Education

Abolish the Federal Department of Education!!!

October 20th, 2009 6:58 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Education, Election, Liberty, Politics  |  2 Responses

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them.  And it required no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1787

Originally published October 20, 2009 at http://towneforcongress.com/economy/abolish-the-federal-department-of-education-1

Last night with the Liberty Bell Center of Constitutional Studies, I was part of a panel answering questions on public education with the Concerned Citizens of Bethlehem Area School District. The BASD has been plagued with financial troubles stemming from OTC derivatives purchases, and previously I gave an educational presentation to this group on financial derivatives.

After the lecture from LBCCS founder Paul Fiske who related how our founding fathers viewed education, Ryan Burgett, chairman of LBCCS and I (as a member of LBCCS) took questions and there was one question I was unable to answer without a projector, which was the breakdown of spending by the federal Department of Education, which is below or can be viewed online here. I also gave a short synopsis of the history and issues I have with this Department.

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Get ready for Stossel’s new weekly libertarian show on FOX

September 17th, 2009 4:51 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Education, FOX news, Free Market, government spending, John Stossel, Libertarianism, Liberty, Politics  |  3 Responses

About a week ago, John Stossel announced on his blog that he’s leaving ABC and the primetime show 20/20 and will be starting up a new hour-long, prime time, weekly program on the Fox Business Channel.

As for the content of the program, Stossel states:

In my new job, I want to dig into the meaning of the words “liberty” and “limited government”.  ABC enabled me to do some of that, but Fox offers me more airtime and a new challenge.

I’m still considering what I will do with my own show, one hour each week.   Economics certainly.  Exercises in understanding libertarianism.  My “take” on the issues of the day.   Kind of like this blog.  In fact, maybe we’ll call it, Stossel’s Take?

In fact he asks for your ideas if you care to submit them.  I look forward to his program, since it appears he won’t be hampered as much by the whims of the ABC editors and producers.  At least, his new program will be less likely to be pushed out by Michael Jackson news. :)

Is there any doubt that public schools have failed?

July 1st, 2009 3:05 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Education, History  |  7 Responses

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. What is the supreme law of the land?
  2. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
  3. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?
  4. How many Justices are on the Supreme Court?
  5. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  6. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
  7. What are the two major political parties in the United States?
  8. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
  9. Who was the first President of the United States?
  10. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

Hopefully you can answer most (if not all) of these basic questions correctly. But these questions were presented to 1,134 [public] high school students in Arizona, and not a single one could answer more than seven out of ten correctly.

The biggest shocker (for me) is that more than 73% couldn’t name George Washington as our first president.

Wow. What more proof do we need that public schools have failed?

Ron Paul, The High School Teacher

May 27th, 2009 10:41 pm  |  by  |  Published in Constitution, Education, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Ron Paul, Video, War  |  5 Responses

Ron Paul visited Ballou High School in Southeast DC a few weeks ago to speak to students as part of CSPAN’s Student’s and Leaders series.

This is Ron Paul in his element. He’s speaking to young people and he’s a teacher at heart.

He gives a talk and then gets some questions from the students. Watch the full video below from CSPAN. It is almost an hour long.

How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 21)

April 6th, 2009 1:03 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Education, energy, Environment, fascism, foreign aid, Foreign Policy, government spending, Gun Control, Health Care, Immigration, jobs, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Maven Commentary, Politics, privacy, Social Security, Taxes  |  1

Wow, this one is a doozy!  A ton of new bills were introduced in Congress on Friday: 188 in total.  For those who haven’t read this series of articles from the beginning, there are a few things to keep in mind…

When taking a look at the list below, keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution, which created our Federal Government, clearly enumerated 18 specific functions that it is given.  For all other things, the 9th and 10th amendment make it clear that the individual states have the power.  Note that it states in the Constitution that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, which can be usurped by no other.  This means that all opinions to the contrary made by the Supreme Court are technically invalid.  Throughout the past couple of hundred hears the Supreme Court has rule one way or another on some “interpretation” of the Constitution, but in fact no interpretation is necessary, as the intention of the founding fathers are quite clear.  For example, if the “general welfare” clause or the “interstate commerce” clause was intended to be used as a catch-all for any arbitrary piece of legislation, then the 10th amendments which reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

would be completely meaningless.  So simple logic, in addition to the writings of Madison and other founding fathers, dictates the notion that the Federal Government was set up to have very little power, and that these United States are intended to be a loose federation of sovereign states.

Only due to politician’s greed and overwhelming desire for power does the Constitution get relegated to the trash heap.

So, despite the  noble intentions of many of these bills, it doesn’t mean they are legal.

No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
– 16 Am. Jur. Sec. 177 late 2d, Sec 256

Of the bills introduced yesterday, these are ones that are clearly not legitimate functions of the Federal Government  [as always, my commentary will appear in red]:

  • HR1892 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 102 North Main Street in Cedarville, Ohio, as the “William ‘Brent” Turner Post Office’.
  • HR1929 – To establish the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission to investigate the policies and practices engaged in by officers and directors at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responsible for making the decisions that led to the enterprises’ financial instability and the subsequent Federal conservatorship of such enterprises.  [Keep in mind that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been basically nationalized, which is, of course, unconstitutional.]
  • HR1925 – To designate as wilderness certain Federal portions of the red rock canyons of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin Deserts in Utah for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
  • HR1924 – To amend the Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act, the Indian Tribal Justice Act, the Indian Tribal Justice Technical and Legal Assistance Act of 2000, and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to improve the prosecution of, and response to, crimes in Indian country, and for other purposes.
  • HR1922 – To require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold at least 1 public hearing before issuance of a permit affecting public or private land use in a locality.
  • HR1921 – To establish an Office of Public Advocate within the Department of Justice to provide services and guidance to citizens in dealing with concerns involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and for other purposes. [Fantastic!  Create another layer of bureaucracy to help people deal with bureaucracy...]
  • HR1978 – To authorize the Attorney General to make grants to improve the ability of State and local governments to prevent the abduction of children by family members, and for other purposes.
  • HR1977 – To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to study drywall imported from China in 2004 through 2007, and for other purposes.
  • HR332 – Providing that the House of Representatives will focus on removing barriers to a prosperous economy and therefore renew the dream.  [Reading the full text of the bill it all sounds nice, but it's really nothing more than platitudes.  Nothing will come of this.  It's not recommending anything concrete.]
  • HR1971 – To provide for the elimination of duties on certain comforter shells
  • HR1970 – To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to exempt unsanctioned State-licensed retail pharmacies from the surety bond requirement under the Medicare Program for suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS).
  • HR1969 – To promote freedom and democracy in Vietnam.  [Oh god. Oh god, no! Haven't we gotten ourselves into enough jams with this interventionist crap?]

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How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 19)

April 1st, 2009 4:32 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Education, Environment, Foreign Policy, government spending, Health Care, Immigration, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, privacy, Social Security  |  1

Yesterday in Congress, fifty-four new bills were introduced.  Due to recent controversy, and for those who start reading this series of articles in the middle, I will include the following boilerplate information in every article.

When taking a look at the list below, keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution, which created our Federal Government, clearly enumerated 18 specific functions that it is given.  For all other things, the 9th and 10th amendment make it clear that the individual states have the power.  Note that it states in the Constitution that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, which can be usurped by no other.  This means that all opinions to the contrary made by the Supreme Court are technically invalid.  Throughout the past couple of hundred hears the Supreme Court has rule one way or another on some “interpretation” of the Constitution, but in fact no interpretation is necessary, as the intention of the founding fathers are quite clear.  For example, if the “general welfare” clause or the “interstate commerce” clause was intended to be used as a catch-all for any arbitrary piece of legislation, then the 10th amendments which reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

would be completely meaningless.  So simple logic, in addition to the writings of Madison and other founding fathers, dictates the notion that the Federal Government was set up to have very little power, and that these United States are intended to be a loose federation of sovereign states.

Only due to politician’s greed and overwhelming desire for power does the Constitution get relegated to the trash heap.

So, despite the  noble intentions of many of these bills, it doesn’t mean they are legal.

Of the bills introduced yesterday, these are ones that are clearly not legitimate functions of the Federal Government  [as always, my commentary will appear in red]:

  • S-753 – A bill to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of children’s food and beverage containers composed of bisphenol A, and for other purposes.  [What's the purpose of this?  There's already S-593.  See my comments here about this issue.]
  • S-754 – A bill to provide for increased Federal oversight of methadone treatment/
  • HR308 – Honoring the life, legacy, and memory of Pedro Pablo Zamora y Diaz, an extraordinary educator and activist, and a pioneer in the battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • HR309 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that North Korea should immediately stop any hostile rhetoric and activity towards the Republic of Korea and engage in mutual dialogue to enhance inter-Korean relations.
  • HR310 – Honoring the life of Coach Kay Yow in remembrance of her passing, and recognizing her dedication to the sport of basketball, her commitment to women and women’s health, and her contributions to the State of North Carolina.

Read More »

How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 18)

March 31st, 2009 4:22 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, Civil Liberties, congress, Constitution, Economics, Education, energy, Environment, foreign aid, Foreign Policy, government spending, Immigration, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, Taxes  |  Comments Off

Yesterday in Congress, fifty-one new bills were introduced.  Due to recent controversy, and for those who start reading this series of articles in the middle, I will include the following boilerplate information in every article.

When taking a look at the list below, keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution, which created our Federal Government, clearly enumerated 18 specific functions that it is given.  For all other things, the 9th and 10th amendment make it clear that the individual states have the power.  Note that it states in the Constitution that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, which can be usurped by no other.  This means that all opinions to the contrary made by the Supreme Court are technically invalid.  Throughout the past couple of hundred hears the Supreme Court has rule one way or another on some “interpretation” of the Constitution, but in fact no interpretation is necessary, as the intention of the founding fathers are quite clear.  For example, if the “general welfare” clause or the “interstate commerce” clause was intended to be used as a catch-all for any arbitrary piece of legislation, then the 10th amendments which reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

would be completely meaningless.  So simple logic, in addition to the writings of Madison and other founding fathers, dictates the notion that the Federal Government was set up to have very little power, and that these United States are intended to be a loose federation of sovereign states.

Only due to politician’s greed and overwhelming desire for power does the Constitution get relegated to the trash heap.

So, despite the  noble intentions of many of these bills, it doesn’t mean they are legal.

Of the bills introduced yesterday, these are ones that are clearly not legitimate functions of the Federal Government  [as always, my commentary will appear in red]:

  • HCR89 – Supporting the goals and objectives of the Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Assets.
  • HCR86 – Authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the unveiling of a bust of Sojourner Truth.
  • HCR87 – Observing the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and calling on all responsible nations to uphold the principles of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  • HR298 – Congratulating the on-premise sign industry for its contributions to the success of small businesses.
  • HR299 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that public servants should be commended for their dedication and continued service to the Nation during Public Service Recognition Week, May 4 through 10, 2009, and throughout the year.
  • HR300 – Congratulating Camp Dudley YMCA of Westport, New York, on the occasion of its 125th anniversary.
  • HR301 – Honoring the life of Dr.John Hope Franklin

Read More »

How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 13)

March 20th, 2009 3:17 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bailouts, Big Government, congress, Constitution, Education, energy, Environment, foreign aid, Foreign Policy, Free Market, government spending, Health Care, Immigration, Individual Responsibility, Investing, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, Social Security, Taxes  |  Comments Off

The debauchery on Capitol Hill continues unabated, with an amazing ninety-three new bills introduced yesterday in Congress, many of which attempt to do the same thing.  How many of these bills do you think are Constitutional?  (Answer: very few).  Here are some of the worst:

  • HR1652 – To require institutions receiving certain assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program or the Federal Reserve to have employee bonus payment plans approved in advance of the payments being made.  [Each member of Congress must operate in a bubble, and/or they're all hoping for the "credit" if their bill is passed.  This is at least the fifth bill on this subject in the past three days!]
  • HR1656 – To require TARP payments to be conditioned on the top 10 highest wage earners at a company having repaid any bonuses received during the previous 5 fiscal years.  [Six!  Ok, let's review.  We have HR1542 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D-NY], HR1572 by Rep. Michael Thompson [D-CA]HR1582 by Rep. Steven LaTourette [R-OH], HR1603 by Rep. Charles Wilson [D-OH], HR1652 by Rep. Christopher Murphy [D-CT], and now this one from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA].  Are these people working in a vacuum?  Could the process be any more inefficient?]
  • HR1650 – To enhance the oversight authority of the Comptroller General of the United States with respect to expenditures under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  [Yet another TARP regulation bill.  The full text of the bill is not currently available, so I couldn't tell if it specifically mentions employee bonuses so I could add it to the list above.  Why don't these people just come out and admit that this TARP garbage is immoral an unconstitutional in the first place?]
  • S-651 – A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose an excise tax on excessive bonuses paid by, and received from, companies receiving Federal emergency economic assistance, to limit the amount of nonqualified deferred compensation that employees of such companies may defer from taxation, and for other purposes.  [Number 7, by Sen. Max Baucus [D-MT]]
  • HR1649 – To authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants to reduce the size of core curriculum classes in public elementary and secondary schools, and for other purposes.
  • HR1645 (also S-638) – To provide grants to promote financial and economic literacy.  [While I think it's critical that people become more financially and economically literate, government should certainly not be the teacher, or else we'll end up with more Keynesian nitwits that have destroyed our economy to date.  Rather, people can take Chris Martenson's Crash Course for free, and read books like Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson and Tom Woods' Meltdown.]
  • HR1643 (also S-648) – To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a prospective payment system instead of the reasonable cost-based reimbursement method for Medicare-covered services provided by Federally qualified health centers and to expand the scope of such covered services to account for expansions in the scope of services provided by Federally qualified health centers since the inclusion of such services for coverage under the Medicare Program.
  • HR1642 – To provide loans and grants for fire sprinkler retrofitting in nursing facilities.
  • HR1641 – To amend the National Trails System Act to provide for a study of the Cascadia Marine Trail.
  • HR1640 – To amend the Truth in Lending Act to protect consumers from usury, and for other purposes.  [Caveat emptor.  The process of buying a home would be much quicker and hassle-free if not for the myriad of regulations and bureaucratic red-tape imposed by the federal, state, and local governments.]

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How is Congress spending its time — and your money? (Part 12)

March 20th, 2009 11:49 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, congress, Education, Foreign Policy, government spending, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics, Taxes  |  Comments Off

Forty-six new bills were introduced on Wednesday, March 18th.  Here are some of the more obnoxious ones:

  • HR1590 – To provide assistance for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland.
  • HR1583 – To further competition in the insurance industry.  [Huh?  the only reason there is any lack of competition is due to government regulation and intrusion!]
  • HR1582 – The Executive Bonus Repeal Act: To amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to strike a provision included in a recent amendment of such Act.  [How many bills of nature do we need?  There is already HR1572 to steal 90% of the bonuses as well as HR1542 which proposes to steal 100%.]
  • HR1581 – To optimize the delivery of critical care medicine and expand the critical care workforce.  [Government interference is what has impeded the best emergency care possible.  So now the "benevolent" hand of government is going to come in with more regulation to fix it?]
  • HR1580 – To authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to award grants for electronic waste reduction research, development, and demonstration projects, and for other purposes.
  • HR1603 – To require institutions receiving large amounts of assistance under TARP to restrict compensation increases for officers, directors, and employees to the Federal civil service pay increase.  [Again, such bills would not be necessary if there were no unconstitutional TARP in the first place.]
  • HR1600 – To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the treatment of autism under TRICARE.
  • HR1599 – To require survivor annuity payments made to disabled dependents to be disregarded in eligibility and benefit determinations under the supplemental security income (SSI) and Medicaid Programs.
  • HR263 – Expressing support for designation of the month of September as “National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month”.  [Hahaha, wouldn't this conflict with HR255 which would be “National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month”?]
  • HR262 – Expressing the strong concern of the House of Representatives about the actions of the Taliban in Swat, Pakistan, to restrict girls’ access to education.  [Do they think that people in Afghanistan care what the U.S. House of Representatives is concerned about?  Or put the other way, how would we like it if the government of another nation were to stick it's nose into our way of life?  Granted, I do not agree with how females are treated in some cultures, but it's not the business of the Federal Government to be concerned with such things.]
  • HR258 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding drug trafficking in Mexico.
  • S-637 – A bill to authorize the construction of the Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority System in the State of Montana and a portion of McKenzie County, North Dakota, for other purposes.
  • S-636 – A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to conform the definition of renewable biomass to the definition given the term in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
  • S-635 – A bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Washington, as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  • S-634 (also HR1585) – A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve standards for physical education.
  • S-633 – A bill to establish a program for tribal colleges and universities within the Department of Health and Human Services and to amend the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to authorize the provision of grants and cooperative agreements to tribal colleges and universities, and for other purposes.

Read More »

Freedom Watch 5: Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul, John Stossel, Peter Schiff, Lew Rockwell and more

March 11th, 2009 4:21 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Andrew Napolitano, Bailouts, Big Government, Blowback, campaign for liberty, congress, Constitution, Economics, Education, Federal Reserve, FOX news, Free Market, government spending, jobs, John Stossel, Lew Rockwell, Liberty, Market Regulation, Peter Schiff, Ron Paul  |  5 Responses

This week’s episode of Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano is in the bag. This week Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Peter Schiff, Campaign For Liberty President John Tate, Tracy Byrnes (from FBN), and John Stossel joined the Judge for more discussion on liberty.

They discussed Obama’s plan for education, the endless bailouts, and more. John Stossel joined the show during the final minutes via telephone and discussed his upcoming special on 20/20 Friday night at 10pm EST called “Bailouts, Big Spending, and Bull.”

Ron Paul was on for the first 15 minutes or so. John Tate joined during the last half hour. Please spread the playlist below around the net. And be sure to join the Facebook “Fans of Freedom Watch” group if you haven’t already.

Watch what many are calling the liberty power hour below. All 6 parts should play in succession via the playlist here.

(NOTE: Some have said the embedded playlist isn’t working properly so if you’d like to watch all the parts use this link to go to the complete list on YouTube)