Friday, January 29, 2010

Concentration camp, thy name is "school"

Below are 40 great quotes making fun of coercive "schooling." My daughter, Livy, is a wonder to behold as an unschooled child -- that is, a child free of the concentration camps in which she'd be shackled, tested like meat, and propagandized by authoritarians. These quotes express it well:

1.) "I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas." - Agatha Christie (Author)

2.) All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.– Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832

3.) The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.– George Bernard Shaw

4.) My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.
– George Bernard Shaw

5.) Freedom requires responsibility. That is why most men dread it.– George Bernard Shaw

6.) What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. --George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950

7.) Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.– Beatrix Potter (Author of the Peter Rabbit books), 1866-1943

8.) It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.– Albert Einstein

9.) Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
– Albert Einstein

10.) It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not already completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry…. I believe that one could even deprive a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness if one could force it with a whip to eat continuously whether it were hungry or not… - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

11.) My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school.– Margaret Mead

12.) We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

13.) "Schools: vast factories for the manufacture of robots." - Robert Lindner (1914-1956)

14.) The schools ain't what they used to be, and never was.– Will Rogers

15.) Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.– P.J. O'Rourke

16.) It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.- Alec Bourne

17.) Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing–the rest is mere sheep-herding.
- Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972) U.S. poet.

18.) He is to be educated because he is a man, and not because he is to make shoes, nails, and pins. - William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) U.S. clergyman and writer

19.) Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician and writer.

20.) What's the difference between a bright, inquisitive five-year-old, and a dull, stupid nineteen-year- old? Fourteen years of the British educational system.– Bertrand Russell

21.) Together we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.– Ivan Illich, "Deschooling Society"

22.) School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.– Ivan Illich

23.) I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.– Mark Twain

24.) Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.– Mark Twain

25.) "I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom" - Sigrid Undset (Nobel Prize winner)

26.) Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer. - C. C. Colton, Lacon: Reflections, No. 322.

27.) Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.-- Vernon Law, born 1930

28.) Who besides a degraded rabble would voluntarily present itself to be graded and classified like meat? No wonder school is compulsory.– John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"

29.) Growth and mastery come only to those who vigorously self-direct. Initiating, creating, doing, reflecting, freely associating, enjoying privacy—these are precisely what the structures of schooling are set up to prevent, on one pretext or another.– John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"

30.) School is the first impression children get of organized society. Like most first impressions it is the lasting one. Life is dull and stupid, only Coke provides relief. And other products, too, of course.– John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"

31.) The shocking possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn't real.– John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"

32.) Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents....– John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, "The Underground History of American Education"

33.) "The premise upon which mass compulsion schooling is based is dead wrong. It tries to shoehorn every style, culture, and personality into one ugly boot that fits nobody." - John Taylor Gatto

34.) "I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free." - John Taylor Gatto

35.) School is a twelve-year jail sentence where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. - John Taylor Gatto

36.) "You aren't compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood, ..."_ John Taylor Gatto

37.) If I demanded you give up your television to an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work you'd think I was crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher? -John Taylor Gatto

38.) "All people found guilty of being born are sentenced to 12 years of hard labour without bail" - SoulRiser

39.) "Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mundane educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom, go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts." - Frank Zappa

40.) "Grades are a problem. On the most general level, they're an explicit acknowledgment that what you're doing is insufficiently interesting or rewarding for you to do it on your own. Nobody ever gave you a grade for learning how to play, how to ride a bicycle, or how to kiss. One of the best ways to destroy love for any of these activities would be through the use of grades, and the coercion and judgment they represent. Grades are a cudgel to bludgeon the unwilling into doing what they don't want to do, an important instrument in inculcating children into a lifelong subservience to whatever authority happens to be thrust over them." -Derrick Jensen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple's iPad -- I MUST have it!

I bought a Kindle from Amazon a year ago, and I like it. It's OK-ish.

It's going on the Ebay auction block in three months or before!

After Steve Jobs' presentation of Apple's new iPad yesterday and checking it out HERE a few minutes ago, I simply MUST have the iPad! MUST ... HAVE ... IT!

It is a technological wonder and absolutely gorgeous. I'll be able to read my e-books with a backlight (Kindle doesn't have it), so I can read in bed or on an airplane or anyplace else with low or no light. I'll be able to read my Wall Street Journal and magazines with a real-look screen and simply move my fingers across the screen to turn pages. Wow!

I'll also be able to watch my movies on an amazing hi-def screen with 10 hours of battery time! I can listen to my music, surf the internet from anywhere in the world, manipulate photos, have a virtually real-size touch keyboard on screen for messaging or anything else.

Some critics are saying that most people, especially ones with iPhones and computers, simply aren't going to spend the money for the "tween" iPad. But if those people are like me, the critics are sorely mistaken. This is the kind of gadget I've been waiting for for 10 years, so I can do my reading, my video watching, my texting, my emailing, my music listening and my photo manipulation on just one device. It's revolutionary!

God, I love that Steve Jobs guy! Love him!!

Who creates jobs: ObaMa or Jobs?

In an obvious reflection of my immense power in political circles, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal said today what I said yesterday on the contrast of ObaMa and Steve Jobs. Here's my letter to the editor (below) on his nice column.

It was interesting and poignant to read Rich Karlgaard’s column juxtaposing Barack Obama with Steve Jobs. I had done the same thing in a blog post the morning of the planned addresses by Mr. Obama and Mr. Jobs when the stark reality of their differences and proximity of speeches became clear. These two men provide sublime Shakespearean contrasts for Americans.

On the one hand, you have a man who spent his youthful adulthood and the rest of his adult life creating and inventing things of wonderment that millions of Americans, including myself, have happily forked over hundreds or thousands of dollars for. He never attempted to force others to pay for his endeavors, and he freely competed with minds of genius in his own field. He sponsored and worked with other ingenious minds in the happy attempt to push the boundaries of the natural world. He does not attempt to curry favor for himself. He creates a complex thing and then says, “This is what I and my cohorts have made. We hope you like it. If you don’t, we’ll go back to the drawing board. Thank you.”

On the other hand, you have a man who spent his youthful adulthood and the rest of his adult life attempting to manipulate human beings and laws to curry favor for himself and those he deemed worthy of the loot he helped coerce from other Americans. His interest in the natural world extended only insofar as he could force others to pay for his interest. The minds he openly and secretly sought were those preaching racism, victimhood, political pull and the power of the purse. He creates nothing and then says, “This is what I have done. You will like it. If you don’t, then too bad. It is for your own good, and you are too stupid to realize it. When I go back to the drawing board, you will get more of it. Goodbye.”

These two life philosophies were poignantly on display in the presentations. The creative man sat comfortably and easily in his chair proudly showing the world his company’s brilliant new invention that he was offering at unbelievably low prices, considering the hundreds of millions of dollars in research and manpower it must’ve taken to invent it.

The other man stood tensely, sullenly with head tilted back, condescendingly telling Americans that he will continue to push his ideas upon them even though they adamantly say they don’t want those ideas. He blamed others, implicitly and explicitly. He wielded his tax baton at men and women like Mr. Jobs and comically suggested that he, himself, can help create more men and women like Mr. Jobs from his position of coercive power. (It is another interesting irony of reality and names that Mr. Jobs is the one who creates jobs.)

Mr. Karlgaard is right that that “entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs make everything better.” Indeed, and politicians like Barack Obama don’t.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ObaMa or Apple?

Two big events will occur today.

Event No. 1:
ObaMa will give a State of the Union address, in which he will tell Americans they have the right to be told what to do by him. He sees himself as a Big Mama, making Americans perpetual mama's boys succumbing to psychological pressure and castration. OmaMa is not an empty-nester. He's just empty.

Event No. 2:
Apple Inc. will announce the invention of their computer tablet, which experts think could revolutionize e-books and many other aspects of the computer industry, much like the iPhone revolutionized the cell-phone industry and iTunes revolutionized the music industry. My techie friend Chris and I cannot WAIT to see what Steve Jobs is going to say today and what the tablet will do!

Now, which of these two events gets YOU excited, my dear readers?

Whichever one you choose says everything about who you are. I certainly hope you picked Door No. 2.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lovely lady, Jean Simmons, dies at 80

For those of us who love movies, there are those moments in the best movies that grab us, impress upon us, and remain with us our whole life.

The lovely and dignified Jean Simmons was a part of a couple of those moments for me. She died yesterday at the age of 80. Her death caused me to gasp, as all such moments do.

She was the heroine to Kirk Douglas's "Spartacus" in the 1960 movie that also featured some of the best actors of the day: Lawrence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov and Tony Curtis.

In one scene, Simmons' character, Virinia, sees the freed gladiator Spartacus after they'd been separated and never thought to meet again. It is a powerful scene of longing, incredulity, immediacy, love, silliness and tenderness. Ms. Simmon's face is one of perfect wonderment and femininity, and she plays wonderfully to Kirk Douglas's powerful masculinity.

The other memorable scene comes from the 1958 movie "The Big Country," which also featured huge stars of the day: Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Chuck Connors, Burl Ives, Carroll Baker and Charles Bickford.

Gregory Peck plays Jim McKay, a city boy, who has come to the big-country ranch of the Terrills in Texas to wed the frivolous country girl (Baker), whom he met in the northeast while she was being educated there. He finds in the big country, through many occurrences, that the character of Baker is not what he thought it to be and he begins to fall for Simmons' character, Julie Maragon.

The Terrills are having an ongoing feud over water with a neighboring clan called the Hannasseys. Nobody knows that Jim and Julie have fallen for each other, and the couple don't even know it yet because they've been proper and reticent. The Hannasseys kidnap Julie because she's the owner of the water, the Big Muddy. Jim decides to ride to the Hannassey homestead through a dangerous canyon to retrieve Julie ostensively to prevent bloodshed in the feud.

He doesn't know that the oldest Hannassey son (Connors) is smitten with Julie, but Julie hates Connors. When Jim gets to the Homestead, Julie realizes he's in great danger, so Julie pretends to care about Connors by snuggling up next to him, surprising everyone. The Hannassey father (Ives) sees through the charade and announces it. When he does, it releases Julie and Jim of any inhibition about showing their love for each other. The look in their eyes, the love, the desperate desire to be with each other, is overwhelming.

Jim fights to the death with Connors over Julie. It is a powerful, immensely powerful, scene.

With love to you, Jean Simmons. May you rest in peace.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Comrade Keillor hurts my testicles

The Prairie Home comrade has been rousted from Lenin's coffin once again by Keith Ubermann to be witty when the Left gets caught up in its whining. A great hush filled latte lounges and 30 Rock as comrade Keillor prepares to levity.

And again, comrade Keillor, dog-gonnit, does his triple-Quaalude best. After his most recent column went to print, the Leftist laughtrack sounded from the halls of MSNBC to the shores of Pe-lo-si. Across the nation, anxious Lefties proclaimed, "Look, see! We can be funny! We're not ALWAYS trying to screw you!"

But this time, the confidently soporific comrade Keillor gets angry -- well, as angry as a dachshund woken from a Scooby-snacks dream can be. The comrade, evidently, is upset that a bunch of rich capitalist Americans are knocking back a Pina Colada or two on cruise ships in the Caribbean while "great heaps of dead bodies" pile up in a nearby third-world country that has been content for centuries to build shacks and to steal from each other instead of create a free country with sturdy buildings that can withstand earthquakes.

And he's gosh-darnnit mad about the Tea Partiers' "enjoying their day in the sun" and the Republicans' "sitting on their thumbs" while Obama sweats sickles and hammers and Rush Limbaugh getting a colonoscopy via a "golden probe with a diamond tip" and Sarah Palin making oodles even though "we the people decided she was not vice-presidential material."

Goodness, comrade, you need a Quaalude. Make it a triple.

Now, to be fair to comrade Keillor, he's not demanding a great heaping of capitalist testicles in the Marxist courtyard. His kind never do, of course. The Rousseau-ians demand Passion Plays for the underprivileged and seek universal verklemptitude over the tragic-fallen and an atheistic prayer vigil for the trickled-upon. You can, however, get a glimpse of the Rousseau-ians giggling and fondling each other in a dark corner as the Trotskyites slice and dice the Bourgeoisie's testes. Comrade Keillor would, no doubt, prefer coffee, not tea, with his testes.

This whole Tea Party movement thingie seems to have unnerved the usually somnambulant comrade Keillor, though. I point to the facts, to this: his characterization of newspapers as "reliable." Let me repeat that for those who just spewed. He called newspapers RELIABLE! Uhuh. Wait, there's more. He said that everything will be OK with America because its government is at least currently in the hands of "realists."

Oh, comrade, shut up, please, you're killing me! I can't take it anymore. You ARE funny! Who would ever think to call those wishing to steal Americans' money and tell them what to do every minute of their lives at the point of a gun REALISTS? Only you, comrade. Only you!

Excuse me for a moment. My testicles hurt.

The monster with the nice smile

While working at a N.C. newspaper one day in 1998, there began much commotion around me, especially amongst the women.

There was a guy in town, a new guy, a charismatic guy, a handsome guy, and he was running for the U.S. Senate for N.C. He was a phenom. He was young. He was a Democrat. He was a famous trial lawyer who had put the screws to doctors, hospitals and businesses and talked about the poor and blacks and the sick in ways that made my cohorts have virtual orgasms at their computer terminals.

The newsroom nearly emptied and I, a Curious George with a writer's attraction to the circus of humanity, could not resist. I followed close behind.

There he was. Perfect hair. Perfect smile. Perfect demeanor. Thanking my cohorts and many other citizens of Greensboro for their kind, kind support near a high-rise bank's entrance. He was slick. Devilishly slick. After watching him in creamy motion for a couple of minutes, I went to lunch, thinking along the way, "This greasy troll will be the next John Kennedy." I shook my head in dismay and ate my double cheeseburger.

His name is John Edwards. He is now road-kill of his own making. The weight of his double-life has made a stain of him on the American landscape and mind. He's a stranger in a strange land, and I can think of only a few demagogues more deserving. But in his heyday, he was a ruthless killer of productive individuals and companies.

His victories in court were devastating to doctors in N.C. and eventually nationwide. He almost single-handedly caused a double-digit increase in Cesarean sections because of his multimillion-dollar success in one suit in which a doctor allegedly didn't extract a child fast enough to ensure survival through natural child birth. The judge presiding over the case reduced the verdict's award by more than $3 million because, he said, the jury was "under the influence of passion and prejudice." That didn't affect the precedent, however, and the effect it had on millions of women giving birth for the following decade. (My ex-wife, Kelly, and I had to tell the doctor presiding over the birth of Livy that he would not be allowed to "bring this one out through the sunroof," as he put it without even doing a thorough exam of Kelly before he decided on Cesarean.)

Edwards was renowned for winning the unwinnable suits at an N.C. lawfirm. The suits were allegedly unwinnable because there simply weren't enough facts. But facts never stopped the wunderkind Edwards. After all, he had charisma and could emote in a flash for a jury or a camera (vomiting can be induced by watching ANY saccharine speech he ever made).

Edwards made more than $60 million in his suits, many of which simply boggle the mind. In a suit he took against Sta-Rite, a maker of swimming-pool drain covers, he won an award for $25 million against the company for not having redundant warnings on the covers of the danger of their removal. The suit came about because kids at a pool had removed the cover after the people who owned the pool hadn't installed it correctly and a young girl died when she got too close to the opening. There was absolutely no error committed by Sta-Rite, and the case was allegedly unwinnable. But not for Johnny Reid Edwards. He won big after a 1.5 hour speech to the jury, in which he channeled the recent death of his own son.

Edwards brought Sta-Rite, a legitimate company made up of hard-working people and creators, to its knees. And the people he won the suit for later became happy aides to his eventual Senate campaign.

As a senator, Edwards joined or led fights for mandatory health-care insurance purchases by all Americans, for "vouchers" for "underprivileged" because poor people and middle-class people "should live together," for "global warming" restrictions and taxation, for a "College for Everyone," for "affirmative action," for rolling back Bush tax cuts, for a crackdown on "predatory lending."

He spoke to ACORN and the NAACP and spoke out against good constitutional judges seeking Federal court positions. He made a campaign of his life to be a predator of the good and just and diligent.

And then in 2008, the fabricated smile disappeared. A lifetime of immorality parading as do-gooderism collapsed with the revelation (by dedicated journalists at the Enquirer, of all places) that he'd been having sex with a woman that was not his wife. For a while, he denied it in stellar, trial-lawyer fashion, placing blame, as he was want to do, upon evil-doers, on others doing their job. When he was finally caught on tape, even John Reid Edwards had to fess up on national TV.

But there was more. A child. No, he most certainly hadn't fathered a child, he said, with that woman. His campaign aide had done so. But campaign aides are notoriously fickle in devotion, and so this aide has a book coming out stating clearly that the child is Edwards' and that the aide was dishonestly covering for his boss.

So a few days ago, Edwards admitted that he'd lied again, to citizens and to his wife. Another pathetic episode in a pathetic life that has single-mindedly caused devastation to those around him and those he comes into contact with for some macabre psychological endeavor to garner praise and glory at the expense of those who seek no such artifice.

His story is not an uncommon one, modern or past. Shakespeare made a living off of ingeniously depicting such men and women. Something was rotten in the state of N.C. in 1998. My colleagues didn't see it because they were blind to altruism, false humility, protestations of alleged unfairness and egalitarianism's cudgel. They shared Edwards' philosophy, if not his megalomania.

It is that philosophy that we still fight today, and more monsters with nice smiles. And the only way to fight it, to fight THEM, is with an exactitude of mindful reason, thoughtful reflection and determined action -- so that the idea of liberty purges such political vampires from our political landscape forever.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Flush thrice to piss off Martian mice

Martian mice (aka Green environmentalists) have bestowed upon us Americans the 21st century "environment friendly" toilet with its latte flush -- the ones that kindly leave presents for other guests using the restroom and that have to be cleaned twice as often because not all residue evacuates.

To battle this movement, ahem, may I recommend that you begin flushing not twice, but thrice, on each restroom visit? Hell, even if you just go in to brush your hair or teeth, just reach over and push down the handle and know that you'll, by damn, use as much water as you wish in your toilet.

Don't stop there. Be sure to mention said activities whenever you suspect you're around aforementioned Martians. You know who they are: pale, unkempt, angry, vegan-skinny, ghoulish. I find them often in the organic section of my grocery store.

I like to say something like, "Man, I can't believe I've flushed my toilet 14 times today, even though I've only used the restroom three times. Isn't that awesome -- all that wasted water? You gotta love it!"

Be sure to make the last statement while looking right at the Martian, so you can enjoy the full effect. Be warned, some of them are too stupid (well, actually, they all are, but you know what I mean) to catch your drift. They think you're being scatological. Just ignore the poor stupid soul and move on to the more "savvy" Martians, who understand both your meaning and intent.

Bask in their scowl and sneer, and be sure to tell them that you will be visiting the store's restroom shortly to flush all the toilets multiple times to ensure that copious amounts of water are wasted.

I know, I know. Seems like a lot of work, but not really. It's no more difficult than talking about Jesus being a homo when you're around Christians or saying that ObaMao wears panties when you're around Lefties.

Happy flushing.

For once, I'm speechless

Here follows the response by someone commenting on my blog post: Disaster aid and the violation of liberty.


Now, to make the comment, I assume the person understood my post and must speak English. And since I'm America with a not-to-Chinese-sounding American NAME, you might think they wouldn't assume I'm Chinese in their reply.

I do, of course, understand the exclamation points at the end of their comment (evidently they have such grammar marks in Chinese or they just wanted to convey their vehemence in 'merican).

They have achieved something no one else has been able to achieve in conversation with me: I am speechless (though I did consider writing back in French).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Disaster aid and the violation of liberty

I sent the following letter to the editor at the Wall Street Journal after it printed an editorial praising ObaMao for his "unwavering support" for the victims of Haiti's earthquake and robbing Americans of $100 million for this "support."

Few people anywhere in the world cannot feel great distress at the grievous tragedy that has befallen the people of Haiti.

But it is in such disasters that the principles of proper constitutions and governments are sorely tested by emotions – and the U.S. government once again fails the test by robbing Americans to pay for the plight of foreigners instead of letting voluntary worldwide charity do the job. The Journal itself, unfortunately, adds insult to injury by proclaiming “rightly so” to President Obama’s “unwavering support” of Haiti.

It is clear that our citizens and our politicians must learn the lesson of Rep. Davy Crockett of Tennessee almost 200 years ago when he came upon a wise farmer who said he could no longer vote for Crockett because Crockett had “appropriated for charity” in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Crockett had joined the rest of the House of Representatives earlier to take $20,000 from Americans to help out families made homeless by a great fire in Georgetown.

Said farmer Bunce: “Individual members (of Congress) may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. … (But) the Congressmen chose to keep their own money. … (And now) you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.”

Crockett learned his lesson, earned the respect and vote of farmer Bunce and henceforth convinced other Representatives of the error of coercive charity. We modern Americans must learn this lesson and put an end to such coercion, whether it is welfare handouts, health-care handouts or disaster aid. It’s time to return to the principle of liberty and stop being guided by altruistic emotions.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

ARI essay contests reach the masses

As a member of one unschooling list, I got a shock the other day: a notice by the list's moderator on ARI's essay contest on The Fountainhead. Here it is:
25th Annual Essay Contest
Ayn Rand's Novel
The Fountainhead
For 11th and 12th Graders
Entry deadline April 26, 2010
First Prize $10,000
For more info

I remember longtime Objectivist Betsy Speicher used to run a tag line at the end of her Objectivist updates many years ago that always began "You'll know Objectivism is winning when ..."

Well, with top Objectivists getting on the John Stossel show the other night and an unschooling leader mentioning the essay contests, Objectivism is beginning to win. Hallelujah!

Unschooled kid's got a serious brain

As a member of several unschooler/home-schooling lists, I see lots of references to kids who have no formal schooling, kids who are allowed to explore their lives volitionally and capture the information that most pleases them with coercive or manipulative or "motivational" intrusion from the parents.

HERE is one kid (now 27 years old) who was unschooled (like my child, Livy) and took his mind into the realm of quantum physics and other interesting venues. The kid is not an Objectivist, so he makes some mistakes in reasoning and extrapolation, but you can see a mind full of wonder explore his universe -- despite never having been told he must follow the "educational" path someone else desired.

Friday, January 08, 2010


One of the great things about technology is that it lets us see things that our senses can't capture, as Galileo could well attest. The Jesus crowd of 2,000 years ago, for instance, have never known THIS about water.

Absolutely amazing, eh? What a wonder our human minds are.