,000 pupils — showing that such fears are unjustified. In education, a rising tide really does lift all boats. The older schools improve as they are galvanised by the pressure of the new: shape up, or lose pupils and money. It works.


‘There is a trade-off,’ says Ledin. ‘If we can’t find a school next to a playground, we make a deal with a nearby sports centre to use its facilities. If parents find that unacceptable, they don’t send their children to our schools. Simple.’ Kunskapsskolan’s speciality is what it calls personalised education. Each child starts the day with a tutor, and is set an individual timetable. Other schools offer a more traditional approach. This array of competing pedagogical styles is the main fruit of the Swedish approach.
(emphasis added)


Yet there is one part of the Swedish system which is too openly capitalist even for the Tories: allowing schools to make a profit. In the Prime Minister’s Office in Stockholm’s old town, Mikael Sandström, a state secretary for the Moderate party administration, explains why the Tories are wrong. ‘If you’re a not-for-profit school, then the longer the waiting list the better,’ he says. ‘It’s a lot of trouble to expand, so they don’t. Also, profit-making schools have been shown to have less social segregation.’ And then he says something one would be surprised to hear in the White House, let alone the Rosenbad in Stockholm. ‘The question for me is whether we should abolish non-profit-making schools,’ Sandström says. I am not at all sure he was joking.

I visited another school which illustrates Sandström’s point. Engelska Skolan, which teaches primary children in English, had two founders who disagreed whether to seek profit. They went their separate ways. The original school still stands, on its own in a trust, six applicants for every place. The profit-making version is now a chain of eight English-speaking schools. If the waiting list grows big enough, they open another one.