Sunday, December 2, 2012

#14.5 School Sucks Project Podcasts 83 thru 101

[9-5-13: links corrected]
2011-3-11: #83 Seeds (1 of 2) Small People Can Be Dangerous
The title is a bit facetious. This is a kind of rant about the current education bureaucracy which should be of special interest to teachers. Brett happens to mention exactly why I personally decided that I would never become part of such a system, despite my desire and probably a little of my personal conviction as well, that I could be a pretty good school teacher, not because I have anything to teach, but because I am interested in getting others to learn whatever it is they want to learn. But that's not the point of public education as it currently stands, that's also not the point of government as it currently stands, so therefore this blog is one way that I have, small as it is, for trying to awaken people everywhere to the kind of world in which they are living.

We are living in domination systems, where commonly perceived truth is inseparable from authority; FORCE to back it up, just as ... another lifetime ago, when I was working for a huge corporation, one of my co-workers from China asked me how something could be true with no FORCE to back it up. Can you imagine? Truth, as I said to her then would be truth regardless of any FORCE used to compel political acceptance.

There are all kinds of ways people try to fit themselves into this domination matrix, acquiring as they imagine, significance, importance, etc. What are the results? Often the very worst human personality traits are forced to the top of the bureaucratic hierarchies. Is this what we want? I hardly think so. But what happens when you speak up? Brett talks about conditional encouragement. This is something running rife through society everywhere in the advanced and not so advanced world. Do we want this? Perhaps we'll finally reach some tipping point where something else can happen, maybe. In the meantime, recognize the truth; we all live in fancy gulags, “the wall” as Brett calls it.

2011-3-13: #84 Seeds (2 of 2) Bullying, Way Up In the Tree
A continuation of the last episode containing a webinar from the New Hampshire education bureaucracy (originally from the US Dept. Of Education) concerning the subject of bullying. I really like Brett acting like a commentator with questions, comments, etc. This is very powerful stuff.

2011-3-15: #85 Free Talk Live – Stephanie Murphy and I Discuss Teacher Unions & Wisconsin Students

A recorded Free Talk Live show with Stephanie Murphy. She interviews Brett. There were protests in Wisconsin at the time as the governor was attempting to bust their union, etc. The theme is developed which is basically one of the oldest natural tendencies known; capital will always outrun labour. Public unions have access to other people's money because there are no market signals; public schools are a near monopoly created and supported by government FORCE, therefore there really is no upward limit to remuneration, whereas unions representing workers in private structures eventually reach a tipping point where if they demand more their jobs go elsewhere or the business goes away; they are out of a job because they have priced themselves out of the market. Corporations vs. labour unions is a false dichotomy as both sides tend to use government FORCE to impose their will on others. More related topics are discussed and some interesting tidbits emerge; how political conventions are partially funded by taxpayers as “educational.”

There are a number of remedial actions possible, but for us who are interested in applications of the ideas of E. C. Riegel, we want to look at where the money is generated, who gets to create it (and destroy it) and how money passes through the economy. Wouldn't things be quite different, including where jobs are created or destroyed, whether or not labour unions are really necessary, etc. if there really were Value Units and a fully operational VEN? Here then are a wide range of possible topics and anyone who wishes may submit papers on these subjects for posting here on this blog, after all, I really never intended this to be exclusively my own creation.

2011-3-18: #86 Can We Blame the Students? (A Conversation With a College Professor)

Washington State University professor, Alex (last name given but not intelligible) is Brett's guest. He's a music teacher which is of some interest to me. He wanted to write about the situation in Wisconsin. He wanted to change the focus from teachers to students, many of whom show disinterest or do other things instead of attending to classes or homework, etc. He also complains about teacher evaluation being difficult to measure. Brett brings up market forces, but they really do not have any effect on public schools. Alex's main point seems to be lack of passion on the part of students. The bigger issue is that in American society, education is entirely based on the financial benefits of it. (Florence King said that Americans have great faith in education but loathe the educated.) 
Alex discusses modern idols who have material wealth and nothing else. Since life has been loaded with extrinsic motivators, carrots and sticks, and the idea of making as much money as possible with as little effort as possible. He also cites the absurdity of students determining how much a teacher knows about his/her subject. A better question might be how well a teacher communicates their information; poor teachers are poor communicators. As Alex describes what he considers good teaching, he bases it on something very close to the Trivium; they show that they have gone through all the steps required to arrive at great teaching rhetoric that communicates the subjects in a thorough, natural and un-FORCE-ed way.

Brett brings up the fact that by college, most students have acquired a poor attitude toward education because they have come through the meat grinder that is the public education system. So all the passion is gone and all they want is the piece of paper that might entitle them to go out and earn six figures with as little effort as possible. If we have been following along, none of us can reasonably suppose that things would be any different.

The subsidization of education has a disconnect in it; students do not directly pay the teachers, it's made to look as though it's free. Here's a lesson for all of us; that which is not paid for is not as highly valued, it is taken for granted. Alex makes the point that older students are better students. He affirms my long held contention that people shouldn't go to college right after high school and that the idea that everyone should go to college should probably end as well. A college education isn't for everyone. Most people have no idea of the real cost of an education, that knowledge has intrinsic value, that anything else but college (or the military) can be as valid as a life's path and that furthermore (and I have actually encountered this) that a person without a college degree can and should be as respected as one who has one, and when it comes to the heavy crafts industries where people are exposed to potentially dangerous situations, the remuneration should compensate them for their risks.

Brett is very good on the subject of FORCE and how it infects and ruins everything, even something like music which I may add at this point is part of the Quadrivium defining what a true liberal education is supposed to be. (I feel quite sure that I will be diving into that subject within a fairly short time.) Alex inveighs against specialization; degrees in one subject, etc. That too was a result of the Prussianization of education, including higher education, during the 19th century. There's much more that is discussed.

2011-4-7: #87 Keys (Instalment #5) Unplugging and Activating – A Show For Parents

Brett's guest is Laurette Lynn. Her website is here.  They discuss the terms “normal” and “alternative” and how the latter term is pejorative. Laurette's “red pill experience” happened when faced with her husband's poor medical diagnosis, that affected her family. He was cured of something very serious from alternative methods which led to questions whether the medical profession really had a monopoly on the answers. Their rising awareness mirrors many of our own, being subjected to “health nut” jeers, etc. This affected everything about them politically and socially. They discovered that they were living outside the mainstream and they were expected to conform. Her story is by no means unique. Those who are “members of the choir” who have already awakened to the reality of the situation will really enjoy her story. Her underlying message is that if you want to change society and the world, start changing the way you raise and educate your children. But be advised that as you change your life you may likely lose friends, and of course you'll gain others. That's just the way things are. Her description of how this affects her in terms of think through everything you end up doing is like what the Trivium exposes one to; accepting truth.
Ayn Rand- Anthem

2011-4-14: #89 (School News #6): Force Feeding ... For the Children [no longer available]

This one came with a disclaimer, or rather a warning that this episode was an explosive rant and contained ... objectionable language. Ah, it wasn't that bad. Apparently around this time a Chicago school banned homemade lunches! Wow! There were unforeseen consequences; students didn't eat lunch at all. He ties this into a similar Federal regulation that amounts to “eat what we offer you or go hungry.” This is symptomatic of the wider problem.


Healthy Mind – Fit Body

2011-4-29: #90 Teachers Unions 101 – This is what hypocrisy looks like.

As Brett said, for the record, a show on teachers unions, probably the beginning of a series. Those who discover the philosophy of liberty usually experience anger as a result, attack those who exposed it to them, etc. Since the philosophy of liberty is so obvious (it has been there like an unexplored continent, like America before Columbus), you'd think other people would see it as you do, but they just don't and wont, because they're so busy defending a failed system. Then usually comes a period of quiet and reflection, and then you decide that perhaps only a few out there who have seen what you have seen can ever understand you. So truth often makes one lonely. One is lucky if one has plenty of imagination so one can be one's own best friend and keep company with oneself. Don't some of the foremost proponents of enlightenment down through the ages caution against attachments? Yes, and it was well that they did so. Meanwhile economic insecurity dictates everything. One must do what one can to get by.

Brett brings up sustainability. Let me be perfectly frank about that word. It is used by those who already have far more than they'll ever need to justify why those who have next to nothing wont get even that, based on the facts of enforced and usually artificial scarcity, which benefits certain people at the expense of all others. Every time I hear the word sustainability, I cringe, grit my teeth and depending on my mood I might even get really angry and excuse me if you don't often lose it yourself.

But E. C. Riegel's insights about money turn all this on its head. Those who see this understand that at long last they might have a means of turning it all around. But even in this episode dealing with labour unions, one should become aware of the degree to which people's minds are clouded by collectivist thinking, deluded into thinking that there are no concerted efforts, plans, conspiracies way above their heads that determine the course of events that are seemingly beyond their control and they are themselves the victims of lifelong bullying and conformism into believing that someone else is supposed to look out for their basic interests, which is on its face irrational.

Brett makes it clear, without even saying it, that all this teachers union business boils down to money. The rest is pure hypocrisy because none of the other slogans thrown around have any basis in fact or reality and merely obscure the obvious facts that public employee unions determine how much of other people's money (through taxes) they will be able to “pull down” to maintain their, let's be honest, often rather meagre lifestyles.

People have no idea how much teaching costs or should cost because all that has been obscured by the system. None of the students subjected to “the education process” have any idea either. It's about time we found out and made up our own minds about what courses to take for remediation in education as well as everywhere else in society. I assert that Riegel's ideas would make this all very easy as everyone would set one's own monetary value to one's own work and therefore be forced to compete for competence and ability, not with the whole world of labour as some might suggest, but with those in each locality with similar skills. Then we'd find out what's really sustainable.

2011-5-16: #91 (Supplemental): Liberty Cap Talk Live Interview [no longer available]

This episode begins with a commercial about Porcfest sponsored by the Free State Project in New Hampshire (something I wouldn't mind attending in future years). The balance is taken up with part of an interview which covers some of the history of public schools. This is a pretty hard hitting interview.

2011-5-25: #92 Osama bin Laden – Any Questions?

Brett is brilliant at capturing the nonsense / horror of the times in which we live. He ties it all back to the lust for power and authority as it is expressed in the latest incarnation of that lust that extends back for thousands of years, the public schools. When people can't think critically, they use the argument from authority ... or the equally stunning fallacy of argument from public opinion. This episode contains basic core subject matter of the course.

2011-5-30: #93 (video) Brett on Adam vs. The Man

Brett on Russia Today (RT), which is (ironically for some Americans) becoming a widely circulated alternative news source.

2011-5-30: #93 (audio) Adam vs. The Man – School's Out for Summer Special

This is the complete audio version. Included is more discussions on the same subjects with Stefan Molyneux. There are some breaks in the audio stream. Prison and school are compared.


Alison Gopnik- The Philosophical Baby
Ron Paul- Liberty Defined

The Thrive Movement is featured on this website. If you decide to view this, please pay close attention to how this documentary, Thrive, presents the money issue. It gets the causes right (usury, compounding interest and fractional reserve banking), but when it offers a solution, IT'S ALL WRONG from E. C. Riegel's perspective because it empowers government rather than each one of us; they fall for the odious fallacy that governments should issue money. Apparently the producers of Thrive are themselves statists and cannot imagine a world without government meddling. Likewise they completely fail to recognize the ruinous practices of running huge international “public” corporations under Limited Liability laws, under which no simple entrepreneurial business could successfully operate. This gives corporations an unfair advantage over local or regional businesses, limits competition and stifles innovation as well as understating true costs of operation. Corporations are by their nature usually too large to be efficient or responsible. 

2011-6-3: #94 Brett & Laurette Make Trouble (Unplugged Mom Radio) [no longer available]

Some really frank discussion about public education, parenting, motherhood and society. Laurette clearly understands that tyranny is based on bankers' debt. She quickly runs through the history of this problem. TAXES DO NOT PAY FOR WHAT MOST PEOPLE SUPPOSE. There is nothing patriotic about paying taxes, in fact, though of course it is never discussed in public school American history classes, our own revolutionary war against Great Britain was a tax revolt against the Bank of England and indirectly against the East India Corporation whose flag we used as a basis for our own. Laurette really wraps up the whole thing; central banks run governments which run education, under which people are prepared for what? Those who bubble to the top are scooped up by government, corporations or universities. What ever happened to starting your own business? No one is trained for it, or allowed to suppose that they can succeed as “free enterprisers” Corporations do not like competition and tend toward monopoly, which leaves people out as a “musical chairs” phenomenon associated with a debt based, artificial scarcity economy and other neat tricks associated with bank financing, the calling in of loans, which results in the foreclosure and seizure of property that strictly speaking does not belong to them; theft. Merger and acquisition is another more massive kind of organized thievery.

Laurette also squarely gets the Social Security trap without indicating that governments (and central banks and corporations behind governments) require subsidies for the “losers” else they would incur violent revolution. The E. C. Riegel solution to Social Security and all other forms of state socialism is to return the issuing of money to the individual person where it rightfully belongs. Laurette didn't get into it further, but actually these transfer payments are necessary in order to compensate the recipients, not for their own failures to save for their retirement (indeed how many could actually do this under the system as it presently exists?), but to recompense all that the privileged factors in society (banks and corporations) have STOLEN from the recipients, who during their lifetimes were not adequately remunerated for their labour.

Parenthetically, I get real tired of hearing the super rich (anyone with $100 million of more in personal assets and that figure might be much less) complain about redistribution of their wealth, assuming as they always do that their money was earned honestly, when it was not. Redistribution happens as a matter of course, for those who really bother to study history, when some tipping point is reached beyond which people say “we've had enough, no more” and then these redistributions usually occur in a haphazard manner accompanied with much violence and disintegration of average living standards. It has happened before and since none have considered exactly why and taken steps to counter the natural trend, it will happen again. It might sincerely be hoped that in this 21st century, we could make the redistribution process happen peacefully and rationally by setting up at each local level (the or an) VEN to run in parallel with the present system, but I frankly doubt this can be done peacefully, power and corruption being what they are.

Probably the people we most need to convert and bring over to our side are law enforcement and the military, who are being cynically used by the no goods at the top to prevent the people from revolting. This could be done by getting to know each of these “peace officers” as people first, when they are not wearing their official costumes, and convincing them that they have far more in common with us than with the powers that be, who largely being psychopaths, really do not care about them as people at all. Then we can point out to them how unlawful their affiliations really are. Want to stop a war? Stop those who would be sent to fight in one, whether that be domestically or in some other country where they are not welcome or wanted. Above all, as individual people, these peace officers are entitled to our help just as is everyone else when it comes time to set up (the or an) VEN.

Brett uses a pyramid to symbolize substantiating critical thinking. Like it or not, he's referring to the Trivum, encountered in the Peace Revolution podcast series.

2011-6-13: #95 Free Talk Live – Collectivism and Constitution Worship [no longer available]

This episode starts out by stating for all who would hear and understand that the US Constitution does not bequeath any rights to anyone, that such rights are inalienable and exist before any document constructed by any group of men or women (or government as understood as a particular group of people) are not dependent on anyone, not another person or a government. We would add that equivalent with the right to self defence; to keep and bear arms, understood as a given inalienable right that lies beyond the law to conform or abridge anything, such restrictions are strictly speaking unlawful as is the right to free trade.

We hold along with E. C. Riegel that the right of any individual to issue their own money is likewise an inalienable right that cannot be abridged or given as a monopoly to any select group of people (a central bank).

The Constitution was set up to restrict the growth of government. It didn't work and no single individual is a party to it, as Lysander Spooner pointed out over a century ago. Therefore this show starts out by asserting that the Constitution is another idol people worship along with the state. I noticed there was an ad for bit-coin which is another alternative trading mechanism that started on the internet. This discussion is very wide ranging and addresses entitlements as likewise essentially unlawful.

All these are arguments from authority or arguments from FORCE without any rational basis.

2011-6-13: #96 Teachers Union 102 – Fairytale Villages and Rhetorical Bear 

This episode, which could have been titled Rhetoric and the Misrepresentation of Facts, focuses on political, socio-economic myths, amounting to a major rewrite of American history, to the good. It is best to destroy idols, dispel myths, especially those which cloud perceptions. Brett discusses reactions from the “greatest generation”, many in their 80's today. He explains the unspoken and unspeakable connections; the ennobling of war, etc. He then ties this propaganda from the past to those propagandists who support teachers unions today (not too hard). Beware that numbers and statistics sound to the average person like facts, when they usually are not, but since most people are not educated to recognize logical fallacies in the arguments presented to them, they are left defenceless when faced with the most base propaganda assaults. Bret lays much of this subject (teachers remunerations and their unions) bare to the relevant conclusions. Brett explains why he's no longer on Facebook, the viciousness of the ad hominem attacks, etc. 

Lawrence Reed- Great Myths of the Great Depression

2011-6-20: #97 Keys (Instalment 6): Autodidacticism and Engaging the “Public”

The importance of becoming an autodidact (a self taught person) and some ideas / rules of engagement with others. This is a wide ranging discussion of these and related topics among Brett and his colleagues. It summarizes a lot of what has been covered so far. The Trivium and pyramid of persuasion are both referenced.

2011-6-27: #98 Porcfest Education Forum

This is a recording of a presentation at the 2011 Porcupine Festival in New Hampshire.

2011-6-29: #99 Teachers Unions 103 – My First Discussion With a Public School Teacher

2011-7-18: #101 Unschooling Liberty – The Halldersons and the Unschool Bus

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