Archive for the 'Politics' Category



The Latest Front In Russian Infiltration: America’s Right-Wing Homeschooling Movement

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Via Pat Hines, Think Progress:

The group and its origins sound innocuous enough. But the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) — a right-wing group founded 36 years ago — has deepened connections between America’s religious right and Russians even as the latter have been sanctioned by the United States, according to a ThinkProgress investigation.

By networking with Russians, the HSLDA — now America’s largest right-wing homeschooling association — has provided the Kremlin with a new avenue of influence over some of the most conservative organizations in the United States.

[ … ]

But at the same time that details — and criticism — of these links between Russia and American right-wing groups were emerging, the HSLDA co-sponsored a formal homeschooling conference in Moscow and St. Petersburg, ThinkProgress found. One of the conference’s other sponsors was a foundation run by sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. The event featured some of the most outspoken anti-LGBTQ officials in Russia, and included a Russian official who’s currently sanctioned by the U.S. for her role in stoking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It’s almost impossible to know where to begin, but I’ll attempt to offer up a few points.

Home schooling has been around for as long as America has been around, and even when the head master of a local school taught children, or supervised those who did, the teacher was always functioning in loco parentis.  This is so basic, so fundamental, so axiomatic, that is makes no sense to debate with someone who doesn’t know or understand that.

In the wake of Horace Mann and John Dewey, even if parents didn’t understand what they were doing, the state assumed ownership of children and what they are taught.  Communism is founded in and based on the assumption of state ownership of mankind.  The writer has it exactly backwards.  Horace Mann brought communism to American education, not Russia, or home schooling, or anything else.

The father of the modern American home schooling movement is Rousas J. Rushdoony.  Period.  End of discussion.  There is no debate about that.  It is axiomatic, and if someone doesn’t understand that, he is too stolid and ignorant to debate.  Debating someone over American history who knows nothing about American history is a waste of time.  For a discussion of the Christian basis for Rushdoony’s advocacy for home schooling, read his many works, all of them scholarly.

I know absolutely nothing about connections between anyone who was born in Russia, or calls themselves by a Russian surname, and any American home schooling association.  I find such a connection dubious to say the least.  At any rate, suffice it to say that the fundamentals behind what is being taught in American home schools and communism is diametrically opposed at every step.  Every one.

The only divide I currently find in the American home schooling movement is between the classic home schoolers – who still appear to hold sway, albeit waning – and the much more libertarian.  The former want to see state acceptance of the curricula, attendance, activities, etc., and are willing to allow state representatives to visit unannounced to verify records.  The later aren’t so willing and see neither need nor right to do that.

The American home schooling movement isn’t the monolith that this writer seems to imagine.  It is basically bifurcated between states, with each state having multiple home schooling associations, and with some home schoolers not a member of any particular association at all.

As for Russia, inasmuch as they are still communists, I opposed them at every turn.  Regardless of who catalyzed the war in the Ukraine, the Ukrainians don’t appear to want to be part of Russia, and I believe they have as much right not to be a part of that country as the American South does not to be a part of the U.S.  To the extent that they oppose gun rights, and they still appear to strongly oppose them, I consider them to be of the same ilk as the horrible controllers in America.

Not coincidentally, the author of this idiotic article is likely a controller and opposes God-given rights, which makes him more a supporter of communism and Russia that I could ever be.  Communists are the same the world over.  There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them.

But something strange happens later in the article that I quoted above.  The author says, “The event featured some of the most outspoken anti-LGBTQ officials in Russia.”  So is that what this is all about?  The author is finding a connection between something bad in Russia and something he considers to be bad in America, namely “anti-LGBTQ?”

Because one of the core fundamentals of the home schooling movement is that the state doesn’t have the right to deliver moral absolutes to children.  Only parents have that sole domain.  And I’m willing to bet that we’ve put our finger on the root of the issue with the author.

This isn’t about Russia, or American home schooling, or any ridiculous connection between them.  This is about who has the domain of moral instruction for children.

Read it again and tell me I’m wrong.

Prior: Home Schooling Fight In Massachusetts

Lowered Standards In The Green Berets

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Breitbart:

Two Army Green Berets are fighting for their military careers after being associated with an anonymous email that accused their commanders of lowering standards to enable more soldiers — particularly female — to graduate from its prestigious Q-course.

The anonymous email, signed, “A concerned Green Beret,” accused the leaders of the school of “moral cowardice” for lowering the standards, and weakening instructors’ ability to discipline students as they look to get further through the pipeline.

“[The school] has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders,” the email said. “They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces [are] more prolific but dangerously less capable than ever before.”

One of the specific complaints was that the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), commonly referred to as “Q-course,” was restructured so that there were “no physical barriers to earning the coveted Green Beret.”

[ … ]

The Marine Corps, which was the most resistant, has made recent headlines for integrating a female platoon into a previously all-male battalion at Parris Island, S.C., and for its first female Marine officer graduating from the Scout Sniper Unit Leaders Course.

As I’ve said before, the communist project is nearly complete.  And the country’s leadership was and continues to be a willing and culpable partner.

The Difficulty Of Language In The Interpretation Of Trump’s View Of Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

There is no shortage of Trump supporters, here on this blog or elsewhere.  And there is no shortage of Trump detractors.  It occurs to me that sometimes language is a barrier to communication rather than the vehicle for it.

Trump might be engaging repeatedly in 3D chess, or he might not.  His art of the deal might be selling out your rights for his benefit, or it might not be.

But in either case, it must be remembered that his predilections are those of a Northeastern progressive, with certain conservative tendencies.  He isn’t a reliable, ideologically committed conservative, or a conservative (or libertarian) based on incorrigible principle.

The strata in which he communicates and flows is ever changing, a non-fixed, malleable, very unpredictable morass of ideas and statements.  The problem comes in because of the nature of language itself.  Language, as American philosopher Gordon H. Clark said, is comprised of words and sentences, all of which is designed as tags and signifiers to help one person communicate a thought to another.

When he says that he supports gun rights, he may not be saying the same thing you think you’re hearing.  Or in other words, gun rights to him means something different than gun rights to you.  It’s a safe bet that gun rights to him means submission to the authorities, full and complete, so that red flag laws wouldn’t be a problem to him.  He believes in no principle that would cause him to oppose red flag laws.

Likewise, the notion that anyone might need or want a stock is silly, and so given that there is no principle to which he can refer to oppose such a ban, he supported it.  His nomination of Barr for AG falls into the same category.  He liked what Barr had to say about the “witch hunt” to which Trump himself was subjected, and thus he will be the next AG.

Trump can appear in front of the NRA and say all sorts of things that sound as if he supports gun rights the way you support gun rights.  He isn’t lying.  he just sees things differently.  His entire world and life view is different.  But when you get past those tags that are supposed to communicate thoughts from one person to another, his ideas are far different from most real gun rights supporters.

You cannot listen to Trump on a pedestrian level, as a freshman in college.  You must understand the nature of language, how it differs from person to person, its potential lack of clarity, and how the tags that are words can be confused, misinterpreted, and misjudged, and thus become vehicles for communicating the wrong thoughts.  Language can be clear, but in order to make it so, the speaker and hearer must arrive at compatible definitions and use the care necessary to define thinking men and women.

Rules For Deep State Overlords

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

More On The Benghazi Coverup

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Via David Codrea, see this post at Gateway Pundit.  It’s slam full of information, including why he deep state attacked General Michael Flynn.  I always told you it was a hit job.

One of the allegations (I take to be true) is that there was weapons trafficking conducted on behalf of John McCain and The Clinton Foundation.  We already knew this, as there was not only weapons but precious gems, oil, money and children being trafficked due to the failed states in North Africa.

The only thing I question (perhaps disagree with) is that he seems to indicate that Ambassador Stevens’ death was an accident and caught the deep state by surprise.

I don’t believe this.  I believe that the deep state had him killed because he also knew far too much and the deep state had lost use for him.  His mission to recover weapons had proven unsuccessful and impossible.

Politics Tags:

Exculpatory Russia Evidence About Michael Flynn That U.S. Intelligence Kept Secret

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

The Hill:

  • Before Flynn made his infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow — as a retired general and then-adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — he alerted his former employer, the DIA.
  • He then attended a “defensive” or “protective” briefing before he ever sat alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia Today (RT) dinner, or before he talked with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
  • The briefing educated and sensitized Flynn to possible efforts by his Russian host to compromise the former high-ranking defense official and prepared him for conversations in which he could potentially extract intelligence for U.S. agencies such as the DIA.
  • When Flynn returned from Moscow, he spent time briefing intelligence officials on what he learned during the Moscow contacts. Between two and nine intelligence officials attended the various meetings with Flynn about the RT event, and the information was moderately useful, about what one would expect from a public event, according to my sources.

DIA spokesman James Kudla on Wednesday declined comment about Flynn.

Rather than a diplomatic embarrassment bordering on treason, Flynn’s conduct at the RT event provided some modest benefit to the U.S. intelligence community, something that many former military and intelligence officers continue to offer their country after retirement when they keep security clearances.

As I told you.  The entire ugly affair was a deep state hit on the most “objectionable” potential member of Trump’s cabinet.

Nothing more, nothing less.  The real treason is within the deep state.  It always was.

Trump Says Stanley McChrystal Has A “Big, Dumb Mouth”

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

HuffPo:

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted to gripe about comments retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal made Sunday to ABC News.

Asked whether he would work for the president, McChrystal, the former top commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, explained why he would not, calling Trump “shady” and “immoral.”

“It’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it,” McChrystal said, suggesting that the president has been, at times, “openly disingenuous on things.”

Trump didn’t take the criticism well, based on this reaction on Twitter.

This is an idiotic response from a reactionary man who obviously isn’t a thinker and knows nothing about history.  So let me give a much better response.

Stanley McChrystal is a murderer.

But the irony is that McChrystal, who issued the most restrictive rules of engagement ever promulgated on American troops, waxes know-it-all on what it takes to keep our people safe.  He can micromanage the campaign, release a bunch of inept, bureaucratic, PowerPoint jockeys into highly protected mega-bases to command the troops under fire in the field, turn so-called general purpose troops into constabulary patrolmen, and become a laughingstock when his juvenile staff turned party-animal with Rolling Stone.  But he didn’t manage the campaign in such a manner as to keep our children in uniform safe in Afghanistan.  If he didn’t do that, why should I care what he has to say about anything else regarding my safety?

This is what happens when media stars think they know something about policy.  So here is a suggestion for Mr. McChrystal.  You go read the lamentations at this article from the families and widows of SFC Kenneth Westbrook, Gunnery Sgt Aaron M Kenefick, Corpsman James Ray “Doc” Layton, and others in the Ganjgal engagement.  You know the one I’m talking about, even if others have forgotten.  You and I will never forget.  The one where they left our men to perish without fire support because of your rules of engagement.  You sleep with this reality, if you can, you ponder on those men and their lives morning and night, and you lament with the widows and families.  And then you tell me why I should give a shit what you have to say about anything, much less what it takes to keep my children or loved ones safe?

McChrystal and his ROE left good men at Ganjgal to perish, while the ring-knockers at Joyce sipped their coffee, or played video games, or whatever they did.

That’s the response Trump should have given.  Since I’m having to do Trump’s work for him and bring up the real issues while he plays little child, where do I send the bill?  My rate for emergency and exigent support is $450/Hr.

Homeschooling Fight In Massachusetts

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Zerohedge:

A school system in Massachusetts is proving to be malicious, incompetent, or maybe both.

Of course, we suspected that already. But the latest example comes from a lawsuit from a woman who pulled her 8-year-old son from Worcester Public Schools to homeschool him last January.

Josilyn Goodall is suing the Worcester School Committee, Superintendent Maureen Binienda, and the state Department of Children and Families after police entered her home, handcuffed her, and arrested her over what amounted to a paperwork dispute.

According to the lawsuit, Goodall is seeking unspecified compensatory damages for the violation of her Constitutional rights and for the “mental pain and suffering” inflicted upon her and her son.

The lawsuit details Goodall’s multiple attempts to contact the Superintendent after filing paperwork in January saying she was going to homeschool her son. She said she never got a response to any of her phone calls or emails.

In Massachusetts, parents who wish to homeschool their children must submit an education plan to the superintendent of the local school system for approval. However, according to Care and Protection of Charles (1987), the court case upon which homeschool legal precedent was established, the burden of proof is on the school to show that the homeschool program is insufficient.

The lawsuit further alleges that the Worcester School Committee’s homeschool policy is unlawful, in that it requires students to continue attending public school until the education plan is approved. Charles allows for homeschooling to begin as soon as the plan has been submitted.

To most rational people, Charles makes sense. If parents are to have any right to educate their children at home, they must be able to begin homeschooling before receiving approval from the schools. Otherwise, a school could conveniently hold hostage the education plan and never approve it, essentially forcing the child to stay in the public school.

But instead of following the state law or even their own policy, Worcester school administrators ignored Goodall’s education plan and her attempts to contact them, continued marking her son absent, and never reached out to Goodall to discuss their concerns.

It would be hard to tell if the school was being passive-aggressive or just plain incompetent, unable to send or receive emails and phone calls. Except that they had no problem contacting the Department of Children and Families to report Goodall for “educational neglect.”

DCF officials apparently took the school’s word for it, never asking for attendance records for Goodall’s son before showing up at her door on March 30. In addition, a DCF investigator believed the superintendent’s secretary, who told her there was a new law that required homeschooled students to continue attending school until their education plan was approved.

Yes, a state department took legal advice from a superintendent’s secretary.

Then, police escalated the situation, to the surprise of absolutely no one. The lawsuit states that officers pounded on Goodall’s door and threatened to forcibly open it. When Goodall was intimidated into letting them in, an officer laid hands on Goodall, handcuffed her, ordered her into a chair and yelled in her face — while her son watched and cried.

Additional officers arrived and started searching the home, while the DCF investigator questioned the son. Goodall was arrested and brought to the police station and was booked, though no charges were filed. She paid bail and finally made it back home after a 7-hour ordeal.

The legal battle continued with DCF filing a complaint of educational neglect that was eventually dropped by the court. Goodall submitted another education plan to the Superintendent on April 10.

You would think school officials would jump right on it this time around, but they dragged their feet yet again. Goodall left another voicemail and sent an email before finally hearing from the secretary on April 25. Her plan was not officially approved until May 9, after Goodall’s legal counsel wrote a letter essentially asking the Superintendent’s Office to piss or get off the pot.

Goodall’s ordeal is just the most extreme of many examples of harassment and intimidation the Worcester School District is doling out to homeschoolers.

According to the Worcester Telegram, many homeschooling families were waiting on District approval of their education plans months after submitting them. To add to the stress, many were receiving letters that said they could face truancy charges if their children were not in school and they had not received approval.

The hypocrisy of the District is astounding. Rather than sending approval letters—or even rejection letters— in a timely fashion, they sent letters threatening parents, as though it was the parents’ fault that their plan might not be approved “in time.”

While it is bad news that school administrators seem intent on harassing homeschoolers and escalating disputes, there is a silver lining to this whole issue.

We’re not going to take it.

Homeschoolers routinely show up in large numbers to protect their right to homeschool their children. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association hosted an informational forum on Aug. 15 in Worcester to discuss the concerns of local homeschooling families and to clarify the state’s laws.

As a Massachusetts homeschooler myself, I attended the meeting. There were upwards of 100 people in attendance from Worcester and surrounding towns. The group shared advice, made plans to turn out en masse to School Committee meetings, and made sure they were educated on what is and is not legally required in state homeschool law.

This one comes via WiscoDave.

No, to rational people, the Charles law doesn’t have to make sense.  In fact, I can discern where you stand by asking you two questions: [1] Who owns children, and [2] To whom have they been given for governance and training?

My answers are simple: [1] God, and [2] Parents.  If you believe that parents own children, you believe in slavery and you deny God’s ownership of all of His creatures.  You own your dog, not your children.  If you believe that anyone but the parents have been given responsibility for governance and oversight, teaching, training, love, discipline, correction and rebuke, you are a communist.

The reason the government of Massachusetts declares they have a right to decide what is appropriate education for children is because they are communists.  God does not recognize their authority in any of this, and His wrath will come down upon them, more than likely in time and space, and certainly and without fail, in eternity.

Public schools are centers of communist indoctrination and socialization.  And just to make clear that I know my facts, my wife and I were once part of a small group church fellowship based on home schooling.  One former home schooler now flies F-35s, another graduated from the Naval Academy, the Navy nuclear school, and commanded aboard a submarine.

Still others from that group went into the military, and my daughter is a Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s degree, ER experience and cardiology experience, and today is a “first-assist” for surgery.

There are hundreds of thousands of such examples in America and in fact all over the world.  Don’t tell me that children need the state to educate them.  I know that to be a lie.

The educational system and cops in Massachusetts aren’t liars -they’re just communists.  They know they aren’t needed, they just want the control.  The desire to control others is the first sign, incorrigible pathology and premier sin of the wicked.

More Business Pressure On Firearms Manufacturers

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Not unexpected news from Florida:

Florida has joined a coalition of major pension funds and investment companies that have adopted a set of principles aimed at encouraging gun manufacturers and retailers to act responsibly.

Ash Williams, executive director of the State Board of Administration, which oversees the state pension fund and other investments, said the agreement carries no mandates for gun-related companies. But he said it is designed to raise awareness of issues that could impact the value of investments in the firearms industry.

“We’re not telling anybody, any private company, exactly what they should be doing. Our concern is motivated very simply by one thing, as fiduciaries anything that poses a risk to the value of the assets that we own on behalf of our beneficiaries, we want to make sure we’re managing it properly,” Williams said in an interview with The News Service of Florida.

“By extension, if there is a risk or peril to the stock value of a company that we own in our portfolio, we want to make sure that company is, A, aware of it and, B, attentive to it. That’s all this is,” he said.

In signing the “Principles for a Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry” last month, Florida joined more than a dozen public pension funds and investment companies that have adopted the document.

“We believe that enterprises involved in the manufacturing, distribution, sale and enforcement of regulations of the firearms industry are well-positioned to support pragmatic transparency and safety measures that contribute to the responsible use of firearms,” the document said.

Safety measures.  Like stop selling semi-automatic firearms, invest in so-called “smart guns,” and do anything else the collectivists want, like go out of business entirely.

All by plan.  The answer is simple.  If you’re a firearm manufacturer, ensure that your employees own a majority of the stock and tell the hand-wringers to go pound sand.

The Impending Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

It’s unclear what the president hopes to accomplish by alienating his strongest supporters at a time he is being closed in on from all sides by powers intent on destroying him. If he believes this will satisfy the gun-grabbers and make them go away, that ignores everything about their incremental tactics. Experience shows they will take a piece here and a “compromise” there, and then use that position to launch their next demand for more.

And if you don’t think this will alienate his allies, just spend a few minutes reading the comments at Breitbart.

Trump has little real political sense concerning his base, and he’s being led by people who are the same.  And David is right.  This isn’t just about bump stocks – it’s more about the incrementalism this catalyzes.

 


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