Saturday, January 18, 2014

What are we teaching our children?

I’d like to think children get a goodly portion of their education at home, parents giving the next generation the basics; right and wrong, the Ten Commandments, our relationship with God the Eternal Father in whose image we were created and social skills such as how to get along with others… with the public schools helping to reinforce that foundation with reading, writing and arithmetic skills.  With an opening statement like that it’s possible I’m living in a padded cell; but they let me out on warm spring days to enjoy the flowers.

We send our children off to public schools each morning; but what are they being taught? 

Are they being taught about America’s exceptionalism, the Creator’s hand in establishing our founding documents and Providence’s role during the Revolutionary War, a war in which a bunch of farmers and shop keepers banded together to beat the most powerful military force in the world?  I hardly think so from what I’ve seen lately.

There’s an article by Rachel Alexander, Common Core Curriculum: A Look Behind the Curtain of Hidden Language, which raises more than a little concern regarding the intent of such a nation wide approach to education.

“Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Cause. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by states and voluntarily adopted by them.  She writes in the Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation.  There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core.  Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.”  Instead, Common Core is being driven by policy makers in D.C.”

“The curriculum replaces the classics with government propaganda.  According to the American Principles Project, “They de-emphasis the study of classic literature in favor of reading so called ‘informational texts’, such as government documents, court opinions and technical manuals.”  Over half the reading materials in grades 6-12 are to consist of informational texts rather than classical literature.  Historical texts like the Gettysburg Address are to be presented to students without context or explanation.”  

My grandson was given a glimpse of Common Core teaching last year; probably one of the many reasons he is now being Home Schooled.  He came over after attending public school and we, as grandparents, asked him what he learned that day. 

He’d watched a video shown on Presidents Day to all 6th grade children, a production by the National Geographic Society, The Real George Washington.  We decided to watch the video in order to find out what was in it, have something to talk about with our grandson.  I wrote about what I’d seen last February here; but I’ll share one paragraph now.

After only a few minutes of the video the important biographical facts about George Washington were that he was a power hungry young man who lacked military skills and was extremely lucky to have advanced in rank.  He made terrible tactical decisions but because he was so lucky he survived to fight another day.

We then took the time explaining to our grandson that when we were his age George Washington was portrayed ‘somewhat differently’ at school; a modest way of saying that the rest of the afternoon would be spent ‘filling in the blanks’ and giving him a wider perspective. 

I wonder how many parents and/or grandparents take time to review what is being taught to their children while away from them.

As I sit here typing away one of my younger grandchildren, London, is enjoying the music of Rachmoninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in the next room.  London’s only 7 months old and has wonderful sounds to enjoy, music which will have a direct impact on how she perceives her world.  She could be watching or listening to almost anything; but is this important? 

Many years ago when our oldest daughter, Bonnie, was in Kindergarten her teacher put on a record for the children to listen to.  After a little while the teacher asked, “Does anyone know what that is?”, looking for answers like, “a record player” or “music”.   Bonnie raised her hand and responded confidently, “That’s Rachmoninov”.  She’d gotten it right; but it had astounded her teacher.  Many of her classmates apparently didn’t get much in the way of a classical music background at home.

That said, it’s a pretty good bet a large percentage of children don’t get basic teachings at home.  I often wonder how many of them really know right from wrong. 

They’re probably not given much in the way of American exceptionalism while sitting down at dinner as the family exchanges thoughts during evening conversation.  It’s not likely they’re receiving lessons which explain divine inspiration given our founding fathers during the formation of our nation and our accountability to God, at least not in a public school. 

Our public schools have been taken over by a national propaganda campaign that indoctrinates children from pre-school age on through college to reject family values, self reliance, self discipline and our accountability to God in favor of an all encompassing socialist state which provides for our every need and entitlement.  

What we are teaching our children at home is important.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Warrantless Searches and Homeland Security

Take a look at a map created by the ACLU showing their interpretation of Homeland Security’s “Constitution Free Zone”.  Now throw that map away because the courts are prepared to expand the border zones to cover any location in these United States.

A little background information might be helpful.

In April of 2011 David Kravets wrote an article, Appeals Court Strengthens Warrantless Searches at Border.  A known pervert had all his electronic gear seized by ICE agents wherein they discovered child pornography and gained a conviction in criminal court, a conviction which was appealed and overturned.

“At issue in the case decided Wednesday was the prosecution of a California man on child pornography charges. In 2007, ICE agents seized three laptops and a camera from convicted child molester Howard Cotterman, and transported them 170 miles away for a two-day search that uncovered hundreds of child porn images.”

I have no liking for perverts who destroy the lives of children by exploiting them and it’s a shame to have to let this particular deviant go; but the rules of evidence apply to everyone, including degenerates who molest and photograph children. 

Apparently the majority of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals doesn’t agree with the rule of law or the 4th Amendment.

“We find this position simply untenable,” 9th Circuit Judge Richard Tallman wrote for the majority, reinstating the evidence. Limiting searches “would only reward those individuals who, either because of the nature of their contraband or the sophistication of their criminal enterprise, hide their contraband more cleverly or would be inclined to seek entry at more vulnerable points less equipped to discover them.” (emphasis added)

You may recall how travel within these United States changed dramatically after the attacks on 9-11.  Air travel was actually suspended for a time while government officials came up with a way to address the issue.  Immediately airports were turned into check point stations which required travelers to produce picture identification, a boarding pass and unwarranted random searches as a means of restricting terrorists from using airplanes as bombs. 

Americans grumbled at the inconveniences imposed by TSA; but permitted the bodily intrusions as a trade off, individual God given liberties in exchange for safety.  In actuality these check points have yet to stop any terrorists; but folks believe their government is trying.

History records Benjamin Franklin’s warning, “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”. (Some historians have attributed this quote to Thomas Jefferson as well; but as Hillary Clinton has reminded us, “What difference does it make!”)

We’d already lost over three thousand lives when two jet passenger planes took out the World Trade Center, another crashed into the Pentagon while yet one more headed for Washington D.C. crashed into an empty field when valiant passengers took on the terrorists rather than permit them to complete their assigned target of the White House..., or was it the Capitol Building.  (I keep hearing that voice in my head, Hillary Clinton shrieking, “What difference does it make!”)

Okay, most folks would agree some kind of security measures are needed; but how far is too far? 

There’s a more current news item regarding Homeland Security ignoring the 4th Amendment as Julian Hattem’s article records how government agents methodically go about randomly searching electronic devices of anyone within reach; you’ll observe these searches are no longer limited to the confines of an airport.  (See ACLU map once more) 

You only need to be within a hundred miles of any U.S. border to be considered a national threat, which I can testify of personally.

“A federal court has tossed out a lawsuit trying to prevent the government from searching laptops, cellphones and other devices at U.S. border checkpoints.”

Interestingly the ACLU took up the fight; but lost their case, at least at this particular level of appeals.

“According to government documents, officials at the border search and copy the contents of thousands of people’s devices each year. Border agents are allowed to look into the devices and detain them for a short period of time without a reasonable suspicion that the traveler has committed a crime.”  (emphasis added)

The ACLU responded appropriately.  (Unfortunately the ACLU is as much a threat to the standards of America since their sole purpose is to undermine and destroy the foundations upon which our nation was founded.)

“Unfortunately, these searches are part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on too many innocent people, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.”

The 4th Amendment was put in place for a reason, to prevent our government from conducting unwarranted searches and seizures.  It didn’t include exceptions for the state to get around obtaining warrants, warrants which are based on probable cause and it certainly didn’t define an extended border area wherein constitutional protections were not recognized; exceptions have been added, by our courts acting as representatives of our government, over the years which basically nullify the intended restrictions placed on government.  The inmates are running the asylum!

Judge Tallman and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has given us insight as to the lengths and measures our government may operate in order to obtain convictions. 

“Limiting searches “would only reward those individuals who, either because of the nature of their contraband or the sophistication of their criminal enterprise, hide their contraband more cleverly or would be inclined to seek entry at more vulnerable points less equipped to discover them.” (emphasis added)

What about smaller airports located well within the borders?  Add to that train stations, bus depots, cruise ships or even river boats where criminals often are found; are we to simply accept that officers of our government may indiscriminately stop and search individuals without warrant or probable cause?   If this ruling stands the 4th Amendment has been abolished.  Our founders fought a war over things like this.

I’ll use Judge Richard Tallman’s line, remember, he wants to make sure any and all criminals are within the grasp law enforcement regardless of the rule of law

“We (as in We The People) find this position simply untenable”.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.