ANSWERING FOLLY: PUBLIC EDUCATION

The “Right” To An Education?

Supposedly, we have the right to an education.

The right to education is a universal entitlement to education, recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as ahuman right that includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education. (continued here)

If education is a right, what is this “right”? The legalistic definition (see Right to education) will probably leave the average person more confused than informed. Is the “right” to an education the right to go to a school? No. A school is just a building. Hence, Wikipedia provides this definition of education.

Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, or research. Education may also include informal transmission of such information from one human being to another. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but learners may also educate themselves (autodidactic learning). Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. (continued here)

When we are properly educated, what is it that we learn? Don’t we each have our own opinion? That is one reason that insisting we have a “right” to an education is idiotic. What exactly is this “right”? Ask ten different people, and we will get ten differing views.

What is the other reason the “right” to an education is idiotic? If the government is suppose to give us this “right,” how is the government suppose to give us this “right” without first depriving someone else of their property rights?  We are the government. We can give this “right” to ourselves. Why involve the government? What does our government have to give us that it does not first have to take from us?slavery

In fact, government constitutes the greatest threat to our right to an education. Ironically, even those who advocate big government (in their quest to stir up racial strife) provide evidence of this. For example, to keep black slaves ignorant and dependent, the legislatures in Virginia and South Carolina pass Acts against the education of slaves.

What Is The Ultimate Point Of An Education?

What is the traditional notion of an elite education? That’s an education in the Liberal Arts. Hence, we have several references that describe what that means.

Unfortunately, with the passage of time, what we call a Liberal arts education has become more and more secular. Secular instructors teach their students what to think about this life, but they give no thought to the next. Secularized institutions define success in material terms. Secularized people don’t take the time to contemplate that the treasures we store here will remain here.

Matthew 6:19-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Hence too many of us no longer learn that until we know how to lay up treasures in heaven, we know too little of what is worth knowing.

Why Do Politicians Pander To Us?

Why do politicians pander to us? Why do they try to flatter us with their words and their “gifts”? Do they intend any good for us? No.

Proverbs 29:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

A man who flatters his neighbor
    spreads a net for his feet.

What happens when we believe flattery? We can gulled into believing and doing stupid things. That is the point of a child’s fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The Emperor so much wanted to believe in himself that he allowed two weavers to fool him. They tricked him into believing that they could weave clothes that were invisible to anyone who was unfit for their office. Therefore, when the emperor could not see or even touch the clothes the two scoundrels pretended to weave, he pretended that he could, and, except for a child, all his people followed his lead.

What follows are some real world examples of political pandering and flattery.

Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare make up the biggest expenses in the Federal Budget. Supposedly, by paying Social Security and Medicare taxes we each set aside part of our paycheck for retirement.  Then when we get old, we expect politicians to take care of us because we deserve it.

What is the reality? Politicians spend all the money we pay in taxes. The Social Security Trust Fund is a fraud. So it is, using the excuse that “we deserve it,” successive generations have already ripped off their children and grandchildren.

Racial And Minority Preferences

What is slavery? Slavery is what results when we flatter ourselves into believing we are better than someone else. Slavery is what happens when one group of people believes they are better than another group of people. When they have the power to put their inferiors into subjection, “superiority” gives “superior” people an excuse to make subject people their slaves.

Do we still have groups who flatter themselves as being superior? Yes, and we also have something twisted. We have victim classes who use their victim status to justify themselves as being more deserving. Hence, our society now wars against white males. Because some white males once abused blacks, women, religious minorities, Indians, the disabled, and so forth, politicians (most of whom are white males) now self righteously design laws to prevent and punish “discrimination” of all sorts.  In fact, using the evil of “discrimination” as an excuse, they interfere in the conduct of private businesses and work assiduously to give special interests (blacks, feminists, Muslims, and so forth) special advantages with respect to laudatory propaganda, government programs, and the market place.  The politically correct phrase for this is affirmative action. What affirmative action means in practice is making certain that justice is not blind.

Homosexual Rights and Same-Sex Marriage

The homosexual rights movement is probably the most absurd of the minority rights movements. Consider the phrase “Gay Pride.” Stick that in Google and you will get almost ten million hits.

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. (continued here)

Homosexual rights activists stridently demand the silence of any who would condemn their behavior, and they openly demand the flattery of “straights.” In fact, in a clear effort to violate the First Amendment, Obama wants to ban conversion therapy for minors (The Washington Post approves, of course => Obama’s move to ban gay conversion therapy, explained), but who is trying to outlaw surgically  transgendering children (Sex-change treatment for kids on the rise)?

When will we stop to think? Is it the job of government — of our leaders — to make people feel good about themselves? Is government suppose to make some people violate their religious beliefs just so other people can sin and still feel good about themselves?

You say homosexuality is not a sin?  Then why do homosexuals care so much about what others think of their behavior? Is it not because they don’t want to be reminded that what they are doing is a sin?

Global Warming

Science is suppose to represent the apex of man’s ability to reason. In practice, science is many other things.

  • With many degrees, a man can make himself appear highly intelligent and capable. If he is foolish enough, he can believe he has all the answers.
  • The less knowledgeable can worship science and scientists as the font of knowledge. If an “expert” says it, it must be true.
  • Those more humble may regard science as act of worship. For these science is the study of God’s Creation. By studying what our Maker has created, we can strive to appreciate His infinite majesty and wisdom.

Is Global Warming real? Are we experiencing Climate Change? In THE CARBON CYCLE AND LeChatelier’s Principle, we considered the matter, and the debate over Global Warming looks a lot like the debate over homosexual rights. If we don’t agree that Global Warming or Climate Change is real, we get called names. That’s scientific reasoning?

The Covenants

We have the Constitution.  That document represents the covenant we have made with each other. We have the Bible. That book represents the covenant God has made with us.

Daniel 11:32-35 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.

Have we arrived at the end times? Are we living in those grim days? Has the anti-Christ arrived? No, but John said (1 John 1:18-27) we already have anti-Christs among us. In any event, we have no shortage of people willing to pander to our lusts and flatter our egos. We have men and women all too eager to induce us to violate both our nation’s Constitution and God’s Holy Bible.

The Lesson From The Last Supper

Before Jesus died upon on cross, He taught His apostles a lesson in humility. He washed each of their feet (John 13:1-20), even the feet of the man He knew was about to betray Him.

Why was such an act of humility necessary? Even at that last supper, after three years with Jesus, the apostles had not learned the need for humility.

Luke 22:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

When we are full of pride, we insist upon seeing what we see from only our own point-of-view. Except to the extent it affect us, we don’t care what others think. We don’t even care about the Truth. Except to get what we want from Him, we have no need for God. We just do whatever it takes to get what we want for our self.

When we lack humility, other people become objects, objects useful only in so far as they satisfy our needs. When we lack humility, we become savages.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan (from here)

What Is The Solution?

If putting politicians in charge of the education of children works, then it works poorly. Is that just because politicians suffer too readily from the temptation to pander to and flatter their constituents? No. However, it is a big part of the problem. With the passage of time and the snowballing degeneration of our society, we now see the proof of that truth coming to fruition. We now have too many people who think “it” is all about what makes them happy.

What is the solution? The solution is love. Because they love their children, parents, those people the Bible charges with the care of children, must reassert their responsibility for the education of their children. Otherwise, with each passing generation our children and our children’s children will grow up learning they have the right to call the Truth whatever they most want the Truth to be.

To find other posts in the ANSWERING FOLLY series, just click on the link.

Posted in Constitution, Culture War, Information Warfare, Philosophy, religion, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

WHAT A DEBATE OVER GLOBAL WARMING!

debateKeith DeHavelle and tildeb are having a raging debate over Global Warming at this post: THE CARBON CYCLE AND LeChatelier’s Principle. Their comments include numerous and informative links. So if you are undecided about Global Warming, their comments are worth reading and their references (links) worth checking out.

Note I don’t consider myself neutral. I think the science is on ‘s side, and  states his position on this hot topic calmly and carefully. On the other hand, at the same time  states his position he condemns what he considers ‘s dishonesty with an almost religious fervor. Such a character assault is, unfortunately, in line with the position that the “fact” of Global Warming is undeniable. Supposedly, the science is settled, and only greedy corporate fat cats — people who want to make money at any cost — are confusing the public.

As ‘s and ‘s back and forth demonstrate, the debate over Global Warming is not over. Hence ‘s and ‘s comments are worth reading, and I thank both men for sharing their knowledge.

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

CHRIS CRAWFORD AND COREY STEWART DEBATE THE BEST POLICIES FOR PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY: UPDATED

What is the update? Here is the video of the debate.

This evening I attended the debate between our current Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Corey Stewart, and his challenger for the Republican nomination, Chris Crawford. Both gentlemen did a credible job.  So the debate proved to be quite interesting.

Potomac Local and the Coles District Civic Association sponsored the debate, and the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge hosted it. Since I had not been in a mosque before, I was curious to see what would be different.

Arrival

The first thing I noticed was the building itself. I had driven by it, and it is different enough Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Centerthat it stands out.  However, since it is a mosque, it had not occurred to me that I would have any reason to enter it.  So I was a bit surprised to find myself going in.

As I expected, everyone is required to take off their shoes first. Actually, we do that in my house too. So I have no trouble with someone who thinks that is appropriate for God’s house.

Preliminaries

I went up to the second floor, where they have what most Christians would call a fellowship hall.  That is the room that was used for the debate. Children from the mosque initiated the program of events.

  • First we had a reading from the Koran, at least I think that is what it was, apparently both in Arab and English.
  • Next we had the presentation of the American flag.
  • Finally, all recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

With the boys dressed as cub scouts and boy scouts, the only thing that seemed unusual was that girls dressed more conservatively (wearing Muslim garb) than would brownies or girl scouts.

The Debate

The Coles District Civic Association is suppose to post a video of the debate, and I recommend viewing it. My guess is that anyone who takes the time to vote in the Firehouse Primary to select the Republican Party’s nominee for the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (scheduled April 25 from 10 AM to 3 PM) will also take the time to watch the video. So what follows are some highlights and observations.

Corey Stewart

What was Corey Stewart’s message?  He wants to sell us on the idea that the county is in good shape and getting better. He says he has focused on three things:

  • Education: With respect to this subject, Stewart said almost nothing. As a practical matter, all the BOCS does is hand over half of its budget to the School Board, and the School Board spends it. So the best he can do is hand over lots of money.
  • Transportation: Stewart repeated much of what he states here on his transportation issue page. All I can say is that I am happy the state, not the county, is paying for most of this road construction.
  • Public Safety: Here Stewart focused primarily on the issue of illegal immigration, and it is hard to fault what Stewart attempted to do. What is wrong with requiring law enforcement to verify the citizenship status of anyone the arrest? What is wrong with turning illegal immigrants to the federal government for deportation? Nothing. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama now has other ideas.

Stewart also discussed two other issues.

  • Attracting commercial businesses to the county: On his issues page, Stewart refers to this subject as Jobs.  Stewart’s problem here is that too many have observed that we have gotten lots new businesses in retail and service sector, but not much else.  To what extent is that Stewart’s fault? Given the Great Recession occurred on his watch, that’s difficult to say.
  • Prosperity: At the same time we had the Great Recession, increased Federal spending led to increased numbers of well paid government workers and contractors in the county. Stewart takes credit for this increase. Is that fair? Has this increase helped our schools? That’s something to think about. Who did Stewart help most? Developers or county residents?

Chris Crawford

Without seeming to be arrogant, Crawford’s problem is to point out Stewart’s legitimate shortcomings and how he can do better. To this end, Crawford focused on:

  • The county’s disappointment with its schools:  Like Stewart, what Crawford said can often be found on his website. With his own children going to schools in Prince William County, Crawford is disappointed with the county’s low SOL scores, the lowest in northern Virginia. Crawford promises to focus funding on schools to reduce class size.
  • Long commutes: Crawford has observed from personal experience (he commutes) that there are relatively few jobs in Prince William County. He referred to an: “Innovation Park that looks like a wheat field.” He promised to attract business by keeping taxes low and striving for good schools. That involves establishing and adhering to budget priorities.

Naturally, Crawford also dealt with other topics.

  • When questioned about his immigration policy, Crawford observed that we need a Republican president. Otherwise, we must deal with the fact that the illegal aliens are now here “legally.” We must help the new arrivals to learn English and to assimilate into our communities.
  • Crawford said that the roads the county is building are being built for development, not for commuters to get to jobs. That is a polite way of saying that Prince William residents are funding development.
  • When Stewart said that Prince William County residents pay the lowest taxes in northern Virginia, Crawford countered that we pay the highest rates, but our homes are worth the least. Property values have not recovered from the Great Recession.
  • When Stewart argued that he is the stronger candidate to help the Republican Party win county-wide, Crawford pointed to our losses during presidential elections.

The Bob FitzSimmonds Controversy

When I saw the venue for the debate, I must admit I raised an eyebrow. Huh? However, the location is in the middle of the county, Muslims have conservative social values, and the candidates had agreed to it. Shrug. Still, I don’t trust the news media. So when the debate moderators (news media) brought up a question about Bob FitzSimmonds’ last controversy, I can’t say I was too surprised. Just disgusted.

On July 29, 2014, Bob FitzSimmonds posted this on his facebook account.

To mark the end of Ramadan, on Sunday, Obama released a statement thanking Muslim Americans “for their many achievements and contributions….to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

It is one thing to be gracious on religous holidays, but this is pure nonsense. Exactly what part of our nation’s fabric was woven by Muslims? What about Sikhs, Animists, and Jainists? Should we be thanking them too?

That was in response to this statement from the White House.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Posted in 2015 Election, Chris Crawford, Culture War, Republican Party, Supervisor Corey Stewart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE CARBON CYCLE AND LeChatelier’s Principle

Here is an incomplete version of the carbon cycle.

What does the video skip over? A type of rock. Limestone. What is limestone?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral calcite. It most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters. It is usually an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation of shell, coral, algal and fecal debris. It can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake or ocean water.http://geology.com/rocks/limestone.shtml

How are carbonate rocks formed?

1. Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by dissolving in water and forming carbonic acid

CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3 (carbonic acid)

2. Carbonic acid is used to weather rocks, yielding bicarbonate ions, other ions, and clays

H2CO3 + H2O + silicate minerals -> HCO3 + cations (Ca++, Fe++, Na+, etc.) + clays

3. Calcium carbonate is precipitated from calcium and bicarbonate ions in seawater by marine organisms like coral

Ca++ + 2HCO3 -> CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O

the carbon is now stored on the seafloor in layers of limestone. (from here)

What is the point? When we listen to the environmentalists, we get the impression that once we burn fossil fuels the CO2 that results is stuck in the atmosphere. That is not true. Natural processes already exist for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. What should concern us is these three problems:

  • How fast can the oceans remove CO2 from the atmosphere? That is, do we have the capacity to upset the earth’s CO2 balance sufficiently to cause harm? To answer that question, we need to consider Le Chatelier’s PrincipleLe Chatelier’s Principle can be stated as follows:

    A change in one of the variables that describe a system at equilibrium produces a shift in the position of the equilibrium that counteracts the effect of this change.

    What does that mean with respect to burning fossil fuels? Because we produce more CO2, the oceans and other carbon sinks (like green plants) absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Because of the role of CO2 in climate, feedbacks in the carbon cycle act to maintain global temperatures within certain bounds so that the climate never gets too hot or too cold to support life on Earth. The process is a large-scale example of LeChatelier’s Principle. This chemical principle states that if a reaction at equilibrium is perturbed by the addition or removal of a product or reactant, the reaction will adjust so as to attempt to bring that chemical species back to its original concentration. For example, as carbonic acid is removed from solution by weathering of rocks, the reaction will adjust by producing more carbonic acid. And since the dissolved CO2 is in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2, more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere to replace that removed from solution by weathering. (from here)

    Thus, the issue is the responsiveness of the processes that maintain the CO2 in the atmosphere at the desired equilibrium. Since we are just beginning to understand those processes, we don’t exactly know how responsive those processes might be. All we can say is that so far the doomsayers are exaggerating.  Burning fossil fuels doesn’t seem to have much effect on the world’s climate.

  • How do we remove the substances from fossil fuels that do form pollutants when burned? Smog is what results when we fail in our efforts to clean up what comes out of a car’s tailpipe. Since coal contains substances like sulfur and mercury, burning it can be problematic. Sulfur forms a highly corrosive acid. Mercury poisoning is called the mad hatter’s disease.
  • What do we use for fuel when fossil fuels become to costly to get out the ground? Currently, we are still finding less expensive ways to extract fossil fuels from the earth. Thus, we are using fossil fuels from sources that at one time would have been considered too expensive to use. Thus, fossil fuels remain inexpensive. Can that situation last forever? No.

How do we decide what we should do? We must remember that we make decisions based upon our understanding of the information available to us. Currently, our government provides most of our educational instruction, and our government also provides most of the information we have with respect to Global Warming. Is that a good situation? Of course not.

There is no such thing as a perfectly objective person. So there is no such thing as a perfectly objective teacher or scientist. Therefore, if we want to make an objective decision, we must consider information from multiple sources, that is, information on the same subject that comes from different people with different biases. We need a marketplace of ideas. Unfortunately, because politicians run both our education system and fund most of the research on Global Warming, when it comes to this subject we do not have a marketplace of ideas. What we have is a government-run monopoly that presents only one point-of-view.

Other References

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , , , , | 107 Comments

REMINDER: CHRIS CRAWFORD AND COREY STEWART DEBATE OVER THE BEST POLICIES FOR PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

campaign.pngWhen?

Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.

First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November. (continued here)

Where?

The debates will be held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The event is co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local. (from here)

Who is Chris Crawford?

Opinion Piece: written by Chris Crawford, Republican Primary Candidate for Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors.  

Another Outrageous Display of Poor Leadership by Mr. Stewart

Last night I was reminded why I am running to replace Corey as Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. At their weekly BOCS meeting Tuesday night, a hot topic during Citizen’s Time was the decision by the school board to designate the Ferlazzo Elementary school as a new building for the Porter School and not a “community school” as originally planned. (continued here)

Come to the debate. Listen to the candidates. Support your candidate. Hear their positions. Find out what they want to do. Let them defend what they have said and done. Take the time to participate of the local governance of the place where you live.

Posted in 2015 Election, candidate support, Chris Crawford, local news, Supervisor Corey Stewart | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment