Tag Archives: liberty

Globalism is the New Patriotism

Conservatives welcome and encourage outside-of-the-box thinking resulting in creative approaches to problem solving… solutions based on sound, sensible factual evidence. Unleash Americans’ can-do spirit and get government out of the way. It’s how we solve problems. It’s about freedom and personal liberty.

Progressives, on the other hand, believe more government control is the answer to every question as they tend to base decisions on emotional rhetoric and knee-jerk reactions – which only serve to make problems worse. This is true at all levels of government – all the way down to your local town and school boards.

Money Corrupts

For too long, public education in this country has been controlled by Progressives. From the class room to the board room we have serious problems. The pat response from the Progressive education establishment is to blame everything from low student performance and test scores to budget woes on a need for more money. This is nothing more than a diversion. Throwing money at problems does not make them go away.

Drowning in Money, Thirsting for Achievement  We would be happy to wager on what is the most commonly cited “problem” with American education: insufficient funding. In their book Education Myths, Dr. Jay Greene of the University of Arkansas and his coauthors call this the “Money Myth.”

The pervasiveness of this assumption that schools are inadequately funded says more about the state of our public thought about education than anything else,” they write. “It is simultaneously the most widely held idea about education in America and the one that is most directly at odds with the available evidence.”Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress and Reform by Dr. Matthew Ladner, Andrew T. LeFevre and Dan Lips, 16th Edition, American Legislative Exchange Council (2010)

The United States already spends more on education than nearly any other country in the world. Yet, embarrassingly, our students rank mediocre in global comparisons. The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) global rankings of 15-year old students are dismal for the United States. In mathematics, Shanghai-China, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea ranked top honors, while our students scored below average with a dismal showing at 32nd behind Luxembourg and Hungary. We fared somewhat better in science, considered to be average at 23rd, behind Hungary, Belgium and Iceland while Shanghai-China, Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore topped the category. Once again rated average, the US students tied at 15th with those in Poland and Iceland in reading, as Shanghai-China, South Korea, Finland and Hong Kong rated top of the class.

What does this say about our children’s… and our nation’s future?

And they continue to beat the drum claiming schools are underfunded? Don't fall for the "money myth".

A stunning infographic puts the issue into perspective by comparing total annual spending and student performance in the United States with eleven other countries:  Japan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Finland, Mexico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Without a doubt, the US spends far more per school-aged child than any other country. Yet, we are at the bottom of the heap in educating our children to become competent in both science and mathematics… why?

Clearly, more money is not the answer as it does not equate to better educated students.

Certainly, we are blessed with many high quality, dedicated teachers. I don’t believe the majority of teachers are the problem. So let’s put the blame where it belongs:  the problem with public education is wasted money and the philosophy of Progressive Education.

Globalism is the New Patriotism

We can thank Progressivism for infecting public education with political correctness, multiculturalism, globalism, environmental justice, and social justice. As these causes and the promotion of Progressive beliefs have commanded more classroom attention, students have lost precious time necessary to learn the basic skills key to becoming well educated:  how to read, perform mathematics without the aid of a calculator and develop vital language arts skills of spelling, proper grammar and cursive writing. To gain an appreciation, knowledge and sense of pride for our own history, the benefits of a science curriculum based upon facts to spark students’ intellect and an understanding of economics have been lost… at least in public schools driven by administrators or staffed with activist teachers who believe in and promote Progressive Education.

It also explains why so much effort and expense is directed at Professional Development in public schools guided by Progressives – and especially so in situations where much of the staff has achieved occupational longevity. The younger teachers were indoctrinated into the theories of  Progressive Education while at the Universities. Professional Development is about controlling teachers rather than actually improving student learning. It is the re-education camp for experienced teachers, those who actually understand how to perform their job and do it well.

“When school boards spend thousands of tax dollars to send teachers to education conferences around the country, they have a reasonable expectation that the attendees will bring back knowledge and skills that will be put to constructive use in the classroom. That is not necessarily what the boards are receiving in return when they send teachers to conferences on multiculturalism and so-called social-justice teaching. At many of these gatherings, teachers are being urged to go back home and work for an anti-free-market, redistributionist social agenda rather than teaching children the academic fundamentals.

…A network of academics and organizations including former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, Howard Zinn, and Milwaukee-based Rethinking Schools are leading advocates for extremist “social justice teaching” in the nation’s public schools.”–Multiculturalism and “Social Justice” in American Public Education by Robert Holland and Don Soifer, Lexington Institute (11/2008)

Experiential learning, project-based, community service or service learning projects and the collaborative approach to education are reshaping students’ views, replacing individualism, personal achievement and independence with an acceptance of mediocrity, communitarianism and equality at the cost of liberty. It’s a forward sounding agenda being sold to the uninformed as “21st-Century Skills”. Another popular theme is “student-centered” learning, which, in reality, seeks to make them equal with their teachers in directing their own education, as a not-so-subtle means to overthrow their perceived oppression of traditional education and the teacher-student relationship.

However, these ‘new’ ideas in education aren’t as they seem. Within the education industry, it’s just the window dressing. Pull back the curtain and you’ll find the specter of Critical Pedagogy, with roots deep in Marxist revolutionary theory, cultural studies, feminist studies and liberation theology. It’s goal is societal transformation and the promotion of Radical Democracy through a bedrock belief that Capitalism is exploitive, so must be replaced with Socialism.

“To challenge educands with regard to their certitudes is a duty of the progressive educator. What kind of educator would I be if I did not feel moved by a powerful impulse to seek, without lying, convincing arguments in defense of the dreams for which I struggle, in defence of the ‘why’ of the hope with which I act as an educator?

What is not permissible to be doing is to conceal truths, deny information, impose principles, eviscerate the educands of their freedom, or punish them, no matter by what method, if, for various reasons, they fail to accepts my discourse – reject my utopia.”Pedagogy of Hope by Paolo Freire (1921-1997), Brazilian Marxist, educator and influential theorist of Critical Pedagogy

The delusional basis of Critical Pedagogy is the belief the oppressed must rise up to become liberated – and it is the educator’s job to indoctrinate students. It develops within the student a belief system focused on inequality, exploitation, oppression and domination in relationship to race, ethnicity, class and gender. Students are conditioned to view their nation and culture negatively. They’re taught to hold oppositional values, attitudes and behaviors, cultivating a mindset necessary to facilitate the leftists’ desired revolution. Critical Pedagogy is about questioning and challenging authority – be it historical figures, governmental, political, corporate, societal, religious, within education… or even their own parents.

No aspect of traditional American values is off-limits.

In our universities, colleges and public schools, it is the institutionalized planting of seeds of discontent, watering with sermons admonishing deeds of injustice… until rebellion blooms. The fruit of Critical Pedagogy is on full view within the cult of the Occupy Movement.

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The Puppeteers

The Story of Stuff and Annie Leonard’s other films are cartoonish, stick figure propaganda tools full of disinformation used to indoctrinate youth into the Occupy mentality. Leonard, a former Greenpeace employee, promotes Green Communism, but clearly has some influential benefactors and like-minded puppeteers lurking in the shadows.

Have your kids been propagandized into the Occupy mentality by this series shown in some schools?

Let’s connect the dots… shall we?

The Story of Stuff was backed by the Tides Foundation, a far-left organization advocating social justice (equality  at the expense of liberty), economic justice (wealth redistribution) and reproductive justice (contraceptives and abortions for all). It’s founder, Drummond Pike, is also a director of billionaire George Soros’ partisan Democracy Alliance (funding ACORN, Sierra Club, etc…). Interesting to note, former Tides Foundation directors included:  Wade Rathke, who was also the founder and Chief Organizer of the notoriously corrupt ACORN and Dan Carol, the co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, a project of the Tides Center. Here, the spider’s web becomes even more interesting as an intricate part of the effort to push the so-called Green Jobs agenda, the Apollo Alliance was a prominent member of former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming.

Apollo Alliance director and resigned White House Green Czar, Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones, was a founding member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), which was a self-proclaimed Communist Marxist-Leninist group of radicals, formerly active in the San Francisco Bay area. He was also involved in the formation and operation of an educator movement called PENCIL (Progressive Educator’s Network Creating International Liberation).

STORM’s manifesto beliefs & goals included the following:  involvement in community organizing, social justice, commitment to revolutionary Marxist principles, radical youth and student organizing in high schools and colleges. The group is anti-police, viewing them as “state repression”. They are self-described supporters of communist politics desiring to build revolutionary power by exploiting any crisis to create an uprising and gain power. STORM is racist against whites. They seek to defeat US “imperialism”, and to develop young revolutionaries. This stuff should be a huge red flag to every parent and patriotic American because it’s exactly what’s happening right before our eyes.

In my last entry, Reaping What We Sow, I exposed the communist mind-set Leonard’s Story of… films cultivate. But where did these radical ideas portrayed in The Story of… films and mimicked by those Occupiers, at least those who can actually voice a reason for their involvement, originate? Here’s a blast from the past that ought to knock your socks off:

Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction. No universal selfishness can bring social good to all.

Communism–the effort to give all men what they need and to ask of each the best they can contribute–this is the only way of human life. It is a difficult and hard end to reach–it has and will make mistakes, but today it marches triumphantly on in education and science, in home and food, with increased freedom of thought and deliverance from dogma. In the end Communism will triumph. I want to help to bring that day.

The path of the American Communist Party is clear:  It will provide the United States with a real Third Party and thus restore democracy to this land. It will call for:

  1. Public ownership of natural resources and of all capital
  2. Public control of transportation and communications.
  3. Abolition of poverty and limitation of personal income.
  4. No exploitation of labor.
  5. Social medicine, with hospitalization and care of the old.
  6. Free education for all.
  7. Training for jobs and jobs for all.
  8. Discipline for growth and reform.
  9. Freedom under law.
  10. No dogmatic religion.

These are not crimes. They are practiced all over the world. No nation can call itself free which does not allow its citizens to work for these ends.”–Request to Join the Party by William Edward Burghardt DuBois, 1868-1963, NAACP founder, joined the Communist Party in 1961 at 93 years old, subject of FBI investigation; letter published in Communism in America:  a history in documents by Alfred Fried

It’s chilling to read DuBois’ vision for the Communist Party.  What we are reading in today’s headlines, hearing many of our young people parrot and are witnessing in the transformation of our great nation by the hand of the powerful in Washington DC was laid out in in DuBois’ blueprint fifty years ago. It is a realization which is far beyond disturbing.

Just as crimson and scarlet are shades of red; Socialism and Marxism are shades of Communism. To argue whether a person adheres to the dogma of Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Trotsky – or anyone else – is splitting hairs. All preached the gospel of Communism. The common thread of all stripes of Communism is the singular goal of destroying the United States, as we know it. Communism seeks to annihilate our free market economy, prosperity, independence and the rights of the individual… especially property ownership, liberty, religious and personal freedoms.

The proof is best stated in their own words:

“I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.–Roger Nash Baldwin (1884-1981) founder and executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

“National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.” –Martin Bormann (1900-1945) prominent Nazi official

“Even now we feel that Stalin was devoted to Communism, he was a Marxist, this cannot and should not be denied.” –Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971) Soviet Premier 1958-1964

“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” –Karl Marx

“Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.” –Mao Tse-Tung

“Democracy is the road to socialism.” –Karl Marx

“The goal of socialism is communism.” –Vladimir Lenin

Is this the future we want for ourselves, our children… and grandchildren? Are Americans willing to allow their children to become deluded into believing living in a Communist country could, in any way, be desirable? Is your local school showing children Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff film series?

Are “We the People” willing to lose God’s blessing of Liberty on this great nation by completely turning our backs on Him? A god-less nation… isn’t that the true goal of Communism?

Will we be the generation who stands by watching as the last golden rays of Liberty fades in the twilight of our great Republic?

Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
“A republic, if you can keep it.”–recorded by Constitution signer James McHenry in his diary (1787)

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit  of the Lord is, there is liberty.”–II Corinthians 3:17 (New American Standard Bible)

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”–Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father

Reaping What We Sow

Seeds of a pro-Communist world view and an anti-Capitalist, anti-American bias have been sowed in public school classrooms for decades. The weeds of globalism, multiculturalism, and communitarianism have flourished unchecked, choking out an understanding of our nation’s founders, the founding documents, the fact we are a Republic – not a Democracy, and how liberty and freedom are based on the God-given rights of the individual.

During the 1960s, it was the rare mother of a fellow classmate who worked outside of the home. As the 20th century drew to a close, that pendulum swung in the opposite direction as the new issue of “latchkey children” spawned “after school programs”, which extended the influence of public schools on children’s lives – from school breakfast programs right up to suppertime. Parents quickly grew to rely on the public school to provide almost everything from preschool and child care to feeding their children, dispensing medications and helping them with their homework. Schools have assumed an ever larger role in students’ lives as they advise them on career choices and accompany students on visits to perspective colleges. They’re intricately involved in nearly every aspect of children’s lives far beyond serving as a role model or mentor to becoming confidants.

Reaping what we sow... or weeds?

It wasn’t that long ago when these were strictly the personal responsibility and duty of parents. Now, because parents have come to rely on so much assistance from public schools… the government… many have come to view them more in a partnership role, than as an institution whose purpose should be limited strictly to provide an education. It is this blurring of the line which has caused many parents to be lulled into a blind sense of trust of schools, as they are able to direct more of their attention to work, leisure or other interests – and less to their own children.

Progressive educators have taken full advantage of this opportunity.

The anti-establishment theology being spoon-fed to our children was spawned from the counterculture: the hippies, yippies, flower children, rebels, rioters and bra-burners of the 1960s… many of whom entered the field of education after putting away their bellbottoms and psychedelic tie-dyed shirts.

One means by which some are working to villainize American exceptionalism is by exposing students to a video entitled The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard. The engaging, cartoonish, short film is an outrageous, in-your-face, anti-capitalist, anti-consumer sermon that is staunchly biased and full of disinformation. Clearly, it advocates Socialism through fear mongering and hysterics. Employing propaganda, the film heaps guilt on children as a vehicle to indoctrinate them into believing what is being sold as a democratic economic system is “good” while American Capitalism and the free market economy is “evil”. This new democratic economic system is a wolf in sheep’s clothing: Communism.

Students are being conditioned to view Communism, or a “control economy” in a favorable light and preferable to our Constitutional Republic form of government and free market economy in some history or social studies textbooks. Why? Because in a “control economy” the government takes care of people’s needs.

The film maker and those who funded the project obviously hold a deep sense of contempt for the American way of life. They want to replace the ideals of working hard to advance oneself in their chosen career; individuality, ingenuity and invention; success; the concept of risk and reward… with collectivism, economic egalitarianism and an acceptance of poverty. The Story of Stuff brazenly promotes Green Communism.

One of the most disturbing and dangerous aspects is its demonization of the manufacturing sector – claiming companies are greedy, they deliberately poison the environment as well as their products, and those who work in factories are exposed to toxins that result in cancer, especially for women. The Story of Stuff openly denigrates Apple Computers, Radio Shack and WalMart through thinly disguised attacks on their businesses.

The Story of Stuff pushes the “economic justice” agenda, meaning they envision a day when there will no longer be corporations that own businesses, but all businesses will be owned by a one world government where the workers will all have an equal share in the decisions and profits. This is an unrealistic, foolhardy utopian notion cleverly designed to appeal to our youth… the audience of The Story of Stuff.

Some of the outrageous lies in this film include:

“50% of our tax dollars goes to the military” Official sources identify the total spending budget for the U.S. Government during fiscal year 2009 as $6,434 billion dollars. Of that, just 13.4% went to defense. (2009 is the year this film was released.)

“40% of our waterways are undrinkable” This is a ridiculous attempt at a scare tactic. People don’t drink directly from waterways. Even hikers in the backcountry cannot drink directly from the most pristine source of natural water without risking natural bacterial contamination or infestation by parasites, so must rely on purification measures. Drinking from waterways has always posed a health risk due to fecal contamination. Most households drink well water or water from municipal sources that has been tested and deemed safe. Ms Leonard’s claim is pure hysteria.

These are just a couple of examples of the inaccuracies this film uses to propagandize children.

Unfortunately, The Story of Stuff has expanded into an ongoing series. More recent titles include The Story of Cap & Trade, The Story of Citizens United v. FEC and the soon to be released, The Story of Broke.

Communications Coordinator at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Lee Doren, has put together critique films of some of these titles, doing a commendable job of pointing out and correcting Annie Leonard’s disinformation.

I recommend viewing Lee Doren Critiques:

The Story of Stuff…  part 1 ; part 2 ; part 3 ; part 4 and Story of Cap & Trade

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC promotes the complete restoration of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold law. In it, Ms. Leonard identifies several corporations by using fat stick people with company logos emblazoned on their chests:  Exxon, Shell Oil, Toyota, BP, WalMart, Pfizer, Cigna, GE, Bank of America and Wall Street … criticizing their success because they are profitable and demonizing them for donating money to fund political advertisements. Never mind the fact these companies provide employment for millions of Americans, directly or indirectly. Not to mention the products, health, financial services and oil or gasoline necessary to heat homes and fuel the rest of our economy.

But, of course, as we learned from viewing her earlier attack, The Story of Stuff, she actually would much rather see American’s standard of living fall to that of a third world nation. If her misguided utopian view of society were to become a reality, we would see wealth redistribution, economic destruction, mass poverty, famine and an end to freedom and prosperity.

As Ms. Leonard states: “corporations can decide to spend unlimited dollars from their huge corporate coffers to influence an election, without consulting its shareholders”. She goes on to say Washington DC politicians are ready to promote a new Constitutional Amendment because “1st Amendment isn’t meant for ‘for profit corporations’”. This leaves no doubt there is some major political clout behind her quirky little stick people films.

How interesting and revealing it is that the planned Constitutional Amendment would only apply to “for profit” corporations but not non-profits or unions. Especially when considering most of the campaign advertising I saw or received in 2010 and during the 2011 Wisconsin recall election originated with unions or non-profit front groups for the Democrat Party.

Ms. Leonard claims to be all for “free speech”, but in reality, she and those who wrote and support the McCain-Feingold law, as well as this planned Constitutional Amendment do not. What they’re saying and doing are two different things because it is evident by their actions they only support “free speech” if it agrees with their own position… their own warped views and advancement of their Communist utopia.

If you watch this film closely, you’ll notice how the little stick people take to the streets in protest. Acting as a mob, they are depicted as physically throwing politicians out of office. Hmmm…

And the protest theme continues in her newest film, The Story of Broke, due to be released on November 8th. Clearly, the little stick people are now part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The premise of this piece of propaganda is we really aren’t broke. The US Government has plenty of money. Instead of giving it to their fat cat cronies and crooked Wall Street bankers, “the people” need to force the government to spend it, instead, on creating a Green Economy… so we can all live happily ever after. Cue the Kumbaya music.

How curious a small budget, stick people film most adults have never heard of could have coincidentally sermonized the same themes over the past couple of years as are now unfolding before our eyes. It makes a person wonder if there may be a direct cause and effect?

Annie Leonard has every right to live her life in a hut denying herself modern conveniences, if she so chooses. But she has no right to impose or force her beliefs and choices on anyone else. That is a big part of the problem with teachers showing these propaganda films to their students. These films are not factually accurate and do not present a balanced view of any issues. They simply do not belong in public school classrooms – but are often shown on Earth Day and at other times, as well. As parents and taxpayers, we have a right and a responsibility to ensure children are educated and not propagandized.

OK… so, who is behind The Story of Stuff? Stay tuned…