Learning the Truth About Education December 3, 2010Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: Andy Stern, Dr. Robert Owens, Frankfurt School, Political Correctness, school vouchers, SEIU
You can’t know what you don’t know, but you can know that you don’t know. Knowing the difference is wisdom. Realizing that knowledge is the cure for ignorance should be the inspiration for education.
If you want to change the future change the children. It seems like every tin-pot dictator and every megalomaniac destroyer of worlds knows this. The Progressives figured this out and they’ve been concentrating on it for generations. The educational guru of the Left, John Dewey may not have coined the term Progressive Education but he has come to be recognized as its earliest and foremost exponent.
In 1889, in his book School and Society he said,”Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.” Dewey, a member of the first teacher’s union in New York City, and a founder of the American Association of University Professors was an early leader and advocate for these unions which have served America well as academic elevator operators in the descent into our 21st Century Blackboard Jungle.
The importance of education and the power it has to shape the future was a lesson Conservative Academics overlooked in their effort to allow all voices to be heard. Remember, it was the Conservative educational leaders assailed in the 60s and 70s for being too rigid who hired the Liberals who now so often forbid the hiring of Conservatives. The idea that in the marketplace of ideas all voices should be heard providing the opportunity for everyone to make informed decisions was one of the founding ideas of America, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Conservatives didn’t realize the Left made a conscious effort to capture American education as a way of shaping America’s future. The Frankfurt School, a group of Marxists educators who escaped Hitler’s Germany and worshipped Stalin’s Russia came to America intent on transforming this great nation from the bastion of freedom into the pyre of Western Civilization. From their original lair at Columbia University they’ve inserted themselves throughout the colleges and universities of America spreading their cult of Political Correctness along the way.
Spreading like a cancer through the body politic, metastasizing from one area to another, Political Correctness strangles the life from our society. Freedom of speech is slipping from our hands as words are eliminated and meanings are changed. In our current culture war one position seen as a litmus test by both sides of the aisle is the elimination of the Department of Education.
This bureaucratic puzzle factory was birthed during Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency and it has grown larger and more pervasive ever since. Today its tentacles reach from inside the beltway to inside the minds of millions. Our government’s No Bureaucrat Left Behind strategy enforces a politically-correct homogenous drivel wherein teaching to the test has fostered a generation that can forget as quickly as they memorize and critical thinking is one component no one thought to include.
This systematic seizure of education by the central government has turned the premier educational establishment in the world into a system where an emphasis on self-esteem produces graduates who feel great about themselves but can’t read their diplomas. Not surprisingly there are few jobs for people from schools where everyone gets a trophy and everyone passes.
Here’s the Progressive’s answer to this dilemma: let’s add mandatory service to mandatory education and maybe that will give us mandatory mediocrity. Perhaps an army of paid volunteers all marching in lock-step to the drumbeat from Washington will lead us to utopia. Current member of President Obama’s economic team, former head of the Service Employee Union (SEIU) and former leader of Students for a Democratic Society Andy Stern has proposed that the Federal Government combat the effects of the centrally planned Great Recession by creating a youth work program.
This man who drove the SEIU pension plan into insolvency figures that, “Assuming an average annual cost of $15,000 per person, for just $46.5 billion we could offer every 16 to 24 year old who wanted a job a national service opportunity.” After twelve years of memorizing the inconvenient absurdities of Al Gore, Michael Moore, and the rest of the politically-correct wisdom from Mount Olympus this stint in a renamed Civilian National Security Force should help round out just the kind of citizens the regime needs.
The take-over of higher education through the direct loan program and its top down restructuring will eventually decide who gets loans and who has to repay them. Surprisingly, the who gets and the who pays may not end up being the same who.
In addition, the “let’s get everyone in college so they aren’t counted as unemployed” program is turning the halls of Academe into a post-secondary version of the dysfunctional high schools the Progressive teachers’ unions and political correctness have birthed from inner city to the heartland. Criminal Justice programs filled with criminals, political science classes filled with people who don’t vote, discipline problems, and gangs make one hope the home-schooling college of online education will turn out some scholars for the future.
So what’s the answer to America’s educational problems? First of all close down the Department of Education and get the Federal government out of the people programming business. Reassert local control. Adopt school voucher programs that actually transfer the money so the schools doing the best job get the most resources. End tenure, seniority, and anything else that protects ineffective teachers.
What we don’t need is more central planning, more federal control, or one more brick in the wall.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. Get the latest dispatches from the History of the Future and find books by Dr. Owens @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.
This isn’t a Recession October 30, 2010Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: 99ers, Dr. Robert Owens, food stamps, SEIU, State Capitalism, Tea Party Movement, tea-nami
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Perhaps the following examples are emblematic of our present precarious situation. The Progressive Congressional leadership apparently believes Steven Colbert is not only what they perceive as a conservative commentator they also believe his outrageous satirical views are worthy of a Congressional hearing. Not to be outdone by the pedantic puffery of his lockstep legislative sidekicks, our President, like millions of his devotees, apparently perceives John Stewart as a serious news broadcaster. Together these two politically motivated comedians are what the left believes constitutes an effective counter-weight to Glenn Beck and his chalkboards.
After the dust settles, after the confetti is swept up and all the balloons have popped what will the transformed American political landscape look like? Who will be leading and where? Will the recently awakened millions who’ve campaigned to get their country back have anything to show for all their efforts? Or, will the entrenched GOP establishment reach across the aisle proving all they were really interested in was co-opting the Tea Party Movement to regain their power so they could continue their side of the slide into the shabby future of a Progressive Social Democracy?
Hopefully the Loyal Opposition will realize this election was not a place holder. This was not merely a warm-up for the opportunity to send Mr. Obama back to Chicago. This tea-nami will send people to Congress who need to know this is their chance to work for the reversal of the Progressive agenda. If instead they misinterpret it as a two-year lease with an option they will soon hear the cry, “We can see 2012 from here!”
Then again this whole election cycle may be President Obama’s version of rope-a-dope. His erratic pronouncements and lack of any message except variations of his car-in-the-ditch illustration make it seem as if he wants the Republicans to win control of the House and pick off some old mass-backs in the Senate. That way like the new boss who cleans out the old team, he’ll be free of Nancy and Harry and for the next two years he can bounce against the ropes, play the Comeback Kid, and let the Senate absorb the force of the punches. Then in 2012 he can blame the Republicans for the mess he has created while saying the answer to the failure of Plan A is Plan A again.
Niccolo Machiavelli once said, “No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.” Now look at the situation the 112th Congress is going to face. Without total veto-proof control of both houses the ship of state will continue to speed towards the glacier of unsustainability while the wide-eyed reformers rearrange the deck chairs. Or as Sun Tzu said, “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”
The unemployment rate in September 2010 stood at an abysmal 9.6% and that only includes people receiving unemployment benefits. If everyone is counted, those whose benefits have run out and the underemployed who work part time but want to work full time the real unemployment rate is closer to 16.7% and some analysts peg it as high as 22%. Then there are the 99ers, those who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. With the help of the AFL-CIO and the SEIU they are unionizing online hoping to use the power of collective action to legislate longer benefits.
One in eight Americans, are now enrolled for food stamps. This is the highest share of the U.S. population ever receiving food stamps, which is another first for the Obama Administration’s economic recovery program. The stigma caused by using the old funny colored monopoly money has been replaced with an anonymous looking debit card linked to someone else’s account. Looking forward, the research of professional anti-hunger lobbying groups shows that one in three eligible people are not receiving the benefits they deserve. If this is correct, soon half of America may have the opportunity to subsidize the other half. This will be a major blow to the pro-hunger lobby.
The Census Bureau reports over14% of the population were below the poverty line in 2009, compared with 13.2% in the previous year and 11.3% in 2000. The number has increased three years in a row with no decline in sight as the trillions spent in the President’s recovery plan just keep on giving.
The national debt has increased by 5 trillion since Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House and promised no new deficit spending. Since President Obama’s inauguration the debt has increased by 3 trillion. And according to the administration projections the National Debt will increase by approximately $6.5 trillion during President Obama’s first term which is greater than the unacceptable increases of Bushes two terms.
Apologizing for our past, pillaging our present, mortgaging our future, kowtowing to China, imitating Europe our first post-exceptionalism President rejects our greatness as illegitimate and seeks to manage America’s decline. This isn’t a recession this is the new normal. The Progressive Evolutionaries are systematically destroying our economy in order to produce the Lumpenproletariat their cherished theory of life, the universe, and everything predicted Capitalism would produce. Now that the name of Communism has changed to State Capitalism maybe it will.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.
Government Funded Front Groups May 10, 2010Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: Acorn, Dr. Robert Owens, Fannie and Freddie, Obama, Planned Parenthood, SEIU
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How many Progressive groups are in reality government supported entities masquerading as public interest lobbies? How many government agencies act as Progressive lobbies? Marx said “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” Is our hard-earned tax money being used to fulfill the words of the Progressive’s secular messiah? Another old saying goes, “The acorn doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” If the tree is the Progressive clique that’s captured America the acorn is the government money used by various Progressive fronts, both public and private to advocate for more money from the treasury to buy more power. Or is that more rope?
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) says it’s collapsing without government funding . Perhaps it never was a broad-based grassroots social action organization. Instead it’s an off-the-books government funded agency dedicated to electing Democrats and pushing an agenda of Progressive economics through covert action.
Fannie and Freddie two reckless mortgage monsters and the fuse that lit the subprime bomb spent more than 170 million dollars influencing the Best Congress Money Can Buy during the decade preceding the crash. They both made the list of the top 20 lobbying organizations buying their way to success. Incidentally, during the same period they were also government backed and packed with hacks including President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel. The leadership of both reads like a country club for retirees from Congress who looted the enterprises along the way. Before the crash, McCain and other Republicans including President Bush tried to warn Congress that the policies of these reckless lenders were dangerous. The Leviathans of Lending were defended by the same perpetually re-elected aristocrats that received the most money from them and who are the same arrogant Lords of the Legislature and their Glorious Leader who today lead the charge to clean up the mess they caused.
Planned Parenthood, one of America’s leading abortion providers is also the recipient of hundreds of millions of taxpayer donations every year. Planned Parenthood also vigorously supports Democrats including the current occupant of the Oval Office. A source of money and votes so potent the Illuminati of the Government Party feel it necessary to pay homage during every election cycle saluting the abortion flag and taking the pledge of loyalty.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the government Union whose president boasts “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama – $60.7 million to be exact – and we’re proud of it.” Apparently they’ve reaped windfall profits from their investment. They’re the nation’s fastest growing union which isn’t surprising since under the Progressives the government is the only sector of the economy that’s growing. In fact, the number of government union members is now larger than private sector union members. In our corporatist government model unions are part of the power elite. They put money in and get jobs and union dues out.
Richard Posner, judge for the 7th Circuit US Court of Appeals pointed out the purpose of unions “The goal of unions is to redistribute wealth from the owners and managers of firms and from workers willing to work for very low wages, to the unionized workers and the union’s officers. … Unions, in other words, are worker cartels. … There is also a long history of union corruption. And some union activity is extortionate: the union and the employer tacitly agree that as long as the employer gives the workers a wage increase slightly above the union dues, the union will leave the employer alone.”
However, in President Obama’s fundamentally transformed America, the government union bosses don’t use wealth from private firms they redistribute taxpayer money. What do these servants of the working man do with the money they get from American taxpayers? Do they use it to fund the pensions of their members? No, that pension fund is upside down while the pension fund for SEIU officials is funded at more than 100%. Besides feathering their own nests what could be more important than taking care of the people who actually do the work? Apparently, it’s lobbying for larger government needing more workers thus growing SEIU. Who said perpetual motion was impossible?
If the incestuous relationship between the government and its in-house union isn’t bad enough the Progressive apparatus captured several government agencies which act as conduits for their lobbying activities.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) uses federal money to fund not only chocolate covered obscenities they also fund art designed to promote the agenda of President Obama an activity which in other countries we call propaganda. National Public Radio (NPR) using government funds and well chosen words to frame debates and shape opinion has long espoused the Progressive line from abortion to the man-made global warming hoax and the import-a-voter approach to immigration.
Where are those who believe in limited government? Why do they allow Progressives to create these government funded interest groups? The government has become an interest group and they’re working for their interest not ours.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture Kampf and the Kamikaze Congress December 21, 2009Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: Acorn, Barney Frank, Blue dog Democrat, Charles Rangel, circular firing squads, culture war, James Traficant, Jim Webb, John Stewart, Keith Olbermann, Macaca, Nurse Ratched, Obama, Pelosi, Rachel Maddow, Reid, remake America, SEIU, Stephen Colbert
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There is a culture war raging in America. It has wreaked havoc in our national psyche since the Summer of Love elevated the ersatz individualism and limousine liberalism of the Boomers from childhood fantasy to national fever-dream. This is a historically traceable event with vast implications for the future. He who controls the past shapes the present and creates the future. If history doesn’t help us live in the here and now what good is it?
Instead of heeding history Congress reads the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine or some other reflecting pool of Liberal philosophy. Or they tune to the satirical news of John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow. Take Virginia’s Senator Jim Webb as an example. He ran as a conservative Blue dog Democrat. He only won because the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media created a scandal based on a one time use of what his opponent said was a nonsense word from his childhood, “Macaca.” Once in the Senate Mr. Webb avoided the Summer of Tea Party Protests by traveling overseas instead of meeting with his constituents. Which was probably a good idea since all he seems to do is talk right and vote left.
In a recent form letter sent in response to a personal note he states, “Together with 60 of my colleagues, I voted in favor of proceeding to debate the proposed health care reform legislation. I have yet to decide whether I will support final passage of the bill.” I’ll give ten-to-one that after all his deciding he’ll vote in lock-step with the party of power to pass whatever monstrosity the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate manages to bribe and bully to the floor of the Senate along with that anonymous group of 60 co-conspirators.
In the House the Speaker rules with an iron hand like Nurse Ratched on steroids she does whatever necessary to force her San Francisco version of reality down the throat of an unwilling nation. With all the integrity of Charles Rangel, the personal magnetism of Barney Frank and the future of James Traficant the House leadership whip their herd of lemmings towards the cliff and poof suddenly our two-day-a-week Congress works weekends passing bills no one reads.
The conventional wisdom of the chattering class tells us the Democrats have long been known to favor circular firing squads and the electorate will pull the trigger in November 2010. Don’t believe it. These Blue Dogs and Progressives haven’t been convinced to commit Hara-kiri for their emperor. There’s something else going on here. As our self-serving representatives look to self-preservation I believe their leadership has finally begun to at least paraphrase a Founding Father, “We either hang together or we hang separately.” Meaning if they bite the bullet and pass the entire liberal legislative agenda, health care take-over, cap-n-trade energy tax, endless amnesty/open borders import-a-voter immigration reform with a few omnibus/stimulus pork roasts thrown in to buy votes ACORN won’t need to steal they’ll experience a pre-defeat reincarnation as the perpetually re-elected.
Americans by the thousands who never heard of Saul Alinsky have now read his book Rules for Radicals. Suddenly the scales fall from our eyes and we see how a determined group of ultra radicals organized their way to power. At last we’ve been roused from our media-induced trance and understand the radical plan to remake America before the next election. We were napping while the forces of Mordor searched for Sauron. We were watching the game while the hijackers were aiming their Acorn powered SEIU financed ship at the twin houses of Congress. We were concentrating on making a living and raising our families while the progressive paymasters, casino capitalists and greed merchants turned Pleasantville into Pottersville. We’ve watched in amazement as we tighten our belts and Washington adds a few more notches.
Feverishly we’re trying to rearm after the Pearl Harbor of November 2008. The tide of battle is rushing over us like a torrent. Every day new regulations, more debt and radical legislation are being spun over America like threads over Gulliver. The Tea Party Patriots and born-again community organizers of the right believe it is not too late to mount a D-Day at the ballot box on November 2010. The talking-heads tell us this is a Kamikaze Congress ready to go down in flames. Don’t believe it. They know it’s now or never. Impose their centrally-planned collectivist clap-trap over the Land of the Free before Americans get a chance to vote them out of the Home of the Brave.
I believe the Obama-Reid-Pelosi regime sells this Charge of the Blight Brigade to the backbenchers by assuring them their Acorn-Steal-the Vote and Immigration-import-a-Voter strategy will assure them of everlasting electoral life. They’re saying though it may be the Endless Great Recession for the rest of us its Happy Days are Here Again for them. These Kamikazes plan to live to fly another day. But then again, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Don’t despair. Keep the faith. We shall overcome!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens email@example.com
You Say You Want a Revolution December 14, 2009Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: balance of powers, Cap-n-trade, Cloward/Piven Strategy, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, EPA, Immigration, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Obama, Saul Alinsky, SEIU, Taxes, Tea Party
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Our revolution changed the world. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims self-evident truths. That all men are created equal, they’re endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words shook a world held in the vise-grip of hereditary privilege inspiring people around the globe. Our Constitution established a representative republic with a limited government of the people, by the people and for the people.
We’ve watched as our constitutionally limited government grew until today it’s leviathan running amok like Godzilla in Tokyo smashing things and scaring boy scouts. Today the Federal government is the largest employer in America, states are the largest employers in the states and counties are among the largest employers in the counties get the picture? Government’s on a rampage and unless Mothra is going to fly in to save the day we’ll have to deal with Frankenstein-on-the-Potomac ourselves.
Such brazen power-plays as the Executive branch issuing the Legislature an ultimatum, either pass Cap-N-Trade or we’ll impose it administratively through command-and-control make the dramatic changes in our political culture shockingly apparent. Has our balance of powers melted away under the glare of executive orders, signing statements and now ultimatums? Some people say this is evolution. To others it’s devolution. Our hard-won and dearly-paid-for Republic is devolving into a command-and-control all-encompassing central-state. With political dynasties bequeathing congressional seats like hereditary fiefdoms it’s becoming hard to explain why we left the British Empire. Today we not only have taxation without representation as congressional party-line voters ignore their constituents we also have representation without taxation as the perpetually re-elected Lords and Ladies represent the illegal immigrants, the professional welfare hammock-riders and now Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his band of war-criminals.
These big government social planners may believe they’ve achieved their community organizing goals fulfilling Historian Will Durant paraphrase of Lincoln’s famous quote, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.” They may believe their revolutionary administration will fundamentally change America however, if they’d step 20 miles outside the Beltway obviously there’s a counter-revolution brewing. The Tea Party is overtaking the Republican Party in popularity. It has already supplanted them at the grassroots of the conservative movement. By 2010 an avalanche of voters will throng the polling places demanding their country back.
Following the tactics of Saul Alinsky brought the Obama-Acorn-SEIU coalition control of the Democratic Party and the country but following the Cloward/Piven Strategy for overwhelming the system to impose an alternative system is going to lead to a complete repudiation of this radical departure from traditional American politics and economics. We aren’t Venezuela. Even after decades of legislative efforts to progressively create a permanent underclass of government dependants who’ll follow the leader to the next looting of productive members of society the majority in this country still want freedom and opportunity not cradle-to-grave mediocrity.
We can and should stage a counter-revolution against this growing tyranny. A peaceful, lawful revolution at the ballot box and if you’re talking about destruction, you can count me out. The last thing we need in this crowded theater full of combustible emotions is either a match or someone shouting fire. Any incident right now would trigger a massive response. Just as the executive is using the EPA to impose the onerous restrictions of a Cap-N-Trade style economy stunting strangulation regulation he’s also using ICE to change the enforcement of immigration policy without any messy debate. Ruling by decree is hardly compatible with constitutionally-limited government. We’re told the administration has solutions. A solution to heal the greatest health care system in the world, a solution to save or create jobs while we lose jobs every month, a draconian solution for the man-made global warming hoax, a solution for endless wars for elusive peace. You say you have a solution. We’d all love to see the plan.
They say they want a contribution. Back in the good old change we could believe in days the dialogue of class warfare repeated that no one making under 250,000, or was it 150,000, or was it …anyway only the evil rich would have to pay a dime of new taxes. Watch out! You might find out you’re rich come next April 15th. Everyone has known since at least that tax-cutting wild man JFK that cutting taxes increases revenue to the government and raising them lowers revenue. Since the government knows raising taxes lowers revenue and since they’re raising taxes to increase revenue what are they trying to do? Complicated tax codes are used as a way to incentivize and de-incentivize behavior. If you want more widgets give tax breaks for buying widgets. If you want less widgets tax widgets. Using that for a guide notice what’s being pushed and what’s being pulled? Taxes on producers and tax breaks for non-producers imagine tax cuts for people who don’t pay taxes and tax increases for those who do. Taking the money of producers to bailout the greedy, reward the cronies and support the lazy. It’s time to tell the statists at the ballot box if they want money for things we hate they’re going to have to wait.
Executive orders and signing statements have been used in Republican and Democrat administrations for years to change the constitution without changing the constitution. Now sweeping new powers by regulators threatens to make Congress irrelevant as an all powerful executive branch grows like a malignant tumor. Don’t lose heart, don’t despair, don’t you know it’s going to be all right? Keep the faith, keep the peace, organize and win the day.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2009 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org