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Monthly Archives: June 2017

When you’re really drunk and trying to sound smart. Only you’re not drunk and you don’t sound smart.

I asked a friend to watch this video:

The philosophy of liberty By Ken Schoolland. 

Instead he gave me this diatribe: 

Without watching the video yet….the whole idea of liberty is what? Freedom from… if someone thinks they’re free why would they need “freedom”? It’s i think an existential issue that gets it’s roots from experience, knowledge, education and example…and the courage to stand for something. (Why break away from King George if we don’t perceive a problem). Unless you have a foundation developed from the inside out, where people have clear understanding as to WHY they want such a thing as Liberty away from the control of government it won’t matter what you do to try and improve government, if you don’t have government dare i say “putting principles before personalities”and putting the best interests of the country first instead of personal agendas, leading with individuals that have compelling argument built on intellect, wisdom, morals, with justice and “doing the right thing” coupled with respect and the willingness to listen and not just hear others for healthy debate instead of stone walling, i don’t think it will matter. Now, saying all that I will watch the video and see what I change in my comments.  

Whaaa?

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Common core and number sense #Failure

Common Core is an attempt to teach number sense. Here’s why it’s misguided, where the problem actually came from, and how to fix it.
Number sense is a physical, concrete understanding of numbers and operations. Its understanding that math operations are more than just following steps, but that 
The thing about number sense: it generally grows over time. As people use numbers, carry out operations, their number sense continues to improve. When you do problems in your head or on paper, you develop an increased concrete understanding of what’s happening.
Unless, that is, something is done to interrupt that process. For decades, public and private high schools have been dim-wittingly screwing up student’s number sense by encouraging calculator dependency. 
When you do arithmetic by hand or on paper, your number sense continually improves. You notice patterns, understand the reasoning behind familiar formulas, etc. But when you do math with a calculator, that number sense goes out the window. Your brain doesn’t need it, so it neither develops nor maintains it. 
One part of the solution is to keep calculators out of math education. At Vohra Method, we allow them only for things like trig functions of angles not usually memorized. The rest of the time, students are building their number sense the real way. We don’t need to teach them shortcuts or ways to do problems in their head faster. They have every incentive to discover them on their own, and do.
Another part is to understand that thought processes are developed, not memorized. Common Core attempts to directly teach all parts of the internal thought process. It observes the thought process that people good at math develop by doing math in their head, and then attempts to have students memorize that. It then notices that different people have different processes to do math in their heads, and has students try to memorize all of them. The result is that students are cognitively overwhelmed, and move at a snails pace. Students in 6th grade are often still learning the kind of basic arithmetic that should by mastered by 3rd grade. 
Next, educators need to remember that understanding usually comes after mechanics, counterintuitively enough. If you can mechanically do borrowing, it’s easier to then understand why it works. If you try to understand why it works before you can do it, it’s cognitively overwhelming. As an analogy, you and I can discuss word roots because we already know words. But teaching an infant to speak by discussing word roots would be insane. Similarly, you and I can discuss the reasoning behind arithmetical algorithms because we know them. If you try to discuss the rationale before a person knows the formula, try to discuss the “why” before the “what”, you’ll spend more effort to get worse results.
Educators should keep in mind Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, where he shows that formal operations (logic) comes after the concrete operational (mechanics) stage. Young kids can easily learn the mechanics of arithmetic. Once they are a little older, they can discuss logically why those mechanics work. 
Educators should also understand that while there are theoretically infinite algorithms for any math operation (e.g. multiplication), there is generally one that is the best. A better algorithm should involve fewer steps, make intuitive sense, and be generally applicable. Common Core algorithms sometimes make intuitive sense (though not more than standard ones), but massively fail the “fewer steps” critera.
Finally, it’s vital to understand what mathematical problem solving is. Problem solving is the ability to figure out unfamiliar math problems. It’s not the ability to just carry out instructions. When you develop number sense through using numbers, you develop the ability to think and create methods that work for you. That creative process builds problem solving ability.
When you just follow elaborate instructions, you are not building that ability. You are trying to memorize the results without going through the creative process. You aren’t preparing yourself to think independently and creatively, but rather just learning how to be programmed. I can see why government schools would want that. But parents and students presumably don’t.
-Arvin Vohra

Author

The Equation for Excellence
(Arvin Vohra runs Vohra Method, which repairs the damage done by the counterproductive curricula found at public, private, and parochial high schools, and helps students move years ahead of other students at those schools.)

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

An open letter to #AntiFa and the #AltRight 

An Open Letter to the Members of the Alt-Right and Antifa,
I bet we want many of the same things. The dismantling and shattering of the current establishment. A world in which current bureaucrats and parasites have to actually work. A world in which Wall Street could never even dream of a bailout. A world in which the state no longer forces propaganda masquerading as education onto us. A country that no longer squanders resources and lives on military nonsense.
I have an offer and a warning. The offer: join an organization working to dismantle the state and the establishment, including crony “capitalists” who manipulate laws to their advantage. The warning: renegade groups are often manipulated into supporting the establishment.
It’s happened before. Many renegades in the Occupy protests were gradually maneuvered into supporting Hillary Clinton, the most pro-establishment person in history. Many renegades in the Tea Party were maneuvered into supporting Mitt Romney, the other most pro-establishment person in history.
Even Obama and Trump, who initially appeared to be anti-establishment, revealed themselves to be deep state puppets, supporting the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, the drug war, NSA surveillance, and the “Patriot Act.”
The Libertarian Party is different. We’re working to defund, dismantle, and delegitimize both the state and the establishment that manipulates it. We want current crony capitalists, bureaucrats, and politicians to lose all power and influence, to lose all unfair advantages, and have to actually engage in useful work in order to survive. 
Antifa and Ancoms: I bet you’d like to smash Wall Street just as much as I do. I have a some far more vicious ways to do that than violence. Here’s one: replace the mortgage interest tax deduction with an equivalent tax deduction on principle. This will make it financially insane to hold stocks while having a mortgage, and will pull hundreds of billions out of Wall Street. Those on Wall Street who produce literally nothing will have to find real work. 
Alt-right: those of you who are there for white nationalism will not find much of a home in the LP. But those of you who want to defund safe space culture, turn higher education into empowerment rather than sycophantism, shut down military overreach, and massively cut taxes will. 
Take a look at our actual platform, at http://www.lp.org/platform. See if it matches what you want. Ask us questions about what doesn’t make sense. 
It may turn out that the Libertarian Party is not what you’re looking for. But it may be exactly the anti-establishment, anti-state organization you’ve been searching for. 
In Liberty,
Arvin Vohra

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Why every Christian should be a libertarian.

By Paul Cook
A side effect of living in the Bible Belt my entire life is that I believed that if you were a Christian, it was given that politically, you were a Republican. That’s not such a bad thing to believe. It’s not that inaccurate. I didn’t meet my first non-republican Christian till I was 19. So it was a pretty safe assumption.
When I started studying Political Science in college, my views starting to shift drastically, I started leaning neither right nor left. At that time, I didn’t really know what Libertarianism was. All of my professors were staunch liberals (Shocker). You were either Liberal or you were wrong. I remember sitting in my Poli Sci class as my fellow students talked of how terrible republicans were and how Obama would “change” everything (This was during the fall of 08, so no one knew the dumpster fire he would turn into). I had no idea, while sitting in that class, that the annoyance of having everyone’s solution to every political issue be more regulations and government intervention, would shape my future political beliefs so much.
It was easy for my once conservative view points to slowly, over several years, drift into a brand of “Conservatarianism” so to speak. Once I learned more about Libertarians, I wanted to jump ship. I wanted to say “Screw you, GOP!” and just leap. But something was holding me back. How could I be a Christian, and not a conservative? I knew Democratic Christians existed, but they were seen as either old timey “JFK Democrats” or as new age hipster Christians. Neither view point yielded any positivity in main stream Christian circles. Especially in my area. To be transparent, I was almost too scared to admit that I didn’t fall under the stereotypical Christian political umbrella. But I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized two things that kept me from being a Republican or a Democrat.

 
First, as a Christian, I cannot expect the government to legislate morality. Not a single bill will ever change someone’s heart. That’s Jesus’ job. Not mine. Not the government’s. Legislating morality is a common practice whenever you have an R behind your name and you live in Washington.
Christians as a whole are the reason this not only happens, but is why it is so common. Forcing people to act according to your own beliefs is not only ineffective, it is un-American. Although some of our founding fathers were Christian, they made sure to allow others to be whatever they wanted. That is what we are founded on. As Christians, we should not make people to do what we believe as right, via force.
In the same way that many times the strictest parents produce the wildest offspring, morality by force will produce rebellion and resentment. God never wanted people to be forced to obey Him. If that was the case, free will would not be a thing, and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. It is downright impossible to show people the love of God by forcing them to not sin. That’s not how that works.
Think of it as the “Don’t look down” predicament. If someone tells you not to, you’re going to look down. If you tell people they can’t do something that you deem as immoral, or men with guns will come take them away, then they are just going to want to do it even more. Not to mention it distorts and twists people’s views of God. He becomes someone who just wants people to not have fun. Not someone who loves them.
By legislating morality, you’re distorting the image of God. Telling people they cannot do something due to our religious beliefs goes farther than just being against the values our country was founded on. It tells people that we, along with Christ, are focusing on their sin, and not them as a person. You will never change a single heart or mind by legislating the Gospel. God wants people’s hearts out of love. Not fear. Fear will only go so far before it transforms into rebellion.
Second, it’s not the government’s job to do what Jesus told us to do; help the needy. This, along with a few other things, is what kept me from being a “Left-Christian”. The idea that we’re doing God’s work by supporting government welfare is ludicrous. You paying your involuntary taxes, is not doing a good deed. You’re not helping the poor by doing something that you have no choice over.
Jesus was not a socialist. Jesus did not tell his disciples to have the Romans feed the hungry. He told them to. You cannot require Uncle Sam to take money from the rich and give to the poor and think you’re doing God’s work. He doesn’t want you to take money from one group of people by force and give it to another. That’s not Christianity. That’s theft.
The reason I believe that the only political belief system that works with Christianity is libertarianism is simple; you cannot give a job that Christ gave to us over to the government, and you cannot take something that only Jesus can do and expect the government to do it. Libertarianism is the only world view that allows for people to make their own choices and to be truly free. One of the first things God did was give humanity free will. I believe that Freedom and Liberty are close to God’s heart. And Libertarians are the group that wants that the most. For everyone. Not just Americans. And that is why I am a libertarian.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Only the Government can control your destiny.  

The Libertarian Party vigorously condemns the trumped-up case against Randall Lord, a former Libertarian candidate, who was sentenced to 46 months in prison for the victimless “crime” of operating an unregistered money service business involving Bitcoin, a digital currency.
Trading bitcoins is perfectly legal. Major retailers such as Microsoft, Expedia, Dell, Overstock, and Whole Foods accept bitcoins. Prosecutors targeted Lord for not being registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, and for not being licensed to operate as a money service business in his home state of Louisiana.
Despite his conscientious objections to government currency controls, the Shreveport resident attempted to comply with the laws and regulations governing Bitcoin. He filed for registration with FinCEN, but the bureaucracy misplaced his filing, for which he now faces almost four years in prison.
Lord was not licensed in Louisiana because state officials had told him that Bitcoin is not a currency, and therefore he didn’t have to have a license to operate. Then in March 2013, FinCEN expanded the definition of “currency” so they could pull exchanges like Lord’s under their regulatory control. 
Lord pleaded guilty to not having a state license, but later he proved to the court that the state did not require one. Then a federal court ruled that “unlicensed” could also mean “not registered with the Treasury Dept.” and refused to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea and take this issue to trial.

Every aspect of this case is a travesty:
politicians’ insatiable addiction to spending, which they finance by printing dollars out of thin air, devaluing the dollar and in turn creating the demand for alternative currencies such as Bitcoin;

the contemptible government regulations these very politicians enacted to obstruct Bitcoin trading, and which were used to prosecute Lord;

the bumbling FinCEN regulators whose ineptitude set Lord up for prosecution (unless it was deliberate that they “misplaced” Lord’s filing);

the use of multiple taxpayer-funded federal agencies—the IRS, FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service—to go after Lord for openly trading a legal commodity and harming no one;

the failure of prosecutors to show any intent by Lord to violate the law;

the harsh sentence imposed on Lord, which appears intended to intimidate others who trade in bitcoins, much like the life sentence imposed on Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht; and

the government’s as-yet uncertain plans to confiscate Lord’s assets, including possibly his home, adding to his family’s distress.

Randall Lord has long opposed the federal government’s tax-and-spend policies and the Federal Reserve Bank’s manipulation of the dollar. He did his part to try to change these onerous laws and regulations when he ran for U.S. House on the Libertarian ticket in 2014 and 2012, receiving 27 and 25 percent of the vote, respectively.
This case illustrates that the problem is not a well-meaning, civic-minded family man like Randall Lord who offers a service to people aiming to preserve the value of their hard-earned money.

The problem is overspending by federal politicians, their manipulation and regulation of currencies, and grandstanding prosecutors who get rewarded for convicting people rather than for achieving justice.
The solution is to overturn the sentence of Randall Lord, repeal onerous laws and regulations, and stop federal government overspending so that the dollar will stop losing value, jobs will be plentiful, and Americans will be financially secure.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Excuse me, sir. What the hell of you been waiting for?

“Ironically enough, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord may very well usher in a new era of initiative absent the federal government. After Trump’s decision, many industry leaders, mayors, and governors pledged to pursue solutions to climate change absent the federal government. As the CEO of General Electric Jeff Immelt tweeted, “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”
That’s the spirit, Jeff, but my only question is: what the hell have you been waiting for?”

http://theantimedia.org/paris-climate-agreement/

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

A question and answer session with the Libertarian Party Of Florida’s chairman

A question and answer session with the Libertarian Party Of Florida’s chairman

Q: What are the lessons for the Libertarian Party from the loss of its presidential candidate Gary Johnson in 2016?

A: We need better organization from the first to the last step. Johnson never had a chance in the Sunshine State because our grass-roots game remained weak. Ultimately, the Libertarian National Committee is likely to focus more on smaller states, like Montana and South Dakota, so we need to realize that we will be on our own in 2020. We’ll need to set up field offices throughout the state, we’ll need a much stronger outreach to the Hispanic community, we’ll need to start an actual absentee ballot plan, and we’ll need to put our volunteers to work. Thousands of individuals signed up in Florida to volunteer in 2016, and the great majority of them were never to be seen. It all comes down to organization.
Q: Libertarian members have been described as split between “pragmatist converts vs. stalwart radicals.” How would you describe the party’s core philosophy?

A: If you look deeply into our philosophy, you’ll see that Libertarians have a rational and unwavering distrust of all government actions, and we will always look for free-market solutions to each problem in society. But our message resonates with both liberals and conservatives to some extent, and given our considerable support from independent voters last year, we have the potential of being the real middle-of-the-aisle party that dissatisfied voters can come to.
Q: What would Libertarians have concentrated on in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, if they had representation in Congress?
A: If we had Libertarians in Congress, we would have focused on tax reform. It’s clear that President Trump is en route to clash with Libertarians every week of his presidency, but in some occasions, we could work together. Nobody from the Republican establishment dared to touch tax reform in the first 100 days, and this is where we would have come in.
Q: Does the party have a national database of members, or those who contribute financially?

A: Yes, and yes. That database grew exponentially thanks to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Q: How does party membership in Florida and nationally stack up against figures before the 2016 vote?
A: Our membership numbers are just a fraction of what we could have if all 2016 Libertarian voters registered with our party. Although we barely cover 0.1 percent of statewide registered voters, we could be a major party by 2020 if all those who voted for our nominees registered with the Libertarian Party. And that needs to be our first and foremost focus by the end of the 2018 mid-term season.
Q: Libertarians seem to focus on the national level. What is the party doing to recruit candidates on the state and local level?
A: We’ve actually just launched Operation: First Step, which focuses on recruiting candidates in each county of Florida to run for community development districts, soil and water boards, and other similar special districts. We’ve focused for a long time on large elections, but if we want to be realists and be successful, we need to start from the bottom and involve ourselves in the smallest level of government. Only then can we create leaders within our society who — with time, rapport and a good understanding of their community — will one day step up to win those seats at the national level.
Q: What are the party’s top policy goals for Florida?
A: Ideally, we would love to see an end to the war on drugs, work toward the demilitarization of police, a complete end to civil asset forfeiture, and budget trimming and severe tax cuts. However, there is only so much that Libertarians can accomplish without any presence in Tallahassee. So we’ll need to first focus on policies that can help the party become an established presence. We want to see a change in the state’s determination of what constitutes a major party. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re giving up on other potential reforms. Just this year, our team introduced, thanks to the collaboration of state senator and currently a candidate for Congress, Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Coral Gables), SB 1750, a bill to reform special taxing districts and to give residents the power to abolish them.
Q: Without any Libertarians in the Legislature or in statewide offices in Florida, how does the party stay relevant?
A: It’s a humbling realization to see how much work we can accomplish regardless of having no elected officials in the Legislature. Ultimately, all politics is local. Nebraska, Nevada and New Hampshire all have state legislators. Our turn will come. Meanwhile, we’re confident we can show Floridians what Libertarians can do with our multitude of local elected officials that we currently have and will add on by November 2018.
Q: Who is jockeying to be the party’s presidential nominee in 2020?
A: I’ll let the potential candidates to their own bidding for now. But what I can guarantee you is that whoever the Libertarian delegates pick in 2020, that candidate will have a better result than Gary Johnson had in 2016 and will have a real chance at unseating the current president.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 
 
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