Many young adults struggle to, well, grow up. It’s been called the “failure to launch,” or the “Peter Pan Syndrome,” or “perpetual adolescence.”

Send them to Summit (http://www.summit.org/,  http://www.summit.org/media/pdf/summit-ministries-brochure.pdf) 

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What is Social Justice?

Social Justice is code for all the “good things” Progressives don’t need to argue for and won’t debate, yet what no one DARE! to argue against!

Political Correctness is a worldview based on emotion, such as “compassionately” coercing redistributive equality!!  In fact, inert minds are drawn to Progressive social justice like moths to a light bulb in the dark.

Social Justice is nothing if not collectivist statist political opportunism and intellectual laziness at the expense of liberty in order to restore “equality” of outcomes and “fairness”, instead of equality of opportunity and equality of law, especially economic equality.   It’s positive law (moral relativist, post-modern, nihilist social justice) instead of negative law (justice based on natural law).

The United Nations explicitly calls for institutionalized enforcement of global economic equality and the abolishment of policies based on individual liberty and justice that are not subservient to the agenda of social justice.

Anyone who resists overreaching state coercion of “fairness” can be justifiably treated and smeared as the “enemy.”   Yet Progressives claim that Conservatives are the ones seeking to impose their worldview upon society!

 

 

Common Core: Anatomy of a Failure

When Bill and Melinda Gates go to Africa and see healthy people and sick people, they presumably have a single thought: what can we do to make everyone healthy?  The problems are easily understood; goals can be clearly stated.  Given a big commitment, there’s a high chance of success.

When Bill Gates looks at education in America and sees good students and bad students, he probably assumes that these variations are part of the human condition.  That’s not a promising problem to focus on.

What fascinates Bill Gates is something else entirely: namely, the variety and incoherence from school to school, city to city, and state to state.  It looks so messy and inefficient.  And he thinks: a guy with my money and management skills should be able to organize all this disorder, turn it into an efficient machine, save the country, and make another fortune in the process.

Potentially all true. 

But at that moment he has lost the game.  Because he is no longer talking about educational goals, which must be our main concern.  He is talking about standardization.  He is talking about a tidier assembly line.  (But nobody ever said that democracy is supposed to be tidy.  Dictatorship is tidy.)

Bill Gates brought a programmer’s sensibility to education.  There is a maximally efficient way to design a piece of software.  So let’s do that, and stop all this other nonsense.  Bad plan, even with the best of intentions. 

As Bill Gates’s own experience with Vista proved, the problem lies is finding the perfect design.  You (a person or a society) would have to be a fool to put all your money on one solution.

There is also some willful deception or self-deception here.  If you state that henceforth all children should be able to do X, because that’s the new standard, does this mean that all children can do X?  Can even half the children do X?  Read some of the verbose standards, and you’ll probably conclude that virtually no kid can do X.

There seems to be a belief in magic.  Outline impressive goals (“internationally benchmarked,” no less) in a technical, officious way, and every kid will automatically soar to high levels.  But why would that happen?  Teachers still have to teach, and students still have to learn the information, fact by fact.  But our Education Establishment hates all those traditional practices.  It’s so much simpler to proclaim that henceforth all children will be college- and career-ready.  Presto!  That was easy. 

Bill Gates and Common Core are obsessed with arranging things in standardized patterns, coast to coast.  So we must have standards that will somehow apply to everyone.  Then we need identical curricula, and we’ll need identical tests.  All of these things will be aligned to each other and symmetrically arranged, like so many neat stacks of boxes in a shoe store’s warehouse.  And no one, from that point forward, will be able to think outside those boxes, try something new, or tell the Education Establishment to take a hike and stop annoying us.

The fact of the matter is that many different kinds of schools use many different approaches to achieve excellent results.  Look at all the great private schools, classical academies, Montessori schools, and strong public schools.  The variety and differences are a sign of health.  Let them flourish!

The best plan is to have schools and cities in charge of their own education, so that parents have some control, their suggestions are listened to, and everybody involved is constantly aiming for improvement, not ruthlessly enforcing a top-down mandate. 

I suspected from the start that Common Core would be a fraud and a failure for a simple reason: it recycled all the bad theories and methods from the last 75 years.

If you want to let Bill Gates off the hook, say this: he trusted the wrong people and their bad ideas.  The very same people who had dumbed down the schools were now being asked to create a reform program.  Oh, really?  How could that possibly work?  Typically, these people were socialists.  They wanted leveling, and they worked relentlessly to get it.  They – people like Bill Ayers – call this leveling “social justice.”

I’m not sure whether they tricked Gates or he let himself be tricked.  But everybody knows by now that Common Core accepted all the worst nonsense in Reform Math.  (That’s why we see so many articles and stories about impossible math homework.)  Similarly, Constructivism is the official dogma throughout Common Core.  This quackery orders teachers not to teach; students must figure out everything for themselves.  Similarly again, Common Core embraced sophistries from Whole Word, those sophistries being the cause of our illiteracy problem.

If Bill Gates had turned away from the Education Establishment and its dysfunctional ideas, maybe he could’ve worked a miracle.  But the boss educators would never allow that.  So they made a sweet deal.  Gates would get a huge, tidy market for his wares.  The education professors would get more dictatorial power.

You can talk all you want about standards – for example, “children should learn to read in a timely manner.”  Of course.  But what if the people in charge undermine this goal by using inefficient methods?  That’s the way it’s beenthroughout the 20th century.  All that Common Core was going to do was give the same people more power so no one could get out from under their thumbs.

Bill Gates was seeing a world where every seventh-grade history class would be identical to all the others, as if that’s more efficient.  Ideally for him, they would use books and software created by his companies.  But never mind how much Gates makes.  We wouldn’t mind if the children were being well-educated.  But he was in cahoots with people who had never been primarily interested in making children well-educated.  The goal, ever since the time of John Dewey, was to make children cooperative, largely incapable of independent thought, and easy to govern. 

According to Robin Eubanks:

In the American Common Core classroom any skill, concept, or activity must be accessible to all or most, including the disabled, disinterested, and those with poor English language skills. Or it is not permissible for anyone. Abstract thought is not an ability that has been fairly distributed so it is off limits for everyone in the Common Core classroom of the future. How convenient for anyone with aspirations toward gaining quiet control over masses of people.

Again, in fairness to Gates, I think he did what all the business leaders in the country have done for years when they want to improve education.  They call up the nearest school of education (that’s the fatal mistake) and say send over some experts.  The same “progressive” professors come over and lay out the same hack ideas.  Mediocrity is more or less inevitable.

Before, at least, there was still freedom to experiment and try to do better.  But with Common Core locked in legislatively, mediocrity would be the law of the land.

Forty-five states took the Race to the Top grants (i.e., bribes) and signed up for Common Core.  But Indiana just backed out, and most other states are restless and looking at their options.  Euthanasia is a good one. 

Bruce Deitrick Price explains education theories and methods on his siteImprove-Education.org.

Traditional Dating is a Bad Joke

Dating…

  1. …leads to intimacy, but not necessarily to commitment.
  2. … tends to pass over the “friendship” stage of a relationship.
  3. … often mistakes physical intimacy for love.
  4. … often isolates a couple from other important relationships.
  5. … distracts young adults from their primary responsibility for these years, which is preparing for the future.
  6. … can cause discontentment with God’s gift of singleness.
  7. … creates an artificial environment for evaluating another person’s character.
  8. http://www.challies.com/articles/the-bestsellers-i-kissed-dating-goodbye

A Utah Common-Core Test Denigrates Literature!! Elevates video gaming!!

Utah High School Student Captures Screen Shots of the Anti-Book Common Core Test

A Utah High School student took the Common Core (SAGE) test this week.  Seeing objectionable issues in that test, she thought her mother should know.  The student took screen shots using her cell phone and sent them to her mother.  Her mother passed them along to us.

The message given in this test is that book literacy is inferior to the playing of video games.  The test claims that literature forces passivity but video games teach students how to be leaders.  Long live grunts and smoke signals.

The test makes these following devilish assertions: “books understimulate the senses” and “books are downright discriminatory” and books are “choreographed by another person [while video games are not]“.  These are mean pushes toward valuing video gaming instead of books and they precisely match the pushy philosophy of Common Core creator-turned College Board President David Coleman.  They also match the philosophy of Microsoft Owner/ Common Core funder Bill Gates. So it is no surprise. It’s still sickening.

In this “writing test” there is no mention of any of the countless positive values of reading books: no value seen in the joy of receiving a story; no value in exposure to expressive vocabulary and imagination; no value to learning traditional spelling, composition or grammar competencies which hinge on book reading. There’s no mention of the value of learning humanity’s patterns by reading complex character studies in literature. There’s no mention of poetry, of the beauty of words, of the importance of cherishing our shared cultural history. There’s no mention of the truth that voracious readers become voracious learners and expressive writers.

Nope. It’s just down with books.  If this philosophy isn’t an example of the erosion of students’ exposure to traditional knowledge, and of the dumbing down and impoverishment of school children, I don’t know what is.

What would the future would look like if students actually swallowed and lived by such a philosophy? Speaking, writing, spelling, and reading would utterly devolve.  So this high school student’s choice to capture the test’s philosophies and expose them was an important act of civil disobedience.

Thoreau’s classic book, Civil Disobedience, says that individuals should prioritize conscience when conscience collides with law.  Benjamin Franklin put it this way: Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.  Parents, teachers and students are dealing with the tyranny of the Common Core’s wrong-headed philosophies and with the tyranny of a now-national education system that’s oppressing individual conscience.

Think it through.  Utah’s  law affirms the authority of a parent to have the final say over what a student will learn.  But education policies have become tangled to the point that today, only a 15-member parent panel has been allowed to look at the test questions, and these 15 are sworn to confidentiality.  Even after the test, no one gets to see what was tested.  Ever. Remember, too, that no parent or teacher –or even a legislator– was ever consulted prior to adoption of the standards upon which the test is based. The state school board alone mandated Utah’s adoption of the standards.  The test and its standards are experimental, but no parent was asked whether any of this was okay.

Confidentiality surrounding high stakes tests makes sense in that it prevents future test-takers from knowing what the questions are so that they can not have an advantage over students who took the test without knowing these questions ahead of time.  But there’s a problem when, at NO time, even months after the test, a parent may ever see what was shown to the child or asked of the child on that test.  This is an especially big problem in 2014, when much of what passes for education is blatant political or social indoctrination.

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/utah-high-school-student-captures-screen-shots-of-the-anti-book-common-core-test/

The Inert Post-Modern Conscience: Art exhibit at University of Michigan honors abortion as awesome ‘life-sustaining’ act

An art exhibit currently on showcase at the University of Michigan charts the glamorous history of abortion.

The “4000 Years for Choice” exhibit celebrates abortion as a “life-sustaining act,” reports The College Fix. Previously, the artist has called the practice “a gift from God.”

A University of Michigan webpage describes the exhibit as “an exhibition of posters about the age-old practices of abortion and contraception as a means to reclaim reproductive freedom as a deeply personal and life-sustaining act existing throughout all of human history.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/27/art-exhibit-at-university-of-michigan-honors-abortion-as-awesome-life-sustaining-act/#ixzz2xGkuXA4J

The Texas attorney general’s office argued that the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is a constitutional use of the Legislature’s authority.

This is fantastic news and another victory against abortion:

FOX NEWS – A federal appeals court has upheld Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions.

A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Thursday.

The Texas attorney general’s office argued that the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is a constitutional use of the Legislature’s authority.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers had argued the regulations did not protect women.

 

BOOM! US appeals court UPHOLDS new abortion rules in Texas

Posted on Mar 27, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The Profound Arrogant Ignorance and Stupidity of Liberals in Charge

The recent Twitter kerfuffle between Matt Drudge and the Obama/media/academic complex over the ObamaCare tax demonstrates in plain view and without question something many of us have known for years: while the organized left insist that they are the only ones smart enough to run the world, they remain astonishingly ignorant of how it works.  They’re even ignorant of how the most fundamental parts of laws that they champion operate.

In case you missed it, Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX” shortly after filing his first quarterly installment for 2014 as a self-employed person. Apparently unaware of how self-employed people pay taxes – which is neither new nor a secret – liberals at the White House, Talking Points Memo, the Huffington Post, and the National Journal all responded immediately by calling Drudge either a liar or ignorant, or both.  After all, the liberal reasoning went, Drudge could not possibly have paid a cent toward his 2014 ObamaCare “penalty” because it’s not 2015 yet.

Yes, these wizards who would organize everything and everyone lack even a cursory familiarity with the most basic of tax realities.

What is it Bill Engvall says?  Oh yeah: “Here’s your sign.”  These liberals really didn’t need Engvall’s sign at all.  They tweeted their own “I’m stupid” signs.  Some wrote full-fledged low-information articles, including TPM’s Dylan Scottand the HuffPo’s Jeffrey Young.

In none of these attacks on Drudge did it occur to these media maestros how self-employed people are impacted by the tax ramifications of ObamaCare.  If Drudge figures he’ll owe, say, ten million in federal income taxes for 2014 (it’s probably a lot more), he is required to send in a quarter of that now.  He would also be compelled to include charming little IRS add-ons in his payment, like the ObamaCare penalty.  Or is it a fee?  A tax, maybe?  Whatever John Roberts decided to call it, Drudge and other self-employed quarterly filers have indeed started paying it.

This is not some esoteric detail, nor is it overly technical – it is a fact of life that all self-employed people have had to deal with for many decades.  And not just the wealthy like Drudge or Rush Limbaugh – quarterly installments impact little shop proprietors and tiny contractors as well.  Welcome to the Main Street problems caused by applied liberal policies varnished by isolated but powerful interests on K Street and Wall Street. And yet, liberals who are highly paid to comment on such things know nothing about it.  Neither do Obama administration hacks who helped ram this absurdity through Congress.

There’s no word if Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner has weighed in yet on the issue.  Geither, of course, was the first low-information appointment made by the low-information president-elect in late 2008.  Back then, low-information voter euphoria had Obama riding waves of approvals in the 70s.

But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence.  You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact.  Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances.  Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country.  And why not?

We have a low-information president, who has appointed a low-information cabinet, including the low-information secretary of health and human services who is applying a low-information health care law (one of many such laws) behind the big power of a low-morality Internal Revenue Service.  The result of all of this low information in power is a low-liberty nation.

So when Matt Drudge – fully complying with the inane and unworkable law as it applies to his 2014 taxes – calls them out on it, they publicly and bumptiously step in their own pile of ordure.  These liberals, who claim that they alone can run the auto industry, the banking industry, and all of health care – haven’t the foggiest notion how one of the most basic tenets of tax law works.  This particular part of a disastrous health care law is exhibit A for what happens when those who have never signed the front of a business check in their lives have power over those who have.  And power over everybody else, too.

Pardon the worn out cliché, but the inmates really are running the asylum. Yet when you expose their ignorance and incompetence, they just ramp up the outrage.  Frankly, Drudge wasn’t even trying to expose their ignorance.  He was simply making a point, and the policy mavens came out of the woodwork and volunteered headlong into their own excreta.

And yet, there will be no apologies, nor will any of these pseudo-experts be fired or even censured.  This is not what happens on the left.  When they make obvious and grotesque mistakes, they simply double down, or change the subject, or attack someone on the right personally.  And as we see daily with the headlines around Obama Care, liberals make obvious and grotesque mistakes all the time. This ignorance and arrogance can be demonstrated with Obama Care, and filtered down through almost every other leftist dream program, from Dodd-Frank to the EPA to Common Core.

The profound arrogant ignorance of liberals, on display daily.  This is the kind of thing that could make for a dynamic, funny, sarcastic, and effective political message, should an opposition party to the Obama machine ever re-emerge.

Minnesota U.S. Representative Keith Ellison admits what all Democrats should: End the 2nd Amendment

US MN Rep Keith Ellison is not known for being particularly smart. He gets by on the standard left-wing canards of incendiary race-baiting and income inequality rhetoric, but no one would accuse him of being a “big thinker.” Even his own party spends a fair amount of time trying to distance itself from his proclamations. However, on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher, he said something that the Democrat Party should embrace.

According to Maher, who – of course – is an admitted gun owner, America is a country ruled by crazed gang of radical gun nuts. He’s terribly upset that the Constitution is standing in the way of putting an end to this, so he wants it altered.  To that end, he asked Ellison why the Democrat party doesn’t just ‘come out’ of the anti-gun closet and wage open warfare against the 2nd Amendment.

“Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.” Maher asked.

“I sure wish they would,” replied Ellison. “I sure wish they would.”

Inert Minds. 90 percent of us believe that we are eating a healthy diet

http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/03/24/30-survey-results-sound-false-actually-true/

70 percent of all Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.

20 percent of all government workers and 26 percent of all Obama supporters consider the Tea Party to be “the biggest terror threat” that America is facing.

60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”.  Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.

A survey of employers that currently pay minimum wage to at least some of their employees found that 38 percent of them would start laying off employees if the minimum wage was raised.

One survey found that 56 percent of Americans believe that it is okay for the government to track “the telephone records of millions of Americans” in order to keep us safe.

One survey found that 51 percent of all Americans agree with this statement: “it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”

65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”.  That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.

Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.

70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014″.

Right now, 29 percent of all Americans under the age of 35 are living with their parents.

According to one survey, 24 percent of all U.S. teens that have a sexually-transmitted disease say that they still have unprotected sex.

Approximately one out of every five teenage girls in the United States actually wants to be a teenage mother.

89.7 percent of all Americans believe that they are eating a healthy diet.  Meanwhile, approximately 36 percent of all Americans are obese.

48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up at all.

Progressives Know How to Remove Individual Threads Woven in the Fabric of Liberty

http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/03/24/first-duty-american-citizens-protect-freedom-government/

The saying “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is a stirring reminder that we must always be alert to threats against our freedom. Liberty is not fragile, because, once people experience true freedom they refuse to give it up. But freedom can be stolen from us if we don’t pay attention to what is happening. Thus, the first duty of every citizen is to guard against this theft by exercising “eternal vigilance.”

Think of freedom as a piece of woven cloth. The cloth is very strong, but the threads from which it is woven are each fragile. Therefore, the enemies of freedom never try to tear the cloth, only to cut the threads gradually, stealing individual freedom and rights gradually by cutting the threads one-by-one until the cloth falls in tatters. The cloth is our nation; the threads are the laws that keep our freedom and rights secure.

No More Conscience Left in The Western World: Aborted Babies Burned to Power Hospitals in UK

http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/03/24/aborted-babies-burned-power-hospitals-uk/

Aborted and miscarried babies are being incinerated as “clinical waste,” with some being used to power hospitals in the UK, a policy that some have defended as an efficient means of sustainable recycling.

 

Image: Baby (Wiki Commons).

“Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning fetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat,” reports the Telegraph. The revelations emerged as a result of a Channel 4 Dispatches program set to be broadcast in the UK tonight which found that more than 15,000 babies were incinerated.