Veteran’s Day

One hundred years ago today, Germany formally surrendered on Nov. 11, 2018, ending fighting in World War I. Thank you to all veterans wherever and whenever you served.

 

AYWTGS: 10 Kits to Put Together to Today

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has had to bug out three times, twice for riots and once for a tornado. She has enough to say about preparedness that she’s written a book and started a website. In the article, 10 Kits to Put Together Today to Be Ready for Tomorrow she talks about a variety of kits to have prepared so that you aren’t spending precious time rummaging around trying to find a light or cook stove.

1.) Where is the closest flashlight to you at this moment?

2.) Do you have an air filtration mask and could you put your hand on it in two minutes or less?

3.) What items do you have to keep your house cool and where do you keep them?

4.) If you had to remove stitches yourself, do you have the tools to do it?

5.) What’s your secondary method of communication?  Is it charged and ready?

So how did you do on the quiz?  Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer.  The bigger question is  – could you answer each question.

Each of these things above is integral to preparedness.  Sometimes, we have these things – which is HUGE!  If you just have these things – high five!

More often than not though, if we have these things, we don’t know where they are.  So how do we organize things so that we KNOW that we KNOW where things are?

We develop kits!

Each kit is self-contained and is kept in tote.  For larger items, I keep them in large totes from Costco.  For smaller kits, I keep them in smaller totes which fit in the large Costco totes.   So what kinds of kits should we be putting together?  I’m going to be giving you a list of 11 kits.  I’m going to give you an overview here, but I’ll be doing a post on each of these so I can dive deeper.

Now there is one very well known kit that I am not including in this and it’s called a Bug out Bag or Grab and Go Bag or many other things.  A Bug Out Bag is for leaving the area, and we’ll cover that at some time.  These kits are all about what you are ready for at home.  So we’ll jump right in with kit #1.

Click here to read the entire article at A Year Without the Grocery Store.

Sparks31 Introduces Basic Grid-Down Communications Class

Sparks31 has introduced a new class which will debut in Watertown, CT – Basic Grid-Down/Down-Grid Communications (combined with his SIGINT class). Sparks will be bringing some classes to Washington state (including Yakima and Seattle) in 2019, and hopefully this class may be added to the lineup. Communication is critical in a disaster. Can you still communicate with those you need to if the internet and phone system go down?

This is a one-day class that covers all the basics you need to set up your monitoring post, collect signals intelligence (SIGINT), get on the air with amateur radio and personal communications services (FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, Part 15), and establish communications networks and interoperability with other like-minded individuals.

Topics of instruction include the following:

  • Learning about Electronic Communications – A Primer
  • Communications Monitoring HF-to-UHF
  • Intelligence versus Information
    • Intelligence Requirements
  • SIGINT – Signals Intelligence
  • Listening Posts and SIGINT Operations
  • Communications Services
    • Amateur Radio
    • Part 95 & 15 (license-free or “license by rule” services)
  • Communications Networks
    • Interoperability – What it is, and how to make it work.
  •  Increasing System Performance
    • Antennas
  • Grid-Down versus Down-Grid Realities
  • Basic Crypto Systems and When It Is Legal to Use Them
  • Alternatives to Radio Communications
Cost for this class is $100. Please enroll via our storefront at https://squareup.com/store/sparks31/.

American Partisan: Is Your Group Missing Esprit de Corps?

American Partisan has a brief but good article up, One Critical Thing Your Group May Be Missing. Esprit de corps can be viewed as a group’s commitment, loyalty and attachment to each other and to their organization’s mission. A group with high esprit de corps and high member morale inspires individual members to execute their duties and responsibilities beyond expectations, leading to success reaching and exceeding the group’s goals. Individuals with high morale give their best service to the group. Confidence in the group’s cause, organization, leadership, methods and direction all contribute to individual high morale and, thus, group esprit de corps.

[W]hether regular organized units, survival groups, or guerrilla partisans resisting “enemies foreign and domestic,” the morale of the unit is almost as important as the combined unit skill sets. A less skilled, equipped unit with a high standard of motivation and sense of purpose can achieve as much as a well equipped, well trained, low morale unit. Throughout history, smaller ill prepared forces with a collective motivating goal have successfully hindered overwhelmingly superior forces that had less than ideal morale.

According to Harvard sociologist Alexander H. Leighton, “Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.”

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

American Partisan: Forming a Community Survival Group

FO: What Most People Get Wrong About Our ‘Civil War’

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has another piece in this series covering our ongoing domestic conflict, What most people get wrong about our ‘Civil War.’ It’s got some length to it, but it’s a good read with valuable information for you to understand.

…While a civil war, by definition, has not yet started, I do argue that a domestic conflict has already started (my specific thoughts are here, here, and here).

There are plenty of naysayers, and I understand their logic. They advise listeners or readers, “Go to your local Walmart or grocery store. Your local doctor’s office. Your local bank. Walk out your front door and talk to your neighbor.” They ask if Americans are at war with each other in these places, and use these anecdotes to explain that America isn’t locked into a civil war and won’t be.

They’re right in that regard. America isn’t at war.

But the problem with their argument is that it’s not all of America fighting the culture war, nor is it all of America fighting in the ongoing domestic conflict. It’s an ‘irate, tireless minority’. (The brunt of the ‘fighting’ in this conflict isn’t being waged by the average American, as two of my favorite thinkers people in the world — Victor Davis Hanson and Niall Ferguson — have alluded to. You can read my review of Ferguson’s latest book here.)

Another reason why most Americans — the overwhelming majority — aren’t engaged in our domestic conflict is because we’re still really early. Those engaged in establishing the battle lines of today’s culture war were ‘innovators’ in the 1990s. Those engaged in the culture war through the 2008 and 2016 elections were ‘early adopters’. But once the ‘early majority’ joins as soon as 2019-2021, the evidence of an active domestic conflict could be overwhelming. That’s a very distinct possibility.

My estimate is that we have maybe a few percent of the population pushing left or right extremes at the center of the culture war, but there’s an even smaller percentage (a fraction) that actually engages in political violence. There’s probably another 10 percent on either side actively engaged in political, information, and economic warfare. The remaining 75 percent is on the bubble, indifferent, or just plain stuck in the middle — a lot like other intra-state conflicts we’ve experienced.

So can we really have a domestic conflict with just a few thousand combatants?

Well, yeah. But we’re probably still very early.

To understand why we’re still in the beginning phases of our domestic conflict, we can look at three concepts…

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.

Related:

The Organic Prepper: Are You Prepared for Lockdown? How to Stay Safe When All Hell Breaks Loose in America

…Add in the fiercely-fought midterm elections and the threat of civil unrest is high…

Strategic Culture Foundation: American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

…Trump didn’t cause today’s polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back…

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Medications

The medical staff at American Partisan have a good post up about medication, how long it stays effective on the shelf, and what you might want to have on hand in case of emergencies. Ditch Medicine: Medications.

Most oral medications are given a rather arbitrary expiration date which may vary depending on the manufacture date, sell date, or type of medicine and concern over poor storage environments at home. Some manufacturers of medications indicate their desire to have their medicines expire, because they want patients to have up to date information about the medicine on the newer packaging.

The Pentagon shelf-life extension program has shown that many medications are safe and completely effective many years after the expiration date listed on the product, especially if stored in a favorable environment.  This is also extensively supported with numerous articles found by looking up “Myth of Medication Expirations” on the internet.

Many drugs stored under favorable conditions retain over 90% of their potency for at least five years beyond the expiration date on the label, and sometimes much much longer. Ciprofloxacin, for instance, was found to be completely safe and effective when tested nearly 10 years after the expiration date. Some medications appear to be more stable and therefore retain a greater amount of potency after expiration; these seem to include Cipro, Flagyl, lidocaine, atropine and possibly the penicillins.

Some medications are more unstable and do have an expiration such as insulin, nitroglycerin, aspirin and water purification tablets. A disputed article in one publication suggests expired Tetracycline may have caused toxicity in one patient (personally I don’t believe it since I am sure millions of doses of expired tetracycline have been used in 3rd world countries with no other reported complications; also, that old formulation of tetracycline is no longer available anyway, so I would be willing to expired tetracycline if I needed the medication). I am not aware of any other expired antibiotics having this risk.

Preferred storage environments would be cool, dark, and dry. Blister packaged medications might be preferable because they are kept dry and are waterproof but have the disadvantage of being slightly more bulky. Tablets are typically more stable and therefore have longer storage life than do elixirs/liquids. Many medications may be ordered over the internet as pet medications. Quality controls for pet medications seem good and I would be willing to use them on myself in an emergency.

The below is a list of commonly encountered medications that you might want to know about, and I would recommend finding a drug dose reference book from a bookstore or the internet; sometimes you can find them very inexpensively from book sections at Christian/Salvation Army stores…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Veterans Day 2018 in the Lower Valley

Veterans Day events in the Lower Yakima Valley.

West Richland – Veterans Day Parade, downtown – Van Giesen St., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at 9:30 AM. Chili feed at Flat Top Park Pavilion following parade – 4749 W Van Giesen.

Prosser – Veterans Day Parade, downtown, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Prosser – Thank-You Breakfast for Veterans & Their Families, Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, Saturday, Nov. 10, 7 – 11 AM

Grandview –Annual Veterans Day “SOS” Brunch, Grandview Community Center, Sat., Nov. 10, 10:00 AM

Yakima – Veterans Day Parade, Yakima Ave, Sun., Nov. 11, 10:45 AM

Click here to visit Military.com’s list of 2018 Veterans Day discounts on restaurants, goods, services and events.

Click here for a list of veteran resources at militaryveteranproject.org.

 

American Partisan: Social Media, Free Speech, and Censorship

Matt Bracken has written Social Media, Free Speech, and Censorship over on American Partisan. In this article, Bracken says that unlimited free speech on social platforms is not the answer, but rather advocates a “not permitting proponents of Communism, Islamism, or Nazism to participate” (ideologies with proven records of genocide) limitation. To an extent it is an ad for a new social media platform, but the question is important. What is the correct and/or healthy amount of free speech on a private social media platform? Should such platforms even be considered private, or have they taken the place of and be treated as public forums? Here is an excerpt:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms cost nothing to use, so how do these corporations turn a profit? It’s no secret that they automatically data-mine and analyze all the information posted by their users, then package and sell this information to other corporations to help target their advertising.

But the same automated processes that are exploited by advertisers are also used by these platforms to tilt the ideological playing field in favor of their own leftist so-called social justice agenda. As an example, I have been suspended from Facebook for six out of the past twelve months for posting memes that others report posting with no consequences, indicating that more stringent rules apply to designated “bad comrades” than to average users. Hidden algorithms are used to throttle, shadow-ban, and remove followers from targeted users in order to decrease their impact on leftist-controlled social media platforms.

In Britain and Germany, users of social media who complain too vocally about the ill effects of uncontrolled immigration and other counter-PC topics are even arrested and charged with hate crimes, but the primary purpose of these draconian policies is to cause the rest of the population to self-censor their true opinions in order to avoid similar consequences.

Conservatives dissatisfied with this state of affairs have been searching for social media alternatives where their social and political views would not be punished, and many small niche websites have sprung up in a feeble attempt to fill the void. The half-million or so users of Gab.ai made it the biggest of the alternative platforms, and the first to achieve any significance, since perhaps FreeRepublic.com in the early 2000s, or Breitbart and Gateway Pundit today…

Absolute freedom of speech is a loophole exploited throughout history by the enemies of freedom to achieve power…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Regular Assembly of the Whole, Thurs. Nov. 8th, 2018

The November regular assembly meeting will be held at Caffe Villa, 602 7th St., Prosser, starting at 6:30pm. We will be taking nominations for the executive board election next month, and Jim Mackey will be giving a presentation on emergency well pumps.

UPDATE: Sheriff Hatcher will attend the meeting to answer questions about the recent passage of Initiatives 1639 and 940.

Click here to download a printable pdf version of the agenda.

Mises Institute: Why Marxism Shifted from Economics to Culture

Brian Balfour has written a short article on Mises Wire about cultural Marxism.

In his recent Reason magazine article, senior editor Brian Doherty assures readers that “cultural Marxism” is nothing but mere “paranoia” conjured up by the “conspiratorial right” to provide cover for their hate of “multiculturalism and gay rights and radical feminism.”

He openly mocks the idea that the unmistakable uptick in identity politics these last few decades has anything to do with “sinister machinations of commies striving to enslave us.”

One must be “mistaken” and “foolish,” according to Doherty, to believe that such concerted efforts to build coalitions based on racial, national and gender identities to replace the economic “class” identities of classical Marxism is anything more than “dubious conspiratorial theories.”

Doherty’s stance is especially puzzling, however, given the fact that socialist leaders have openly written about this strategy for decades…

…to put it in more familiar terms, the new socialist revolution must shift the “‘exploitation’ schtick to culture: ― women exploited by men; ― gays exploited by heterosexuals ― The old exploited by the young ― and vice-versa.”

Ron Paul had it right.

Doherty is either ignorant or naïve to spurn those who recognize today’s identity politics as a tool in the modern socialist movement. Prominent socialist theorists like Laclau and Mouffe have openly divulged this exact strategy for decades. It’s not foolish conspiracy mongering or mere “clever rhetorical deck-stacking” to accurately identify the identity politics of ‘cultural Marxism’ as the preferred strategy of modern day socialists.

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Laceration Management

From the medical staff at American Partisan is this primer on the care of lacerations in austere conditions, Ditch Medicine: Laceration Management.

Lacerations are trauma which result in cutting or tearing of skin and possibly underlying tissue. Please note that deep lacerations that are complicated by the involvement of injuries to major arteries, tendons, nerves or abdominal cavity contents are not usually treatable in primitive conditions.

Initial Care for Lacerations

Most bleeding is initially controlled with pressure. Wounds without deep involvement should be surgically repaired if possible to speed healing, reduce infection, and improve cosmetic and functional results. The approximation of the skin edges can be achieved with steri-strips, skin glue, staples, or sutures (stitches). Before any wound is repaired, a few simple rules should be understood.

  • The longer a wound is left open to the environment, the more bacteria it will collect and therefore has a greater chance of infection, especially if the wound is closed by trapping these bacteria within the wound.
  • Most wounds can be closed within 12 hours of the injury (since the bacteria count won’t be terribly high). Since the face and neck have increased blood flow compared to most other body parts this extra blood flow helps the wounds fight infection and promotes healing, therefore wounds to the face and neck may be closed up to 48 hours after the injury.
  • Wounds that are to be closed must be thoroughly cleaned of any debris using forceps (tweezers) and using generous washings with clean or sterile water or saline. One source suggested using fresh urine from person without urinary infection since that should be sterile (I think I would rather use boiled water).

Creating Saline Solution for Laceration Washes

Saline solution can be made by adding one tablespoon of salt to 1 gallon of water or adding 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 L of water. Another irrigation solution can be made by adding 5 mils of household bleach to 1 L of clean water. Washing the area with Betadine or hibiclens before closure should be performed. Ragged wound edges and the tips of angularly cut tissue should be removed so that the wound edges to be approximated are smooth and will be likely to heal.

Steri-Strips, skin glue, and sutures may be the most useful ways to close a wound in a primitive environment. Staples may be used but require removal with a specialized removal tool which may not be readily available. Steri-Strips (tape) and skin glue can be applied to many wounds to hold the skin edges together until healing occurs. These are less secure than sutures (especially in larger deeper wounds) but maybe faster, require less technical skill, and may offer an improved cosmetic result.

For larger deeper wounds, sutures may be best for closure. Some wounds may have skin loss such that closure of the skin edges may be under some tension. The strength of sutures would be better for that closure, over glue or Steri-Strips. Sometimes tissue loss may be extensive enough that complete skin edge approximation may not be successful. Some gap in the skin edges may be allowed in these circumstances. Tissue loss with tension on the closure would require that the sutures be left for a longer period of time until the skin has stretched and relaxed enough so that there is no significant tension at the wound before removal of the sutures. In wounds without tension on the face, the sutures may usually be removed in about 3 to 5 days (this rapid removal is because of the high blood flow which speeds healing). The sutures on wounds of the trunk without tension may be removed in about 10 days. Sutures in the hands and feet are usually removed in about 10 to 14 days…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

The Medic Shack: Pandemics

The Medic Shack has a short article up about preparing for pandemics, Pandemics. The Media, Food and YOU. It is not a comprehensive guide, as he admits in the article; rather, it is meant to assure the reader that the risk is real and how to get a start on thinking about preparation.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a bit on Typhus in the US. 3 years ago it was barely on the radar. The talk of the town was Ebola. It is making a guest appearance in Congo. Oh guess what. There is a bit of a civil war going on there. What happens when war and deadly communicable disease meet? People leaving to escape the war. And bringing the little friends with them. Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper and I talked about the dangers of modern air travel and the rapid spread of violent viruses. What we didn’t talk about then was our family car.

Right now Typhus is having a resurgence in California and in Texas. And its coming on the winter travel season. OMG DO WE NEED TO SEAL OUR STATE BORDERS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE PURPLE CREEPING FUNGUS???????ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

OK. A little melodramatic. But a valid concern.

NO we are not going to start bouncing about in a panic like a fork dropped into a garbage disposal.

Fact is is if a pandemic is going to start there is not much in the 21st century way of life that will stop it. Until we get “Star Trek level Bio Scanners” that will screen and kill pathogens, we need to be smart about protecting ourselves and family

Last year was the deadliest flu season in decades. @ 80,000 deaths were attributed to the flu. CDC Brief on Flu Deaths 2017-2018 (Also NO I am not going to get into the pros and cons of flu shots) I’m just using it as an example of how bad a virus spread can be.

Viruses are not the only “bugs” that can kill us. For people who do not live in the desert southwest or mountain west have not heard much about Bubonic Plague. Except out of history books. My son Jake’s boss at the local blood bank in Anchorage thought he was joking when he talked about how plague kills people every year. Until he showed them the stats.

So how do we prevent the spread of disease or the start of a pandemic when things go bad if the technology of the 21st century can not do it?

Do we isolate ourselves behind walls and barriers? Or do we learn how to stop or at least slow down the spread of disease.

Quarantine.

It is one of, and in all reality the best way to stop the spread of disease. In todays world it is a “dirty word” We say that we need to quarantine Fido for a few days before bringing him to the summer retreat in Hawaii its all good. But when we say we need to quarantine a group of people from Outer LithuUnitedia because the Purple People Eating Fungus is running rampant there. People get up in arms and the cries of discrimination and racism fly though out social media and the 24/7 news outlets…

…This article is one of those that was and is tough to write. In reality it needs to be broken into a host of smaller articles detailing different facets. This one is written to provoke. No promote discussion. Please take the time to converse with me or with anyone about the different scenarios. My email is medic@themedicshack.net Facebook is The Medic Shack or Mewe at The Medic Shack

Pandemics are real. Not the product of imagination. Time is way past to learn how to protect ourselves from them. The first link of the chain, and one that is ALWAYS broken, is. Communication. There is no real, concise, and most of all believable source. But wait! What about the CDC? Yes they send out warnings. But are dependent on the national and local media. Ok so what about the local or national media? Good question. What is the general media talking about. When there is something on the news about illness it is sandwiched between politics, hate crimes and the Hollywood Who’s Who. Do a news site search for the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo. See what you find in the news.

As I said earlier. I have no intention of doing the fork in the garbage disposal routine of panic. I am just wanting to pass on information. The most powerful weapon we have is not our weapons. Its our mind. We need to employ it. And to employ it we need to arm it. Knowledge is ammunition. And used correctly it is the most powerful weapon and more importantly, the best tool for survival.

Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper has written a book on pandemics. Its called Prepping for a Pandemic and its on Amazon. Get a copy and read it.

Click here to read the entire article at The Medic Shack.

Backdoor Survival: Become More Medically Self-Reliant

Backdoor Survival has an article up on using essential oils to become more self-reliant medically, including examples and instructions. Here’s an excerpt from Become More Medically Self-Reliant: Put Essential Oils to Work for You. It’s a bit lengthy, but it may give you a good start on using essential oils if you have been hesitant to try them.

When people first purchase essential oils they are excited to use them and to discover their benefits but sadly, a good percentage of those purchasers fail to move ahead and often don’t learn how to use them with much success. In fact, I know quite a few people who have good oils languishing in their cupboards for want of knowledge. This article gives suggestions and examples that may motivate a robust use of the essential oils you already have or have been thinking about trying.

Once understood and mastered and their efficacy established by successful application, there may be a desire to find other oils and other ways to include them in your home and emergency medical preparedness.  It is exciting to see a medical problem solved by an essential oil or a healing herb and thereby feeling a little more medically self- reliant, moving step by step. This knowledge is only acquired through using the oils correctly and experiencing what they can do to improve a medical concern. My small personal experiences build more confidence and put one more tool into my medical bag to help my family and others who may ask for help.

essential oils work for you

 

Three Successful Examples of Oil Use

Here are three examples of the many ways oils have worked. Please forgive me for sharing personal experiences. I do this with the hope that these stories will help others see that if essential oils worked for me, they may also work for you…making us all more medically prepared and better able to care for ourselves in our ailments and small accidents now and in harder times…

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

Imprimis: America’s Cold Civil War

Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College, has a posted a transcription of a speech given by Charles Kesler, the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. America’s Cold Civil War discusses the current political divide in the USA and how it came to be. The somewhat lengthy piece details the difference in beliefs about the Constitution, individual vs group identity, and opposing definitions of rights. It also identified five possible paths ahead, including hot civil war.

…[W]e have described our current political scene as a cold civil war. A cold civil war is better than a hot civil war, but it is not a good situation for a country to be in. Underlying our cold civil war is the fact that America is torn increasingly between two rival constitutions, two cultures, two ways of life.

Political scientists sometimes distinguish between normal politics and regime politics. Normal politics takes place within a political and constitutional order and concerns means, not ends. In other words, the ends or principles are agreed upon; debate is simply over means. By contrast, regime politics is about who rules and for what ends or principles. It questions the nature of the political system itself. Who has rights? Who gets to vote? What do we honor or revere together as a people? I fear America may be leaving the world of normal politics and entering the dangerous world of regime politics—a politics in which our political loyalties diverge more and more, as they did in the 1850s, between two contrary visions of the country.

One vision is based on the original Constitution as amended. This is the Constitution grounded in the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution written in 1787 and ratified in 1788. It has been transmitted to us with significant Amendments—some improvements and some not—but it is recognizable still as the original Constitution. To simplify matters we may call this “the conservative Constitution”—with the caveat that conservatives have never agreed perfectly on its meaning and that many non-conservatives remain loyal to it.

The other vision is based on what Progressives and liberals, for 100 years now, have called “the living Constitution.” This term implies that the original Constitution is dead—or at least on life support—and that in order to remain relevant to our national life, the original Constitution must be infused with new meaning and new ends and therefore with new duties, rights, and powers. To cite an important example, new administrative agencies must be created to circumvent the structural limitations that the original Constitution imposed on government.

As a doctrine, the living Constitution originated in America’s new departments of political and social science in the late nineteenth century—but it was soon at the very forefront of Progressive politics. One of the doctrine’s prime formulators, Woodrow Wilson, had contemplated as a young scholar a series of constitutional amendments to reform America’s national government into a kind of parliamentary system—a system able to facilitate faster political change. But he quickly realized that his plan to amend the Constitution was going nowhere. Plan B was the living Constitution. While keeping the outward forms of the old Constitution, the idea of a living Constitution would change utterly the spirit in which the Constitution was understood.

The resulting Constitution—let us call it “the liberal Constitution”—is not a constitution of natural rights or individual human rights, but of historical or evolutionary right. Wilson called the spirit of the old Constitution Newtonian, after Isaac Newton, and that of the new Constitution Darwinian, after Charles Darwin. By Darwinian, Wilson meant that instead of being difficult to amend, the liberal Constitution would be easily amenable to experimentation and adjustment. To paraphrase the late Walter Berns, the point of the old Constitution was to keep the times in tune with the Constitution; the purpose of the new is to keep the Constitution in tune with the times.

Until the 1960s, most liberals believed it was inevitable that their living Constitution would replace the conservative Constitution through a kind of slow-motion evolution. But during the sixties, the so-called New Left abandoned evolution for revolution, and partly in reaction to that, defenders of the old Constitution began not merely to fight back, but to call for a return to America’s first principles. By seeking to revolve back to the starting point, conservatives proved to be Newtonians after all—and also, in a way, revolutionaries, since the original meaning of revolution is to return to where you began, as a celestial body revolves in the heavens…

Click here to read the entire essay at Imprimis.

Educator John Taylor Gatto, RIP

Former teacher and continual educator John Taylor Gatto passed away this past Monday, Oct. 29th, 2018. His writings on the US educational system had quite an impact on this blogger.  If you’ve never read any of his work, you owe it to yourself and your country to read his Underground History of American Education at least.

From the Foundation for Economic Education:

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of a revolutionary educator, John Taylor Gatto. Gatto spent nearly 30 years as a teacher in the infamously rough New York City public school system. He was awarded New York City Teacher of the Year three consecutive years while also being recognized as New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991…

…Feeling the education system was beyond repair, Gatto could no longer in good conscience be an active participant. Rather than sending his letter of resignation to his superiors in his school district, he sent a copy of “I Quit, I Think” to the Wall Street Journal, where it was published as an op-ed on July 25, 1991.

In his biting resignation, he wrote:

I’ve come slowly to understand what it is I really teach: A curriculum of confusion, class position, arbitrary justice, vulgarity, rudeness, disrespect for privacy, indifference to quality, and utter dependency. I teach how to fit into a world I don’t want to live in.

I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t train children to wait to be told what to do; I can’t train people to drop what they are doing when a bell sounds; I can’t persuade children to feel some justice in their class placement when there isn’t any, and I can’t persuade children to believe teachers have valuable secrets they can acquire by becoming our disciples. That isn’t true.

Gatto dedicated the rest of his life to repairing the damage done by the public education system. He wrote several books on his experience in the classroom including Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling and Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling. His book The Underground History of American Educationis perhaps the most accurate and damning history of the American education system that has ever been written.

He believed that learning was actually inhibited by the classroom setting and that every single moment of life presented the opportunity to learn and grow.

Gatto encouraged parents to foster an environment where their children could follow their bliss rather than being stuck in a classroom, trained to be just another cog in the machine. He inspired teachers to reassess their reasons for becoming educators and to challenge the status quo.

He was also a firm believer in self-directed education, sometimes referred to as “unschooling.” He believed that learning was actually inhibited by the classroom setting and that every single moment of life presented the opportunity to learn and grow.

 

You can read The Undergound History of American History in text online by click here.

Alternatively, you can download a PDF copy by clicking here.