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Sunday, December 23, 2012

GeoPolitics

One of the many glaring deficiencies in school these days is the lack of geopolitical discussion and awareness.  At the university level there are usually professors on the Left preaching their political dogma, even when it is inappropriate.  At the high school level, there are many reasons for the dearth of geopolitical discussion, not the least of which is that students are being prepped for the Global History Regents during 9th and 10th grades, then the US History and Government Regents during 11th grade.  For three years, students are being 'prepared' for a high stakes exam that is riddled with errors and propaganda and are useless for post high school life.  Even burgeoning history majors are not helped by these exams as they are barely surface level exams written by statists in Albany, NY.  A serious person would have to unlearn what he has learned for these exams.

Globally, we are in financial trouble.  The US, and much of the developed world, went through a technology bubble during the late 1990's and the early 2000's.  This was 'irrational exuberance' when it came to stocks that ended with a '.com' - a new phenomenon at the time.  Pets.com and the career of Henry Blodgett are worth analyzing for more information on this topic.  The US (the gov't and the Federal Reserve) then repeated the errors of the .com bubble by creating a new bubble in housing.  This meant that people were buying houses (plural) with borrowed money, taking money out with the house itself as collateral, and buying more houses and other things they may not have needed.  This was all predicated on the belief that the price of housing would never go down.  The 'housing bubble' burst in late 2007, and the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average), the main indicator as to the health of the US Stock Market, hit a low in March of 2009.

Here's the problem.  The US government has never allowed the crash to happen fully.  It lowered interest rates, which keeps the price of money artificially low.  It also means that government spending can continue because paying the interest on the debt of the country is artificially inexpensive.  There were huge corporate bailouts - meaning that the large banks were, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt, but they were given taxpayer money to stay afloat.  There were huge 'stimulus' packages, gigantic spending packages courtesy of congress done under the idea that "government spending can juice the economy and get it going".   This is known as kicking the can down the hallway, and it can't go on forever.

The most absurd aspect of this obvious and frightening prospect of economic crash is the ability of the mainstream media to downplay or ignore it.  For the MSM, it is always a sunny day, and the looming fiscal cliff can be handled by our politicians making 'tough decisions' and 'getting things done' and 'working toward a bipartisan goal'.  Over the past years it has been helpful to find people who will talk plainly, about difficult topics, and tell the truth.  Marc Faber, of the aptly named "Doom Boom and Doom Report" is one of the people who is unafraid to speak of bad news.  Here he explains how badly he thinks things will go economically worldwide, and he begins by poking fun at how optimistic the shills at CNBC are.  I couldn't help but notice he politely laughed as the news anchors tried to poke fun at him - as if he were telling the audience that he'll have the last laugh.  It is important for you to learn about geopolitical issues because there is so much financial interconnectedness between countries.  A large crash in a country would cause connected economies to get pulled down as well.

People / sites I've found helpful:
The Aden Sisters
Peter Schiff
Marc Faber
Chris Martenson
Kyle Bass
Michael Lewis
Matt Taibbi

Here Marc Faber insists on telling bad news to people who ignore it:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

School Shooting

The school shooting tragedy is of a magnitude unfathomable.  The families and the communities deserve the wishes and help of anyone with a soul.  There is nothing more horrible than losing a child.  My mother has actually given me a directive that she made me swear by.  It is that I will not die before she does.  She told me in no uncertain terms that I could be an odious human being, a bum on the street loser, as long as I don't predecease her.  The parents must be going through a torture that I cannot imagine.

As to be expected, the mainstream media, bought and paid for by the Elite Class of these United States, is pimping the horror of the tragedy for all its worth.  They are on record of wishing the regular people to be disarmed, helpless and dependent, so they are playing this to the hilt.  Their unabashed wailing about the type of weaponry is ham handed and cloddish.  As usual, they expect the majority of people to follow along.  The NY Times this morning had "submachine gun" plastered in the title of the lead article.  Naturally, when a drunk driver mows down a family, they go into great detail about whether the car was a hybrid, or if it was a diesel, or if it was front wheel or all wheel drive.  The pathetic MSM is now not only going bankrupt, it is brazenly trying to control opinion with clumsy propaganda.

The call for 'more gun control' is the meme that the Power Elite wish to perpetrate.  The CT shooting was in a 'may issue' state, and the school was a 'gun free school zone'.  I see those signs saying 'gun free zone' and I wonder who they are for.  It was impossible for anyone to defend himself, as all of the law abiding people were unarmed.  The same thing happened in VA Tech a few years ago, and at Columbine HS in 1999.  The push for 'more gun control' is as absurd as it is wrong.  What more do people wish to control?  John Lott has researched the effects of gun bans for years.  He was originally a gun control advocate, but when he actually researched the topic, he found out that everything he had believed was wrong.  His book, More Guns, Less Crime obliterates the the shibboleths that surround gun control.  The founders had it right with the 2nd amendment.  You are not free if you can't have private property, or the ability to protect that property.  Your property begins with yourself, and if you are at someone's mercy to stay alive - you are not free. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Please notice - it says the "right of the people" and this amendment was seen fit to be second, right behind free speech.
------------------------

One of my HS friends asked a good question on FB.  Interestingly, only a few people that are FB 'friends' are calling for stricter gun control.  They're usually partisan ideologues or not historically well versed.  Most people are hesitant to hit the "ban guns" red button.  Luckily, the Power Elite don't seem to be aware that there is an internet, and are doing their propaganda as if it's still 1988.  Here is some of the thread with my friend:

Original post: Me: "and yet when I post about the 168 children killed by the Bush Obama drone attacks - nothing. Nada. Actually, that's not true. One person asked me to help them buy a rake in 'Farmville'."

MRM: it's all horrible...all of it and us. we create this mess then scoff at it

Me: It is horrible Michelle, but we didn't create it and we aren't horrible. Everyone who liked or commented on this post, and the age range is from 14 to 40, is a good, peace loving person who is a non violent law abiding American. Some of them I've known since 1986. Some I met this Sept. Our Overlords, the Elite who are parasitical and despicable, use events like these to rip freedoms away from regular folk, get us to bicker amongst ourselves, and have a Corporate Media Monolith to disseminate their message. Notice how every 'tragedy' is used to assault the Bill of Rights. It is 'they', not 'us' who needs to be ignored and rejected.

MRM: We ridicule, persecute, ignore ppl who are "not normal". We allow and praise the media when they do what they r doing. We herald the shooter, bicker like u said, and then continue as if nothing happened. How r we part of the solution? If we r not, what does that make us?

Me: I think we need to teach the younger people a few things. Independent thinking is at top of the list. Right behind it is the fallacy of authority. People do and think what they're told. This tragedy is the perfect case. The NY Times had 'submachine gun' as part of its heading today. When a drunk driver mows down a family, is it on the front page? Why not? Do they say if it's a Prius or an SUV? Do they mention if it was a diesel engine under the hood? No, of course not as it's irrelevant. But most Americans are having the 'gun debate' decided for them via a corporate owned Elite propagating mainstream media and they don't even realize it. Thinking for yourself, doing research, questioning authority are things you should show everyone you know who is under the age of 18. That's what you can do. I have my opinions, and they come from lots of reading and a pathologically independent mindset. The Ruling Class would prefer that we watch 'Toddlers and Tiaras', shout "tastes great - less filling" at each other, and worship our Overlords (gov't). Sorry - those things aren't my style and I explain to young people that you can be different and think for yourself.

Here's John Lott going up against a bought and paid for MSM propaganda piece.  Watch how Lott uses logic and reasoning, and MSM puppet uses emotion and scare tactics to try to marginalize and sway opinion:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why I Hate School But Love Education

This video is indicative of the fact that people are beginning figure out that the cost of a degree does not equal the long term payoff of the degree.  "School" does not equal "educated".  The student loan bubble, the lack of rigor in many schools, the nonstop partying, the lack of the classics are all things that people are getting wise to.  The cost of the school simply is not worth it.  An amazing education is practically free.  You have to begin with the Trivium and continue a never ending journey into books all the while being entrepreneurial and running your own business, however small.


Is America Too Big?

This is a fascinating video about how our government has gotten too large.  Refreshingly, the video does not have the usual Establishment Conservative banter about Big Gov't Liberals destroying the United States.  This is a cogent look at the size of the government relative to the population of the US.  The House of Representatives, ostensibly the branch of the federal gov't that represents the people, has 435 members.  If we follow James Madison's recommendation that each representative should represent about 30,000 people, we would need 10,000 representatives.  That is simply too cumbersome and chaotic.  As it stands now, each representative represents over 700,000 people.  This is not indicative of a representative republic.

One of the concepts lost today is the idea of centralized power and its dangers.  When I was young, in the 1970's, there were many bumper stickers talking about 'small is beautiful' and 'question authority'.  The left, in those days, understood the danger behind large, organized power.  Now, neither side of the Establishment Political spectrum seems to understand anything.  Now it's akin to cheering for your favorite sports team.  "We" won the election and everything President X does is great because 'he's one of us'.  The only time the decentralization v. centralization came before me in school was the Anti-Federalist vs. Federalist debate presented in US history.  The Anti Federalists, who lost, did not get to write the history books, ergo I learned that the Federalists were right and a 'centralized power' was necessary for a functional country.

Now I see how the Federalists were wrong.  It seems to be an aspect of human nature that a concentrated power source is a dangerous - in all of its forms.  I have found it fascinating over the last few years that when it comes to corporations, the centralized power is easily spotted and vilified, but when the same concept is applied to government, people don't seem to notice.  I think they are still under the delusion that the government is filled with unnaturally altruistic angels who think of nothing but serving the public and ignoring their own desires.

I highly recommend this video - originally seen on the always informative Tom Woods page:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Other People's Money

When I got my administration licenses, the first thing the professor told us on the  first day of "School Finance" class was "you are spending other people's money".  Dr. Y., the professor, was adamant about being frivolous and carefree with money that was not ours.  A classically educated man, raised by a blue collar father, Dr. Y. knew the value of the dollar, and the value of it for his constituents as well.  He assumed that people would be careful with others' money as they earned it and they presumably wanted it spent in a manner that would help the school.  It was apparent that he considered it dishonorable to be reckless with others' hard earned wealth.  Apparently, not everyone has those same sentiments:

"More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they've taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school. ... In the West Contra Costa Schools' case, that $2.5 million bond will cost the district a whopping $34 million to repay."

There are many things wrong with the current paradigm.  Firstly, the money for property tax is taken by force, from everyone in the district, whether they believe in public education, have children in the public schools, or desire to fund the public education leviathan at all.  Behavior from government is solemnly accepted even when that behavior by an individual would get them jailed.  If I were to put a gun to your ribs and force money from you, would you accept my explanation that it is going toward education?  Secondly, the lack of wisdom in giving people the power to spend other people's money is obvious:

"Ramsey (the school board president) says it was a good deal, because his district is getting a brand-new $25 million school. "You'd take that any day," he says. "Why would you leave $25 million on the table? You would never leave $25 million on the table." 

So this is the reasoning.  The $25 million, is something you'd NEVER leave on the table, no matter what the cost.  The economic ignorance is bewildering.  It's as if the money just showed up - no consideration as to where it came from, how to pay it back, or rates of interest.  The reasoning gets worse: 

"Perhaps the best example of the CAB issue is suburban San Diego's Poway Unified School District, which borrowed a little more than $100 million. But "debt service will be almost $1 billion," Lockyer says. "So, over nine times amount of the borrowing. There are worse ones, but that's pretty bad." The superintendent of the Poway School District, John Collins, wasn't available for comment. But he recently defended his district's use of capital appreciation bonds in an interview with San Diego's KPBS Investigative Newsource. "Poway has done nothing different than every other district in the state of California," Collins told the program."

Forget the $1 billion, that's water under the bridge - chump change.  The rationale, the justification, the defense of this behavior is that, well, everybody else is doing it, therefore it is OK.  Where are we that a $1 billion bill in tax dollars and a logically fallacious defense of this action can even happen?  I tell the young people that they are living in a fantasy world if they think the adults in their lives have a cogent, logical, economically sound approach to life.  Articles like these (unfortunately) prove my point.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Joel Salatin - Polyface Farms

There is a documentary called 'Food Inc.' that is worth your while.  It shows the horrors of the government corporate food complex.  It's as horrid and repellent as the prison industrial complex, the government media complex and the government banking complex.  At the end of the documentary, there is this southern drawling Virginia farmer explaining how his clean, natural, self sustaining farm was a target for the, as he calls them, Food Police.  The documentary is well done because the viewer has just seen an hour and a half of the pathetic, sad and disgusting horrors of the Big Industrial Food Complex.  Salatin's farm, Polyface Farms, is what an old style farm used to be.  The cows eat grass, the crops are rotated and planted with non GMO seeds, the operation is clean and the meat is healthy and natural.  It is because of all of these things that Polyface was a target. Salatin explains all of this in the latter third of the documentary.

One of the tenets of my class, the premise I espouse early in the year, is that there are many people interested in keeping the General Mass Public sick, stupid, broke and afraid.  Food Inc. is the best way to begin the exploration of the 'sick' part of the quartet.  Our culture is rife with high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, splenda, preservatives that no one can pronounce, and nutrient free 'food'.  Big Agriculture is out of control via government sponsored subsidies, and the unintended (and some intended) consequences are being seen now - obese children, cheap empty calorie food, skyrocketing rates of  cancer and heart disease and possibly most distressing, a noted disinterest in where and how one's food is made.

Salatin is worth listening to for a few reasons.  Firstly, he is politically incorrect.  Like Ron Paul, he is talking about giving people the freedom of choice.  As Paul would talk about not shutting the FED down, but letting currencies (like gold and silver) compete, Salatin does not advocate shutting down a company like Monsanto, but giving people to option to grow their own food and letting small operations compete freely.  The United States is not free.  A citizen is NOT allowed to do these things via federal law or local statutes.  Also, regulation and government intervention is strangling healthy food production and innovation.  Your garden variety American still thinks that government regulation is geared toward your health and safety when it is just the opposite - as Salatin explains.  Secondly, he talks about this latest generation.  They don't know how to grow things, get dirty, preserve food, or tend to farm chores.  He mentioned something that stuck with me - that this is the first generation of youngsters that have not been burdened with chores.  It is these analyses of society that sets Salatin apart and makes his thoughts worth analyzing.

Notable points:

  • Let your children walk around barefoot and get dirt under their fingernails - it is actually an immune booster that is healthier in the long run than the antiseptic environments we've created.
  • Having chores and responsibilities is a boon to your child.  They will learn about responsibility and contributing to the whole of the household.
  • Food freedom is vital - giving people the power of choice is paramount for the survival of the West.
  • The Food Police - the government corporate food complex is killing your children.  Raw milk is illegal and will warrant a visit from armed thugs, but Mountain Dew is acceptable.
  • Monsanto can have its GMO product ravage your crops, literally have their GMO pollen blow on to your crops, and YOU have to pay a royalty to THEM - this is approved by this current Democratic president.  I thought this was bold of Salatin to mention because the talk he gave at Google is undoubtedly young left leaning types who think that the halls of government are filled with weeping angels unnaturally predisposed to helping the downtrodden.  A risky strategy but Salatin pulls it off nicely.


Here is Salatin's talk @Google:

For those who think the raw milk armed raid is hyperbole - here you go:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Which "Fiscal Cliff"?

There is a lot of chatter nowadays about the 'fiscal cliff'.  The first question to ask is: where are you getting your financial information?  The mainstream information, naturally, is propagandized faux panic.  Mainstream pundits on channels like MSNBC and CNBC are hyperventilating about two things: the new higher tax rates that go into effect on January 1st, combined with the government 'cuts' that go into effect the same time.  The higher tax rates will cause economic problems, as will the implementation of 'Obamacare'.  The more things are taxed, the less you get with regard to economic activity.  Taxation is not only theft, it causes economic slowdowns.  The government 'cuts' are farcical.  They are cuts in spending increases - meaning that if a 9% increase in spending was planned, the new 5% increase in spending is accounted as a 4% "cut".  Congress can pull this off because many Americans get their financial information via the mainstream media, or they aren't paying attention at all.

There is a much bigger cliff about which to worry.  Peter Schiff was one of the early sources that changed my economic thinking.  He follows the free market 'Austrian' perspective and knows his history.  These two factors allow for an economic analysis that is superior to any mainstream source.  This video is typical of the SchiffReport - in depth analysis that is not geared toward an agenda.  When the Great Default happens, the real 'fiscal cliff', there'll undoubtedly be more of the "Peter Schiff was Right" videos posted on youtube.




For a daily site to check for national and international financial news, zerohedge.com is a good choice.  For Austrian free market analysis combined with historical background, I can't think of a more readable and media friendly site than mises.org.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'The Odyssey' to 'Into the Wild'

Why I didn't do this sooner in my career I don't know.  I begin 9th grade English with The Odyssey - the epic poem by Homer.  Even with the watered down version in our anthology, the classical lessons in it about human nature and behavior are relevant and useful.  I constantly refer to The Odyssey as a 3000 year old piece of literature just to hammer home the point that human nature hasn't changed that much and the older lessons are sometimes the better ones.  The members of The Remnant in my classes (yes, even in a school like mine they're there) are instantly intrigued when I explain to them that the elite boarding schools analyze human nature and then use that knowledge to manage the masses.  I decided to follow The Odyssey with the story of Christopher McCandless, and the parallels are wonderful.

The Journey

The Odyssey is instantly recognizable as the standard bearer for the journey being more important than the end result.  It is the means, not the ends that matters.  On the first page we learn that Odysseus makes it back to his troubled house in Ithaca alive and alone.  Jon Krakauer does the same thing in "Death of an Innocent", the original article about Christopher McCandless.  Purposeful or not, this odd pairing of authors does the same thing by introducing the end of the story first - thereby tipping their hands and letting the reader know that it is the journey, the path, the decisions made and the behavior therein that is paramount.  Christopher McCandless personified this idea by creating an open ended journey that culminated with his death in Alaska.  He maintained integrity throughout as he constantly sought experiences that would make his journey more worthwhile and meaningful.  The tragic irony of the McCandless story is that his decision to end his journey in Alaska was the decision that brought him down as it cemented his permanence in the lexicon.  Odysseus is constantly creating difficulty for himself by succumbing to his human frailties and those of his crew.  It doesn't help that a couple of wily goddesses wish him to be their plaything and he is held up as he attempts to "escape" their embraces - literally and figuratively.

Analysis of Human Behavior

One of the tragedies of classical literature falling by the wayside is that today's young people don't get the full complement of lessons about Human Nature.  What are the most important qualities a person could have?  What is important in life?  What is truth?  What are the major human flaws that must be overcome?  The Odyssey and "Death of An Innocent" are the perfect vehicles by which to discuss the necessary skill of thinking independently.  McCandless stays on a unique and dangerous path as a vagrant / hobo while traveling the US.  He is totally free to exist - away from what he sees as the corruption of society and the limitations of the regular people within it.  Odysseus is constantly freelancing as he tries to return home to Ithaca - he gains respect from the gods for his ability to think.  The ability to think critically and independently comes to the fore while both of the characters face danger.  It also is a necessary component of their dealings with 'regular' people. Odysseus has to handle his less than capable crew, McCandless has to cross paths with less enlightened folk.  Being smart and thinking for yourself are qualities that make a person dangerous to the establishment as well as able to navigate the difficult and frustrating roadblocks in the labyrinth of life.

Lessons


  • Humility is a virtue - self absorption can lead to an unhealthy single mindedness.  Odysseus is arrogant before the gods, and McCandless is not fully respectful of the power of nature.
  • Call things by their real name - the movie "Into the Wild" brilliantly latches on to this idea toward the end.  McCandless is ready to rejoin his family, eschew his fake name and go back home.  Perhaps if we'd stop trying to fool others and fool ourselves we'd be better off.  I'm reminded of the quote about Tolstoy, one of McCandless' favorite authors, by G. K. Chesterton: "The truth is that Tolstoy, with his immense genius, with his colossal faith, with his vast fearlessness and vast knowledge of life, is deficient in one faculty and one faculty alone. He is not a mystic; and therefore he has a tendency to go mad. Men talk of the extravagances and frenzies that have been produced by mysticism; they are a mere drop in the bucket. In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. ...The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism — the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem."
  • The Return Home - McCandless is ready to go home, and actually tried.  Odysseus makes it home after 20 years away, and he has to eliminate the suitors and win back his wife.  It is this basic truth of family and home that both men sought to regain.  
There is a natural progression from The Odyssey to the McCandless story.  It is a fascinating juxtaposition of a 3000 year old work of fiction to a 25 year old non-fiction article.  The stories are good, but that isn't the most important aspect.  The thing on which to focus is how the authors have analyzed human behavior, and taken an honest shot at trying to explain why we do the things we do.  It is the 'long discussion' that has been going on for thousands of years.

Here is a short Q and A session after a screening of the movie "Into the Wild".  Krakauer's remarks are particularly noteworthy. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saying NO to College

I thought of calling this post "welcome to the party" or "It's about time", but it would just get lost in the ether.  The NY Times, the largest and most sycophantic serf in the Government Media Complex (in addition to hemorrhaging cash), had an article today on the benefits / trend among young people on NOT going to college.  The "paper of record" just set the world record for being behind the curve.  When you've eschewed the mainstream, as I have, the 'not going to college' idea is an old one.  Actually, the idea of not attending school at all - getting home schooled or getting much of your degree via the web has been a major tenet of the groups that have been constantly ridiculed for quite a while.  From the article: "“College is training for managerial work, and the economy doesn’t need that many managers,” said Michael Ellsberg, the author of “The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How to Be Successful.”"  Good for you Mr. Ellsberg.  Now that you've come this far why don't you go a little further.  John Taylor Gatto has been saying that not only is school not preparing you to be successful, it is training you to be a manager who slavishly follows orders and maintains the fallacy of ad verecundiam or ad populum.  This keeps the status quo going and one is NOT to venture outside of it.

You know when the mainstream media publishes an article like this that the ideas of the 'lunatic fringe' are catching on.  Our Overlords, the Great Makers of Public Opinion, apparently realize that they will look impossibly foolish by ignoring massive trends - however uncomfortable they may be writing about them.  Sending students in for four years of parties and foolishness for a price tag of $100,000 in debt is complete insanity.  Even if a young person is serious, the price tag is absurd.  Jim Altucher writes about this quite often, and he is mentioned in the article, as is Peter Thiel.  Guess what?  Altucher is a regular contributor to Lew Rockwell's site, and Thiel was the biggest contributor to Ron Paul's campaign.  Naturally, these facts are not included in the article.  Gary North has been hacking away at the Government School Complex and promoting homeschooling for at least three decades.  Since I've broken from the mainstream and become much more of a libertarian / voluntaryist, I recognize how far behind the curve I was for 35 years.  Perhaps it's time you ventured outside of the cozy box that was built for you during the 15,000 hours of indoctrination that is organized School.

Naturally much of the fun with an article like this is the criticism of an heretofore unorthodox idea.  Here is an example of Mainstream Bleat: "Such opinions have met considerable headwind. Jacob Weisberg of Slate pounded Mr. Thiel over his “nasty” idea, which he argued is “diverting a generation of young people from the love of knowledge for its own sake and respect for middle-class values.”"  Do you understand this comment?  I don't.  First of all, the idea is 'nasty'.  Of course, there is no explanation of why it's nasty or in what way.  Secondly, students are at the university not for 'knowledge for its own sake' but to get a diploma, because they think it will lead to a good job.  Mr. Weisberg, obviously a gatekeeper who is unable to grasp new ideas, has it backwards.  I have no comment on the 'diverting a generation away from middle class values'.  What are 'middle class values' and are they only learned in college?

The web is changing everything about education.  More people are realizing that a college diploma is not worth the debt load and that a diploma does not equal intelligence OR education.

Useful sites:
https://www.libertyclassroom.com - - (requires a subscription)
http://www.khanacademy.org - - arguably the site that breaks the Academic Cartel
http://www.johntaylorgatto.com - - the authority as to the origins of school and why it is engineered to fail.
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm - - go to MIT - for free.  Yes, you read that correctly.
How to Become a Libertarian - a 30 day reading list.
http://mises.org - the best place to go to learn free market 'Austrian' Economics.

Food for thought - this is a 'radical' video now.  I predict that in 10 - 15 years it won't be.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Page 3 - Ben Franklin

And it isn't even page 3 of the actual Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, it's only the foreword.  Already there are noteworthy things to comment on.  The first: "For him it (writing his autobiography) may have been an act of defiance, a celebration of himself and his county as they had been before a heedless set of British officials tired to change them."  His 'country' was a British colony that had no problem being under the aegis of the British Crown.  The issues began when Parliament began taxing at a rate that was unacceptable, and without representation in British government.  Franklin was visibly upset that he was losing freedom.  It was both this loss of independence and having a busybody nanny state taxing his every move.  I thought this was relevant because of 2 things:  1) the tax rates that were placed on items (there was no income tax) were around 1 - 3%.  Juxtapose that with the 35% that the middle class pays in income tax now.  2)  The middle class not only allows themselves to be taxed as such a ridiculous rate, it doesn't bother them.  This, and the invisible tax of inflation on paper fiat currency leads me to believe that Americans today are both docile and economically inept.

Franklin ruminates about how the British ruined a successful system by their overreach: "It should have been British policy to avoid alienating a people whose submission to British direction depended only on their satisfaction with it."  There is a parallel today.  The amount of tax, surveillance, propaganda, injustice, force, fraud and coercion has reached a fever pitch.  I have always thought that if our Overlords would have just kept these things at a 1999 level they could have continued siphoning wealth and controlling the masses for eternity.  But no.  The Empire apparently must attempt to shackle the whole planet and impoverish everyone - hence the state we're in today in the "most free" country on Earth.  Many people are noticing that things are bad.  Even docile and bovine herdmembers are looking up from the trough because they're being poked and prodded at levels heretofore unseen.  Franklin's comment from the mid 1700's echoes perfectly today.  Our system survives because people are satisfied with it and they don't understand leverage.

John Taylor Gatto has always mentioned that The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a seminal book to read, not for the story but for the details.  How the youngest of 17 children of a candlemaker became a multi lingual world renowned renaissance man BEFORE there was a school system is telling.   Gatto has always said not to read it for the story but with a pen in hand to note how Franklin was 'educated' - so that's what I'm doing now.