Tag Archives: libertarian

Huge Homeschooling Success Story

This is a pretty amazing story about a homeschooled girl that shows just how successful homeschooling can be when combined with the right parents, the right plan, and I’m sure the most important piece of all, the right kid. It also just so happens that Dakota Root is the daughter of the Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate for 2008, so obviously we’re talking about a… motivated family. Read the Dad’s story first on Whiskey and Gunpowder. Here’s the beginning:

This is the story that the teachers unions wish had never happened. This is the story that proves all their hysterical demands for more money are nothing but a sham. This is the story that makes the unions and education bureaucrats sick to their stomachs. This is the personal story of my daughter Dakota Root.

A quick Google search on her names shows a write up on some site called Cyberspacers. It’s a good little bio of her, detailing her successes. As an aside, fencing is cool, to boot.

Homeschooling is quite a serious commitment, and isn’t for everyone, especially in the days that two income households are more often a reality than not. So this story certainly doesn’t mean everyone should homeschool, it does show that non-public school options not only can compete but far surpass the “regular” option. Of course, this is nothing new, especially if you browse anything in the libertarian or conservative world. But it’s a good reminder. I constantly find it amazing that parents put up with public school monopolies and the threats handed down from teacher’s unions and school boards alike. It’s nothing more than a naked display of what people will do to protect their power, and damn the consequences — included your kids and your freedom. From the first article referenced — well said:

The sad reality is that teachers unions and government aren’t the solution – they are the problem. Our public schools get worse every year, yet teachers unions demand more and more money. They get their money, it gets worse yet, and they demand even MORE. That is the definition of insanity. This is “Groundhog Day.” It isn’t working- and hasn’t since the day that government took over education in this country.

How Much Does Public School Really Cost?

I’ve never really understood the argument for public schools, even before I realized I had serious libertarian leanings in my personal politics. I do understand the argument for public funding of pre-adult education, but that stands apart from the actual public schools. This paper and short video by the Cato Institute really drives home one aspect of the horror that is our public education system: price per pupil. Watch it:

I think the most wild thing about this video is the comparison of Washington, D.C. public school costs compared with private schools in the area. Wow. No wonder they’re so much against anything related to the word, “vouchers”. They’d lost all their students!

“The Needs of the Many…”

On my way to work today, my wife and I happened across a bit of insight. We’re recently back from an event where Leonard Nimoy was present, and I remembered his famous lines from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:

Captain Spock: Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh…
Kirk: …the needs of the few.
Captain Spock: Or the one. I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.

This came up in a conversation about how socialism views the proper place of the individual and the status of the State. Namely, that socialism teaches that individuals are just cogs in the machine in service of the almighty State, and it’s from that State that all rights and responsibilities are derived. I think Spock’s words — I’m sure very unintentionally — jibe well with this outlook. If his words are axiomatic, then it follows that the primary responsibility of the person must be in the service of the community — or in a larger sense, the State. This is dangerous stuff, as seen in places like the Soviet Union and the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia. Still, it certainly feels right, doesn’t it? I would add this corollary to the above:

The rights of the individual outweigh the rights of the many.

These two moral guidelines, I think, describe a sort of Christian libertarianism. Anyway, interesting.

The Tea Parties — Just What They Appear To Be

The amount of craziness and rage coming from the Left (in general) about the tea parties is pretty amazing. Ironic, to say the least. I don’t have a lot of time today for blogging, but considering it’s Tax Day, I just want to make some quick points about this:

1. This isn’t a Republican thing, period. A lot of the people protesting today are fed up with both parties. Get that idea out of your head. It may be characterized as a mostly conservative thing with a strong libertarian bent, but not Republican. There’s a pretty big difference (sadly).

2. This isn’t about how high our taxes are right now. This is about the incredible spending going on in Washington, D.C. right now, and fears about financial butcher’s bill that will come due for this spending, probably in the form of oppressive taxes. So, if you hear people say that the protesters are stupid because taxes are low right now, they’re either obfuscating or they are lying.

3. This movement is not primarily underwritten by FOX News. That’s really a non-starter.

If you’d like a primer on this whole thing got started (and no, it doesn’t involve overweight pasty males smoking tobacco in unventilated areas), go here.

Why ironic? Well, I think it’s just incredible that for years, especially in Portland, Oregon, we’ve had very regular marches against Bush, against the war, against capitalism, against you-name-it. I’ve seen countless bumper stickers that informed me that “Dissidence is the highest form of patriotism”. I’ve been warned that any minute now we’re going to lose the right to protest and to speak our minds about what concerns us, all due to Evil Republicans. Now the Democrats hold almost all the levels of power in government, there are people that wish it to be known that they aren’t happy with what that government is doing, and dark, evil purposes are suddenly behind it.

Listen, I may have disagreed with the anti-war protesters (and still do, for that matter), but I never thought they were under cover operatives sent here by Saddam Hussein, or that NGO’s and non-profits were nefariously behind the whole thing. I always recognized that a vast majority of the people out there were citizens that really wanted their voice heard, and were trying to find a way to amplify it. Now there’s another concern and another roar that wants to be heard. If you disagree, well, get out of the way. Knock it off with the ad hominem attacks and grow up.

Penn on Obama

Penn as in Penn and Teller, the magic act in Las Vegas. He’s actually quite the political commentator, usually showing a heavy tilt to the Libertarian side of things. Definitely a leave-it-alone kind of guy. He has a commentary on CNN today that’s pretty good, asking, hey, maybe when your gut says that spending trillions will not get the country out of this mess, maybe you should listen.

I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they might have tried that spending their way out of debt thing. Or maybe they tried the all too intuitive “crack will make me feel healthy again” thing. I don’t know.

What if power and control over citizen’s lives is our current leadership’s crack? A lot of our President and Congress has done since he took office has, in the end, concentrated power with the Federal government and taken power away from lesser sovereignties, such as state governments and, of course, the individual. For a libertarian like Penn Jillette, that’s gotta hurt.