Friday, November 30, 2007

Homeschooler Question Of The Day


How can homeschoolers in the UK be so easily duped into thinking they actually have freedom?
Bravo to Irdial for posting this:
The guidelines covering Home Schooling in the UK have been published by the DfES. Some HE people think that they are fine, and are actually celebrating them as some sort of triumph. I beg to differ.

As a matter of principle, If you are a free person, your relationship with government must be unambiguous, and the powers of government clearly delineated. You must also have protection from being the victim of false accusations. These guidelines enshrine ambiguity and false accusation as a pretext for investigation (violating the ‘innocent before proven guilty’ principle).

It doesn’t matter what else the guidelines say that is positive for Home Schoolers; as long as the bad sections are in there, your rights are effectively nullified.

The problem with these guidelines boil down to a few words:

under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, local authorities shall intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education

This means that upon the judgement of an individual in a Local Authority, by his prejudices and background, you can be compelled to account to him that you are educating your children to his satisfaction. What constitutes ’suitable education’ is not defined in the law, and in fact the guidelines say this, so the onus is placed on individuals to make up standards as they see fit.
That is just the problem. When we start getting into judgment statements like "providing a suitable education", or "equivalent instruction", or "educational neglect" we can get into some very dangerous waters because while it seems like reasonable wording, it really gives a lot of latitude to those making the judgments, and can, and does, in fact allow false allegations to be levied against parents. Quite frankly, if the state cannot even guarantee "a suitable education" or "equivalent instruction" within their own system how can they demand it of those outside of their system?

Homeschoolers everywhere should not be satisfied with any law that allows others to make such vague judgment calls and should certainly not view it as any victory with regard to their freedom to homeschool.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hartford Magnet Schools Go Begging For Suburban Students


Well I knew things were bad with regard to luring suburban kids to Hartford's magnet schools, but I didn't think they were THIS bad:

Can you believe that I got a call today from a representative from the Hartford Magnet School for Sports and Medical Science asking if I knew any homeschoolers who might be interested in enrolling in their magnet school????

Egads!

The woman who contacted me said she found my name on the Internet as a contact for CT Homeschoolers Association. And I told her yes, I was a contact for homeschoolers in our area.

She said they were looking for kids who were interested in going to Hartford schools for middle school or high school and that homeschoolers could apply there. Now she clarified that it wasn't a dual enrollment type thing, but my question to her was, "Why would they want to enroll in public school if they are homeschooling? The fact is that many parents have left the government schools for a reason".

Well, she said thanks anyway and we hung up. Our conversation was very cordial.

But the question begs to be asked, what on Earth are they thinking, asking if homeschoolers are interested in this school that has a gazillion rules and courses that typical homeschoolers have already mastered in middle school grades.

I'm not saying they have a bad program there, and actually it is pretty decent, but gee whiz...for many homeschoolers that I know this type of program could be a step backward. Many homeschooled high schoolers that I know are already taking local college courses. In general, homeschoolers don't let themselves get limited by a high school curriculum mandated by others; they instead are free to explore and challenge themselves and craft their own course of study. They look at things like block scheduling and school uniforms, school contracts and school mission statements as very strange and artificial restrictions. But, I suppose that type of system works for others, and that is why we should have the choices in education that we have.

At this magnet school, just as in other government schools, there is lots of emphasis on preparing for CAPT's and SAT's too in their program. Homeschoolers don't get caught up in "teaching to the test". Maybe in general that's why they do well on the standardized tests, they tend to dwell more on content and understanding of material.

That phone call gave me pause to think about choices. I'm glad that magnet schools are a choice for many, but I am also glad that we can and do homeschool. Still I thought it was quite interesting for this magnet school to be looking for homeschoolers to come back to government schooling, and it sure made for some interesting conversation in my house.

Looks like Hartford is going to have to find other ways to fill those Magnet School seats. Hmmm, maybe they can ask the kids going to Kingswood Oxford or Choate.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And This Is Why No Child Left Behind Is Such A Crock


When it comes to No Child Left Behind, states have learned to "game the system". And when high stakes money in the millions of dollars are at stake, why am I not surprised?

In a story by Pauline Vu, Stateline.org Staff Writer, we read the following:
On paper, Alabama last year showed remarkable gains in improving its schools. But a new report claims that Alabama – and a number of states – are manipulating statistics to make their schools appear better than they really are.

The report released Tuesday (Nov. 13) by Education Sector, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., contends states are gaming the system under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the 2002 law that measures states’ annual progress toward getting all students reading and doing math at grade level by 2014.

In a ranking based on 11 statistics that states annually report to the U.S. Education Department, Alabama jumped to 5th place in the country in how well it appears to be meeting various education measures, up from 22nd place last year, the group found. The percentage of its schools showing the amount of improvement required by federal law zoomed in one year from half to almost 90 percent, according to the report.

“This didn’t happen because Alabama students learned much more in 2006 than they did in 2005,” the report said. It happened because the state exploited loopholes in the law and set low standards for its statewide test so that more students passed those tests, inflating the state’s record in meeting the law’s benchmarks, according to the report.

“Many states did exactly the same thing,” said the group, which contends Congress needs to close these loopholes when lawmakers rewrite NCLB this year or next.
Close the loopholes? Yeah, and like the states won't find other ways to take the money and run. Statistics will still be manipulated and test standards will just be lowered. You see that is what happens when money and not the results are the motivators. It is also what happens when the federal government goes meddling in something that they really have no power within the Constitution to be micro-managing.

Ah, but you say, we have to do something to raise standards. Well, maybe it is high time taxpayers demand results locally of their schools instead of doling out money automatically as a result of binding arbitration on teacher contracts and succumbing to union demands. Perhaps we need to end social promotion and set some real standards to achievement in our schools. Maybe we just need to put an end to programs that are a waste of time and money. Every school should undergo a forensic evaluation of their budgets and the programs that are being funded. Additionally, if school systems weren't burdened with state and federal unfunded mandates then perhaps they could use their money where they see fit instead of spending it on stuff they may not need or want. Come to think of it, as a homeschooling parent I am thankful that I don't have the state and federal government telling me to do and what I have to teach and how much money I have to spend to educate my kids. We've done quite well without that oversight, and so have hundreds of thousands of other parents nationwide. Too bad local government schools don't have that kind of freedom.

But I digress, so back to the story, because gaming the system can be a very interesting topic. later on in this story it says:
The report went on to highlight Iowa and Wisconsin as states that perceive their educational systems are doing well, even though report author Kevin Carey contends that Wisconsin also has manipulated the numbers to present the state as doing better than it really is.
“Wisconsin, for the past two years, has adopted every means of not holding schools accountable for No Child Left Behind,” Carey said.

The report, "The Evidence Suggests Otherwise”, creates an index based on 11 data measures that states submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, such as high school graduation rates, high school dropout rates, number of violent schools, and the percentage of students, schools and districts performing well under NCLB.

Iowa and Wisconsin tied for first in this year’s index, similar to their ranking in last year’s index.

Alabama stood out as the state that appeared to make the biggest improvement. But the report detailed some ways over the past five years that the state inflated its progress, such as limiting the number of test scores used to chart progress in closing the achievement gap between minority and white students. Alabama chose to single out test results for a subgroup only if a school had 40 or more students in that group. In the 2002-03 school year, the year states chose where to set their minimum subgroup size, 80 percent of Alabama’s schools had Latino students, but only 8.7 percent of schools reported test results for Latino students as a group.

The higher a minimum subgroup size, the more minority and disabled students are excluded. More than half the states set subgroup cutoffs lower than 40 so they can include higher percentages of those scores, while 11 states chose to share Alabama’s strategy of counting scores of minority and disabled students only in schools with 40 or more such students. Seven states set even higher cutoffs.

Alabama’s neighbor Tennessee pioneered another loophole. Originally under NCLB, states averaged test results across multiple grades in a school district to determine whether districts made a target, or whether they would be labeled “in need of improvement” for missing it.

But in 2003-04, Tennessee received permission from the U.S. Department of Education to set a lower standard: the state would not have to label a district as in need of improvement as long as the district made its target in at least one subject in just one of the three grade-spans: elementary, middle or high school.

In the next two years, 28 states including Alabama followed Tennessee’s example. This helped Alabama go from having no districts making annual progress one year to having 63 percent of districts make progress the next.
Well, other tactics are mentioned in this piece, but you get the picture. Here's a great report entitled, "How States Inflate Their Educational Progress Under NCLB", by Kevin Carey. Its a good read and here is an excerpt:
In truth, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) gives states wide discretion to define what students must learn, how that knowledge should be tested, and what test scores constitute “proficiency”—the key elements of any educational accountability system. States also set standards for high school graduation rates, teacher qualifications, school safety and many other aspects of school performance. As a result, states are largely free to define the terms of their own educational success.

Unfortunately, many states have taken advantage of this autonomy to make their educational performance look much better than it really is. In March 2006, they submitted the latest in a series of annual reports to the U.S. Department of Education detailing their progress under NCLB. The reports covered topics ranging from student proficiency and school violence to school district performance and teacher credentials. For every measure, the pattern was the same: a significant number of states used their standard-setting flexibility to inflate the progress that their schools are making and thus minimize the number of schools facing scrutiny under the law.
Another good study on this is also by Kevin Carey,
The Pangloss Index: How States Game the No Child Left Behind Act But you know, the states are not all to blame here. Just look at what happened in CT:

U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings told our past education commissioner Betty Sternberg to dumb down CT tests so we could do more testing more cheaply, especially when CT started to squawk about not being given enough money to do the required amount of testing. Sternberg refused and wanted the dough to pay for the way CT already does testing - that's what the CT lawsuit was all about.
Connecticut filed suit against the federal Department of Education, contending that federal officials had failed to pay the cost of all the tests required by No Child Left Behind. While the suit got much news media play, many of the underlying testing issues were missed.

Connecticut wants to maintain its state tests, which feature many essay questions and problems that require students to explain their work. The state maintains that to administer these tests every year from third to eighth grade, as the federal law requires, will cost $8 million more than federal financing provides.

In a May 3, 2005, letter, the federal education secretary, Margaret Spellings, said that while Connecticut's tests "are instructionally sound, they go beyond what was contemplated by N.C.L.B." Federal officials suggested that Connecticut switch to multiple-choice tests and eliminate writing tests to cut costs.

For many, the Connecticut lawsuit is a pivotal moment. Will the law's testing demands raise national education standards or lower them?
So really NCLB is really helping to lower standards not raise them. States are either gaming the system for the money - or made to dumb down tests in order to cut corners on the cost of test administration.

Looks to me like the only ones losing out are the kids.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And You Thought No Child Left Behind Was Bad News!


In his essay, Time To Think Global In Terms Of Testing U.S. Students, Raymond C. Scheppach thinks that we should not only adopt federal standards in education but international ones as well!

He states:
Today, it’s less important how students in Iowa or Oregon compare to those in Alabama or Virginia on a national test. What matters most is how students in North Carolina or Texas compare to those in Denmark or Russia, and so on.

In short, educational protectionism is outdated and ignores the realities of the 21st century global economy.

In the Global Competitiveness Report 2007–2008 released last month by the World Economic Forum, the United States again ranked as the world’s most competitive economy. Yet the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)study, administered in 46 countries, found that U.S. eighth-graders ranked 14th in mathematics achievement. And on the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, U.S. students placed below average in math, science and problem-solving among countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This is a major concern because the most important factor in competitiveness is education and training of the labor force. Thus, U.S. education performance today is the best indicator of America’s competitiveness tomorrow.

The United States faces significant challenges in the international marketplace not only from Europe but also from rapidly developing countries like China, and India to say nothing of regional innovation centers in Brazil, Eastern Europe and many other parts of the world. The countries that benefit in this new global, entrepreneurial and knowledge-based economy will be those that have the most highly skilled and educated labor force. The United States will witness major reductions in its real wages and real income, and thus our standard of living, if our workforce loses its current competitive edge.

So how do we ensure that our students are prepared to compete in the global economy now and in the future? We must start by adopting the correct conceptual standard.
And who, pray tell, has the "correct conceptual standard"? Who is going to set these "international benchmarks"? Certainly by the looks of what Scheppach claims it won't be the USA since we are lagging behind everyone else in the world according to those tests he mentioned above. So should we be adopting educational practices and standards from China, India, or Brazil? Personally, I don't think so. Otherwise explain to me why all their students come here to do college work and research? I also don't think that those tests mentioned above accurately measure the true intelligence and capability of those countries' populations as a whole. They seem to test only certain portions of their societies, where I believe that we have an overall higher literacy rate and more of our kids actually go on to do college work (God knows they have the loans and debt to prove it!). Perhaps Scheppach thinks a global body such as UNESCO should call the educational shots... now there's a scary thought!

On the other hand, I think as a country, we can do better. We do tend to clutter up our kids' school day with social policy and politically correct dogma as well as other useless mind-numbing nonsense. If we perhaps concentrated more on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, through a real classical education and a thorough understanding of real honest to goodness history based on original documents instead of revisionist or spoon-fed interpretative nonsense, and if we didn't dumb down our curriculum to the point of producing kids needing remedial courses in high school and college, then we might get somewhere in the world of international testing. We certainly could do better in encouraging students to pursue engineering and higher mathematical and scientific studies, but then again we also need craftsmen and plumbers and hairdressers. I'll tell you one thing, I think we still have some of the most creative and brightest minds on the whole, and we have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit as well as a free market capitalist society that offers many incentives to succeed (that is for the time being, until even that is slowly eroded away by the Socialists and other "looters" in this country).

Scheppach believes this:
Over the last two decades, states have provided the leadership to create education standards and assessments. Benchmarking them to international standards is just the next step. Further, most of the expertise necessary to take that next step resides in the states, not the federal government. The existing NCLB framework is helpful, but governors, chief state school officials and legislators understand the urgency of international benchmarking, and they clearly understand the link to competitiveness. They are committed to continuing the momentum toward world-class education systems.
Yes, globalism is here, but the The World Is Flat simply because the cost of labor is so much cheaper elsewhere (like China and India), and because communication is easier and technology is adaptable and available. For sure we need to upgrade and reform our education system, but we certainly should not defer to some other country's set of standards.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cell Phones As Tracking Devices And How 4th Amendment Rights Are Being Abused


The Washington Post presented a very interesting piece this past Friday (11/23/07) entitled Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request- Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause.(By Ellen Nakashima, Staff Writer, with contributions by Richard Drezen, Staff Researcher)
The report said:
"Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers,fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.

Such requests run counter to the Justice Department's internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.

The issue is taking on greater relevance as wireless carriers are racing to offer sleek services that allow cellphone users to know with the touch of a button where their friends or families are. The companies are hoping to recoup investments they have made to meet a federal mandate to provide enhanced 911 (E911) location tracking. Sprint Nextel, for instance, boasts that its "loopt" service even sends an alert when a friend is near, "putting an end to missed connections in the mall, at the movies or around town."

With Verizon's Chaperone service, parents can set up a "geofence" around, say, a few city blocks and receive an automatic text message if their child, holding the cellphone, travels outside that area.

"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air.""
While tracking is something one might want to do with regard to criminals, it is very disturbing that someone can be tracked, or the data used to track them can be obtained, without probable cause. The report further stated that
Instead of seeking warrants based on probable cause, some federal prosecutors are applying for orders based on a standard lower than probable cause derived from two statutes: the Stored Communications Act and the Pen Register Statute, according to judges and industry lawyers. The orders are typically issued by magistrate judges in U.S. district courts, who often handle applications for search warrants.

...snip...

"Law enforcement routinely now requests carriers to continuously 'ping' wireless devices of suspects to locate them when a call is not being made . . . so law enforcement can triangulate the precise location of a device and [seek] the location of all associates communicating with a target," wrote Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs for CTIA -- the Wireless Association, in a July comment to the Federal Communications Commission. He said the "lack of a consistent legal standard for tracking a user's location has made it difficult for carriers to comply" with law enforcement agencies' demands.
Thankfully, some judges are writing some very strong opinions about this, although they are being met with some opposition.
"Permitting surreptitious conversion of a cellphone into a tracking device without probable cause raises serious Fourth Amendment concerns especially when the phone is in a house or other place where privacy is reasonably expected," said Judge Stephen William Smith of the Southern District of Texas, whose 2005 opinion on the matter was among the first published.
Clearly something needs to be done - some policy changes in law enforcement or elsewhere - to guard against abuses and to protect our Fourth Amendment Rights. Yes, even criminals have Constitutional rights, and wouldn't they win an appeals case if it is shown that their rights have been violated in some way? They could feasibly walk on that "technicality". Aside from the law enforcement issue in regard to catching the "bad guys", I sure would like to see that our rights are preserved.

The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In this day and age of technology we must not forget how easily certain technology can be used (or mis-used) and in the process our rights can be violated. In seems that it is all too easy for "protection of the public" and the "violation of the public's rights" to become very enmeshed and perhaps we should all be mindful of this quote:

"It is better, so the Fourth Amendment teaches us, that the guilty sometimes go free than the citizens be subject to easy arrest."

- Justice William O. Douglas
Source: Henry v. United States, 1959

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Consent Of The Governed Nominated For Homeschool Blog Awards!


Check out this years nominees for the Homeschool Blog Awards. Voting for the 2007 Homeschool Blog Awards doesn’t officially start until December 3rd.

Consent Of The Governed has been nominated in two categories:

Best Current Events, Opinions, or Politics Blog
and Best Curriculum or Business Blog

Thanks to all of you who nominated this blog!
Thanks go to the organizers of the awards as well!

One thing is for certain, besides producing some really fine students and life-long learners, the homeschool community has also produced some really fine blogs (some of them are even from those students!) and I hope you will use this opportunity to visit all of the nominees.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Parody Music For Saturday - A Blast From The Past



Allen Sherman was a favorite of mine when I was growing up and he reportedly was a big influence on people like Wierd Al. This parody is a particularly funny one if you are currently raising teenagers, or have already survived that phase.

Here is the original song by Petula Clark - "DownTown"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Welcome A New Blogger!

Ned Vare and Luz Shosie have started a new blog and it is entitled School is Hell. They are long time homeschool activists and also have an unschooling website entitled "Unschoolers Unlimited".
They live in Connecticut.
Please stop by and read what Ned and Luz have to say.
The both of them have also authored a book:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wishing You And Yours
A Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful Thanksgiving!




Freedom From Want - Norman Rockwell


The speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following section:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want--which, translated into universal terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.


The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt, excerpted from the Annual Message to the Congress, January 6, 1941
May we take this day to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy as free people in this country.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tax Credits For Homeschoolers - Bad Idea!


As a homeschooling parent I just don't agree with this one, no matter how well intentioned it is. This represents the continuation of the Federalization of Homeschooling. We already have about a dozen places in federal statute that mentions homeschooling, and that is not a good thing for us at all, nor should it even be. I'll explain in a moment.

I am very dismayed that presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are pushing for this tax credit in order to look good to homeschoolers (of which there are well over 2.5 million in this country). Pandering for their vote like this really is disappointing to me. This originally was a bill that Ron Paul sponsored (HR 1056 - Family Education Freedom Act of 2007).

Here's a snippet from the article, "Romney Wants Tax Help for Home Schooling", written by SEANNA ADCOX for AP news:
Parents who home school their children should get a tax credit to help offset the expense of teaching, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday.

''I also believe parents who are teaching their kids at home, homeschoolers, deserve a break, and I've asked for a tax credit to help parents in their homes with the cost of being an at-home teacher,'' he said.

Romney supports giving parents more educational options, through charter schools or vouchers, but he said legislation should be done on a state level.

''I really hesitate to have the federal government become too involved in local schools,'' he said....
He should hesitate! It's unconstitutional to have the federal government become involved in local schools! In fact, the whole federal Department of Education should be eliminated! Ron Paul says that himself, along with many others.

This tax credit is a really bad idea because then the IRS, a government agency, gets to define who is and who isn't a homeschooler in order for them to qualify for tax credits. I am sorry, but I certainly do not want the IRS getting mixed into this at all. Every state may or may not already have it's own definition of who or what a homeschooler is or does. Having a federal agency set down it's own rules or definitions on that would not only usurp states' rights but it essentially violates the 10th Amendment. (Although we know that's not a new practice).

According to the 10th Amendment - the US government shouldn't have anything to do with education issues - and yeah I know they do already, but they have done so through the Commerce Clause (as in controlling the purse strings for No Child Left Behind through Title 1 funding), and any other laws they make are really unconstitutional.

The Tenth Amendment states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The power of education is not one that is delegated to the United States by the Constitution. It is, therefore, reserved to the States or to the people.

While policies and proposed legislation like this at first glance appear to benefit homeschool families, ultimately legislation adopted by Congress establishes the unconstitutional precedent that the federal government has the authority to enact legislation regarding education. When homeschool families do not receive any federal funding or benefits, the federal government has no constitutional authority to enact any legislation. By enacting legislation that provides for federal funding and benefits, Congress unconstitutionally is granting to itself the authority to enact further legislation affecting homeschooling. In addition, because in the federal legislation, the word, “homeschool” appears, and is defined, the definition of that word may conflict with the definition in one or more state statutes. Because of the “supremacy clause” of the Constitution, when a federal law conflicts with a state law, the federal law supersedes state law, thus, placing into jeopardy the validity of all state statutes regarding homeschooling. For these reasons, even seemingly beneficial federal legislation must be defeated or repealed.

As a homeschooler, this is legislation that I will not support, and I hope the presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, as well as every other member of Congress, will think twice about supporting this instead of pandering to special interest groups who are promoting it in Washington, DC to advance their own agenda. NHELD is not promoting this agenda. In fact, they have written about this in the past:
As more and more federal legislation includes the undefined term of "home school" we are giving the federal government the right to legislate what we do and how we do it. Eventually the term "home school" will have to be defined somewhere - either by federal statute or by a federal judge. Most of these bills have to do with what homeschoolers are or are not entitled to. This means we are giving the federal government (Congress) the power to decide that. Even if the statute will do some positive things for homeschoolers in the short run - it will surely hurt us in the long run because we are allowing the federal government to decide to include homeschoolers in various aspects of federal funding (scholarships, IRS code, etc.). Once this happens, we will of course have to show accountability on whatever terms the federal government will decide.
We should stop the Federalization of Homeschooling NOW! Federal legislation which includes and concerns homeschooling is not the way to answer problems homeschoolers face.

For more information on the Federalization of Homeschooling please read NHELD archived articles here and here and here

Instead of targeting any one group in particular for receiving a break on their taxes, how about they give everyone a break on their taxes?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Liberty Dollars Under Attack By US Government


A while ago I posted about Liberty Dollars.

Look what the Feds have been up to. It's a travesty!
Thursday, November 15, 2007 7:47 AM
Subject: FBI Raids Liberty Dollar – Confiscates All Ron Paul Dollars

Dear Liberty Dollar Supporters:

I sincerely regret to inform you that about 8:00 this morning a dozen FBI and Secret Service agents raided the Liberty Dollar office in Evansville.

For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank accounts.

We have no money. We have no products. We have no records to even know what was ordered or what you are owed. We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution . We should not to be defrauded by the fake government money.

But to make matters worse, all the gold and silver that backs up the paper certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and Silver Libertys have been taken.

This in spite of the fact that Edmond C. Moy, the Director of the Mint, acknowledged in a letter to a US Senator that the paper certificates did not violate Section 486 and were not illegal. But the FBI and Services took all the paper currency too.

The possibility of such action was the reason the Liberty Dollar was designed so that the vast majority of the money was in specie form and in the people's hands. Of the $20 million Liberty Dollars, only about a million is in paper or digital form.

I regret that if you are due an order. It may be some time until it will be filled... if ever... it now all depends on all our actions.

Everyone who has an unfulfilled order or has digital or paper currency should band together for a class action suit and demand redemption. We cannot allow the government to steal our money! Please don't let this happen!!! Many of you read the articles quoting the government and Federal Reserve officials that the Liberty Dollar was legal. You did nothing wrong. You are legally entitled to your property. Let us use this terrible act to band together and further our goal – to return America to a value based currency.

Please forward this important Alert... so everyone who possess or use the Liberty Dollar is aware of the situation.

Please click HERE to sign up for the class action lawsuit and get your property back!

Thanks again for your support at this darkest time as the damn government and their dollar sinks to a new low.

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect
Liberty Dollar | 888.421.6181 | 225 N Stockwell Rd | Evansville, IN | 47715 | info@libertydollar.org
"There is no law that says goods and services must be paid for with Federal Reserve notes. Parties entering into a transaction can establish any medium of exchange that is agreed upon." - Andrew Williams, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

This is really troubling news. Liberty Dollars are a medium of exchange, they are not "counterfeit" U.S. coins in any way. The fact that people are looking for a real medium of exchange backed by real gold and silver as our Constitution requires (and as we have strayed from) seems to be making some folks in government and the Federal Reserve annoyed. Now why would that be? Please read these disclaimers.

Private barter currency is perfectly legal.
To see the TV news coverage of the raid check this out.

USA Today also did a piece on Liberty Dollars.

Also take a moment to consider this:
"The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit.... In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.... Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth.... [Gold] stands as a protector of property rights."
"This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the "hidden" confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."
- ALAN GREENSPAN

Gee, I wonder when Green Stamps or Foxwood Wampum Cards will be confiscated?
What about all those Frequent Buyer cards or other forms of barter? Are those next?


The Capitalist League Is Back!


After being away on hiatus, The Capitalist League is back with some great posts and even a store to purchase your very own Capitalist "gear"!

So please go say hello!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Trade You My Vote For An iPod Touch


Can we chalk this up to be a result of a survey of immature "Gen Y'ers" or a real problem in how we have taught our youth to view their Constitutional right to vote? It looks like they would be pretty willing to trade that right away for some money or another materialistic trinket.

NYU students were polled and results revealed this:
Two-thirds say they'll do it for a year's tuition. And for a few, even an iPod touch will do.

That's what NYU students said they'd take in exchange for their right to vote in the next presidential election, a recent survey by an NYU journalism class found.

Only 20 percent said they'd exchange their vote for an iPod touch.

But 66 percent said they'd forfeit their vote for a free ride to NYU. And half said they'd give up the right to vote forever for $1 million.
So while many say their right to vote is important,they'd be just as satisfied to have some sort of trinket or monetary incentive not to cast their ballot.

In perusing the comments to this article I found my eye drawn to this one inparticular:
I can truly say as a university student, that these students at NYU make me want to throw up just reading this article. I see this as spitting on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery and all the other citizens that have served and died for this country. I could bet $100 that these students that would sell their vote are the exact same ones that are the biggest complainers of politicians (ie: Bush, Chaney, etc.) It just goes to show that just because you go to an elitist school, they have some of the dumbest pupils.
I don't know, but I find it a shame that these kids feel this way. Maybe as a poll it's really no big deal as polls go, but I wonder what other rights people are willing to trade away? How about personal freedom in the name of government protection?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Spitzer's Driver's License Plan Crashes


It looks like there are reasonable beings in New York. The New York Post reports this:
With his poll numbers collapsing, Gov. Spitzer pullled the plug today on his controversial plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

... snip ...

Spitzer aides said the decision was made because the firestorm over the issue was blocking the governor's overall agenda, and there were serious concerns that various lawsuits, as well as threatened legislative action, would block the plan anyway.

There was also anxiety about the negative impact the issue was having on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.

The decision to wave the white flag was cemented as a Siena Research Institute poll released yesterday showed Spitzer with his lowest approval ratings ever - with just 25 percent of voters saying they would support his re-election if the vote were held today.
With Spitzer's popularity numbers plummeting maybe he is getting the hint. Additionally, the plan put Hillary in so much hot water during the last debate that her state governor's plan had to get trounced. Or perhaps people are truly fed up with ridiculous government proposals such as this one.

This news story was about as good as the one about the Florida lawsuit which sought to allow women to wear a veil for their driver's license pictures. The courts ruled against that one and then later upheld that ruling in an appeals case. Later that year, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed legislation requiring a picture of a driver's full face on a license.

Thank goodness there is a shred of sanity in New York State (and Florida too).

Update: New York Times article

(H/T Stephen M.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pilates For PreSchool?


It's just unbelieveable, and I just knew that Junk Food Science would "weigh in" on this one.

The Brits are getting so paranoid over childhood obesity that the Daily Mail filed this report which speaks about how parents of 4 month olds are subscribing their children to gyms and grandparents are buying gym memberships as holiday gifts.

Here is the report:
Parents are taking babies as young as four months to special gyms amid growing fears about childhood obesity.

A US chain has signed up hundreds of babies and toddlers across London for "developmental gymnastics".

Demand for places has surged as government figures reveal one in five London children under 11 is obese.

A new centre in Chiswick has registered almost 500 children since September - including 150 babies under three - and two more gyms are due to open in Chelsea and Hampstead.

Grandparents are even buying their grandchildren membership of the gyms as a Christmas present.

Tracie Silk, owner of the new Little Gym in Chiswick, already runs packed classes for 10-month-old babies and will start teaching four-month-olds in February.

She said: "We have had an unbelievable response from people wanting to bring babies under 10months along.

"We were taken completely by surprise when we opened."

The Little Gym says its £300-a-term classes for four-month-olds upwards, based on gymnastics and including forward rolls, build up babies' core body strength before they start crawling.

Classes for children up to 12 also include "galloping" and monkey jumps to get them in the habit of exercise.

Parents accompany children up to three years old, helping them to "walk" along a beam, do forward rolls and use balancing bars.

Angela Hinman, gym director at the Hampton Hill centre, said: "Parents are always surprised at how physical it is for the young babies. We get them to do forward rolls before they can crawl - with their parents' help. The concept is about making movement fun."

Experts say there is little point in targeting babies as young as four months.

Professor Tim Cole, paediatrician at the Institute of Child Health at University College London, said: "I would be very skeptical about attempting to get four-month-olds to do exercise, they are not even crawling then."
Next thing you know they'll be doing Pilates or holding preschool Zumba classes!

Admittedly, this is more likely an article to promote these types of gyms and their memberships, but honestly what is so totally dopey about this is that children naturally want to move. Parents expend lots of energy themselves chasing after them! Let kids loose in a playground and they climb and run and ... well .. play! Babies crawl all over the place if you let them. That's their innate desire to explore and work hard at learning to stand and crawl and walk and climb. No one has to teach them how to tumble or stretch. What is with these people who think that they have to somehow accelerate the pace at which children develop. Worse than that, are parents who are being driven nuts by the media and marketing that pushes them to spend money on programs like this. But if these parents can be coaxed into parting with their money to do this type of thing then... well... vive le capitalism.

Do yourself a favor British parents, take your kids out to a public park, get some fresh air, feed the ducks, and let your kids be kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Police Now Have Live Feed of Videos From Inside School


Demarest, NJ, school district installs live video feed from the school to the police station.

Well, chalk another one up for Big Brother. Of course this is done under the guise of "for the kids' protection". They claim that this is done because of the threat of school shootings. The police can "patrol" without even being there. Such is the cutting edge of technology in school security. Isn't it nice that they also have privacy issues in mind?
Patrolling officers have access to the video feed from headquarters and several laptops. To address privacy concerns, all of the cameras are installed in public areas and are not equipped to pick up audio.

The video capabilities are extremely impressive. Each of the laptops can pick up 16 different angles at one time, turning a single operator into a mobile surveillance team.

...snip...

Schools Superintendent Larry Hughes says if nothing else, the ability to digitally timestamp and archive the video should discourage bad, even criminal behavior.
So next time you have the urge to steal someone's lunch or break into someone's locker or create other mayhem ... you'd better think twice.

Do you think they are watching the teachers too? How about installing a camera in the teacher's lounge? Now that could be interesting.

The report also said this:
Students seem pleased with the high-tech devices.

"I would want the police to be there right away if something happened to our school. Especially with all these bomb scares happening now, I know the high school had a couple," says one student.
What does this say about conditioning kids to find it acceptable to being watched all the time? They grow up to be adults who find it equally acceptable, because it is "done for their protection".

For some other kids perhaps this is yet another reason why they might want to shoot up a school to begin with???

I asked my daughter what she thought of this, and she replied, "Don't they do this in prisons?"

So what do you think about this?
For me it's yet another reason to homeschool.

Monday, November 12, 2007

CT Homeschoolers - Legislative Forum In Fairfield

Homeschooler Legislative Forum!
Come Meet Your Elected Officials!
Thursday, November 15, at 7-10 PM

Fairfield Library
Memorial Room
1080 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203)256-3155

Directions


Refreshments will be provided.

Homeschool friendly State Representative Arthur O'Neill has arranged with Between Counties Homeschoolers and Southern Fairfield County Homeschoolers and NHELD , this third meeting in a series of similar events throughout Connecticut, in an effort to educate legislators about the homeschool community. He hopes that understanding the homeschool community will encourage legislators to support homeschooling and parental rights in the State legislature as well as eventually support a bill, in the upcoming session, guaranteeing all Connecticut parents' right to withdraw their children from the public schools.

Locally elected legislative representatives will be attending to listen to the issues which are of concern to their constituents.

Representative O'Neill, Attorney Deborah Stevenson, and Judy Aron will moderate the meeting. Area homeschoolers will be able to participate in discussing what homeschooling is, different ways of home educating, experiences in withdrawing from the public schools, and homeschooling success stories. Families are encouraged to bring samples of school projects, display boards they have created, or scrapbooks or other pictures or items that they are proud of, to display to attendees and legislators. Even if you don't care to speak, please come to show your support for the homeschooling community and to greet the legislators! Children and homeschool graduates are welcome to speak.

Also please save the date of February 6th, 9 am, when we will ask all homeschoolers in CT to come to Hartford on the opening day of the legislative session and join with the Governor and legislators to support CT homeschoolers.

=====================

NHELD (National Home Education Legal Defense) and local homeschool groups are working together with Rep. O'Neill on this effort and these forums should prove to be fun, thought provoking and very worthwhile. If you live in CT - please try to attend. Subsequent forums' dates and times and details will be posted.

Possible Scientific Advancements In Longevity


The Hartford Courant recently reprinted an article from the Washington Post entitled, "When Life Won't Quit" A 1,000-Year Life Span? A British Scientist Says It's Possible, And Soon, written by By JOEL GARREAU

The article is quite thought provoking.
What if we could extend our life span to 1,000 years?
Would we end up with a society that would severely limit births as in China?
Could we sustain life on this planet with such longevity?
Gosh, imagine your holiday and birthday shopping if it included grand children, great grand children, great-great grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren etc.!

It is an interesting view to consider aging as a disease that might have a cure.

Anti-aging scientists are already hard at work trying to extend human life span.
It is very possible that we will benefit from that science and be able to live to be 130-150 years old in our lifetime! That is very bad news for US Social Security! and consider what other implications that has for society, like with marriage and retirement. Some conjecture that people may not want to engage in risky businesses like being a policeman or fireman. Imagine those implications.

Here is the article - Aubrey de Grey may have discovered quite an interesting scientific find.
Aubrey de Grey may be wrong, but evidence suggests he's not nuts. This is no small assertion. De Grey argues that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years.

In 2005, an authoritative publication offered $20,000 to any molecular biologist who could demonstrate that de Grey's plan for treating aging as a disease and curing it was "so wrong that it was unworthy of learned debate."

Now mere mortals who may wish to be significantly less mortal can judge whether de Grey's proposals are "science or fantasy," as the magazine put it. De Grey's much-awaited "Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime" has just been published.

The judges were formidable for that MIT Technology Review challenge prize. They included Rodney Brooks, then director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer of Microsoft; and J. Craig Venter, who shares credit for first sequencing the human genome.

In the end, they decided no scientist had succeeded in blowing de Grey out of the water. "At issue is the conflict between the scientific process and the ambiguous status of ideas that have not yet been subjected to that process," Myhrvold wrote for the judges.

Well yes, that. Plus the question that has tantalized humans forever. What if the only certainty is taxes?

Dodging death has long been a dream.

Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey, 44, recently of Britain's Cambridge University, advocates not Greek myths but "strategies for engineering negligible senescence," or SENS. It means curing aging.

With adequate funding, de Grey thinks scientists within a decade, may triple the remaining life span of late-middle-age mice. The day this announcement is made, he believes, the news will hit people like a brick as they realize that their cells could be next. He speculates people will start abandoning risky jobs, such as being police officers, or soldiers.

"Of course, the world will be completely different in all manner of ways," de Grey says of the next few decades. His speech is thick, fast and mellifluous, with a quality British accent.

"If we want to hit the high points, number one is, there will not be any frail elderly people. Which means we won't be spending all this unbelievable amount of money keeping all those frail elderly people alive for like one extra year the way we do at the moment. That money will be available to spend on important things like, well, obviously, providing the health care to keep us that way, but that won't be anything like so expensive. ...

Secondly, just doing the things we can't afford now, giving people proper education and not just when they're kids, but also proper adult education and retraining and so on.

The mind reels. Will we want to be married to the same person for a thousand years? Will we need religion anymore? Will the planet overflow.

Aging consists of seven critical kinds of damage, according to de Grey. For example, goo accumulates in our cells. Our bodies have not evolved means quickly to clean up "intracellular aggregates such as lipofuscin." However, outside our bodies, microorganisms have eagerly and rapidly evolved to turn this toxic waste into compost. (De Grey made this connection because he knew two things: Lipofuscin is fluorescent and graveyards don't glow in the dark.)

By taking soil samples from an ancient mass grave, de Grey's colleagues in short order found the bacteria that digest lipofuscin as easily as enzymes in our stomachs digest a steak. The trick now is getting those lipofuscin-digesting enzymes into our bodies. That has not yet been done. But, de Grey says, comparable fundamental biotechnology is already in clinical use fighting diseases such as Tay-Sachs. So he sees it as merely an engineering problem.

Examples like this make up the 262 pages at the center of "Ending Aging."

By 2005, his ideas had attracted enough attention as to no longer be merely controversial. De Grey was being pilloried as a full-blown heretic.

"The idea that a research programme organized around the SENS agenda will not only retard aging, but also reverse it creating young people from old ones and do so within our lifetime, is so far from plausible that it commands no respect at all within the informed scientific community," wrote 28 biogerontologists in the journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization. Their recommendation: more of the patient, basic scientific research that is their stock in trade.

"Each idea that we decide to pursue will cost years of work and a great deal of money, so we spend a lot of time at meetings, seminars and in the library trying to search for and weigh alternatives, and looking for loopholes in our chain of arguments before they are pointed out to us either by peer reviewers or experimental results.

Beyond the question of whether immortality is feasible, is it a good idea? Why is it, when you bring up the idea of living forever even if robust and healthy, not drooling on your shoes some people just recoil viscerally?

"It's probably the majority that recoils viscerally," de Grey says. "It's what I call the pro-aging trance.

"Since the beginning of civilization, we have been aware that aging is ghastly and that aging is utterly inevitable. ... So we have two choices. Either we spend our lives being preoccupied by this ghastly future or we find some way to get on with our miserably short lives and make the best of it.

But if people don't die, won't we indeed fill the planet shoulder to shoulder?

"The birth rate is going to have to go down by an order of magnitude," de Grey acknowledges. "But even if that is going to be a severe problem, the question is not, do problems exist? The question is, are they serious enough to outweigh the benefits of saving 100,000 lives a day?"

Gee whiz, if we really can live that long, imagine not having term limits in government! You could be stuck with people like Ted Kennedy for 500 years or more! Now there's a sobering thought.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering Our Veterans


Veterans Day
In 1918, World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The entire world celebrated. An armistice (a truce) was signed declaring the "war to end all wars" was finally over. The next year, on November 11th, the US called the day "Armistice Day" in memory of all the men and women involved in WWI. On Armistice Day, surviving soldiers marched in parades through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and had ceremonies in thanks for the peace that had been won.
Please take time today to remember all those who have served our country, both living and deceased, for without them we could not benefit from the freedoms that we enjoy.

Veterans Day on Wiki.

Get Your FBI File


This website will help you find out if the FBI has a file on you or a deceased family member.

Most requests end up being free because the FBI will give you the first hundred pages of any file for free. However, pages beyond 100 are charged at ten cents per page, and the FBI requires you to state up front that you will pay these copying charges or they won't process your request.

The website also explains what happens after you send in a request. Perhaps if they don't have a file on you, then by making this request they may start one (LOL).

Go ahead - have some fun .. do your very own FOI (Freedom of Information) Request!

... because if you don't ask, you'll never know ...


Friday, November 9, 2007

A Wish List from Homeschoolers To Non-Homeschoolers


Here's some homeschool humor for you. You have to read it all, but here are the first ten requests on this hilarious, but true, wish list:

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
The last 15 points are also great. It all pretty much sums up all of the dumb stereotypes that exist regarding homeschooling. Homeschoolers are regular people, from all walks of life, all ethnicities, and all economic strata. What ties us all together is the desire for our children to obtain a great education and grow up with strong family ties. I am certain that non-homeschooling families wish to do the same. Bravo for them making their own decisions to use public or private education to suit their family best.

Choices in education are extremely important, and it is also key not to have all choices government controlled. Homeschooling is a choice in education that has wonderful elements to it and has proven to be a successful model and method. It's not for everyone, but for the people who do homeschool; they should be free to do it without anyone judging them or hindering their ability to do it, particularly those in government and school administration.

Let's work to break down the stereotypes.
Humor is a great way to start.

(H/T Lynda)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Alliance for the Separation of SCHOOL and State


Most people associate public schools with brick buildings, ball fields, and yellow buses. But the face of government schooling is changing - its tentacles are extending into educational alternatives that have been traditionally non-government. The options for educational freedom aren't so clear anymore. Not only that, but government schooling is beginning to extend into the children's mental and physical healthcare, with little regard for parental input. There are controls and mandates arising that are pretty alarming, even for parents who totally support public education.

The Alliance for the Separation of School and State says this:
Government schooling stands in direct opposition to the liberty this country was founded on. It fosters unquestioning obedience, acceptance of authority, herd mentality, and dependency...

For more than 220 years - from the 1620s to the 1840s - most American schooling was independent of government control, subsidy, and influence. From this educational freedom the American Republic was born.

We believe parents, and not the state, should be in charge of their children's education. That is not so far fetched... Consider that 8 million children already learn free of state control. We're not starting from scratch here. The snowball of educational independence is already rolling.

Families who desire freedom to control the education of their own children are being subtly but materially undermined. Parents and families need to have information to make fully informed choices for educational freedom. By helping them choose resolutely independent education, they and their children benefit, as will the future of freedom. Teaching families a true and vigorous educational independence is not optional if we want to build a freer future for all of us is what the Alliance is about. The Alliance has been putting their energy into building the framework that is necessary to educate parents and empower their educational choices. The Alliance believes that helping families discover and choose education in which the government is not involved helps keep freedom itself alive.
With Alan Schaeffer at the helm, as President, the Alliance is working on some projects to reach out to more people. Check out their website if you haven't done so already.

====================
I have to mention that my opponent in the November 2006 elections, State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann criticized me for signing the Alliance's online declaration. Fleischmann is a Progressive Social Democrat, and co-chair of the Education Committee in our state legislature, that firmly believes in bigger, more intrusive, government. Because he had nothing better to criticize me for, he made a stink out of the fact that several years ago I signed the Alliance's online declaration, regarding getting government out of education. Actually, I had been so annoyed with the unconstitutional federal meddling in education with No Child Left Behind legislation that I "signed" on electronically.

Rep. Fleischmann even went to so far as to claim that I was "anti"-public education in our debates last year. For the record, I am not "anti" anything... I am for better education for everyone all around. I am for having many educational choices available to families, and that includes choices not controlled by the government, and I am for parental rights. I am for smaller and less intrusive government. Publicly funded education is currently broken and failing many children, and at the same time bankrupting many municipalities. Representatives like Fleischmann believe the solution is to throw more money at public education and to put kids into the system younger, and keep them there for a longer period of time.

CT government schools are keeping children hostages and harassing families who wish to home educate. No legislator should enable this practice, or allow coercive tactics by our CT State Department of Education to continue.

This is precisely why organizations like Separation of School and State exist.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A New Book!



My friend, and fellow homeschool supporter, Gard Goldsmith has just released his new book: Live Free or Die: Essays on Liberty by New Hampshire Libertarians

In it you will find authoritative essays on economics, political philosophy, US History, Constitutional law, and special pieces on NH history. The book also contains short fiction by Gard and by El G Grande, and an unproduced script. Gard worked hard on this book, and decided to include material his father wrote between WWII and the time he died in 2003.

For those who love liberty, this will be an insightful and long-lasting document to obtain. It'll make a nice holiday gift too!

Reconquista



This is what the problem is.
The purposeful intention by these illegals of the destruction of this country.
The people speaking out against people like this illegal alien are not racists, they are people who want to preserve America from this brand of Socialist and Communist thought. Think about that next time you see someone wearing a "Che" shirt.

Hugo Chavez, Al Quaida, and the Mexican movement plan the annihilation of American society by a variety of actions: warfare,illegal immigration, flooding our labor market with people willing to work for slave wages, denial of American identity aimed at undermining our foundations. They work to distort American history and destroy the wealth of our middle class. They are the looters and parasites, the likes of which people likeAyn Rand wrote about.

They attack political and social institutions, culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of AMERICANS.

Believe it.
It's here.

My kudos to states like Oklahoma who are taking a stand. Oklahoma has just enacted the toughest laws against illegal immigration in the country called the "Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007".

-Illegal aliens may NOT receive public assistance
-Anyone arrested for a felony or drinking and driving will have their citizenship verified
-It is now a felony to knowingly transport illegal aliens, which creates state barriers to hiring illegal aliens
-All State Contractors must check the immigration status of workers and require proof of citizenship to receive certain government benefits.

We all need to lobby our state legislators to do the same.
- No public assistance to illegal aliens
- No in-state tuition breaks for illegal aliens
- No free education money to illegal aliens
- No heating assistance to illegal aliens
- Punish employers that hire illegal aliens

Any legislator that helps to pass laws that assist illegal immigrants should be voted out of office. Spare me the "undocumented aliens" euphemism. Spare me the line about "what about their children" (they can take them home to their native country with them). Spare me the nonsense about them taking jobs "no other American will do" (yes, Americans won't work for slave labor wages).

If people want to be here in this country - fine - but they have to be here legally like millions of other have done so and continue to do.

All one has to do is look at Reconquista and the Atzlan movement to understand what is really happening here. We are being invaded and bankrupted by these people on purpose, and there are other anti-American organizations out there using the same tactics as well.

We need to put an end to it.
Oh, and we do not need I.D. cards to do this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Voting Day Humor


ICE Raids In Hartford CT


YAY!
The Hartford Courant reported:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement is doing their job in the Parkville section of Hartford!
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson, Paula Grenier, said Friday that nine people were detained in Hartford, although she said the names, nationality and addresses of those arrested were not available. She said an ICE fugitive operation team arrested one person on an outstanding deportation order.

The others were apparently swept up in the raid, suspected of being illegal immigrants. Grenier declined to say how many warrants agents were trying to serve Friday.

"It was a routine operation by a fugitive operation team," she said.

Word of the raids spread rapidly in Parkville, which has seen an influx of Brazilians in recent years. Sources said the raids began at about 7 a.m. and ICE agents went to homes and businesses on Park, South Whitney and Carpenter streets.
All I can say is that I hope it continues.

One 19 year old born in the U.S. of Brazilian parents said, "I don't know why they don't let the people work, have a nice life," he said.

I think the comments made to the article are incredibly telling of the sentiment that is growing against illegal immigration. One excerpt of a commenter's reply on the feedback forum of the article said this:
Well Bruno, ask your parent why did they leave Brazil and come to America. They'll likely say it's because life and work is much better in America.

It's better because we're not corrupt. We have laws (from civil to property to intellectual) that are enforced. We have little corruption (people breaking the law).

So you see Bruno, what your parents are doing here is exactly why they left Brazil.
another said this:
Hiring and Harboring Illegal Aliens - Nationwide Boycott
Please participate in a nationwide boycott of:

* Businesses that should have ethnic diversity in their workforce and do not (exempt family-owned and operated restaurants, etc).

* Businesses that do not use the Federal E-Verify program to verify the validity of SSI numbers.

* Businesses who use shady business practices through subcontractors for the hiring of illegal alien employees. Such practices serve as a buffer from the legal consequences of breaking federal law and give the illusion to consumers that they are an honorable business (WalMart, Del Monte Fresh Foods, etc).

* Businesses who cater and fund illegal aliens of any ethnic origin (Bank of America, Ford Foundation, Wells Fargo and others).

* Sanctuary Cities/Cities who break federal immigration law and contribute to making the problem of illegal aliens worse for all Americans (San Francisco, New York, New Haven and others - list of sanctuary cities can be located at: http://www.ojjpac.org/sanctuary.asp ).

I call on all American patriots to use their powers of observation and the influential power of nationwide boycotts to businesses and cities that violate federal law or in some way contribute to making life for Americans more difficult due to their practice of hiring and funding of illegal aliens and the burdening costs to American taxpayers that they create. Cities that carry ordinances blocking police involvement, issue driver's licenses, ID cards, etc.

If you're not sure about a business, simply ask the manager/owner of businesses if they comply with using the E-Verify program that confirms their SSI# as valid. If not, you have your answer as to what to do next ... Tell them their workforce should reflect ethnic diversity and because it is lacking that you will be boycotting their business until ethnic diversity is clearly present. If their employees have no mastery of English, let them know that you do not appreciate lousy customer service from employees who cannot speak English. Let them know that you will be asking all of your friends and family to boycott their business until they use E-Verify and a visible difference is noted concerning ethnic diversity and English as the language of employees while conducting commerce. Hurt them where it truly counts, in the pocketbook and reward businesses across this country who follow immigration laws with your patronage and let them know you appreciate their patriotism.

Please be an informed consumer and look at product labels for where they are made. Since Mexico is THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR to our growing problem with illegal aliens (over 57%), boycott all products made in Mexico until their government stops handing out road maps on how to enter this country illegally, stops giving illegal aliens every encouragement possible to break our laws, stops encouraging the Reconquista movement to reclaim through occupation numerous States in our Republic. Mexico is a very wealthy country and their is no excuse for their citizens to be entering this country illegally. They have plenty of wealth to end the problems their nations faces and their refusal to do so is no longer acceptable. Hold Mexico accountable for exporting their poor and encouraging the occupation and political takeover of our great nation.
The comments go on and on. People are fed up with illegal immigration and the cost to U.S. taxpayers in education, social programs and crime.

The Courant reports that:
raids by ICE fugitive operations teams, started in 2003, have dramatically increased in the past year. The teams target immigrants with a standing deportation order, but also arrest other immigrants they believe are in the U.S. illegally.

By the end of September, the 75 fugitive operation teams in the U.S. had detained about 30,400 people in this fiscal year, almost double the number detained in all of fiscal 2006, according to ICE. There are about 595,000 fugitive immigrants in the country, ICE estimates.

Sweeps by ICE fugitive operation teams in New Haven in June led to demonstrations and are being aggressively challenged in federal immigration court in Hartford by a team of law professors and students from Yale's Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

Jason McGahan, a member of Stop the Raids, a Trinity College-based group, said activists will help any of the people detained Friday who want it.

"It drives home that we have to mobilize in response to these attacks if we are going to protect the immigrant community. Otherwise they are sure to continue," he said.

Peter Gadiel, a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania-based 9/11 Families for a Secure America, said such raids simply enforce the law.

"They are one necessary aspect of enforcing our immigration law, in addition to such measures of depriving them of getting jobs," he said.

List of sanctuary cities.

Here's the toll free number to Report Illegal immigrants to ICE
1-866-DHS-2ICE.