March 18, 2009
The Dangerous Arne Duncan

The new U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan seems like a good guy who means well, but he's pretty scary. He's this month's NRA cover boy for Obama's anti-gun administration -- following such well-known gun rights foes as Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Holder, and Obama himself -- and for good reason: he's been at the forefront of the battle to ban handguns in Illinois, "for the children."

Indeed, he asserted recently that it is an "undeniable fact that guns and kids don't mix." That our society does not "[value] children more than it values violent rituals and traditions that might have been at home in a frontier society two centuries ago but make absolutely no sense today."

That for those people who disagreed, he will "fight them in Springfield ... in the courts ... in the community ... and even in the home." (He didn't explain just how he wanted to fight me in my home over my choices with my guns and my kids.)

But it gets worse. Now, as Secretary of Education, he has unprecedented authority to spend money. The Secretary's discretionary money -- that he can spend in literally any way he sees fit -- is $5 billion, more than the entire budget of the Department of Education 35 years ago.

And he makes no bones about his intent to use that power to push his own agenda:

ARNE DUNCAN: I think Washington has an extraordinarily important role to play, maybe more so than ever before. But I would argue states have to behave in very, very different ways, and they have a critically important role.

I think there can't be one power center. I think we all have to work together, collaboratively in very different ways to get where we need to go.

JOHN MERROW: But you are going to be writing the checks. That's power.

ARNE DUNCAN: You see it as power; I see it as partnership.

JOHN MERROW: Do we need national standards?

ARNE DUNCAN: I think we need to look at it. I think the idea of 50 states doing things, you know, their own way doesn't quite make sense.

JOHN MERROW: Do you anticipate using some of this stimulus money, this incentive money to help these national standards emerge?

ARNE DUNCAN: Absolutely.

JOHN MERROW: So states will get money if they do this thing that Duncan wants?

ARNE DUNCAN: If you play by these rules, absolutely right.

Some "partnership." He'll push a single national standard for education and if you go along you'll get money. (Raise your hand if you don't think this will include his social agenda, including his anti-gun agenda.)

Of course, even apart from the social agenda, national standards for education make almost no sense. There's little serious interest in Seattle and Everett having the same standards, let alone Seattle and Atlanta.

Duncan wants control. This implies we need him and Obama and the rest of the crowd in Washington D.C. to control us. We don't. And we don't need his money so much that we should sacrifice our liberty and the best interests of our children to get it.

(And yes, this is exactly what I mean when I use the term "socialism.")

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at March 18, 2009 06:44 PM | Email This
Comments
1. There goes a few extra dollars into my FN SCAR 16s fund...

Posted by: Mike H on March 18, 2009 08:18 PM
2. I just pulled my NRA mag out of the mailbox. It is certainly striking how many Obama associates have very strong gun-control records at a time when the trend has been strongly away from gun-control.

Joe Biden has a strong anti-gun record, 2008 campaign notwithstanding, and has claimed credit for originating the "assault weapon" ban. And Gil K spent a lot of time pushing for gun-control as SPD chief, even though he knew he would never get it. I remember Rahm Emanuel as the guy in the Clinton admin who bragged “We're bending the law as far as we can to ban an entirely new class of guns.”.

I don't know exactly what it all means, but it is a striking thing about this new admin.

Posted by: travis t on March 18, 2009 08:24 PM
3. funny how these edu-putz's don't see the obvious Hollywood double standard;

every flaming liberal actor is a hero gun-a-blazing guy/gal in an super action movie; with a cadre of gun-toting bodyguards & security that YOUR mom or dad or grandma does NOT have on Main Street against muggers and shytheads;

ok--de-gun the lib elite too--& their bodyguards--and give them long pointy-sticks; then--i'll play along too;

until then, good for the ordinary taxpayer goose, good for the elitist gander;

legislators take care of their own--i suggest the unwashed masses do the same...after all, libs always promote the "level playing field," right? "fairness" cuts both ways...

Posted by: jimmie howya-doin on March 18, 2009 08:35 PM
4. Don't you know Kerlikowski as "drug czar" will go after the 2nd Amendment using the perverse logic that it is the U.S. which is providing guns and grenades to the Mexican druglords and gangbangers. As if we can buy grenades and machine guns at Wades.
Another slick move is to defund the flight deck hand gun licensing program.

Posted by: Paul on March 18, 2009 09:53 PM
5. Pudge admits, "this is exactly what I mean when I use the term 'socialism'"

Then obviously you haven't a clue what socialism means, but prefer to use the term for every government policy that you disagree with. That's as silly as using terms like "progressive" and "secular" as all-purpose put-downs. Socialism has to do with the ownership of industry, and furthermore, it has nothing to do with the distinction between various government entities.

Posted by: Bruce on March 18, 2009 09:57 PM
6. Guns and kids don't mix?? Have in this house for years. I guess in Chicago you're supposed to roll over for the bad guys. Both the ones with the ski mask on and the ones on the public payroll.

Posted by: PC on March 18, 2009 10:00 PM
7. Paul: remember, Kerlikowski backed Mayor Nickels' plan to violate state law to ban guns on city property.

Bruce: no, the definition I use has been in widespread use for at least 150 years -- proof that you are the one who doesn't know what he is talking about -- and contrary to your defamatory and unsubstantiatable claim, it is not "every government policy I disagree with," but those that are geared toward using the power of government to shape society, usually by taking away liberty or giving preferential treatment.

I only included that line at the end, Bruce, because many liberals like you pretend that socialism has only one meaning, and that you get to decide what it is. You know, discourse works best when you try to understand the other side. My use is perfectly valid. You're wrong.

Posted by: pudge on March 18, 2009 10:15 PM
8. Just send your kids to private school and avoid the garbage. Seriously.

Btw, Obama was named National Gun Salesman of the Year.
Indeed.

Posted by: Michele on March 18, 2009 10:50 PM
9. There is a saying...Where you have Government that is afraid of the People, you have LIBERTY. Where you have People afraid of the Government, you have TYRANNY.

That is what disarming the Citizenry is all about. The Government wants the People to be defenseless so they can do whatever they want and no longer need to fear the People rising up against them. Such a Deal!

Posted by: Daniel on March 18, 2009 10:57 PM
10. I totally agree with you Daniel. I even agree with Pudge. Good comments. I find it hard to believe that's it's constitutional for a government department to have 5 Billion dollars (or any amount for that matter) to spend on whatever the hell it wants. Spending means rules. In fact, the 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Right preclude the Dept. of Education to begin with.

Posted by: Dave Lincoln on March 19, 2009 12:04 AM
11. I thought I'd post a link to some photos of my kids and guns. They seem to get along fine together!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/album.php?aid=79432&id=695695806

Posted by: Chad Minnick on March 19, 2009 12:42 AM
12. Pudge wrote:

You know, discourse works best when you try to understand the other side. My use is perfectly valid. You're wrong.

But Pudge, you don't understand! The typical Marxist KNOWS they're right, there's no need to listen to the other side or consider other viewpoints. They only mean you should be open minded when considering their one true belief!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 19, 2009 01:10 AM
13. Gill the Gunless; inspiring my safety; lost his OWN gun as a police chief; he who let Seattle be taken over by bums & drunks; he who thinks a "nightstick" is a kid's glowing lighted toy;

ask the southern border states how THEY feel---MSM are silent about the kidnappings on US soil and incursions onto our land by illegals and dopers;

I'd feel safer with Inspector Clouseau;

Posted by: jimmie howya doin on March 19, 2009 03:54 AM
14. Just the hipocrisy of the left...kids and guns don't mix...but it is okay to kill the kids before they are born!

Posted by: Rnady on March 19, 2009 04:47 AM
15. Great post by pudge. It reminds those of us who believe the 2nd Amendment means what it says and says what it means; that there are and will continue to be multiple threats to our liberties from various high-ranking members of this Administration.

And as pudge correctly pointed out Arne Duncan isn't alone on this issue: Even if the most powerful people in the Obama Administration including the President are usually careful to speak at least somewhat in code words when dealing with the 2nd Amendment, you can bet they feel completely comfortable with the statement pudge quoted:

''.... our society .... values violent rituals and traditions that might have been at home in a frontier society two centuries ago but make absolutely no sense today.''

''Violent rituals and traditions ??...''
The contempt for the 2nd Amendment contained in that statement is boundless.

Fortunately even though the (D)s are close to the magic 60 majority in the US Senate, as long as there are members like Baucus and Tester from states like Montana, I don't see much chance yet for fundamental and pervasive violations of the right to keep and bear arms to be formally legislated (like the recent wholesale confiscation of handguns in Australia, for example). Plus the recent reaffirmation by the Supreme Court that the 2nd Amendment is an INDIVIDUAL right was important. The immediate danger is continual chipping away at the edges; and especially the use of Federal funding as a club to compell ''voluntary'' compliance with ''Federal guidlines'', etcetera.

And WRT kids and guns not ''mixing'':
I and most of the guys I grew up with in the farming country of ND got our first .22 single shot rifles when we were about 6 years old; and 12-gauge pump shotguns a few years after that. Not a SINGLE kid I knew or heard of in our County was ever accidentially let alone deliberately shot with a firearm during the time I was in grades 1 thru 12; even though everybody had guns and kept them with them in their cars and pickups all the time. In light of which I would say:

Since a large number of children are tragically killed each year in auto accidents, I guess cars and kids don't mix. So Arne Duncan is probably in favor of banning private cars, right ??... Makes more sense, if you look at the auto fatality and injury numbers.... oops: I should be careful here: Private cars and the freedom to travel with same might indeed be considered vestiges of an outdated frontier society by many in this Administration; and they'll likely be wanting to restrict us to public transportation as much and as soon as possible....

Posted by: Methow Ken on March 19, 2009 05:24 AM
16. From my cold dead hands Arne Duncan from my cold dead hands.

Posted by: ROCKETMAN on March 19, 2009 06:24 AM
17. Off topic, but this reasoning should apply to the new legislation that attempts (retroactively) to confiscate all legally earned bonus. I am also angry at the character of those who received the bonus, but I cannot support a government that creates a special law after the fact and confiscate rightly (albeit ethically questionable) earned money. The same people (and more) who support stripping out 2nd amendment are deep into this silly legislation.

I will never vote for anyone who votes for this.

Posted by: DopioLover on March 19, 2009 08:01 AM
18. Pudge@7, the link you provide doesn't support your broad definition of socialism because (a) it talks about plunder mostly in an economic sense (though I'm sure you can find a sentence to the contrary out of context), (b) it doesn't deal with your complaint about one government agency (the one currently led by Democrats) pushing around another government agency, and anyway (c) in no way does this definition have "widespread use" as you claim.

Not that any of this is really relevant to whether gun control is constitutional (which of course you know better than the Supreme Court) or good policy (which of course you know better than anyone). You have made it clear that no one and no facts will persuade you on those points. You can claim everyone else is stupid, pudge, but then you can't also say that your unique wisdom is "widespread".

Posted by: Bruce on March 19, 2009 08:07 AM
19. DopioLover@17, Congress routinely revises the tax code retroactively -- pretty much every year. I agree that effectively confiscating bonuses retroactively would be a more extreme case of this than usual, but the principle has been broadly accepted by Congress and I don't think it's run into trouble with the Supreme Court.

I am also curious what you mean by "rightly (albeit ethically questionable) earned money".

Posted by: Bruce on March 19, 2009 08:15 AM
20. Pudge@7, the link you provide doesn't support your broad definition of socialism

Yes, it does.


it talks about plunder mostly in an economic sense

So do I. Read again.


doesn't deal with your complaint about one government agency (the one currently led by Democrats) pushing around another government agency

That is completely irrelevant to my use of the term "socialism." It is about the control via the money that I am referring. That this control happened to be over our state governments instead of us individually is unimportant.


in no way does this definition have "widespread use" as you claim.

Yes, it absolutely does. EVERY DAY many liberals are telling many conservatives they use the word "socialism" incorrectly, and overwhelmingly most of the time, those conservatives are using the word the same way Bastiat and I use it.


Not that any of this is really relevant to whether gun control is constitutional (which of course you know better than the Supreme Court)

I never addressed "gun control" or the constitutionality of it in my post, so it's irrelevant. What I did imply -- though not address specifically -- is that BANNING guns is unconstitutional, which the Supreme Court agreed with, and is going to soon incorporate to the states as well.


or good policy (which of course you know better than anyone)

If it is unconstitutional, it's irrelevant how good you think the policy is.


You have made it clear that no one and no facts will persuade you on those points.

You're a liar. I made no such thing clear. I won't be persuaded by your rhetoric, but facts? Sure. Present some facts that Duncan does not want to ban guns. Provide some facts that banning guns is not unconstitutional. Provide some facts that my assertions about the word "socialism" are incorrect. Provide some facts that Duncan won't use his power to push his agenda, which includes banning guns. Provide some facts that state education standards don't "make sense."

You have no counterfacts. You lie by implying you do.


You can claim everyone else is stupid, pudge

And you can put words in my mouth! More lies from Bruce.


And please, you and DopioLover, take the off-topic discussion somewhere where it's more on-topic.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 08:35 AM
21. There are dozens of D's in the house who got elected based on support of the 2nd amendment. If the administration makes a big deal out of gun control these so called 'blue dogs' will have to stand up and stop it.

Or, it will be 1994 redux.

Posted by: Kato on March 19, 2009 08:56 AM
22. Pudge

Duncan will fit into this administration very well. Not only does he qualify as an anti-2nd amendment type, he also is opposed to the notion of federalism and supports bilingual education. Not a very promising secretary for the USA, but a perfect one for the group that hungers after controlling all aspects of our lives.

Duncan's opposition to the 2nd Amendment will probably take the form of forcing gun grabber propaganda onto school districts. That is scary enough. But there is more to be frightened about from this guy.

What deeply frightens me is that he and his cronies are so arrogant as to believe the Federal government has the intelligence and wisdom to dictate education policy to everyone. With this kind of attitude, truly horrific fantasies about education--bilingual education comes to mind right away--could be imposed top down upon the entire country by a committed group of ideologues.


Posted by: iconoclast on March 19, 2009 09:05 AM
23. Kato

I think we need more than one simple issue to force a recurrance of 1994 again. IMHO, the country needs for the GOP and blue dogs to adopt an updated Contract with America.

One of the great points about the Contract was that the GOP promised to force Congress to adhere to the same laws that applied to the rest of us.

In the same spirit, I propose that one of the new Contract points be that elected and confirmed federal leaders be subject to the same tax laws as the rest of us. To prove that, I would suggest that all of them be subject to an initial one-time IRA audit of their taxes with the results published.

Posted by: iconoclast on March 19, 2009 09:10 AM
24. Heh, con't even get me started on Obama's "every child should learn another language" crap. This is a great example of where national standards make no sense: why SHOULD every child learn another language? Most of them will never use it; why spend hundreds or thousands of hours learning it?

That's not to say it does not bring some usefulness to it. I know quite a bit of French and some Greek, and I don't find myself worse off for knowing them. But I do think I could have found a better use for my time than learning French. I'll keep the Greek though. And the point is, this is a debatable subject and LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS should make that choice. If not them, then the state. No reason for the federalis to do it.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 09:19 AM
25. Socialism. Oh, I feel the shame of the American left, finding out that what they have been voting for all these years has a name. Don't feel too bad, you've been lied to, miseducated and over entertained. It's a social thing.

Posted by: ljm on March 19, 2009 09:41 AM
26. How many times do we have to point out just who the liberals actually are?

They are everything I and others have said they are.

They are controlling, nasty, thought police who take their greatest pleasure in telling other people how to live. That's the kind of people they are. It's why they are liberal Democrats.

They want to control gun ownership "for the children". Gosh isn't that a big surprise?

If liberals were actually concerned about "the children" 40% of children would not be born out of wedlock,(this cheery new statistic is just out today). Oh, but the destruction of the family has also been another longtime liberal goal, hasn't it?

Some Republicans think we should be more like the Democrats. I think that is insane.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 19, 2009 09:48 AM
27. #23 Iconoclast

I agree, it will take more than one issue. However, after the '94 election even Bill Clinton credited the gun issue with the loss of some 30 out of the 50+ seats that the D's lost that year.

With the fumbled and failing Obama economic policies, and with ideas like making war vets pay their own health care for battle wounds, we are going to have an abundance of issues on which to run in '10.

Posted by: Kato on March 19, 2009 09:59 AM
28. The local school district does make decisions like that, pudge. The Department of Education decides how to spend its money. School districts do not have to take Federal money if they decide, against significant evidence (though not overwhelming evidence) that teaching a second-language is not beneficial for education.

Nearly all competitive universities require second-language education. Public high schools should have those programs available so students can get into the colleges they want to.

The Department of Education is controlled by the unitary executive, i.e. President Obama. The American people elected Obama into office so it follows that they support his domestic agenda -- such as funding second-language programs. If the people do not support such policies they should elect a different unitary executive.

One thing that the DoE doesn't do, though, is talk abut gun control. It would be absurd to tie any funds to the teaching of a political agenda, and that is not happening. Perhaps someone who is for gun control is a fine educator. Perhaps political diversity is acceptable in this country.

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 11:36 AM
29. "There's little serious interest in Seattle and Everett having the same standards, let alone Seattle and Atlanta."

Since when does "interest" dictate "good policy"? Finishing the 9th grade or graduating high school should mean something, otherwise students who transfer will be at a significant disadvantage and colleges will have to waste valuable time on high school teaching. Or worse, only those who go to schools in Bellevue get accepted to college causing disparity. That's bad our economic future.

No one is suggesting standardized lesson plans. But just saying "it doesn't make sense" isn't a real concrete analysis of an obviously deep and complex issue.

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 11:47 AM
30. John Jensen: The local school district does make decisions like that

Well, in conjunction with the state, yes. But you apparently missed the part where Duncan said he wants to have national education standards. He does not WANT the local district or state to make these decisions.


The American people elected Obama into office so it follows that they support his domestic agenda -- such as funding second-language programs.

First, no, this should be a legislative decision, not an executive one, if it is a decision at all. Second, it's quite clear that federal spending on general public education is unconstitutional, as per the Tenth Amendment.


One thing that the DoE doesn't do, though, is talk abut gun control.

For now. We know he did this as head of the public schools in Chicago.


It would be absurd to tie any funds to the teaching of a political agenda

Yes. But it happens. For example, federal funds tied to abstinence sex ed.


Perhaps someone who is for gun control is a fine educator. Perhaps political diversity is acceptable in this country.

Perhaps I'd like people who actually respect the Constitution to be in positions of authority in the federal government.

It would be "absurd" to think that something so close to Duncan's heart, that he worked on as head of the Chicago schools, he will NOT work on as head of the U.S. Dept. of Education. Especially when that agenda is perfectly in line with the views of the President, Attorney General, Chief of Staff, and so on.

Maybe he won't. But it would be foolish to assume he won't.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 11:48 AM
31. Just 1 of many assaults on the 2nd....last weeks was because all guns going to Mexico were US guns which is a out right lie..that was exposed ..now they trott out its for the "kids"......Do they really want to disarm America??..do they actually think they can???...they can't remove 12,000,000 illegal aliens (25 million if u ask me) always double what DC says for more realistic #'s...so how the hell they gunna disarm 200,000,000 Americans....well if they try I see lotsa American blood flowing down mainstreet...

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 11:54 AM
32. John Jensen: Since when does "interest" dictate "good policy"?

I meant it in precisely that way: there is no sound policy interest in it.


Finishing the 9th grade or graduating high school should mean something, otherwise students who transfer will be at a significant disadvantage and colleges will have to waste valuable time on high school teaching.

First of all, this already happens. When I went to college 15 years ago, MOST of the kids did not have a functional understanding of algebra or grammar.

Second, and more importantly, so what? Why do you think local school districts are incapable of determing what is best for their kids on their own? I am not arguing that kids should not be well-educated. I am arguing that Everett does not need Seattle's help in determining what that means.


Or worse, only those who go to schools in Bellevue get accepted to college causing disparity.

Then you fire your school board and get a new one.


That's bad our economic future.

I am much more concerned with liberty than some nebulous concern over our "economic future," but that said, I think local standards are FAR more likely to improve our economic future as local school boards become truly free to do what is in the best interests of THEIR kids.


But just saying "it doesn't make sense" isn't a real concrete analysis of an obviously deep and complex issue.

It is neither deep nor complex, actually: Everett is capable of handling it on its own, and liberty requires that they should be allowed to do so.

To most people, this is self-evident.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 11:58 AM
33. Indeed pudge, what have we seen the Obama Administration NOT do that at least this humble poster didn't see coming?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 19, 2009 11:58 AM
34. hellpig:

No one is talking disarmament, yet. They hope to win this war via attrition. That is why Duncan's so potentially dangerous: he wants to win the battle against guns with our kids, brainwashing them against guns in the schools. Whether he will attempt to do this in his new position, we don't know, but he absolutely does want this to happen.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 12:00 PM
35. About the socialism topic on this thread..Liberals will do and say anything to justify not being called one...I got tired of defending the definitions...so I now use the term "Comrade President Obama" it covers me on all 3 Socialism/Marxism/Communism...which is IMO what the dem party is and has been since Clinton

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 12:06 PM
36. pudge

true ....but the end game is disarmament..IMO.

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 12:12 PM
37. The war of attrition is exactly what the liberals have been about for 40 years Pudge. It's why they push for mandatory government daycare and preschool. The sooner they get their hands on kids the more time they have to brainwash them into leftist zombies. It's why the left fights school choice tooth and nail. It's why they want to shut up Limbaugh, Hannity, Sarah Palin, and anyone else who disagrees with their goal of imposing socialism on the entire country.

I've lived long enough to have been a first hand witness to all of this insanity. It makes me sick. As I mentioned earlier the left is well on the way to achieving one of its primary goals, the destruction of the traditional family. It's why they constantly wage war against Christianity. 40% of children are now born to single mothers. I'm 56 years old. Such a statistic when I was growing up was absolutely unimaginable.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 19, 2009 12:21 PM
38. I suspect that there already is a lot of anti-gun propaganda in the schools. I recall a Seattle Times piece along the lines of 'what would 10-yr-olds do if they were President?' High on the wish list of most of children interviewed was gun control, i.e. 'more hugs, less guns' kind of thing.

And no doubt under Duncan there will be more of this.

Posted by: travis t on March 19, 2009 12:36 PM
39. Hey Bill C...

Did you ever hear the Algore audio from a few months ago when he was addressing this 12 and under kids club (forgot name) but he states that the parenst don't know what they are talking about and that they should stop listening to them....if I have time ill try and dig up the audio link...scary stuff though...think I heard it on the Dori Munson show

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 12:37 PM
40. *Monson not Munson my bad

Algore brainwashing audio

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 12:56 PM
41. Bill @ 37: indeed.

BTW, in Massachusetts, when you take your kid to the pediatrician, there's a standard state form you fill out, and one of the questions is whether you have a gun in your home.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 01:12 PM
42. @ Pudge I heard about that...and this will become mainstream if we go Socialist Heathcare..without a doubt in my tiny mind

Posted by: hellpig on March 19, 2009 01:16 PM
43. I meant it in precisely that way: there is no sound policy interest in it.

http://soundpolitics.com/archives/012756.html

"They got serious about standards and insisted on results. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is generally regarded as the high mark in rigorous standards in K-12 education. Massachusetts went down the challenging path of aligning its own standards to NAEP, with all the potential for upset that comes with such high expectations and public accountability."

It is neither deep nor complex, actually: Everett is capable of handling it on its own, and liberty requires that they should be allowed to do so.

Liberty dictates that they can refuse state or federal funding. Once they accept federal funding, or the state does, the unitary executive and congress have a constitutional right (per the Supreme Court) to attach conditions to those funds.

I absolutely agree that Everett should be able to turn down those funds. If it is in the national interest to have second-language education per congress and the unitary executive, then they can choose how to distribute funds.

As for distributing funds based on gun-control: Also a right of the federal government, but one that would people voted out of office since it is patently absurd and has nothing to do with education.

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 01:33 PM
44. I couldn't get that Gore audio to work, hellpig. I'm not in any way surprised however that Gore would suggest children ignore their parents. That's what liberals are all about. The only parents liberals want children to have is the government.

Not surprised Pudge about that Massachusetts form requiring parents to state whether they have a gun.

People that don't understand what the left is and what their agenda is are simply naive.

It's why we need to stand firm for conservative principles and oppose these controlling nasty socialists. This is still a conservative country. We cannot make the mistake of trying to appease liberals with candidates like McCain. We have to stand for conservative principles and explain them clearly. There is a faction in the Republican Party that believes otherwise. They are wrong.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 19, 2009 02:04 PM
45. John Jensen wrote:

Liberty dictates that they can refuse state or federal funding.

Then you haven't been following the current Congressional push... Congress has chosen to allow legislatures to bypass the Governor in acceptance of stimulus funds.

It's really not a stretch at all to assume that the same will be applied to education - if a school or school board wants the funds, they can just ignore the superintendent and the State and take it directly.

So much for any respect of the separation of powers and the use of an executive, regardless the level.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 19, 2009 02:15 PM
46. John Jensen:

I wrote "there is no sound policy interest in it." You did not rebut this claim. Neither did Eric's quote rebut it: his point was about having high standards and ensuring they were followed, not the state dictating what those standards would be. That is apparently the path MA chose, but it's beside the point.


Liberty dictates that they can refuse state or federal funding.

No, that's only half the equation: they also TAKE the money in the first place, and they take it for an explicitly unconstitutional purpose. This is an obvious, clear violation of our liberty.


Once they accept federal funding, or the state does, the unitary executive and congress have a constitutional right (per the Supreme Court) to attach conditions to those funds.

But they have a constitutional prohibition from GIVING those funds. You keep forgetting that fact.


As for distributing funds based on gun-control: Also a right of the federal government

It depends both on what the funds are for (if for public education, then no, it is unconstitutional) and what the conditions are (if they violate the Second Amendment, then no, they are unconstitutional).


but one that would people voted out of office since it is patently absurd and has nothing to do with education.

Again: the feds (and the state) push non-educational items ALL THE TIME on the local districts.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 02:29 PM
47. Pudge, it's the height of boring policy discussion to have everything come down as "no" because of the 10th Amendment.

Let's add something to your "fact": The Supreme Court, the congress, the unitary executive, the State of Washington, and the school districts of Puget Sound live in the reality where this is indeed a constitutional practice. Though that obviously disagrees with your principles, I wouldn't let that get in the way of making a sound educational system.

And you are offering no evidence to say that a level of federal standardization to give some uniform meaning to a high school degree isn't a sound policy decision besides opining that, well, it "isn't" and talking about the 10th Amendment. You can back up your argument with any substance if you expect me to "refute" it.

In terms of second-language education -- i.e. why should we have standards on that? Because the research that has found that it creates a smarter student body, of course. (Note that my philosophy on education have nothing to do with the 10th amendment, but everything to do with education.)

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 04:51 PM
48. John Jensen:

it's the height of boring policy discussion to have everything come down as "no" because of the 10th Amendment.

Yes, as I have said many times, many people in this country do not care about the rule of law, as you don't.


The Supreme Court, the congress, the unitary executive, the State of Washington, and the school districts of Puget Sound live in the reality where this is indeed a constitutional practice

Well, no, it is not a constitutional practice. Period. They falsely consider it to be, but it's not.

And I don't see how you think this is relevant to anything I said anyway. You appear to be saying I shouldn't talk about this because it won't change anything, too many people in power disagree with me. But we are having discussions about what should happen, and what should not happen. I can also say "we should not give hundreds of billions in handouts to AIG," but the fact is, we're doing it. Does that mean I shouldn't say it?


Though that obviously disagrees with your principles, I wouldn't let that get in the way of making a sound educational system.

If this were the First or Fourth or Fifth Amendment, you and most liberals would say, we cannot violate these things, the mere act of it debases us all, even if the government considers it legal. And you'd be right. And I'm right here.

Further, a sound educational system cannot be built on the theft of liberty required for violation of the Tenth Amendment. This is, indeed, part of why our public educational system is so poor today, because it has stolen our liberty.

And you are offering no evidence to say that a level of federal standardization to give some uniform meaning to a high school degree isn't a sound policy decision besides opining that, well, it "isn't" and talking about the 10th Amendment.

Yes, I am. If you understood the Tenth Amendment, you would understand why a violation of it is a bad thing in and of itself, just like a violation of the First Amendment is. The Tenth Amendment is not merely a legal barrier to hurdle, it is an embodiment of the principle of self-governance itself, the principle that the PEOPLE are the most free when they get to make their OWN decisions for THEMSELVES. Violating the Tenth Amendment is not a technicality, it is literally theft of our liberty.

We CAN make our own school standards decisions, and we THEREFORE SHOULD, because that is what it means to be free, and that is FAR more important than any complaints anyone could possibly come up with, especially those about "the economy" and so on.


In terms of second-language education -- i.e. why should we have standards on that? Because the research that has found that it creates a smarter student body, of course

Irrelevant. I already noted that knowing another language is a good thing. What I question is whether the hundreds or thousands of hours spent learning another language could not be put to better use. History, for example.

As I am not saying learning another language is a bad thing, or that it does not produce good secondary results, you cannot argue against me by saying "it produces these secondary results," as you must either make the argument that a. the learning of the language itself is an essential goal, or b. that it is the best way to achieve these secondary results. I believe that neither a nor b is true.

I've never once seen a valid argument for either a or b. No one has ever shown me that learning a language is essential for all, or even most, children; nor have I ever seen a valid argument that the secondary results (e.g., understanding the English language better) are best achieved by learning another language.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 05:20 PM
49. rule of law

Case law is that it is constitutional. You may disagree with that, but that is the current law in the United States. So yes, I do believe in the rule of law.

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 06:17 PM
50. Case law is that it is constitutional. You may disagree with that, but that is the current law in the United States. So yes, I do believe in the rule of law.

No, you do not. Constitutionality is not what the Supreme Court says it is, it is what the Constitution says it is. That is the law. The Supreme Court gets to say how the government must interpret the law, but it does not have the power, let alone the authority, to change what the Constitution says.

Indeed, the Supreme Court in striking down Tenth Amendment challenges itself is often ignoring the rule of law. You cannot absolve yourself by allowing them to do the dirty work for you.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 06:38 PM
51. I've never once seen a valid argument for either a or b

Pudge, education policy shouldn't be decided based on argument but on research. And research does show that secondary language learning helps students in both primary and secondary ways. I don't know if it's the "best" but most universities seem to think it's valuable since it is nearly a universal requirement to get admitted to a four-year college. That is reason enough to give students across the country access to that sort of education.

No one has proposed making it law that any school that gets federal money teach a second language. The second that comes up, you can raise hell about it. But I would be shocked of someone running for President or someone running the Department of Education didn't have an opinion on learning a secondary language.

If assigning a high school degree some universal meaning across the country means some federal intervention, I am not scared by that as long as it makes our students more competitive. Obviously, it would be constitutional by any mature understanding of the law.

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 06:45 PM
52. No, you do not.

The Constitution is not what you say it is, either.

So I'm going to take the interpretation of the Supreme Court over yours. And I'm going to discuss my policy in terms of the current reality, rather than the Ron Paul "reality."

So when you say something is a "fact" and the Supreme Court as well as the vast majority of the country disagrees with you: That's a pretty rich "fact."

Posted by: John Jensen on March 19, 2009 06:55 PM
53. John Jensen:

And research does show that secondary language learning helps students in both primary and secondary ways.

Um. I ALREADY CONCEDED THIS. It is BESIDE THE POINT. How are you not getting this?


I don't know if it's the "best" but most universities seem to think it's valuable since it is nearly a universal requirement to get admitted to a four-year college

Universities do a lot of stupid things.


That is reason enough to give students across the country access to that sort of education.

No, it's really not.


The Constitution is not what you say it is, either.

Correct. It is what the Constitution says. Duh.


So I'm going to take the interpretation of the Supreme Court over yours.

You mean you're going to engage in a red herring fallacy.


And I'm going to discuss my policy in terms of the current reality, rather than the Ron Paul "reality."

And you're going to be dishonest about the nature of the discussion, which was about how things SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be.


So when you say something is a "fact" and the Supreme Court as well as the vast majority of the country disagrees with you: That's a pretty rich "fact."

Again with the red herring fallacies. And this one is compounded by the FACT that you are making up thee "fact" that the "vast majority of the country" disagrees with me.

Posted by: pudge on March 19, 2009 08:57 PM
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