Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Liberty Then... and Liberty Now

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, 1820

Jefferson's words, so true in 1820, continue to carry even greater truth today. Further, the third President of our nation correctly identified that education is the proper remedy in "informing their discretion.". Sadly, as our federal government has grown ever more statist and controlling {think department of education) it has turned not to actual education based on reason and reality, but rather indoctrination and fear based on Leviathans need to retain power.

Perhaps, through the efforts of liberty minded patriots we may yet shake the shackles of an over burdensome and intrusive federal government. And put in its place one that respects the Constitution of the United States and the rights of the people.


  1. This silly bogeyman of you righties, the DoE, has very little power over our schools. It basically serves as a partial gatekeeper to a pool of about 11% of federal primary and secondary school funding, in return for some acceptable standards and policies. All the states and districts take the money, some more than others. They all do. They don't necessarily have to. But they all do.

    The DoE doesn't have all that much say over it's 70 bil budget. It's a relatively small department, and it is subject to stringent congressional scrutiny and budget requirements.

    The DoE is not a new thing, either. It's basically been around, in one form or another for 154 years. This particular incarnation is just another one.

    One of its main purposes is to gather and study data from the education sector and to identify features and flaws. It does not have that much power to do anything about anything other than the most egregious failures, and usually those are matters of constitutional law. Like flagrant discrimination.

    So really, this whole DoE bogeyman is silly. I wouldn't want to live in a country so backwards as to intentionally do without such an important tool. It is willfull ignorance.


  2. Spoken like a true goose-stepping statist, Jersey.

    "If the government doesn't do it, it won't get done!"

    Such small-mindedness is what got us into the mess we are in.

  3. Silver, I was just presenting the facts. Personally, I'm not a fan of the DoE, but my critique is a little different.

    For me, it is disgusting that we federally spend 10 times more on our military than we do our schools. And when I think of what we spend on the police and penal systems, the hospital and emergency systems, and prioritize that with healthcare, education, care for the elderly, I just can't understand these silly arguments against things like the DoE. It just seems so petty and pointless.

    As for MY opinion of the DoE, it should remain a limited office. But we need national education data. Never get rid of that. It would be stupid. And we need to dangle a few bucks here and there, otherwise we'll have huge swaths of uneducated, uncivilized, ignorant masses walking amongst us.

    It's bad enough as it is! Why would you make it worse???


  4. Seems we were doing just fine before the DoE.

    But I guess I am wrong. According to your line of thinking the forerunners of the DoE, you know, people that built America were all uneducated, uncivilized, and ignorant people. Just like my parents and grandparents and yours too, right JMJ?

  5. Les, again, we've had something like a DoE for 154 years now. It doesn't make a difference. You righties have so strangled its authority, it barely makes a difference. Why do you complain about it so much?


  6. "Public education" is....how do I put this....a joke.

    It has failed.

    Private education, education focused on the three "R"'s--readin', 'riting. 'rithmetic--make a difference.

    Homeschooling is also a viable option. The State you live in will gladly give you the requirements you need to follow. Simple.

    Once metal detectors started getting installed in our public schools, I knew they had failed.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

  7. JMJ - The DoE has done little to nothing to improve our public school system. You know it yet you refuse to acknowledge it.

    Give me 5 positive things the DoE has actually done to improve the quality of education and our children's performance.

    Links to knowledgeable sources are accepted for review and consideration.

  8. I doubt Jefferson had the benefits of the DoE, and he was a genius by today's standards of excellence.

    What was it Kennedy once said, something about never was there a greater gathering of intellectual minds, except when Jefferson dined alone. Or something to that effect.

    Kennedy was right then, and you are wrong today.


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