INSPIRATIONAL: Schools kill creativity

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. 

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

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Another “don’t miss” TED talk.

I always criticize Gooferment Skrules because they are immoral, ineffective, and inefficient.

Here’s someone saying that what “school” deliver is not right for the future of humanity.

Can “We, The People” change?

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POLITICAL: Why Public School Unions Strike

Chicago, and Why Public School Unions Strike
Posted by Andrew J. Coulson
Source: Chicago Tribune

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Chicago’s teachers have just walked off the job, and most of the media coverage is quick to point out that this is the city’s first strike in a generation. But is anyone really that surprised by a public school union striking just as kids are supposed to be heading back to class in September? Wouldn’t you be a lot more shocked if you logged on to and were greeted by the message that its site was down due to an employee walkout? Or if you took the kids to the movies to see the latest cartoon extravaganza and found picketing ticket-takers? What is it about public schools—and other government enterprises, for that matter—that have made their unions so much more dominant than those in the private sector? [Two thirds of the public school workforce is unionized compared to about 7 percent in the private sector].

Competitors. Or, rather, the lack of them. Private sector workers can only demand so much from their companies before the demands become self-defeating. Get a pension package that’s too cushy, a salary that’s too far above the market rate, and the employer will have to pass those costs on to customers. And if those higher prices aren’t accompanied by correspondingly better quality, customers will simply go elsewhere—hurting the employees who asked for more than the market would bear.

*** and ***

In the absence of real private sector competition and parental choice, public school unions have been able to drive up the system’s costs without needing to show improvement in performance. Sooner or later, Illinois will adopt a system, like education tax credits, that provides real choice and competition, because the current system will ultimately bankrupt the state.

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I don’t understand why schools are ANY different than fast food.

I spend no resources about planning for my “burger needs” and the invisible hand of the (relatively) free market provisions three choices within a mile or two of my house. And, they battle ferociously for my business.

Why are “public goods” any different?

Because we’ve let the ruling class convince us that we can’t live without their benign beneficial leadership for which they extract a life of leisure.


Sam Walmart revolutionized retailing for which he was well rewarded. Pick out ANY one of the myriad of politicians and bureaucrats, what have they accomplished for you?

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LIBERTY: I OWN my own body!

by Cassandra C. Grissom and Sean N. Gruber
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

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America has become a statist, freedom-hating, catch-phrase espousing, ignorant, and nightmarish shadow of its own, once great, (though still flawed) self. And the easiest way that we can think to prove this claim, follows:

I OWN my own body! Ownership means; dominion! I control or don’t, I choose or don’t, I determine or don’t, every single facet of my controllable conscious existence. I’m limited by nothing but reality and the respect of others same right to the lack of said limitations.

*** and ***

The “government” claims dominion over you every time it demands an ID from you to buy alcohol! It claims dominion over you every time it demands a card from your doctor to buy marijuana or to get a permit to carry a gun! It claims dominion every time is assumes it has a rightful place in your medical business! It claims dominion every time is supposes it knows how to better prepare you for your retirement. It claims dominion every time it suggests or demands of you whom to kill or whom to die for. And it insults all of us to a point of intolerable degradation when it locks up people who video record its agents (the cop’s) violating the few limitations it still purports to impose upon itself!

The state is controlling your body and what you can and cannot do with it. They have already invoked a weird version of right-wing state socialism, and a total left-wing Nazi police state is quick on its heels. The powers that be are laughing because most Americans haven’t the faintest idea what is actually going on. They seem to know something is wrong, but being philosophically crippled as they are (thanks to the public school system) they haven’t the faintest idea how to determine the cause. In public school you are taught that the “government” is your friend, you are taught that “rights come from “government” that it’s okay to skip the two when you count to ten during the Bill of Rights. You are taught to bow down and lick the hand that “teaches” you, or else detention and a call to your parents will ensue. And if your parents take your side, then they are in trouble! You’re taught that if it wasn’t for “government”, the big-bad-business man will come in and take over everything and children will work for two cents an hour in sweat shops. Or that “terrorists” (ever notice the smallest army is always called a “terrorist?”) will be on every plane and every street corner.

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The essence of liberty is what you can do to yourself.

The Gooferment is the new plantation owner!

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POLITICAL: Education as a civil right

Rising Black Social Pathology
by Walter E. Williams

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At a bare minimum, part of the solution to school violence and poor academic performance should be the expulsion of students who engage in assaults and disrespectful behavior. You say, “What’s to be done for these students?” Even if we don’t know what to do with them, how compassionate and intelligent is it to permit them to make education impossible for other students?

The fact that black parents, teachers, politicians and civil rights organizations tolerate and make excuses for the despicable and destructive behavior of so many young blacks is a gross betrayal of the memory, struggle, sacrifice, sweat and blood of our ancestors. The sorry and tragic state of black education is not going to be turned around until there’s a change in what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior by young people. That change has to come from within the black community.

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I’m in no position to comment on this, BUT, (and there is always a BIG butt), I can assert that the meme of Gooferment Skrules is wrong.

In the 80’s, I spent a lot of time and effort to gather data and draw conclusions. At the time, the most generous calculation of per pupil cost demonstrated that the State spending was DOUBLE the most expensive private school in the state. DOUBLE! Just send everyone to the Peddie School in Princeton. So my plan was a FORTY year workout. The first twenty was getting the State out of the biz of running the schools (i.e., 5% per year of students were allowed to spend their “education voucher” anywhere they wanted to). The second twenty was getting the State out of paying for education (i.e., the voucher amount would be reduced 5% every year until it reached zero). Everyone has time to adapt.

The three major class of comments: (1) the poor can’t afford to educate their children; (2) the education complex is too deeply entrenched to allow this to happen; and (3) it takes too long. The poor decides to have children and saddles “the public” with the problem. The education complex is even more entrenched. And, we’re ¾ of the way down that timeframe and further away from any solution.


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TECHNOLOGY: APPLE’s IBOOKS2 is a paradigm and meme shift in education. And elsewhere.

iBooks 2 brings textbooks to life (hands-on)
by Jason Parker
January 19, 2012 3:01 PM PST

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We decided to download a free preview version of E.O. Wilson’s “Life on Earth” textbook to get a feel for the features (the preview comes with only two chapters). Navigating through chapters and sections of a textbook works great on the iPad. You swipe to switch chapters, or touch sections or pages to get right into the content. We think this will be useful for students who need to jump around through chapters. Once you’re looking at a page, you also have touch options, such as a pinch, which shrinks a page, and slide, which returns it to the navigation area on the bottom of the chapter screen.

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Looks like Apple hit this one out of the park.

(I’ve got to upgrade my MACBOOKAIR to try the “AUTHOR” software.)

If it’s as easy and as free as they say, it might be another even bigger revolution. Figure education, from a technology pov, hasn’t changed since Plato taught Aristotle.

This is BOTH a paradigm and meme shift.

Wonder how to extract some of the value from such a shift?

And, how does it impact medicine, engineering, and Informaton Technology?

Free AUTHOR software and easy e-publishing throws the doors open even wider than LULU did.

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RANT: Ron Paul is not a progressive; that’s a good thing

Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Ron Paul is not a progressive

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Paul was right on both wars, on the bailout of the banks and continues to be right about the need for transparency at the fed. He is right about gay marriage and he is right on most civil liberties issues and the drug war.

But Ron Paul is not a progressive. Ron Paul is not anti-corporate. He believes that empowering business is the best way to accomplish all good things and that government has no role to play in ensuring a level playing field. It was Paul’s dismissal of a government role in health care that elicited the shout of “let him die” during the Republican debates.

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*** begin quote ***

Anonymous Anonymous said…

Excellent points by Hank K.    Ron Paul would destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any social program that helps ordinary folks. He would probably be for assisting the privatization of our public schools. Libertarianism is filth, a despicable bunch of garbage that’s great for the greedy millionaires and greedy billionaires (as opposed to the responsible and altruistic millionaires and billionaires) who don’t want to pay their fair share in taxes. Under libertarianism, if you become disabled and can no longer work, then tough luck or go out in the street and beg for charity. Libertarians say, let the charities take care of the millions who are disabled, elderly or too poor. It’s an idiotic notion to think that charities are even close to being able to help the 50 millions uninsured. Dialysis costs about $150,000 per year and there are many thousands of people in this country with kidney disease or kidney failure. Medications cost thousands per year, there aren’t enough charities on earth to deal with these numbers. I would not vote for Ron Paul even if you put a gun to my head.

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And, everything today is just working perfectly and at costs we can afford?

Ron Paul hasn’t said anything about destroying everything. He has said that we need real cuts in Gooferment spending. Do you dsagree?

For example, he says the Federal Gooferment should have no role in education. Let the States do it. So we send money to Federal Gooferment to send back to the state Gooferment. There’s a swag that says ½ of any money passing through a Gooferment entity loses ½ its value due to the cost og handling. Sending a dollar to the Feds gets maybe 25¢s back! Eliminate the overhead.

Of course that will totally destroy the education establishment. And, maybe we can have a national and state discusion on “education”. Personally, I authored a paper for Hands Across New Jersey on how to transition “education” from Gooferment to parents over 40 years. (Under the theory that parents are in a better position to educate their children. And cheaper and better. They made the decision to have them; they should provide for them.) I’m frustrated because if HANJ wasn’t subverted by the duopoly, we’d almost be out of the problem.

You bring up charity, charity care, and the cost of medicine. But you ignore the role of Gooferment in driving up the cost of healthcare. Just like it drives up the cost of “education”.


I think that Ron Paul represents the essence of the Taft Republicans. It’s been lost for decades and we have a 15T$ debt, deficits for as far as the eyes can see, unfunded liabilities somewhere between 50T$ and 150T$ depending upon who counts what, and a dismal economic future.
Perhaps, you might consider that Socialism doesn’t work. Didn’t for the Soviet Union. And, won’t for the USA.


“everything is fine. move along citizen. nothing to see here.”


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TECHNOLOGY: “Low” tech? I’d call it “essential”

Tom Vander ArkCEO, Open Education Solutions
18 Low-Tech Learning Innovations
Posted: 8/28/11 01:00 PM ET

Education Reform , Google , Teachers , Education Innovation , Education Idea , Education Innovation America , Innovation , Learning Innovations , Learning Low-Tech , Teacher Innovations , Education News

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I frequently write about new learning technologies, but there are lots of low tech learning innovations (i.e., produce better outcomes and potentially cost less). Here’s a lit of 18. I bet you can add two to the list to make it an even 20. At this point, some aren’t really innovations, they are demonstrated best practices but they exist in so few places they are worth mentioning.

1. High expectations and future focus. In the first minute of visiting an Aspire elementary school you see, feel, and hear about the college going focus — a unique and powerful combination of high expectations and future orientation.

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Seems like this is a “universal” low tech list. Never saw an enterprise use this approach.

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RANT: Responding to a comment about “Gooferment Skrules”

>Corporate America, … are all on board for school “privatization”

In America, I doubt you could get that lot “on board” for anything. And, btw, the Facebook guy gave his money to what? Wasn’t it a “public school system”?

>charter schools and school vouchers would be dead in the water

The really ARE “dead in the water”. The Teacher’s Union will ensure that they are crippled out of the box with restrictions and conditions.

>libertarians hate public schools because they are selfish

No, this little L libertarian hates Gooferment Skrules because they are funded by force.

>just don’t want to pay taxes.

You’re right. I want to buy services in the marketplace where I can pick and choose. Yes to Burger King; no to Wendy’s. I don’t want to be forced to fund McD’s and then told “but you’re free to go elsewhere.” If you steal my wealth, (what little of it I have), then I am NOT free.

>They got their public education

Nope; I got none of that there “pub lick eddykation”.

>attitude is tough luck to the children who are

>being educated in public schools.

Were that they WERE being “educated” in those Gooferment Skrules! They are being propagandized! And, poorly at that. If you look at the stats.

>I received a public education

Well, good for you. Nice to hear that the money poured down the rathole wasn’t totally wasted. And, I’m sure you will tell us how wonderful that Gooferment education was. No propaganda or brain washing there. You’re just defending anything the Gooferment does because that’s the right way to do it.

>I consider it to be an investment in the future.

I love when folks muddle the language. “Investment” is when someone puts capital at risk in hope of a return. My capital was seized by the State and I have no hope of a return. It ain’t “investment” to spend stolen wealth on the euphemism of “public schools”. It’s about “milking the system” for the benefit of politicians, bureaucrats, and their “friends”.

> I got my public education and I want current and future kids to receive a public education.

And, I want to be thin, young, hndsome, and live in peace with my neighbors. It ain’t going to happen! For as long as you and your gang of costumed thugs continue to rob me like a mafia.

>We pool our tax dollars for the common good

No, WE DON’T “pool”. We are ROBBED to fund the things that the elite think are important.

Why do I have to be robbed to to fund any of those things. If I want that “service”, I should be allowed to “buy” it.

Just because, you yell about the Gooferment paying for stuff, doesn’t make it the only way or the right way to do it.

Because ALL Gooferment actions are rooted in FORCE — forcing people to pay for this stuff, those actions are IMMORAL and doomed to failure.

Those things that are NOT outright failures — and it’s hard to think of one thing that is not, are too costly when compared with “private” alternatives. (That’s because a “greedy” businessman is incentivized to satisfy the buyer at the lowest possible cost.)

> NJ public schools are top rated

That’s like saying I have the “prettiest pig in the pen”.

>graduation rates

Are manipulated by politicians and bureaucrats. For example, dropouts are not counted.

>population living in poverty

We disagree about the definition of “poverty”, but I blame the Gooferment for what you cite.

>some schools with serious challenges

Like graduating children scarred for life by not being able to read!

>If we had universal health care and state supported after school care

We’d all be broke and the problems would still exist!

>Germany or Finland have

So why are you here, trying to turn us into them.

>School choice is not a free ride

I don’t like anything that uses tax dollars. Parents had the children; they should educate them. It’s NOT my responsibility!

>Chinese immersion charter school is approved with no input from tax payers.

All Gooferment Skrules are nuts!

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NEWJERSEY: “Private funding for public schools”; no the issue is “public” schools!

“Private funding for public schools”

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real issues — funding disparity and a segregated state —

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How about the real issues:

(1) The Gooferment shouldn’t be indoctrinating future voters in worshiping at the alter of “big gooferment”.

(2) People forced to have their children taught things they find morally offensive in the name of “political correctness”.

(3) One group of folks forced to pay for the education of other people’s children — they had no vote in the decision to have children but are forced to pay for that decision.

(4) Parents are forced by geography to place and keep their children in failing schools.

(5) The infrastructure of “Gooferment Skrules” is corrupt — the Teacher’s Unions, Politicians and Bureaucrats are in an incestous relationship which screws the parents and taxpayers.

Those are the “real” issues!

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POLITICAL: Government schools

Welcome to the Free Talk Live Wiki, the libertarian wiki where almost anything goes.
2,322 articles in English

Government schools

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Some libertarians have the radical idea that parents should actually be responsible for making sure their children are educated. It worked before the twentieth century, and literacy rates were actually higher than they are today. Such people are a threat to all reason and civility, saying parents should be responsible for their children, and should be rounded up and placed into camps until further notice.

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I’d like to see the Separation of State and School!

During the tax revolt in New Jersey in the 80’s, I pitch a 40 year plan — two twenty years plans in succession. First, get the Gooferment out of the operation in 20 years. Second, get the Gooferment out of funding in 20 years. It’s baby steps, but it moves in clear distinct steps.

We can’t go from the current system to zero without a transition time. People need time to adjust and learn.


But, we can’t even do that!

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INTERESTING: Separate School and State!

School Lessons
by Don Boudreaux on November 26, 2010
in Education,Other People’s Money

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But why don’t supermarkets, restaurants, churches, apartment complexes, clothing stores, dog groomers, and other service providers in Fairfax County encounter the same problems that plague the school system? After all, the county is growing just as fast and just as unevenly for these merchants as it is for Fairfax County Public Schools. Yet we never hear that some coffee shops or department stores continue to be overcrowded while others are well under capacity. Why might this be?

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Of course, the answer is that the politicians and bureaucrats can not possibly know the answers. And, even if they did, they can’t possibly know how to “price” it. (How much of taxpayer money to “invest” in “stuff”?) A McDonalds is easier; an owner figures out how much of his wealth to risk. Of course, he’s going to be “right” more than any bunch of politicians and bureaucrats.

Sorry, but we must separate School and State!

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Here’s why the Gooferment shouldn’t be involved in schools

Miss. Middle School Bars Black Students From Running For Class President
At Nettleton Middle School, Student Government Posts Were Assigned by Race
Aug 27, 2010

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After 30 years of barring black students from running for class president, a Mississippi public middle school, reversed a Jim Crow era policy today and announced students of all races would be allowed to run for student government.

Students at Nettleton Middle School looking to run for class president, previously needed to maintain a B average, obtain 10 signatures from their classmates – and be white.

Rules issued last week outlined the school’s rules for seeking office. Students could run for president, vice president, secretary-treasurer and reporter, but some positions were off-limits depending on race.

In all three grades, only white students could run for president. In eighth grade black students could run for vice president and reporter. In seventh grade blacks could only run for secretary-treasurer, and in sixth grade only for reporter.

There were no assigned positions for students of other races and no mention of students who are mixed race.

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And, “We, The People” should throw the politicians and bureaucrats out of the “education” process.

“We, The People” are smarter than this.

Remember Walter William’s opinion on education. “If the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to sabotage black academic excellence, he could not find a more effective means to do so than the government school system in most cities.”

It’s immoral to do this to children. It’s immoral to propagandize them into being prisoners of the system. Any system.

It took us decades to get into this mess; it’ll take decades to get out. But let’s start. I’d propose a two part way out. (I wrote this up for the NJ tax revolt group HANJ which was hijacked by the Republican party,

(1) Each part would be twenty years.

(2) First part, we continue funding education as we do now. EXCEPT each student gets a voucher for X dollars. In year 1, all vouchers are “RED” meaning they must be “spent” at the local school district. Then each year, for the next 19, in a random draw, 5% of the vouchers turn “GREEN” meaning the parent can use that at a school of their choice. No limits. No Gooferment rules. At the end of 20 years, we now have a free market in education. The Gooferment o longer is operating youth propaganda camps.

(3) Second part, each year for the next twenty years, the value of the voucher decreases 5%. At the end of 20 years, we are no longer funding education; parents are. They had them; they should educate them.

And, I hope you’all have a much different society, much freer, than we do today!

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QUOTE: It’s impossible for education and schooling to be the same thing – John Taylor Gatto

“I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution “schools” very well, though it does not “educate”; that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing.” –– John Taylor Gatto

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QUOTE: As if someone had set out to *prevent* children from learning – John Taylor Gatto

“I’ve come to believe that genius is an exceedingly common human quality, probably natural to most of us… I began to wonder, reluctantly, whether it was possible that being in school itself was what was dumbing them down. Was it possible I had been hired not to enlarge children’s power, but to diminish it? That seemed crazy on the face of it, but slowly I began to realize that the bells and the confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to *prevent* children from learning how to think and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior.” – John Taylor Gatto

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QUOTE: Sit in confinement (like prison) – John Taylor Gatto

“It’s absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does…” – John Taylor Gatto

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QUOTE: Education should make you a unique – John Taylor Gatto

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.” – John Taylor Gatto

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POLITICAL: Why is the Gooferment running “education”?

Fired Catholic professor reinstated at University of Illinois

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Champaign, Ill., Jul 29, 2010 / 05:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A professor who was recently fired for explaining the Catholic teaching on homosexuality will be reinstated, according to the University of Illinois. Dr. Kenneth Howell’s position at the school was terminated at the end of the Spring Semester this year after teaching in a class on Catholicism that the Church believes homosexual behavior violates natural law.

*** end quote ***

Why is the Gooferment running Universities? Why are they regulating them, financing them, and in every intimate detail of them?


Power over the future sheeple and what they are taught or not taught.

<Expletive Deleted> “barbara streisand”

Time for the Separation of School and State!

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QUOTE: Children will not have an education – John Taylor Gatto

“By preventing a free market in education, a handful of social engineers – backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling: teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, et al. – has ensured that most of our children will not have an education, even though they may be thoroughly schooled.” – John Taylor Gatto

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RANT: End Gooferment “public education” … … now!

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We’ve done a remarkable amount of damage to public education in recent years, because we insist on elevating tests and degrading our teachers. It is a shame and we will pay dearly for it in the future.

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But don’t you see that the problem is the whole concept of “public education”? Do you buy shoes in one size fits all? Even more on point, do you let Anonymous pick your shoes and tell me to pay for them? Of course not. That’s silly, fjohn.

Isn’t it just a silly for you to entrust your legacy, your children, to be taught what Anonymous thinks is important and tell me I have to pay for it?

That’s why we fight over schools. They are immoral (e.g., teaching someone’s kids stuff they don’t agree with; stealing wealth form others to pay for it). They are ineffective (e.g., children “graduate” who are illiterate or worse). They are inefficient (e.g., they waste money in gobs; don’t deliver it where it’s needed; create cannon fodder factory workers to be led byt he elite).

Stop “public education”, charter schools, vouchers, and all that “barbara streisand”. Return the responsibility for education to the parents. They made the decision to have children, they are responsile; not me!

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Adoption should be done by the Churches

‘I’m a Saboteur’
by Daniel H. Pink

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How do you unlock that inborn genius?

When the mind is tested against something unfamiliar, it grows in front of your eyes. Adopted children have a horrible track record in adult life, and yet they often measure on IQ tests about 20 points higher than their equals in their biological family. For years, the medical community tried to figure out what could account for this. Just to transfer from your natural parent increases your intelligence? Well, sure. You’re in this desperate situation; you don’t even have enough language to find your way out. You’re looking around a lot more than you would if it was all Mother Goose.

*** end quote ***

I never knew this but it makes sense. Survival demands adaption. The question becomes how do we get children adopted earlier and seamlessly. The current system, run by our old “friend” the Gooferment, needs to be replaced. By Churches?

Now how do we make the Gooferment give up power?

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Separate Education from the State!

[Disclaimer: I’m neither a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, nor an Indian Chief. Nor do I play one on TV! Nothing here should be construed as legal, medical, or investment advice. For that, you should seek out the appropriate certified credentialed and licensed professional. Advice given here is in the nature of entertainment and should be relied on. In the event of an emergency, hang up and dial 911.]

What Really Matters
by John Taylor Gatto

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After 12,000 hours of compulsory training at the hands of nearly 100 government-certified men and women, many high school graduates have no skills to trade for an income or even any skills with which to talk to each other. They can’t change a flat, read a book, repair a faucet, install a light, follow directions for the use of a word processor, build a wall, make change reliably, be alone with themselves or keep their marriages together. The situation is considerably worse than journalists have discerned.

*** end quote ***

It’s really sad when you think about it.

Mandatory attendance laws, the Prussian model of education, and the forced funding of “education” have resulted in this.

Here’s some anecdotal evidence. I’ve seen three generations of children absolutely ruined by “public education” aka Gooferment Skrules. All three generations contain multiple examples.

Let’s take generation one with three children. “One” was a total disaster dropping out of this prison training propaganda camp. I saw what and how it was taught. Interesting how the statistics were cooked to avoid having his drop out count in their numbers. The township bragged about a 100% graduation rate and how 95% went on to college. As if that’s a measure of success. He was a complete mess, forever broken by a one size fits all system that didn’t meet his needs. “Two” completed school, undistinguished, apparently learning little, went on to college, got a degree, and husband. Was she better off for the experience? I’d say not. Her “art” was crushed. Her “drive” was too. Did she reach her potential? I’d say not. But one can’t know for sure until Final Judgment when we’ll know what was possible. “Three” also graduated, undistinguished, his athletic career that seemed important to him as a child was non-existent, he went to the military, on to graduate degrees, and a good Gooferment job after the military. Did he reach he potential? Again, won’t know for sure, until that Final Judgment, but I’d say not. As a child he was dreaming of being an athlete, read voraciously, and was “smart”. School sure seemed to drain all that enthusiasm out. Generation One scoreboard: One lost, and two seemingly fell short of apparent maximum potential. Given that two out of three achieved some measure of success, It’s not due to their time spent in Gooferment Skrules imho. I’d say is testament to the indomitable human spirit. Humans can make a life out anything. Look at the lands of abject poverty. People make the best of bad situations.

Let’s take generation two, sample size two males, Gooferment Skrules was a bad fit for both of them. “One” was another smart as whip youngster. Somehow he went to the Gooferment Skrules and came out dumb as a bag of rocks. Pleasant apparently happy fellow. But in the dikw (i.e., data, information, knowledge, wisdom) measurements missing a lot of dikw. Now maybe when I went to Catholic School, we were terrorized into memorizing a lot of data, led into being able to regurgitate meaningless info (I’m a self called “font of useless information”), acquired a lot of knowledge, and maybe even some wisdom. But, this “smart kid” was transformed into a “wise

RANT: Shool sucks for everyone

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“School sucks”…is perhaps the most common phrase students use to describe their feelings about public education. Yet this seemingly bitter and reductive slogan is actually quite clever, and perhaps the most accurate and astute synopsis of the system I’ve ever heard. Here’s why:

1. The twelve-year process of an American public education has a dramatic effect on the mind of a child. When we first enter school at age six, many of our best personal attributes are already in place. We are curious, innovative, unique and creative in ways that we will rarely be able to replicate throughout the rest of our lives. But over time, school sucks those essential attributes out of too many of us…and replaces them with predictability, obedience and indifference.

2. The public school system sucks off the productive capacity of hard-working people. In other words, whether public education succeeds or fails (spoiler alert: it fails) at providing real education to the public, the cost goes up every year.

For too long, this sentiment that “school sucks” has existed only as a silent thought, a quiet mumble or a scribble on a notebook. It’s time to project this idea out into the mainstream, and to show how true it actually is. The path towards solutions begins there.

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Absolutely agree.

I’ve ranted about “gooferment skool” on my blog for a while.

I can’t think of a “more wronger” thing in our society.

Hope this project succeeds!

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MONEY: Wikipedia’s explanation of “malinvestment” is sparse


Dear Mister Lew:


Perhaps you could (if you are so moved), or one of your bright interns (you exploiter of the youth), could write an appropriate text for Wikipedia that truly reflect such an important word.

I’d do it, but I’m just a fat old white guy injineer. Remember the sources of my education: I’m just a fat old white guy injineer with: Law “degree” from watching Judge Judy, Medical “degree” from watching Doctor Phil, Building “degree” from watching “Holmes on Homes”, and Investing “degree” from reading about Bernie Made-off.

To which I’ll probably add ekenomicks from reading Mises and Rockwell. Yes, in college, (manhattan college manhattan dot edu), in my economics course, “Human Action” was on the supplemental reading list. And I read it then. Didn’t understand most of it. Surprised? Don’t be; in theology, we had to read a translation of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, Bhagavad Gita, and “Essays in Zen Budhism”. I hated that class; the Professor had a thing for “God and the Ways of Knowing” by Jean Danielou. Even four decades later, I can remember him babbling on about good old Danny Lou. But, those were the days. When Universities were truly about imparting wisdom regardless of the source. Not like today when it’s ersatz “whizdumb”.

In any event, I commend the link for your attention.

fjohn aka alibertarianin08824
behind enemy lines in Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee

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RANT: The joy of graduation; marred by speakers

YESTERDAY I went to a graduation. Entertaining! The “beautiful” children, the happy relatives, the school staff, and at least two politicians.

(The children were all “beautiful”. Different shapes and sizes. Some dressed up; some down. One girl has new high heeled … … sneakers! Another wore what had to be five inch stilettos that were obviously new and she could barely walk in them. One guy had old sneaks; another plaid beach shoes. Funny! They were “beautiful” because they were almost all smiling. Full of joy. Enthusiasm. Party time. Sigh!)

They showed a photo slide show of the school and graduates. No words just music.

(A technical criticism of the “show”. This is VoTech with an “Arts” track. The music was ill-timed. Or mixed. The audience got restless when the music came to a natural end; the photos kept going. Some music rejoined the “show”. When the pictures began to repeat. The show was stopped. And we were left looking at the Windoze logo. The “show” wasn’t run by a student. <Unless students are very old.> So it was evidence of poor execution.)

The next “rudeness”was to leave the audience sitting there, looking around, wondering what was going to happen. A good ten minutes — I timed it — and there were at least five hundred people sitting there. What a waste. It was rude.

So finally some one got their act together, and the graduates paraded in. It was more like a dual column single file dash to the chairs. With gaps and bunches worthy of any freeway. As a vet of many parades, graduations, processions, it was shocking. And, I understand there were at least three practices. (What did they practice?)

Any way, then came the Pledge of Allegiance …


(The Pledge is un-American. Written by an American Nazi who was a flag salesman. TOo indoctrinate school children and make himself a bunch of easy sales. The whole American education system is designed to create dummies; cannon fodder for the Army and the factories. All designed to be led by the Elite! Argh!)

… which always makes me think. But then what did you expect from a gooferment school? Sure didn’t expect them to sing a hymm. However, they are a gooferment school so you have to expect some gooferment worship to be built in.

Then we got to the speeches. (Oh, joy, oh joy!)

First up was an old Board Of Ed fellow. He was almost impossible to hear. Can’t remember anything he said of value.

(How much in taxes have I paid for this school? The taxpayers got weenied. It’s supposed to be a theater. With acoustics and a sound system that stinks. I’d like to follow the money on that one.)

Next up was the politician from the Middlesex County Freeholders. She was at least audible. Unfortunately. (I really wish I had the text of the remarks so that I could adequately report what WAS said. As opposed to what I think I heard.) I heard some praise for the parents. With an assertion about what was the most important in a child’s development. I guess it was the parent’s willingness to send the children to school. (That’s what I think I heard!) Of course, I disagree. … …

(I’d say the most important single factor in a child’s development is really two co-factors. Parents aren’t a single homogeneous unit; they are a man and a woman seeking to propagate the species. — OK, that’s a side effect of the sought after activity — It is the Mom’s unconditional love for the child combined with the Father’s unconditional devotion to the child’s needs. Different, very different, but both essential. Schooling is way down on the list. And, gooferment supplied schooling is a GIANT negative imho.)

… … but that aside, I heard a lot of praise for teachers. Probably, three times as much time spent praising the teachers as the parents and students combined. I attributed it to a campaign speech for the Teacher’s Union support. The whole speech wasn’t overly long. All that was missing was to say “Vote Democratic” in thanks for your child’s education. As if there would be no education without the gooferment.

Moving on to the Salutatorian’s speech. The young lady was obviously nervous. And, we had the lousy acoustics and the lousy sound system, it was hard to hear. What I did hear sounded good. (My criticism was for the school’s bureaucrats for not having enough practice. She engaged in some banter with her mom sitting in front of us which was … … unseemly. They should have coached her to speak up and not to rush.) Again, I have no text so I can’t really comment on what she said. (I wonder if the graduate could even hear her since they didn’t seem to react.)

Moving on to the Valedictorian’s speech. The young lady was not  obviously nervous, but was watching the audience for feedback. She spoke well, despite the lousy conditions. She made some good points about doing one’s best at all times. Again don’t have the text. But was able to hear most of her remarks. (Again not a lot of reaction from the graduates.)

Then, was the obligatory diploma hand out. (More on that later.)

Flip the tassels and march out.


After that it was a disorganized Chinese fire drill. From what I understand the handouts were blanks. The now graduate had to go to a room and find their real ones. (Strange. Disorganized. And chaotic. Why am I not shocked at a gooferment process being so.)

So, upon reflection, I’d have like to have made a speech to the graduates.

*** begin quote ***

I’d like to give you my thoughts on this special day. Success for your generation is: (1) ruthless financial discipline — no bad debt; (2) a life long interest in learning — education — a degree — they can’t take it away from you; (3) a NON-OFFSHORABLE white collar job in order to save big bux; (4) a blue collar skill for hard times — never saw a poor plumber; (5) one or more internet based businesses — your store is always open; (6) develop a second business or avocation – under the radar – start small part-time; (7) a large will-maintained network of people who can “help” you; (8) buy assets that hold their value over time; and (9) emulate the Amish and Mormons for their sense of community, simple thrifty living, and true to core values. Remember the sources of my education: I’m just a fat old white guy injineer with: Law “degree” from watching Judge Judy, Medical “degree” from watching Doctor Phil, Building “degree” from watching “Holmes on Homes”, and Investing “degree” from reading about Bernie Made-off. I wish you the best. May your opportunities be huge, your difficulties minuscule. And, may you remember kindly the old loon who thought you might listen and benefit from his experiences.

*** end quote ***

All I could think about when the principal mumbled something about going on to: a job, higher education, or service in the military. Was he left out “McDonalds and Wahwah if you’re lucky”.

Think that’s too harsh.

Remember that In the United States, 8 million jobs were lost — most of these jobs will never return. And, any “good jobs” are being exported if at all possible. And, boys are clearly falling behind girls in both educational achievement and aspiration. This pattern has vast implications for marital prospects, since women express a strong preference to marry a man of equal or greater educational and professional potential. The collapse of the marriage culture within the working class means poverty in future children’s lives.

It’s the first generation that will have to settle for a lower standard of living than their parents.

And, they are going to be saddled with a permanent recession / depression economy like Japan’s two “Lost Decades”. Add to that debt and unfunded liabilities that they will have to come to terms with. And, it’s not going to be good times. (Unless we old fogies slash the gooferment back to circa 1790 – 1830 Constitutional limits. Argh!)

Instead I wrote “my” graduate this email:

*** begin quote ***

May I suggest that you read this?

Too bad you couldn’t have heard this instead of what you did hear. You did hear it; didn’t you? I wish I had a transcript to blog about. Argh! Sorry, but imho you didn’t get the best of inspiration.

BUTT (there’s always a big but) maybe you can take a lesson from the message’s text. (I have!) I thought this was excellent. Wish I’d heard it at any of my graduations or any that I’ve attended; maybe some of it might have sunk in.

It’s short. In addition to being good.

*** end quote ***

*** begin quote ***

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thank you and good luck!

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