Make America Constitutional Again

Early March 2020 major news broke out across the world about a possible worldwide pandemic. Since one of my projects years ago when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry was to work with infectious disease medical thought leaders about a new drug to treat influenza called zanamivir I had been scouring through the CDC’s web site for information about this new strain of coronavirus.  I recalled what these thought leaders taught about how quickly a pandemic could spread throughout the world given our modern travel habits.  I knew it was a matter of time before it would be a local issue.

But, I also remembered that doctors, even the thought leading ones at the prestigious medical school are humans vulnerable to pride to fill their curriculum vitae’s with publications, speaking engagements, referrals, and political advancement within the medical and local communities of which they partake.  They are subject to the quality and quantity their subordinate researchers support them with.  The accuracy and speed of their testing equipment limits and sometimes fails them.  And most of all the statisticians can “cook the books” or power their studies to say just about whatever the writer of the hypothesis really wanted to prove.   A professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center taught me to be careful of the latter.  He repeated frequently, “Figures lie and lairs figure.”

So I began to tune in to dissident voices that argued against what the mainstream media was saying to see what they had to say and why. Fragmented parts of my life finally came together to form a clear picture much like lost pieces from 1000 piece puzzle.

Fast forward to January 2024, another bizarre time of events. Rumors of what happened on January 6 still haunt many. I’ve always felt that there are two sides to any story with the truth often falling somewhere in the middle.

I don’t really remember where or how I came across an article featuring one of the J6 prisoners and the treatment they have endured. I felt compelled to share it through one of my social media accounts on December 2, 2023. I forgot about it and moved on. But then early in January 2024, at an informal dinner out, I met the fiancé and mom of one of one of those men!

What has ensued since is a friendship with these two women who encouraged me to write to Barry.

First I had to re-write my first letter to him in order to comply with the standards of what the federal prison system would allow for me to send. No stickers, tape, cards, or flyers are permitted. Only a hand written note on white paper. Then I started receiving letters back from him along with updates from his fiancé and mom on how happy he was that I started to write.

It’s been a long time since I had a pen pal and wrote letters. It’s also been a while since I studied at public school and university. Most of us weren’t taught much about the Constitution of the United States. Most public school curriculum offers Civics: American Government for only one or maybe two years. However, I’ve worked to ensure that my homeschool daughter has it every year since middle school.

One organization that has helped me to do this is Constituting America. They host weekly live podcasts on Tuesdays at 2 PM EST. Each week they host a different guest who is well experienced in the Constitutional topic they plan to discuss. This guest gives a brief monologue on the subject which is followed by the most thought provoking Q & A by regular members of the show.

They have also introduced me to a few other great resources like the Ashbrook Center which is an independent organization at Ashland University that is committed to restore and strengthen the capacity of the American people for governing themselves. Below are links to these organizations and their resources.

Lastly all of these organization offer their resources freely because people who can support them financially do. So if you can, please consider donating to them, thank you and let’s make American Constitutional again.

Home

https://constitutingamerica.org/

https://online.hillsdale.edu/landing/constitution-101

Volunteerism

Perhaps the push began in the early 2000’s. At least that’s when my manager at the time informed my colleagues that we would be given a day off to do some volunteer work project as a team. We chose d.c. Central Kitchen as some of us had already volunteered there with various other church and civic groups. It has an amazing reputation for turning excess food from restaurants and catered events in delicious meals for the local shelters.

It was a fantastic change of scenery and experience for us. The cook in charge, a former hopeless unemployed homeless man, made demands in his commands that gave us an appreciation for the essence of time when working with food. He also enlightened on how to cut vegetables properly quickly without endangering the tips of one’s fingers. While this experience turned delightful for the most part, sidebar conversation broke out and discussed that pharmaceutical companies have public image problems so this must be the higher ups way to combat it, market a new “We’re Do Gooders” campaign. Meanwhile it also turned out like a holiday week that put pressure on us to get the job done in less time.

Back to volunteering, I was raised that this is what Christians are supposed to do. They are to care for the poor and needy any chance they can. I had also learned over the years that it was a great way to accrue a new skill that would prove useful in my personal life. For example, to this day, I think of that cook every time I slice carrots. So, I took advantage of this dual reality raising my daughter.

First, we worked with Tiffany, a Miami Dade County Biologist, in removing invasive plants species. Next we raised mangrove seedlings that we secured from Frost Science Museum and then mucked around in the swamps near Virginia Key with MUVE to plant them. Another time we met up an army of people that packed up meals at the Fairgrounds for Feed My Starving Children.

In Alabama my daughter learned how to care for goats with a local farmer. What a delight this turned out to be. She would have never been permitted to volunteer with animals at any 501 3-C organization because she was too young. Rather she experienced what happened in old school America, children had to help on the farm.

Another amazing experience my daughter had volunteering in Alabama was at Ft. Toulouse/Ft. Jackson State Park. We stumbled across this opportunity when we stayed there in our RV when we had evacuated from Hurricane Irma when we had lived in Miami. Deborah Jenkins noticed how interested my daughter was in the history she taught, took her under her tutelage, and supported one of the new favorite child re-enactors.

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Our last volunteer opportunity in Alabama was one I wrote an extensive blog on. It is linked below for convenient viewing. Elise wound up as one of the leads in a unique cross-cultural theater production with A-KEEP, Alabama Korean Education Economic Partnership.

All these experiences add up to more than 200 hours of volunteer experience that we found out counted for nothing in the State of Florida for High School Graduation or the Bright Futures Scholarship because they happened before she was in high school, but they certainly have exponentially accumulated to enable my daughter to be one of the most amazing people one can interact with.

Since, thankfully, my daughter has been able to volunteer helping children safely on and off horses at Delmar Farm in Loxahatchee.

She enjoyed a semester singing with Young Singers of Palm Beaches

A 3:30 AM wake up call at the Kravis Center to make the 6 AM News

She’s helped at Vacation Bible School at our local church Crossbridge and now actively serves with the Dirty Mechanics so she should be able to claim the over 100 hours of volunteer work in high school.

Every single one of these experiences have been worthy and a good use of time, but one cannot keep giving their time away especially with the price tag college and post graduate school comes with. My daughter needs to work for money in addition to study to learn and perform well. So why are colleges now sending flyers bragging about how many hours of volunteer service their students have clocked in?

Granted that University of Tennessee Knoxville’s sports teams take their name, the Volunteers, from the state’s nickname I’ve seen service hours quoted by other college recruitment flyers my daughter has received. Why is this the new bragging and selling point from universities?

When I went to college back in the late 80’s I struggled to study and work as a Resident Assistant so that I could get in and out in four years without summer school. I needed to save on housing costs and go home to work in the summer to keep my college loans low. There was barely time to go to church on Sundays, much less enjoy a day of rest. There is no way I had time to “serve” the community in addition to.

Think this through, those who brag about their volunteer hours must have enough income to hire housekeeping, lawn service, and a myriad of other help. They also do not need to juggle two or three jobs to pay the bills. So, this push for serving for free is really a way to bully the poor and make their lives harder.

It’s also a convenient means to move towards the social credit score economic system that many are supporting. While this may seem oh so caring and kind, think about the realities of life and human nature first.

I’ve examined the income and benefits of the people who work for 501 3-C’s verses those who are in small business. It makes the executives of 501 3-C look like cushy jobs. They don’t personally have to manage the hassles much less bear the financial risks that owners do. Yet, they get to brag that they work for a 501 3-C. Meanwhile they convince people to work for them for free via volunteering.

Don’t get me wrong, many of these community groups do provide helpful services to their neighborhoods and not all of them pay well. It’s also good to volunteer, but at what cost and how efficient is it really? Plus if business owners aren’t allowed to make any money after all the licensing fees, taxes, and insurance they have to pay much less healthcare for themselves and their employees who’s going to donate the dough to keep the 501 3-Cs running?

Questions like this are why some governors are requiring students to take and pass Economics before they graduate from high school. But whose curriculum and philosophy of economics is being taught?

Do yourself a favor and brush up on your own understanding of economics. Consider taking the free online classes from Hillsdale College. Sign up for the Mises Institute publications and newsletters from Steve Moore, Committee to Unleash Prosperity. They are posted below for your convenience. Just beware that your email account may mark them as spam or junk because they want to keep you as a “useful idiot.” But don’t let them, press on.

Also, your personal life may benefit quite a bit from a better understanding of just where your money is going. It may also depress you to see that much of it is stolen from you a.k.a. taxes and redistributed. But take heart, only the ignorant continue to live with their heads buried in the sand.

Lastly, contemplate: “The law has been perverted through the influence of two very different causes–naked greed and misconceived philanthropy.” -Frederic Bastiat first published in 1850 “The Law.” I highly recommend securing a copy of this classic essay. Read and consider the whole 55 pages.

https://www.akeep.org/

https://www.crossbridgeboca.org/

Home

https://delmarfarm.org/

https://www.dirtymechanics.org/

https://online.hillsdale.edu/

https://mises.org/

https://www.yspb.org/

Who’s the best candidate?

A friend invited me to Kings Point Republican Club in Delray’s Meeting last night where they hosted the Republican Candidates for Sheriff Q &A Debate.

It started off with a friendly gesture by Gauger to allow Diaz to go first.

Republican Candidate for Sheriff, Lauro Diaz addresses the King’s Point Republican Club

Diaz started off stating his motto, “Citizens Before Politics.” He went on to say that the Sheriff’s budget should be out in the open. He wants to order an audit of what has been spent to date. He believes money has been mismanaged under the current sheriff of Palm Beach County. Next He wants to advocate for victim’s of domestic abuse. The former Captain has witness too many repeat calls where mostly, but not all women are trapped in their situations. They don’t know their rights, how to seek refuge, and become independent of their abusers financial provisions.

Mr. Diaz Proceeded to his next area of concern, how the homeless are treated. He cares to find out WHY are they homeless before jumping to judgments and putting them behind bars. Again in his experience he found that too many of them are military veterans, sufferers of PTSD and other mental illnesses. The fourth commitment he made is to get a better partnership with PBSO and PBCSD police. He wants the corresponding neighborhood officer very familiar with the school layout. Lastly, Lauro Diaz shared that he would assess all these special units that Sheriff Bradshaw set up. If the units are not producing results then the individuals working there will be placed back out to patrol the streets.

Next the other Republican candidate for PBSO Sheriff, Michael Gauger, took to walking the aisle. He boasted of all his previous awards and accomplishments during his 50 years of law enforcement and community involvement. Michael flaunted that he had his masters in social work. He set up citizen’s patrol and other volunteer agencies that once numbered 4,000 but is now down to ~700. Gauger then tagged onto some of what Diaz said. He exposed that Sheriff Bradshaw set up an opulent office on PGA Blvd that houses 11 people and is costing tax payers $46,000 a month. That Bradshaw has increased salaries in some instances $30,000 more. He has purchased GMC Denali’s. Overall Sheriff Bradshaw has run debt in excess of 1,000,000. The last point that Gauger made was that Bradshaw did away with evaluations. Supervisors are too busy trying to be the buddy of deputies. He promised to bring back accountability, but he didn’t say how.

Next Peter Cavanagh, President of King’s Point Republican Club, walked a microphone around the room for attendees to ask questions.

Laura Diaz on left and Michael Gauger on right take turns answering questions from the audience.

I had a tough time keeping up taking notes on who said what, but I did notice that it seemed that I began to hear similar responses from each of the candidate that would assuage the inquisitor’s concern. So it caught me off guard towards the end when they were asked if they would support one another during the election against Bradshaw. Diaz seemed more open to the proposition, but emphasized that differences would have to be worked out. Gauger said the same. He also was burned in a deal years ago by someone who convinced him of similar deal so I sensed great hesitation which will hurt the Republican ticket when the time comes to defeat Bradshaw.

Albeit many of the responses sounded similar, I was endeared to hear that Diaz has suffered himself a few life threatening situations where his backup froze and couldn’t respond to prevent him from getting beat any further. This is service to appreciate. Thank you former Captain Diaz for putting your life on the line. I also appreciate that you don’t sugar coat situations and are upfront about the current weaknesses that exist in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. I hope that this doesn’t come back to hurt your efforts as unfortunately some would rather burry their heads in the sand and want to just hear that everything is going fine.

Here is the web sites for both candidates in the debate in alphabetical order. Thank you to Peter Cavanagh and the Kings Point Republican Club for hosting this last night. I hope this helps you to make an informed vote in the Palm Beach County Primary on Tuesday, March 19, 20204.

https://www.diazforsheriff2024.com/

https://www.gaugerforsheriff.com/

https://www.votepalmbeach.gov/Elections/Election-Dates-and-Deadlines

Who Are Your Role Models and Why?

A feature on the life and impact of Vivien Thomas

A common question to get people to interact is to ask, “Who is your role model?” Many raise or teach their children in the hopes that their kids will bring themselves up when the question is answered. Then others of us want to point the students to a myriad of individuals who overcame life’s hurdles to make significant impact in life. In this blog I will be focusing on Vivien Thomas.

I knew nothing about Thomas nor the physician, Dr. Alfred Blalock who he helped make famous before I was directed to invite a prominent black academic physician to attend the premier PBS Home Video showing of Partners of the Heart with the Black Caucus at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, partnered with The Alfred Sloan Foundation, Liberty Mutual, Scotts, National Endowment for the Humanities, cpb, and PBS to fund the production of this documentary. I’m so glad they did.

Following this event, I was given a few copies of the video tape to share with the doctor who attended and keep one myself. I’m grateful as I needed to watch the video several times to catch all the history I was never taught. I also needed to re-watch it to inspire myself when feeling professionally inferior because I never paid for more initials like, RN, RpH, NP, PA, or MD that would enable me to get clinical job instead of just sales and marketing.

This became even more important to me when I fell back on what my undergraduate degree had trained me to do. I could no longer deliver the messages that I was mandated to do for big pharma, but I could return to the classroom to encourage and raise up a better generation who would restore the ethical environment I so longed to promote in health care and in other sectors.

Each February I found time to share this video in celebration of Black History month with my students. I wrote up questions to correspond and ensure students were engaged and personally reflecting on the story. It turned out to be a great lesson to pass onto a substitute teacher as my health declined.

My physical condition digressed to the point of making teaching an impractical option for me especially with a little one at home. So, I left the public classroom and switched to homeschooling my daughter.

Time wore on. VCRs and videos became obsolete. But I continued to keep a VCR player so that when my young one reached the age of reason she too could be blessed by watching this.

In 2004 HBO films decided to produce Something the Lord Made featuring Alan Rickman as Blalock and Mos Def as Vivien Thomas. As usual a different spin on the relationship and history between the two men filled out the story more.

The character traits that I found so inspiring in Viven Thomas were several. First, he taught how to not take disrespectful behavior from a superior in the most well mannered way. He calmly and respectfully told Dr. Blalock that he wouldn’t be treated that way after Blalock lost his temper and blamed Thomas. He was resigning. However Vivien was so winsome in his manner, that Blalock begged him not to quit, promised to never treat him that way again, and didn’t.

Secondly, Thomas never wallowed in self-pity even though he had many justified reasons to do so. He couldn’t go to medical school even though it was his plan. The stock market crashed. The money his dad saved to pay for him to go was gone. He made the best of what job options were available to him. He and his wife figured out how to live on menial job income.

Third, he never stooped to the level of the arrogant medical elite. Thomas dressed impeccably, walked confidently, and stayed humble in relation to The Lord God Creator. When he was treated poorly by the staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital during the Jim Crow era, he held his head high, didn’t fuss, and maintained his own good manners. He did what he could with the social circumstances of the day, but never reduced himself to yelling, ugly protests, or violence.

Lastly, and certainly not least, Vivien proved that education has nothing to do with the school attended or degree attained. Instead it has everything to do with personal attitude, ability to think, and desire to learn. 

The story between the two also taught me how different  Nashville and Baltimore were in the 1950-60’s. The cities today reap what they sowed then. 

There are many lessons in economics to be learned from this time as well. Here today and gone tomorrow. Borrower beware.

Learn history, black, white, yellow, and brown. There are good and bad role models in each with applicable lessons for improvement for all. #BlackhistoryMonth

For more information on Vivien Thomas visit

https://www.lindahall.org/about/news/scientist-of-the-day/vivien-thomas/

Local and State Property Tax Racket in Florida

Many people flocked to Florida after 2020 to enjoy the freedom from muzzles and mandatory jabs. Some sold their homes of 25+ years that they raised their families in. Others moved to Florida prior to for health reasons. It’s the only continental state that offers a subtropical year round climate in the south. Now they are shocked as the read property tax notices that have double and tripled in some cases in less than two years.

The 2021, 2022, and 2023 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes and Proposed or Adopted Non-Ad Valorem Assessments all state in the upper right hand white box

The taxing authorities which levy taxes against your property, will soon hold PUBLIC HEARINGS to adopt budgets and tax rates for the next year. The purpose of these PUBLIC HEARINGS is to receive opinions from the general public and to answer questions on proposed tax change and budget PRIOR TO TAKING FINAL ACTION. Each taxing authority may AMEND or ALTER its proposals at the hearing.

In the far right hand column there is a white box listing several meeting dates. Last year I was very sick and unable to attend. This year, I attended two of these listed meetings.

The first one that I attended was a Palm Beach County School Board Meeting. I was terribly confused as to why a public hearing of proposed taxes would be held at the school board meeting so I asked for clarification with the police who interrogate your bag and wand your body down as if you’re a criminal. Not a single one of the 4 Palm Beach County School District, PBCSD, police knew. One was terribly defensive. Thankfully one was cool and placed a call for clarification. Time was passing while the officer was placed on hold, and the meeting started. So we heard through the loud speaker outside the meeting Chairman Barbieri announce that anyone who wanted to make a public comment about the budget should go to the microphone. My teenage daughter and I rushed in. She encouraged me to immediately go file in line.

The first person spoke. He went on about teacher pay and how they deserved better, blah, blah, blah right up to the 3 minute limit. The next woman who had her tax notice in hand was not permitted to speak. The chairmen berated her for being out of line for she didn’t submit a blue speaking card. Oh dear, I never got one to complete either because no one knew what was going on when I asked. So of course he did the same to me. But I got extra special treatment, a PBCSD police man came over to escort me away from the microphone.

I followed up with an email, photo of that below, to all the member of the school board. No one replied back.

The next meeting I was able to attend was at 2300 High Ridge Road, Boyton Beach on 9/11/23 at 5:01 PM. This meeting was the Children’s Services Council Pam Beach County, again strange that it certainly wasn’t advertised as such on the 2023 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. At least, thankfully, this meeting was much more hospitable to the residents who were coming like I in response to their notices. Shana, The Public Information Officer, gave me her card, offered to make sure my comment card was given to the chairman of this meeting, and welcomed us in. What a relief not to have to get passed intimidating PBCSD police to get in and to have a comment card furnished first upon entrance.

The other consolation was that the board members at this meeting were seated at tables placed in a square of which we the people were invited to speak seated at a microphone with them. These board members were listening and not staring at their phones at posh desks 6 feet above and 10 feet away from the people at the microphone like we’ve witnessed others at the PBC Commissioners and School Board meetings. But this Children’s Services Council really isn’t the main problem with the increasing taxes. In fact, they have decreased their millage (tax) rate from 0.6497 in 2021 to 0.5508 in 2022 and proposing either 0.4908 or 0.5073 for 2023 (See columns 2 yellow & 3 green) line 5 under Taxing Authority Independent Special Districts.

Now they are one of those agencies that fosters more dependence on government that isn’t warranted by the constitution. We heard the pity comment on the salaries of the social workers just like the well intended speak up for teachers to make better incomes. But, then we heard a concerned citizen point out that the Children’s Services Council logo matches with the double pink heart pedophilia symbol according to the 2007 FBI documents. I looked at the card handed to me when I came in. She was spot on. Oh how absolutely creepy.

More upsetting was hearing one of the new Republican Palm Beach County Commissioners, Sarah Baxter, who obviously sits on this board too, who promised to lead differently than the same old same old proceeded to express concern that quality licensed social workers be paid better. Oh dear. Turn to the nanny state to solve your problems. Is she turning out to be just like any corrupted politician who thinks it is ok to threaten you of your property if you don’t hand over thousands upon thousands of dollars for them to dole out to be used the way they think it should be?

Folks, economics are the problem because taxes are too high. Rent is high because property tax is high. They keep talking you into allowing this because they put up some poor social worker, teacher, or police officer to play on your emotions. But the problem is public officers are funded by taxes which is money stolen from the people the way it is set up. Even worse is the administrators in all of these government places often make comfortable salaries at the cost of the people at the bottom who really are doing to hard work serving the public. It’s a cyclical problem that will only be solved by defunding public social services and jobs. No one wants to lose a job, but it’s life. It’s the best thing that happened to many. Go create a job instead of taking a job that is funded by taking taxes against people’s will to pay your salary. Government employees have becomes some of the most entitled workers in the nation.

Circling back to this particular meeting. Most who spoke were elderly retired folks or recent home buyers that have been completely caught of guard with the appraised values being determined by recent purchased prices that have gone sky high. Those running the meeting kept side stepping their comments and saying it wasn’t their role or responsibility to assess property value which is the real driver in the skyrocketing property taxes. Then why did the county post the meeting for them??? They clearly know it is wrong. That’s why the Public Information Officer handed me this slip of paper on my way out.

Funny that this wasn’t clarified in what was mailed out to all property owners. The county tax collector is clearly evading facing the public. Why wasn’t there a public hearing with her property assessment department?

It should be “We the People” consent to pay taxes, but it’s evolved into covert emotional manipulation of misinformation of meetings and policies, bully people into not coming to meetings or speaking up, and coercing the public to pay out of fear of having their property taken by the government from them.

Another point of grievance I want to make is misuse and means to intimidate the people with the law. When I immediately called the PBC Tax Collector upon receipt of the notice to questioned why my property taxes are triple to what the previous owner was billed in one years time, the agent arrogantly said that it is the law concerning property value that dictates the taxes. Then I heard a woman on the Children’s Service Council taut exactly the same thing. For a culture that is obsessed with justice isn’t it strange that one homeowner pays half or one third of what his/her neighbor next door pays? One isn’t allowed to express any injustice over it because the law gives them to right to rob us of our money?

And why is it that property values have gone up as they have? Could it be so they can hold this law over our heads? The real estate agents continue to advertise low property taxes that new owners are then saddled with double to triple costs. I received this flyer just a month ago.

The listed tax amount of $2,093 is very close to what the previous owner of the house I purchased around the corner paid in 2021. The only differences between these homes is one year younger construction, one lot faces a small canal, and the other has a pool which probably evens out value. But, I paid more than triple in 2022.

Oh but it’s the law. Thomas Jefferson said, “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” It’s clearly taxation without representation. The founding fathers did allow for taxation, but it was always to be with the consent of the people. This is why Dorothy Jacks, Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, and Joseph Abruzzo, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Controller, are elected officials in Palm Beach County. But, the general public is never taught this in public school. Probably less than 1% of the general public understand this. Why weren’t any public hearings scheduled with these two people?

Back to the Children’s services Council. I can just image how the licensed social workers are going to be told to push the political agenda and ideologies behind transgender, non-binary, pedophile grooming, and pharmaceutical anti-anxiety and anti-depressants drugs for life when they provide their counseling services through this agency. As one knowledgeable home owner said,

“They’re running a business and using our taxes as money to run their business. This was supposed to be a sunset meaning that they’re supposed to end this organization a long time ago, but it just kept appearing on the tax bill, so they just kept it on. They need to take it off and so with the other one as well with the healthcare. This is absurd and they are stealing from us. I want my money to give to the organizations that I want.”

Local government, just like the state, and federal governments act like they the experts know better than you. I wrote about this in my last blog, “Don’t be Fooled by the Experts.”

You owe them your money for them to allocate as they see fit. Leaders with attitudes like this are most probably taking their beliefs, cues, and directives from the World Economic Forum, an organization that plans by 2030 to make every common person own nothing because they are so far in debt, but oh so happy. Could it be the plan is to tax everyone out of owning their own property? It sure looks that way.

For further reading:

https://www.cscpbc.org/

https://www.pbcgov.org/papa/dorothy-bio.htm

https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/about-us/meet-joseph-abruzzo

https://icma.org/articles/article/brief-description-local-government-systems-united-states

https://www.aol.com/news/2016-04-26-these-are-the-pedophile-symbols-you-need-to-know-to-protect-your-21350592.html

#PalmBeachCounty #Nannystate #FLPropertytax #Propertytax

Don’t Be Fooled by the “Experts”

By Hope Mucklow, Author, Blogger, Songwriter, Teacher, and Coach

Last week I received notice of a public meeting of the Boyton Beach Art Advisory Board regarding approval of a proposed contentious sculpture to be installed in front of The Cornelia T. Bailey Cultural Arts Center positioned next to the South Florida PBS studios. Tracey Caruso from the Florida Jolt wrote a good professional summary on the meeting. (Link below) Now, I’d like to chime in.

Running late, I walked into the meeting already underway. A board of individuals sat in luxurious swivel office chairs behind a monstrous u-shaped table positioned higher up with a 3 foot physical barrier to the seating part of the room. Next placed ten feet back were two neatly lined groups of chairs with a center aisle. There sat a few clusters of people in between many empty chairs. On the side aisles two microphones hosted a steady stream of people who voiced their plea to the board to vote for or vote against the strange statue.

One of those women broke the name of the proposed statue of “Harmony ” into “harm on me.” She proceeded to site many attributes of this sculpture that suggest repulsive sexual positioning. Another concerned citizen pointed out that much of the artists’ work is inappropriately sexually explicit. This was then mocked later by one of the PBS defendants by his saying that people see what is inside themselves when they interpret art.

Then one of the directors of PBS Education proceeded to shared her test results showing this awkwardly shaped figure with children 8-10 years of age who she reported responded wonderfully with curiosity. So how many children in this age group did she test? Where did she find these children? Who’s children were they? Did they sign waivers? Do you see the bias in her research? But she holds the job title at PBS and therefore is the expert, right? Well, I think that the boy who had the courage to say the emperor had no clothes on was missing from her test group.

Also, let’s further discuss children ages 8-10, especially in group settings. For the most part, they are still fairly respectful, innocent, trust, and want to please their teachers compared to tweens, teens, and adults. This is what they learn in Kindergarten and now Pre-school. Then consider developmental psychology. Concrete literal processing is how these children are thinking. They are not going to think in abstract figurative manner even though others from PBS who spoke claim that they do.

Several opposing citizens respectfully pointed out that art like this exists, but should be in the museum where people are choosing to visit, not be forced to see when they pass by on the street. I reflected on that and gave thanks for the lovely horse sculptures that I passed in a neighborhood in Parkland, FL . They lifted my spirits and cheered me on my way to locate my next client’s home as I circle around them driving by.

Returning back to the proponents of the image and its name, Harmony. Do you see the irony and play on words? Its creator Warashina is known for creations that are her statements on politically divisive topics. Funny she’s supposed to be from Washington, D.C. The last I checked that city’s nickname is the Swamp, not Vienna. Aren’t there plenty of fantastic artist right here in South Florida?

For me, I see several realities playing out. First, this is all evidence that The Communist Goals of 1958 for the United States of America is complete. Consider specifically goals #22 and #23:

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. (The) American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings; substitute shape-less, awkward, and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaning-less art.”

Number 23 was clearly displayed after public comments were closed. Members of the board proceeded to discuss with the city lawyer and advisors what criteria they were to follow before voting. It was an incredible bore to hear them site line items in paragraphs amidst volumes of pages getting clarification on what was considered a rule to be followed. Clearly some on the board lacked courage to vote outside the lines of minutia.

Meanwhile, allow me to tell you what I’ve witnessed as a public school teacher. I saw students produce amazing pieces of art at just 12, 13, and 14 years of age. I’d argue that their work surpasses the artist who is charging five hundred thousand dollars for her work. Now of course they don’t have the years of experience or the material to make a 15 foot outdoor idol that will weather the beating sun and fierce winds of tropical storms that this woman has. My point is, there is a plethora of good artists and work to choose from. Hers isn’t that special, but it is political and coming out of the capital of woke.

The citizens who found this proposed sculpture offensive, inappropriate, and upsetting out numbered the supporters 3 to 1, but the board instead listened to the “experts” and voted for it to be approved.

So what are good moral citizens to do? The showed up, they voiced their concerns and were ignored by three of the board members who voted in favor. Perhaps they helped the other two vote no. I say, job well done and press onto approach the members of the city commission who will vote next on whether this bizarre image is going to sore 15 feet high above all heads in a major public thorough way if installed.

If however it is approved and constructed, I suggest that the opponents ignore it like all other hideous modern art that has already been shoved down our throats. Focus on the birds who will inevitably poop on it, the beautiful blue sky, sunshine, and puffy clouds. Don’t visit much less pay to go to this new art center in your precious free time. If this is what is going to be outside what on earth is going to be on exhibit inside?

Relax, don’t let them upset you. This is their goal. Think about it, who is going to take the time to look up this artist and her work? Most are way too busy to do so. And the majority could care less to tune in much less listen to PBS.

Cherish, enjoy, and pass on to your children the love of good classic and worthy art. Not all modern art is trash. Teach your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Stop relying on the schools to do it for you. Read my blog for ideas on how to lead your loved young ones better. Heal your own emotional wounds so that you can improve on these relationships.

Instill the good, beautiful, and worthy. Model it by how you dress, decorate your home, and what you applaud out in public and especially on social media.

Support local and live artists who are producing beautiful art that uplifts and inspires. For visual art, Mira Lehr is of local interest to me in South Florida. But my top pick shifts toward performing artist Talon Smith of Fresno, California. Check out how amazingly this young man plays the piano! I’m so glad we got to not just hear him, but meet him and his mom when he performed for the Chopin Foundation in 2021 in Coral Gables.

While there is a time and place for the dark and ugly make sure your dollars are supporting people what you value. Notice that I did not feature any of Warahina’s work in this blog including the piece being considered. Why draw more attention to this artist?

Laugh back when mocked. Hold those who project accountable on the spot. Don’t allow them to bully you with these psychological tactics. They are the lowest of low. Don’t stoop to their levels.

Lastly and most importantly, for the Christian and Jewish people, stop being it in name only. Nurture your faith in the one true living God who created all things by speaking it into existence. Live righteous lives by the natural law spelled out in the 10 Commandments. Repent from your sins. Study this law in the Torah. Pray. It is the prayers of the righteous that YWHY hears not those of the self-serving worry wort.

For more information on the story visit https://floridajolt.com/boynton-beach-art-advisory-bd-approves-controversial-sculpture/.

https://www.ethanallen.org/45_communist_goals_from_58_years_ago

https://www.ethanallen.org/45_communist_goals_from_58_years_ago

https://miralehr.com/

https://www.chopin.org/talon-smith

https://www.talonsmithmusic.com/

https://www.chopin.org/chopin-for-all-2022-2023

Curriculum Has a Time and Place

by Hope Mucklow, Author Blogger, Coach, and Teacher

Anyone who follows my writing and/or presence know that I am an advocate for people, young and old, rich or poor, educated and non, little and big, black, white or somewhere in between. This means there is a major anti-bullying theme that runs through my work. This is why I view endorsed or state approved curriculum as one of the tools that the ruling elite uses to bully those they subdue.

Curriculum in the modern school setting has become the main means to reign in the classroom teacher from creatively implementing their gifts to motivate, encourage, and led their students to learn. Ask any good caring teacher. There’s no time for them to incorporate an engaging lesson they or their colleagues designed. Rather their calendar is overruled by the micro managing administration that is more concerned about raising standardized test scores to give the school better ratings for funding.

Shifting to homeschool, it’s the main question that homeschooling moms hurl at each other at church, the park, and co-op, “What curriculum do you use?” They have even taught the kids to ask this of each other. Then they judge each other and make their alliances based on the answers.

So what is curriculum and why is it important? Curriculum is like a road map or a guide with content that should include resources and means to achieve certain learning objectives. A world view or rather predominate philosophy on the approach to the content will run through its contents and resources. This is where culture and religion (which are very much entwined) comes in. This came up in dialog on social media yesterday.

A teacher had posted about the importance of getting together with other people to do anything and everything. I agreed to point, but went on to admonish her to encourage her lonely students that not all is lost when they are socially isolated.

I asked her to consider pointing her lonely pupils to a great historical figure, St. Patrick, in how he used his isolation as a kidnapped Britton teen taken to work as a slave in Ireland to develop his personal character. Her reply was, “I cannot bring religion into the classroom.” My heart sank because this woman is supposed to be a Bible believing Christian who is actively involved in holding the county school board accountable for their politically correct decisions at the cost of students/parents personal liberties.

But, looking back at myself at her age and situation, I didn’t know any differently either. For the 1958 Communist Agenda for the United States of America goals (see link below) were accomplished many years ago. I was born and educated into much of it as well.

Goal #17 states, “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in text-books.”

Clearly atheism is the religion and humanism is the philosophy behind all public and unfortunately much of the modern private schooling systems, even the religious ones. This too was one of the goals. # 27 states, “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social religion.’ Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a ‘religious crutch.'”

I too was that well intended public school teacher in the early 1990’s and then again in the early 2000’s who thought I would be an awesome teacher if students didn’t know where I stood on evolution even though the statistics I ran for a whole semester at WVU proved that it is as impossible if not more so than believing in creation by a higher being. After all, that professor gave quite a lecture at the last class that we dare not question evolution even in light of the statistics. But let’s get back to the point about curriculum and its purposes.

Viewing curriculum as a maps can be very helpful and useful. Just keep in mind that there are those who pave the way and those who follow.

Now keep in mind it is an awful lot of work to be the first person to plow through a wild forest to clear a path. For any who hike or cross-country ski there is much to be enjoyed following the tracks of someone who did the hard work to trudge through first. Then there are are also those who need help finding the way if they don’t know the terrain. Lastly, the path can be over trodden, ruined from erosion, or just not be the destination anymore. All of these metaphorically transfer to my points about academic curriculum.

If you choose to homeschool your child/children you need to honestly asses what you know and that which you do not. You also need to account for what you can and cannot afford with your time and money.

A comprehensive curriculum will sure make your life easier at first, but give it time and a smart child will bore with it and sometimes rebel from it. This is why some have found the option of unschooling to be of help to them. They ditch curriculum and release their child/children to explore and learn for themselves. I have found that this too has a time and place, but agree with C.S.Lewis’s point in The Abolition of Man that children need to be guided and taught what to think early on. The toddler will not share his/her toys with another without being taught to take turns.

Circling back, viewing curriculum as a tool, utensils have a time and place. Some are better than others. The master of any art never uses just one. They assess the situation and choose the best instrument needed to accomplish the goal. That is why I never purchased any one curriculum in a box for my daughter to learn from as a homeschooled student or completely unschooled her.

Instead, I paid a little bit more to buy certain parts of curriculums from Abeka, Apologia, and Bob Jones. Then I gave thanks for a friend giving me Saxon Math 5/6 and another for giving me the Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra courses. I then purchased at full price The Complete Algebra and The Complete Geometry Courses written by Tom Clark who has since become a major part of our homeschool experience. Some courses especially in high school work better with an established curriculum.

Lastly beware that some teachers, schools, and administrations whether they be average, not well educated themselves, tired, lazy, or underfunded rely too heavily on their chosen curriculum. The curriculum dictates and overrides inquisitive thoughtful children who are able to think beyond a prescribed lesson. This is why I pulled my daughter from a well respected private Christian school and resumed homeschooling when she was in 6th grade while we lived in Alabama.

So in summary, don’t allow anyone to academically bully you or your child with curriculum. It should serve you and your child not the other way around. Have a good school year. Sincerely, hopetheparentteacher.

*No advertising or promotional fees were received from any company, person, or product mentioned in the blog.

**Here’s a blog on wildflowers that exemplifies what teachers are no longer allowed to do and what students are missing out on because of it.

#Homeschool #Curriculum #blendedlearning #edpolicy #parentpower #learning #schoolreform #unschooling #microschool

https://www.ethanallen.org/45_communist_goals_from_58_years_ago

https://davidbartonblog.typepad.com/blog/2010/04/early-american-educationby-david-barton.html

https://davidbartonblog.typepad.com/blog/2010/04/early-american-educationby-david-barton.html

Cultural Rage, Media, and Movies: Powerful influences on our Children

by Hope Mucklow, Author, Teacher, Blogger, and Coach

It started with my teen wanting to go to the local Barbie Premier. Not only did she want to go, she wanted to buy a pink dress and a blond wig. Thankfully, it was just a wig and not hair dye. Even better she wised up financially and gave that up. But she did succeed in the whole shopping endeavor. What’s a parent to do?

Option #1: Adamantly oppose which could create rebellion. See the blog listed below: Does every teen need to rebel?

Option #2: Let her be her and go do whatever she wants with her friends. After all we can’t control them forever and this is essentially what the peer pressure at school, society, and the Barbie movie is all about.

Option #3: Go with her and discuss the movie’s strengths and weaknesses following.

Of course I chose #3 deluding myself that I’m wonder mommy. (See blog on that.) The week started out well. Time at the ever so posh Boca Raton Mall turned out to be an amazing Mother/Daughter Day Out. (For those of you who know me, this is a big deal. I h-a-t-e shopping especially the malls. But the Boca Mall is a bit more tolerable for me with its sky light windows.)

Anyway, Nordstrom’s just started their Anniversary Sale so I took her. There was one perfect pink dress in her size on sale. And Grandma’s check for her birthday covered it and some needed undergarments to allow this dress to lay properly.

Now we had coordinated the week prior with a friend from the youth group and the wonderful female youth leader to join us for the movie and purchased the tickets. But then I saw Krista’s post:

Oh no, now what? Like I didn’t expect this with what Hollywood has produced over the years? Good grief, hadn’t I contemplated what Mattel’s Barbie had done to me as a child growing up in the 1970’s? This doll didn’t empower me at all, Rather it was the tool another child used during play to introduce me to stripping, being sexy, and going to bed with Ken much less the unrealistic plastic body image.

Funny how we’ve been told that Ruth Handler created Barbie as an alternative to baby dolls and to be a roll model to girls that “they can be whoever they want to be.” While some of this may sound great, it is not at all Biblical or mentally healthy. Yup, I’m going to claim its bad for mental health. Why? How?

First of all, people canNOT always become who they want to. Accepting what a person can and cannot do is essential to having a healthy relatively happy mental outlook. Life is full of unhappy individuals who don’t make enough money, are overlooked for promotions, denied access to xyz and/or have physical situations that prohibit. Limitations are part of the human experience that the scientific revolution, atheism, and feminism deny. Uptonian lies like these are one of the reasons why mental health illnesses are on the rise and fortitude is lacking.

The next problem with the Barbie Movie messages is the wisest literature of the world teach the virtues of courage, temperance, and prudence in collaborative cooperation to one another. When one practices courage without prudent self-regulation one usually engages in foolish risks and endeavors that often lead to disasters and life altering consequences, especially mentally.

For the not so big risk takers lack of modesty leads to disrespect of one’s body and incites further disrespect from others. The same is can be said for lack of self-control. All of this leads to poor life relating experiences that contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety, and/or depression.

Now the recent Barbie Movie and its fans are going to rush to blame the men Ken’s of the world. This is what the immature do. Yup. Name calling has a place and it’s time to do it. Those who blame others for their insecurities, weaknesses, and poor choices are usually immature. There are times when someone has been completely disrespected, violated, and a true victim, but the majority of the lingo on this topic in our culture is the former.

Watch me contradict myself now. The impressionable children are victims of entertainment like this. How are young girls going to treat boys at school after watching this movie? How are they going to treat their brothers?

Oh and Barbie resists Ken’s kiss in the movie, how great right? If only Hollywood was teaching sexual self-control here, but they’re not. Rather they are working to condemn sex and make us all compliant sexless robots. Consider the new genre of totalitarian novels that has emerged since the 19th Century Scientific Revolution specifically Orwell’s 1984. Sex is basically forbidden and allowed only to procreate once a year. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College articulates this precisely in the December 2020 publication of Imprimis (see below for the link).

Rapping up, parents, teachers, and youth leaders, it’s not just as easy as the three choices I started this blog out with. It’s not so “black and white.” While Option #3 may seem ideal, even this choice only works if you are a good role model and have cultivated a good relationship with the child/teen. So start with yourself. Heal those childhood and adult emotional wounds that fester and trigger easily. Be honest with your kids when you inappropriately lose it or make a poor choice. Stop the blame game. Take responsibility, be real, and embrace the realities of life. Stop being rigid and plastic yourself.

Lastly, check out Krista Kafer’s and Sharen Close Peterson’s further writing on this movie. I’m indebted to their inside connections, viewing, and comments as well as our wonderful youth director Mackenzie at Crossbridge Church who wound up taking the girls without me.

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/orwells-1984-today/

#Barbiemovie #TheBarbieMovie #Hollywoodinfluence #culturalimpacts #parenting

Private, Public, or Homeschool, The Answer Part II

Part 1 of this series focuses on the honest limitations of each schooling option with the conclusion that parents have been equipped by natural law to make this decision based on their personal situation and the learning needs of their child was discussed. This blog, Part 2, focuses on history of the public school.

First, one needs to look historically how all of the various schooling options came into existence in the United States of America. Up until the 1830’s parents were responsible not the state for educating their children.

Because of that how one child was taught compared to another varied extensively. Some went to church supported schools. Others to boarding schools. Many home schooled or hired private tutors. A few communities rallied together to organize a local school. Some teachers traveled from town to town to deliver services. Last and certainly not least there were work apprenticeships.

“In the early years of the nation, schooling was haphazard. Many children were excluded on the basis of income, race or ethnicity, gender, geographic location, and other reasons.” -Center of Education Policy, The Graduate School of Education & Human Development at George Washington University

This statement from GW sounds very modern to me. However the rational for public schools differed. Continuing with the information from GW:

“A strong dose of moral instruction would also be provided to instill civic virtues. Educating children of the poor and middle classes would prepare them to obtain good jobs, proponents argued, and there by strengthen the nation’s economic position. In addition to preparing students for citizenship and work, education was seen by some reformers as a means for people to achieve happiness and fulfillment.” Sounds like a sales pitch to convince the parents and communities into buying this concept of trusting the government to educate their children through this new idea of public school.

“Common school advocates emphasized the knowledge, civic, and economic benefits of public schooling. Common schools would teach the ‘three R’s’ (reading, writing, arithmetic), along with other subjects such as history, geography, grammar, and rhetoric.”

This is where the Three R’s came from. I never understood this given that only one of the core subjects, reading started with R. What a poor way to teach reading and spelling if this is the catch phrase for public education! It’s already confusing enough for students to differentiate between write and rite! Then it is just sloppy speaking to claim that R in arithmetic. But there you have it. The very founding of public school is not making it simple, logical, and straightforward for students to learn. So what is it they are doing?

Now, let’s look at one of its early founders, Horace Mann. Why is it, a man who chiefly taught himself such a proponent of universal public education? What was his motive?

Motive is difficult to judge. This is why certain court cases are judged by a jury of 12 people instead of the judge him/herself. In the situations where someone commits murder and then suicide, the emotional pain for the family is there is no closure as to what motivated the person to commit such horrible crime.

Back to what public school used to look like before Horace Mann became it’s greatest reformer in the 19th century. As I read over the list of 8 very different ways families schooled their children in GW’s article reference below in the End notes, it appears that in 2023 especially in the state of Florida that this is where education is headed again. Microschools, tutors, homeschool, and the like are the new “old” way of he future.

End notes

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED606970.pdf

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED606970.pdf

https://www.biography.com/scholars-educators/horace-mann

https://archive.org/details/45-declared-goals

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-theories/

https://illinoisfamily.org/education/how-horace-mann-worked-to-destroy-traditional-education-and-america/

Teaching Through Museums and Zoos

Part One: Life Long Learning via Professional Development

Learning is life long journey which is why the parent or teacher gains more than the child when teaching. However, not everyone is interested in learning. The ancient Hebrew book of Proverbs calls this person a fool. Because the world if full of them, many professions and government agencies have set up requirements for their people to prove that they are still learning through professional development classes. If nothing else, it generates income through jobs to write curriculum, tests, and conduct the professional development trainings.

What I learned about professional development training over the years is that some of it is an insulting waste of time and some of it the best invigorating use of it. For example, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, some of the speakers or trainers brought in were fantastic! I learned how to manage my own financial portfolio and nurture my emotional intelligence. But others were fodder for Dilbert comics.

The sales managers or corporate trainers were responsible for choosing the content and speakers of these growth opportunities. The educational world differs in that one selects on their own what to choose as long as they complete so many hours in a given time period in order to maintain the respective certifications.

I’ve held state teachers certification in Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and West Virginia over the past 25+ years. I taught in the public classroom in two of these states of which Maryland was the longest in Montgomery County.

In that Northwest quadrant of the Washington, D.C. Beltway, public school instructors had the option of completing their professional development by paying exorbitant university tuition to work up to the next level of initials with sheep skins to hang in their wall. Or they could take outside classes from organizations like NASA, NOAA, and fantastic foundations who offered university credit with completion of a project at the end.

Initially, I pursued the advanced degree, but it was monotonous, expensive, and dull in comparison to the exciting material that was covered in the latter. Many of these classes included fabulous experiences in the real world or in well funded museums. Which brings me to

Part 2: How Museums Teach as a Multi-Media Venue

In order to instruct a person one must first gain their prospective learner’s attention. After securing it, they need to engage it long enough for the objective to be accomplished. Some choose to use deceptive tricks and techniques to manipulate people, others respectfully use other means to try to influence. It is of interest that both may use art in order to accomplish these means.

Artists and their work span a spectrum of variety and differences. When done well it can serve as the enticing sweet icing on the cake to persuade, or if it’s not, it can boomerang as a “red flag” by revealing a lie rather than truth is being spread. Several visits to museums and zoos come to mind as I contemplate further.

The first is when I ran around Zoo Miami in the early 2010’s playing the Flat Panda game with the Smithsonian National Zoo many years ago. This Dinosaur Exhibit is now showing at the

https://www.coxsciencecenter.org/

At this time my daughter was of the perfect elementary age for playing I Spy when spotting one of these very interesting models of dinosaurs scattered throughout when we visited Zoo Miami regularly as Family Members and for my author signing for Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo . We were impressed and loved the exhibit.

Zoo Miami Author Signing for Rojo, The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo

However, 7+ years later, we weren’t as impressed with similar models visiting West Palm Beach until the end of April 2023.

The systematic spots on the white fur of this dinosaur screams, “Fake, computerized, not real!” Even the model snow leopards that I use to illustrate one of the predators of red pandas looks more realistic.

Then when one looks at the skull of the Tyrannosaurus Rex it clearly is NOT a fossil. It is a just a modeled cast.

I asked my daughter what she thought. Since she attends rock shows and has visited https://visitcreation.org/item/creation-discovery-museum-ft-lauderdale-fl/ where Tom showed recent fossil finds that had recently been excavated, she knows what a real is. While she enjoyed these dinosaurs to look at for entertainment, she questions the validity of the information.

Then one of her favorite destinations is https://arkencounter.com/ but due to the similar quality to the dinosaur exhibit she was not as impressed with the https://creationmuseum.org/about/. What do you think?

Does the quality of the art displaying the item in museums sway you to believe what the panel says or to question if its real?

#Dinosaurs #ZooMiami #CoxScienceMuseum #ProfessionalDevelopment