Tag: Children

What the Left and Right Ought to Learn From the Immigration Debacle

By Atilla Sulker | United States

Like many contemporary issues, the debacle regarding immigration and the separation of immigrant families has become a polarizing and divisive issue in America. Ideologues on the left and the right both spew propaganda to try to discredit the other side, and as a result, the political scene has become nastier and further fractured. Those on the left and the establishment leaning right have become demagogues and have made this an emotional issue, while those on the populist right blindly support the protocols set by the Attorney General and others. The issue is far from over, but there is a more fundamental lesson that must be learned from this fiasco.

It is interesting that both sides have decided to focus so carefully on the separation of immigrant children from their parents, yet they have not bothered to pay attention to what I see as the domestic equivalent to this. And this is the gradual alienation of children here in America from their parents, which has taken multiple forms. The current issue with immigration can be very disheartening, but what good is it to set any moral standards in regards to immigrants, when we don’t apply this same thinking to our own children. This whole debate has ultimately distracted people from what domestic institutions have been doing both explicitly and implicitly. Humane treatment from any administration or government can not be expected if we can’t even set these standards for ourselves.

CPS

Let us look at the Child Protection Services and examine its assumption of children from parents. In a paper written by Professor Paul Chill titled “Burden of Proof Begone”, Chill finds that of the over 100,000 children removed from their families in 2001, over one-third of them were later found to never have been mistreated or abused. Chill also recognizes that this is coupled with the fact that the definition for mistreatment is very broad. “Reasonable cause” is enough to bring the CPS knocking at your door. I don’t mean to digress, but this sort of “reasonable suspicion overriding probable cause” approach was used under the Patriot Act in a post 9/11 world. The assuming of such powers by the CPS presents a very similar case. It is yet another way in which the state is intruding into our lives.

The fundamental problem with such organizations as the CPS and the Department of Children and Families is that the state practically assumes ownership of children. It is one thing to enforce the non-aggression principle and punish parents who have abused children. It is another thing to give the state the authority to assume ownership of our children. Even if the moral argument against the state is not sufficient, practically speaking, the utter inefficiency of the CPS based on the statistics presents a good argument against government assuming such a role. I think it is safe to ask the question “ do parents really own their children?”.

Schooling

These explicit means are indeed something we must examine, but the government has also found a way to implicitly isolate the child from the parent. And this is the gradually increasing assumption of monopoly powers in schooling by the government. It may seem like an absurd statement at first to the typical sheep who obey their government masters, but the filtering and controlling of ideas is indeed a very powerful tool that the state uses, and it is especially useful for children, who possess young and fertile minds. Sheer military power is not enough for the state to keep control over its people. The state must also indoctrinate its subjects in its ideas. North Korea provides an excellent case study of how this indoctrination is used to maintain order.

Since I am in the public schooling system right now, I have had direct and recent experience in regards to this indoctrination. I had one teacher in my junior year in high school who would constantly make fun of me and embarrass me in class on a near daily basis for not agreeing with her progressive agenda. I didn’t mind and I understood she was joking around as well, but this goes to show you what kind of people are in the public school system. They are close-minded, safe space junkies. The censoring and suppression of ideas becomes nearly immediate when the discussion becomes just a little controversial. There was another teacher who was an ardent feminist that would make us read feminist articles, and only such articles. I don’t mind teachers discussing politics with students, but when their politics affect the information that they feed to the students, it becomes a problem. I believe it is crucial that all perspectives are considered.

So we have now established the premise that government schooling can at its most extreme be terribly biased. So what about homeschooling? Even then, the state has supervision over what must be taught to the students by their parents. Occasional evaluations are administered by the state to see how well a student has been indoctrinated by the ideas pushed forward by the state. According to an article written by Lynn Hatter in WFSU in 2013, a couple faced 10 charges that could put them in jail for up to 60 days per charge. And why did they face these charges? According to the state, their children had not been properly indoctrinated. The story occurred here in Leon County, Florida. Such cases are not necessarily rare; they can happen where you live too. I’m all for education, but what I am against is the government deciding what standards the education must conform with, and in such a way assuming even more ownership of children. It presents yet another example of the state alienating the child from the parent, even if doing so implicitly.

Jeff Sessions

A final point I want to make is in regards to the Attorney General’s comments in comparing the bringing of children across the border to smuggling. Sessions claims that since the act of bringing immigrant children across the border can be likened unto smuggling, the state has the right to confiscate the children. In making such a claim, Sessions is taking the stance of a legal positivist. And all those who support such a policy are doing the same. In making this claim, the Attorney General is assuming that it is not wrong for the government to confiscate money and personal belongings from domestic citizens, and he is, therefore, extending this notion even further by applying it to immigration. His application of this doctrine to immigration assumes that he first applies it to domestic protocols, then protocols in regards to immigrants.

A large part of the populist right-wing takes this legal positivist stance regarding immigration and load of other issues, all this being influenced by strong nationalism. The left wing, however, is not exempt from any criticism. They claim to be such great supporters of civil liberties, but support to censorship of websites and organizations that they deem “too extreme” or “too far right”.

Remembering Home

I think that the immigration controversy is certainly an issue that has to be addressed properly and is not something that can be solved overnight, but it is fallacious to assess that situation without even assessing what is going on here at home. We can not ignore the ways in which the state is alienating the child from his or her parents, both explicitly and implicitly. If we don’t have a sound foundation of ideas regarding how we, the citizens of the United States ought to be treated, what good is it to try to solve the current controversy. We must treat others in the same way that we want to be treated, and if this doctrine is to be held true, immigrants won’t get treated any better. If anything, this debacle has revealed a plethora of inconsistencies on both the left and right.


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Atlanta Teacher Gets Upset, Claims Trump Is Trying To Bring Back Segregation

By Jason Patterson | United States

Josie Orihuela, a student at Hampton Middle School near Atlanta, began recording on her phone when sixth-grade teacher Johnetta Benton began screaming about the president.

“When my president says let’s Make America Great Again when was he talking about?” Benton asked on tape, stating that he must be referring to when “[America] was great for Europeans.”

“Because,” Benton continues, “when it comes to minorities, America has never been great for minorities.”

Early this month a similar issue happened in the same town where a teacher requested students write letters to their lawmakers demanding gun control.

Orihuela said Benton made the comments as she was introducing a video to celebrate Black History Month.

“It kept getting worse and worse,” she stated.

Though not captured on the audio played by Huntsman, Orihuela said that at one point, Benton surmised aloud that “Make America Great Again” could be a precursor to “trying to bring back segregation.”

In 1954, the Supreme Court – led by Chief Justice Earl Warren – outlawed school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Orihuela also said she showed her mother the tape, and that they both were shocked by Benton’s words.

Henry County School District spokesperson J.D. Hardin later called the incident “extremely unfortunate” and said that the “matter was addressed” after the tape went public.


Featured image source.

Stop Following Children

By Glenn Verasco | United States

“You’ve got to be oriented towards something. Otherwise, you’re disoriented. You just spin around in circles. And then you suffer, and so do people around you. It’s not a good solution. Orient yourself towards something. You have to figure out what it is. What will work for you? What goal would justify the suffering of your life? Start trying to piece that together, and you’re going to get better at it. But it’s a personal process. And you should use your education to inform that. You need a personal place to stand because otherwise you’re going to be handed a place to stand on a plate. And maybe one that makes you a puppet of someone else’s goals. So, what are the processes? Well, what I’ve recommended to people is clean up your room. That’s a good start. Organize your local landscape. Schedule your time. Start taking control of yourself. Stop seeing if you can say things you know to be lies. That’s not the same as telling the truth. You don’t get to do that to begin with because you’re not good enough at it to even attempt it in some sense. But everyone can stop saying things they know to be falsehoods.”-Dr. Jordan B Peterson

For the past two or three years, I have become one of the millions of individuals to spend hours of my life watching Dr. Jordan B Peterson lectures, interviews, debates, and videos of his own making. Some say that Peterson is turning into a bit of a cult leader. Others refer to him as a prophet. To me, he’s just a well-informed and well-intentioned guy with a lot of important stuff to say.

Beginner Peterson followers often parrot what has become one of his most popular catchphrases: clean up your room. While it sounds simple (and may have been the case for most pre-millennial generations), what Peterson means when he recommends cleaning one’s room is that getting yourself oriented towards a meaningful goal is a slow, personal process. As beginning the journey towards individuality and a meaningful life is likely the hardest part, focusing on a simple task like keeping one’s room tidy is a great way to get started.

I admire Peterson not only because his advice and knowledge are useful and entertaining, but because we have a common craft as educators. While my ESL teaching in Thailand is not nearly as prestigious as being a tenured professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, I, like Peterson, am tasked with the responsibility of transferring knowledge to students and, more importantly, providing them with the intellectual tools they will need to survive and thrive in the world.

Living abroad and observing the progress and events taking place in the USA has both advantages and disadvantages in terms of the ability to analyze situations proficiently. On the one hand, I am not in the United States, and I view my home country through a mass media filter. Mainstream media, alternative media, and social media provide a tremendous amount of information, but all skew reality in various directions. This makes my interpretation of what is going on skewed as well (though each of our interpretations of the world is skewed irrespective of media, to begin with).

On the other hand, observing my nation of birth from the outside gives me a unique perspective and removes certain biases. As events and happenings in the US have a limited effect on my life in Thailand, I am able to analyze with less prejudice than someone directly affected by them. For example, if a new law or regulation winds up providing an American with greater job security, he will probably have a harder time judging the ethics and overall impact of the new rule. If it makes his life better, his confirmation bias will highlight the personal benefits and blur the negative effects the rule may have on others. Since I am outside many of the effects of US policy, I may be better able to analyze them dispassionately.

Based on my exo-observations, I am alarmed at the state of discourse in America, particularly in education and academia. Curricula that view government with rose-colored goggles, policies that value group identity over individuality and rising intolerance of views that counter leftist dogma have given me cause for concern for several years. But nothing has sent a chill up my spine like the current media obsession with the Parkland massacre student survivors.

While I have no issue with allowing these students to share their experience and even express their views on gun policy, a feeling of nausea comes over me when I see how many people are following them on Twitter. They bring them on to major news networks to comment on all sorts of issues and march behind them at political protests.

The media, namely the increasingly pathetic CNN, is certainly favoring the views of the students pushing for gun control over the voices of those who support the Second Amendment. But the Conservative following of the anti-gun control students is equally appalling. I will not publish the names of any of these young people or link to media that feature them because I do not wish to promote it.

By all means, we, as adults, should be encouraging kids to engage in political, social, philosophical, and all other forms of discourse and debate. It is vital that young people expound their views and have them scrutinized. However, we should advise against their undying commitment to agendas and principles, especially in the form of public advocacy, until they have had the time to think them through and defend them from sincere contrarian challenges.

Far more despicable than failing to advise students against premature advocacy is exploiting their passion and marketability in pursuit of one’s own objectives. This is one of the most sinister potentialities of the human condition.

Here’s a picture of Khmer Rouge teenagers rounding up guns in Cambodia.

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Like just about every other government atrocity of the 20th Century, which combined to murder over 100 million people, the heart of the Khmer Rouge movement was Cambodia’s impressionable youths.

Pol Pot along with StalinHitler, and Mao were keenly aware of the deadly combination of idealism and ignorance that is most prevalent among the young, who also happen to be the most physically fit and have the least to lose in a radical upheaval of cultural, societal, economic, and political norms. Taking power the way they did would have been impossible without children to prey upon and carry out their misdoings.

These murderers were also aware of how persuasive the illusion of protecting the lives and safety of children can be to the general public. As Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

History and common sense teach us that we should provide young people with loving humility and liberal education, not emotional coddling and political clout. They are in search of guidance but lack the judgment to know which guides are leading them in the right direction.

Seven years of teaching middle school and high school have taught me how easy it is to persuade and stimulate teenagers. I remember walking out of an 8th-grade class after a grammar lesson several years ago. After exiting the building, I realized I had made a mistake about something and misinformed the entire class. The embarrassment of my error quickly subsided after I became aware of how easily I could stand in front of my students and fill their heads with anything I wanted to. I immediately felt sick.

Part of my code of conduct as a teacher has always been to do my best to keep my opinions out of the classroom. Being that my students generally trust me and see me as a good man, it would be unethical for me to use my position of authority to promote my views as it would serve as a form of indoctrination, not education. Instead, I teach them to analyze rhetoric, apply logic, and think critically. With these tools at their disposal, they come closer to having what it takes to fend off opportunistic users and abusers and make good decisions on their own.

I hope more adults, especially teachers, will follow my and Dr. Jordan Peterson’s lead instead of putting ignorant children on the front lines.

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The Dangers of Compulsory Education

By Josh Louski | USA

What is slavery? The 1800’s American South likely comes to mind. Perhaps you think of the Ancient Egyptians. What about The American Education system?

50 million children, aged 5 through 18, are currently slaves to the United States Federal Government. 5 days a week, they are subject to 7 hours of labor that causes stress levels not found in even hospital nurses. It’s time we call forced schooling what it is: slavery.

By definition, compulsory education is literally slavery. Coercive work which completion is ensured by the threat of force, only rather than the children beings. threatened, it is their parents. Countless parents, mostly mothers, have been arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and failure to pay truancy fines. There is no excuse for this at all. If a teenager refuses to attend school, that should be their prerogative. Not only should this be an axiom, but it should also be obvious that a parent is not solely responsible for a teenager, and should not have to suffer the consequences of one’s victimless actions.

Not only does compulsory public schooling enslave children, it is also a tool for indoctrination. Most children are being brought up and raised by our government. This is something we need to seriously be worried about. As long as the government has the ability to teach our children, we are in danger of brainwashing. In elementary school, children are often taught about the great services of the government and why society cannot function without it.

Right.

This leads to a dumbed-down populace and each new generation is falling victim to it. Do not let the government get its grips on your children.

Public school is also very ineffective. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Public schools only see 30% of their graduates go on to college, while private schools see 67%.

Do our country a favor and DO NOT enroll your child in public school. It uses our tax dollars to indoctrinate and enslave them. Opt for private school, to ensure that the minds of our children are not corrupted.

 

The State Against The Family

By Mason Mohon | USA

My last article was on the public education system, and how the state’s involvement in education is ultimately a scheme to perpetuate its power. Briefly mentioned in that article was how the education system was created to act as the new morality for children so as to save the ones that fall away from a familial moral upbringing. Although the state intended to help the children through its program, the result was an ever-increasing wedge the state began to force the child from his or her family. The intent of this article is to analyze the state’s attack on the family as a group of people, so to do this what the family is will have to be analyzed, and then the specific ways the state has torn them apart will be analyzed.

In the first place, a definition of family should be made clear. When the family is discussed in this instance, it will not be a tightly defined unit with two parents, mother, and father, along with children. Rather, when the family is referred to it refers to a group of people who are emotionally and usually genetically close to each other. Families will more often than not fit into the traditional view, but they do not always have to.

There are multiple advantages to being part of the family unit. These advantages are those of increased foresight, more trust, and statistically better economic activity. Foresight was a topic I covered in one of my previous articles, which can be found here. It is the tendency to look towards the future and make sacrifices in the present so that one may gain more in the future. It is one of the greatest civilizing aspects of society. The family increases this because it allows foresight to exit one’s lifespan. One can make sacrifices in the present so their offspring in the future can benefit long after they’re gone. The emotional bond makes this low time preference much more common within families than outside of them. Families increase civilization, and that is a major benefit.

Another advantage is trust. Trust is a very important part of a market economy and one that is often common. When entering a transaction, one trusts that the other party is not screwing them over, and usually this base can be covered by a contract or some sort of collateral. The tight emotional bonds promote this kind of trust. Trust makes money and civilizes. It is promoted in voluntary situations because one must have a good “track record” to enter into transactions. This is in stark contrast to the state’s effect on trust. The state has a bad track record, but it can take your money anyway. A lecture on the civilizing effects of trust can be found here.

The third and final advantage of the family is the economic benefit from creating one. When the aspects of trust and foresight align, lives are turned around. A report from the Institute for Family Studies gave a lot of very valuable insight on this subject. The report found that 97% of millennials who follow a sequence of success tend to rise from poverty. This sequence is as follows: graduate high school, get married, wait until you’re 20, and then have children after the first three steps have been achieved. The results are astounding, for nearly all of the people who have followed this sequence are not poor once entering their 30’s. It is especially true for ethnic minorities who grew up in poor families. These effects are astounding and should not be ignored, yet they widely are anyway because fewer millennials are following this sequence than the preceding generations.

The family has many advantages, but it is in trouble. A Wall Street Journal article provided an analysis of this decline. The statistics are as follows:

As recently as 2000, married 25- to 34-year-olds outnumbered their never-married peers by a margin of 55% to 34%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, those estimates had almost reversed, with never-marrieds outnumbering marrieds by 53% to 40%. Young Americans have quickly become wary of marriage.

The previous analysis from the Institute for Family Studies and this Wall Street Journal Article all point to a decline, which will lead to more poverty. Without families, foresight and trust are lost, and the economic statistics are also bad. A Brookings Institute study found that 79% of those who do not commit to the success sequence – finish high school, get married, and wait until you’re 20 before having a child – were trapped in poverty. The family is a serious economic machine and one that should not be taken for granted. Why, though, is it failing?

The family is failing because of one institution, and that is the state. The state, through recent history, has sought out to make the integrated forcefully separated and the separated forcefully integrated. A business owner should be able to choose who enters into his or her establishment. They reserve the right to their own private property, which means that they may prevent the Muslim, Catholic, African American, Nazi, or Jew from entering. The economic toll the market forces upon them for this bigotry is not enough for the state, for things must be virtuous by its violent hand. It makes what was separated now forcefully integrated. It has abridged property rights to an inexcusable degree.

The situation is similar the other way around. Those institutions which are integrated – deep bonds between family members – are now forcefully separated, although not as explicitly. It is no secret that the family as a group is falling apart, and seeing as that the state tends to force those separated to integrate, it logically follows that it does force those integrated to separate. This coercive monopoly has sought to rival the family unit as the upbringer of the child, and it wants the citizenry to be dependent upon it so that life without it seems preposterous. There are two main mechanisms it has used to do such a thing. They are the public schooling system and the mechanism of social security.

The institution of public schooling was discussed in my most recent article entitled The State Against The Children. As revealed, the state worked to be responsible for the morality of the child as it grows, yet a growing population and the collectivist tendencies made this idea of individual moral upbringing preposterous and impossible, so the state has done the next best thing: create followers and lovers. Americans unquestioningly approve of an increasing state because they were conditioned to, both on the side of Republicans and Democrats. The idea of compulsory school attendance sends a signal to the parents that they are no longer the moral leaders of the children, and the state is. This has begun to displace the family in the child’s life and thus disincentivize the continuation of a family if only a little bit. Princeton University demographer Norman Ryder nailed the issue of public education in his statement:

Education of the junior generation is a subversive influence…Political organizations, like economic organizations, demand loyalty and attempt to neutralize family particularism. There is a struggle between the family and the state for the minds of the young…[where the mandatory state school serves as] the chief instrument for teaching citizenship, in a direct appeal to the children over the heads of their parents.

This is not where the division of the state ends, though. The system of social security attempts to take the other vastly dependent group under the state’s wing: the elderly. As people get old and can no longer provide for themselves, they would turn to the families they have made a lifelong moral and economic investment in for help. That is the case until the state became involved. The children have less care for the higher-ups of their family hierarchies because the obligation to make a return investment is gone. The value of intergenerational families is diminished and the natural multi-generation hierarchy a family tended to be throughout history is no longer functioning. The law of familial norm and tradition has been superseded by state-based legislation.

The very existence of a state program to take care of the children in the elderly is a slap in the face to family hierarchies everywhere.

This is not pure economic conjecture either. The entire first half of this article talked about who the family unit is falling to pieces, and these government programs are to blame. The mantra of the socialists – “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” – is a justifiable outlook when dealing with those tightly connected throughout generations, but when the faceless violent hands of the state are involved, the entire operation falls to shambles.

Of course, it would be foolish to point out a problem and leave the reader with no solution. The families must be recognized as the source of civilization because of their increased foresight, and the family unit needs to be emphasized.One must tighten their bonds with their land and family, and emphasize helping and forging stronger connections with family members, both immediate and distant. The state seeks to tear you from your brother and sister, mother and father, daughter and son, so strengthen those connections and don’t let the state break them. Your family is a powerful line of defense against decivilizing forces and the left, so use it.