Tag Archives: school

The Tides Turn on the Occupy Movement

A funny thing happened on the way to releasing The Story of Broke, a film designed to indoctrinate and attract youth to the Occupy mentality and shown in many schools, it… the Occupy movement… became a hot potato.

Since writing Reaping What We Sow and The Puppeteers exposing Annie Leonard’s series of leftist propaganda films, the crime wave associated with the Occupy movement has turned off mainstream Americans. After a barrage of reports exposing Occupy encampment sex attacks, pedophilia, public masturbation, hate, riots, vandalism, theft, drug use, violent crimes and murder, the only thing most Americans would like to see “occupied” by these miscreant deadbeats are jail cells. And finally, traditional news media outlets are reporting on the Occupy mayhem:

An association with the Occupy movement has now become a liability. So Green Communist, pied piper Annie Leonard and her like-minded backers at the Tides Foundation couldn’t afford to risk any unpleasant backlash. Never mind the fact over the past couple of years her Story of Stuff series of films have been brainwashing youngsters into a bitter, anti-American belief system while urging them to take to the streets… exploiting their ignorance.

Mob "throws" politician from office... inciting violence?

When the preview for The Story of Broke appeared, it actually showed an angry mob protesting on Wall Street, complete with signs saying “Occupy” and “We are the 99%”. Scenes of little stick figure protesters thrusting clenched fists into the air, throwing a boot at a politician’s face and physically throwing him out of office suggest a support for physical violence against elected officials. A logical person might even draw the conclusion they were inciting riots.

But when the film was actually released last week, after it became evident the tide of public opinion was strengthening against the Occupy movement and it’s violence, these scenes were scrubbed from the film and replaced with a suggestion to just vote them out of office. Interesting.

Ms. Leonard’s newest film, The Story of Broke, is premised on the false belief we really aren’t. According to Leonard, our government has plenty of money but is spending most of it on the military and corporate welfare for greedy companies bent on poisoning our environment and the people, too. She claims if the U.S. Government stopped funding the military, subsidizing big agriculture and giving “hundreds of billions to prop up the dinosaur economy” there would be plenty of money to pay for all the goodies the me-generation wants.

Obviously, she ignores our $15 trillion national debt.

Before I continue, I must say there is one point I do agree with and that’s government subsidies. The government has no Constitutional authority in using tax dollars to prop up any business. Let them sink or swim in the free market economy on their own merit. Consumers should decide, not the government. But that’s where I’m back in disagreement with Ms. Leonard because actually, it turns out, she isn’t against government subsidies if they are used to prop up the kind of industries which meet with her approval:  education, health care and the green economy. Hypocritical, to say the least.

The fantasy of a so-called green economy is a boondoggle. Solar panels and wind turbines, for instance, are poor investments because the amount of time it takes to gain enough savings to justify their cost is far longer than the product’s expected life. In The Story of Broke Leonard wants the federal government to play Santa Clause and pay for residential solar panels.

The United States already spends more on education than any other country except for Switzerland. Yet, our students rank mediocre in global comparisons. PISA international rankings of 15-year old students are embarrassingly dismal for the United States. In mathematics, South Korea and Finland and ranked top honors, while our students placed 25th – behind Luxembourg and Hungary. We fared somewhat better in science, at 17th, behind Hungary, Belgium and Iceland while Finland, Japan and South Korea topped the category. US students ranked 14th in reading, as South Korea, Finland and Canada rated top of the class. Clearly, more money is not the answer as it does not equate to better educated students.

According to Leonard, “taxes are how we invest in great schools, healthy environment, clean energy and good jobs,” and so, she’s happy to pay her “fair share”. After all, she believes in income redistribution.

In The Story of Broke, the message is:  people need to force the government to fund schools, college education, health care and the “green” economy… solar, wind and recycling industries – and the Occupy movement is key in accomplishing the goal.

The leftists are biting at the bit to push our country over the edge into the abyss of Communism. Those orchestrating riots and chaos across the country ought to be arrested and charged with sedition. The Occupiers, most of whom cannot voice a coherent sentence explaining any goals or objectives for their protests, are little more than useful idiots. Although you won’t hear the “C” word in any of The Story of… films, Leonard’s foolhardy utopian transformation of our country is, without a doubt, a form of Communism.

“For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.”–Alekksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) Russian historian and 1970 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

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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…

Dehumanizing People

Last year, the Wisconsin legislature expanded the scope of sex-education in our state when they passed 2009 Wisconsin Act 134 into law. It is a controversial change because local school boards choosing to teach Human Growth and Development lost their ability to teach abstinence before marriage without forced inclusion of Planned Parenthood-style comprehensive sex-ed, as a result of the so-called Healthy Youth Act of 2009.

Now, many public schools are including, at the very least, discussions on the issue of abortion. In some school districts, Planned Parenthood, or other like-minded groups, are actually allowed into classrooms to “teach” these sensitive topics, giving them the opportunity for financial gain as they cultivate students’ trust while undermining family values.

In schools across the country, districts using GLENCOE Education in Sexuality textbooks, are subverting some students’ Christian, Pro-Life values by introducing a grey area concept in what is, and should be, a black and white issue. In teacher-led discussion, the class analyzes three different viewpoints on abortion… yes, three: against, in favor, and what they call “A Third View”.

Follows is an excerpt:

Some people believe that abortion should be legal in special cases. Those cases include pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest, when the physical health and life of the pregnant female is in danger, and if certain severe birth defects are confirmed. These people feel that abortions for any other reason should be illegal.

The GLENCOE book limits the topic to a couple of pages and an exercise explicitly designed to expose students’ personal beliefs on the issue and, for those who are identified as holding beliefs against abortion, it tries to weaken their resolve. In question three, it misleads students as the wording attempts to equate using contraceptives with abstinence in reducing pregnancy risk:

EXPLORING YOUR VIEWS
1. What is your view on abortion?
2. Are there certain circumstances when you think abortion might be justified? Explain your answer.
3. How would practicing abstinence or using reliable contraception reduce the need for abortions?”
–Lesson 2 Concerns About Sexuality, GLENCOE Education in Sexuality, Chapter 6:  Issues of Sexuality, pg 96 (1999)

mother and child

Life is a gift from God

The so called Third View endorses abortion without addressing the alternative of adoption and its benefits. It ignores factual information on the risk to the physical health and life of the woman undergoing an abortion.

Inclusion of the phrase “if certain severe birth defects are confirmed” as a legitimate reason to support abortion in “special cases” becomes an open door to the idea that unborn babies who are determined to have some sort of physical or mental “defect” are somehow less entitled to live their lives than those individuals who are deemed “normal” by society. I believe this teaching is, by design, intended to undermine the beliefs of Pro-Life students who believe abortion is wrong, by slipping a seed of doubt into their minds… by way of suggesting it could be justified in certain situations.

The Third View notion that these abortions are only being performed in cases of “severe birth defects” is far from accurate as it is clearly outdated. Since this book was first published in 1987, and even it’s more recent update in 1999, the science of gene mapping has progressed far beyond just identifying “severe birth defects” through in utero, prenatal testing to now include literally thousands of conditions, many resulting in milder or even no disabilities at all.

What is not explained in the GLENCOE textbook is how often, when abortions are performed due to the discovery of some sort of birth defect in the unborn child, it occurs in the second – or even third trimester of the pregnancy to infants who could be considered viable, if given the opportunity to live. This is commonly referred to as a partial-birth abortion. Instead, the focus of this high school textbook is targeted to promote a woman-centered justification for abortion, while ignoring the brutal reality inflicted upon the unborn child.

If the student adopts the belief it is OK to abort so-called “defective” babies from the womb, as the Third View clearly suggests, their thinking is on the slippery slope to accepting a suggestion it is also OK deny these infants and individuals food, water or medical attention after they are born… or even go as far as to euthanize them as though they were unwanted stray dogs. You see, that’s the trouble with the slippery slope. Just like the Serpent in the Garden of Eden poisoned Eve’s mind until she was convinced to take just one bite of the forbidden fruit, when cleverly deceptive persuasion – and perhaps some classroom peer pressure – are allowed to weaken moral beliefs by swaying young people’s thinking on the issue, inclusion of the Third View “seed” in public school sex-ed curriculums has found fertile ground and accomplished its evil goal.

The so-called Third View is dangerous because it dehumanizes people.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”–Jeremiah 1:5 (God’s Word Translation)

“Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be revealed in him.”–John 9:3 (International Standard Version)

When a child is identified with a physical or mental challenge, some people wrongly want to assign blame. It is those who, by their own lack of understanding, prejudices, biases, fears and arrogance, brutishly view mentally or physically challenged individuals as inferior.

God doesn’t make mistakes. He is all knowing and perfect. We may not understand the reason why some are born facing lifelong challenges, but must trust that God creates each and every person for a purpose. As His children, He values each of us equally. We must learn to do the same.

The Third View condones and exploits discrimination against special needs people, advancing the cruel belief they are less entitled to live their God-given life. We must remember Planned Parenthood is the driving force behind comprehensive sex-ed in the public schools… the same Planned Parenthood who is the single largest abortion provider in the nation… and who stands to gain financially if they convince young people it’s OK to condemn to death unborn babies viewed as less than “perfect”.

I do not believe the morality discussion related to abortion belongs in public school classrooms. That is, unless students are presented with the whole truth about abortion. Factual, medically accurate information which includes: photographic evidence of the baby’s developmental stages in the womb; exactly what happens to the child during an abortion; photographs of aborted babies; immediate and long-term medical and psychological risks to the mother’s health caused by the abortion, including the risk of death. Without this material to ensure a balanced handling of this controversial issue, we are doing a great disservice to students.

Inclusion of this Third View – whether through the GLENCOE book or another source – in a school district’s curriculum clearly creates a bias against children with disabilities by justifying the false belief their lives are somehow less valuable than so-called “normal” people. It demeans special needs people to the status of second class citizens – while sending the message it is acceptable to play God and deny these unborn children LIFE.

Wisconsin’s Human Growth and Development (HG&D) law clearly states schools “cannot use instructional materials that promote bias against… children with disabilities”. Wouldn’t a classroom discussion encompassing the belief that unborn children with disabilities can simply be disposed of by denying them life – in and of itself- create a bias against these very individuals? This is unacceptable and, I believe, is a clear violation of the non-discrimination clause emphasized within state statutes pertaining to Human Growth and Development instruction.

Aside from this, it is my belief high school students lack the maturity and understanding to discuss and comprehend the ramifications of this issue, especially when presented almost exclusively from the pro-Planned Parenthood viewpoint. This is indoctrination. Furthermore, the Third View could cause some impressionable students, particularly those who may not have a family background firmly rooted in faith, to adopt a dangerous, discriminatory view of physically or mentally challenged people being somehow less worthy of life.

Whatever became of teaching children to respect others? …To care for and protect those who cannot do so for themselves? …To value LIFE? …To live according to God’s command:  “Never murder” (God’s Word Translation).

Where is our society and our country headed?

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”–Luke 6:31 (New International Version)

A Commitment Phobic Generation

Choices are a part of life. They can be good or bad. Important or incidental. But when a “choice” becomes a failure of committing to a child or spouse, selfishness rules. Commitment phobia demonstrates a lack of personal responsibility.

In 2008, the CDC reports 41% of all births were to unmarried mothers, up from 34% in 2002 and more than double the rate of 18.4% in 1980. In Norway, Sweden and Iceland unmarried mothers already account for the majority of births at 54%, 55% and 66%, respectively (per 2007 CDC stats). If the US trend continues, it won’t be long before births to single mothers out-paces births to married couples.

As a strong supporter of LIFE, I applaud and am thrilled to see these unmarried women choosing to give their babies LIFE. However, the flip side of the coin is a concern over the lack of commitment to marriage these numbers represent along with the demise of the traditional nuclear family model.

One-in-two marriages end in divorce. So perhaps the escalating rate of unmarried mothers may be related. Having come from a failed marriage, herself – or growing up in a broken home may be a contributing factor. As can the undeniable fallout from the sexual revolution, going back to the 1960s.

It’s difficult enough raising children in a traditional, two-parent home. I commend single parents who are doing a good job. But I’m also worried by the increasing role government is taking in raising children, under the guise of “helping parents”.

In dog training, when the owner feeds the dog, he or she is clearly sending the message of being the alpha… the boss… the parent figure.

When schools feed students, they assume a parental role in the minds of these children. For years, public schools have been providing children with breakfasts, lunches, snacks and sometimes even suppers or meals during summer school… a responsibility which used to be entirely that of the parents. It’s one thing if there is a true need to lend a helping hand, but now there’s talk of the government providing school meals to all children, regardless of their parents’ financial status.

Many schools are intruding into the family unit to the point of “teaching” parents how to raise their own children. Why do parents accept this kind of interference?

Some public school districts operate day care programs, preschools, after school programs and even “birth to three year old” programs. It’s getting to the point where children are spending more time each school day away from home than with their own families.

I find this disturbing. Have commitment phobic parents and the “it takes a village” mentality opened the door to allowing the government to raise this generation of children? Absolutely.