Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flexible Founders

A day or so ago one Nikki Fisher submitted a letter to the JT editor asserting a "founding fathers' mandate of free education for all." And today, I challenged this assertion at root river siren, here, scroll to "In Defense of Teachers" thread. Read the lefty responses for fun. I especially enjoyed Sean's efforts, including his citing of section 16 of Jefferson's Land Ordinance of 1785 for "establishing a mechanism for funding public education."

You won't find anything remotely approaching a mandate for a free public education from our founders, as none exists. But the exercise will provide a window into the essence of leftiness, wherein you can twist, fabricate, exaggerate, etc... until you have convinced yourself that what you wish to be true is indeed true, actual truth be damned.

22 comments:

Sean Cranley said...

Well Denis I'm not going to play word games with you. I know a literalist like you won't be happy until he sees the words "mandate of free public education for all" (Ms Fisher's words not mine) in black and white signed by all the "founders". But clearly the info I posted at RRS showed that the founders thought public education was critical to a healthy democracy and took steps to facilitate and fund public education.

I don't expect you to agree after drinking the latest tea of ignorance, anti-intellectualism and ill will, but to further my case, below is a quote on the subject from John Adams, along with two others that I thought were pertinent to the current state of our nation if not directly to the subject at hand:

Laws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant. - John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765 . . . POW!

Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions. - John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776 . . . ZING!

Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. - John Adams, letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814 . . . STEP AWAY FROM THE HEMLOCK TEA!

Anonymous said...

Was that Seany talking about yoga? The title was Flexible Founders after all.

Denis you are anti-child. . .

Denis Navratil said...

Yes Sean, I am a literalist. When someone asserts that there is a mandate from our founders concerning public education, well, I want evidence. If there is no mandate, I don't suppose it too much to acknowledge as much. But no, lefties like you and her are unable to acknowledge the simple truth. So you have nothing left but word games. Thus, what flows forth is true but irrelevant information about article 16 of this or that document, exhaustive forays into Jefferson's appreciation of the importance of education etc... none of which supports the assertion of an education mandate by our founding fathers. I think Nemo has basically nailed your methods, essentially using copious amounts of possibly true information in support of false conclusions. It amounts to evasion, obfuscation, propaganda - basically all forms of lies. Why is it so hard to acknowledge the truth Sean? There simply is no mandate from our founders for free public education. Absent that admission of the obvious, all you've got is manipulative word games, per usual.

Nemo said...

sean, while I liked the Adam West's Batman-esque punctuation at the end of each quote, the quotes themselves cause me concern about your state of mind. The last one in particular, which deals with a form of government that's different from the Federal Republic we all enjoy, is void of any reference to a "free public education". There is hope for you though. THC has a half life of 1.6 to 59 hours. I admit that does not help much, but this calculator should tell you when it's safe for your reputation to post comments again.

Sean Cranley said...

There simply is no "mandate" from our founders for free public education. Denis, I agree. There is no "mandate".

There is clearly however, a great importance placed on access to public for all by our founders, which I will further demonstrate immediately after dispensing with Nemo and his nonsense.

Nemo, you'll find that the words democracy and republic are related and often used interchangeably. Clearly the John Adams quote I provided is referring to our country and it seems to me that he was a wise man knew a little bit about our founding and our form of government.

So whose opinion should I value here, Nemo or John Adams? Hmmmmm Nemo . . . John Adams? I'm going to take a flyer and go with John Adams on this one. Besides, Nemo's proven he doesn't need substances to induce brain impairment.

Sean Cranley said...

Now back to the subject at hand. Two more quotes from the founders on the impoprtance of investing in public education. I think the one from James Madison really just blows you privateers outta the water, not that you'll recognize or acknowledge that.

Jefferson said, "I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain itself in strength: 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it."

James Madison in his Letter to William Taylor Barry (1822).
William Barry was a member of a committee of the Kentucky legislature assigned the task of researching education, as the state was then undertaking a significant public education project. Receiving a request for advice from Barry, Madison wrote perhaps his single strongest defense of public education.

"The liberal appropriations made by the Legislature of Kentucky for a general system of Education cannot be too much applauded. A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

See ya in the funny papers fellas!

Denis Navratil said...

Sean writes:

"There simply is no "mandate" from our founders for free public education. Denis, I agree. There is no "mandate"."

Finally! Now the question is why the simple acknowledgement of truth is so difficult to admit and why it must be accompanied by loads of irrelevant information. Do you just like to argue for the sake of arguing?

Anonymous said...

Duh! He's a liberal. No sound can be sweeter than the flapping of his own gums. I fell asleep trying to read him. Your patience impresses me.

Nemo said...

sean, in the John Adams quote you cite, Adams was referring to democracy as a form of government, not our government.

'Adams got the American idea right in other key ways. When we look at the spectrum of ideas among the founders, he took the via media, convinced that the center must hold. On the one hand, he distanced himself from radical revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and his cousin Sam Adams, rejecting anything like pure democracy. "Remember democracy never lasts long," Adams advised John Taylor in 1814. "It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." '
Source

Did you really think that Adams was writing about this country in that quote? "It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.", refers to our government? Please, sean, learn some history before you embarrass yourself again.

Sorry Denis for posting a thread-deviating comment. I just could not suffer sean's incredable ignorance of US history quietly.

Sean Cranley said...

Nemo, you are correct. I misunderstood the context of the quote. It does not apply to our form of government, but rather to pure democracy and in particular the French Revolution. Thanks for setting me straight.

It is however a caution against extremism and therefore still apt when applied to the nuttiness of the tea party a potent brew of ignorance and ill will.

As for the rest of the quotes I've presented they speak for themselves, which is why it is better for you to focus on this one quote and ignore the rest, as the others from the founders, in this particular case anyway, are completely ideologically incompatible with sacred tenents of the Cult of Con and therefore, quite inconvenient.

Sean Cranley said...

So, any lucid thoughts at all from you Cult of Conites about the quotes provided from the founders on the vitue and necessity of public education to the well being of the Republic?

Thomas Jefferson? James Madison? John Adams?

Anything? Anything at all?

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Anonymous said...

Tom, James and John are rolling in their graves over the sight of "public education" costing over $10,000 per kid. And no, it isn't about the children. They were taken hostage decades ago when the "professional educators" obtained the ability to tax the public. The very fact you continue to decry the very modest attempts we've made at reforming this unsustainable mess, Sean, tells me we are doing the right thing. And in a perfect world, the market would work quite nicely at educating the public. It surely couldn't do worse.

Sean Cranley said...

Modest attempts at reform? They want to privatize it. THAT would make the founders roll over Benonymous. All bow before omniscient potency of the free market in a perfect world!

Anonymous said...

Now that I think of it, privatizing actually would be a step in the right direction. Break the dependency on government for educating our young. Instill our young with a little self-reliance in the process so they don't learn the behavior (and it is learned) of expecting guvmint to feed, clothe, house, "give me a job", or pay me for not working.

And yeah, allow the free market to make a buck in the process, instead of fattening the likes of WEAC's monopolistic criminally over-charging insurance arm. Taxpayers are fed up with financing the very thugs that protest the Capital. I'd love to open up a school. My students would learn early on to identify and reject the frightening overreach of government. In other words... raise them to think for themselves. How refreshing that would be. Thinking for oneself is the first step to entreprenurism, which creates more wealth, BTW.

Don't think for a moment a free enterprise school system would "gouge" the payors. As it is, I'm hearing those schools accepting choice vouchers are having a hard time figuring out how to apply all of it to education because it's way more than they need. Vouchers, by the way which are half of what RUSD is charging, and still putting out a crappy product to boot.

Sean Cranley said...

If the privateers get their way, the Republicons will do what they always do. promise that funding will follow and then either not provide the funding, let it fall behind the rate of inflation so that it is inadequate, or cut it later.

People in the upper 10-20% of income will be able to supplement their vouchers and will go to schools where there are mostly good students and certainly few if any problem students or students with developmental or emotional disabilities.

The rest of American children will be left in increasingly underfunded schools burdened with addressing the needs of the most difficult students to educate. Not that you give a crap about shtuff like that.

Anonymous said...

"Liberal, arrogant and stupid is no way to go through life, son" to paraphrase one of the best movie lines of all time. To wit:

"...underfunded schools burdened with addressing the needs of the most difficult students to educate. Not that you give a crap..."

Tell that to the two gentleman heading up the Urban League of Madison. Hardly a conservative bastion, but they aren't getting too much help from the usual suspects (DPI, Mad. teacher unions, Mad. school dist., Mad. Politicos). You see, their Charter school WOULD deal with the worst of the worst. Better education, lower costs, serving a real need in the community.

http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_3b023fa8-d366-11e0-bdae-001cc4c002e0.html

Your crowd (including your sacred ACLU) obstructs every step of the way.

So where do these guys turn to for help? Ugh, that would be guys like Robin Vos. Conservative Republicans. Guys who indeed give a crap.

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