Monthly Archives: April 2012

Christine Quinn Doesn’t Know What Democracy Means

Christine Quinn loves democracy, just not for the people.

For those not familiar with the lay of New York City politics, Christine Quinn is the Speaker of the City Council. She hopes to run for mayor after Michael (“Pharaoh”) Bloomberg’s term ends, if his term ends.

See, Quinn was instrumental in lifting the mayoral term limits that would have prevented him from being mayor right now. On top of that, she supports mayoral control of the public school system, which will be responsible for the closing of 24 public schools this year. In essence, the people of New York City know that Mayor Quinn would mean Bloomberg’s fourth term.

Lately, she has been trying to distance herself from Mayor (Pharaoh) Bloomberg. There has been much wrangling between the two over the Living Wage bill, which would require contractors with whom the city does business to pay their workers at least $11.50 an hour or $10 with benefits. Bloomberg vetoed the bill and Quinn is angling to get it overridden.

To call $11.50 an hour a “living wage” in New York City is a joke. Maybe one can live on that salary if they shack up with 3 other people in a two-bedroom apartment out in Jamaica, Queens while working 50 hours a week. Otherwise, there is nothing livable about it. The entire debate has the air of farce, as does the following clip from a press conference at which Quinn was supposed to speak.

Apparently, someone from the crowd called out and referred to Bloomberg as “pharaoh”. This prompted Quinn to go off on the following uninformed and demagogic rant:

“Now, look. That’s not appropriate. You stand here talking about democracy and wanting people to listen. In democracy, people have the right to have different views and they do not, we do not have the right to then call them names. So I would just ask, if that’s what this press conference is about then I’ll go right back inside and continue the work of business. But this is not democracy — calling people names who don’t agree with you. So whoever said I’d ask that you apologize.”

Where to begin?

First, we actually do have that right. It says it right there in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. I know that ever since Rudy Giuliani was mayor, New York’s leaders have tended to think that they are above the Constitution. Yet, people like me would like to think it still applies.

Second, what is “inappropriate” about this comment? Pharaohs were the most revered leaders of the ancient world. Their people looked up to them as gods. They have given modern man some of the greatest lasting monuments built by any civilization. Of course, those monuments were built by slave labor. Considering that Bloomberg thinks it is perfectly fine for corporations to pay no taxes while allowing their workers to make starvation wages, you would think that the “pharaoh” comment was totally appropriate.

You think this could have been what the gentleman who made the comment was getting at?

People speaking out against laws and leaders they oppose is the very essence of democracy, Ms. Quinn. You would not know that, obviously, since you were the one responsible for handing Bloomberg his third term.

Bloomberg comes from the world where money lords over all. He has expressed many times that the democratic process is a thorn in his side, an inconvenience to be sidestepped. Check out what he said in Singapore a few weeks ago:

“We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day.. And it’s very hard for people to stand up to that and say, ‘No, no, this is what we’re going to do,’ when there’s constant criticism, and an election process that you have to look forward to and face periodically.”… Later, Mr. Bloomberg noted that long-term urban planning “requires leadership, and standing up, and saying, ‘You know, you elected me, this is what we’re going to do,’ and not take a referendum on every single thing.”

That pesky “election process” really gets in the way of ruling us like a king. We elected Bloomberg, for life apparently, and he is going to tell us to our faces “no, no, this is what we’re going to do.” This explains a lot. This explains why the Panel for Educational Policy is set up to vote for every single thing he has ever wanted. Teachers, parents and students protest the closing of a school? No, no, this is what we are going to do. We are going to close your school, fire your teachers and shuffle you around, again.

There is no room for “democracy” in Bloomberg’s world. It is little wonder that the folks in Singapore, a country that bashes people’s buttocks with bamboo canes for littering, sympathize with his concerns. If it was up to him, everyone’s buttocks would be smashed with canes.

Christine Quinn is absolutely clueless about what democracy is. Her petulant, childish and ignorant rant directed at a concerned citizen who was speaking his mind highlights this fact. We actually do have a right to speak freely, especially at political rallies. We should not be subject to venom from the bully pulpit every time someone says something that our glorious, dictatorial leaders do not like. Where is the democracy in berating a man in the crowd when you have the floor, a microphone and the attention?

This just shows that Christine Quinn is not fit to be mayor. Not only is she firmly attached to Bloomberg’s expensive coattails, she does not have the dignity or the poise to lead the biggest city in the United States. If you refuse to take criticism, especially when the criticism is not directed at you, how will you lead New York City of all places?

Do not give up on John Liu. He is the only one who has spoken any sense and, as you can see, he did not storm off the stage like a brat.

The Age of the Wonk

That's right, wonk is the opposite of know.

David Brooks at the New York Times is not that bright. Like Andrew Rotherham, he comes from the world of Neoconservative wonks that willfully ignore the messy truths of history for the neat world of theory. Brooks proved it in his recent article recommending value-added assessments for universities. He proved it again yesterday with some more wonkish drivel. In regards to deciding on proper government policy, Brooks advocates the following:

What you really need to achieve sustained learning, Manzi argues, is controlled experiments. Try something out. Compare the results against a control group. Build up an information feedback loop. This is how businesses learn. By 2000, the credit card company Capital One was running 60,000 randomized tests a year — trying out different innovations and strategies. Google ran about 12,000 randomized experiments in 2009 alone.

These randomized tests actually do vindicate or disprove theories. For example, a few years ago, one experiment suggested that if you give people too many choices they get overwhelmed and experience less satisfaction. But researchers conducted dozens more experiments, trying to replicate the phenomenon. They couldn’t.

Businesses conduct hundreds of thousands of randomized trials each year. Pharmaceutical companies conduct thousands more. But government? Hardly any. Government agencies conduct only a smattering of controlled experiments to test policies in the justice system, education, welfare and so on.

We see the typical Neocon celebration of the wisdom of the private sector. More importantly, we see the cold, bloodless language of “models” and controlled social experiments. We see people being reduced to automatons: “if you give people too many choices they get overwhelmed and experience less satisfaction”. No wonder Brooks also supports value-added model of education. Human beings, to people like Brooks and Rotherham, are nothing more than pegs on a Chinese checkerboard to be moved around and manipulated at will by wonks such as themselves.

What prompted Brooks to mention this approach was his observation that President Obama’s stimulus package failed to bring us out of the Great Recession. Never mind that an $800 billion stimulus over the course of 10 years, a third of which came in the form of tax cuts, is a spitball in the context of a $13 trillion economy. Never mind the fact that Obama’s flaccid stimulus was not comparable to the massive and bold programs of the New Deal. He goes ahead and works the New Deal into his discussion anyway.

His revisionist analysis of the Great Depression shows the type of selective memory necessary to be a Neocon:

… Nearly 80 years later, it’s hard to know if the New Deal did much to end the Great Depression. Still, it would be nice if we could learn from experience. To avoid national catastrophe, we’re going to have to figure out how to control health care costs, improve schools and do other things.

Even the most conservative of conservatives would be forced to concede that it was our involvement in World War II that ended the Great Depression. That involvement entailed massive government spending on war material to the point where the American industrial machine was working at full capacity for the first and only time in history. In other words, it entailed the philosophy of the New Deal on steroids. One would have to ignore this obvious point to say something as intellectually barren as “it’s hard to know if the New Deal did much to end the Great Depression.”

The historical lessons do not stop there. One of Franklin Roosevelt’s goals during the New Deal was to prevent another Great Depression from ever happening again. That is not to say that he wanted to do away with business cycles. It means that he wanted to cushion the downswings of those cycles. Americans of his era were catching on to the idea that the engine of the economy was consumerism. It seems obvious to us living in 2012, but it was not so obvious to an America still caught between the urban and agrarian worlds. John Maynard Keynes had accurately explained that the crisis of the Depression was a crisis of demand. FDR set out to build institutions that would guarantee some sort of minimal demand in the future. This meant ensuring people would always have some sort of cash in their pockets. The minimum wage, Social Security, public works, the Wagner Act and the GI Bill all reflected this goal.

Once the war was over, there was a real fear throughout the country that the Great Depression would return. People who had lived through the scarcity of the 1930s grew accustomed to believing that economic depression was going to be a permanent state of affairs. Yet, despite the conversion back to a peacetime economy, not only did the Depression not return, but the United States embarked on the longest and most equitable economic boom of its history. It was what historian James Patterson dubs “The Biggest Boom Yet”.

One can argue that New Deal institutions and the embrace of Keynesian economics (as Nixon said, “we are all Keynesians”) did not cause the Biggest Boom Yet. Proximity does not imply causality. There were certainly other factors at play, like America having a larger share of the global economic pie than it does now, less immigration and technological barriers that made it harder for corporations to move jobs and capital overseas. Yet, one would have to have ideological blinders on to not see the connection between the relative prosperity that took place during the heyday of New Deal institutions and the economic polarization that has coincided with the undoing of those institutions over the past 35 years. The proof is most certainly in the pudding.

Yet, here is David Brooks advocating for the government to experiment with public policy, as if human institutions operate in a laboratory. Instead of a simple historical truth that was revealed decades ago, namely that a consumer-driven economy needs people who are able to consume, he wishes to reinvent the wheel. It is this supposed search for truth on his part that keeps people like him in business. A country that knows its history has no need for someone like David Brooks.

David Brooks, Andrew Rotherham and the entire class of Neocon policy wonks have such esteemed public platforms for a reason. Their analyses of our very human problems are markedly inhuman. They speak in sterile, pseudo-scientific terms. People are statistics. Policy is a matter of calibrating a machine. They deliver dogmatic answers by talking as if they are disinterested observers. Their search for truth is a straight line that pounds flat the flesh and blood contours of flesh and blood issues.

Is it any wonder why these two men are consistent cheerleaders of this travesty we call “education reform”? Their unquestioning faith in standardized exams reduces students to data. The pseudo-objective manner in which they approach schooling reflects a worship of science, or pseudo-science as it were, that discounts humanistic education. Since they cannot quantify things like historical understanding, music appreciation or literary analysis with data, then they believe it does not count. Is it any wonder that one of the crimes of education reform has been the steady elimination of art, music and history from schools across the country? The New York State Board of Regents might very well make a decision next week that puts Global History on the road to extinction. Only in the age of education reform can something like this happen.

And why should we have humanistic education? The employers of tomorrow do not demand workers who can analyze the world around them or think abstractly in any way. They want number crunchers and formula followers. This is what the push for STEM subjects is all about. Only that the high-paying jobs will not require any advanced knowledge of STEM, since any mathematician would tell you that an advanced understanding of math requires stepping into the world of abstraction. Instead, public schooling is to be the training ground of tomorrow’s low-level, low-paid functionaries who press the proper buttons.

Our schools and our economic system are too important to be left in the care of mere wonks. They want to create the world in their own image. Specifically, they want to turn tomorrow’s citizens into people as one-dimensional and ahistorical as the policies for which they advocate.

Another simple historical truth that bears repeating is that no civilization anywhere ever achieved anything great by taking heed of the words of numerically-minded policy wonks.

Corporate School Reform, The Final Frontier

I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. 011101101110.

It was announced earlier this week that Philadelphia’s school system is being scrapped. 64 schools will be closed by 2017. To replace them, the restructuring plan calls for building more privately-run charter and cyber-charter schools. The central office of Philly’s school system will be drastically downsized as well. The system will be highly decentralized, giving way to a hodgepodge of “achievement networks”.

This was all brought about by steep state budget cuts that put Philadelphia’s school system in the red some $218 million. In New Orleans, it took the moral indifference of Mother Nature in the form of Hurricane Katrina to privatize the school system. In Philadelphia, it took the moral indifference of lawmakers.

You would think that the implosion of a major urban school system would warrant some sort of national media coverage. Yet, there has been widespread national silence on the issue. I am especially surprised by the silence of President Obama and Uncle Arne Duncan. Their silence, I gather, is tantamount to tacit approval.

Yesterday, Michigan’s House of Representatives approved a bill lifting the cap on online charter schools in the state. Yet, the performance of cyber-schooling in Michigan, not to mention around the country, is abysmal. It is telling that Michigan’s legislature is ramming this law through now, before the end-of-school-year data becomes available that will surely damn the entire idea of online learning.

Here in our beloved New York City, Mayor Bloomberg’s puppet Panel of Educational Policy met last night to discuss the 24 schools it intends to close at the end of this school year. 146 people signed up to speak, most of them teachers, parents and students from the affected schools who pointed out the injustice of these closures.

These school closures and the promise of future budget cuts in NYC promise to increase the number of online classes students take in the future. The public school classroom is under assault all across the country.

This is one of the more dangerous fronts of the education reform movement. While high-stakes testing has been the most visible part of the assault on public schools, online learning promises to be the much more insidious threat in the long run. It is the fastest growing part of the education sector.

That is because online learning is cheap. No buildings, chairs or chalk are needed. Teachers can teach “classes” of 1,000 students. Someone familiar with the online learning wave taking hold in the Midwest explains the scam:

“I’m all for efficiencies in the education system, but if the cyber charter schools can figure how to educate a child for $6,500 in Wisconsin and they’re still receiving $10,000 per student, I want that $3,500 to go back into the student’s education, not the pockets of some corporate shareholders or executives. This is a funding model that is cheating students.”

Online schooling is the ultimate goal of every corporate reformer. Vouchers and brick and mortar charter schools are halfway stages towards the complete computerization of public education. It is the cheapest education to provide and leaves the most possible room for private profit.

This is where Salman Khan’s Khan Academy comes in. The corporate reformers will probably not be able to pull off the complete computerization of public schooling. Too many parents will demand actual teachers, not to mention an actual building to which to send their children while they go to work. Khan’s “flipped classroom” provides this option. Despite his and his sycophantic followers’ claims that they do not aim to replace blood and bone teachers, the flipped classroom model takes delivery of content out of their hands. Videos provide the content and teachers provide guidance on the enrichment activities that follow the videos. Of course, the activities are all designed by Khan’s team of non-educators. The teacher’s role is merely to follow the script and help students through the pre-packaged curriculum. It is the ultimate deskilling of the teaching profession.

This is where the current era of teacher bashing is tending. By breaking teachers down in the public’s eyes, they are preparing the public to accept the idea that pre-fab videos will do just as well or better at actual teaching. Computerized learning has the added benefit of being on the “right” side of history. This is the wave of the future, after all, it is best just to shut up and embrace it.

Those who have never actually taught will never see the craft involved in teaching. Rather than beat a dead horse, please read my post entitled 60 Minutes Worships Salman Khan and So Do You. Of course, if you are already brainwashed by Khan’s smile, the unquestioning adulation he receives in the media and his association with Bill Gates, then there is really nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. After all, I am a teacher and my opinions on teaching cannot be trusted. I am out to protect my job, since no human being can ever possibly be motivated by any purpose other than self-interest. I cannot possibly be motivated by a desire to defend a craft that is as old as humanity itself, or by the knowledge that online learning will exacerbate the educational caste system in this country. After all, Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee send their children to flipped classrooms, not elite private schools with small class sizes and veteran teachers, right?

Let us hope the backlash against this educational barbarism is at hand. The National Opt-Out movement is a great start. We need to opt our children out of online learning as well.

The Other Bullying

This story has weighed on my mind since I read about it earlier this year:

On Thanksgiving, a grade-school gym teacher parked on the shoulder of Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana, got out of her Mercury SUV and walked in front of a moving semi truck.

The 32-year-old’s suicide shocked the tiny Ford Heights school district where she worked. In the days afterward, tension grew amid conversations by co-workers about what had happened and questions from the Army veteran’s parents. The turmoil peaked during a crowded meeting in December, when some teachers and school board members clashed.

The suicide note that Mary Thorson left centered on frustrations at the school, and her death spurred some of her co-workers to speak out at the public meeting.

Teachers described an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the two-school district, where little things snowballed over time.

“We don’t feel like we can speak out because we have been intimidated,” teacher Rose Jimerson said at the meeting. “We have signs all over the building about anti-bullying. … Our staff gets bullied.”

Mary Thorson was, tragically, driven over the edge. It is an edge too many of us find ourselves in the age of teacher bashing.

The same thing happened to Rigoberto Ruelas.

Between these two tragedies we see the two biggest culprits in the war on teachers: administrators and the media.

It is no coincidence that the media has made an issue of student bullying, a problem that has been around for ages, at the exact same time that they have taken to bullying teachers.

Can anyone say subterfuge?

Teachers, those who are actually in it for the long haul like Mary Thorson and Rigoberto Ruelas, were dedicated to the profession to the point where being a teacher was part of their identity. It is a tough thing for people in other lines of work, who usually frequently change careers, to understand. Being a teacher is who you are. It defines you. When people attack and insult teachers with words or actions, it is an attack on who we are as people. It is an attack on our very identity as human beings.

Sadly, it is tough to see how there will not be more tragedies like this in the future.

There is an online petition in Mary Thorson’s memory started by her father to stop the bullying of teachers. It is worth your signature, if for no other reason than a show of solidarity.

My heart goes out to Mary Thorson’s and Rigoberto Ruelas’ families. There are people who understand what is happening to teachers and fighting against it.

More Testing, Please

The New York State Board of Regents will decide next week what to do with the Global History Regents Exam. Judging from the data, this is the toughest of all Regents. Only 69% of the students in the state passed the test last year.

I have taught Global History every year since the start of my teaching career. The Global exam is difficult for a few reasons. First, it tests two years of content. Usually, students take Global History I and II in freshmen year and then take the Regents in sophomore year after taking Global III and IV. Second, students are required to know a little bit about every civilization. It is a very scattered curriculum no matter how a school presents it (chronologically or regionally). Third, the grading scale for the exam is usually unforgiving. Students usually have to write two decent essays because they cannot skate by on the multiple choice part. Last year, the state required us to score the exams in such a way that reduces the chance of scrubbing. All of these things explain why 2011’s pass rates were so low.

My students know my views on the Global Regents. I think the exams are stupid and should not be used to judge their knowledge of history or their high school diploma. If it was up to me, they would not have to take the Global Regents at all.

So, why am I not happy about the fact that New York State is considering reforming the exam?

There seem to be two possibilities on the table. The first involves making the exam voluntary. The second involves splitting it up into two exams: one for Global I and II and another for Global III and IV.

So, why does a person like me, who opposes standardized exams, want the Board of Regents to go with the latter option? Why do I want them to mandate more testing for my students?

Because I know what the implications are of making the exam voluntary. State Education Commissioner John King has already hinted at it:

“There’s certainly going to be a lot of jobs in the future in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and this new pathway will encourage districts and schools to create additional opportunities for their students to pursue those areas.”

Essentially, doing away with the Global Regents means doing away with Global History. See, the future economy is going to revolve around STEM careers, so that is where we need to focus our education resources. History is not STEM, therefore we do not need it.

The handwriting is on the wall. History in New York State is on the road to extinction.

It seems unlikely that the Board of Regents will chop the Global exam in two. That would require investing more resources in history. John King has already given the signal that this is not where the future lies.

First, the exam will become voluntary. Schools will still provide Global History for a few years. Then the standardized testing regime will kick in. The Board of Regents will decide that 4 semesters dedicated to a course that ends with a voluntary Regents exam is a waste of resources. It will collapse into a one-year course. Everything from the dawn of man until the end of the Cold War will have to be studied in two semesters. The second year of Global will be given over to perhaps another year of science, or maybe an engineering class.

After a few more years, people will look at this strange Global History course and ask themselves “what’s the point?” It is not a STEM subject and its Regents is voluntary. Just axe it. Fill the void with some more math or maybe extend the engineering course into a two-year curriculum. In the not too distant future, Global History will be a memory. History teachers will be laid off by the thousands.

It will not be too long after this that American History will also be gone. We can look back on the day that art and music were done away with in NYC as the beginning of the end of all humanities-related subjects in our schools.

English and Foreign Language will also probably go the same way. School systems across the country will be nothing more than training grounds for the low-wage workers and low-end consumers of tomorrow’s economy. Thanks to the elimination of the humanities, the next generation will have no idea how we got this economy of the future (which will then be the present) and no way to imagine a better alternative.

A Tale of Two School Districts

What do you know? A school that does not look like a jail.

To teachers in New York City, schools in the “suburbs” are mythical places. They have parking lots, swimming pools, computer labs, debate teams and lacrosse. Class sizes are small, educational resources abound and students sit still with hands folded and have names like “Cody” and “Brianna”. Teacher salaries are higher while less is generally asked of them. The only negatives we hear are about the parents who, as the polar opposite of many of those in NYC, are overly engaged in their children’s education and ready to challenge a teacher as to why their kid received a 95 and not a 97.

Urban myths? I guess it depends on the suburb.

I have a friend who is about to finish his first year as a high school teacher in an upper class school district. Before this gig, he taught in NYC for several years. In his own words, the transition from urban to suburban has been a “culture shock”.

He is treated like a professional. Administrators do not yell at him, subject him to useless professional development, lecture him in staff meetings like a child or berate him because he did not hand in or sign off on some meaningless paperwork. They respect his time as a teacher and understand that he has lessons to write, assignments to grade and students to tutor.

Perhaps this is because there are so few administrators at the school: three for a student body of about 1,300 kids. They handle the day-to-day operations of the campus while teachers lead academic departments. The only time the principal asked the teachers to do anything outside of teach is when she tried to mobilize the staff to resist the new value-added teacher evaluations.

My friend still has a tough time believing that a school like this can exist. He still fears that, whenever he sees the principal, he is going to be yelled at or harassed. He fears that one day the principal is going to take off her mask and reveal herself to be a reptilian overlord out to make his life a living hell. I think he can sue the NYC DOE and his former principal for an acute case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Since his time there, no teacher has been sent to a rubber room or reassigned. In fact, he has never even heard of any teacher being investigated for anything at the school. The staff is filled with veterans who have been there for several years, if not decades. Teachers hug their students, entertain them in their classrooms during lunch and routinely give them pats on the back and reassuring rubs on the shoulder.

And there is no small-minded administrator or ghoulish newspaper reporter there to cry “pervert”.

If I did not know any better, it seems as if my friend teaches in a healthy environment. Teachers do not come to work fearing what their principal will put them through today, nor do they have to put up with an autocratic mayor who sees himself as God Almighty. They can come to work and focus on teaching which, hard as it is for us in the city to believe, is the real job of the teacher.

You think the students at the school benefit from having a veteran teaching staff whose professionalism is respected? Gee, I don’t know, that is a tough one.

And what about us poor schlubs in the city? We may not be able to have the swimming pools or lacrosse teams that they have in the suburbs, but why is it that we are not entitled to the same healthy work environment my friend has? Why are we constantly broken down by administrators with questionable teaching backgrounds and ethics? Why do we have to open up the newspaper every day to find another round of bash the teacher?

You think the students at our schools lose out by having a teaching staff who are treated like criminals? Gee, that is a tough one as well.

So, why the contrast between my friend’s suburban school and New York City?

Because the parents in my friend’s upper class school district would never stand for it. They send their children to school to learn, to earn good grades and to build a transcript that will get them into a good college. They do not expect teachers to be babysitters, nannies or counselors. They expect teachers to teach. They cannot do that if they are in constant turmoil. A school that rubber rooms its teachers, wastes their staff’s time with useless meetings and PD and generally harasses them as a matter of policy would bring up serious questions about the leadership of that school. Angry parents will show up to school board meetings, point out the fact that their property taxes are funding their children’s school and call for the administration’s head on a platter.

On the other hand, parents in NYC are largely absent. Not only are they unaware about what their children do at school on a daily basis, but they expect teachers to raise their children for them. This creates a vacuum, one that administrators are all too happy to fill. It starts with people like the Mayor and Governor who claim to be “lobbyists” for children. Of course, this implies that parents are incapable of playing that role. And in the name of “the children”, they foist all types of “reforms” on the system that have nothing to do with learning and everything to do with building a billion-dollar edu-industry of testing and data. In order to implement these reforms, they seek out the most pliant and unimaginative people to be administrators.

That is why when an administrator says they intend to do something for the sake or safety of “the children”, you better run the other way. This means a teacher is going to get harassed. It is just like Napoleon who made all of his reforms in the name of “the people” of France.

Parents in the suburbs do not fall for this shtick. Nobody can tell them what is good for their children because they know what is good. They know what is good because they are present and engaged.

Imagine Mayor Bloomberg going out to the Hamptons to run a school system and telling the parents he knows how to educate their children. Imagine him closing down their schools, harassing their teachers and hiring yes-men (and women) as administrators. He would be run out of town as a laughing stock.

But this is par for the course in NYC, as well as urban school districts across the country. That is why in battling education reform, teachers who actually care about what is happening need to activate the parent community. They need to get parents to take the type of stock in their children’s educations as parents in the suburbs.

There is a long road ahead in this regard, but it is a fight that we cannot give up. The alternative is an eternity of harassment and misery.

Ron Paul: American Hero

Ron Paul defends the Constitution. He is the only politician (aside from maybe his son) who knows what is in the Constitution and knows what the Founding Fathers were thinking when they were writing it. The same goes for his followers. They are the only ones who care about American values and freedom. If you disagree with them, it is because you are stupid and un-American.

Take a look at the father of the Constitution, James Madison. No Founding Father was better prepared for the Constitutional Convention. No Founder contributed more ideas to that illustrious document. Like Ron Paul, James Madison hated imperialist war, military spending and central banks.

That is until the year 1812. You see, Native Americans had the nerve to attack the white people who came to settle on their hunting grounds in the Ohio River Valley. They were aided in this by the British. What did James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, do about it? He went to Congress and received a declaration of war.

It was clear, however, that the militias called for by the Second Amendment made lousy soldiers. They did not respond to discipline and had a habit of running away when British redcoats came into sight. What did President Madison, Father of the Constitution, do about this? He beefed up the professional military. This not only included the army, but the navy as well. Second Amendment be damned, we needed a military.

After 2 years of fighting, we finally convinced the British to evacuate the Ohio River Valley and stop helping the Native Americans. This opened up the west to white migration. Native Americans would now have to fend for themselves against the flood of settlers coming from the east. Yes, James Madison, Father of the Constitution, opposed imperialist war just like Ron Paul.

All of that war sure cost a lot of money. Not to fear, since James Madison, Father of the Constitution, had a trick up his sleeve. It was called a central bank. Yes, he established the Second Bank of the United States to help us pay down our war debts. That was not its only function. Since our population was becoming more far-flung, the bank Madison created helped fund a bunch of infrastructure projects that helped tie the country together.

You see, Ron Paul is the true heir to the Constitution. He opposes imperialist war, military spending, central banking and federal support for infrastructure. James Madison would not have had it any other way.

Let us also not lose sight of the fact that this was all done so that people could eventually get to land that other illustrious Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, had purchased from France. You see, Jefferson had this weird dream that he would use government funds (my tax money!) to buy land so that he could then give it out to people who wanted to settle it.

But this would only be after he would use some more of that government money to construct public schools on that land. Jefferson had this illusion that the United States should be a democracy and that publicly funded schools would be a vital part of that democracy. People with equal land and equal educations would be, well, equal.

So, you see, Ron Paul is the only person in touch with the vision of the Founding Fathers. He does not believe in government handouts or public education, just like Thomas Jefferson. That is why he named his son after that great American hero of the Revolutionary Era, Ayn Rand. We all know that Ayn Rand also supported central banking, internal improvement, equal land and public education.

Ron Paul is an American hero. His ideas are clearly inspired by America’s founders: Ayn Rand and August von Mises. Like Madison and Jefferson, he is a Christian fundamentalist from Texas who does not believe in evolution. Like George Washington and Patrick Henry, he worships corporations and believes they should be able to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it.

Welcome to the cult-following world of Ron Paul, where American history and values are so precious that we can’t be bothered to actually read about it for ourselves.

You should also check out American History, According to Ron Paul, Sort Of