The Future of Catholic Schools – The Curse of Common Core

Hope all is well on this “Second Saturday of Lent“, as it seems almost surreal that I am still writing about Common Core – the most controversial issue to hit the United States of America since that infamous day of January 22nd, 1973 – when the Catholic Church decided to “take the 5th”, allowing the liberals of this country to pass the Roe v. Wade decision – giving abortionists in this country “open season on babies in the womb”.

Historians and Pro-Life experts will tell you today that “Had the Catholic Church stood up as One Body in Christ as One Strong Voice, back at the end of 1972 – abortion in this country would have never been legalized”. I have heard that a million times…I honestly think that’s where our beloved Pope Francis’ latest famous quote “Whom am I to Judge”? was actually birthed…and, it wasn’t just a blob of tissue.

In tying in Pope Francis’ famous “5” words from my previous article, “Who Am I to Judge“, this same nonchalant attitude seems to have a played a large role in our country 41 years ago. It’s almost as if the liberals and Pro-abortionist of this country challenged our Catholic Church back then and asked them:

“Is the Holy Catholic Church going to fight against the legalization of abortion like it should because of the 6th Commandment, or is the Church just going to roll over and allow this intrinsic evil to rule our land of the Free? Is the Holy Catholic Church just simply going to say: WHO AM I TO JUDGE?

Fifty-six million murdered babies and 41 years later, the United States is still paying a dear price for that infamous decision that the Catholic Church could have said NO to. Today, the Catholic Church is faced with a very familiar scenario, and this one involves, not the unborn – but our beloved children who somehow survived abortion. Our school children – specifically, our Catholic School children. Is history going to repeat itself? Are the liberals, the Pro-Abortion fanatics, the crooked politicians and the self-serving school administrators – along with our ever-controlling government – going to wreak havoc on our nation once again? First, the fiasco of Obamacare…now this.

The “Curse of Common Core”, ladies and gentlemen, is what I am referring to in this article as this socialist disease could be even more detrimental to our country than the legalization of abortion.

I have studied it, read all about it, immersed myself into it, written hundreds of emails about it, written to every single Catholic Bishop in our country about it, met with several of them, met with several superintendents, met with many legislators about it, organized and attended meetings, conference and rallies on it. You name it – I have done it. From the second that I heard that our beloved Catholic schools were planning on implementing this government-controlled set of “unproven” education standards that have literally been sneaked in around the back door to our schools – I became very actively involved. That’s only because I know exactly what happened in Nazi Germany back in the late 1930’s, and I know exactly what happened in our own country back on January 22nd, 1973.

Will history repeat itself?

If President Obama and Jeb Bush have their way, it will. If Bill Gates has his way, it will. If Planned Parenthood has their way, it will. If the United Nations has their way, it will. If Agenda 21 has its way, it will. If Jeb Bush and all of these self-serving politicians who are in it for their own greedy purposes, it will. And, if the Holy Catholic Church does NOT come to her senses and says NO to Common Core – history will repeat itself – and the United States will no longer be the same country that my late, beloved father brought us from Communist Cuba to live in back in 1961. Castro destroyed my beautiful place of birth. Obama is doing the same to this incredible country that I love with all my being…and, like Nero, he is playing us like a fiddle.

“Who am I to Judge?” Is that the way the Holy Catholic Church is going to answer when it comes to implementing this ever-controversial Common Core, which has the entire country up in arms? Why on earth would the Catholic schools even think of following the Public schools when the public schools kicked GOD out of their schools years ago? Is the Catholic Church going to back down from Her Catholic Church teachings & position and cower to Obama and his liberal cronies in order to get their prize? Is it too late to reverse the curse or has the damage already been done? Are they really talking about changing the name of Common Core to another name to hide that controversy – but, still looking to get that funding that originated from “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top”?

The Bottom Line:

Is it all about the “Almighty Dollar” or is it all about the “Almighty Father”? Does not the Holy Bible tell us that “we cannot serve two masters?”

“Who am I to Judge?” It’s time the Catholic Church steps up and says” It is the Catholic Church who is here to judge – and it is not the jury – but, the Almighty Catholic Church – that has decided that we are NOT going to do business with the likes of Common Core – with its face & foundation of the “population control”, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; along with “abortion giant”, Planned Parenthood; Agenda 21; the United Nations; and every single crooked politician who has had their greedy hands in putting this controversial curriculum together. Common Core and all it stands for has no place in our Catholic schools and our beloved children deserve better”.

Being a devout Catholic myself, I can only pray that the Holy Catholic Church comes up with this judgement and finally puts this Common Core controversy to its final resting place somewhere in a beautiful Catholic Cemetery…Queen of Peace, Pray for us.

 

mashup2013THE COMMON CORE must BE THE CATHOLIC FAITH!!

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March 14, 2014

Dear Willy G.,

I need your help to continue our important work on the Common Core!

Concerns about the Common Core come from about as diverse a group of people as you will find anywhere. They include conservatives, liberals, top educators, teachers unions, and, most importantly, parents.

But The Cardinal Newman Society has one particular concern: Promoting and defending faithful Catholic education.

We have been working with experts to address Catholic concerns about the Common Core, partnering with the outstanding experts at the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools, and raising awareness about the flaws in the Common Core standards.

Our position is simple: In Catholic schools, the “common core” should be the Catholic Faith!

Since launching our “Catholic Is Our Core” initiative, we have:

  • co-hosted briefings on concerns about the Common Core for Catholic school superintendents, principals, education experts, and bishops;
  • conducted a poll of Catholic school principals, finding they weren’t broadly consulted and that they have substantial concerns about the Common Core;
  • published a series of “issue bulletins” by national experts on how the Common Core might threaten faithful education;
  • created a comprehensive online library of information on our website;
  • and advocated for strong Catholic identity and academic quality in media interviews about Catholic schools and the Common Core.

Still, many Catholic families and educators aren’t aware of what’s coming rapidly in many Catholic schools. There is so much more to be done!

Will you help us today with a special donation to address concerns about the Common Core and to continue our important work to promote and defend faithful Catholic education?

Whether it’s Common Core, bad theology or just ambivalence about our Catholic Faith, The Cardinal Newman Society will be here to help ensure faithful Catholic education in the years ahead. Our students deserve nothing less!

Thank you for your prayers and most generous support! May God bless you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Patrick J. Reilly
President

EDITORS NOTE: The featured picture is of Roanoke Catholic School in Roanoke, Virginia taken by Patriarca12. This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Ted Cruz: Other than Cigarette Smoking, the Pic is Accurate

First Breitbart and then Time reported earlier today that mysterious photoshopped posters of Ted Cruz, showing the Texas Republican senator shirtless, with edgy tattoos, smoking a cigarette, were plastered around various locations in Los Angeles, like the Beverly Hilton Hotel, late Thursday night.

Time Magazine writes: Of course, Cruz is tattooed in poster form only. Some mischief-maker posted his photoshopped (we think!) image around town ahead of a speaking engagement for the congressmen at Beverly Hills’ Claremont Institute. The event was scheduled for Saturday night.

Likely a prank, the stunt prompted a tongue-and-cheek response from the Senator:

Ted_Cruz_Tweet.jpg

They think it’s prank? How much do we know about Ted Cruz, really? Could it be that this picture is actually a selfie texted from his phone to a mysterious Tea Party knockout, and his official bio is nothing more than a fictionalized alternative reality?

According to our sources, Ted Cruz is actually a twin brother of Chuck Norris, and his powers extend beyond the realm of what can be grasped by mere mortals.

We know for a fact that…

– When Al Gore invented the Internet, his inbox already contained three unread emails from Ted Cruz.

– Ted Cruz has a quadruple citizenship in the U.S., Canada, Middle-earth and Westeros.

– If you superimpose Ted Cruz’s fingerprints, the resulting image will be the Seal of the President of the United States.

– When Ted Cruz got bit by a rattle snake, the snake had to sign up for Obamacare but couldn’t get through the login screen and died after a week of pain and agony in front of the computer.

– Ted Cruz has already won the presidential election in 2016 with a roundhouse kick in the polls; the pollsters just haven’t developed the technology to look that far into the future.

More facts and documentary footage to follow.

Hillary & Bill, Bonnie & Clyde

In its January 24, 2004 edition, the New York Times reported that a Los Angeles private detective, Anthony J. Pellicano, had been sentenced to thirty months in prison for illegal possession of hand grenades, blasting caps, plastic explosives, and two handguns.

Those items were found by F.B.I. agents in a raid on Pellicano’s Los Angeles office in November 2002.  The agents were acting under a search warrant issued in a federal investigation of threats against a Los Angeles Times reporter, Anita Busch, who was working on a series of articles detailing the relationship between a Hollywood celebrity and a reputed mob figure.

According to news reports, Ms. Busch found her car vandalized, a bullet hole in her windshield, a dead fish with a long-stemmed red rose in its mouth on the front seat, and a note saying, simply, “STOP!”  Unfortunately for Pellicano, the F.B.I. produced an audiotape in which an F.B.I. informant was overheard confessing that Pellicano had hired him to silence Ms. Busch.

After serving a 30 month sentence, Pellicano was back in the news again.  In a February 7, 2006 story, the Los Angeles Times reported that, “… one time private investigator Anthony Pellicano and six others were accused Monday of conspiring to wiretap, blackmail, and intimidate dozens of celebrities and business executives…”  Pellicano was found guilty of illegal wiretapping, harassment, identity theft, and racketeering, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Not only was Pellicano an important member of the O.J. Simpson defense team in 1994-95, the Times has identified such high-profile celebrities as Roseanne Barr, Kevin Costner, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, and Elizabeth Taylor as former Pellicano clients.

Of course, the Times couldn’t be expected to list all of Pellicano’s clients.  However, those who were paying attention during the Clinton scandals of the 1990s will remember Anthony J. Pellicano.   His name first came to light during the summer of 1992 when Bill Clinton was a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In a long series of “bimbo eruptions,” disclosures that threatened to derail his presidential

ambitions, it became known that Clinton had enjoyed a twelve-year extramarital affair with a Little Rock woman named Gennifer Flowers.  When Clinton called Flowers a liar and his “bimbo eruption” squad attempted to destroy her reputation and her career, Flowers produced audio tapes in which Clinton was overheard telling her to simply lie about their relationship and that, if they both stuck to their stories, no one would ever be able to prove otherwise.

Shortly thereafter, Clinton’s principal handlers, James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, under the supervision of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, began making public statements alleging that an “expert in audio recording analysis” had concluded that a twelve minute portion of the tapes had been “selectively edited” in two places.  That “expert” was identified as Anthony J. Pellicano.  Flowers then submitted her tapes to an organization called Truth Verification Labs, which found them to be totally authentic.

But Pellicano’s services to the Clintons were apparently just beginning.  As investigative reporters uncovered one former lover after another, the White House “bimbo eruption” squad had their hands full.  In fact, the details of the Anita Busch intimidation in Los Angeles bear an eerie resemblance to a story involving a former beauty queen, Sally Perdue, Miss Arkansas of 1958, one of Clinton’s many sexual dalliances.

Perdue said in a 1994 interview with a London newspaper that she’d been threatened with having both her legs broken if she spoke to reporters or government investigators about her relationship with Bill Clinton.  Subsequent to the threats, her car windshield was broken and a spent shotgun shell was left on her front seat.  Cops and screenwriters might refer to that as a “standard M.O.”  Perdue was so terrified that she relocated, quite suddenly, to the Peoples Republic of China.

Then, early in his presidency, a major supporter and fundraiser from Virginia, Kathleen Willey, went to the Oval Office to ask Clinton for a full-time paid position in his administration.  During that meeting, Clinton assaulted Ms. Willey, sexually, causing her to run from the oval office in a state of panic… her hair disheveled, her makeup smeared, and her clothing in disarray.

Later, as she prepared to testify before special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, Willey was subjected to acts of intimidation.  Two days before her testimony, while taking an early morning walk near her Richmond, Virginia home, she was approached by a strange man.  The stranger threatened her and her children by name, and references were made to her vandalized car and a missing 13-year-old house pet.  The message was clear: she was being told to remain silent.  A day after the deposition, she found an animal skull on her porch.

Then, in 1998, just four days after the Monica Lewinsky story broke in the national press, one of Lewinsky’s former boyfriends, Andy Bleiler, reported that Lewinsky had told him that she was going to Washington to be a White House intern and to get her “presidential kneepads.”  When it was widely reported that Pellicano had been engaged to dig up dirt on Lewinsky, allegedly by Hillary Clinton herself, he was asked by a New York Post reporter, Andrea Peyser, to either confirm or deny that he was the source of the Andy Bleiler information.  He responded, “You’re a smart girl.  No comment.”

So why does the Times not find it interesting to report Hillary Clinton’s past relationship with Pellicano?  The answer is, those in the mainstream media are interested in seeing Bill Clinton absolved of all his sins and Hillary Clinton inaugurated as America’s first female president… no matter what criminal acts they may have committed.

But now that Hillary has completed her four-year stint as a do-nothing Secretary of State, during which time she was given a fancy office in Foggy Bottom, a big airplane, an unlimited expense account, and told to just travel… get out of town… she now has her eyes set once again on the White House.  But let us not forget who the Clintons are.  They are the real life version of Arkansas’ Beverly Hillbillies, but with a much more expensive wardrobe and none of the class.

When George W. Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 2001, he graciously loaned Air Force

Two to the Clintons to transport them to their new home in Chappaqua, New York.  But when the plane returned to Washington it was necessary to completely restock the aircraft.  Every comfort item on the plane… china, flatware, glassware, napkins, blankets, sheets, pillow cases, ashtrays, book matches, pens, pencils, and playing cards… literally anything and everything that was not a permanent part of the aircraft, had been stolen by the Clintons and their friends.

And when the Bushes entered the White House that same afternoon to prepare for an evening of black tie festivities, what they found left them speechless… and deeply saddened.  They found desks, chairs, and bookcases overturned, telephone lines purposely crossed so as to misdirect calls, computers and word processors with the “W” missing from the keyboards, obscene messages posted to email inboxes, and obscene graffiti spray painted on the walls.  The Clinton staff had totally ransacked Air Force Two and trashed the White House.

These are the people who now rely on Obama’s low information voters to give them another four year lease on the White House.  But now that they are poised to make a third frontal assault on the White House, let us not forget that it was Hillary Clinton who presided over the murder of four Americans at Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

On Friday, September 14, three days after the attack, as the flag-draped coffins of the four slain Americans arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, all of the usual suspects… Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice… were among the dignitaries who were there with long faces, shedding a few feigned tears of sorrow and expressing their condolences to the bereaved family members.

Although everyone in the Obama administration knew within minutes of the attack that it was not the result of an anti-Islamic Internet video, Hillary Clinton took to the podium, and said, in the presence of the grieving families of the Benghazi victims, “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.  It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”  When she uttered those words she knew that it was all a lie, designed only to provide political cover for Barack Obama’s reelection less than two months away.

Later, as she and Obama expressed condolences to the families of the slain Americans, Clinton embraced the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods.  She assured him, convincingly, that she would personally see to it that the person who made the video was arrested and prosecuted.

This is the Hillary Clinton we’ve all come to know.  She is far more ruthless than her long-time friend, Diane Blair, described her in her recently released private papers, and the only way she should ever again be allowed to set foot inside the White House is with an engraved invitation from a Republican president in hand… and perhaps one of Anthony Pellicano’s long-stemmed red roses clenched between her teeth.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image was taken on January 26-27, 2007 at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, SEIU local union leaders individually questioned eight Democratic presidential hopefuls—Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), and former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) —about where they stand on the issues that matter most to SEIU members: affordable health care, good jobs, and retirement security. This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Ukraine: Will Any Principle Do?

This week’s news in Britain has been dominated not by the clash of nations or the continuing stand-off on the borders of Ukraine.  Rather, it has been dominated instead by the death of two leading figures of the British left.  The death at the start of the week of Union leader Bob Crow and at the end of the week of the former Labour party minister Tony Benn, has provided an opportunity to dwell not only on their individual legacies, but on the state of the left and politics as a whole.

Despite both men being hugely controversial figures – banes of the tabloid media in particular – both have received fulsome praise even from their political opponents.  Within minutes of the news of Bob Crow’s death, his opponent in the recent London tube strikes, Mayor Boris Johnson, was keen to pay tribute.  In part this was just the exercise of good manners.  But it is also emblematic of something else.  The obituaries of both men have been noticeable by their focus on principle.

True Bob Crow’s principles included a decade and a half long stretch (from the 1980s-1990s) in the Communist Party of Britain.  And in Tony Benn’s case they included a large quantity of doctrines so far to the left that they undoubtedly assisted the government of Margaret Thatcher to achieve its successive election victories.  The radicalism of the policies of both men is not in doubt.  Anymore than was the general public’s distaste for such politics whenever offered to them at the ballot box.

But the reactions to the deaths of both men, from even their most doughty political foes, has kept coming back to the fact that they had principles in the first place.  As though the holding of any principles is now to be considered remarkable and necessarily admirable.

There may be something in this.  It is true that in all the Western democracies a sense has grown that we have entered a period of managerialism in our political systems.  This is not necessarily such a bad thing as is sometimes made out.  Better to have a politics of the middle ground dominated by moderate managers than a politics of the extremes dominated by hungrily competing ideologues.  But debate over the last week is also a reminder that a dose of principle, consistency and even unpopularity is not wholly to be feared.

Neither Crow nor Benn ever managed to pose a threat to the mainstream of politics and perhaps it is for that reason that their ideas – however misguided – can be looked at fondly even while not admiringly.  But the clear hunger for principle of any kind – even of such an unpopular stripe – should be worthy of note for our politicians.  A very different political figure, Enoch Powell, famously wrote in his study of Joseph Chamberlain that, ‘All political careers end in failure.’  That may be true.  What is certain is that all political careers have failure somewhere in their trajectory.  Whether someone was right or wrong on the great questions of the day is what matters most.  But as the judgements of our age become clearer it appears that to have felt strongly on anything at all is now enough to be ranked with honour.

Obamacare Art Appreciation Lesson #1: What’s Art?

Marking the third anniversary of Obamacare’s passage, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the health care law fulfills the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by liberating workers from their place of employment and allowing them to pursue careers in the arts. “And just think that you could be a photographer or writer,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi often has praised Obamacare in this way, saying it enables Americans to quit their jobs and become artists.

“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi said in May 2010. “A bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”

Last year, while marking the second anniversary of the health care law, Pelosi used a similar line, saying Obamacare allows you to quit your job and become “whatever.”

We made the visual aid below for a new government program helping workers who have lost their jobs due to Obamacare, in their transitioning from shovels to paintbrushes.

Federally subsidized Art Appreciation courses to follow.

obamacare be an artist peoples cube

And on a different note:

“WHO AM I TO JUDGE?”

Happy one year anniversary to Pope Francis. He has taken the world by storm, curbed the role of the Vatican Second-in-Command all the while holding a “Global Open House”.

It seems almost impossible to think that a full year has gone by that we witnessed that plume of white smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, after the former pontiff abruptly resigned in early February. An entire year has gone by and the entire world has noticed.

From atheists to the liberals to the homosexuals to the media in every country, the 266th Roman Catholic pope has made a mark for himself and the Holy Catholic Church these past 365 days. I refer to his approach as a “Global Open House”. He has invited everybody to the banquet table and has gotten everyone’s undivided attention by using “5” simple words –

“WHO AM I TO JUDGE?”

Those are “5” simple words. Just a simple question…but, boy, has it garnered a ton of media attention all over the world. It basically stems from the Bible and the approach that Jesus, Himself, used in all that He did during his three years of ministry. He ate with the sinners, hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes, and never judged anybody on how they looked, dressed or acted. Jesus simply accepted every person as they were. That is so beautiful and so noble.

Jesus walked the walk as twelve men followed him, with another 1.2 billion followers closely behind them.

Coat_of_Arms_of_Pope_Francis_(Unofficial_variant_with_papal_tiara).svg

Coat of Arms of Pope Francis.

Skip over Saint Peter, Pope John Paul II and fast forward to the Year 2014. We once again, find a charismatic person in the Catholic Church who seems to be walking very closely in Jesus’ footsteps. Meet Pope Francis – one year later. One year as the new Holy Father. One year after shaking up the entire Vatican, the Roman Curia, the liberal media and every person he comes into contact with. And, he has come into contact with millions. And, he has yet to “judge any of them”.

Come follow me and I will make you fishers of the less judgmental. It worked 2,000 years ago. Will it work today?

In this day and age, where the liberals and the immorals have taken center stage in our society, it is easier to listen to a very open pope who has invited them all to the banquet table – regardless of what their morals are; regardless of who they voted for; regardless of what gender they marry; and regardless of their views on the abortion. Only because Pope Francis uttered those world famous words on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, the entire world has now used it to their advantage. It has become a defense mechanism. It has become a manipulator.

It has become a great cliche. It is a misguided way to deflect any type of pressure from one’s actions. It is basically, “the easy way out”.

After all, if you continue saying “Who am I to Judge” every time anybody asks you a question – how can you go wrong? Heck, Jesus started it and used it on a daily basis. Pope Francis is continuing it by carrying the baton. Could you imagine me, as a former NCAA Basketball Official, telling two irate coaches on the sidelines: “Who am I to Judge?”

But, how long can one continue to use this ambiguous phrase?

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St. Paul statue in front of St. Peters Basilica (Vatican). Sculptor: Adamo Tadolini. Courtesy of Ang MoKio.

And, where is Pope Francis drawing that very thin red line? Again, is the Holy Father using “Who am I to Judge” as a way to show the entire population that the real Christians and Catholics in this world are not supposed to judge and are supposed to accept everybody, regardless? That we have nothing against the gay lifestyle. Does this simple phrase open up a can of worms and now demonstrates to the entire world that “anything goes”?

Is this going to be the new phrase to replace the old one – “I am taking the 5th”?

“Taking the 5th” is the easy way out. One does not have to answer the question – even in a court of law. “I am taking the 5th”. “Who am I to judge”? Are they not almost identical?

Is it almost a cop-out? Will those five simple words that the Holiest of all Catholics made famous, now going to become the slogan and battle cry for the liberals, unbelievers and sinners? For the blatant homosexuals? For the pro-Abortionists? Is this the phrase that they are now going to use in order to manipulate the rest of our “straight” society? The phrase that they will use to get their way and continue to cram down the homosexual lifestyle to all of America?

My prayer this Lenten Season is that the well-liked Pope Francis comes strong to the entire world some time this Year 2014 – maybe during the joyous Advent Season – and explains to 6.8 billion people in the world what he meant by “Who am I to Judge”?

Claiming to be a “Son of the Holy Catholic Church”, I can only pray that once he gets everybody’s undivided attention, he sits down in front of the chalk board and teaches all of these liberals, homosexuals and pro-Abortionists that “there is a lot more to those 5 words” that he was so famously quoted for saying.

Now, are you all ready to take notes? Lesson One.

 

RELATED COLUMN: Pope Francis Curbs Role Of Vatican Second-In-Command

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Thierry Ehrmann and is of a Pope Francis graffiti in the “Abode of Chaos” museum of contemporary art, in Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône-Alpes region, France. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

“Pro-Abortionist” Nancy Pelosi to Receive Planned Parenthood’s Highest Award

Just when we thought we had heard it all – along comes the “Annual Planned Parenthood Awards Banquet” – where on March 27th these infamous “murders of the innocent” gather together to hand out and award the person who exemplifies their mission statement best – that of promoting and endorsing the murder of the innocent at any cost. And, the winner of the 2014 Margaret Sanger Award goes to – Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. What is interesting is that Rep. Pelosi graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1962. Over a century ago, Trinity College was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as the nation’s first Catholic liberal arts college for women.

sangerph

Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), Editor of The Birth Control Review from 1917 to 1938. Founder of Planned Parenthood. Click on the image to read quotes from Sanger.

Yes, Pelosi is a Catholic who endorses abortion as much as President Obama, perhaps even more so. Nancy will step up to the podium on March 27th to accept this “prestigious” Sanger award. But who was Margaret Sanger?

Margaret Sanger’s purpose is best illustrated by this quote:

“More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.” – Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood and strong supporter of Eugenics. Edwin Black, author of War Against The Weak, writes, “The global effort to help women make independent choices about their own pregnancies was dominated by one woman: Margaret Sanger… Motherhood was to most civilizations a sacred role. Sanger, however, wanted women to have a choice in that sacred role, specifically if, when and how often to become pregnant.”

Black notes, “… Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help, so that the eugenically superior strains could multiply without competition from ‘the unfit.’ She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as ‘human waste’ not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenic view that  human ‘weeds’ should be ‘exterminated. Moreover, for both political and genuine ideological reasons, Sanger associated closely with some of some of America’s most fanatical eugenic racists.” Sanger stated, “My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the ‘failure’ of philanthropy, but rather at its success.” [Emphasis added]

Sanger’s Eugenics efforts inspired Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann and Dr. Mengele. They knew each others ideas, methods and ideals quite well in the late 1930’s, which was intended to create a “a race of thoroughbreds“. Hence, the Holocaust was born in America and transhipped to Germany where it was elevated to the extermination of enemies of the state to an industrial level. The result was 20 million people systematically murdered – including 6 million Jews. Then Sanger and Hitler, today Pelosi and Obama. Two matches made “Far from Heaven”.

Winning the “Margaret Sanger Award” is the equivalent of Hitler winning the Nobel Peace prize.

So, on this “8th Day of our ever-sacred Lenten Season and 40 Days for Life read about how deranged our society has gotten since Obama took office only five years ago. The evermore-progressive Democrat Party is not the same party as we knew and respected  under President Grover Cleveland. They are now the “Party of Satan” as everything that this group is affiliated with has to do with the intrinsic evils that they have single-handedly brought into our present culture. When one embraces the likes of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood and thinks it is an honor to win an award that recognizes you as a person of immoral character, of liberal thoughts, and of promoting the killing of innocent babies – you must be deluded at best and  at the worst deranged. It hurts me even having to read this article, let alone, write about it.

But, if we are to do something about this “culture of death” that the Sangers, Obamas and Pelosi’s of this world embrace, we better do something to try to reverse this curse and do it swiftly. We can complain all we want. We can curse at the wall. We can write emails all day long to vent our anger and frustration. We can criticize all we want until the “cows come home”. Or, we can try to do something about it.

Like attending “America’s Finest Hour” on Tuesday evenings at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius at 6:00 p.m. You may also pick up the phone and call Jane Brill at (561) 889-9212 or Melanie Hill at: (561) 676-2337 to join “40 Days for Life” at either of their two locations. You may also come out twice a month to demonstrate at abortionist, Dr. Daniel Sacks’ office on the corner of Okeechobee and Benoist Farms Road, West Palm Beach, FL.

You can do so many things to “make a difference” in our society – but, if one just simply reads this column and feels a bit guilty that you are indeed, not doing a damn thing about our dire situation in our country and just hit the “DELETE” button – you might as well hit the “DEFEAT” button. How many times are you going to replay this same scenario? And, if you do hit that “Defeat” button – where does that take you?

Do yourself a favor and come out one Tuesday night for our prayer group at 6:00 p.m. at the Cathedral so that we can pray for you and give you some sense of hope. As it is hope that keeps us “Pro-Lifers” going. With all the madness that we see on a daily basis in our country, it is hope that gives us that added intangible that allows us to keep doing what we are doing, day after day.

Is today the day that you are going to “break that mold” and do something different? Something for somebody else? Something to make our world a better place to live in? Something for the most vulnerable in our society? Speak up, folks – for our precious unborn babies cannot.

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RELATED VIDEO: Breaking the language barrier – 40 Days for Life in Croatia

[youtube]http://youtu.be/U0nGdXOusw4[/youtube]

Check Your History by B.K. Marcus

In a recent Freeman article, “Check Your Context,” columnist Sarah Skwire brought my attention to a popular meme on the political left, both online and off: “Check your privilege.”

At its gentlest, this is advice to raise our awareness of those aspects of our personal histories that may lead to complacent assumptions about how the world works, assumptions that may limit the scope of our moral imaginations.

When it is less gentle (which is often), it is a dismissal of the opinions of anyone who is insufficiently poor, or, more likely, insufficiently left-wing.

I hadn’t heard “check your privilege” before, but I did grow up surrounded by the assumptions that privilege has to do with money and education (no matter how they are acquired) and is ultimately something to feel guilty about. So I was very happy to see Skwire succeed in making the same points about context that I spent a silly amount of time failing to make to my peers in college:

No one is privileged at all times and in all ways. The teenager who rules the halls of the high school is just a punk kid when she gets pulled over for speeding. And even the most powerful politician, stuck in a dance club, is still just an old guy who can’t dance.

To augment her advice to check the social context in which we perceive a person to be privileged, I would like to make a different point about “privilege” and context—a historical point that has informed how I have heard the word ever since I learned its etymology. The history of the word—and how its connotation has changed—is critical, I think, for libertarians.

My own path out of the default leftism I grew up with was circuitous at best. For me it did not begin with Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard. Of greater influence was Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy.

In a scene in that book we find our anarchist hero Hagbard Celine all dressed up and undercover at a Council on Foreign Relations banquet. The topic of conversation is Mortimer Adler’s claim that “we and the Communists share the same Great Tradition . . . and we must join together against the one force that really does threaten civilization—anarchism!”

Our hero interrupts the ensuing conversation:

“I can put the Great Tradition in one word,” he said calmly. “Privilege.” . . .

“Privilege is defined in most dictionaries as a right or immunity giving special favors or benefits to those who hold it. Another meaning in Webster is ‘not subject to the usual rules or penalties.’ The invaluable thesaurus gives such synonyms as power, authority, birthright, franchise, patent, grant, favor and, I’m sad to say, pretension. Surely, we all know what privilege is in this club, don’t we, gentlemen? Do I have to remind you of the Latin roots, “privi, private, and lege, law, and point out in detail how we have created our Private Law over here, just as the Politburo have created their own private law in their own sphere of influence?”

Obviously the private law of privi-lege isn’t the polycentric legal system advocated by anarcho-capitalists and recently explored by Freeman writer Tom W. Bell (“What Is Polycentric Law?”). Rather, it is, as Etymonline puts it, “‘law applying to one person,’ . . . from privus ‘individual’ (see private [adj.]) + lex (genitive legis) ‘law.'”

In other words, unequal treatment by the State.

True privilege, in this older sense, means membership in the political class, advantages backed by coercive government.

The conflation between wealth in general and State-granted privilege is understandable: For so much of human history, the “upper” class and the political class were one and the same. And whenever the merchant class began to build significant wealth, it either joined the political class by seeking government favor and regulation against competition, or it was crushed by a political class that was jealous of its own privilege—in the original sense.

This pattern continues today, but it is not pervasive. Since the Industrial Revolution, more and more wealth has been created from production and voluntary exchange. The State continues to co-opt capitalists, but the rising general prosperity of the past century or two shows that, in the West at least, more and more wealth is the product of mutually beneficial exchange, not privilege.

Some readers may be rolling their eyes at a history lesson they see as pedantic and irrelevant to modern usage. But, as with the history of the term liberal, no discussion of the word privilege can really be complete without the context of both its origins and its transformation—or its confiscation and obfuscation, which was deliberate at least in the case of “liberalism.”

None of this is to argue with Skwire’s important point about context: Power dynamics aren’t linear, static, or simple, and neither are the individuals we may sometimes seek to dismiss for the power we perceive in them.

But certain classes of power are simpler than others, and more insidious.

The teenager who rules the halls of the high school may or may not have achieved her status through coercion. Either way, her victims do eventually get to opt out of her sphere of influence. The cop who pulls her over for speeding, on the other hand, exerts a privilege that we can’t escape.

The politician may feel powerless on the dance floor, but any social power the other dancers have over him is temporary at best, and does not take the form of direct harm—whereas he can return to work on Monday and initiate legislation against dance clubs. His is an entirely different category of privilege.

Those in the 21st century who are most enamored of the word privilege—and often wield it as a bludgeon—make two mistakes. First, as Skwire shows us, they underestimate the complexity of power dynamics and social context. But they often take it a step further. In the name of reducing their newer, fuzzier kind of social privilege, they often advocate increases in the simple, old-fashioned, government-based variety.

ABOUT B.K. MARCUS

B.K. Marcus is senior editor at Liberty.me and a publishing consultant at InvisibleOrder.com.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

On Vouchers In General and Particularly the 2014 All-voucher Arizona Push

Over the past year, I have received three glossy mailouts telling me that I can “enroll my child in private school for free.” The last one included the message, “Time is running out!” and added, “Is your child stuck in a failing school? Send them to a private school for FREE.”

Nothing is “for free.” Someone must pay.

I live in Louisiana, so this advertisement is tailored to my state:

Thanks to the Louisiana Scholarship Program, students attending a C, D, or F school– or entering Kindergarten– whose family meets income requirements, can get a scholarship to a private school of your choice– for FREE! 

Ahh, but TIME IS RUNNING OUT, my friends!

As an additional lure, I am told that if I visit the Louisiana Scholarship Program website, I can “enter to win a $500 back-to-school shopping spree!”

It sure sounds like someone really wants to make it appear that vouchers (the undressed term for these “scholarships”) are more popular than they really are.

So, who is pushing this effort?

The card includes the following small print:

Paid for by the Alliance for School Choice

It should come as no surprise that Carrie (Walton) Penner sits on the board of the Alliance for School Choice (ASC), a group co-founded by the late John T. Walton.

As in Walmart Waltons.

The irony behind telling Louisiana residents that vouchers can save children from C, D, or F schools is that the Waltons are also huge supporters of charter schools (just look at the donations/ revolving credit they offer to charters based on their 2012 990). In Louisiana, the Waltons funded the OneApp open-application fiasco for the state-run Recovery School District (RSD)– a district of over 80% charter schools– most of which are rated C, D and F, even by the 2013 letter grade inflated manipulation (otherwise, there would not be so many C’s).

So, the Waltons are paying for advertisements to push vouchers that can “save” RSD children from the “failing” schools that the Waltons also push.

It’s just too rich.

ASC wields its influence nationwide, even offering model voucher legislation. (Sure sounds like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC}, doesn’t it?)

For Legislators

The Alliance for School Choice supports several pieces of model legislation. Download these bills to see how school choice can work in your state.

One such “piece” is the Education Savings Account Act:

Education Savings Account Act
This bill creates an education savings account program that allows parents to use the funds that would have been allocated to their child at their resident school district for an education program of the parents’ choosing. Download the Smart Start Scholarship Program (PDF).

The ESA is a sneaky piece of legislation known as a “backdoor voucher”– if a state’s constitution prohibits use of public funds for directly paying for private schools, ESA “backdoors” it by circumventing direct payment of public funding to private schools and instead uses the parent as the middleman.

Such is occurring in Arizona via the “Arizona ALEC,” the Goldwater Institute.  As Arizona reporter David Safir notes,

The Goldwater Institute came up with the idea for ESAs as a second workaround (the first is our tuition tax credit law) to make vouchers legal in a state where the constitution prohibits the use of public money for religious instruction. (Did you know over 70% of Arizona’s private schools are religious?) The term of art for this kind of legislation is “backdoor vouchers.” In 2011, Arizona’s Republican-dominated legislature passed the ESAs into law for a limited number of students. In 2013, more students were added, and if a new bill passes this session, half of Arizona’s school aged children will be eligible for the taxpayer-funded private school vouchers. The conservative’s ultimate goal is vouchers for all.

Of course, ASC is available to promote vouchers in Arizona– with the help of none other than Arizona State Superintendent John Huppenthal:

The Alliance for School Choice, a Washington, D.C., agent of the vast privatization/corporate complex, put together a script for a [February 2014] robocall to go out to Arizona parents whose children qualify for the ESAs. Huppenthal lent his voice to the robocall. Actually, he lent more than his voice. He lent the power and authority of his office to the message, making it sound like an official public service announcement. Huppenthal’s call sent interested parents to a website about ESAs created and funded by — get ready for it — the Goldwater Institute. And so the private-to-public-to-private-to-public-to-private cycle that begins and ends with the Goldwater folks comes full circle. [Emphasis added.]

And The Republic adds,

State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal caught some heat last month for recording a series of robo-calls promoting the ESA program and suggesting parents can use it to send their children to private schools for free.

Huppenthal’s staff worked with school choice lobbyist Sydney Hay to develop the wording for the calls, according to e-mails ProgressNow obtained. Huppenthal went ahead with some wording despite concern from his staff, including over referring families to a Goldwater Institute website for more information.

The calls went out to 48,000 qualifying families, according to the e-mail correspondence.

Pro-privatizing superintendents love vouchers. Louisiana Superintendent John White and his boss, Governor Bobby Jindal, have been pushing them hard in Louisiana– despite a record  of embarrassingly low test-score yield and miserable oversight.

One issue is clear: A goal to fund an “all voucher” system would seriously cripple or kill public education.

In the case of Arizona, where voucher money is debited to parents via voucher bank accounts, there’s the question of the bloated bureaucracy necessary to adequately monitor proper spending of the voucher disbursements.

Whereas Arizona voucher proponents assert that vouchers save money because of a lower voucher disbursement as compared to the cost of having the student attend public schools, not all costs appear to be accounted for– not the least of which is the bureaucracy noted above.

Yet Arizona– already home to a charter school bonanza that nourishes corporate greed– is fast-tracking public school destruction in the form of an expanded voucher program during the 2014 legislative session:

[Arizona’s] Empowerment Scholarship Account program was, at the start of this school year, scheduled to disperse $10.2 million to 761 students. If expanded as proposed, the 3-year-old program could within the next five years apply to more than 28,000 students and strip more than $374 million a year from public and charter schools, based on the current average cost.

The goal is to eventually expand the program to the state’s more than 1 million public and charter schoolchildren. …

The [Arizona] Legislature started the session with six bills proposing to expand ESAs in various ways. Three are still advancing.

House Bill 2150, which passed the House and moves to the Senate, would allow the children of military personnel killed in the line of duty to participate. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing Thursday before the Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 1236 and House Bill 2291 are identical bills, which puts them on a fast-track. They each need a committee of the whole and a final vote in their respective chambers and then would be combined and sent directly to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bills propose to gradually expand who is allowed to participate in the program.

Next school year, the children of police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians could participate, as could siblings of children who already use ESAs.Starting with the 2016-17 school year, children whose family income qualifies them for the federal free or reduced lunch program could participate. Each year after, it raises the qualifying family income by an additional 15 percent until all families qualify.

While the proposed expansion could cost public and charter schools hundreds of millions of dollars each year as parents move children into private schools, it also carries an increased cost to the state due to the funding formula for certain students.

According to legislative staff, expanding the program under HB 2291 or SB 1236 would cost the state an additional $46,100 in fiscal 2016, $3.5 million in fiscal 2017, $7.6 million in fiscal 2018 and $12.5 million in fiscal 2019. [Emphasis added.]

It amazes me how privatizers push for complete privatization– unbridled market force– without conducting any kind of small-scale run-through to see where major problems might arise.

And major problems will arise.

Did we learn nothing from the economic crisis of 2008 regarding the vulnerability of the so-called “free market” to the ever-lurking forces of unbridled greed and high-powered excess?

As to the push for a full-voucher education system in Arizona: What of that disbursement and accountability bureaucracy necessary to adequately handle an all-voucher system? Is there enough money for an all-voucher system– for both vouchers and bureaucracy? Will the Arizona education system bankrupt itself on voucher “choice”? Is it even possible to monitor the quality of education for individual students for such a large-scale voucher program? Who will ensure that students are actually receiving an education? Has no one considered the possibility that some parents might submit beautiful quarterly receipts yet not be educating their children?

And what of the parents who reject vouchers– who actually want a community public school?

Are we to pretend that such individuals do not exist?

Have they no choice?

Consider Milwaukee– a city that has been trying to succeed at vouchers for decades. The Walton-funded University of Arkansas Department of Educational Reform has promoted Milwaukee as evidence of voucher success, but that label only works when viewed through a certain Walton-funded lens.

Milwaukee’s voucher program demonstrates that when offered voucher choice, at least half chose to forego the “scholarship” and leave the voucher school.

Where did they choose to go?

The Milwaukee study in question did not detail exactly where students went once they left the voucher school.

I’m guessing that many returned to their neighborhood public schools.

A neighborhood public school– now there’s a novel idea.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Against Libertarian Brutalism by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Will libertarianism be brutalist or humanitarian? Everyone needs to decide.

Why should we favor human liberty over a social order ruled by power? In providing the answer, I would suggest that libertarians can generally be divided into two camps: humanitarians and brutalists.

The humanitarians are drawn to reasons such as the following. Liberty allows peaceful human cooperation. It inspires the creative service of others. It keeps violence at bay. It allows for capital formation and prosperity. It protects human rights of all against invasion. It allows human associations of all sorts to flourish on their own terms. It socializes people with rewards toward getting along rather than tearing each other apart, and leads to a world in which people are valued as ends in themselves rather than fodder in the central plan.

We know all of this from history and experience. These are all great reasons to love liberty.

But they are not the only reasons that people support liberty. There is a segment of the population of self-described libertarians—described here as brutalists—who find all the above rather boring, broad, and excessively humanitarian. To them, what’s impressive about liberty is that it allows people to assert their individual preferences, to form homogeneous tribes, to work out their biases in action, to ostracize people based on “politically incorrect” standards, to hate to their heart’s content so long as no violence is used as a means, to shout down people based on their demographics or political opinions, to be openly racist and sexist, to exclude and isolate and be generally malcontented with modernity, and to reject civil standards of values and etiquette in favor of antisocial norms.

These two impulses are radically different. The first values the social peace that emerges from freedom, while the second values the freedom to reject cooperation in favor of gut-level prejudice. The first wants to reduce the role of power and privilege in the world, while the second wants the freedom to assert power and privilege within the strict confines of private property rights and the freedom to disassociate.

To be sure, liberty does allow both the humanitarian and the brutalist perspective, as implausible as that might seem. Liberty is large and expansive and asserts no particular social end as the one and only way. Within the framework of liberty, there is the freedom to love and to hate. At the same time, they constitute very different ways of looking at the world—one liberal in the classical sense and one illiberal in every sense—and it is good to consider that before you, as a libertarian, find yourself allied with people who are missing the main point of the liberal idea.

Humanitarianism we understand. It seeks the well-being of the human person and the flourishing of society in all its complexity. Libertarian humanitarianism sees the best means to achieve this as the self-ordering social system itself, unimpeded by external controls through the violent means of the State. The goal here is essentially benevolent, and the means by which it is achieved put a premium on social peace, free association, mutually beneficial exchange, the organic development of institutions, and the beauty of life itself.

What is brutalism? The term is mostly associated with an architectural style of the 1950s through the 1970s, one that emphasized large concrete structures unrefined by concerns over style and grace. Inelegance is its main thrust and its primary source of pride. Brutalism heralded the lack of pretense and the raw practicality of the building’s use. The building was supposed to be strong not pretty, aggressive not fussy, imposing and not subtle.

Brutalism in architecture was an affectation, one that emerged from a theory robbed of context. It was a style adopted with conscious precision. It believed it was forcing us to look at unadorned realities, an apparatus barren of distractions, in order to make a didactic point. This point was not only aesthetic but also ethical: It rejected beauty on principle. To beautify is to compromise, distract, and ruin the purity of the cause. It follows that brutalism rejected the need for commercial appeal and discarded issues of presentation and marketing; these issues, in the brutalist framework, shield our eyes from the radical core.

Brutalism asserted that a building should be no more and no less than what it is supposed to be in order to fulfill its function. It asserted the right to be ugly, which is precisely why the style was most popular among governments around the world, and why brutalist forms are today seen as eyesores all over the world.

We look back and wonder where these monstrosities came from, and we are amazed to discover that they were born of a theory that rejected beauty, presentation, and adornment as a matter of principle. The architects imagined that they were showing us something we would otherwise be reluctant to face. You can only really appreciate the results of brutalism, however, if you have already bought into the theory and believe in it. Otherwise, absent the extremist and fundamentalist ideology, the building comes across as terrifying and threatening.

By analogy, what is ideological brutalism? It strips down the theory to its rawest and most fundamental parts and pushes the application of those parts to the foreground. It tests the limits of the idea by tossing out the finesse, the refinements, the grace, the decency, the accoutrements. It cares nothing for the larger cause of civility and the beauty of results. It is only interested in the pure functionality of the parts. It dares anyone to question the overall look and feel of the ideological apparatus, and shouts down people who do so as being insufficiently devoted to the core of the theory, which itself is asserted without context or regard for aesthetics.

Not every argument for raw principle and stripped-down analytics is inherently brutalist; the core truth of brutalism is that we need to reduce in order to see the roots, we need sometimes to face difficult truth, and we need to be shocked and sometimes to shock with seemingly implausible or uncomfortable implications of an idea. Brutalism goes much further: the idea that the argument should stop there and go no further, and to elaborate, qualify, adorn, nuance, admit uncertainty, or broaden beyond gritty assertion amounts to a sell out or a corruption of purity. Brutalism is relentless and unabashed in its refusal to get beyond the most primitive postulates.

Brutalism can appear in many ideological guises. Bolshevism and Nazism are both obvious examples: Class and race become the only metric driving politics to the exclusion of every other consideration. In modern democracy, partisan politics tends toward brutalism insofar as it asserts party control as the only relevant concern. Religious fundamentalism is yet another obvious form.

In the libertarian world, however, brutalism is rooted in the pure theory of the rights of individuals to live their values whatever they may be. The core truth is there and indisputable, but the application is made raw to push a point. Thus do the brutalists assert the right to be racist, the right to be a misogynist, the right to hate Jews or foreigners, the right to ignore civil standards of social engagement, the right to be uncivilized, to be rude and crude. It is all permissible and even meritorious because embracing what is awful can constitute a kind of test. After all, what is liberty if not the right to be a boor?

These kinds of arguments make the libertarian humanitarians deeply uncomfortable since they are narrowly true as regards pure theory but miss the bigger point of human liberty, which is not to make the world more divided and miserable but to enable human flourishing in peace and prosperity. Just as we want architecture to please the eye and reflect the drama and elegance of the human ideal, so too a theory of the social order should provide a framework for a life well lived and communities of association that permit its members to flourish.

The brutalists are technically correct that liberty also protects the right to be a complete jerk and the right to hate, but such impulses do not flow from the long history of the liberal idea. As regards race and sex, for example, the liberation of women and minority populations from arbitrary rule has been a great achievement of this tradition. To continue to assert the right to turn back the clock in your private and commercial life gives an impression of the ideology that is uprooted from this history, as if these victories for human dignity have nothing whatever to do with the ideological needs of today.

Brutalism is more than a stripped-down, antimodern, and gutted version of the original libertarianism. It is also a style of argumentation and an approach to rhetorical engagement. As with architecture, it rejects marketing, the commercial ethos, and the idea of “selling” a worldview. Liberty must be accepted or rejected based entirely on its most reduced form. Thus is it quick to pounce, denounce, and declare victory. It detects compromise everywhere. It loves nothing more than to ferret it out. It has no patience for subtlety of exposition much less the nuances of the circumstances of time and place. It sees only raw truth and clings to it as the one and only truth to the exclusion of all other truth.

Brutalism rejects subtlety and finds no exceptions of circumstance to its universal theory. The theory applies regardless of time, place, or culture. There can be no room for modification or even discovery of new information that might change the way the theory is applied. Brutalism is a closed system of thought in which all relevant information is already known, and the manner in which the theory is applied is presumed to be a given part of the theoretical apparatus. Even difficult areas such as family law, criminal restitution, rights in ideas, liability for trespass, and other areas subject to case-by-case juridical tradition become part of an a priori apparatus that admits no exceptions or emendations.

And because brutalism is the outlying impulse in the libertarian world—young people are no longer interested in this whole approach—it behaves the way we’ve come to expect from seriously marginal groups. Asserting the rights and even the merits of racism and hate, it is already excluded from mainstream conversation about public life. The only people who truly listen to brutalist arguments, which are uncompelling by design, are other libertarians. For that reason, brutalism is driven ever more toward extreme factionalism; attacking the humanitarians for attempting to beautify the message becomes a full-time occupation.

In the course of this factionalism, the brutalists of course assert that they are the only true believers in liberty because only they have the stomach and the brass necessary to take libertarian logic to its most extreme end and deal with the results. But it is not bravery or intellectual rigor at work here. Their idea of libertarianism is reductionist, truncated, unthoughtful, uncolored and uncorrected by the unfolding of human experience, and forgets the larger historical and social context in which liberty lives.

So let’s say you have a town that is taken over by a fundamentalist sect that excludes all peoples not of the faith, forces women into burka-like clothing, imposes a theocratic legal code, and ostracizes gays and lesbians. You might say that everyone is there voluntarily, but, even so, there is no liberalism present in this social arrangement at all. The brutalists will be on the front lines to defend such a microtyranny on grounds of decentralization, rights of property, and the right to discriminate and exclude—completely dismissing the larger picture here that, after all, people’s core aspirations to live a full and free life are being denied on a daily basis.

Further, the brutalist believes that he already knows the results of human liberty, and they often conform to the throne-and-altar impulses of times past. After all, in their view, liberty means the unleashing of all the basest impulses of human nature that they believe the modern state has suppressed: the desire to abide in racial and religious homogeneity, the moral permanency of patriarchy, the revulsion against homosexuality, and so on. What most people regard as modernity’s advances against prejudice, the brutalists regard as imposed exceptions from the long history of humanity’s tribalist and religiously based instincts.

Of course the brutalist as I’ve described him is an ideal type, probably not fully personified in any particular thinker. But the brutalist impulse is everywhere in evidence, especially on social media. It is a tendency of thought with predictable positions and biases. It is a main source for racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic strains within the libertarian world—at once denying that this sentence is true while asserting with equal passion the rights of individuals to hold and act on such views. After all, say the brutalists, what is human liberty without the right to behave in ways that put our most precious sensibilities, and even civilization itself, to the test?

It all comes down to the fundamental motivation behind the support of liberty itself. What is its overarching purpose? What is its dominant historical contribution? What is its future? Here the humanitarians are fundamentally at odds with brutalism.

Truly, we should never neglect the core, never shrink from the difficult implications of the pure theory of liberty. At the same time, the story of liberty and its future is not only about the raw assertion of rights but also about grace, aesthetics, beauty, complexity, service to others, community, the gradual emergence of cultural norms, and the spontaneous development of extended orders of commercial and private relationships. Freedom is what gives life to the human imagination and enables the working out of love as it extends from our most benevolent and highest longings.

An ideology robbed of its accoutrements, on the other hand, can become an eyesore, just as with a large concrete monstrosity built decades ago, imposed on an urban landscape, embarrassing to everyone, now only awaiting demolition. Will libertarianism be brutalist or humanitarian? Everyone needs to decide.

20121129_JeffreyTuckeravatar (1)ABOUT JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CEO of the startup Liberty.me, and publisher at Laissez Faire Books. He will be speaking at the FEE summer seminar “Making Innovation Possible: The Role of Economics in Scientific Progress.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Obamas Send Wrong Messages

Two weeks ago, President Obama launched an initiative called My Brother’s Keeper.

As a part of this initiative, he signed a presidential memorandum establishing the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, chaired by Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson. The task force will help determine what public and private efforts are working and how to expand upon them, how the federal government’s own policies and programs can better support these efforts, and how to better involve state and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community in these efforts.

I fail to understand the logic of setting up a yet task force. You would think groups like the NAACP, the National Urban League, the National Council of La Raza would already have “shovel ready” projects that the administration could access immediately.

I can’t help but notice that Dave Steward and Bob Woodson were not invited to participate. Dave Steward, chairman of World Wide Technology in St. Louis, is the largest Black-owned business in the U.S. and has built a $ 6 billion company based on principles that highlight morals and values. He also supports these values and morals with his money in communities throughout the U.S.

Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, has a 30-year track record of dealing with troubled youths. He has done a lot of work in the president’s adopted hometown of Chicago.

It is impossible to adequately deal with our youth without incorporating the issue of values and morals. It means telling our kids that there is right and wrong; not saying to them: “Who are we to judge?”

The president said, “…I explained to them (the kids on stage with him) when I was their age, I was a lot like them. I didn’t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize at the time. I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short.”

Was this not the same president that said a week before in the White House that he supported legalizing marijuana? But, then he tells kids, “I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do.” If it was a bad choice and it could cause harm, then why would you want to legalize marijuana? As with the president, I am extremely confused and concerned with Ms. Obama’s fascination with people who promote values that are antithetical to creating a healthy environment for young girls to flourish in. Beyoncé is the personification of this.

Two years ago, Ms. Obama was asked by People magazine who she would choose to be other than herself. She replied with, “Gosh, if I had some gift, I’d be Beyoncé.” She and Beyoncé are purported to be very close personal friends, but is Beyoncé the person you really want your daughter to immolate?

Allow me to share a few lyrics from Beyoncé’s most recent CD, Drunk in Love: “I’ve been drinking; I get filthy when that liquor get into me; I’ve been thinking; Why can’t I keep my fingers off it, baby?”

On her song Bow Down: “I know when you were little girls; You dreamt of being in my world; Don’t forget it; Respect that, Bow down b—-es; Don’t get it twisted this is my sh-t, bow down b—-es.”

There is more. On the song Partition: Oh he so horny, he want to f—k; He bucked all my buttons, he ripped my blouse; He Monica Lewinski all on my gown.”

And the First Lady wants to be like that?

Beyoncé has become the Howard Stern of music – vulgar simply for the sake of shocking the public. Her concerts boarder on pornography Yet, Ms. Obama had no problem taking her two daughters (Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10 at the time) to watch Beyoncé perform two years ago in Atlantic City.

Here is a Twitter exchange between Beyoncé and Michelle Obama before the concert: “Michelle, thank you so much for every single thing that you do for us. I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.” Obama’s response on twitter: “@Beyoncé Thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to. –mo.

The president and his wife are sending out conflicting messages. Kids need to be told and shown how to behave. You can’t support legalizing marijuana and then tell kids not to use it. You can’t tell little girls to carry yourself like a young lady and then tell them you want to be Beyoncé.

That’s not Drunk in Love. You have to be plain drunk to think that Beyonce should be anybody’s role model.

When will the killing in Florida ever stop?

The title of my column comes from the March 9th front page featured story from the Palm Beach Post concerning the loss of forty children in 2013 who were under the control of the Florida Department of Children & Families. Losing forty innocent children in 2013 is forty lives that could have been saved, especially when you see the negligent ways these innocent children lost their lives while under the state of Florida’s care. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and I pray that the Florida Department of Children & Families does a better job protecting the innocent in 2014.

Now, let’s look at another topic that is near and dear to my heart. One that has been “killing” since January 22nd, 1973. One that has killed over 56 million babies in our country – ABORTION

In Palm Beach County alone 5,808 children were aborted in 2013. In the state of Florida there were 71,503 abortions in 2013. Once again, not to take away from the importance of the “forty” lives that were lost in the same year in Florida through the Department of Children & Families – how can one even begin to compare “forty” deaths to 71,503?

It doesn’t even come close. Just think about that for one minute. Same state, same year. While the article on these “forty” lives was rightfully featured on the front page of the Palm Beach Post – when are we ever going to see that 71,503 figure on any front page in any newspaper in our beloved state let alone the country?

Over 71,000 babies butchered in Florida this past year and not a word is spoken or written about it. How about a daily death count of the “56 million” who have been murdered in America since that now infamous Roe v. Wade decision 41 years ago? Their deaths will probably never see ink wasted to remember them or tell their stories.

danielsacks

Dr. Daniel N. Sacks

Only because we live in a “culture of death” and we have a liberal President in the White House who embraces it, endorses it, promotes it, and funds it. So, it is up to “Pro-Lifers” to go out during these “40 Days for Life” to pray at these abortion clinics and to demonstrate at abortionist’s offices like that of Dr. Daniel N. Sacks of Palm Beach-Wellington Women’s Care.

Who out there is going to join the Pro-Lifers tomorrow or on any of these 40 days? Who out there really even cares? Who out there has just given up and says “there’s nothing I can do to stop abortion?” Who out there claims to be Christian and just turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to these intrinsic evils that attack our beloved communities every single day? Who out there is just going through the motions each and every day and is more worried about whether it is going to rain tomorrow for the Marlins game at Roger Dean or whether they will be able to get to their favorite restaurant this evening in time to catch the “early bird” special”?

With more and more “selfies” taken on an hourly basis in our country – that is what our vain society has come to – SELFIES – as in SELFISHNESS. All about me. I guess that is the “thing to do” today. Take a picture of yourself with your own “self”-phone and send it to everybody you know – and hope it goes viral. Wow! That’s real meaningful. So productive and self righteous. With Facebook, Twitter and all these other annoying ways to entertain ourselves – we have forgotten about others and it’s all about “OURSELVES” – the evil foundation of the “selfie”.

What ever happened to the word “groupie”? That was big in the 60’s & 70’s with all the rock bands. I kinda wish that word would come back. I prefer the term “groupies” over “selfies” any day. But, only if those groupies are doing something constructive and Christian-like – as in praying in groups in front of abortion clinics and demonstrating in groups with our “Pro-Life” signs in front of abortionist’s offices. Put your “self-phone” away – delete all your “selfies”, skip an early bird special this Lent – and HAVE THE COURAGE TO PROTECT THE UNBORN!!

RELATED VIDEOS:

The first half of this is overlaid with good music and the second half is a talk by a scientist who explains that the complexity by which the instructions for human development are coded into our DNA and carried out by the mother are beyond all mathematical and human comprehension.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/FF4uR0MRGxA[/youtube]



This video is not secular but its short, heart-warming, and powerful.  It has an audio track of a young child singing and talking to his/her mother who aborted them letting her know how much they love her and want to be with her while they are safe and being loved in Heaven. THIS IS A VERY TOUCHING VIDEO…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/8GzjO14Yetc[/youtube]

 

This video is from a business called “Baby Center” that has its own website and other related videos as well.  The video is good but short.  They have three more that I am aware of on their YouTube site that cover the remaining weeks of gestation.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/4l9GE_eaMSs[/youtube]

 

RELATED STORIES:

Conn. High School Blocks Pro-Life Student Group From Handing Out Information
Hillary Clinton: Abortion Needed for Equality —and Human Development…

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Miss Monica Elizabeth and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation

Many Democrats wonder what happened to their party since the days of President Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage and bossism. Indeed, as a reformer his prestige was so strong that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, called “Mugwumps“, joined with him.

Many have written about the growing number of Americans who are dependent on the government for their livelihood.

The growth of government programs since Cleveland including FDR’s “New Deal”, President Johnson’s “Great Society” and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act are in the news of late. The Great Society’s programs expanded under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Presidents Clinton, G.W. Bush and Obama have added to the size and scope of government.

Perhaps it is appropriate to revisit how government expansion, taken to its ultimate end, impacts an entire society.

Leon_trotsky

Leon Trotsky

In November, 2009  wrote a column titled “The Evil of Leon Trotsky Revisited“. Ilya’s column has relevance today. Here it is for your edification:

Two of Leon Trotsky’s best-known quotes are his statement that “Where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation” (made famous, especially among libertarians, in part because it was quoted by Hayek in The Road to Serfdom), and the very next sentence in the same paragraph: “The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” My GMU colleague Bryan Caplan helpfully provides the context of these quotes, from Trotsky’s 1936 book, The Revolution Betrayed:

During these years [since Stalin took power in the USSR] hundreds of Oppositionists, both Russian and foreign, have been shot, or have died of hunger strikes, or have resorted to suicide. Within the last twelve years, the authorities have scores of times announced to the world the final rooting out of the opposition. But during the “purgations” in the last month of 1935 and the first half of 1936, hundreds of thousands of members of the [Communist] party were again expelled, among them several tens of thousands of “Trotskyists.” The most active were immediately arrested and thrown into prisons and concentration camps. As to the rest, Stalin, through Pravda, openly advised the local organs not to give them work. In a country where the sole employer is the state, this means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.

Bryan points out that this context doesn’t reflect well on a man who is still admired by many leftists and even a few ex-leftist conservatives:

Worth noticing: While Trotsky meant what libertarians think he meant, the man’s sheer evil still shines through. He doesn’t mind if the socialist state starves human beings. He was delighted to wield this power when ran the Red Army. No, Trotsky is outraged because the Soviet Union is turning its totalitarian might upon fellow Communists. Was there ever a better time to snark that “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword”?

As I explained in this series of posts, Trotsky was a brutal mass murderer who objected to political repression only when it targeted his fellow communists. He also opposed Stalin in part because he thought Stalin wasn’t repressive enough. Any residual admiration for Trotsky is sorely misplaced.

Nonetheless, the translation of The Revolution Betrayed quoted by Bryan seems to be less damning than the wording quoted by Hayek. In Hayek’s version, Trotsky is quoted as writing that “Where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation” (emphasis added). Since Trotsky of course favored an economic system where the state is the sole employer, this version of the quote implies that he also favored the inevitable “slow starvation” of oppositionists. By contrast, the translation linked by Bryan states that “Where the sole employer is the State, this [referring to Stalin’s policy of denying employment to oppositionists] means death by slow starvation.” The translation quoted by Bryan doesn’t seem to say that opposition means death by starvation in any society where the state is the sole employer, but only if that state is governed by Stalin’s policy of denying work to “oppositionists.” And, as we can see later in the same chapter, Trotsky did not propose to abolish the government’s monopoly over employment, but merely to replace the Stalinist “bureaucratic” class with a different set of economic central planners. The latter might potentially have a more liberal policy on employing oppositionists. Which version is correct? The only way to tell is to check the original Russian text of The Revolution Betrayed. If anyone can find it online, please let me know and I would be happy to do the checking myself.

Even the more charitable version of this passage still doesn’t paint Trotsky in a flattering light. After all, as Bryan notes, the only “oppositionists” whose right to dissent Trotsky wanted to protect were communists who disagreed with Stalin’s party line. Towards the end of the same chapter of The Revolution Betrayed, Trotsky calls for “a revival of freedom of Soviet parties, beginning with the party of Bolsheviks.” Non-Soviet (i.e. – non-communist) parties need not apply. He had no objection to the “slow starvation” (or even outright execution) of non-communist oppositionists, including even non-communist socialists. Indeed, when he was still in power, Trotsky often ordered such starvation and execution of political opponents himself.

UPDATE: I have found the Russian text of The Revolution Betrayed online here. In my judgment as a native speaker of the language, the Russian version is closer to the translation cited by Bryan than the one used by Hayek. Here is the original Russian text of the relevant sentence:

В стране, где единственным работодателем является государство, эта мера означает медленную голодную
смерть. Старый принцип: кто не работает, тот не ест, заменен новым: кто не повинуется, тот не ест.

Here’s my own translation:

In a country where the state is the sole employer, this policy [referring to Stalin’s policy] means a slow death by starvation [for oppositionists]. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.

The key Russian phrase “эта мера” literally means “this measure.”

UPDATE #2: Some commenters on this and previous posts about Trotsky ask whether anyone really admires Trotsky anymore. In reality, quite a few modern leftists still do. Christopher Hitchens (see here and here) is one example. As Clive James points out, Trotsky “lived on for decades as the unassailable hero of aesthetically minded progressives who wished to persuade themselves that there could be a vegetarian version of communism.”

CPAC: Straw Votes and Real Votes

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is over after three days of speakers and seminars. It drew a huge crowd of mostly younger voters, many drawn from the Young Republicans for Freedom who, in 1973, teamed with the American Conservative Union for the first conference. Over the years roughly half of those attending have been of college age.

The crowd this year was so large, estimated to be between 10,000 and 11,000, that no hotel in Washington, D.C. was able host the event. It was held at the National Harbor convention center just outside of the capitol.

What was most impressive was the fact that every major player in the Republican Party and representing a leadership role in conservative affairs, was there.

The winner of its straw vote this year was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who won 31%, far ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 11%, Dr. Ben Carson at 9% and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who received 8%. Mitt Romney won in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Then Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. Rand won in 2013 and now again this year.

Does the straw vote represent anything significant? I doubt it. The Paul’s, Libertarians, reflect the younger voter’s idealism, but neither represents a presidential prospect. Most likely one of the governors will emerge as the Republican Party nominee to run for President.

The two who have the best shot are Chris Christie and Texas’s Rick Perry. Perry did not do well in the 2012 GOP primaries, but we later learned he had had back surgery and was in a fair degree of pain during the debates.

Christie is already moving passed the “Bridgegate” problem though you wouldn’t know that if you tuned into MSNBC at any hour. They have devoted themselves to making it into a big issue in order to defeat any chance he might have, but have succeeded only in making themselves look more stupid than usual. Christie has lost some of the momentum he had after he won a second term for Governor in a blue State.

Along with Perry, Christie was very well received at the CPAC convention. The fact is that the GOP has a deep bench of governors that include Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal which tells you how well Republicans have done as governors nationwide. There are 29 of them at last count.

Ted Cruz (R-TX) who burst on the national scene with his filibuster about Obamacare is a powerful orator. He has managed to generate opposition from the Republican establishment in D.C., but so has the Tea Party.  We can count on him and others to be heard from in the years ahead.

No doubt the high level of enthusiasm and confidence at the CPAC convention reflects the utter disaster that the Democratic Party inflicted upon itself by passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. When you add in the way Obama has looked weak, first with Syria and now with the Russian invasion of the Crimea, Obama is fast losing his once great messianic appeal. His own party is disinclined to give him mindless support these days.

Obama is already being compared with former President Jimmy Carter and history will likely judge him as the worst President this nation has ever had to endure. Few, if any, Democrats running in the forthcoming November midterm elections will even want to be seen on the same platform with him. All he does these days is fund raise, play golf, and take vacations.

So, if the CPAC straw vote provides little indication of who will be the GOP candidate in the 2016 election, the response to both Christie and Perry provides a signal of what direction the party may take. Another good indication will be the way the mainstream media goes after whoever it thinks might be the GOP selection. It is little more than an arm of the Democratic Party.

Much has already been written of the “divisions” within the GOP as a strong conservative debate ensues among the candidates who, in truth, all know that Obamacare will be a deciding factor in the midterms and thereafter. I anticipate a Democratic Party bloodbath and so do they.

Americans want Obamacare repealed and, if the GOP gains control of the Senate and increases its hold on the House this year, you can count on a vote to do that. Obama will veto it but he could be over-ridden. That would be historic.

It is, however, way too soon to be making any predictions. All manner of events could intervene and alter the political scene. For now, though, I am inclined to think that Gov. Perry has a good chance of emerging as the presidential nominee in 2016. It would not surprise me if Hillary Clinton decided she’s too old and too tired to put herself through a long campaign. After all, a virtual unknown named Barack Obama defeated her in 2008 when she did that the last time.

For now, I am greatly encouraged by the turnout at the CPAC convention. The future belongs to the generation that attended. They and their parents, and just about everyone else have been screwed by Obamacare and know it.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Gage Skidmore.

North Korean Voters Unanimous: We Are The 100%!

In a devastating counter-punch to all deniers and non-believers, North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un has won an unparalleled victory today, being re-elected with 100% votes and 100% turnout, which gives him an undisputed mandate to fundamentally transform his country into an even more democratic people’s republic.

In the United States, the Democratic Party leadership, its party organs, and the Obama-voting precincts all around America are congratulating North Korea today on achieving the same results as they did in 2012 presidential election of Dear Leader with 100% vote and 100% turnout, accompanied by assurances of international solidarity of all voters worldwide.

According to USA Today“Voters in the election have no choice who to vote for – there is only one candidate’s name on the ballot for each district. Instead, they have the choice of voting yes or no, and according to official accounts virtually all choose yes. North Korea also typically puts turnout nationwide at over 99%.”

This finally clarifies what the phrase “We are the 99%” really means. But that was last year. Today, being 99% is no longer an option – we must eliminate the remaining 1% and become the 100% – like in North Korea!

It is mandatory for all comrades to celebrate today’s glorious victory by ordering our commemorative T-shirts and other merchandise, which will empower you to express your solidarity with North Korean voters, as well as your commitment to progress and contempt for deniers.

Click on the images to go to the store!

Kim Jong Un - We Are The 100% shirtKim Jong Un - We Are The 100% Mug