Monday, October 4, 2010

EFF's Informed Voter Guide and a free policy book from the Heartland Institute!

Informed Voter Guide
Please, please, please take some time to look over the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's Informed Voter Guide. It. Is. Awesome. They have done so much research on state legislators' voting records, supreme court candidates' records, and a review of all of the initiatives on the ballot.

The Informed Voter Guide from Evergreen Freedom Foundation on Vimeo.

Free policy book
The Heartland Institute is providing free copies of their book called "The Patriot's Toolbox."

So here’s our next big thing: The Patriot’s Toolbox, a 263-page book that consists of eight chapters, each presenting ten principles for free-market reform in clear and precise English. Each chapter originally appeared in the Legislative Principles series, which means they are specially designed and edited to meet the needs of busy elected officials and opinion leaders. No rhetoric, no history lessons, and no long-winded lectures. Just solid facts backed up with bibliographies.
Make sure you get your copy today. Order it here.

Dumping on the Greatest Generation

How disrespectful or ignorant does one have to be to leave this kind of mess at the WWII memorial in DC? There are no words for this.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Left's incomplete definition of diversity

Reading about the "One Nation" march yesterday, watching clips of the speeches, and watching the talking heads discuss it afterward, made me realize the sad state of the word "diversity" among many of those on the left side of the spectrum.

Al Sharpton and just about every other speaker and promoter of the event, including attendees interviewed at the event, sounded like a cd that was skipping. The point they all kept making was, "look at how diverse our crowd is." They continuously spoke about how there were so many different colors of people represented in the crowd. That's nice, but diversity is so much more than skin color - so incredibly much more. I believe that the "professional left" has forgotten that. They seem to think that diversity only means that we look different.

The professional left, time and time again, has shown that diversity of thought and opinion is not so welcome. Case in gruesome point, the 10:10 mini-movie that aired last week. Another example: education theory is rife with examples of groupthink and expectations of "consensus" or ideological litmus tests. As an educator myself, I can tell you right now that "collaborative learning" and "promoting community" are just code words for groupthink. For instance, I listened to a program on NPR last week about solutions to bullying, that by itself is a very worthy topic. However, the two guests, both professors of education, went well beyond solutions to bullying.

The language they used, in combination with many of their ideas, betrayed their fixation on ideological consensus and purity, displaying that their real goal is groupthink. They wanted to make sure that schools prioritized,
...a commitment to kindness, to putting the needs of other people first and a sense that a community – a shared identity – is as important as anything achieved by individuals within the community. [Emphasis mine]
These women want to teach kids that being part of the group - a "shared identity" (what does that even mean??) - is as important as individual achievement. They went so far as to lament the fact that in traditional education, more weight is placed on math, science, and reading, rather than on "collaborative learning" and "kindness." Um... sorry? And you wonder why American children rank 25th in math and science but 1st in self-confidence? This reminds me of a blog entry I accidentally stumbled across the other day, about a Kindergarten class here in Seattle where the teachers used legos to teach socialism and indoctrinate the kids against capitalism. Groupthink!

These women, like many others on the left, talk a great game when it comes to diversity, but just try being a young conservative in a place like Seattle. You learn very quickly that diversity does not mean diversity of thought. It means that someone's pigmentation varies from someone else's. And here I thought we had moved past judging people based on the color of their skin. The reason so many liberal journalists freak out when they see that I have piercings and tattoos, and that I am hispanic is because they have a preconceived notion about how a person that looks like me should think. I look a certain way and therefore I must think a certain way. Black conservative get this all the time. They are called race-traitors, Uncle Tom's, House n*****s, etc. because they have the right look, but they don't fall into line ideologically.

Racism and other beliefs that separate people based on their skin color are all founded in collectivism. You cannot lump all black people together, for any reason, other than a belief in collectivism. Is it a coincidence that socialism and communism are also founded in collectivism?

On the other side are people like me who are considered individualists, who view each person as an individual, regardless of what they look like. When I meet someone, I am never surprised by their beliefs because I don't prejudge them based on their looks. I have a friend who looks like the biggest redneck you've ever seen, and he is a total progressive, almost a socialist. Am I surprised? No, because I don't believe in collectivism and I don't group people based on their looks.

Al Sharpton was so proud of his "diverse" crowd, but I can guarantee that my friend circle is waaaay more diverse than any crowd that Al Sharpton has ever been around because my friends aren't afraid to disagree and challenge each other about their beliefs and ideas. It's what inside that counts, who cares about the packaging?