It is estimated that more than 50 million students are enrolled in elementary and secondary public schools this fall. Another 5 million are enrolled in private schools and more than 20 million are enrolled in post-secondary schools. All this adds up to more than 75 million students entering classrooms in the next couple of weeks.
Hundreds of thousands of families have chosen to opt out of the standard education system though. This year, more than 1.5 million students will be homeschooled. More than an act of love and concern for their own children, homeschooling is a brave act of defiance to a statist system of indoctrination and conformity. Staying outside of the perceived “norm” of society, these families are trailblazers. They are defining a new way of thinking about some of society’s most influential institutions.
Another group of families has gone even further by unschooling their children. Unschooling lets education be directed by the interests of the child. It sounds radical to those of us who are products of the factory schools, but it has proven to be effective for some children. A recent study discussed in Psychology Today looked at adults who had been unschooled. It found that they had higher rates of completing advanced degrees than conventional students.
Participants in the unschooling survey “wrote about the freedom and independence that unschooling gave them and the time it gave them to discover and pursue their own interests. Seventy percent of them also said, in one way or another, that the experience enabled them to develop as highly self-motivated, self-directed individuals.”
The idea that school is not for everyone or that it is a prison is nothing new. In Book VII of Plato’s Republic, Socrates says; “…Because a freeman ought not to be a slave in the acquisition of knowledge of any kind. Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body, but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. “
H.L. Menken said; “The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda – a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.”
Unschooling works for some children, homeschooling for others, and, for many, a conventional public or private education is best. We should not understate the great work being done every day by dedicated public school teachers. They often struggle in a seriously flawed system, yet still manage to deliver a valuable education to America’s youth. There is a downside to mass education though; a sickness of staleness and conformity. In the market of ideas, it is likely that the unschoolers and the homeschoolers will lead the way out of dark side of the public factory education. In our battle for freedom, we must protect those who are leading us to a better way.
Worcester Tea Party
When you think about the events in human history that have transformed the very fabric of society and have spurred on the evolutionary, technological progression of the world we tend to think in terms of tangible items like vaccines, electricity, automobiles, telephones, etc. Asked to think deeper we might mention nuclear power, landing on the moon or cracking the human genome. But if we go deeper, think not of something tangible in the immediate, nor a monumental historical event we find that the most fundamental, life altering (for the world), all encompassing discovery and utilitarian event in modern human history was the discovery and development of oil.
Mechanization made the work day easier, shorter, cooler, warmer, safer. Travel became quicker, safer. Food became less contaminated and could be shipped across Continents. Today, a wounded soldier in Afghanistan (however seriously) can be airlifted and in ICU within a few hours. Each, and every step of the way, because of the development of oil.
Third World, abjectly impoverished nations are the worst hit whenever a climate related disaster takes place. Western economies can handle such things because of our use of oil. It is not the use oil (causing Climate Change) that creates death and destruction in such areas it is the lack there of. A drought in Ethiopia kills millions. A drought in California means grapes cost a dollar more. A flood in Sir-Lanka creates a refugee crisis. A flood in Ohio and Serve-Pro arrives.. Like it never even happened.
The benefit of oil is there for us all to see. The risk is also there for us all to see. But the former outweighs the latter and we can mitigate those risks. Conversely, abandoning our use of oil is unproven, problematic, un-foreseen, un-knowable and fraught with risk. Risks we neither know how to mitigate if we can at all.
Oil is in every facet of our lives so much so we cannot fathom it, yet enjoy it’s abundance. Oil removed from every facet of our lives is abundantly un-fathomable.
M&P Conservative Media Network CEO
Worcester Tea Party Dean of Journalism
The Constitution of the United States of America, the longest lasting written constitution in world history – is a document written over 200 years ago, during the time of many competing philosophies of which Rational (based on facts or reason) and Empirical (by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) are but two. Well-reasoned and intelligently thought out, it is a document for the ages with goals that are fairly simple and straightforward.
The time of Rationalism (also known as ‘The Enlightenment’) gave us scientific and political revolutions and changed the world, hurtling us into Modernism; it was during this time that our Constitution was born. Based on what was happening in many nations in Europe, our Founders were determined to create a better government, designed to “secure the ‘blessings of Liberty’ to ourselves and our Posterity.” In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders stated:
Based on the failures of government by Oligarchy, Monarchy, or other Authoritarian Rulers at that time, and to prevent a Tyrannical Government, the Founding Fathers, fearing tyranny in every form, created in the Constitution a 3-pronged approach to keeping Freedom and Liberty: the Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and Federalism so that Tyranny could not be easily established.
Our Constitution is a Gift from those who came before and is our only protection from those who wish to impose their Tyranny upon us; we must work to make sure it is properly upheld from within, or face the dire consequences. If you are not already involved in ensuring Liberty within the United States, please join with us in doing so and to protect the government ‘of the people.’
Dean of Letters
Worcester Tea Party
Hundreds of thousands of high school and college students are celebrating their commencements this June. These academic achievements are sources of pride for parents, students, grandparents, and teachers. Hats off to those who have made it through! Now, you get to sit through a 90 minute speech telling you how to enter the real world.
In the minds of the grads, they’re probably thinking “I’m finally done!”, yet, ironically, the ceremony noting their accomplishment is called a “commencement”. It’s derived from an Old French word, comencier, meaning “to start.” It’s a cruel joke. “What do you mean I’m starting? No! No! No! I just finished. I’m not starting!”
We older and wiser sages know that they really are just beginning. They may get some direction from the education that they received, but life will deal them some zigs and zags that will send them to places they never planned on going.
Our national elections should be commencements. They should be new beginnings. We should have a chance to wipe the slate clean of the mistakes of the past, while being guided by what we’ve learned from making them. It doesn’t seem to work that way though. We make the same mistakes over and over. We spend and borrow and hack away at our Constitution after every new election.
Those of us who have been advocating for the rebirth of liberty are repeatedly dismayed by each election. We shouldn’t think of these as failures though. Have faith in individuals, in millions of citizens who struggle to overcome the barriers set up by broken systems, broken institutions, and a broken government. Most of these individuals attend “youniversity”. They have everything that they need to graduate. No one is going to hand them a certificate of completion, yet they go to “class” every day, supporting their families and their communities.
The next few months are going to be tumultuous. Many will be dismayed by the choices that we are being offered. In the end, it’s up to each of us as individuals to spit in the face of the broken systems that impede millions of Americans from achieving economic success and real freedom. We do this by thriving. Use the benefit of “youniversity.” Learn, write, speak up, act up, and volunteer. “You got everything you need to graduate with first class accomplishments put in you! YOU can do it!”
The Worcester Tea Party is a response to the abuses of our government by a corrupted political class. In ways both large and small our government has not been used to serve the vast majority of the people of our nation. The vast wealth of our nation has been squandered with little lasting good to show for it. A few connected individuals have profited while most of us struggled to keep up. In too many cases the rich and powerful have evaded justice while injustice has been inflicted on the poor and powerless. Our reputation in the world has been pockmarked by their feckless policies. Our friends no longer feel they can trust us. Our enemies see us as a joke.
The Worcester Tea Party is our commitment to a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Self-selected special interests have thwarted the will of the American people and brought our nation to the brink of bankruptcy and decay. It is this corrupted political class that has failed. They have failed our founding ideals. They have failed all of us. We believe that all of our problems can be solved, and will be solved by the American people.
The Worcester Tea Party is a free education organization Political correctness is a tool used by the corrupted political class to control and silence their opponents. We are committed to having the freest and most open conversations about the challenges facing our nation. We believe that the future of our nation depends on us forging solutions out of ideas. We do not hold some secret solutions, but a proven method by which we can determine solutions. We believe in the right of people to think for themselves and make the choices they think are best.
The Worcester Tea Party is an opportunity for all those that wish to take it. All are welcome to attend, listen, present and debate. Because we believe it free exchange of ideas we believe there is nothing that cannot be tested. Controversial opinions will be voiced and debated and when appropriate rejected. There can be no barriers allowed to block our pursuit of the truth.
The Worcester Tea Party is our duty to our children and our parents. As Americans we stand on the shoulders of giants. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, all have contributed to elevating us by helping forge ideas into institutions. Today we are the inheritors of their labor and inspiration. We do not shirk from our role in making our politics and our government work. Quite the contrary we jealously guard our duty to this great experiment. Our actions are informed by the knowledge that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” We received these gifts from our parents, we will make our contributions, and as mortal beings we will pass these great gifts on to the next generation of Americans.
“Independence is my happiness,
Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man
When Thomas Paine wrote these words in 1791, he was writing in opposition to Edmund Burke’s defense of the aristocracy and the corrupt system that they had built for their own benefit. In a previous 100 years, the taxes imposed by the English government had increased almost tenfold (from 1.8 million pounds to 17 million pounds). By comparison, the budget of the U.S. government has increased to 14 times the U.S. budget of 100 years ago (after adjusting for inflation). Much like U.S. citizens of the 21st century, English citizens were oppressed by a government gone wild. The aristocrats were shielded from the taxes and regulations that were causing much grief among the lower classes.
Paine pointed out how useless the aristocrats were:
“The aristocracy are not the farmers who work the land, and raise the produce, but are the mere consumers of the rent; and when compared with the active world are the drones, a seraglio of males, who neither collect the honey nor form the hive, but exist only for lazy enjoyment.”
Paine believed that the national character of the English had changed over the previous century and that this was why they put up with the abuse:
“It would have been impossible to have dragooned the former English, into the excess of taxation that now exists; and when it is considered that the pay of the army, the navy, and of all the revenue officers, is the same now as it was about a hundred years ago, when the taxes were not above a tenth part of what they are at present, it appears impossible to account for the enormous increase and expenditure on any other ground, than extravagance, corruption, and intrigue.”
Like the English of the 18th century, has the national character of Americans changed such that we continue to believe the lies put forward by Progressives for the past 100 years? Dismally, it almost looks so.
Many freedom loving Americans are confounded by the 2016 Presidential campaign. If the polls are to be believed, we are headed for one of most bizarre choices in the history of Presidential politics. How did we get here? It seems like far too many Americans have lost sight of some of the most fundamental aspects of liberty. We are being driven by personalities and policies, but lack the rudder of principle.
Thomas Paine was a man of principle, who had suffered much by the end of his life because he refused to compromise those principles.
“To me, who have not only refused offers, because I thought them improper, but have declined rewards I might with reputation have accepted, it is no wonder that meanness and imposition appear disgustful.”
Some of the choices offered to us for President this year seem to be lacking principle altogether. Can we survive? Yes! What is important is that the citizenry adhere to principles based on limited government, a free market, and individual rights. These are the principles that the Tea Party movement sprouted from.
Do not worship those who fail to acknowledge the most basic principles of liberty, of the free market, and of our natural rights. What is the most important characteristic that you are looking for in our next President? Is it only that they beat the other team? Is it that they are the least offensive? Or, is it that your choice has the resolve to defend liberty?
As an organization, the Worcester Tea Party does not endorse candidates, but we do ask that you consider their belief in our principles. Are they for limited government, Constitutional rights, and a free market? It’s a tall order, but you should not settle for less.
December is a month where much of humanity defies the frigid darkness by celebrating what may be our most joyous holiday. Christians and non-Christians alike have taken to the spirit of Christmas to celebrate in their own ways. Words of peace and joy and good cheer are shared with all. This year though, we enter the season with a darkness spreading like the Shadow of Mordor across the free world.
Years of a foreign policy based on hubris and naive talk of containment have put the civilized world at risk in ways not seen since the Cold War. This combination of neglect and malfeasance have given the enemies of modernity and freedom the time, money, and brazen confidence to wreak death and fear across the globe. The world has realized that the once steady leadership of the United States is in shambles and they doubt our will and ability to confront evil. This holiday season, instead of wishes of Peace on Earth, the talk is of war.
A greater danger comes not from the terrible but unlikely act of a terrorist, but from more certain threat of a government which would respond to every crisis by eroding our freedoms. Those who are familiar with Robert Higgs’ book, Crisis and Leviathan, know that governments use fear and war to implement new laws and restrictions.
Often, the proposals are sold as only temporary, as the French are doing now with their three month state of emergency. Personal computers in France are now subject to administrative searches without a warrant. The internet is being censored. Other searches are now done at the whim of the police. If history is our guide, many of these policies will continue when the emergency ends.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Either we believe these words or we do not. If we meekly retreat and hide, then these are not real principles, but just pretty words to be discarded out of convenience. It would give the terrorists a veto on our rights. Fear should never be a justification for the abandonment of our rights.
In times like this, we need our reason, and our principles, and our faith. We need to prudently respond to security threats. As we respond, we need to be cautious about overreacting and calls to hand over our rights in the name of security. We must destroy evil with resolve, and we must also defend our liberty with that same resolve.
In this season nearly one third of the population of the Earth will celebrate the Light of a Savior. In this season the Jewish faith celebrates the light of the Maccabees’ oil. Many other faiths choose this time to celebrate the promise that the sun would bring warmth and light. We must not let the shadow of terror eclipse this season of light and joy, and we should pray that our country finds the courage to allow our light to banish that darkness.
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