Category Archives: Perspectives

The ‘Village‘ is the place that I would not wish to be in today. I was privileged to participate in one of the last non-socialist school systems. Hell – I don’t know – maybe it had already begun, but I had great teachers. At 71 years of age – I can still picture and name over 90% of those whose care I was placed into. What we present here includes a range of commentary by a wide range of authors, which may well not fit into other designated categories. So here we provide, well – you know – “a little of this and a little of that!

How quickly a Nation forgets the importance of Education

From the Father of Education himself,

Noah Webster

Noah Webster’s would define the word in his 1828 dictionary For the American Language:

EDUCA’TION, noun [Latin; educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.” Continue reading

The Best Way to Teach History to Children

In the mid-1990s, Mrs. Irene Harrison (1890-1999) from Akron, Ohio stayed in my bed-and-breakfast in Western North Carolina. On her last visit, Mrs. Harrison, daughter of famed tire entrepreneur Frank Seiberling, was 105 years old. She was a petite, gracious lady of the old school who proved highly entertaining on some occasions. Once when I was passing through the living room, she was discussing politics with her son. I paused to ask her to name her favorite president… Continue reading

Lawmakers looking to consolidate school districts

A Nationwide effort?

Saying too much money is wasted on duplication, state lawmakers took the first steps earlier this month to force consolidation of the more than 200 school districts in the state – some of which are in the West Valley.

And the combinations could occur without voter approval.

The proposal by Rep. John Fillmore, R-Apache Junction (Arizona), would eliminate any separate elementary and high school districts that now exist. Instead, they automatically would become unified districts no later than July 1, 2024.

But HB 2139, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 6-3 party-line vote, does not stop there. It would require every school board in the state to annually determine how much money could be saved by not just unification but also with consolidation with other adjacent districts. Continue reading

Defunding Children ~ A National Crisis of the Soul

~ Forewords ~
Who even remembers? After all, it happened in ancient times. November 9, 2016, to be exact, at newly elected president Donald Trump’s victory rally, when he so memorably said, “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.” During that campaign he had similarly sworn that he would deliver a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending over the decade to come. And when he finally unveiled his vaunted plan, in February 2018, for no less than $1.5 trillion dollars, it promptly disappeared without a trace in a Congress his party still controlled. In its wake, the only infrastructure left obsessively on the president’s mind or on anybody’s table was that “great, great wall” of his (which won’t get built either). Continue reading

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley

“I am convinced the devil lives in our phones.”

The people who are closest to a thing are often the most wary of it. Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided they don’t want their own children anywhere near them.

Photo Illustration by Tracy Ma/The New York Times; Getty Images (woman and child)

A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K. Continue reading

E.B. White’s Touching Letter to Man Who Lost Hope in Humanity

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

On March 30, 1973, the ‘Charlotte’s Web‘ author wrote a beautiful note to a dispirited man who had last all faith in humanity.

I’m a longtime fan of E.B. White. Intellectual Takeout readers likely know he wrote a lot more than just Charlotte’s Web. His short story The Door is one of my favorite short stories. (We’ll deconstruct that one another other day; as you can see, it’s quite mad.) Continue reading

Two and Two Now Equal Five

A few years ago, I thought it was time to retire George Orwell’s 1984 to the attic. My years of teaching literature convinced me that Huxley’s Brave New World was more likely to unfold: a world in which an elite might control the rest of us through the erasure of history and literature, but who might also pacify common citizens through the diversions of sex, drugs, and electronic entertainment.

I was dead wrong. Continue reading

Real Higher Ed Not Easy to Find

The letter below was published in The Washington Times on Monday, March 18, 2019 entitled, “The ‘cowboy way’ under fire” which chronicles the fate of one western tradition under identity politics and political correctness. It also reports on The University of Wyoming’s new slogan “The World Needs More Cowboys.” ~ Ed

If you are a coastal elite parent of progressive inclinations, there are a wide range of colleges and universities you can encourage your children to attend (“The ‘cowboy way’ under fire,” Web, March 17). If, however, you value a traditional liberal arts education and want your child to have one, you have a problem finding a non-ideological college or university that will provide it. Further, you need to think about whether you and your children want to incur substantial debt to turn out “social justice warriors.”

Political socialization used to be both the domain and responsibility of parents. Today, however, political socialization has been outsourced from the family to both lower and higher institutions of education. Continue reading

N.C. Association of Educators adopts Communist logo ahead of May Day strike

NOTE: In 2018 a large number of teachers in the Arizona Public School system went on “strike” under the banner of “Red for Ed“. Initially and on the surface, I was in full agreement with the “apparent” reason for the movement. In time, I changed my mind. When I discovered those who were behind the (bowel) movement and their backgrounds – I knew that it was a set-up organized by a couple of ‘Dewey-ite” Socialists. The use of the term  ‘Red for Ed‘ has now spread nationwide – as has their real intentions. WAKE UP dear readers and smell the moldy coffee… ~ Editor

North Carolina’s most outspoken teachers’ association is organizing under a controversial banner ahead of its second march on Raleigh.

The N.C. Association of Educators has become well-known for loudly protesting the Republican majority in the General Assembly. Last year, the group organized a large-scale rally in downtown Raleigh, calling for better pay.

This year, the NCAE plans another rally. But as they begin organizing, the group has taken on a logo that has rattled some teachers — a Communist-associated clenched fist. Continue reading

Communism’s Legacy: Tyranny, Terror, and Torture

The entire history of communism in the 20th century reeked of mass murder.

In August of 1993, I was invited to participate in a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on “Liberty and Private Business.” This was less than two years after the formal disappearance of the Soviet Union as a political entity on the map of the world.

During our time there, my wife and I were offered the opportunity to be given a tour of the building that had served as the headquarters of the local KGB, the infamous Soviet secret police. Our guide was a man who had been a prisoner in its walls in the late 1950s. The most nightmarish part of the tour was the basement containing the prison cells and the interrogation rooms. Continue reading

Silent Sam: A Personal Experience

Editor’s Note: During the height of the Silent Sam protests in the Summer of 2017, Jonathan Harris went to the statue and talked with the people wishing to tear down the monument. Since the following post, Silent Sam has sadly – been removed. This is his story – and yet it is a story which offers many lessons – to both sides of an ongoing issue…

Maybe it was Southern heritage, the honor of a family name, or Christian conviction. Or perhaps I just needed to prove something to myself. More than likely, it was a combination of ingredients that motivated me to confront the social justice warriors staging a non stop sit-in below the Silent Sam statue at UNC Chapel Hill. The statue itself, depicting a student enlisted in the Confederate army, had stood for 104 years, originally erected in honor of the 50th year anniversary of the beginning of the War Between the States and paid for by fund-raises sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and university alumni.

Though the soldier depicted carries a rifle, it was nicknamed “Silent Sam” since the Canadian sculptor John Wilson purposefully did not include a cartridge box on the soldier’s belt making it impossible to fire the figurative weapon. Sam stands to this day right by the Battle-Vance-Pettigrew building facing North, a symbol of the university students who withdrew from their studies in order to protect their homes, state, and country. Continue reading

John Dewey’s Dunces

Ellis Washington exposes ‘Marxist propaganda factories called public schools

A new untruth is better than an old truth. ~ Justice O.W. Holmes

Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent. ~ John Dewey

Conservative intellectual Dr. Thomas Sowell, in a recent column, “Teaching Americans to hate their country,’” made the historical observation about how 100 years ago progressives like John Dewey of Columbia University changed the American education paradigm whereby teachers were no longer considered “the transmitter of society’s culture” (as they have been for roughly the past 6,000 years) but activist “agents of [progressive, socialist] change,” as evidenced by the way most Americans have been happily educated inside its Marxist propaganda factories called “public schools.” Continue reading