When Radical Isn’t Radical–It’s Original

I am not an economist, but I am an observer of the obvious.

In a recent speech, President Trump talked about ending the Income Tax and restructuring the Federal Reserve. Either or both of those things would be good for all Americans and for the American economy.

Before 1913, the United State had neither the Federal Reserve nor the Income Tax. Both measures were passed in 1913. On February 25, 1913, the 16th Amendment (Income Tax) was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution. On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act created the Federal Reserve.

The men who met at Jekyll Island to create the Federal Reserve represented 25 percent of the wealth of the entire world. They met in secret, and their identities were concealed for many years afterward. Their goal was to keep that 25 percent of wealth in their hands. They created the system for the purpose of keeping New York City banks as the center of America’s wealth. The federal reserve created a system where money could be created out of nothing and loaned out through a leverage system to create interest. For example, over a 30-year mortgage, a bank can earn more from the sale of a house than any contractor who worked on the house.

The Income Tax was supposed to only impact the top 1 percent of Americans. Before 1913, the government’s expenses had been handled through tariffs.

To end the Income Tax, you would have to end the Welfare State. One way to do that would be to tax welfare benefits but not wages. When it becomes more lucrative to work than to collect welfare, it is possible that the work ethic that used to be part of American culture might be revived. You would also have to slash the bloated bureaucracy. The economic boom created by ending the Income Tax would give those who lose their jobs in government a great job market in which to search for new jobs. We need to get rid of any government department that is not successful–has education improved since the Department of Education was created? What has Housing and Urban Development accomplished? How many people in the Justice Department would have to be fired to end the corruption? You no longer need the Internal Revenue Service. You see where I am going with this.

The opposition to this plan would come from federal workers (fear of losing their jobs). Opposition would also come from Washington swamp creatures who would see it as a threat to their power (in Washington controlling money is power). It would also come from welfare recipients.

The other issue would be Social Security and its related taxes. That could be worked out easily by balancing payments to people who have paid into the program for more than forty years with alternatives for younger workers. With a retirement age of 70, most Americans pay the most into Social Security from about the age of 30.

This is all possible if Americans are willing to elect a businessman who has the economic knowledge to put it all together.

Imagine a world where you get to keep all of what you earn and the government cannot intimidate you about your taxes.

When The World Is Upside Down

The recent pro-Palestine protests on American college campuses were a disgrace. The students were not only overlooking the fact that there are still Americans held hostage by Hamas, but many of the homosexual students who were part of the protests have no idea how they would be treated in a Sharia Law compliant country. Ignorance is bliss, but it is not always safe or healthy.

On Saturday, Front Page Magazine posted an article about some of the Biden administration’s actions in response to the protests (some of which definitely overstepped the boundaries of peaceful protest). The subject of blocking Jewish students from attending class does not seem to be covered in the Biden administration’s response to the protests.

The article reports:

After weeks of bias intimidation by Hamas supporters aimed at Jewish students and faculty, including Khymani James, an encampment leader who had talked to Columbia University officials about killing Jews, the Biden administration’s Department of Education, with the inevitability of a rigged slot machine in Reno, is launching a “civil rights investigation” into the university for “extreme anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic harassment”.

The complaint comes from ‘Palestine Legal’, the same group providing advice to the encampment protesters.

It complains that “Columbia has reinforced the hostile anti-Palestinian environment, including by suspending Students for Justice in Palestine — a student organization that advocates for Palestinian human rights — for engaging in speech activity supporting Palestinian rights”

What sort of “speech activity” did Columbia University’s SJP chapter engage in?

After Oct 7, Students for Justice in Palestine hailed the Hamas rape of girls, murder of babies and kidnapping of children as a “historic win for the Palestinian resistance”.

The national organization which has 200 chapters on campuses across North America put out a ‘toolkit’ which explained that the Jewish victims were “not civilians” and could be freely targeted.

Its poster for a ‘Day of Resistance’ featured an image of the paraglider that Hamas terrorists had used to massacre and rape young Israelis at a music festival.

Columbia University’s Students for Justice in Palestine celebrated the “unprecedented historic moment for the Palestinians of Gaza” and asserted their “full solidarity with the Palestinian resistance”. It was also a signatory to the “victory or martyrdom” statement signed by the national organization.

The article concludes:

The Department of Education refuses to protect Jewish students from Hamas supporters, but rushes to protect Hamas supporters from Jewish students.

This is much more reminiscent of Germany in the 1930’s than the values of most  Americans. Remember that Germany began enacting anti-Semitic laws in 1933, followed by the Nuremberg Laws in 1935. In March 1933, Dachau, the first concentration camp opened. The anti-Semitic actions of the German government also spawned Kristallnacht in 1938. I do not want to see America go down that path.

Freedom’s Death Knell

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

There is an old saying “Death by a thousand cuts,” which of course means slowly destroying something by small increments. Well, the Biden regime’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is at it again, diminishing your freedom one regulation at a time. They recently announced new, impossibly restrictive emission standards that will, they hope, force more people to buy electric vehicles (EVs). This, in spite of strong evidence, that less than 15% of the American people have any desire to buy an EV. Dictators do not care what you think.

What is worse, you are already paying for every EV sold in America through subsidies and other government programs and incentives. The Texas Public Policy Foundation reported that as much as $48,000 of the cost of an EV is paid by you the taxpayer spread over 10 years, not the owner. This amounts to $22 billion of your taxpayer money. This is similar to Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which does not forgive anything; it merely passes the debt onto other taxpayers. That is how Marxism works, and how a regime stays in power, by using government actions to buy votes.

Who is buying these EVs you might ask? Well, it is primarily wealthy Democrats in blue states like California, Washington, New Jersey, etc. The ten states with the lowest EV ownership are red states. See a pattern here of the Democrats rewarding themselves?

The new unattainable emission standards are expected to result in one-third of all cars manufactured will be EVs by 2027 and two-thirds by 2032. Not only will this restrict your ability to find and purchase an internal combustion vehicle, but will dramatically raise the price due to lack of supply to meet the demand. The Biden regime is also extending these impossible emission standards to trucks, including long haul trucks. The American Trucking Association stated that the new EPA standards are “entirely unachievable.” Imagine driving across country in an 18 wheeler and having to stop every 200 miles, find a charging station, and wait several hours before you can start up again. Think what this will do to the cost of moving goods. By the way, the Biden regime’s EPA announced these new restrictions a few days after the Hertz rental company announced they were selling one-third of their Tesla EV fleet because no one wanted to rent them. They also fired the executive who was responsible for the shift to EVs.

So here is the bottom line. This country was founded on freedom and liberty. Conservatives want to preserve our county and its freedoms. Purchasing an EV should be a free choice–not a government mandate. We are in the era of “Big Government” that the Founding Fathers warned us about. Marxism is government control of all aspects of people’s lives. Restricting travel is taking away our freedom one piece at a time. It is past time for all conservatives to band together and insist that the size of the federal government be dramatically reduced. Start by eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency (Dictatorship), the Department of Education, and firing the new 85,000 IRS agents. It is now or never.

Bribing Schools To Accept Transgender Policies

The problem with federal money is that it always comes with strings attached. Our local school boards no longer have the freedoms they once had because many of their decisions are determined by the federal Department of Education and linked to grants and funding. The Biden administration is using grants and funding in order to advance its radical agenda on child sexuality.

On Sunday, Just the News reported the following:

A new Biden administration rule forces schools to comply with progressive ideology on gender and sexuality or risk losing the federal aid for free and reduced-price school lunches.

Legal observers say this is just the first in a slew of new rules on the horizon tying federal education funding to far-left policies on gender and sexuality.

The school lunch funding controvesy began in May 2022, as The Center Square previously reported, with an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which handles federal help for school lunches.

The USDA said at the time it would change its longstanding interpretation of Title IX, the law broadly governing discrimination protections in education. USDA said it would expand its previous prohibition against discriminating based on sex “to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

School lunch funding goes through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA.

The article notes:

“This is a significant departure from what Title IX has always been interpreted to be,” Sarah Perry, a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation and expert on this issue, told The Center Square.

With an ever-growing number of orientations and gender identities, and despite the political divide on the issue, schools will now be forced to comply on the complex and highly politicized gender and sexuality issue.

“This is no small change,” Perry said. “This is a significant interpretation to say that sex equals sexual orientation and gender identity when Title IX, we know, dates back to 1972 and the women’s liberation movement, and at the time there was an entire campaign by LGBTQ activists to be included in anti-discrimination law indicating that they themselves did not believe that they were protected in these particular contexts.”

Is there anyone is Congress who is willing to stand up to this? This is not a law–it’s a regulation. Does anyone in Congress have the courage to propose a law that will prevent this from happening?

An Interesting Fact About College Protests

On Thursday, Hot Air posted an article about the pro-Palestine protests that are happening at some of our elite colleges.

The article notes:

TV host Mike Rowe said that eight years ago, he was switching the news channels on his television and saw several college students setting fire to the American flag and dancing around a pile of burning flags. They were telling reporters in interviews they were disgusted with Old Glory and “fearful” of the flag.

“It wasn’t lost on me in the moment that all of these events were happening at what is considered the best of the best elite universities across the country,” Rowe told me. Among supposedly non-elite students, though, the situation wasn’t and isn’t as bad.

Rowe said it didn’t take long for him to figure out why those “elite” students drew those conclusions about Old Glory: The idea of associating fear with the flag came from the very people who were supposed to be instructing these privileged students.

Rowe said the evidence was crystal clear when Jonathan Lash, then the president of Hampshire College, chose not to assure the students that no country offers more liberties to their people and therefore there was nothing to “fear” from the flag. Instead, he spoke up in ways they understood to validate their fears.

“Lash actually removed any traces of the American flag from the campus and said in a statement that removing the flag from the campus ‘will better enable us to focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,’” Rowe explained.

Lash, a former Peace Corps volunteer, federal prosecutor, Harvard graduate, and president of a Washington-based environmental think tank, left the college in 2018. Hampshire College, under Lash in 2015, was one of the first elite schools in the United States not to accept SAT scores from applicants, in part because Lash said SATs were strongly biased against students of color.

The article notes that Mike Rowe has observed that these protests are not happening in community colleges and trade schools. Generally speaking, students at those schools are concerned with graduating and making a living–they are not from homes that guarantee their future.

The article concludes:

The Department of Education tallies show there are nearly 4,000 colleges and universities across this country with 40% of their students holding some type of job while attending school.

In contrast, there are just a little over 1,000 community colleges and 7,407 trade and technical schools as of 2022 with 80% of those students employed while attending school in the former.

Rowe said that when the protests at the elite universities started to unfold after the Oct. 7 massacre, he wondered what seemed so familiar. “And the answer isn’t because it’s familiar in terms of bad behavior. It was familiar because it’s another thing that never happens at schools where people go to learn a skill.”

Unfortunately, the students at the elite colleges often go into politics and attempt to shape national policy.

Good News From The House Of Representatives

In August, I posted an article about the Biden administration’s Department of Education interpreting a law in a way that withheld critical funds for elementary and secondary schools nationwide with hunting or archery programs in their curriculum. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill blocking the government from withholding funds for schools with school shooting sports courses.

Fox News reported Wednesday:

The House voted late Tuesday evening in favor of legislation striking down the Biden administration’s decision to block federal funding for school shooting sports courses.

In a 424-1 vote, the House approved the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act with 216 Republicans and 208 Democrats voting in favor, and just one lawmaker, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, voting against. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., introduced the bill on Aug. 1, days after a Fox News Digital report in late July revealed the Department of Education was withholding funds for school hunting and archery courses.

“Hunters and fishers are the best conservationists,” Green told Fox News Digital after the vote Tuesday. “Hunting, whether it be with a firearm or bow, is one of the most effective ways to control wildlife populations, protect our beautiful lands, and connect with nature. My Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act is critical for our children.”

The article concludes:

The law included an amendment to a subsection in the ESEA listing that prohibited uses for federal school funding. That amendment prohibits ESEA funds from helping provide any person with a dangerous weapon or to provide “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,” but, according to the BSCA’s sponsors, was included to prevent ESEA funding for school resource officer training.

Earlier this month, three of the four BSCA Senate sponsors — Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz. — introduced companion legislation to Green’s bill.

“The Biden administration’s misinterpretation of these provisions has jeopardized educational enrichment programs like hunting and archery, which play a critical role in our next generation’s development and well-being,” Cornyn said Tuesday after the House vote. “This legislation would ensure these programs remain available in schools across the nation, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”

Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Kelly of Arizona have all spoken out against the Biden administration’s interpretation of the BSCA.

Keep in mind that the original block was not a law–it was a decision put in place by unelected bureaucrats. Congress is supposed to be the one making laws so that their members can be held accountable. Also keep in mind that the law passed by the House also has to go through the Senate and be signed by the President. It will be interesting to see if that happens.

Government Money Always Comes With Strings Attached

On Monday, Fox News posted an article about the latest efforts of the Biden administration to control what your children learn in school.

The article reports:

The Biden administration confirmed to Fox News Digital that it is withholding critical funds for elementary and secondary schools nationwide with hunting or archery programs in their curriculum.

The Department of Education explained in a statement that its funding decisions were based on the plain text interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which Congress passed and President Biden signed last year after a string of mass shootings. The agency’s interpretation means funding for shooting sport activities earmarked under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 will be blocked across the country.

“This prohibition applies to all ESEA funds,” a Department of Education spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The prohibition went into effect immediately on June 25, 2022 and applies to all existing and future awards under all ESEA programs, including [21st Century Community Learning Centers]. The Department is administering the bipartisan law as written by Congress.”

Has it occurred to the Biden administration that if you train children in gun safety that they are less likely to misuse guns? The increase in school shootings probably has more to do with the psychological drugs that are being prescribed routinely for school children than it does with hunting classes. I understand that there is such a thing as ADHD that may need to be medicated, but I also understand that there is an awful lot of over-medication going on.

The article concludes:

The ESEA is the primary source of federal aid for elementary and secondary education across the country, according to the Congressional Research Service. The BSCA earmarked an additional $1 billion for educational activities under the ESEA.

“The Biden administration is DEFUNDING school hunting and archery programs. Yes, you read that right — DEFUNDING them,” Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wisc., tweeted Friday. “Wisconsin students should not be pawns in Joe Biden’s misguided crusade against America’s sportsmen.”

“Enjoying the outdoors is a wonderful activity and interest in hunting, fishing, camping, and other such activities should be encouraged and cultivated from a young age,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., said. “Withholding authorized funding is ridiculous.”

Hunting and pro-Second Amendment groups like Safari Club International, National Shooting Sports Foundation, International Order of T. Roosevelt and National Rifle Association also criticized the Education Department.

“This is a direct attack on our outdoor heritage and America’s ability to educate the next generation of sportsmen,” the International Order of T. Roosevelt tweeted.

Government money comes with strings attached that are strong enough to hold up a suspension bridge!

Losing Our Religious Freedom

On Tuesday, The Daily Caller posted an article about a new Department of Education (DOE) proposal. This proposal illustrates one of many reasons we should defund the Department of Education.

The article reports:

The Department of Education (DOE) announced a proposal Tuesday rescinding a Trump-era policy that prohibited universities from receiving federal funding if they restricted religious student group activities.

The 2020 policy, initially signed by former President Donald Trump as part of an executive order in 2019, was proposed to prevent universities from censoring the speech of religious students on campus, according to the Washington Post. The DEO’s recent announcement indicates that President Joe Biden is looking to end the policy, claiming the protections caused an “unduly burdensome role” for the department.

“[T]he Department believes it is not necessary in order to protect the First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion given existing legal protections, it has caused confusion about schools’ nondiscrimination requirements, and it prescribed a novel and unduly burdensome role for the Department in investigating allegations regarding public institutions’ treatment of religious student organizations,” the announcement read. “We have not seen evidence that the regulation has provided meaningfully increased protection for religious student organizations beyond the robust First Amendment protections that already exist, much less that it has been necessary to ensure they are able to organize and operate on campus.”

Free speech on college campuses has never been one of the political left’s favorite things. How many times have conservative speakers been shut down?

Here is the good news:

The public comment phase will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and remain open for 30 days for anyone to comment and provide their thoughts on the proposal, according to the announcement.

Please go to the Department of Education website and voice your opposition to this change.

Discovering The Financial Ties

The Epoch Times is reporting today that Senators have introduced a bill that would force American colleges to disclose their financial ties with the Chinese regime, including its Confucius Institutes, in order to qualify to receive international students. In view of recent arrests of college professors who were working for the Communist Chinese government, I think this is probably a good idea.

The article reports:

The bill comes amid heightened scrutiny on the Chinese regime’s influence on American campuses. A 2020 investigation by the Department of Education found that universities received almost $1.5 billion in contracts and gifts from China from 2014 to 2020.

“The communist regime poses a serious threat to U.S. research as well as undue influence on our college campuses,” Grassley said in a May 5 statement.

One of the vehicles of Beijing’s influence is Confucius Institutes. Billed as Chinese language and culture centers, the institutes have been sharply criticized for promoting Beijing’s propaganda and suppressing academic freedom in universities across the country.

From 2006 to 2019, the Chinese regime poured more than $158 million to about 100 U.S. universities through Confucius Institutes, according to a 2019 U.S. Senate subcommittee on investigations report (pdf). There are currently 47 Confucius Institutes in the country, according to the National Association of Scholars (NAS).

“This legislation will shine a light on any funny business that the Chinese government is trying to play on our campuses under the guise of Confucius Institutes and any financial ties between our educational institutions and the communist regime,” Grassley said in the statement.

The proposed legislation would effectively codify a Trump-era policy proposal that was automatically rescinded when President Joe Biden took office because the proposed rule not been formalized through regulatory processes before the end of former President Donald Trump’s term.

The article concludes:

The Senate in March passed a bill that would force host universities to take full control of Confucius Institutes or lose their federal funding.

In the past few years, dozens of Confucius Institutes have closed down around the country. But in their place, many universities have simply entered into new rebranded partnerships with the Chinese regime under a different name, according to the NAS.

This bill is definitely needed.

Making American Students Less Competitive

The Federalist is reporting today that the Commonwealth of Virginia is revamping its school curriculum to improve equity in education. Notice the word ‘equity’ instead of ‘equality.’

The article reports:

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is eliminating accelerated math courses before 11th grade to “[i]mprove equity in mathematics learning opportunities.”

Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin announced Tuesday that the “Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI),” is a “a sweeping initiative by the Virginia Department of Education to revamp the K-12 math curriculum statewide over the next few years” by “eliminat[ing] ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade.”

“That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this” Serotkin wrote. “All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7. All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10. Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.” 

The VDOE website says that in addition to improving equity, the change will “[e]mpower students to be active participants in a quantitative world.” 

However, a Loudon parent told Fox News Thursday that the initiative would actually “lower standards for all students in the name of equity.”

“These changes will have a profound impact on students who excel in STEM-related curriculum, weakening our country’s ability to compete in a global marketplace for years to come,” the parent said.

VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle told Fox News the VMPI would “support increased differentiated learning opportunities within a heterogeneous learning environment.” 

Delegate candidate for Virginia’s 50th House District, Mike Allers, told The Federalist that VDOE “didn’t level the playing field —they destroyed it.” 

It’s time to remember that all children are not academically equal and denying accelerated classes to students who can handle them will not make slower students smarter. It will simply make smarter students frustrated and possibly cause them to lose interest. This is a really bad idea.

As the mother of three very different students (obviously all grown-up now), I am really upset by this thinking. One of my children has an art degree, one is an electrical engineer, and one is a lawyer. The electrical engineer took accelerated math and science throughout high school. Without those courses, she would have been bored to tears. If you had put the lawyer in any one of those accelerated math or science courses, she would have been thoroughly discouraged. The daughter with the art degree always got “A’s” in art courses and any math she could draw. They were three totally different kinds of students. Holding one back would not have helped the others. Putting a child in an accelerated class in a subject that is not his strength is also not helpful. One size does not fit all, and the Commonwealth of Virginia is making a serious mistake here if it wants its students to be competitive with students in other areas of the nation.

Who Is Paying Our Colleges?

On Friday, The National Review posted an article titled, “U.S. Colleges Have Accepted $6 Billion in Undisclosed Donations from Foreign Governments, DOE Probe Finds.” Great. No wonder we are sending children to college respecting America and getting them backl home hating America.

The article reports:

The Department of Education has discovered at least $6 billion in unreported donations to American universities from adversarial foreign nations, Townhall reported on Friday.

The DoE revealed its updates in a May 19 letter to Congress and a subsequent briefing to several ranking House Republicans who are conducting an investigation into the foreign funding of U.S. educational institutions.

The investigation was spurred by increasing reports of Chinese funding at U.S. educational institutions, including the prevalence of Confucius institutes on U.S. campuses. Confucius institutes are Chinese-government funded centers which ostensibly promote Chinese language and culture, but which U.S. agencies have warned spread propaganda for China’s government.

“Some [Institutions of Higher Education] leaders are starting to acknowledge the threat of foreign academic espionage and have been working with federal law enforcement to address gaps in reporting and transparency,” the letter from the DoE’s Office of the General Counsel reads. “However, the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision-making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”

The letter also states, “Certain institutions have yet to produce requested emails, metadata, and other information regarding business relationships with, and faculty funding from, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian foreign sources.”

The DoE had already announced its own investigation into foreign funding of U.S. universities in February. Besides China, officials are looking into funding from Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

America is a unique experiment. We have survived past the normal 200 years that a democracy can exist without self-destructing. The main reason for that is that we are a representative republic–not a democracy. But we need to remember that our freedom is always one generation away from being lost. If we continue to mis-educate our children from kindergarten through college, we will lose our freedom. We definitely need to remove foreign money from all of our education–from kindergarten through college. America is quite capable of teaching its own children and educating them on the value of their freedom and the great gift this country is.

 

Good News From Florida

Local 10 in Miami, Florida, posted an article on February 7 about Common Core.

The article reports:

Florida has officially done away with the controversial academic standards to establish benchmarks for reading and math.

The Florida Department of Education, acting on an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis, eradicated Common Core from its classrooms Friday.

“Florida has officially eliminated Common Core,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I truly think this is a great next step for students, teachers and parents. We’ve developed clear and concise expectations for students at every grade level and allow teachers the opportunity to do what they love most — inspire young Floridians to achieve their greatest potential.”

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said, “Florida has completely removed ourselves from the confines of Common Core.”

Other states need to follow Florida’s example.

Taking Away Religious Freedom And Parent’s Rights

On September 13th, CBN News reported that the New York Department of Education is moving to force all private schools in the state to perform as public schools. The department is reevaluating a 125-year-old law that would require private schools to offer the equivalent instruction to students as required in public schools.

The article reports:

This means all private schools’ curriculum, scheduling, lesson plans, hiring standards, and reporting requirements would have to follow all regulations as required by the state for public schools. The new regulations would also give the power to local school districts to oversee and inspect private and parochial schools. If a school was found lacking in compliance with the proposed regulations, the school could be closed. 

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a non-profit legal defense organization, represents Parents Union for Religious Integrity of Torah Education (PURITE). The parents and rabbis who sought PJI’s assistance practice ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Judaism. They have been training their youth in small religious schools known as yeshivas for thousands of years. The schools instruct in subjects such as math and English language while focusing primarily on the Torah and Talmud. 

PURITE notes that the proposed regulations would essentially outlaw their way of life and education. Parochial school leaders and homeschool families are also concerned about the suggested rules. 

PJI attorney Kevin Snider sent a letter last week to the New York Department of Education, which had been accepting public comment. Snider’s letter explains in some detail the conflict between Torah-based education and the goals of NY public schools.

This is the precursor to a move against homeschooling. Unfortunately the American public education system is failing the students. Many students who go to college are having to take remedial courses in English and mathematics before they can actually take a college course. Our children are graduating high school with no marketable skills and no practical life skills. The have been schooled in what to think, but not schooled in how to think. As parents realize that the public schools are failing their children, they are turning to other ways to educate their children.

The following chart shows the growth of homeschooling in America since 1970. People taking their children out of public school is a threat to the education establishment. We already know that children in Charter Schools, private schools and homeschooling do better than children in public school.  That is the reason the State of New York is going after private education.

Ultimately parents are responsible for raising and educating their children. That is a responsibility and right that the government is slowly infringing on.

Free Money Is Rarely Free

Breitbart.com posted an article today illustrating the impact President Obama’s threats regarding the ‘bathroom’ (should be called ‘locker room’) bill. Even homeschoolers are worried.

The article reports:

Tina Hollenbeck, a homeschooling parent in Wisconsin, tells Breitbart News, “If homeschoolers take vouchers or any other form of government funding ‘help’ – even an ‘educational expenses credit’ on their taxes – they are enslaving themselves to government mandates.”

“And by choosing to entangle themselves, they jeopardize homeschooling freedom for all,” she adds. “That’s because of the very simple economic principle that ‘he who pays gets the say.’”

Hollenbeck – the developer of the Homeschool Resource Roadmap –explains that if homeschooling families accept any taxpayer funding from government entities at any level, the government then has the right to demand “accountability” from them.

“And it doesn’t matter if it’s merely a credit on their own taxes because the minute money makes its way into government coffers, the bureaucrats consider it to belong to the government and act accordingly with their rules and (unconstitutional) laws,” she asserts.

Karen Braun, an activist homeschooling parent who is the lead content writer for the Stop Common Core in Michigan website, observes the costs of accepting federal funding with an administration that “shreds local and state control.”

According to a website entitled Federal Education Policy History:

The U.S. established a Department of Education first in 1867.  This original department, however, was not a cabinet level agency, and within a few years was replaced with a bureau and then an office.

On October 17, 1979 President James E. Carter signed the Department of Education Organization Act (P.L. 96-88; 93 Stat. 668).  It replaced the Office of Education with a department proper, and installed a secretary at its head.

The Department of Education was made a cabinet position as a reward for the teachers’ union’s support of Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential election.

According to the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We have come a long way from that concept, and our nation is failing because of that.

The article at Breitbart.com concludes:

Hollenbeck, however, asserts that parents’ right to provide that safe place to learn at home is compromised in our current political environment.

“Once bureaucrats get a foothold into controlling some homeschoolers, they’ll find ways to extend that to all,” she warns. “Thus, the only way to maintain all homeschoolers’ independence from government overreach into our homes is by everyone refusing any and all offers of government-sponsored financial ‘help.’ When we pay, we get the say – as it should be.”

Breitbart News reached out to Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to ask how the organization believes the Obama administration’s gender identity “decree” will affect homeschooling in the United States.

“We expect that this will drive up the numbers in homeschooling the same way that Common Core did,” responded Michael Farris, Jr. of HSLDA Media Relations. “Parents want to have the final say in their children’s education, not have the federal government do it for them.”

Once the camel gets his nose inside the tent, there is no telling where he will end up.

The Mess In Washington And Some Suggested Solutions

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article about the eight worst federal agencies in Washington and how they could be fixed.

Here are some of the highlights. The article begins with the Department of Education. It has a 2016 budget of $79 billion. About 6 percent (250) of its employees are considered essential. It has existed for 36 years.

The article states:

McCluskey (Neal McCluskey, who directs the Center for Educational Freedom at the libertarian Cato Institute) said only two Department of Education activities can be justified: the Office for Civil Rights, to enforce the 14th Amendment, and Impact Aid, which gives federal funds to school districts that are burdened by nearby federal installations such as military bases or large science labs. Even then, the department doesn’t perform those two activities particularly well, McCluskey said, but at least they’re justifiable.

In the ideal world, McCluskey would simply get rid of the department. “What the federal government does in education, largely through the Department of Education, is unconstitutional. As important, we don’t have evidence it’s really helping. So why should it continue to do any of this?”

The next department the article lists is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has a 2016 budget of $8.14. About 7 percent (1072) of its employees are considered essential. It began operating in December 1970.

The article reports:

Ozone rules, the EPA’s new regulations for smog, also are a captivating force for lawyers looking to sue the agency. Greens are suing the agency because the regulations made law last year were not strict enough. Hailed as the most expensive regulations in history, industry is suing because they argue they are too strict. As a twist, industry groups have come to the EPA’s aid in the lawsuit by the greens.

Tom Pyle, director of the conservative American Energy Alliance, says in addition to the EPA’s far-reaching regulations that need to be reined in, “the whole agency needs to be reorganized.”

For example, his group has proposed a host of streamlining proposals in recent years targeting the National Environmental Policy Act review process, known as NEPA.

The NEPA review process has become a key target for critics who see it as an overly burdensome and duplicative process for permitting energy and infrastructure projects.

Another agency the article lists that are in need of reform is the Department of Health and Human Services. Payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers are not carefully scrutinized and fraud is a problem. Another issue in the Department is the Food and Drug Administration’s lack of speed in bringing new drugs to the market.

Other agencies listed are the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Personnel Management, the Secret Service, the State Department, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Please follow the link to the article to read the details in each department. We need someone in Washington who is not afraid to upset the status quo.

The Problem Is Not The Income

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday about the amount of tax revenue the federal government collected for fiscal 2015. The good news is that the government collected a record amount of money–$3.249 trillion. That is an 8 percent increase in revenues for the year. The bad news is that the government still managed to spend more than it took in. The budget deficit was $435 billion–a decline of $48 billion. The article notes that although the decline is small, it is huge for the seventh year of what the government claims is an expansion. The article also notes that inflation is growing by less than 2 percent.

The article reports:

The reason for the small decline is that spending for the fiscal year climbed 5.2% to $3.685 trillion. That increase came even though defense spending fell $16 billion, or 2.7%, thanks to the drawdown in Afghanistan.

The spending burst included a 16.1%, or $49 billion, increase in Medicaid for the first full year of ObamaCare. Medicaid spending has climbed $85 billion to $350 billion in two years, and that’s with 19 states declining to join.

The Congressional Budget Office also cites a $30 billion, or 51%, spending increase for the Department of Education—“mostly because of an $18 billion upward revision in the estimated net subsidy costs of student loans and loan guarantees issued in past years.” Translation: Mr. Obama’s takeover of the student-loan business is costing far more money than advertised, probably due to growing defaults.

Let’s put these numbers together. Inflation is less than 2 percent. There was an 8 percent increase in revenues collected by the federal government. There was a $435 billion deficit. These numbers are unsustainable. They will assure the destruction of America. We need to elect people to Congress and the White House who will cut government spending. It is a national disgrace to have an 8 percent increase in revenues and still have a deficit. It is time for any rational members of Congress to demand a spending cut.

Laziness Is Not An American Problem

On Saturday, the Daily Caller reported that President Obama blamed America’s financial difficulties on laziness and stated that the cure is more central government. Huh?

He stated that America has been lazy in recent decades about attracting foreign investment.

The article reported:

In September, after saying the U.S. had lost its competitive edge, Obama also suggested the cure lies with Democratic policies. The country can recover its competitiveness, he said, because the country has “the best universities, the best scientists, and best workers in the world.” Many Democrats routinely say they support education, science and labor, and that Republicans oppose all three.

That is truly a spin on the truth. Republicans actually do support education, science, and labor–just not controlled by Washington, D.C. The cost of education was lower and SAT scores higher before the Department of Education was created. Education does better when it is controlled at the local level–less money is spent on administration and the needs of the individual community can be met much more efficiently. Science does very well when it is allowed to work under the rules of free enterprise. When government interferes in free enterprise, bad things happen (Solyndra, for example). Republicans do not oppose labor–they do oppose labor interfering with the rights of corporations to build plants and employ people wherever they choose (Boeing in South Carolina).

Americans are not lazy–they are being severely limited by over regulation. The intrusion of the federal government into the everyday lives of Americans has become totally ridiculous. The government has shut down the Central Valley in California to preserve a fish that may not even be a separate species. Because of that action, many more Californians are out of work and all Americans are paying more for groceries. The government is about to put regulations into effect that will increase the cost of electricity for every American by at least 10 per cent. The problem is not laziness on the part of Americans–the problem is government overreach.

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