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I've been banging away on my keyboard. Here's some new articles. In The Armed Citizen, we have: Soldier, Officer, CitizenAccoutrements for training, and What’s your Tueller Distance? In the book reviews there's Prepared: Surviving Worst Case Scenarios. Enjoy!

Government doesn't owe you shit

It's been case law since 1856 when SCOTUS ruled in South v. Maryland that Law Enforcement has no duty to protect individual citizens. You cannot sue the police for damages if you call them for help and they do not respond in time (or at all).

One of the more brutal examples of this is Warren V. District of Columbia.

The story of the plight of disarmed D.C. residents really begins on the night of March 16, 1975, when three women, sharing a townhouse, were awakened by the sound of their door being kicked in. This was no ordinary burglary or home invasion; this was a horrific, unspeakable crime.


Two of the three roommates had rooms upstairs. They were awakened by the screaming of their friend downstairs who was being beaten, raped and sodomized by two men.


Carolyn Warren called the police and was told help was on the way. She and her other upstairs roommate watched in horror as a police car passed their home, merely slowing down. They called the police a second time. This time, there was no response at all. After an hour, hearing no sounds from the floor below, they called down to their friend, but merely alerted the rapists to their presence.


After that, all three women were forced to endure 14 unspeakable hours of sexual torture.

In essence, the government, short of a "special duty" has zero obligation to come to your aid if you are in distress. This is why the importance of having the Right to use the tools you determine necessary to defend yourself (i.e., firearms) is absolutely critical. I also spoke on this in my article The 'Why' of the Second Amendment, Part 1.

Teachers (as government workers in the public school system) are under the same non-obligation. In June 2018, a Michigan judge ruled the state has no duty to provide literacy services to children. Judge says there's no fundamental right to learn to read and write. In the "'Why' of the 2nd Amendment" article, I stated that the deputy who waited outside of the school during the Parkland school shooting had no legal requirement to enter the building and engage the shooter. His obligation was to arrest the shooter and bring him to the prosecutors. The human thing to do would have been to charge in and engage the shooter, even at the risk of his own life.

The government has no obligation to educate you. I can't say that enough. George Carlin in a rare moment said (paraphrasing), "...[those in charge] want workers who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but lack the critical thinking skills to see how bad things suck." The bad news is, the government pretty much is in charge of the People.

The decision to be literate is made by the person. No other person can force them to learn to read and write. Quite frankly, children can be taught by the parents that they don't need to learn these things, which is why if you read the article, you would find that only 44% of Detroit third-graders can read and write at their grade level. This just boggles my mind. I don't know if the parents don't care, if the children have learned helplessness from the parents and don't try, or the teachers are incompetent. Probably all three to varying degrees.

The advancement and enhancement of society in general depends on each citizen knowing as much as possible about a few things and being somewhat knowledgeable on many things. In my daily job, over 80% of my service calls are due to end-users not understanding the basics. They try to use equipment that clearly says "NOT IN SERVICE," or the screen is dark. They put documents into the wrong ports, the access cards they have to insert look like a Pringles chip and so on. One time a piece of equipment was getting removed from a site to allow for the installation of a newer unit. It was on the truck and ready to be hauled away and an end-user climbs up on the truck to use the old model. It had to be explained to the end-user that the unit on the truck would not work because it was not hooked to electrical power.

Common sense, the ability to acquire knowledge, to logically reason based on that knowledge and the ability to defend yourself are have to come from within yourself, through your own active efforts. If you let government give them to you, don't be surprised to find them not there to help you, or to be there to hurt you.


The case for school vouchers

The definition of insanity is basically “doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.” Stupidity has to be defined as “Trying harder to increase results when earlier tries with the same method have not produced a measurable positive result.”

It’s actually become one of those blasé dichotomies about Liberals: “We spend too much on healthcare!” but then they turn around and say “We need to spend more on education!” We as the government are spending more and more on education, yet we as children, parents and communities are receiving very little returns for our investment.

I found this PDF, State Education Trends where spending and SAT scores are broken down by state. The data is quite alarming. The spending by states on education between 1972 and 2010 has been nothing less than staggering. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the average nationwide school spending per student has increased 118 percent. There is a wide variance in the levels of the increase, Arizona’s spending has gone up only 60 percent while Montana’s spending increased a whopping 225 percent.

Yet, the Liberals favorite standard, the SAT scores (Liberals want everyone to go to college and not to trade school) has dropped. Four states have had the SAT scores increase over the given period, with Mississippi on top of the list at an 11 percent increase. Alabama, Louisiana and Michigan all also had an overall increase of SAT scores. North Carolina has remained unchanged. This leaves 45 states whose SAT scores have declined. For those of you who don’t math very well, 90% of the states have seen their SAT scores decline. New York and Delaware tied for the bottom at an 8 percent decline, followed by Wyoming (remember, their spending increased 225 percent) Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

Here’s the telling part: The number of school employees (Teachers, assistants, administrators, clerical staff, maintenance, etc.) have increased 97 percent. I find this interesting because in California (I don't know about the other states), teachers have the choice on if they want to join the state Teachers Union. However, paying dues to the union is mandatory. You have to pay, member or not. Where does that money go? Into lobbying to increase the scope and power of the public education system, of course! Where else would it go?

Here’s an example to give you a context. In 1970, say a school system had 1,000 students and 50 employees (a 20:1 ratio). In 2010, there are now 1,008 students and 99 employees, for a 10:1 ratio. So we have more people “working for the children,” but we aren’t seeing a net increase of our children’s test scores.

Since 2000, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has been giving a standardized test to 15-year-old students every three years to judge and rank countries by student performance. This test scores the students on math, science and reading.

In 2015, the United States scored 40th (470), 25th (496) and 24th (497) in the respective areas out of 72 countries. The #1 performer in all three areas? Singapore, scoring 564, 556 and 535. Here’s the kicker: According to UNESCO, in 2010 Singapore spent 11% of their GDP per capita per student on primary education and 16.7% on secondary education. The United States spent 20.9% on primary and 24.3% on secondary. When you factor in the difference between the GDP’s, Singapore spent 60% as much per student in elementary schools and 75% of what the US spent for high school.

If I was an educator with some common sense, (I have some common sense but I’m not an “educator” except in the context of this blog educating you, my dear readers) maybe we should send some people over there to you know, look at how they do things and see if we can use bits from it to improve our children’s scores?

The United States was meant from the outset for each state to be a “different experiment in freedom.” Everybody try things in different ways, then report back to the group on what works and what doesn’t. Then (the most important part) the states that didn’t do so hot go back and try what worked. Out of 100 different experiments, 90+ will probably fail, however they provide valuable data other states can use, even if they know what not to do. When we have one federal governmental bureaucratic entity dictating most of how things will be done, there is no room for that experimentation.

I cannot say this enough: I am all for maximum personal choice. I firmly believe that parents should have the choice to send their children to the school of their choice, public, private, charter or home. If the community charges school taxes, the parents should have that money earmarked for their children to pay for the school of their choice.

You don’t get better unless you have competition. Competition forces you to get better at your product or service. If you have no competition, you languish, if not decline because you don’t have to improve yourself. Your customers will come to you because they have no choice.


Failing to Fail

No, I do not mean that you passed by using the double negative of "failing to fail." This story, California Will Give Free High School Diplomas To Kids Who Flunked Out is about how California may be granting High School diplomas to about 249,000 students who failed the CASHEE (California High School Exit Exam). First of all, it's 8th grade material, second you only need a 55% score to pass. Second, if I scored 55% on a test, I'd have been beaten to within an inch of my life. That level shows no mastery of the material. 55% can be explained by eliminating the most outrageous answer and randomly picking from what choices remained.

A diploma is a certificate that the bearer possesses a standardized level of knowledge. To give an 18-year-old a certificate that indicates they have a minimum level of skills they were supposed to know as a 14-year old is a very low standard. To not be able to meet that level and still possess that certificate surpasses the level of negligence on the part of our educators.

I am personally dismayed about how little the young adults who are pushed out of the school system actually know. They might have knowledge, they might have facts, however they generally lack practical skills.

I have been thinking about this, and I have compiled a list of practical life skills that a young adult needs to know when out by themselves in the world. This list is in no way complete.

They are, in no particular order:

  • Develop and follow a financial budget.
  • Balance a bank account.
  • How to purchase groceries.
  • How to prepare a balanced meal.
  • How to wash clothes.
  • How to clean and maintain their living space.
  • How to perform minor household repairs.
  • How to budget their time (work/play, arrive early, etc).
  • How to be interviewed for a job.
  • How to perform minor clothing repairs.
  • How to set a life goal and intermediate goals.

The "Why" Behind Common Core

Folks, here it is. From the mouth of the guy who co-wrote Common Core:

He wrote it because he felt guilty about his "White Privilege." He grew up somewhere different from me, because I sure never received anything based on the fact that I am a white male. N-E-V-E-R. I earned what I have gotten in my life, the good things and the bad things.

I was appraised by every company who hired me by what I had done and learned in the past. I was appraised on my knowledge and talents. My knowledge came from learning in school until I graduated from High School. My talents were developed by applying that knowledge. Just as an aside, I was one credit shy from graduating at the end of my junior year. I needed 18 credits to graduate, I had 17. At the end of my senior year, I had 23 credits. So I did not "coast" through my Senior year.

It was made very clear to me by my parents growing up that I had to acquire and understand knowledge. I had to acquire it so that it would always be at hand when I needed it. I also had to understand it so that I can make proper use of that knowledge. "He has more degrees than a thermometer but not a lick of sense" is someone who as acquired knowledge, but does not understand it enough to use it.

Most descriptors regarding human beings are reflected on a bell curve. It really doesn't matter what is being described, it is some form of a bell curve. There are some people on the far left, some people on the far right, and most in the middle. Liberals want us to all be the same. Like ants or bees. All working in harmony, together for the common good. Of course, they want to be the queen so they can be waited on hand and foot, but that's another story.

People are not ants or bees. We are individuals, and as such we each perform differently. Some people want to learn, some people don't want to learn, some people can't learn. Those people who want to learn generally end up on the right side of the bell curve. Those people who can't or don't want to learn generally end up on the left side of the curve. Just to be clear, we as a society should help those who can't learn to be productive to their level and have dignity in their lives. If you don't want to learn, you suffer the consequences of your actions.

When Liberals try to externalize the ideas that exist in the space that's between their ears, those ideas generally fall flat, or cause more damage than good. No matter how noble their intentions or lofty their goals, there are ideas that fail every time they are tried. To make everybody the same is one of them.

Liberals in education just can't fit some ideas into the universe between their ears, like some people don't want to learn. This clashes with their "everybody must be equal" meme, so their efforts must then revolve around pushing the entire curve to the left, to the lowest common denominator. Which is what I have seen the efforts have been in Common Core. Instead of requiring students to memorize multiplication tables, they are taught the most infuriating and mind-numbing method possible. Example: to answer 2 X 6, you have to draw two horizontal rows of six circles each, then count them to come up with twelve. Heavens forbid if you were to draw those rows vertically. You might get the answer correct, but the methodology is wrong, so the answer is wrong, even when it's correct.

Some subsets of society (say that three times fast) do not place a high priority on learning and knowledge. Some subsets of society of society do. By and large, those cultures who do not value learning end up with a large portion of those people ending up dropping out of school and becoming a drain on society. Here in Memphis, our graduation rate, last I heard was in the 50-60%. In order to correct that, some years ago they came up with the "Every Child. College Bound" program. It failed miserably. Why? Because not every young adult wants to go to college.

When I was in High School, your freshman year was used to evaluate you. Halfway through your sophomore year, you were guided towards one of three options for after graduation. Either you graduated and ended your academic learning at that point, which led to menial dead-end low-pay jobs. If you showed some talent with your hands, you could be steered into the Vo-Tech program, where you learned a trade (mechanic, plumber/electrician, etc.). The last option way you showed a penchant for learning and knowledge and you were groomed for college. When I was at the MEPS in Cleveland enlisting, the Petty Officer processing my paperwork took a look at my school grades and my ASVAB score, his jaw dropped open, and he asked me, "How would you like to go to Annapolis?" As in to be an officer. I turned it down. I had done enough research to know what I would be going through if I went, and I didn't want to endure it, no matter the prize at the end of the road.

You cannot force a person to learn, nor force them to think. The best thing you can do is leave those who do not wish to learn behind and cause them discomfort until they realize it's more comfortable to be intelligent than unintelligent. Use methodologies that have been proven to work to help children to acquire and understand knowledge. Guide them towards where their level of knowledge and talents would help them become whom they want to be. Train for the jobs of today, because yesterday's jobs aren't there anymore and tomorrow's jobs we don't know what you will need for them.

Context and Completeness is Required in History

I have been wanting to write about this since I learned about the walkout by students in Colorado. It just never came out in a coherent fashion until tonight. "History is written by the victors" said Winston Churchill. The word "History" actually comes from "His story," which meant the winners got to tell the tale of what happened. So, there will always be a slant and an agenda in any history teachings. Ben Carson, a possible Republican Presidential candidate for 2016 is now on the record against the AP US History. Here is what Ben said:

“I am a little shocked quite frankly looking at the AP course in American history that’s being taught in high schools across our country right now. There’s only two paragraphs in there about George Washington. George Washington, believe it or not. Little or nothing about Martin Luther King. A whole section on slavery and how evil we are. A whole section about Japanese internment camps. A whole section about how we wiped out American Indians with no mercy. I mean I think most people when they finish that course, they’d be ready to sign up for ISIS. This is what we are doing to the young people in our nation. We have got to stop this silliness. We have to stop crucifying ourselves. Have we made mistakes as a nation? Of course we have. Why? Because we are people and all people make mistakes.”

Now, I personally do not like some of his positions, especially on gun control. Realistically, I will never agree 100% with any candidate, unless I run for office myself.

As in all elections, you have to look at a candidates positions and decide which one is closer to your own values. But I digress.

History is very messy. The people involved are very complex. Famous people in history have done things you might like, other things they have done you might abhor. With the exception of one person in the entire realm of human history, that's just the way it is. Any history course that over-focuses on either the good parts or the bad parts is an inadequate course.

The teachers that use the syllabus have a flexibility in what and how they present the information. I do agree with Ben here. If all you teach is how Americans wiped out the Native Americans, enslaved Africans and tried to exterminate the Japanese people, you are teaching our children that this country is evil. No one truly views themselves as evil, so I can see how teaching nothing but "Evil American Imperialism" can result in some of these students wanting to fight against what they have been told we are.

History is very complex. For instance, let me speak on slavery for a moment. A lot of people do not know this (because it isn't taught), about where the men and women who arrived in America as slaves started. In Africa, wars have been fought for thousands of years over shades of blackness between tribes. Tribe A didn't like tribe B, for the sole reason tribe B was lighter-skinned than tribe A. Not "White vs. Black," rather "coffee colored" vs. "chocolate colored." So, tribe A would attack tribe B and either wipe them all out, or make slaves of them. A lot of these captured men and women would be taken to the West Coast of Africa, where they were sold to Dutch traders and eventually ended up in the United States as slaves.

By the way, slavery is still going on today, this hour, this minute in Africa. Maybe they'll get around to abolishing it next year. Don't complain about ancient history when it's current events.

In case you didn't know it, there were free Black men who were slave owners themselves. There was also at least one Regiment of black slaves who fought for the Confederacy in the American Civil War. And just in case you thought slaves were used for dangerous work, quite the opposite. Many Irish offered themselves as indentured servants (which is basically a fancy way of saying "white slave") in order to be able to emigrate to America. The difference was, an indentured servant served for only a period of time, generally five to seven years.

At the end of their term, they became free themselves. One of the most dangerous jobs in the South was offloading the cotton bales from the ships that worked their way up and down the rivers of the South. It was the Irish indentured servants who "caught" the cotton bales being offloaded from the riverboats. If a line broke and a 500 pound bale fell on an Irishman, who really cared? If a slave was injured or killed, the owner was out a significant sum of money, spent in acquiring the slave and the potential income to be derived from the slaves labors.

Concerning the Native Americans, please tell me, when in the history of man where this never happened before? When the Romans moved into what is now Germany and England, they encountered the Germanic Tribes and other peoples like the Picts. Whenever a group of people move into a region where the natives were of a lower technological level already lived, the lower technology always lost. Very few borders in the world today are where they are because of "mutual agreement." They are there because one group took that land, or had it taken from them by force.

When Early Industrial Age Colonists came to America, they encountered a Stone Age society, namely the Native Americans. The Industrial society took the land from the Stone Age society. I am not saying this was good or bad, right or wrong, it happened and all the wishing in the world won't change the past. The United States is not perfect. It was created by flawed men. There are many instances in our history we should be ashamed about. There are also many instances where we should be proud of that we have done.

As a people, we have tried to do the right thing. Our forefathers fought for and created a new type of society, where the government did what the People told them to do, not the other way around. Americans invented the light bulb, plastics, the aircraft and a million other technological advances that changed the world, for the worse and the better.

Teachers and parents should teach our children how to think, not what to think. You do that by talking about history, with all of the known facts and the context of why those people did what they did. Only then will you truly learn the lessons of history.

The Indoctrination of Our Children

The word Indoctrination is defined as, "often refers to religious ideas, when you're talking about a religious environment that doesn't let you question or criticize those beliefs. The Latin word for "teach," doctrina is the root of indoctrinate, and originally that's just what it meant." It is a neutral word, meaning it can be used for or against your ideas and beliefs.

In today's lexicon, it is usually referred to as "a training away from where we want the person to believe or think." Children are intellectual sponges. They are raised and trained to parrot back what they have learned until they are able to reason for themselves. This initial training is the foundation on how they will think and perceive the world for the rest of their lives. If a child is taught to think for themselves, or to let others think for them, the first few years of school is where either of these are indoctrinated and instilled into them. Too many parents surrender this foundational indoctrination to the schools. Which is why the following picture is so disturbing: Common Core Indoctrination

This is a picture of a child's school worksheet, supposedly produced in compliance with Common Core. It asks the child to use contractions to reword the statement and make it less wordy.

It starts out simple enough, but do you see the shift toward blindly accepting authority?

1. The job of a president is not easy. Yes, I can agree with that. The most powerful person in the world has to make tough choices every day.

2. The people of a nation do not always agree. Again, true. If we all agreed, we'd be part of a hive mind instead of individuals.

3. The choices of the president affect everyone. Three out of three. What he decides to do (or not do) affects everyone in the country to some degree.

4. He makes sure the laws of the country are fair. Umm, no. The job of the President is to enforce all of the countries laws. It does not matter if he likes them or not, he swore to uphold all of the laws. He can veto bills he doesn't like, however under the Constitution, Congress makes the laws and the President enforces them.

5. The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all. BZZZZZZT!!! Wrong answer! If the laws are unjust, if the "commands of government officials" violate the law of your basic freedoms, then hell no are you supposed to obey them!

The power of the government derives its power from the consent of the governed. The Citizen has an obligation to disobey laws that violate the Constitution. The capriciousness of laws imposed on the Colonies by King George III was the very reason why we rebelled in the first place.

6. The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation. Way wrong! No way! If the individual were to be subsumed into the whole, then the very foundation, the very reason for the existence of this country will be destroyed. We are a nation of individuals, all acting in our own best interest. As long as our interests betters ourselves and those around us, without detracting from others, we individually enhance the well-being of our nation.

When you surrender your wants and needs to a government official (which #5 says you must obey) then you are allowing them to think for you. That is an anathema to everything the United States was founded upon.

A teacher is supposed to teach their students how to think, not what to think. This course change is the culmination of years of work in the gradual reshaping of our educational system. The Liberal belief that everybody (other then themselves, of course) is not smart enough to think for themselves. The people below the Liberals, in their twisted way of thinking, must be "reshaped" until they do think and act "correctly." Read Nineteen Eighty-Four and This Perfect Day. If we do not stop this Liberal onslaught, one of these will be our inevitable outcome. Either we will be in perpetual terror, or we will be ants. I do not like either outcome.

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