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Our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Martial Law Masquerading as Law and Order: The Police State’s Language of Force

Martial Law Masquerading as Law and Order: The Police State’s Language of Force


Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”—Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)
Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.
It’s all a lie.
There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
What is this language of force?
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.
This is not the language of freedom.
This is not even the language of law and order.
This is the language of force.
Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.
This police overkill isn’t just happening in troubled hot spots such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., where police brutality gave rise to civil unrest, which was met with a militarized show of force that caused the whole stew of discontent to bubble over into violence.
A decade earlier, the NYPD engaged in mass arrests of peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers and journalists who had gathered for the 2004 Republican National Convention. The protesters were subjected to blanket fingerprinting and detained for more than 24 hours at a “filthy, toxic pier that had been a bus depot.” That particular exercise in police intimidation tactics cost New York City taxpayers nearly $18 million for what would become the largest protest settlement in history.
Demonstrators, journalists and legal observers who had gathered in North Dakota to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline reported being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and strip searched by police.
In the college town of Charlottesville, Va., protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their disapproval of a planned KKK rally were held at bay by implacable lines of gun-wielding riot police. Only after a motley crew of Klansmen had been safely escorted to and from the rally by black-garbed police did the assembled army of city, county and state police declare the public gathering unlawful and proceed to unleash canisters of tear gas on the few remaining protesters to force them to disperse.
More recently, this militarized exercise in intimidation—complete with an armored vehicle and an army of police drones—reared its ugly head in the small town of Dahlonega, Ga., where 600 state and local militarized police clad in full riot gear vastly outnumbered the 50 protesters and 150 counterprotesters who had gathered to voice their approval/disapproval of the Trump administration’s policies.
To be clear, this is the treatment being meted out to protesters across the political spectrum.

The police state does not discriminate.

As a USA Today article notes, “Federally arming police with weapons of war silences protesters across all justice movements… People demanding justice, demanding accountability or demanding basic human rights without resorting to violence, should not be greeted with machine guns and tanks. Peaceful protest is democracy in action. It is a forum for those who feel disempowered or disenfranchised. Protesters should not have to face intimidation by weapons of war.”
A militarized police response to protesters poses a danger to all those involved, protesters and police alike. In fact, militarization makes police more likely to turn to violence to solve problems.
As a study by researchers at Stanford University makes clear, “When law enforcement receives more military materials — weapons, vehicles and tools — it becomes … more likely to jump into high-risk situations. Militarization makes every problem — even a car of teenagers driving away from a party — look like a nail that should be hit with an AR-15 hammer.”
Even the color of a police officer’s uniform adds to the tension. As the Department of Justice reports, “Some research has suggested that the uniform color can influence the wearer—with black producing aggressive tendencies, tendencies that may produce unnecessary conflict between police and the very people they serve.”
You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?
Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism.
Mind you, those who respond with violence are playing into the government’s hands perfectly.
The government wants a reason to crack down and lock down and bring in its biggest guns.
They want us divided. They want us to turn on one another.
They want us powerless in the face of their artillery and armed forces.
They want us silent, servile and compliant.
They certainly do not want us to remember that we have rights, let alone attempting to exercise those rights peaceably and lawfully.
And they definitely do not want us to engage in First Amendment activities that challenge the government’s power, reveal the government’s corruption, expose the government’s lies, and encourage the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.
You know how one mayor characterized the tear gassing of protesters by riot police? He called it an “unfortunate event.”
Unfortunate, indeed.
You know what else is unfortunate?
It’s unfortunate that these overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedure for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear.
It’s unfortunate that “we the people” have become the proverbial nails to be hammered into submission by the government and its vast armies.
And it’s particularly unfortunate that government officials—especially police—seem to believe that anyone who wears a government uniform (soldier, police officer, prison guard) must be obeyed without question.
In other words, “we the people” are the servants in the government’s eyes rather than the masters.

The government’s rationale goes like this:

Do exactly what I say, and we’ll get along fine. Do not question me or talk back in any way. You do not have the right to object to anything I may say or ask you to do, or ask for clarification if my demands are unclear or contradictory. You must obey me under all circumstances without hesitation, no matter how arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory, or blatantly racist my commands may be. Anything other than immediate perfect servile compliance will be labeled as resisting arrest, and expose you to the possibility of a violent reaction from me. That reaction could cause you severe injury or even death. And I will suffer no consequences. It’s your choice: Comply, or die.
Indeed, as Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department advises:
If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
This is not the rhetoric of a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
This is not the attitude of someone who understands, let alone respects, free speech.
And this is certainly not what I would call “community policing,” which is supposed to emphasize the importance of the relationship between the police and the community they serve.
Indeed, this is martial law masquerading as law and order.
Any police officer who tells you that he needs tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray to do his job shouldn’t be a police officer in a constitutional republic.
All that stuff in the First Amendment (about freedom of speech, religion, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances) sounds great in theory. However, it amounts to little more than a hill of beans if you have to exercise those freedoms while facing down an army of police equipped with deadly weapons, surveillance devices, and a slew of laws that empower them to arrest and charge citizens with bogus “contempt of cop” charges (otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are other, far better models to follow.
For instance, back in 2011, the St. Louis police opted to employ a passive response to Occupy St. Louis activists. First, police gave the protesters nearly 36 hours’ notice to clear the area, as opposed to the 20 to 60 minutes’ notice other cities gave. Then, as journalist Brad Hicks reports, when the police finally showed up:
They didn’t show up in riot gear and helmets, they showed up in shirt sleeves with their faces showing. They not only didn’t show up with SWAT gear, they showed up with no unusual weapons at all, and what weapons they had all securely holstered. They politely woke everybody up. They politely helped everybody who was willing to remove their property from the park to do so. They then asked, out of the 75 to 100 people down there, how many people were volunteering for being-arrested duty? Given 33 hours to think about it, and 10 hours to sweat it over, only 27 volunteered. As the police already knew, those people’s legal advisers had advised them not to even passively resist, so those 27 people lined up to be peacefully arrested, and were escorted away by a handful of cops. The rest were advised to please continue to protest, over there on the sidewalk … and what happened next was the most absolutely brilliant piece of crowd control policing I have heard of in my entire lifetime. All of the cops who weren’t busy transporting and processing the voluntary arrestees lined up, blocking the stairs down into the plaza. They stood shoulder to shoulder. They kept calm and silent. They positioned the weapons on their belts out of sight. They crossed their hands low in front of them, in exactly the least provocative posture known to man. And they peacefully, silently, respectfully occupied the plaza, using exactly the same non-violent resistance techniques that the protesters themselves had been trained in.
As Forbes concluded, “This is a more humane, less costly, and ultimately more productive way to handle a protest. This is great proof that police can do it the old fashioned way - using their brains and common sense instead of tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray - and have better results.”
It can be done.
Police will not voluntarily give up their gadgets and war toys and combat tactics, however. Their training and inclination towards authoritarianism has become too ingrained.
If we are to have any hope of dismantling the police state, change must start locally, community by community. Citizens will have to demand that police de-escalate and de-militarize. And if the police don’t listen, contact your city councils and put the pressure on them.
Remember, they are supposed to work for us. They might not like hearing it—they certainly won’t like being reminded of it—but we pay their salaries with our hard-earned tax dollars.
“We the people” have got to stop accepting the lame excuses trotted out by police as justifications for their inexcusable behavior.
Either “we the people” believe in free speech or we don’t.
Either we live in a constitutional republic or a police state.
We have rights.
As Justice William O. Douglas advised in his dissent in Colten v. Kentucky, “we need not stay docile and quiet” in the face of authority.
The Constitution does not require Americans to be servile or even civil to government officials.
Neither does the Constitution require obedience (although it does insist on nonviolence).
This emphasis on nonviolence goes both ways. Somehow, the government keeps overlooking this important element in the equation.
There is nothing safe or secure or free about exercising your rights with a rifle pointed at you.
The police officer who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective “feeling” of being threatened, is just as much of a danger—if not more—as any violence that might erupt from a protest rally.
Compliance is no guarantee of safety.
Then again, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we may find ourselves following in the footsteps of those nations that eventually fell to tyranny.
The alternative involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence.
Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
We must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.
The American dream was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.
It may be that things are too far gone to save, but still we must try.

Martial Law Masquerading as Law and Order: The Police State’s Language of Force


Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”—Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)
Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.
It’s all a lie.
There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
What is this language of force?
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.
This is not the language of freedom.
This is not even the language of law and order.
This is the language of force.
Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.
This police overkill isn’t just happening in troubled hot spots such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., where police brutality gave rise to civil unrest, which was met with a militarized show of force that caused the whole stew of discontent to bubble over into violence.
A decade earlier, the NYPD engaged in mass arrests of peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers and journalists who had gathered for the 2004 Republican National Convention. The protesters were subjected to blanket fingerprinting and detained for more than 24 hours at a “filthy, toxic pier that had been a bus depot.” That particular exercise in police intimidation tactics cost New York City taxpayers nearly $18 million for what would become the largest protest settlement in history.
Demonstrators, journalists and legal observers who had gathered in North Dakota to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline reported being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and strip searched by police.
In the college town of Charlottesville, Va., protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their disapproval of a planned KKK rally were held at bay by implacable lines of gun-wielding riot police. Only after a motley crew of Klansmen had been safely escorted to and from the rally by black-garbed police did the assembled army of city, county and state police declare the public gathering unlawful and proceed to unleash canisters of tear gas on the few remaining protesters to force them to disperse.
More recently, this militarized exercise in intimidation—complete with an armored vehicle and an army of police drones—reared its ugly head in the small town of Dahlonega, Ga., where 600 state and local militarized police clad in full riot gear vastly outnumbered the 50 protesters and 150 counterprotesters who had gathered to voice their approval/disapproval of the Trump administration’s policies.
To be clear, this is the treatment being meted out to protesters across the political spectrum.

The police state does not discriminate.

As a USA Today article notes, “Federally arming police with weapons of war silences protesters across all justice movements… People demanding justice, demanding accountability or demanding basic human rights without resorting to violence, should not be greeted with machine guns and tanks. Peaceful protest is democracy in action. It is a forum for those who feel disempowered or disenfranchised. Protesters should not have to face intimidation by weapons of war.”
A militarized police response to protesters poses a danger to all those involved, protesters and police alike. In fact, militarization makes police more likely to turn to violence to solve problems.
As a study by researchers at Stanford University makes clear, “When law enforcement receives more military materials — weapons, vehicles and tools — it becomes … more likely to jump into high-risk situations. Militarization makes every problem — even a car of teenagers driving away from a party — look like a nail that should be hit with an AR-15 hammer.”
Even the color of a police officer’s uniform adds to the tension. As the Department of Justice reports, “Some research has suggested that the uniform color can influence the wearer—with black producing aggressive tendencies, tendencies that may produce unnecessary conflict between police and the very people they serve.”
You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?
Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism.
Mind you, those who respond with violence are playing into the government’s hands perfectly.
The government wants a reason to crack down and lock down and bring in its biggest guns.
They want us divided. They want us to turn on one another.
They want us powerless in the face of their artillery and armed forces.
They want us silent, servile and compliant.
They certainly do not want us to remember that we have rights, let alone attempting to exercise those rights peaceably and lawfully.
And they definitely do not want us to engage in First Amendment activities that challenge the government’s power, reveal the government’s corruption, expose the government’s lies, and encourage the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.
You know how one mayor characterized the tear gassing of protesters by riot police? He called it an “unfortunate event.”
Unfortunate, indeed.
You know what else is unfortunate?
It’s unfortunate that these overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedure for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear.
It’s unfortunate that “we the people” have become the proverbial nails to be hammered into submission by the government and its vast armies.
And it’s particularly unfortunate that government officials—especially police—seem to believe that anyone who wears a government uniform (soldier, police officer, prison guard) must be obeyed without question.
In other words, “we the people” are the servants in the government’s eyes rather than the masters.

The government’s rationale goes like this:

Do exactly what I say, and we’ll get along fine. Do not question me or talk back in any way. You do not have the right to object to anything I may say or ask you to do, or ask for clarification if my demands are unclear or contradictory. You must obey me under all circumstances without hesitation, no matter how arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory, or blatantly racist my commands may be. Anything other than immediate perfect servile compliance will be labeled as resisting arrest, and expose you to the possibility of a violent reaction from me. That reaction could cause you severe injury or even death. And I will suffer no consequences. It’s your choice: Comply, or die.
Indeed, as Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department advises:
If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
This is not the rhetoric of a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
This is not the attitude of someone who understands, let alone respects, free speech.
And this is certainly not what I would call “community policing,” which is supposed to emphasize the importance of the relationship between the police and the community they serve.
Indeed, this is martial law masquerading as law and order.
Any police officer who tells you that he needs tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray to do his job shouldn’t be a police officer in a constitutional republic.
All that stuff in the First Amendment (about freedom of speech, religion, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances) sounds great in theory. However, it amounts to little more than a hill of beans if you have to exercise those freedoms while facing down an army of police equipped with deadly weapons, surveillance devices, and a slew of laws that empower them to arrest and charge citizens with bogus “contempt of cop” charges (otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are other, far better models to follow.
For instance, back in 2011, the St. Louis police opted to employ a passive response to Occupy St. Louis activists. First, police gave the protesters nearly 36 hours’ notice to clear the area, as opposed to the 20 to 60 minutes’ notice other cities gave. Then, as journalist Brad Hicks reports, when the police finally showed up:
They didn’t show up in riot gear and helmets, they showed up in shirt sleeves with their faces showing. They not only didn’t show up with SWAT gear, they showed up with no unusual weapons at all, and what weapons they had all securely holstered. They politely woke everybody up. They politely helped everybody who was willing to remove their property from the park to do so. They then asked, out of the 75 to 100 people down there, how many people were volunteering for being-arrested duty? Given 33 hours to think about it, and 10 hours to sweat it over, only 27 volunteered. As the police already knew, those people’s legal advisers had advised them not to even passively resist, so those 27 people lined up to be peacefully arrested, and were escorted away by a handful of cops. The rest were advised to please continue to protest, over there on the sidewalk … and what happened next was the most absolutely brilliant piece of crowd control policing I have heard of in my entire lifetime. All of the cops who weren’t busy transporting and processing the voluntary arrestees lined up, blocking the stairs down into the plaza. They stood shoulder to shoulder. They kept calm and silent. They positioned the weapons on their belts out of sight. They crossed their hands low in front of them, in exactly the least provocative posture known to man. And they peacefully, silently, respectfully occupied the plaza, using exactly the same non-violent resistance techniques that the protesters themselves had been trained in.
As Forbes concluded, “This is a more humane, less costly, and ultimately more productive way to handle a protest. This is great proof that police can do it the old fashioned way - using their brains and common sense instead of tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray - and have better results.”
It can be done.
Police will not voluntarily give up their gadgets and war toys and combat tactics, however. Their training and inclination towards authoritarianism has become too ingrained.
If we are to have any hope of dismantling the police state, change must start locally, community by community. Citizens will have to demand that police de-escalate and de-militarize. And if the police don’t listen, contact your city councils and put the pressure on them.
Remember, they are supposed to work for us. They might not like hearing it—they certainly won’t like being reminded of it—but we pay their salaries with our hard-earned tax dollars.
“We the people” have got to stop accepting the lame excuses trotted out by police as justifications for their inexcusable behavior.
Either “we the people” believe in free speech or we don’t.
Either we live in a constitutional republic or a police state.
We have rights.
As Justice William O. Douglas advised in his dissent in Colten v. Kentucky, “we need not stay docile and quiet” in the face of authority.
The Constitution does not require Americans to be servile or even civil to government officials.
Neither does the Constitution require obedience (although it does insist on nonviolence).
This emphasis on nonviolence goes both ways. Somehow, the government keeps overlooking this important element in the equation.
There is nothing safe or secure or free about exercising your rights with a rifle pointed at you.
The police officer who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective “feeling” of being threatened, is just as much of a danger—if not more—as any violence that might erupt from a protest rally.
Compliance is no guarantee of safety.
Then again, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we may find ourselves following in the footsteps of those nations that eventually fell to tyranny.
The alternative involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence.
Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
We must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.
The American dream was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.
It may be that things are too far gone to save, but still we must try.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Anti-Gun Laws Will Never Solve Gun Violence in America

Anti-Gun Laws Will Never Solve Gun Violence in America



Despite of what the left-wing media wants you to believe, there is not an epidemic of mass shootings, or an epidemic of gun violence in general, in the United States. The data make this clear.
In fact -- and again, in spite of what many in the media would have us believe -- by many accounts, mass shootings are not even on the rise. Definitions of what constitutes a “mass shooting” vary, but using “standard definitions,” a recent piece in The Conversation -- an academic and research journal -- declares that “Mass shootings aren’t growing more common.” 
In support of this conclusion, The Conversation article references data presented in USA Today:
Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, a leading expert with decades of experience on such matters, has long held that “There is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings.” This was true five years ago, as the graphic below, using Professor Fox’s data, reveals:

And it’s true today, as Fox recently revealed in a lengthy interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie: “There is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings.” Even the liberals at Politico agree. There, Grant Duwe, a research director for the Minnesota Department of Corrections and author of Mass Murder in the United States: A History, concludes that mass shootings are “roughly as common now as they were in the 1980s and ’90s.”
Not only are mass shootings still very rare, but they represent an extremely small portion of overall gun murders in the U.S. Even a leftist publication like Vox makes note of this. While using a variety of data, including Professor Fox’s, Vox’s Dylan Matthews rightly reveals that “while tragic,” deaths as a result of mass shooting “are a tiny sliver of America’s gun homicide problem.”
What’s more, though we comprise about four-and-a-half percent of the world’s population, and though we own about half of the world’s privately owned guns, America accounts for less than half of one percent of the world’s murders. Likewise, across the U.S., this trend is similar: the presence of guns does not correlate to more gun murders. As this piece points out, many of the safest areas in America have the highest rates of gun-ownership.
Of course, in spite of these facts, after the most recent mass shooting -- after any mass shooting -- liberals in the media and the Democrat Party do what they always do. The media hypes the event, blames Republicans and conservatives, paints America as awash in gun violence -- especially mass shootings -- and demands that politicians “Do something.” Of course, Democrats couldn’t be happier to continue the script and pretend to have the answers for our so-called mass shooting “epidemic.”
Just days ago, Nancy Pelosi thundered, “Enough is enough!” She added, “The Republican Senate must end its obstruction and finally pass the common-sense, bipartisan, House-passed gun violence prevention legislation that the country is demanding.” As if gun violence -- or any violence -- can be prevented by mere legislation. This is what happens when one puts his or her hope and faith in the things of this world. We should expect no less from those who lustily applauded Obama’s egocentric exclamation “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”
Of course, the Screwball Score -- otherwise known as the 20 Democrats hoping to replace Donald Trump -- eagerly joined in the “Do Something!” chorus on “gun control.” Desperate to get the media’s attention, Beto O’Rourke devolved into vulgarity -- and even tried to profit from itSleepy-Creepy Uncle Joe stuck to the fake “end the epidemic” narrative. Fauxcahontas said that “Congress must act” to end gun violence. After all, she does know a bit about “acting.”
Julian Castro, formerly of the Obama administration, wondered “What is the number?” He then asked, “How many Americans are you willing to sacrifice to the NRA?” Castro and his ilk are the ones who should have to defend politics that results in death and violence because, guess what’s not a “tiny sliver of America’s gun homicide problem”? Urban violence.
In his new book, Bleeding Out, criminal justice scholar Thomas Abt reveals that, “Since October 2001, 410 people have died in domestic terrorist attacks & 520 have died in mass shootings. During that same period, at least 100,000 lost their lives to urban violence.” This should come as little surprise to those who are aware of the weekly events in Baltimore, Chicago, Ferguson, St. Louis, and the like.
In other words, the real problem with gun violence in the U.S. is the murder and mayhem that often plague Democratic enclaves in urban America. Where are the cries of “Do something!” when it comes to the weekly gun violence in America’s cities? The silence is deafening.
Of course, we have virtual silence on the violence in urban America because the poverty, crime, violence, trash, rats, bad schools, etc. that infest urban America are the result of the rotten fruit of liberalism. After decades of almost complete Democratic control, thousands of government “programs,” and trillions of taxpayer dollars, liberal politics and policies have solved none of the problems that plague America’s cities.
Yet we’re supposed to believe that Democrats have the solution to mass shootings in America? Along with having no real solutions to mass shootings, more often than not, mass shooters in America are a direct product of liberalism.
Again, how ironic and backward is it that those who tell us that children in the womb aren’t really human, that humans with a penis and the Y-chromosome aren’t really men, that men who are criminals are the good guys and the police the bad guys, that marriage is not the union of one man and one woman, that student loans don’t have to be repaid, that blizzards are evidence of global warming, that blasphemous art should be taxpayer funded, that school prayer should not be allowed, and so on, now tell us it’s the right’s fault when young men bent on evil go on a killing spree?
Everything that might truly keep young men from such evil -- fathers, family, faith, and the like -- the modern left despises and has targeted. Because they have made a god of government, instead of looking to what is really required to solve the problems of urban America, the left would much rather make an enemy of firearms and seek legislation to restrict them. 
Additionally, liberals in the United States have been directly complicit in the breakdown of the family. Whether divorce, fornication, marriage, prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, and so on, for decades now, in the name of “sexual freedom,” liberals have called what is evil good and what is good evil. They have preached, promoted, and even passed legislation in defense of these perverse “values.” Thus, it is little wonder that where Democratic rule is absolute, America is ugliest and most dangerous.

Anti-Gun Laws Will Never Solve Gun Violence in America



Despite of what the left-wing media wants you to believe, there is not an epidemic of mass shootings, or an epidemic of gun violence in general, in the United States. The data make this clear.
In fact -- and again, in spite of what many in the media would have us believe -- by many accounts, mass shootings are not even on the rise. Definitions of what constitutes a “mass shooting” vary, but using “standard definitions,” a recent piece in The Conversation -- an academic and research journal -- declares that “Mass shootings aren’t growing more common.” 
In support of this conclusion, The Conversation article references data presented in USA Today:
Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, a leading expert with decades of experience on such matters, has long held that “There is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings.” This was true five years ago, as the graphic below, using Professor Fox’s data, reveals:

And it’s true today, as Fox recently revealed in a lengthy interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie: “There is no evidence that we are in the midst of an epidemic of mass shootings.” Even the liberals at Politico agree. There, Grant Duwe, a research director for the Minnesota Department of Corrections and author of Mass Murder in the United States: A History, concludes that mass shootings are “roughly as common now as they were in the 1980s and ’90s.”
Not only are mass shootings still very rare, but they represent an extremely small portion of overall gun murders in the U.S. Even a leftist publication like Vox makes note of this. While using a variety of data, including Professor Fox’s, Vox’s Dylan Matthews rightly reveals that “while tragic,” deaths as a result of mass shooting “are a tiny sliver of America’s gun homicide problem.”
What’s more, though we comprise about four-and-a-half percent of the world’s population, and though we own about half of the world’s privately owned guns, America accounts for less than half of one percent of the world’s murders. Likewise, across the U.S., this trend is similar: the presence of guns does not correlate to more gun murders. As this piece points out, many of the safest areas in America have the highest rates of gun-ownership.
Of course, in spite of these facts, after the most recent mass shooting -- after any mass shooting -- liberals in the media and the Democrat Party do what they always do. The media hypes the event, blames Republicans and conservatives, paints America as awash in gun violence -- especially mass shootings -- and demands that politicians “Do something.” Of course, Democrats couldn’t be happier to continue the script and pretend to have the answers for our so-called mass shooting “epidemic.”
Just days ago, Nancy Pelosi thundered, “Enough is enough!” She added, “The Republican Senate must end its obstruction and finally pass the common-sense, bipartisan, House-passed gun violence prevention legislation that the country is demanding.” As if gun violence -- or any violence -- can be prevented by mere legislation. This is what happens when one puts his or her hope and faith in the things of this world. We should expect no less from those who lustily applauded Obama’s egocentric exclamation “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”
Of course, the Screwball Score -- otherwise known as the 20 Democrats hoping to replace Donald Trump -- eagerly joined in the “Do Something!” chorus on “gun control.” Desperate to get the media’s attention, Beto O’Rourke devolved into vulgarity -- and even tried to profit from itSleepy-Creepy Uncle Joe stuck to the fake “end the epidemic” narrative. Fauxcahontas said that “Congress must act” to end gun violence. After all, she does know a bit about “acting.”
Julian Castro, formerly of the Obama administration, wondered “What is the number?” He then asked, “How many Americans are you willing to sacrifice to the NRA?” Castro and his ilk are the ones who should have to defend politics that results in death and violence because, guess what’s not a “tiny sliver of America’s gun homicide problem”? Urban violence.
In his new book, Bleeding Out, criminal justice scholar Thomas Abt reveals that, “Since October 2001, 410 people have died in domestic terrorist attacks & 520 have died in mass shootings. During that same period, at least 100,000 lost their lives to urban violence.” This should come as little surprise to those who are aware of the weekly events in Baltimore, Chicago, Ferguson, St. Louis, and the like.
In other words, the real problem with gun violence in the U.S. is the murder and mayhem that often plague Democratic enclaves in urban America. Where are the cries of “Do something!” when it comes to the weekly gun violence in America’s cities? The silence is deafening.
Of course, we have virtual silence on the violence in urban America because the poverty, crime, violence, trash, rats, bad schools, etc. that infest urban America are the result of the rotten fruit of liberalism. After decades of almost complete Democratic control, thousands of government “programs,” and trillions of taxpayer dollars, liberal politics and policies have solved none of the problems that plague America’s cities.
Yet we’re supposed to believe that Democrats have the solution to mass shootings in America? Along with having no real solutions to mass shootings, more often than not, mass shooters in America are a direct product of liberalism.
Again, how ironic and backward is it that those who tell us that children in the womb aren’t really human, that humans with a penis and the Y-chromosome aren’t really men, that men who are criminals are the good guys and the police the bad guys, that marriage is not the union of one man and one woman, that student loans don’t have to be repaid, that blizzards are evidence of global warming, that blasphemous art should be taxpayer funded, that school prayer should not be allowed, and so on, now tell us it’s the right’s fault when young men bent on evil go on a killing spree?
Everything that might truly keep young men from such evil -- fathers, family, faith, and the like -- the modern left despises and has targeted. Because they have made a god of government, instead of looking to what is really required to solve the problems of urban America, the left would much rather make an enemy of firearms and seek legislation to restrict them. 
Additionally, liberals in the United States have been directly complicit in the breakdown of the family. Whether divorce, fornication, marriage, prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, and so on, for decades now, in the name of “sexual freedom,” liberals have called what is evil good and what is good evil. They have preached, promoted, and even passed legislation in defense of these perverse “values.” Thus, it is little wonder that where Democratic rule is absolute, America is ugliest and most dangerous.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SUING A POLICE DEPARTMENT

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SUING A POLICE DEPARTMENT

If you’ve been the victim of police brutality or other unlawful police action, it’s easy to feel helpless. After all, the very people who are supposed to protect you from harm are the ones who violated your rights. Fortunately, you may have options.
Both federal and state laws protect private individuals from being abused by police and other law enforcement officers. In some cases, victims may be able to recover significant compensation for the harms that they have sustained at the hands of the police and hold the officers that violated their rights accountable.
If the cops violated your rights, it’s imperative that you speak to a lawyer right away. Philadelphia civil rights attorney Lauren Wimmer is committed to holding the police accountable and will not hesitate to file a claim against any law enforcement agency if the facts warrant it. To schedule a free consultation with Ms. Wimmer, call our office today at 215-712-1212.
Section 1983 of The Civil Rights Act of 1871
Individuals who believe that they are the victims of excessive force by a police officer may sue the officer individually – as well as the police department that employs the officer.
When private citizens sue a police department, they typically do so pursuant to Section 1983 of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1871. This law is sometimes referred to as just “Section 1983.” This statute effectively precludes a police officer or other government official or law enforcement personnel from violating someone’s civil rights under the United States Constitution. A police officer, for example, cannot subject a person to an unlawful search or seizure, in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Suing a Police Department
When private citizens sue an individual cop, they will likely sue the employer police department as well, and both will be defendants in the lawsuit. The bases for a lawsuit against a police department in Philadelphia can include discrimination, false arrest, harassment, and/or excessive force used by a police officer.
In order to sue the police department for harassment or unlawful discrimination, you must demonstrate that a particular officer engaged in a pattern of harassing or discriminatory behavior.
You could also sue the police department for false arrest. In that instance, you would likely contend that your Fourth Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures was violated. You may also allege that the police officer who initiated the arrest did not have the necessary evidence, probable cause, or warrant to make a valid and legal arrest. However, if the police officer reasonably believed that he or she had probable cause, most courts will not determine that the police engaged in any unlawful activity.
Finally, you contend that the arresting police officer used excessive force when arresting or chasing after you. This is especially true if you suffered a serious injury which you contend was caused by the officer’s excessive use of force.
However, a police officer is allowed to use an amount of force which is proportionate to the amount of force being used against him or her. In some limited instances, a police officer might even be justified in using deadly force, assuming the victim used deadly force against the officer.
In addition to showing that the police officer (and by extension the police department) are at fault, the victim must also be able to show that he or she suffered injuries or damages as a result. The victim may allege, for example, that as a result of excessive force by the arresting police officer, he or she should recover medical bills and damages for physical pain and suffering incurred.
In some limited instances, the police officer or police department may have to pay punitive damages. A judge or jury will only award punitive damages if the officer acted in an egregious manner. The purpose of punitive damages in cases like these is to discourage future wrongful conduct by police officers and police departments, and they are rarely awarded.

Protecting Your Rights after the Police Violated Them

If you believe the police have violated your rights, there are certain steps that you should take to protect your rights in the future. The most important of these include the following:
  • Save all evidence – You should make sure to save all evidence which could shed light on exactly what occurred during the incident. Photographs can be particularly powerful pieces of evidence in this context.
  • Speak to witnesses – Witnesses can be very helpful when it comes to prosecuting cases that involve police brutality or excessive force by police officers. Witnesses who were present at the time of the occurrence may remember what took place.
  • Hire a lawyer – A skilled Philadelphia civil rights lawyer can ensure that all potential evidence in the case is properly preserved, that all witnesses are interviewed, and that your rights are protected.
It’s important to keep in mind that the police departments have been known to protect their own, so you should tread carefully when making reports regarding alleged police brutality or other wrongdoing. As a general rule, it’s highly advisable to retain legal counsel before taking any steps that may let the police know that you are considering filing an official complaint.
Contact a Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If the police have violated your rights, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. No one is above the law, including the police, and victims often can hold the cops and the departments that employ them accountable for their losses. Philadelphia civil rights lawyer Lauren Wimmer can review the evidence in your case and explain your legal options. To schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced attorney, please call today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SUING A POLICE DEPARTMENT

If you’ve been the victim of police brutality or other unlawful police action, it’s easy to feel helpless. After all, the very people who are supposed to protect you from harm are the ones who violated your rights. Fortunately, you may have options.
Both federal and state laws protect private individuals from being abused by police and other law enforcement officers. In some cases, victims may be able to recover significant compensation for the harms that they have sustained at the hands of the police and hold the officers that violated their rights accountable.
If the cops violated your rights, it’s imperative that you speak to a lawyer right away. Philadelphia civil rights attorney Lauren Wimmer is committed to holding the police accountable and will not hesitate to file a claim against any law enforcement agency if the facts warrant it. To schedule a free consultation with Ms. Wimmer, call our office today at 215-712-1212.
Section 1983 of The Civil Rights Act of 1871
Individuals who believe that they are the victims of excessive force by a police officer may sue the officer individually – as well as the police department that employs the officer.
When private citizens sue a police department, they typically do so pursuant to Section 1983 of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1871. This law is sometimes referred to as just “Section 1983.” This statute effectively precludes a police officer or other government official or law enforcement personnel from violating someone’s civil rights under the United States Constitution. A police officer, for example, cannot subject a person to an unlawful search or seizure, in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Suing a Police Department
When private citizens sue an individual cop, they will likely sue the employer police department as well, and both will be defendants in the lawsuit. The bases for a lawsuit against a police department in Philadelphia can include discrimination, false arrest, harassment, and/or excessive force used by a police officer.
In order to sue the police department for harassment or unlawful discrimination, you must demonstrate that a particular officer engaged in a pattern of harassing or discriminatory behavior.
You could also sue the police department for false arrest. In that instance, you would likely contend that your Fourth Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures was violated. You may also allege that the police officer who initiated the arrest did not have the necessary evidence, probable cause, or warrant to make a valid and legal arrest. However, if the police officer reasonably believed that he or she had probable cause, most courts will not determine that the police engaged in any unlawful activity.
Finally, you contend that the arresting police officer used excessive force when arresting or chasing after you. This is especially true if you suffered a serious injury which you contend was caused by the officer’s excessive use of force.
However, a police officer is allowed to use an amount of force which is proportionate to the amount of force being used against him or her. In some limited instances, a police officer might even be justified in using deadly force, assuming the victim used deadly force against the officer.
In addition to showing that the police officer (and by extension the police department) are at fault, the victim must also be able to show that he or she suffered injuries or damages as a result. The victim may allege, for example, that as a result of excessive force by the arresting police officer, he or she should recover medical bills and damages for physical pain and suffering incurred.
In some limited instances, the police officer or police department may have to pay punitive damages. A judge or jury will only award punitive damages if the officer acted in an egregious manner. The purpose of punitive damages in cases like these is to discourage future wrongful conduct by police officers and police departments, and they are rarely awarded.

Protecting Your Rights after the Police Violated Them

If you believe the police have violated your rights, there are certain steps that you should take to protect your rights in the future. The most important of these include the following:
  • Save all evidence – You should make sure to save all evidence which could shed light on exactly what occurred during the incident. Photographs can be particularly powerful pieces of evidence in this context.
  • Speak to witnesses – Witnesses can be very helpful when it comes to prosecuting cases that involve police brutality or excessive force by police officers. Witnesses who were present at the time of the occurrence may remember what took place.
  • Hire a lawyer – A skilled Philadelphia civil rights lawyer can ensure that all potential evidence in the case is properly preserved, that all witnesses are interviewed, and that your rights are protected.
It’s important to keep in mind that the police departments have been known to protect their own, so you should tread carefully when making reports regarding alleged police brutality or other wrongdoing. As a general rule, it’s highly advisable to retain legal counsel before taking any steps that may let the police know that you are considering filing an official complaint.
Contact a Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If the police have violated your rights, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. No one is above the law, including the police, and victims often can hold the cops and the departments that employ them accountable for their losses. Philadelphia civil rights lawyer Lauren Wimmer can review the evidence in your case and explain your legal options. To schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced attorney, please call today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.


Education Is Driven By False Premises and Practices

Education Is Driven By False Premises and Practices



By E. Jeffrey Ludwig
Bruce Deitrick Price in a recent article at quora.com perceptively noted that “teachers understand a lot less about what’s going on in their own classrooms than you might imagine.” He adds that the Education Establishment has “done a great job of making everything so murky that nobody understands what is going on.” Murky is a synonym for “shadowy” such as the shadows on the wall in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in Book VII of The Republic.  The murkiness is premised on the belief that educational outcomes can be produced, even mass produced, independent of the commitment or natural abilities of the student.  Classroom settings and accepted behaviors, software programs, positive thinking, and making allowance for supposed cultural differences among various groups of learners would allow for more consistent success at a high level for most students.  This of course has proved false.
Earlier educators thought, correctly, that knowledge could be expressed, analyzed, and synthesized. While it was apparent that there were varying degrees of teacher communication skills, it was accepted and acceptable that some students would pass, some would barely pass, some would achieve in the average range, some would be above average, and a small group would excel in a significant way.
Now it is believed that if students can go at their own pace, if goals for outcomes are set and clearly stated, if the amount of material covered is limited, if students are allowed to learn in a more relaxed environment, if room decorations are more inspiring, and if, in fact, the whole process is more upbeat and friendly, that more learning will take place. Technocrats embracing software and sentimentalists who insist every student’s “dream” is legitimate have made an alliance whereby software systems, simplification of material, sympathy for the youths’ problems just growing up, and consciousness of cultural and racial differences will bring more and more students where they should be.
All these mis-assumptions produce shadows or murkiness because rationality, process, analysis, synthesis, consciousness, and factual completeness are thought to be controllable by administrative fiat and/or incentives that there be more uniform and higher levels of achievement.  Outcomes are pre-programmed via more comprehensive controls on the teachers, and by computers that assure that students will get to where they should be… eventually. When administrators tell teachers their expectations should be high, it is a coded way of saying that they should give higher grades, teach to the tests (not the curricular requirements), and make sure that the words “grade inflation” never pass through their lips.
One of my colleagues when I was teaching high school in one of the worst behaved and lowest performing high schools in New York City -- a well-educated gentleman from West Africa with two Master’s Degrees from leading schools in France -- asked the principal, “How can the motto of our school be ‘Success Is Our Business’ when most of the students are failing?”  A short time later, he was taken out of the classroom on phony charges and remained waiting for his hearing for two years.  He was cleared, as we knew he would be, but meanwhile the principal succeeded in getting this naysayer out of the building.  It was a lesson to all who remained.  We only talked about “success” even though the students in 11th grade typically did not know how many inches were in a foot (one day I had occasion to ask this question to two of my classes and not one could provide the answer).
teacher evaluation system developed by Charlotte Danielson and introduced in 1996 gained traction in the New York Public Schools and has contributed to the murkiness. It addresses four domains of teacher activities including planning and preparation, classroom environment, professional responsibilities, and instruction. And teachers are evaluated as being Ineffective, Developing, Effective, or Highly Effective. This breakdown alone reveals the open-endedness of teacher responsibility.
In former times, before schools became one stop social agencies, teachers were evaluated exclusively on instruction. Were they in command of the material? Was the material presented clearly? Was there some rapport between teachers and students? If students were not paying attention, that was not automatically attributed to the teacher as a classroom management issue. If many students failed, it was assumed that they were not studying hard enough or did not have the ability to comprehend the material. No benchmarks for “expected” grades were set. Teachers did not have to submit paperwork to justify failing a student, as is the case in many high schools today. New teachers were expected to have lesson plans. Classroom decorations were not included in a teacher’s ratings.
In more recent times, group projects and activities – called cooperative learning – found widespread adoption beginning in the 1990’s. Under this modality, even if only one student in the group did all the work and got all the right answers, the entire group would get the grade achieved by that one.  This became very popular, and was forced on all of us to some degree. One principal even said to me when I resisted, “You should embrace this; it’s a lot less work for you.”
For many decades, IQ was considered to be an important factor in student achievement, but in today’s climate, method of instruction, not IQ, is the end-all and be-all. In fact, IQ tests are not even administered in many large school districts, but are deemed racially biased.  Further, we also now find much greater emphasis on standardized tests than before the 1990’s. Standardized tests automatically limit the amount of knowledge or personal application that is required. Tests are automatically selective. One cannot test everything. So if one teaches to the test rather than first and foremost teaches a curriculum, then one is automatically attenuating the curriculum. New York State has many standardized subject tests called Regents Exams. These tests were originally created to make sure that a minimal knowledge of the subjects was achieved throughout the State. Now the tests are used to raise course grades because the grades in the standardized tests are included as 20% of each student’s course grade. First the standardized tests were dumbed down to raise the scores.  And then, as the scores rose, the State mandated inclusion of the test grade in the course grade.

When I was teaching at a high school for gifted students, I told one of my colleagues about the

murkiness being engendered by the present parameters for producing academic success. Teacher evaluation, software systems, manipulation of grades, and “high expectations” (a not-so-veiled threat of reprisal against teachers should they give lower grades) are the order of the day.  I reminded him of the shadows on the wall in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which shadows were mistaken for the real thing. And stated that the present criteria and goals being set by and for educators were being taken as real and central whereas they were shadows.    
Do you think he appreciated this exhortation from an older colleague? No way. I could see the scorn and contempt in his face, not unlike the chained prisoners in Plato’s Cave when the philosopher returns to explain that the shadows on the wall are just that  -- shadows and not reality.  Yes, the teachers are being dominated by false consciousness and are becoming increasingly confused

Education Is Driven By False Premises and Practices



By E. Jeffrey Ludwig
Bruce Deitrick Price in a recent article at quora.com perceptively noted that “teachers understand a lot less about what’s going on in their own classrooms than you might imagine.” He adds that the Education Establishment has “done a great job of making everything so murky that nobody understands what is going on.” Murky is a synonym for “shadowy” such as the shadows on the wall in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in Book VII of The Republic.  The murkiness is premised on the belief that educational outcomes can be produced, even mass produced, independent of the commitment or natural abilities of the student.  Classroom settings and accepted behaviors, software programs, positive thinking, and making allowance for supposed cultural differences among various groups of learners would allow for more consistent success at a high level for most students.  This of course has proved false.
Earlier educators thought, correctly, that knowledge could be expressed, analyzed, and synthesized. While it was apparent that there were varying degrees of teacher communication skills, it was accepted and acceptable that some students would pass, some would barely pass, some would achieve in the average range, some would be above average, and a small group would excel in a significant way.
Now it is believed that if students can go at their own pace, if goals for outcomes are set and clearly stated, if the amount of material covered is limited, if students are allowed to learn in a more relaxed environment, if room decorations are more inspiring, and if, in fact, the whole process is more upbeat and friendly, that more learning will take place. Technocrats embracing software and sentimentalists who insist every student’s “dream” is legitimate have made an alliance whereby software systems, simplification of material, sympathy for the youths’ problems just growing up, and consciousness of cultural and racial differences will bring more and more students where they should be.
All these mis-assumptions produce shadows or murkiness because rationality, process, analysis, synthesis, consciousness, and factual completeness are thought to be controllable by administrative fiat and/or incentives that there be more uniform and higher levels of achievement.  Outcomes are pre-programmed via more comprehensive controls on the teachers, and by computers that assure that students will get to where they should be… eventually. When administrators tell teachers their expectations should be high, it is a coded way of saying that they should give higher grades, teach to the tests (not the curricular requirements), and make sure that the words “grade inflation” never pass through their lips.
One of my colleagues when I was teaching high school in one of the worst behaved and lowest performing high schools in New York City -- a well-educated gentleman from West Africa with two Master’s Degrees from leading schools in France -- asked the principal, “How can the motto of our school be ‘Success Is Our Business’ when most of the students are failing?”  A short time later, he was taken out of the classroom on phony charges and remained waiting for his hearing for two years.  He was cleared, as we knew he would be, but meanwhile the principal succeeded in getting this naysayer out of the building.  It was a lesson to all who remained.  We only talked about “success” even though the students in 11th grade typically did not know how many inches were in a foot (one day I had occasion to ask this question to two of my classes and not one could provide the answer).
teacher evaluation system developed by Charlotte Danielson and introduced in 1996 gained traction in the New York Public Schools and has contributed to the murkiness. It addresses four domains of teacher activities including planning and preparation, classroom environment, professional responsibilities, and instruction. And teachers are evaluated as being Ineffective, Developing, Effective, or Highly Effective. This breakdown alone reveals the open-endedness of teacher responsibility.
In former times, before schools became one stop social agencies, teachers were evaluated exclusively on instruction. Were they in command of the material? Was the material presented clearly? Was there some rapport between teachers and students? If students were not paying attention, that was not automatically attributed to the teacher as a classroom management issue. If many students failed, it was assumed that they were not studying hard enough or did not have the ability to comprehend the material. No benchmarks for “expected” grades were set. Teachers did not have to submit paperwork to justify failing a student, as is the case in many high schools today. New teachers were expected to have lesson plans. Classroom decorations were not included in a teacher’s ratings.
In more recent times, group projects and activities – called cooperative learning – found widespread adoption beginning in the 1990’s. Under this modality, even if only one student in the group did all the work and got all the right answers, the entire group would get the grade achieved by that one.  This became very popular, and was forced on all of us to some degree. One principal even said to me when I resisted, “You should embrace this; it’s a lot less work for you.”
For many decades, IQ was considered to be an important factor in student achievement, but in today’s climate, method of instruction, not IQ, is the end-all and be-all. In fact, IQ tests are not even administered in many large school districts, but are deemed racially biased.  Further, we also now find much greater emphasis on standardized tests than before the 1990’s. Standardized tests automatically limit the amount of knowledge or personal application that is required. Tests are automatically selective. One cannot test everything. So if one teaches to the test rather than first and foremost teaches a curriculum, then one is automatically attenuating the curriculum. New York State has many standardized subject tests called Regents Exams. These tests were originally created to make sure that a minimal knowledge of the subjects was achieved throughout the State. Now the tests are used to raise course grades because the grades in the standardized tests are included as 20% of each student’s course grade. First the standardized tests were dumbed down to raise the scores.  And then, as the scores rose, the State mandated inclusion of the test grade in the course grade.

When I was teaching at a high school for gifted students, I told one of my colleagues about the

murkiness being engendered by the present parameters for producing academic success. Teacher evaluation, software systems, manipulation of grades, and “high expectations” (a not-so-veiled threat of reprisal against teachers should they give lower grades) are the order of the day.  I reminded him of the shadows on the wall in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which shadows were mistaken for the real thing. And stated that the present criteria and goals being set by and for educators were being taken as real and central whereas they were shadows.    
Do you think he appreciated this exhortation from an older colleague? No way. I could see the scorn and contempt in his face, not unlike the chained prisoners in Plato’s Cave when the philosopher returns to explain that the shadows on the wall are just that  -- shadows and not reality.  Yes, the teachers are being dominated by false consciousness and are becoming increasingly confused


Above the Law... Outside the Law....

Above the Law... Outside the Law....

Democrats Say No One is Above the Law, BUT...!
The full context of that quote in the headline is:  “Democrats Say No One is Above the Law, but My Question is, How Come Illegals Are”?  To listen to the Democrat candidates for president, you’d think that anyone who can enter our country illegally should be accepted and taken care of, no ifs, ands, or buts.  Doesn’t that show that the Democrats are using a double-standard to justify their views on illegal immigration?

Since the Democrats and their acolytes in the main stream media (a/k/a fake news), parse every word or action of President Trump to make him look bad and unworthy of being president, they all seem to excuse the illegal acts of their own cronies such as Hillary and Bill Clinton, James Comey and assorted others from the Obama administration.  It seems they turn a blind-eye when one of their own has skirted the law.  In other words, their friends are “above the law”, which is the height of hypocrisy.

The American public, from most all polls, are against the free flow of illegal immigrants into our country, but the Democrat candidates all seem to take the opposite view of the “hated” President Trump.  No sane person could or should embrace illegal entry into our country.  In fact, just a few short years ago, many of these same Democrats were in favor of strict enforcement of the border, just as President Trump has.  They have included such Democrat powerhouses as ex-President Obama, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and former Senate Democrat leader, Harry Reid, among many others.  With President Trump in office, these feckless Democrats are now opposed to all Trump decisions regarding the border, and have accused him of being a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe, a white supremacist.  I guess the same could be said of those Democrats who supported Trump’s policies in the past?  A typical Democrat double-standard.

Besides turning a blind-eye on the conditions at our border, they also have turned a blind-eye on the actions of Hillary Clinton and her actions while our Secretary of State in the Obama administration.  She blatantly disregarded the rules and regulations of her office, but no outrage on the part of her fellow Democrats.  Was she “above the law”?  It’ll be interesting to see what Attorney General Barr, Inspector General Horowitz, and Special Investigator Durham will come up with and expose when their investigations are disclosed to the public.  I believe it will be an eye-opener and a black eye on the Democrats and the hierarchy of the FBI and the Obama Department of Justice in their quest to undermine the Trump candidacy and the eventual Trump presidency.

Yes Democrats, no one should be above the law and to your chagrin, it’ll be your compatriots who will feel the wrath of the law when all the damning facts come out in the near future.  The beneficiary of these reports will be none other than the “evil” President Trump, who will be running for re-election in 2020.  Isn’t that ironic?

Above the Law... Outside the Law....

Democrats Say No One is Above the Law, BUT...!
The full context of that quote in the headline is:  “Democrats Say No One is Above the Law, but My Question is, How Come Illegals Are”?  To listen to the Democrat candidates for president, you’d think that anyone who can enter our country illegally should be accepted and taken care of, no ifs, ands, or buts.  Doesn’t that show that the Democrats are using a double-standard to justify their views on illegal immigration?

Since the Democrats and their acolytes in the main stream media (a/k/a fake news), parse every word or action of President Trump to make him look bad and unworthy of being president, they all seem to excuse the illegal acts of their own cronies such as Hillary and Bill Clinton, James Comey and assorted others from the Obama administration.  It seems they turn a blind-eye when one of their own has skirted the law.  In other words, their friends are “above the law”, which is the height of hypocrisy.

The American public, from most all polls, are against the free flow of illegal immigrants into our country, but the Democrat candidates all seem to take the opposite view of the “hated” President Trump.  No sane person could or should embrace illegal entry into our country.  In fact, just a few short years ago, many of these same Democrats were in favor of strict enforcement of the border, just as President Trump has.  They have included such Democrat powerhouses as ex-President Obama, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and former Senate Democrat leader, Harry Reid, among many others.  With President Trump in office, these feckless Democrats are now opposed to all Trump decisions regarding the border, and have accused him of being a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe, a white supremacist.  I guess the same could be said of those Democrats who supported Trump’s policies in the past?  A typical Democrat double-standard.

Besides turning a blind-eye on the conditions at our border, they also have turned a blind-eye on the actions of Hillary Clinton and her actions while our Secretary of State in the Obama administration.  She blatantly disregarded the rules and regulations of her office, but no outrage on the part of her fellow Democrats.  Was she “above the law”?  It’ll be interesting to see what Attorney General Barr, Inspector General Horowitz, and Special Investigator Durham will come up with and expose when their investigations are disclosed to the public.  I believe it will be an eye-opener and a black eye on the Democrats and the hierarchy of the FBI and the Obama Department of Justice in their quest to undermine the Trump candidacy and the eventual Trump presidency.

Yes Democrats, no one should be above the law and to your chagrin, it’ll be your compatriots who will feel the wrath of the law when all the damning facts come out in the near future.  The beneficiary of these reports will be none other than the “evil” President Trump, who will be running for re-election in 2020.  Isn’t that ironic?



IS THE UNITED STATES A FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION?

IS THE UNITED STATES A FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION?



A popular theory is that the United States is a for-profit corporation similar to McDonald's. A variety of arguments are used to try to support this claim. We intend to investigate those arguments, but first we need to get some fundamentals out of the way.

What is a country? What is a corporation?

A country, or nation-state, is a "public body corporate", a lawful entity consisting of various members. Countries are not incorporated with any superior entity – they are sovereign, answerable only to the political, economic and military force of other nations who dare oppose. In general, nations voluntarily follow principles of public international law in the interest of peace, order and mutual benefit.
A standard corporation, on the other hand, similarly consists of various members but is incorporated into, under and subject to a nation-state or state and its laws. The nature and necessity of such corporations is explored at length in Blackstone's Commentaries: Of Corporations.
People, men and women, human beings, whether citizens or not are not considered corporations under law, but natural persons. It is not possible to appear in law individually except as a natural person.

What is the United States?

The United States is a sovereign state with the Constitution as the foundational document and supreme law of the land. The United States entity, the same you see as a party in court cases, etc., was created implicitly by the Constitution. The United States is the highest entity that exists or can exist in the United States. The United States itself is not a standard corporation incorporated under any nation's laws (or its own), however the US may form and make use of various standard corporations internally.
Now that we're done with the formalities, let's debunk some pseudo-legal claims!

28 USC § 3002 Definition

The following definition is often claimed to be proof-positive that the United States is a corporation:
(15) “United States” means—
(A) a Federal corporation;
(B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States; or
(C) an instrumentality of the United States.
First we need to understand the basics of statutory word definition. If you read the top of the section carefully you will see the words "As used in this chapter". That means those definitions only apply within that chapter of the USC, which we see here. At a glance it covers about 124 sections out of many thousand in the USC. Moreover, the definitions only apply in federal proceedings that fall under that chapter. The same definition does not apply and is not used anywhere else.
So yes, for the purposes of that chapter, United States is defined as a Federal corporation. This argument is busted based on the scope of the definition alone – clearly something that applies in just one chapter of federal code can't override the entire nation. We can look further, though, to find the exact intent and reasoning behind the particular definition. From the description of the chapter we see it's related to federal debt collection procedure, which is a start.
How can we quickly find out more? We can search Google Scholar to see what the courts say. Clicking the first case and checking footnotes 8 and 9 sheds much light on the topic. Apparently the definition is related to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the intent is to limit the application to dealings with federal entities.
In passing the FDCPA, Congress evinced a clear intent to exclude private transactions — debts created under (and thus governed by) state law, and to which the United States was not an original party.
That explains that!

The District of Columbia

Some believe that the creation of a municipal or state-style government subject to Congress in the District of Columbia somehow changed the government and made everything, including the Constitution (the supreme law of the land, remember) subject to that corporation. This would be quite impossible and makes no sense. The created cannot supersede its creator. No legislation from Congress, no ruling from the Supreme Court, no Executive Order can destroy or replace the Constitution or the United States.

Where do the profits go?

Revenue collected by the United States is managed by the United States Department of the Treasury which has a number of responsibilities. Collected monies remain in the Treasury for use within the nation. Money cannot be removed except in accordance with US law under the Constitutional framework.
What say you? Do you think the United States is a "for-profit corporation"?

IS THE UNITED STATES A FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION?



A popular theory is that the United States is a for-profit corporation similar to McDonald's. A variety of arguments are used to try to support this claim. We intend to investigate those arguments, but first we need to get some fundamentals out of the way.

What is a country? What is a corporation?

A country, or nation-state, is a "public body corporate", a lawful entity consisting of various members. Countries are not incorporated with any superior entity – they are sovereign, answerable only to the political, economic and military force of other nations who dare oppose. In general, nations voluntarily follow principles of public international law in the interest of peace, order and mutual benefit.
A standard corporation, on the other hand, similarly consists of various members but is incorporated into, under and subject to a nation-state or state and its laws. The nature and necessity of such corporations is explored at length in Blackstone's Commentaries: Of Corporations.
People, men and women, human beings, whether citizens or not are not considered corporations under law, but natural persons. It is not possible to appear in law individually except as a natural person.

What is the United States?

The United States is a sovereign state with the Constitution as the foundational document and supreme law of the land. The United States entity, the same you see as a party in court cases, etc., was created implicitly by the Constitution. The United States is the highest entity that exists or can exist in the United States. The United States itself is not a standard corporation incorporated under any nation's laws (or its own), however the US may form and make use of various standard corporations internally.
Now that we're done with the formalities, let's debunk some pseudo-legal claims!

28 USC § 3002 Definition

The following definition is often claimed to be proof-positive that the United States is a corporation:
(15) “United States” means—
(A) a Federal corporation;
(B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States; or
(C) an instrumentality of the United States.
First we need to understand the basics of statutory word definition. If you read the top of the section carefully you will see the words "As used in this chapter". That means those definitions only apply within that chapter of the USC, which we see here. At a glance it covers about 124 sections out of many thousand in the USC. Moreover, the definitions only apply in federal proceedings that fall under that chapter. The same definition does not apply and is not used anywhere else.
So yes, for the purposes of that chapter, United States is defined as a Federal corporation. This argument is busted based on the scope of the definition alone – clearly something that applies in just one chapter of federal code can't override the entire nation. We can look further, though, to find the exact intent and reasoning behind the particular definition. From the description of the chapter we see it's related to federal debt collection procedure, which is a start.
How can we quickly find out more? We can search Google Scholar to see what the courts say. Clicking the first case and checking footnotes 8 and 9 sheds much light on the topic. Apparently the definition is related to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the intent is to limit the application to dealings with federal entities.
In passing the FDCPA, Congress evinced a clear intent to exclude private transactions — debts created under (and thus governed by) state law, and to which the United States was not an original party.
That explains that!

The District of Columbia

Some believe that the creation of a municipal or state-style government subject to Congress in the District of Columbia somehow changed the government and made everything, including the Constitution (the supreme law of the land, remember) subject to that corporation. This would be quite impossible and makes no sense. The created cannot supersede its creator. No legislation from Congress, no ruling from the Supreme Court, no Executive Order can destroy or replace the Constitution or the United States.

Where do the profits go?

Revenue collected by the United States is managed by the United States Department of the Treasury which has a number of responsibilities. Collected monies remain in the Treasury for use within the nation. Money cannot be removed except in accordance with US law under the Constitutional framework.
What say you? Do you think the United States is a "for-profit corporation"?