Thursday, August 27, 2009

Homeschooled 10-yr old ordered to attend public school for being "too religious."

In case you haven't heard, a homeschooled 10-yr old New Hampshire girl has been ordered to attend public school because she is "too religious."

Since this is coming from a divorced home, I, along with many others, feel this may be a case of the father trying to assert his authority rather than a serious concern for the child's welfare.

The Alliance Defense Fund reports:
Although the marital master making recommendations to the court agreed the child is “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level” and that “it is clear that the home schooling...has more than kept up with the academic requirements of the...public school system,” he nonetheless proposed that the Christian girl be ordered into a government-run school after considering “the impact of [her religious] beliefs on her interaction with others.” The court approved the order.

“The court is essentially saying that the evidence shows that, socially and academically, this girl is doing great, but her religious beliefs are a bit too sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews. This is a step too far for any court to take.”

In addition to home schooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities.

In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”
The Dakota Voice went on to say:
The girl “lacked some youthful characteristics”? Which ones? I can only conclude from the context of this document that the “proper youthful characteristics” should involve sheep-like behavior, pliability, conformity to state indoctrination, moral ambiguity, uncertainty, ignorance, and philosophical rudderlessness.

She is apparently expected to enter a public indoctrination, er, public education center where she “must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”

Obviously it has never occurred to these secularist elitists that she may be light-years ahead of them in this process. Perhaps she has already evaluated systems of belief and found the Christian worldview to be both reliable and “suitable to her own needs.” If you find the right answer, are you obligated to continue exploring other possible answers? If you find that “4″ is right for the question “2+2=?”, are you obligated to continue on and explore whether “5″ might be right, or perhaps “8″ or maybe even “37″? Obviously if you try “839″ for the answer and find that it doesn’t work, you need to continue searching, but if “4″ works, what sane person goes on to explore all the wrong answers?More likely, these elitist statists consider her acceptance of Christianity to be unsuitable to their needs–their need for moral ambiguity to excuse immoral behaviors.

This is a good example of the brazen arrogance of these statists. They hold anything other than their own moral ambiguity in deep contempt. Someone who is sure of their beliefs and certain of what is right is a threat to them…so they do all they can to undermine that certainty.

It is also interesting that this document chides the girl Amanda for not engaging in “some element of independent thinking.” She
is engaging in independent thinking, and her refusal to bow to their secularist indoctrination is proof. But she is not engaging in their version of “independent thinking.” Which brings us to the next irony of this morally bereft judge.

The next passage says Amanda lacks “tolerance for different points of view.” Where, I wonder, is
their tolerance for her point of view? Apparently it is AWOL. But Amanda’s point of view doesn’t really matter to them, does it? What matters is that she accept their morally adrift practice of “tolerance” of any fool idea that comes along.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against public education. Apparently the author of the article I quoted above is but I am not. However, I thought he made some good points. My mother is a public school teacher along with many of my good friends. They are all excellent teachers & Godly men & women. If our schools need anything right now, it is Godly men & women to stand up for what is right. Having said that, if I ever have children I will probably home school them just because I see what is happening as our school systems adopt more & more liberal ideologies.

Another thing that bugs me is this comment about her lacking "youthful characteristics." Translated that just means she's more mature than her peers. Our society is much different than any society in the history of this planet. We are marrying much older than in past cultures yet I feel we are exhibiting a growing lack of maturity.

In Bible times, many married in their early teens. It is even theorized that Marry was probably 13 when she had Jesus. Even back 50 yrs ago, it was rare for a woman to not be married by her early twenty's & it was not unheard of to marry while still in high school (& this was not due to pregnancy out of wedlock like today, even though I'm sure that happened also). However, today, most couples wait until they are out of college & possibly even grad school & a growing number are waiting until their career is set before considering marriage. Heck, I'm almost 30 & still single.

Why is this? Well, there are probably many reasons but one main reason, I feel, is today's culture has made premarital sex acceptable, even expected, so there is no great drive to marry.

Now, I'm not advocating marriage at 16, 17, or 18, I'm just saying that "back in the day," people were more mature & ready for marriage at a younger age (or at least seemed that way). Then, something went terribly wrong somewhere in the '60's I'm guessing, with all the "free love" & independence & explosion of different religions, New Age in particular.

I'm drifting off topic a bit. I am not alone in my feeling that today's adults, or at least young adults (20's & 30's), are not nearly as mature as they were in the past. There is a rampant lack of personal responsibility & self-control that is destroying generations as exhibited by the huge number of people in debt.

However, this little girl, at the age of 10, shows a greater awareness & debate skills than her judge & she is the one criticized.

The school has enough trying to educate students in math, writing, science, & history. They do not have time to train each child in social skills. Discipline & social manners should be taught at home. The public expects teachers to discipline & socially train their students yet they tie their hands behind their back. Again, another example of parents not taking personal responsibility.

Economic & Social Ideologies: Socialism

Socialism, according to, is “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of ownership & control of the means of production & distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” Karl Marx described socialism as the transition stage a society goes through when evolving from capitalism into communism.

Socialists believe capitalism places all the power in the hands of the wealthy. Their idea is to redistribute this power & wealth based on the amount of work employed. However, disagreements in how this should be performed has lead to many different types of socialism. “Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, & exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy.” (Wikipedia) “Social democrats propose selective nationaliztion of key national industries in mixed economies, while maintaining private ownership of capital & private business enterprise. Social democrats also promote tax-funded welfare programs & regulation of markets.” (Wikipedia)

From what I understand, socialism is an attempt to make everyone in society equal. It sounds nice but cannot work. People are too lazy, selfish, etc for this type of lifestyle. Ideally, in a socialistic environment, the fellow frying up your French fries at your favorite fast food restaurant would be compensated the same as your doctor who spent 10+ years in college & who knows how much money.

Current Marxist-Leninist socialist countries include: People’s Republic of China (since October 1, 1949), Cuba (since January 1, 1959), Laos (since December 2, 1975), North Korea (since 1948), & Vietnam (in unified Vietnam since July 2, 1976, but in the north since 1954). Countries who reference socialism in their constitution & subscribe to many of the ideologies of socialism but do not necessarily follow Marxist-Leninist ideas include: Bangladesh (since December 16, 1972), Egypt (since September 11, 1971), India (since November 2, 1976), Libya (since September 1, 1969), Portugal (since 1976), Sri Lanka (since September 7, 1978), Syria (since 1973), & Tanzania (since April 26, 1964).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Economic & Social Ideologies: Communism

Communism is, according to, “a system of social organization in which all economic & social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a singe & self-perpetuation political party.”

The idea of collectivism has been traced back to antiquity. Many relate back to the mention of such practices in Plato’s The Republic, Spartacus’s uprising against Rome, Thomas More’s Utopia, & some even consider the Sermon on the Mount to be referring to a collective society. However, Communism’s true birth occurred after the French Revolution. During this time in history, the terms “Communism” & “Socialism” were used interchangeably.

Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engles “firmly tied communism with the idea of working class revolution conducted by the exploited proletariat (or the working class).” (Wikipedia)

“Marx posited that communism would be the final stage in human society, which would be achieved after an intermediate stage called socialism, & through the temporary & revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Communism in the Marxist sense refers to a classless, stateless, & oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce & what policies to pursue are made directly & democratically.” (Wikipedia)

“Most influential leftist & socially critical theories either develop Marxism further, (e.g., social democracy, Leninism, Maoism, & Trotskyism), or completely drop Marxist ideology and do not set the creation of classless society as their aim (e.g., the modern feminism, New Labour, environmentalism). Therefore the words Marxism & communism are usually understood as synonymous.” (Wikipedia)

Lenin led the Bolsheviks in taking over Russia from the Czars after WWI leading to the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922. Stalin took Lenin’s place in 1924 after he died from a stroke despite his warnings against Stalin. “Once in power, Stalin carried out multiple purges of dissidents & left communists/opposition, particularly of those around Leon Trotsky, & established the character of Communism as the totalitarian ideology it is most commonly known as & referred to today.” (Wikipedia)

After WWII, Communist regimes started sprouting up all over Central & Eastern Europe & China. After the Cold War & several events that exhibited the people’s unhappiness with the Communist ideal, most of the European Communist governments suffered utter collapse in 1989 with the Soviet Union following suit two years later.

Communism is still alive & well today. “By the beginning of the 21st century, states controlled by Communist parties under a single-party system include the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, & Vietnam.” (Wikipedia) Several countries including the Republic of Moldova & Cyprus have leaders who belong to Communist parties. South Africa, India, & Nepal all have very active Communist parties &/or politicians. The Socialist Workers Party(SWP) in Britain, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the US, & the New Anticapitalist Party in France all continue to grow in adherents.

In the map below, "The Red states represent Communist governments aligned with the Soviet Union. The Yellow states represents Communist governments aligned with the People's Republic of China (besides China itself, there were only three: the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, Democratic Kampuchea, and the Somali Democratic Republic). The Black states (North Korea and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) represent the Communist governments that were not aligned with either."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Economic & Social Ideologies: Intro.

I hear, & occasionally use myself, words like “Socialism” & “Communism.” To be honest, I did do some research on those two words a few years ago because I heard people use them interchangeably & I wasn’t really sure if they meant exactly the same thing so I do know there is a slight difference. However, I want to know a little more about them plus others.

When I started my “Forms of Government” series I thought about adding “Socialism” & “Communism” to the series but the more I researched them, I found that they don’t fit exactly into the category as a “form of government.” Yes, they are forms of government but they are also economic & social ideologies.

Most countries follow one of the forms of government I mentioned in my series & also follow another economic & social system. For example, here in American we follow a Constitutional Republic with a Capitalistic economic system.

There a many different types of social & economic ideologies but essentially most of them can be categorized into one or more of the three main forms: Communism, Socialism, & Capitalism. And, those are the three main systems I am going to cover in this series.

I wanted to add, Fascism, Leninism, Nazism, Marxism & others but soon the list grew out of hand &, really, many of these are just different forms of each other & not fundamentally different. So, I decided to keep it simple & just go after the 3 major categories.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Forms of Government: Conclusion

There are hundreds of categories & subcategories of government types. And, in reality, this list is possibly infinite. There are probably as many ideas on how people should be governed as there are human beings.

There are several forms that I did not cover in this series mainly because I may be covering them in another series later on, such as, communism, socialism, & fascism.

Here are a few other types & a very brief description:
  • Dictatorship - a form of government in which a person or group holds complete authority without restriction of laws or a constitution and the people do not have the right choose their own leaders
  • Ecclesiastical - ruled by a church or religious group
  • Technocracy - a form of government in which engineers, scientist, & other technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields
  • Theocracy - a government that a deity is recognized as the supreme ruler but the god’s laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities (bishops, priests, mullahs, etc…)

Forms of Government: Anarchy

The immediate onset of the French Revolution has been often referred to as a time of anarchy. Freetown Christiania in Denmark claims to be a current community of anarchy.

The symbol for anarchy is an encircled letter “A.” Often the colors of red, black, & white are also associated with anarchy.

Wikipedia states, "Anarchists are those who advocate the absence of the state, arguing that common sense would allow people to come together in agreement to form a functional society allowing for the participants to freely develop their own sense of morality, ethics or principled behavior.”

Most people refer to anarchy as complete lawlessness, renegade, rebellious, chaos, lack of control but those who promote anarchy prefer to think of it as “an anti-statist society that is based on the spontaneous order of free individuals in autonomous communities.

“Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” -- Louis D. Brandeis (American Supreme Court Justice; 1856-1941)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Forms of Government: Republic

The term “republic,” through history & today, represents many different ideologies. It was first used by Niccolo Machiavelli to refer to any government not ruled by a monarch but by the people.

Most republics name a President as the head of state. The U.S. was the first to use this title. The President is usually elected to the office by the people. According to Wikipedia, “In states with a parliamentary system the president is usually elected by the parliament.”

In political systems referred to as “crowned republics,” there is a hereditary monarchy but the power of the monarchy is relatively ceremonial & most of the real political power resides in the elected officials.

Some countries claim to be a republic yet operate more like a monarchy, such as in the case of North Korea & Syria. In these states, the leader has assumed absolute power &, even though there is no constitutional requirement, the title seems to be being passed down from father to son.

Elective monarchy, such as in Malaysia & the Holy Roman Empire, are rare today but were not uncommon in the past. These forms of government give the leader full authority but are elected by the people, sometimes for life & sometimes for a set period of time.

Since adding “Republic” in the name of a country is awfully popular nowadays, many countries have come up with descriptive words to better describe the system in which they adhere to. I have already described a “parliamentary republic” above. Another example would be a “federal republic” or “confederation” or “federation.” Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Russia, & Switzerland follow this system. It can be described as “a federal union of states or provinces with a republican form of government.”

Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Iran are all ruled by Islamic law & are referred to as “Islamic republics.”

“Democratic republic” seems to be the preferred moniker that communist countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo & the former German Democratic Republic tend to use in order to insist they are democratic.

China & North Korea like to use the term “people’s republic” to mean that they are directed for & by “the people,” however this is typically done by indirect elections.

Wikipedia states:
“States of the United States are required, like the federal government, to be a republican in form, with final authority resting with the people. This was required because the states were intended to create & enforce most domestic laws, with the exception of areas delegated to the federal government & prohibit to the states. The founding fathers of the country intended most domestic laws to be handled by the states, although, over time, the federal government has gained more & more influence over domestic law. Requiring the states to be a republic in form was seen as protecting the citizens’ rights & preventing a state from becoming a dictatorship or monarchy, & reflected unwillingness on the part of the original 13 states (all independent republics) to unite with other states that were not republics. Additionally, this requirement ensured that only other republics could join the union.”

Quotes about the Republic:

“Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.” Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States & author of the Declaration of Independence; 1762-1826)

“This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.” Elmer Davis (American radio announcer & news commentator; 1890-1958)

“That book [Bible], sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.” Andrew Jackson (7th President of the United States; 1767-1845)

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag

“Every citizen of the republic ought to consider himself an unofficial policeman, and keep unsalaried watch and ward over the laws and their execution.” Mark Twain (American humorist, writer, & lecturer; 1835-1910)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Forms of Government: Democracy

This form of government we hear about all the time. Democracy means “rule by the people or the majority.” This was a common form of government in the Greek city-states between the 5th & 4th centuries BC.

Surprisingly enough, there is no universally acknowledged definition of democracy but, according to “most observers today would agree that at a minimum, the fundamental features of a democracy include government based on majority rule & the consent of the governed, the existence of free & fair elections, the protection of minorities & respect for basic human rights.”

Democracy originated in Ancient Greece but every society that has instilled this form of government has added it’s own spin on the ideology leading to numerous democratic systems. A representative democracy involves a group of representatives & a head of state being elected by a majority. These representatives are elected to act on the behalf of their constituent’s beliefs & interests but they do have the freedom to use their “best judgment.” A representative democracy can be further broken down into a parliamentary democracy & a liberal or constitutional democracy.

Another form of democracy is a direct democracy. With this form, the representatives are eliminated. The people vote on all issues. Historically, this type hasn’t really worked & had to be limited to smaller groups of people. However, California now uses this form to run their state. I personally believe this may grow in popularity or at least become a more possible option with the advancement of technology, communication, & transportation in today’s culture. There are many other forms but those are probably the two most common forms.

Democracy is not the “holy grail” of government ideologies, however. There are many criticisms of democracy. One such criticism is that voters tend to be very uninformed on the issues such as the economy. People (like I’ve stated previously & including myself) tend to be lazy & not want to study even the basics of politics. This is where lobbyists & the media can influence the people. This is a bit of a evil cycle, here. We have to rely on the media to tell us what is going on in D.C. but, nowadays media doesn’t just report the facts. Their political leanings tend to infiltrate or even guide their reporting causing their viewers to be influenced unless they are aware of what is going on. So watch, but watch with discernment.

Another serious criticism was brought up by Plato in his The Republic. He claimed that
democracy grants the people too much freedom eventually leading to mob rule/tyranny. Our forefathers were not stupid & tried to prevent this by creating the Constitution that would limit the powers of what a majority could impose.

According to Wikipedia “Traditional Asian cultures, in particular that of Confucian & Islamic thought, believe that democracy results in the people’s distrust & disrespect of governments or religious sanctity.” They believe that it eventually leads to a moral decay of the society. And, you know what? I can certainly see this happening today in our own country.

Other concerns include: political instability, short-termism, slow governmental response, & vote buying.

Links of interest:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Forms of Government: Oligarchy

Oligarchy essentially means the “rule of the few.” This can be in the form of a family, royalty, military similar to a military dictatorship, the wealthy, intellectuals similar to a technocracy. According to Wikipedia, “Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist.”

Oligarchies commonly tend to be a transitional government from a monarchy or dictatorship to another form of “power-sharing” government. Some examples of oligarchy societies most of the city-states in Greece between 1000 & 500 BC, the Etruscans, the Roman Republic, & a more recent form would be South Africa during the apartheid in which race was the requirement for the “caste system.”

A theory known as “iron law of oligarchy” states that “any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy” & that “modern democracies should be considered as elected oligarchies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Forms of Government: Monarchy

Monarchy is a form of government that is ruled by one person. That person is usually referred to as a king/queen, prince/princess, emperor/empress, or duke/grand duke/duchess. This was the most common form of leadership in ancient & medieval times & continues to be a common form today. According to Wikipedia, there are currently 44 nations that have this form of government, 16 of which are Commonwealth nations of Britain.

Most postings to monarch are inherited but some, as in the case of the Pope in the Vatican, are elected.

Now, there are different degrees of monarchy. The most strict type is absolute monarchy. With this form, the monarch has complete authority over every aspect of his subject’s lives. There is no constitution or legal restriction over this monarch. Some examples of this type of rule would be Louis XIV of France, the Tsars of Russia (until 1905), and James I & Charles I of England. Some of the nations that claim absolute monarchy today include Vatican City, Swaziland, Brunei, Oman, Qatar, & Saudi Arabia.

Another form of monarchy is constitutional monarchy. As the name states, with this type of monarchy, the leader must act within the parameters of a constitution or rule of law. According to Wikipedia, “Most constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system in which the monarch is the ceremonial head of state & a directly- or indirectly-elected prime minister is the head of government & exercises effective political power.” Countries that use this form of government include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand & the UK.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Forms of Government

I've decided to do a bit of research (because I'm that kind of nerd) on the main forms of government around the world. I will be posting a series of entries based on what I find. Don't expect much, this isn't an exhaustive study. More of a quick Wikipedia or search on these types of rule. My entries will be short. Just a basic over view. I may expand later on certain topics but for now, I just want to be general.

With all that is going on in our country & world today, maybe it is time to understand where we came from, where we are, & where we may be headed. I've never been big into politics but over the past year, starting with last year's Presidential election & the extreme moral decline of our nation that is becoming more & more evident every day, I have become greatly interested in politics & a desire to learn more about what is happening today & what has lead to this decay.

Here are the types of government I plan on addressing:
After that, I would like to cover a couple of other ideologies including:
And, after that, I plan on covering the main political parties in America (there are way more but these are the top 5, I'll list & link to some of the other parties just because some of them are so hilarious like the Marijuana party...LOL):

I get into debates & hear others arguing quite often & I am struck by how ignorant some of these people are & no matter how passionate they may be of their beliefs, their arguments are ineffective due to their lack of knowledge &/or skills of debate. I'm not saying these people are not intelligent people, they either just don't know how to debate effectively or have not gathered the facts. I have even fallen into this trap myself before. I may be right but because I haven't studied the topic, I actually do more harm to my side because I appear as an ignorant fool. This goes for any area that you may debate whether it is politics, religion, food, movies, interior decorating, whatever topic you enjoy. So, here is a bit of my attempt to learn more. It may be very elementary but one can't run a marathon if one has never even walked. I guess this will be my Couch-to-5K of politics. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our President reaches new lows

In case you haven't heard, Obama is now asking citizens to report anyone who disagrees with his idea of health care to the White House. Whether it be in the form of emails, blogs, web sites, or casual conversation, you can now be reported to the White House by some tattle-tale.

Geeze people, really, how old are we?

Not only is his idea of health care ridiculous but now he has decided to take away our freedom of speech, press, & protest. It has only been a few months since he has taken office & already he has began to act like a socialist dictator. I'm scared to death to see what this country will look like at the end of this year. Can you imagine what it will look like at the end of his ruling...that is if he decided to relinquish it.

Maybe I should report myself. :)

Here are a couple of articles that discuss what I am talking about but much better than I do.

Go Ahead and Report Me -- I'll Shout Louder

White House Website Asking for Informants on Anti-Healthcare Advocates