Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Statists Pervert the Concept – Pay it Forward

By Tom Rhodes, 4/17/2014

Pay if Forward, an OK movie if you like emotional chick flicks, but it is an old and venerated charitable concept that is grounded on voluntarily helping others and asking them to voluntarily do the same when they can. Pay it forward was used as a key plot element in the denouement of a Comedy play by Menander, Dyskolos, a prizewinning play in ancient Athens in 317 BC. The concept was rediscovered and described by Benjamin Franklin, who in a letter to Benjamin Webb in 1784, said, “I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept is old, but the phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight.

On my way into work this morning listening to Morning Edition on NPR, I heard a story titled “Pay It Forward Proposal Could Help Students Afford College” by Leah Binkovitz. The story on their web page is described as a “new idea is making the rounds in education circles. Under the plan, states would allow students to go to college for free then they would pay back a percentage of their salaries after they graduate.”

This is a sick perversion of the old noble concept of Pay it forward. As proposed the state pays for students go to college, and after they graduate pay back to the state a percentage of their income based on their salary. The result will be students who get STEM degrees and garner high paying jobs will actually subsidize those who get “woman’s studies” degrees and end up working as bartenders, waitresses, and cab drivers. This program is not Pay it forward, this is “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”. This is a typical ploy of socialists who since the proven failure of Marxist ideology, attempt to cover their Marxist programs as anything other than socialism.

The concept of Paying if Forward is based voluntary charity, and hoping that a good deed will propagate itself and improve not only the life of the person you helped but nurture the idea and generosity of that person. This program is not based on the hope that a good deed will be propagated, accepting the risk that some Knave may stop its progress. The program described on NPR and proposed in the state of Michigan is not a “new idea.” It is based on redistribution of wealth without risk. It is simply a socialist system for higher education.

This program disguises itself as “charity” but it’ not. If it were truly a version of Paying if Forward, there would be no strings attached, a State or some foundation would simply say, “We believe in you, and are going to pay for your degree, all we ask is when you succeed you support us with as much as you can until you feel your debt has been paid so we can continue to Paying if Forward.” The plan proposed is not paying it forward, it is another way for statists and liberals to try and feel good about using the force of government to redistribute wealth, rather than be charitable themselves.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Harry Reid’s Hypocrisy

By Tom Rhodes, 4/16/2014

Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the aftermath of federal agents withdrawing from the Nevada property of rancher Cliven Bundy, Reid commented to students at the University of Nevada that “… it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Mr. Reid, Does that sentiment apply to people who entered this country illegally?

Mr. Reid, does that apply to President Obama, dictating to his administration to ignore the Jan 1st deadline as part of the ACA?

Mr. Reid, does that apply to the Senate majority leader violated Senate ethics rules by using his official website to attack libertarian campaign donors Charles and David Koch?

Mr. Reid, you actions seem to indicate that you don’t believe in the Rule of Law, rather that you believe that the laws only apply to those you don’t like and won’t vote for you, and those who you do like and will vote for you are exempted from following the law.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Statists Lose in Supreme Court

By Tom Rhodes, 4/3/2013

By now you’ve read and heard the statist news media bemoan the fact that the SCOTUS has ruled that the 1st Amendment to the Constitution stating that Congress shall pass no laws abridging the freedom of speech it meant what it plainly says. This is a victory for freedom and liberty, and a loss for statism.

Chief Justice Roberts noted that “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades – despite the profound offense such spectacles cause – it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

What statists, especially liberals, don’t like, don’t want, and actually hate, is the fact that in the USA the government not the people is limited. The idea that an individual may exercise freedom and do things that are contrary to the supremacy of the state is repugnant to statists. There is this think called freedom. Statists hate it. Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Free Press, are all under massive attack by statists.

They are attacking bloggers, and other people because they bring stories that the main stream news ignores to the attention of the people. Stories statists don’t want covered. The idea that an individual, the little guy, a common person can freely blog and present “news” outside of corporate/state control is a position statists find intolerable. This is why Hillary famously said that the news needs some “gatekeeper.” Of course the fact that that the Government is prohibited from infringing on the right of people to offer news and opinion without any kind of government interference means they are exposed. The internet has destroyed the defacto state/press control of media that used to exist. Statists hate this.

They also attack rich people spending their money to get their ideas presented. Again the idea that an individual can actually put his resources to promoting candidates and ideas without going through some state “gatekeeper” and without limits is intolerable. Freedom for the individual is not an idea statists can abide. It is a red-herring that individuals having too much freedom to spend their money on politics causes corruption.

The court rightly found that it makes no sense that an individual can give the limited amount to nine candidates, but not the 10th.

The Constitution is clear, Congress cannot abridge the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Spending money to promote a candidate or idea has long been held as the exercise of those freedoms. There is one way in the USA to make such laws constitutional. Change the constitution. I don’t think changing the 1st Amendment to read “Congress shall have the authority to limit how much individuals may spend expressing their ideas, especially concerning political candidates, and may create laws to act as “gatekeepers” to the press determining who can and can’t publish the news and what news is suitable for the public, and what government actions are “newsworthy” is going to fly. That is exactly how statists want to treat individuals from poor basement bloggers to wealthy eccentrics, they don’t want the individual to have the ability nor right to actually effect politics.

The constitution was written uniquely not to grant privileges to the people, but to curb and limit the powers of government. The reasoning was clear and is as viable today as 2 centuries ago; limiting government insures liberty and freedom for individuals, dividing power in government helps reduce the corruption that power inevitably brings.

The solution is take away power from centralized government so that even if a politician is bought off they won’t have the power to hurt us. Corruption in government is not the result of individuals having too much freedom, but government having too much power.

Secret to Being Health and Happy: Eat Meat

Another Study Confirms what casual observation has noted for decades; Vegans are nuts. Vegitarian Diet is not healthier.

Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study

The study concludes that "adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Culture Worth Protecting

By Tom Rhodes, 4/1/2014

Yesterday in “Ugly History” I asked “Why not compare the size scope and power of centralized government with income inequality here in the USA and abroad?” The answer is clear, the less centralized power the less income inequality and better overall standard of living for more people. History is also clear that less central authority is not the norm, in fact power being concentrated in a few or even one person is the norm. The bigger question would be, what is different about the USA that resulted in a disproportionately powerful country with a relatively high standard of living for just about everybody.

The answer is culture; specifically Modern Western Culture. No not all cultures should be valued or accepted as equal, Modern Western Civilization as a culture is in fact superior to other cultures. Starting in ancient Greece, then the Roman Empire, to the British Empire and culminating in the United States. Western culture has not only been more successful any other culture but superior to 90% of all other cultures. If you emptied the USA of its people and put the people of other cultures, say Venezuela, or Iran, or Pakistan, or any population of a Sub Saharan African nation in the USA it would soon become the backwater third world cesspool, resembling that nation. Western Civilization emphasizes innovation, capitalism, science, technology, Christianity, freedom, individual rights, and individualism.

The biggest aspect of Western Civilization that made the USA greater than even the European nations it originated is our abandonment of aristocracy with the assumption that all individual are sovereign. The USA is a Merit-Based society where even a black man whose foreign father from a third world nation can rise to President. Your tribe, caste, heritage, etc. are meaningless. Consider Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, of yesteryear or Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg of today; you probably can’t name their parents, what school they went to, or (other than European) their heritage, because it isn’t important. What is important is how they made life better for their fellow members of society and were justly rewarded by society voluntarily buying the products and services they provide. By and large the USA is a merit-based society, or at least was. Our culture is changing, we now have our mini-aristocrats like the Kennedy or Bush families. As we move to centralized authority, protect the established from competition, and punish success, the more stratified, stagnant and aristocratic we become as a culture.

Unlike Rome and Britian the USA has not used is awesome power to conquer the rest of the world. Well for a large part of our history we didn’t, but today we “nation build” and take other aristocratic actions thinking we know better how people should live than they do themselves. The reason the USA doesn’t just go and take and conquer other nations (which we could) is fairly fundamental. It is the root of our greatness. We believe in individual sovereignty. We distrust to our very core government and central authority. Nothing is more fundamentally American that a deep seated mistrust of government. Our Forefathers so distrusted a strong central government that when creating a new government it divided it’s powers, and severely limited the powers central government could have.

The fact is that the bigger and more powerful the government becomes, the smaller, weaker and poorer the people become. We used to be fanatical about small, decentralized government. Remember the old cliché “Don’t make a federal case about it”? that cliché is all but gone from modern speech, as the rationale for it no longer makes sense. As we move further away from the principle of limited government, we move in to the expected economic stagnation, militarized police state, massive debt, and tyranny from our government. The idea that the government can dictate what products or services you must, by law, be required to purchase, is so un-American that now implemented, it is tearing our country apart.

We quit protecting our culture, and have allowed failed cultures that grant totalitarian authority to some religious leaders, or autocrat, or oligarchy to infest ours. By granting non-western cultures equal status as our modern Western Culture we are seeding the demise of our culture to demonstrably inferior cultures with centralize authority to dictate how people live. No other culture grants any individual the right to rise to historic levels of wealth and power based on his own merit alone. Of course such a culture is inherently risky, it also allows individuals to fail, even to the point of impoverishment. There is no freedom from privation, starvation, and negative consequences of poor life decisions when you have the liberty to succeed beyond your wildest dreams. As we allow those who value security, safety, and surety of knowing they won’t suffer if they fail to provide for themselves, to garner more voice in how we are governed, we lose the very culture that created an obesity epidemic in our poor. Name another culture where the poor suffer from obesity rather than starvation.

From the great abundance that our culture has produced has also come the most generous people the world ever saw. Earthquake, tsunami, flood, or whatever disaster nature or man may cause anywhere in the world, and the private charity and generosity of the people of the USA will literally flood the victims with food, water, money, and people to help. No other culture produces people so willing to materially sacrifice for their fellow man. This spirit of charity comes from the Christian roots of our culture. The people of no Islamic culture are so generous, nor are the people of a pagan culture so generous, nor are the people of an atheistic culture so generous. Whether an American is a Christian or not, Modern Western Culture is deeply rooted in Christianity. The basis of Christianity is free will, individual choice; the belief that you have a choice to be a Christian and receive all the benefits or reject Christ and suffer the consequences. Modern Western Culture is based on that idea, liberty and libertarian thought are rooted in biblical truth.

The questions are why and what is different about the USA. The answer was the Culture. We must return our culture to the values that made the USA the greatest nation the world ever saw. If we don’t it will turn into another third world tyrannical cesspool where might makes right and rights are granted to some not guaranteed to all. It’s April Fool’s Day, the joke is on us, only fools believes that you can accept massive numbers of people into your country that don’t share your culture and expect to keep and maintain your culture.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ugly Moment in History

By Tom Rhodes, 3/31/2014

Last Week noted socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said we’re living in an “ugly moment in American history” because of income inequality in the country. He went on to lament, “We have right now in real terms almost 13 percent of our people are unemployed.” He also noted “the rich are doing phenomenally well and corporations are enjoying record-breaking profits.” His solution is to increase welfare, and government.

Why not compare the size scope and power of centralized government with income inequality here in the USA and abroad?

Why not compare education quality with central control (government control) versus less centralized authority to less centralized control?

The answers are clear, the more control is concentrated and centralized, the more inequality in income we have. And if you compare the standardized test scores of government schools to charter schools to private schools to home schools we see the further from centralized command and control you get the better the education results.

Rationally, returning to less central control and authority would result in less income inequality and better education. The reason this is not discussed or an option is that results in less power for the few over the many, they want the power.

We clearly see that as the USA loses positions on the economic liberty scale we also lose positions on the standard of living scale. The solution is risky, some will fail, but less government has and will result in more for the common people.

The solution to lobbyists buying off elected officials, isn't more laws against lobbyists, it's taking away the power of elected officials so whether they are bought off or not, doesn't make a difference.

When we look at ugly moments in history, from ancient Rome to the Dark ages to the mass murder and starvation of Communism in the 20th Century, to Fascism and ethnic cleansing, what we see is that the more centralized command and control of a population the more we see corruption and oppression. We are repeating ugly history.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s Only Logical

By Tom Rhodes, 3/18/2014

You may or may not have noticed, but a disproportionate number of Libertarian party are professional computer nerds. The reason is simple, programmers and the like steep themselves in logic all day every day. They clearly see failure and erroneous outcome when bad logic is implemented. Programs fail and they have to spend three times the time debugging bad logic, the get it; doing it right the first time is easier, and undoing the poor logic another programmer is even harder. Looking at history, observing society, and being logical, the proof is obvious. Liberty, the protection of individuals rights, the rule of law, and equality under the law, provide the best standard of living for more of society than any other system. Hence programmers, computer geeks, disproportionately move to the Libertarian party.

Super eggheads like Bill Gates live libertarian values but talk like liberals. That’s because they are smart enough to know that not everybody can look at something logically and that when it comes to winning a confrontation, logic is at the bottom of the list of effective tools. So using superior logic they abandon libertarian “talk” and implement the other two more effective tools in coming out on top in a confrontation.

Those other two tools, violence and emotion. In any confrontation of any type, the side willing to use violence, and having the ability to use violence wins. PERIOD!!! Weather morally right or not, effective use of violence wins any confrontation, and the side with superior firepower and proven willingness to use it wins. Say 4 people meet and one tells all the others to give him their wallets. They refuse, he pulls out a gun shoots one and takes his wallet, then tells the others to give him their wallets. Having seen a clear demonstration of superior firepower and the willingness to use it, they quickly give up their wallets.

After violence the next most effective is emotion, we see politicians crumble all the time doing stuff that has proven to be bad and ineffective, because the emotional angst is stronger than the logic. Look at the government program “Head Start.” It has been repeatedly proven to be very expensive and have ZERO long term benefits. But when face with the emotional argument that cutting funding to head start would be cruel to poor children, and who would deny poor children a “head start” in education, politicians crumble. The emotional appeal wins over the logical facts.

Liberals have seen that emotional appeal and emotional attacks win over logic. Thus it is virtually impossible to have a rational discussion with a liberal. While you offer logical points to support your position, the liberal is offering some new way to convince others that you’re an evil monster who wants to deprive poor children of food, or hate women, or your racist. It doesn’t matter if they have an logical reasoning to support their emotional claims, they pull at heart strings. If it “feels” right the willfully embrace stupidity and deny facts. This is how liberals work, they feel good about positions that are emotionally satisfying regardless of how many people such a position hurts. Liberals have emotionally blinded themselves to believe that their ideas are well-crafted and intellectual, regardless of the facts.

The reason ultra-logical libertarian arguments don’t work is because we like liberals ignore human behavior. The LP is associated with anarchy. We have permitted esoteric discussion and anarchist ideology to permeate the LP. Thus our image is of anarchists. The fact is we should have embraced and promoted the idea that government is a necessary evil.

No amount wanting a “voluntary” society is going to change the simple fact that there has to be somebody willing to use force to protect the rights of those who can’t protect themselves. The reality is that a society based solely on voluntarism cannot work, because there is always going to be the amoral bastard who is willing to use violence to take what he wants, and they only way to stop such a person is with superior firepower. We established a government to have that superior firepower, tasked with protecting the life, liberty, and property, of everybody equally. That superior firepower has a cost, it is paid for with taxes. When the LP says “taxation = theft” what it is saying is a very emotional and loud declaration that we want a lawless society. People KNOW that “we all can’t just get along” and that some force must instill lawful behavior and protect the week. Government is a NECESSARY evil.

Look at the emotional attacks against the city who refused to put out the fire of a home that didn’t pay for fire protection. The headline read “ Firefighters let home burn over $75 fee -- again” The liberals and news media were aghast at the idea that a fully capable fire department while on site to protect a neighbor’s home would not lift a finger to protect the home of those who didn’t pay the fire district fee, a mere $75/yr. This is an example of how libertarian ideas in practice look. You can choose or not choose to pay a fee. With liberty is risk, not choosing to pay the fire district fee means you don’t get the benefit of a fire department. Seeing a family’s home burn to the ground and knowing they lost everything they own, when it could have been salvaged has such an emotional impact that the logical libertarian lesson in making wise life choices is lost.

The liberty to have a choice and keep your money or pay for fire protection is lost. The logical libertarian is instead a cold calloused uncaring heartless money grubber. Rather than feel and or see the emotional suffering because people choose to exercise freedom, in this case the liberty to pay a fire district fee or not, the emotional argument wins, liberty loses, and everybody should be forced to pay a tax, not fee for service. The liberals emotional wellbeing is more important than individuals liberty to choose to pay for a service or not.

Logic and reason are not going to win the emotional battle. The strong application of logic and reason lead to being productive. The politically incorrect fact is that the LP is overwhelming comprised of rational men and dreamy utopian anarchists. The emotional pleas of teary eyed single mothers and children win out over productive men all day long and utopian dreamers every time. Illogical emotions are leading to the use of force to make everybody comply in order to reinforce emotional satisfaction. The moral decay of our society is making it very clear that our ideas will not be refuted logically and we will not be treated with the respect we attempt to treat others. Our cool logical, rational arguments, or pie in the sky anarchist utopian ideas fall on deaf ears.

As libertarians to be successful we need to jettison our anarchist image. That means treating anarchists in the party the same way we treat liberals. We need quit being logical and rational, and appeal to the emotions of Americans. We need to play the emotion game better and harder than they do. Start with pulling at the heartstrings using examples and stories of people who die, suffer, are hurt by oppressive government. Attacking Obamacare with examples of people who were doing well but now dead because the death panels denied them service, etc. Lots of images and stories of Storm Troopers abusing innocent people, etc. Emotionally attack limousine liberals as hard as we can.

Arguing with liberals is like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board and strut around like it's victorious. There is a way to beat pigeons - Roast Squab with Bacon and Grapes Recipe. We have the logical and rational arguments, they don’t work. We must gain both the moral and emotional high ground. Suggestions?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Real Rationale to Zero Tolerance

By Tom Rhodes, 3/5/2014

By now you’ve read a zillion stories about the absurdity of zero tolerance enforcement in our schools. Kids being suspended for pop-tart eaten into gun shapes, kids suspended or expelled for accidentally bringing a squirt gun to school, kids being suspended or expelled for Nerf guns, kids suspended or expelled for shooting a completely imaginary ‘bow and arrow’, and so forth. The latest is a boy suspended for 3 days for using his finger as an imaginary gun.

Bill Bush of The Columbus Dispatch wrote about the latest idiocy on March 4, 2014 in an article titled “Boy points finger like gun, gets suspended.” If you’ve read about any of the many other idiotic extremes in “zero tolerance” so you know the story. The quote from the principle gives us a hint about the true reason for statist zero tolerance rules in school. “The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” Warner said. “It’s just been escalating.” Warnings included three newsletters sent home with kids, he said. More interesting and illuminating is reading the comments. It gives away the real reasoning behind Zero Tolerance rules and these absurd punishments for innocent behavior.

The reason for both an baseless rule and excessive punishment for violating the baseless rule is simple and Machiavellian. Think about the absurdity of suspending a 10 yr old boy for 3 days on a “weapons violation” for pointing his finger and saying “bang!” The purpose has nothing to do with “guns” it has everything to do with conditioning people to obey “laws” regardless of how absurd the law is or expect draconian disproportionate punishment. The idea being that you a mere individual has cannot conceive of how important any law is and must be indoctrinated to accept without question all rules/laws/dictates and obey or be made an example to others.

Guns are scary to liberals, so they use the fear of real guns to justify idiotic baseless rules that can be used to train kids to be obedient to the state. The idea that parents should take the time to stress to their kids how important it is to obey the state regardless of what rule the state creates. The boy, Nathan, when asked about his suspension said, “I was thinking it was dumb.” A 10 yr old knows that pretending his finger is a gun in a playground game isn’t going to hurt anybody and is not dangerous. The reality is that the state has sent out warnings and newsletters and repeated threats go garner compliance with a rule pretending to use a tool that is constitutionally protected. Now it has made good on the threat and without due process the boy has been suspended.

State Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, proposed legislation that would overturn a 1998 state law requiring schools to adopt zero-tolerance policies. Oh they will have hearings and make like they are considering it but it will never be allowed to get voted on, much less pass. It goes against the strength and supremacy of the state. What zero tolerance and it’s abusive implementation does does is teach children that the state can create any rules it wants no matter how absurd, and punish you for totally innocent behavior which harms nobody, and that no rationally authority, like your parents, can do anything to protect you from the arbitrary punishment of the state.


“The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” and then saw or suffered real disproportionate consequences; this is conditioning. That way in the future when the state says “quit criticizing the state or there will be consequences” or some other clearly irrational and unconstitutional “rule”, those same kids will obey rather than suffer the consequences.

What’s happened in Connecticut, where a couple hundred thousand people simply ignored the dictates of the state to register their arms, is the problem. The idea that common people would simply ignore the state is what the state is trying to address through zero tolerance in schools. Train children that no matter what, non-compliance is worse than suffering tyranny. Common Core, is part of that, common indoctrination of state supremacy is the goal. Zero Tolerance for obviously innocent behavior is not designed because the state is afraid of a pop tart eaten into the shape of a gun, it’s there as a tool to indoctrinate obedience to the state.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Green Energy Scam in DC

By Tom Rhodes, 3/4/2014

In another “Who’d a thunk???” moment we learn that when politician in the most corrupt city in America, Washington D.C., start talking Green this, Green that, Certified Green Technology, and enforcing “standards”, it’s all a scam. Consider research by Environmental Policy Alliance, the free-market group analyzed the first round of energy usage data released by the city of Washington D. C. Friday and found that large, privately-owned buildings that received the green energy certification Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) use more energy than buildings that didn’t receive this green stamp of approval. (LINK).

The brainchild of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a private environmental group, created Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) certification for new buildings. It figures that Washington D.C. is the first city to require LEED certification for new buildings, and that the actual results show that new buildings with LEED certification for being green actually use more power than non-LEED certified buildings.

When the Green Building Council’s Washington headquarters which has the group’s top green-energy accolade, the platinum LEED certification, uses 18% more energy than the average non certified building in Washington, you can pretty much know that LEED is a designed as a front for payola and not any actual improvements to energy use.

The fact is that for profit businesses have a huge incentive to build cost effective buildings that use less energy. It adds to the bottom line. If your office complex is run for less dollars than your competitors, you make more money; it’s not like using more energy than necessary is a business goal. TCO, Total Cost of Ownership, is the driving factor for building energy efficient buildings. You give payola, I mean “incentives” to make a building meet certain “standards” whether the work or not, those incentives will lower the TCO and businesses will pay to certify their building is green. Actually being more efficient isn’t as important as the dollars.

All you need to know about Washington D.C.’s Department of Environment’s “green stamp of approval” called LEED is the simple fact that the city has collected $5.2 million in permit fees from the program since 2010. That “green” is a not so hidden reference to more money for the government; money it uses to reward cronies who offer up payment for their “green stamp of approval.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ivy League view of Freedom

By Tom Rhodes, 2/25/2014

If you read or hear about any ideas from Ivy League school, like Harvard, or any graduate from those schools you should consider such ideas as intellectually dishonest, and devoid of thought, but most certainly doubt them. The demonstration of how current Ivy League students and professors think is summed up in the writings of Sandra Korn, a Harvard senior, and columnist at the Harvard Crimson. She writes and boldly proclaims that dissenting opinions should be banned. That’s right she believes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are an impediment to justice.

She out right says that Harvard should not put up with research if the results don’t support her goals. Truth be damned. She concluded her ‘If you don’t agree with me Shut Up!’ diatribe with “I would encourage student and worker organizers to… use a framework of justice. After all, if we give up our obsessive reliance on the doctrine of academic freedom, we can consider more thoughtfully what is just.”

So we are supposed to give up Academic Freedom; an interesting but misguided position. First let’s consider what Academic Freedom is:

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008, Academic Freedom is the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions.

According to The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Academic Freedom is The right of teachers and students to express their ideas in the classroom or in writing, free from political, religious, or institutional restrictions, even if these ideas are unpopular.

Basically Academic Freedom is freedom of speech and thought for both teachers and students. The principle is that the government or other institutions don’t have the power nor authority to control what information teachers and students share nor what conclusions they make from what they learn. So Harvard Crimson approved and published an article that says we can consider what is just only if; we give up on freedom of speech, silence ideas that are not politically correct, censor research that doesn’t deliver the politically correct results, and not allow students to reach conclusions that are not politically correct can? WTF?

If that’s the kind of thinking that results from an education at Harvard and other Ivy League schools, then all I can say is forget an Ivy League education, it is worthless. That the Harvard Crimson would even consider publishing such totalitarian ideas promoting censorship shows the counsel of Harvard Professors on the same level as the publishers and editors of Mad Magazine (my apologies to Mad Magazine, at least it knows it’s satire, foolishness, and humor). Harvard’s vision taught to its student’s as expressed in the student paper the Harvard Crimson, is a vision that forbids research and discussion and ideas that whomever is in charge find objectionable is the same vision totalitarians have had and instituted throughout history.

The concept is that any ideas or philosophies that Sandra Korn doesn’t like are inherently immoral, unworthy, and don’t deserve to expressed, and those who hold philosophies or ideas she doesn’t approve don’t deserve the same freedom that allows her to publish such twaddle. She must have zero faith in what she believes because she will not tolerate having to compare her ideas to others. She must have a very shallow idea on what justice means, if she cannot “consider more thoughtfully what is just” when ideas she doesn’t approve of are rationally included in the discussion.

Besides ignoring the First Amendment to The Constitution all she is asking us to do is to disavow Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

All I can say is if you’re a parent considering sending your child to an Ivy League School, Don’t. It’s hard to believe that after 12 years of schooling in the USA, and 4 years at Harvard, a person could consider and promote the idea that censorship is a valid path to justice.

To Sandra Korn, all I say “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” But make no mistake, Ms. Korn, you better be willing to fight to the death to force us to give up “our obsessive reliance on the doctrine academic freedom.” Or do you propose to send others to fight to the death in your stead? We will not give up our “obsessive reliance” on freedom, you and your ilk will have to take it, and that you can’t do. In order to take our “obsessive reliance” on the doctrine of freedom, including academic freedom, you’re going to have to kill us. Is that what you call just?