Friday, October 31, 2008

Character, Knowledge & Independent Thought Denounced As Bourgeoisie

Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying that the philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. If the proposals of one pedagogical theorist are implemented, students will in all likelihood never know anything about the figure believed to have uttered such an astute observation.

According to a Daily Mail story titled “Drop middle class subjects says school adviser”, in the United Kingdom, education officials are considering a proposal that would eliminate traditional academic subjects such as English, History, Science, and Geography because these disciplines are “middle class”. In the place of the old curriculum, schools will emphasize a series of “personal aims” such as energy conservation, sustainable development, and personal relationships.

Such change must be made because these “middle class values” are a holdover from the 19th century as “mere stepping stones to wealth” and “alienated many youngsters...from disadvantaged backgrounds.” These comments exhibit a desire to tear down and reconstitute more than the public education system but rather the entire society.

For example, first and foremost the remarks are a rallying cry against Western civilization’s Judeo-Christian foundations. Across Europe, the spineless and effeminate are afraid to raise their voices against Islamic encroachment for fear of radicalized adherents of this particular faith flying into homicidal hissy fits. By undermining the legitimacy of the values upon which society (and thus the educational system as part of society) rests, revolutionists hope to rebuild what they tear down in their own image.

In the Judeo-Christian worldview, the individual is imbued with considerable moral value for having been made in the image of God. However, in secular theory of education, since God is taken out of the picture, the individual loses much of his distinctive worth and becomes little more than an extension or cog of the group from which values and worth are alternatively derived.

The ultimate threat to such intentional collectivism is the ability to think and provide for oneself. In fact, part of the criticism of the traditional academic subjects is that they are "mere stepping stones to wealth."

State forbid (can't say heaven anymore since that is likely to offend some philosophical deviant), the individual (yet another ontological concept out of fashion in the New Order) that the individual should provide for himself. Rather one is to be taught reliance and dependence on the group and to aspire no higher than the station predetermined for them by committee.

In pursuit of this goal, students are instead to be taught a series of themes and personal aims such as civic responsibility, commitment to sustainable development and valuing personal relationships. Thus, students are not to be instructed in how to evaluate claims and policies made in regards to these matters but rather what to think about them.

Under the old regimen of traditional subjects, students assimilated and synthesized facts which they then utilized to weigh the different sides of an argument and then adopted the position they felt was closest to the truth. Under the new way of doing things, students are being told ahead of time what (to use a word popularized in the 1990's when this kind of nonsense percolate to the surface of mainstream pedagogical theory) "outcomes" they are to embrace.

For example, students not taught geography or science don't really know if they are being told the true state of the environment or being sold a total crock about sustainable development. Likewise, if students are not being taught the lessons of history and literature, how are they to know whether or not what they are being told presents a balanced perspective, what constitutes good citizenship, or that they are merely being brainwashed into sacrificing everything they have on the altar of the Fatherland (or rather the "Homeland" as it is becoming known as today).

Relatedly and more importantly, what if by some slim chance a student managed to transcend the intellectual shackles placed around their mind and did not embrace the presented outcomes? Will it be annotated in the student's file as has been suggested by the proponents of Outcome Based Education in this country with one's station in life no longer determined by one's talents but rather if one has embraced the values and outlooks one has been told to by elites.

Furthermore, while the educational system ought to teach students basic values such as treating others with a basic level of respect regarding person and property (what use to be called the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments before we were told to be all jittery about mentioning God and the Bible), do we really want bureaucrats assessing whether or not our children "value personal relationships"? These days this is probably psychobabble for applauding homosexuality, shacking up outside of marriage without guilt, and additional welfare handouts for each additional mouth brought into the world as the result of such unions, thus making what usually gets tossed into the face of the disapproving as a private matter into a very public one.

Though improvement could be made in informing students as to how these subjects are applied to life beyond the classroom, the liberal arts have earned their name as those bodies of knowledge worthy of a free man. Any reform that does more than tinker around with the edges of the system that has for the most part proven itself for centuries is not about improving the life of the individual but rather about devising more efficient ways to enslave it.

by Frederick Meekins

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

93 Year Old Dies An Hour After Voting

Anti-Pollution Crusader Caught Littering

Obama Threatens To Control Media In The Name Of Minorities & Diversity

Obama Exploits Dieing Grandmother As Campaign Prop

If his grandmother, who he one time referred to as a "typical White woman" (just ask Ross Perot what happens to candidates who refer to Black folks in less than fawning terms), means so much to Obama, why did he wait so many days to see her?

Makes you wonder what she was slipped or pushed down to so he could take advantage of this ready-made story.

Not "Righteous Wind On Your Back" Just Lips On Your Rear

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Skinheads Adopt More Mainstream Appearance & Message

The best thing to do in these unsettled economic and social times is to basically not send money to anyone and if their is a cause you care for is to blog about it yourself. That way, you retain control over the message and ensure that your hard-earned money does not end up in the hands of snakeoil salesmen from other extremes of the spectrum of belief.

Scarlet Woman Offers Service To The Beast

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Southern Baptist Seminary Advocates The Abolition Of Freedom

From this sermon, one gets the impression the Christian is suppose to let identity thieves and aspiring tyrants to walk all over them.

Government Dishes Out More Welfare Handouts Under New Orwellian Name

Food Stamps have been renamed "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" in order to downplay stigma.

Maybe what is needed is a little shame to get many of these people with the gold-plated teeth and Cadillacs off the government take.

Many of these poor are not as poor as they make themselves out to be but instead spend their incomes on non-essentials or on food items higher up the food chain than where they have earned the right to eat.

Aren't The Preachers Just As Bad?

In this episode of the Albert Mohler program, guest host Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Seminary laments how American Christians are spoiled.

If so aren't the pastors just as bad or even twice as worse?

For example, you'll have preachers now whose congregations live amidst swathes of unconverted foreigners still lecturing parishoners how wretched we are for not sponsoring overseas ecclesiastical junkets.

Let offerings slack off awhile and you'll see just how unmaterialistic the clergy can be. Will there be as big of smiles plastered across their faces when it's their salaries that are cut and just not of those sitting in the pews?

And speaking of foreigners, according to Moore, those living in poverty stricken areas are somehow more inherently spiritual because the squalor in which these people live are closer to those experienced during Biblical times.

Yet if God wanted a society to remain at such subsistence levels, would He have included in His Word many of the principles (though by no means a blueprint for the "name-it-claim-it" prosperity gosepl) that do lead to increased standards of living on average?

Besides some of the foreingers I know seem to have this ability to talk spirituality one minute and then cut loose with a string of profanity and lewdness the next that would make Hugh Heffner blush.

Often among conservative Evangelicals, Brian McLaren is regarded as a dangerous subversive. However, though more orthodox than the guru of the Emerging Church movement, Russell Moore may present almost as much of a threat as he has been taken into our own midst.

by Frederick Meekins

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell Racist

UFO's & Religious Worldviews

Todd Wilken and Ken Samples analyze this issue.

Textual Critics Hypothesize Ayers May Have Written Obama Memoir

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Price Of Olympic Gold Growing Too High

With the breakup of the Soviet Union and the alleged demise of Communism, it was assumed that the Olympic games would no longer be as much of an arena for showcasing the competing ideologies of individual liberty and nearly total social control. And even though East German woman with mustaches no longer quite raise eyebrows and hushed chuckles the way they once did, the Olympics are as much a battle for the minds of men as they have always been.

On the surface, it would be easy to conclude that the success of a country's Olympic efforts would be determined by its medal count, particularly gold. If that is the case, the world is once again presented with contrasting examples provided by the United States and Red China.

On the one hand, China won the most gold but the United States won the most medals overall if silver and bronze are also factored into the tabulation. To some athletic diehards, though, it is only the gold that counts.

A story titled "U.S. Will Be Rocked By China's Heavy Medals" by Yahoo Sports posted 8/22/08 analyzes the situation as follows: "The difficult thing for the Americans to stomach is this is unlikely to change in future games. This isn't a one-time surge by a host nation...Whether the U.S. holds on this time or not, eventually China's system, coupled with it 1.3 billion people, should be unstoppable."

Of this development, Peter Uberroth of the United States Olympic Committee said in the story, "It's going to be difficult (to dislodge China). The resources that they put toward their Olympic team and the population base and the dedication is fantastic."

Even though it is inspirational when Americans take the gold in these events and our flag and national anthem are lifted above all others for the world to see and hear, this country needs to stop and think for a moment if emulating the Chinese approach to obtain gold is really worth it. For if we do, we will have turned our backs on the values that made America --- not China --- the beacon of hope to the world.

In the United States, individuals pursue athletic glory because that is that they want to do with their lives free of state coercion. In China, there is no such choice.

In “U.S. will be rocked by China’s heavy medals”, Dan Wetzel writes, “In China, they wouldn’t have had a choice. A sports star, like the property a house is built on, is owned by the government...China selects athletes at young ages and pushed them into sports in which their expected body types might thrive. In the U.S., an athlete is allowed to follow his own path to success and failure.”

Those having embraced the communitarian outlook growing in popularity in this country that conditions us more and more into accepting the arbitrary whims of the group as superior to the prerogatives of the individual might not be able to fully grasp what this means really without explanation.

Though even in America those aspiring to athletic greatness must dedicate a seemingly inordinate amount of time to perfect their skills, often family especially in the form of parents are there in the background providing the kind of emotional and logistical support necessary to obtain this goal. However, things are quite different in China.

One report that aired on the NBC Nightly News during the course of the Olympic games showed a training facility where children no more than six or seven years old were warehoused around the clock like livestock as they were drilled in gymnastics by their Communist taskmasters. These children detained at the training camp were permitted to see their families only a couple of times per year.

Some made uncomfortable by such living arrangements that defy God’s intentions for the family of parents being the primary caretakers and source of guidance in a child’s life will try to console their consciences by positing that, even if we don’t like it, it might be the only path to a better life for these children. Even through this grueling toil, there is little chance of that.

In the United States, since the interests of the individual also carry weight and just not those of the larger group, there is emphasis (even if there are instances where the results have fallen short of this goal) of cultivating athletes capable of providing for and looking after themselves once their time in the limelight has transpired even if the life the athlete ends up with is less than the one dreamed of. However, in China where the individual is viewed primarily as a cell within the broader social organism, this aptitude is honed at the expense of other skills since under Communism the person's worth is derived from what they can contribute to the overall group or nation.

Some will argue that this is all merely the rantings of an individualistic borderline-libertarian conservative who doesn't like Communism very much reading back into all of this. However, a quote from a 5/6/07 Los Angeles Times store titled "Athletes Are Run Into The Ground In China" proves that my assessment is not all that far off the mark: "The athlete's entire training is financed by the state, and successful athletes...are considered government properties who must do as their leaders say. Their job is about gaining glory for the country, not pursuing personal interests."

Some today who have an admittedly milder and diluted philosophy similar this pounded into their heads by government, academia, and increasingly even by the nation's churches might initially respond, "What's so wrong with that" as they proceed to spout rhetoric about the wonders of community and the evils of self interest. However, in a land of over one billion people where the government owns you, once you break or are outdated by the newer model rolling off the assembly line, there is nothing to protect you from being tossed aside like yesterday's garbage.

For example, marathon runner Guo Ping thought that, once her days as an athlete were over, the government would reward her with a position as a police officer as her coach (who also beat those training under him with a whip or knocked them to the ground with the bumper of his car) promised. The coach's defense in court was that the beatings "weren't severe".

Unfortunately, such a case is not so much a rarity as it is the norm. According to a similar article titled "China's Disposable Athletes" published in the 7/17/07 issue of Time Magazine, nearly 3000 athletes retiring each year in China end up unemployed with educations barely beyond the primary level. One distraught female Chinese athlete lamented, "I gave my youth to sport, but in return, I was thrown out like garbage with no knowledge, no skill, and a barren womb."

However, the liberal media is only willing to take its critique of world socialism so far. It has been jokingly said that the few remaining Communists in the world can be found on American college campuses; however these subversives and their fellow travelers can still be found in many more places, especially among the ranks of prestigious journalists

For instead of blaming these outrages on the systematic dehumanization inherent to all forms of collectivism, the Times article says, "The root of Zou's troubles, like so many things in China today, can be traced back to the country's wholesale adoption of capitalism."

Are you going to tell me things were hunky-doory under Communism when millions were starving to death and the hungry resorted to cannibalism? Are you going to tell me it's Capitalism's fault today that house church pastors rot in prison?

What links each and everyone of these is a fundamental devaluation of the individual.

Frankly, if that is what it takes to excel in the Olympic games of the 21st century, perhaps the United States should be proud of its diminished Olympic prospects.

Dan Wetzel writes, "In the U.S., the athlete's goal is most often himself," and in appraising the decision of an athlete that pursues opportunities other than the Olympics, "No one in their right mind in the States would expect him to do anything else." Who needs a gold-plated trinket when you can buy the real thing?

by Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ministry Shames Women Into Selling Their Wedding Rings

If someone wants to sell their wedding ring for charity, that is their business. However, I don't think this should be institutionalized to the point where there will eventually develop an attitude where woman that do not part with this cherished keepsake of their nuptuals will be seen as less spiritual than those who do in a manner similar nowadays in Christian schools where there is almost two tiers of students with those considering careers in missions and such as somehow beeing seen as more holy than those contemplating more "secular" occupations.

Senate Backs Laser Weapon Funding

Obama Exudes Stench Of Sulfur & Brimstone

Hypertolerant Africans Deport Corsi At Gunpoint & Tell Him "See You In Hell"

From missionary propaganda the average Christian is often told how morally superior and kinder those hailing from the Dark Continent are than the average westerner. So when are we start going to kick out unwelcome foreigners?

Monday, October 06, 2008

What Part Of "Shall Not Be Infringed" Don't You Understand, Senator?

In her brief time in the national spotlight, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, if nothing else, has rejuvenated the debate in this country regarding certain fundamental values. Interestingly, not all of this stems directly from the candidate's spoken statements but rather from a number of comments made about her by her Democratic counterpart Senator Joseph Biden.

From comments made on Fox and Friends mentioned in an Associated Press article titled “Biden says Palin family is off limits to critics”, voters learn that, to the Delaware Senator, government and politics are the ultimate and perhaps only source of values, truth, and hope.

In analyzing Palin’s acceptance speech, Biden remarked, “I didn’t hear the phrase ‘middle class’ mentioned. I didn’t hear a word about healthcare. I didn’t hear a word about what we’re going to do about the housing crisis, college education, and all the things that the middle class is being burdened by now.”

Maybe these things were not mentioned because for the most part they are not much of the government’s business. If anything, government involvement for the most part tends to exacerbate the problems in these perplexing areas.

For example, why is it the government’s responsibility (and thus ultimately the taxpayer’s) to bail you out of bad real estate investments? By subsidizing education to such an extent where it is available to just about everyone whether they really want it or not, its value has been undermined to the point where a bachelor’s degree may actually signify less actual learning than a high school diploma from previous generations.

Traditionally each social sphere oversaw the affairs in its own domain and exercised caution when venturing into the waters overseen by the neighboring spheres (especially if the one doing the intruding was the government). However, to liberals such as Biden, now as the government reaches into additional corners of our lives in the name of supposedly making our lives better, ultimately government and politics will be the only sphere that remains or be the sphere that ends up controlling all the others even it terms of the attitudes that these institutions will be permitted to express.

If the Obama campaign wants to refrain from commenting on the propriety of the daughter of a Vice Presidential candidate being expectant with child outside the bounds of marriage, that is the prerogative of the Obama campaign. After all, there are platoons of the far more deviant in the Democratic Party such as Chelsea Clinton who has been shacked up for years living in what used to be called “sin”.

However, though Obama might think he hands down stone tablets from on high with Biden taking them to the people as some kind of 21st century Moses, to say what the press and the people can and cannot discuss hints at a theoretical usurpation of the First Amendment even more offensive than an out of wedlock pregnancy or a recalcitrant segment of the public that does not sweep under the rug the moral values they have been taught simply because they have become an inconvenience to the elites that have set themselves up on a level above the rest of us.

The American people, through opinion-forming institutions such as the media, churches and now the blogosphere, must be the ones to decide for themselves this weighty ethical concern. For while the only right decision is to keep the baby, there are some so progressive in their outlook that they would ship to a Khmer Rouge-style reeducation camp anyone that does not reflexively embrace these new reproductive fads where the baby shower. To some of us, to takes a while to debate the consequences for any potential parental shortcomings when minors become parents before they properly ought.

There is indeed forgiveness and restoration in Christ. However, most of the time those stepping into these challenges are not up for consideration for one of the nation’s most solemn offices.

by Frederick Meekins