Abolishing the First Amendment’s Protections While Hyping Intellectual Freedom and Student Learning

If we wanted to turn the current protections of the First Amendment on its head, we might argue that its new function is to “ensure the democratic legitimation of the state” and “create a new state of Mind for citizenship.” If books like The Constitution in 2020 (that the typical person will never even hear about, much less read) assert such claims, while also arguing for national standards for K-12 education to create the desired values and belief system, we would have a United States running on parallel tracks. There is the world as the typical person still believes it to be. Then the parallel, actual, purposes of the changed practices and institutions designed quietly to create:

“A democratic agenda truly concerned with human freedom, equality, and flourishing must conceive of itself in terms broader than the Constitution as law. It must be concerned with the constitution of US society, rather than with the US Constitution.”

If anyone does not believe that K-12 education policy and the new emphasis on “personalized learning” are actually about achieving the vision of the above quote that dovetails with the previous essay on “A Progressive Perspective on Freedom of Speech,” read this inviting “progressives normatively [they set the new rules but do not bother to tell us] to clarify the forms of participation that they believe are essential to a healthy public sphere.” Last week President Obama’s FCC announced its intention to regulate the Internet in the name of net neutrality. Want to guess how the progs illustrated that desire to clarify the new terms of participation and debate?

The book pointed out that “the Internet, for example, is rapidly becoming an extremely important medium for the formation of public opinion.” If that sounds like we are about to have an uh-oh confession here it goes:

“In the coming decades, issues such as net neutrality or the installation of centralized (versus decentralized) filters will hugely impact the precise ways in which the Internet will contribute to the formation of public opinion. Progressives will need a convincing normative vision [remember the experiential Right Brain that is the new focus of K-12 education adores narratives] of a healthy public sphere in order to assess the constitutional implications [little c, as in constitution of society and maybe that other little c] of potential government interventions. They will need this vision as much to shape a progressive regulatory policy as to litigate for the maintenance of progressive constitutional rights.” [No more negative liberties in other words. Look up FDR’s Scond Bill of Rights].

We get a glimmer of what is really going on in what the new Conceptual Frameworks in AP US History are actually designed to do. I covered that in depth in a trilogy starting here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/mischievous-masquerade-apush-as-the-sought-coherent-framework-justifying-intervention-in-history/ I also address the function of critical theory and why it is also called Cultural Marxism in Chapter 5 of my book.  This recent controversy http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20150128-highland-park-isd-parent-calls-book-socialist-marxist.ece  illustrates that high school coursework across the country is now training students to apply conceptual lenses like poverty, race, gender, sexuality, etc. in how they interpret the world.

Instead of treating Marxism as an insult that only an unhinged kook would hurl, it’s important to appreciate the crucial importance that the human perception of the here and now has on a widespread willingness to act to transform society. It’s why the prog quotes above talk about “a new State of Mind” for the necessary citizenship. It’s why we keep hearing about desired Dispositions (including explicitly from the Common Core’s formal sponsor, the CCSSO) and all students having a flexible Growth Mindset.  We are all assuming a world and the rule and protections of the law still functioning largely the same while influential, well-funded profs and federal regulators declare “the First Amendment does not protect speech as such, but only such speech as is necessary for democracy.”

That would again be democracy in the economic justice, positive rights, vision for all that desperately needs both K-12 and higher education policies and practices to enable its vision of the future. The progs recognize that the traditional view of the First Amendment will “undermine important and desirable forms of state regulation.” I have long recognized that where the schools intend to go is actually off limits once properly understood. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/ Apparently the progs concede that as well. They followed that concern over the current First Amendment language with this statement:

“a progressive constitutional vision for 2020 must advance a robust theory of democracy that can identify the forms of speech and association that deserve constitutional protection because they are essential to the formation of democratic public opinion.”

That’s a First Amendment that has done a 180 and intends to protect only the forms of speech and association that fit with the desired transformative vision. Anything else and the motto is gather data, resculpt, and infringe away. The parents still think this is all about the best way to transmit knowledge and many businessmen still believe they cannot find able employees despite the K-12 system trying really hard and doing its best. Neither is true and it hasn’t been for a while.

One of the many taxpayer-funded trade groups doing its part to advance the prog view of future American society and reshaping the mind of the citizen is the American Library Association. In fact, its Association of School Librarians has even created Standards for the 21st-Century Learner http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/learning-standards and a helpful crosswalk to the Common Core. Category 3 is that “Learners Will Use Skills, Resources, & Tools to  Share Knowledge and Participate Ethically and Productively as Members of Our Democratic Society.” I do believe that is called picking a dog in the fight.

Especially given AASL’s constant focus on pushing Inquiry-Learning, which of course, MUST be experiential. It also prescribes desired student “Dispositions in Action” repeatedly as part of its Learning Standards. Students are also told to “show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations” and not just turning to a book they love or refusing to volunteer the excellent vocabulary their parents diligently built up over the preschool years.

Again, creating Learning Standards that insist that students have that social responsibility or that students must “use information and knowledge in the service of democratic values” is taking sides in this mostly invisible battle for the future of what the US will ever be. We are going to pivot because the ALA was brought in as the so-called neutral authority to proclaim that somehow complaining of bias in what is taught, and the explicit prescription, and required practicing, with conceptual lenses that students are to now use (to interpret their experiences and the reality they perceive around them), is somehow a violation of the student’s Intellectual Freedom. Who is the real infringer here? This is the Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Booklet the ALA has created.   http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/issuesadv/intellectualfreedom/kidsknowyourrights.pdf

It showed up as a defense in Highland Park. Now won’t the facts laid out in this post be useful if it shows up in your community next trying to prevent accurate criticisms? After all, these stipulated ‘lenses’ are designed to guide new kinds of student minds and beliefs about their responsibilities to others all while sculpting that needed “democratic public opinion”. The booklet is fantastically wrong in so many of its assertions, but it does still have an excellent command of the historic purpose of the Bill of Rights. “Before the Bill of Rights was written, governments usually told people what their rights and freedoms were. Our Founding Fathers did not like this, and so they flipped the idea around. Instead, the Bill of Rights said the citizens would be free to tell the government what it could or could not do.”

Not exactly consistent with those 21st Century Learning Standards is it? See what I mean about parallel tracks? At the same time that the ALA tries to portray challenges to the slant in curricula as akin to the right of citizens to “take the government to court” and “use  the words from the First Amendment to prove that the government has violated their rights,” the ALA itself is actively involved in helping to resculpt the student’s internal mental structures and values, attitudes, and beliefs. In violation of that same First Amendment they claim to be a defender of. Maybe so, but the first allegiance is clearly to advancing ‘democracy’. That booklet called it the “form of government where all people are heard,” which sounds remarkably like the prog vision of the public sphere above.

In fact, the 2020 book asserted that redistribution of wealth and interference with private contracts are now acceptable as long as the minority can complain in a public forum about what governments are doing. Legitimate practices as long as there is an opportunity to participate and try to sway public opinion sounds remarkably like the ALA’s assertion that democracy cannot “work if all people cannot express themselves and talk to one another to make informed choices.” Sounds like John Dewey’s participatory democracy to me that we are seeing advocated for now at the local level as a forum for binding decision-making as long as all Stakeholders are represented.

I think the ALA’s desire to advance this vision of the future probably has something to do with why it repeatedly and flagrantly misstates the tenets of the First Amendment. But the typical parent or student will likely not know that “The First Amendment guarantees you the right to think your own thoughts, speak your own opinions, and read and write what you want” is factually wrong. The Government at any level cannot infringe that. The ALA though wants that Discourse Classroom where all students bring their perspectives and share their experiences before negotiating to a common understanding. That practiced obligation is needed for this new vision of a “democratic public sphere.”

This is a self-confessed March through the Institutions that is proceeding on a Parallel Track. Let’s not take any groups’ word for what our rights and obligations are. Always look for the conflict of interest.

We really are engaged in a cultural war over the constitution of our society. The law and K-12 education are primary battlefields. None of us have to accept a claim that we are violating Intellectual Freedom by accurately pointing all this out.

46 thoughts on “Abolishing the First Amendment’s Protections While Hyping Intellectual Freedom and Student Learning

  1. Here is what one school board (and many others) think of the First Amendment. BTW the First Amendment DOES apply as the school is a govt institution. This is content specific. They seem to be endorsing some kind of ‘heckler’s veto’ where the acts and reactions of a third party are used against the teacher. I.e. the TEACHER caused problems at the school by posting on Facebook outside of school. .

    http://www.tiftongazette.com/news/teacher-appeals–day-suspension-for-facebook-post/article_f8b36416-ab10-11e4-9f3c-279e05e9bcf5.html

    “Ms. Tucker made a post that day that we consider offensive, and it has caused problems within the system,” said school board attorney Hank Pittman.
    He then read the post aloud: “It’s turned into a race matter. What about the thugs that beat the father in his vehicle because he didn’t slow down? What about the thugs that shot the college baseball player because they were bored? The list can go on and on. If the dude hadn’t stolen, he would be alive. I think signs should read, ‘Take the hood off your head and pull up your dang pants and quit impregnating everybody.’ I’m tired of paying for these sorry (expletive) thugs. I would much rather my hard earned money that the government takes go to people who need it, such as (abuse of) adults and children, not to mention the animals they beat and fight too. That’s all I’m saying.”
    “It’s clear reading this message in context that it’s directed toward African-Americans. It contains many negative stereotypes directed toward African-Americans,” he commented.
    He said as soon as Tucker made the post, it went viral and other people started noticing it and contacted Superintendent Patrick Atwater with complaints. Atwater has heard from local leaders, parents of students in Tucker’s class and her colleagues.
    “They asked that something be done about it,” Pittman said. “The post is a violation of the code of ethics for educators.”

    other links covering same incident
    http://www.wfxl.com/news/story.aspx?id=1159131

    TIFTON, GA —
    The hearing that started Monday has finally come to a conclusion: teacher Kelly Tucker will be suspended for 5 days without pay and have to go through diversity training.

    The motion was passed 4-1.

    • To be honest I thought he would be fired. Not because teachers should be unable to express such opinions, but because as a professional I always thought I could be fired if publicly associated with something so hot-button.

      And if he teaches in a school with a lot of black students, I wish him continued personal safety. The comments will be interpreted as racially stereotyped regardless of his personal opinions. I’d say he took quite a risk there.

    • This links to Education Council. Riley’s firm’s lobbying/policy arm is Education Counsel.

      Remember that Australia adopted ATLAS and the Coalition of Essential Schools model in 2002. That’s apart from the Queensland Basic Skills piloting of transdisciplinary. I will have to look and I am sure there’s a link but it’s not Riley. Yet.

        • You’d think they would drop Ben Levin’s name. If they read this blog they certainly would not point to Queensland as using it. Rubin does tese stories and I always trace her partners too.

          By the way. someone asked me offline the name of the Heartland book from the Center for Self-Governance. Published in 1992 its is Responsive SCHOOLS rENEWED cOMMUNITIES BY cLIFFORD w cOBB.

          Gracious. Cap locks were on and the dinner bell is chirping.

        • http://jaypgreene.com/2015/02/10/statement-by-burke-evers-rebarber-stotsky-and-wurman-on-esea/ should be read in light of what we now know about progressive federalism, accreditation, the CIFAL Global Network, how much it dovetails with that Jindal document, etc. This feels like an unrelenting coordination designed to create an illusion of control while the real game is on that parallel track just over the horizon.

          Notice this is not about school choice at all, but it still serves the vision of polyphonic federalism without that being noticeable. Did you know that famous ed progressive, Ted Sizer, of the Coalition of Essential Schools that created so much of the vision for the actual implementation, wrote in a book about 10 years ago, The Red Pencil that vouchers and the money following the child was the way to achieve his vision. He also was mystified by what he called the ‘Neoconservatives’ so anxious to promote the progressive vision for a different kind of school. I must admit when Heritage starts citing Brookings and when AEI or Fordham starts doing programs with the Center for American Progress, we really do have a synthesis going on.

          I suspect the actual synthesis effected will not be what is being proclaimed.

          • Interesting chart.
            http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/chart3.html

            Still trying to to fully understand the progressive federalism. You would think that people would start to pick up on the strange bedfellows With so called conservative think tanks. I really think that the testimony does not matter. They will move forward Regardless but still better than ignoring. Have not heard much talk about Jindal’s plan. Everything is about High stakes testing.

          • Everything is about high stakes testing to create the drumbeat that makes the K-12 focus developmental without parents recognizing that is the relief they got.

            http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/the-avenue/posts/2015/02/10-federalist-federal-budget-katz#.VNpyL2_6qC0.twitter came out yesterday and actually fits with Sizer’s book too. Must fix the surround. Notice I put up the tab Metropolitanism on this post, which is Bruce Katz’s actual specialty. In his 1998 book that Al Gore wrote the Preface for it was still called Regional Equity.

            I should finish The Red Pencil by lunch but so far it is the synthesis and says so. I was racking my brain to remember why I ordered it, but I believe it was Nel Noddings complaining about Sizer advocating for vouchers and money following the child. I thought “if that’s true, it really is all falling in place.” It was interesting as he is describing a proposal that fits that was once again developed at the Aspen Institute’s Wye Plantation.

            The next post will help because I will backward ma from something Kofi Annan has created to be the blueprint for where this is all going. It fits in perfectly with what Jindal’s report says whether he recognizes it or not. Somewhere there is a staffer that wrote that report who knows precisely what I know. Their advantage is someone laid out the desired framework. I have just learned to recognize the elements.

            It helps that I have details of what Sizer, Comer’s and Howard Gardner’s ATLAS Communities were supposed to be like and how important they were to Australia. It fits too with the HuffPo article which has Gardner involved. Again, ATLAS is the acronym for Authentic Teaching and Learning for All Students. By the way Sizer is all about the ‘performance’ in an unfamiliar but real-life context being how to assess students. All students.

            Did you notice the part of Jindal’s report where the privates would be overseen by “well-regarded private accreditation companies”? Yes, that AdvancED is the very model of the free enterprise system instead of connected cronyism providing the coercive power of government authority to force up revenue and dictate.

          • Re: LL’s chart. I think the far-right column is hogwash. Somehow existentialism and individual freedom are combined with diversity and social justice expectations.

            I’m not sure about the connection of existentialism with individual freedom, but the combination of freedom with social justice is pretty clearly off. Some other aspects of the chart are interesting though, putting old-school education (left column) under “idealism” isn’t often done but I think it’s correct. We do have high ideals in supporting this kind of schooling.

            Either they’re assuming everyone is in love with social justice and they’re trying to slip in a bit of freedom illegitimately, or vice versa. I’d bet on the vice-versa.

          • Singapore’s lower 20% of their student population is probably like our third quartile. Just because they can turn “all students” into competent technicians doesn’t mean we can do it.

            We just have to think of the right way to say that.

  2. Here is a paper from Oregon on ‘assessment for learning’. There is a blog post from October 28th that talks about the possibility that the opt out movement is moving us in the direction of these new assessments. Oregon has had little movement in the opt out area, as well as general objection to ccss. The paper was commission by the Governor a year ago. That tells us how long they have been planning on moving this direction. Oregon has not yet had the first round of sbac testing and they are already calling for it to take a back seat and move these assessments to the forefront. Looks to me like you were correct Robin, all the fuss about stress over testing is pushing us this way.

    http://res.cloudinary.com/bdy4ger4/image/upload/v1423439219/2_5_2015_A_New_Path_for_Oregon_Proposal_by_Oregon_Educators_v2_miqmmy.pdf

    • It is also explicitly tied to a vision of Inclusive Capitalism per ACT. http://actfdn.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ACTF_BrochureRv3_LoRes.pdf

      Came out in August 2014 and not publicized at all for obvious reasons given ACT has created the kind of “high-quality assessment”–Aspire–LL’s link keeps mentioning. I know that because the school district super of the local League of Innovative Schools super told a board member who in turn told me without particularly appreciating what “high-quality” meant. Then I heard him tell the hearing of the State Panel on the federal role in ed in August that the McGraw Hill Georgia Milestones are another “high-quality assessment”. My research shows “high-quality” is tied into the cybernetic, obuchenie visions of the mind and shaping it that I have written about. Those posts may be best read with an adult beverage, but it is also consistent with the David Conley presentations I am seeing of what College and Career Ready really means.

      We have already discovered the Chamber of Commerce’s “Managing the Talent Pipeline” vision for K-12. That ACT report was created with the Business Roundtable. Remember my Reiman quote ending the previous post.

    • If we dovetail what is in that paper with this https://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/everything-is-an-assessment/ from Australia, we begin to truly see how little this is about transmitting knowledge. It truly is capturing what point the child is at in their perception of the world and then guiding that in whatever direction is politically useful. Especially now that ACT admits K-12 is being used to try to transform the nature of the economy and to push a collectivist society.

      We could go out to eAT if we got $5 for everytime ‘collective’ is used in that report.

      Or this from two days ago http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/opinion/mark-bittman-what-is-the-purpose-of-society.html?_r=0 . How useful is formative assessment if you want to change the goals of society? “Captitalism’ and ‘socialism’ are outdated terms. We progressives. These are contemporaneous intentions and we are at risk if we do not connect the dots to the K-12 vehicle. Bittman is not going to achieve his vision with his cookbooks. I guess we could say this vision works well for Carlos Slim though. North America as a single economy grounded in an obligation to meet all people’s ‘needs’, wherever they live.

      • Read a short paper last night called “Assessment FOR learning defined” by rick stiggins the consultant who worked on the Oregon paper. Stiggins paper said assessment for learning should not be done monthly or weekly but continually. did you notice how the Or . Paper talked of a non judgemental classroom?

        • Non-judgmental is necessary for the sharing of perspectives in the Discourse Classroom that gets students to a shared understanding. That came up this morning in a civic essay on what it would take to solve complex social problems in the future. Answer: widespread common understandings firmly held. When James Comer wrote of a common core curriculum in the 80s to create schooling for democracy he also said it was necessary for ‘shared perspectives’. That’s how Conley’s desired Student Profiles also work with a trajectory to get there via formative assessment.

          There was a Government Summit in Dubai this week that Ken Robinson spoke at and the OECD, World Bank, World Economic Forum were all among the partners. I just downloaded a paper from it called “Networked Government: The transition to citizen centricity.” Governments fully intend to use formative assessments globally to sculpt the citizens they desire. It is both that simple and that atrocious. I finished that book almost 3 years ago and everything is moving fast on the foundations laid out there. No wonder governments merely want Competency as does the Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Business Roundtable.

          • I suspect this is just the House saying to Lamar and Patty that the ball is in their court. I was just reading the Government in 2020 vision that came out of Dubai and the ed component talked about augmented reality, digital immersion, and ‘cognitive calibration’. Boy, I really wish I was in a scifi or political satire instead of monitoring in real time. Oh, and it also said “collective action” will be the global by-word. I would crawl under a rock, but my sinuses are screaming today and they do not need any fungi.

            That WIOA legislation that only ISC is covering has a webinar coming up people can sign up for. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8026160369299882241

            Yes, it really is being pronounced as wee-oh-uh every time I watch a presentation.

        • This came out yesterday from Digital Promise. http://www.digitalpromise.org/page/-/dpdocuments/microcredentials/mc_deeperlearning.pdf?nocdn=1

          The epistemic rules your link is talking about appear to translate to the visual mapping of the mental models laid out in this link. This technique can be used for good or ill, but in either case it is not the same as building up an understanding via facts and repeated applications of rules in a variety of problems with known solutions, even if difficult to master.

          Does that make sense?

          • This is a very good set of definitions, a very good confession. It confesses what the real meaning of “deeper learning” is, and shows what a small percentage of all the competencies, all the classroom activity is what we old-timers would call “learning content”. About 1 out of 40 competencies. Maybe a few more than that.

          • At this point I am swimming in what can only be described as confessions of horrific intent. That’s the White House behind that initiative. OSTP that Paul Ehrlich’s colleague John Holdren runs is in charge.

            Good way to create Ehrlich’s Newmindedness, isn’t it?

          • Reading more of the pro social handbook last night. I am sure you know this but it was interesting to read that edutopia is the implementation wing of the George Lucas education fund. Milton Chen says the focus is on whole child education, technology and collaboration with p21. “We cannot separate academics from developmental – we can do both, create caring compassionate human beings at the same time give them knowledge and skills to be innovators and leaders in the new economy”. In addition to that statement there was “teachers are to be coaches since the knowledge to be mastered is on the internet”.
            Saved the best for last. “Imagining studies show that some pro social education programs sustain their effects in individuals by producing changes in the brain structure and functioning”
            just what every parent thinks about when they send their precious little ones off to the classroom.

        • So now conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and how to apply those principles, are not even a part of what we want kids to learn in physics class?

          What garbage. It’s hard to learn that. But if the course is just about drawing conclusions from experiments, then we’re putting the kids back in the year 1500 and letting them bs about the stuff that Newton et al already figured out, in this “community of expert learners”.

          • Oh, and this quote about how much physics was actually learned. I guess “force concept inventory” relates to concepts about forces:

            “Students entered the class with a low pre-test
            score of 26% on the force concept inventory (FCI)
            [15]. The normalized gain for the class was g = 0.37
            which places the course within the range of scores
            typically associated with “interactive engagement”
            instructional methods [16].”

            I suspect that scores typically associated with the bad old “sage on stage, plus problem sets at home” are higher.

          • I suspect they will hear a great deal about the 2nd law of thermodynamics so they will be ready to apply it in inapplicable situations.

      • This is a non sequitur to the trashing of the First Amendment but I’ve been in touch with John Taylor Gatto, a decorated NYC 8th grade teacher who opened my eyes over a decade ago with “The Underground History of American Education.” He’s recovering from a stroke and I sent him a copy of “Credentialed to Destroy” a couple of weeks ago. I don’t believe that he has read it yet but in his own research John takes us down many of the same historical paths that Robin does in her book. If you go to his website (http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/) you can get a copy of a recent essay in which he cites a study done by the Harvard School of Government about the top ten skills needed for success in the 21st century.

        1. Ability to define problems without a guide.
        2. Ability to ask questions that challenge common assumptions.
        3. Ability to work without guidance.
        4. Ability to work absolutely alone.
        5. Ability to persuade others that yours is the right course.
        6. Ability to debate issues and techniques in public.
        7. Ability to re-organize information into new patterns.
        8. Ability to discard irrelevant information.
        9. Ability to think dialectically.
        10.Ability to think inductively, deductively, and heuristically.

        In light of the psychological research done in the last hundred years, that is the stuff that Robin has highlighted here and in her book, that fluency at reading isn’t mentioned (I’m sure the Harvard crew would argue that such a fundamental skill is taken for granted). However, assuming there’s some validity to this list it’s interesting that the endless blather we hear as teachers about teaching collaboration, teamwork, etc… doesn’t appear on this list and is only implied in 5 & 6. Yet, look at the heavy emphasis on the ability to work alone in unguided settings. The creators of the Common Core appear to have other ideas for those of us who haven’t gone to Harvard.

        • Here is a clip from Gatto’s “Ultimate History Lesson” on the purpose of schooling from the Harvard “Ingles Lectures”. The clip with the extra commentary from Gatto is quite interesting: http://trueteaching.blogspot.com/2013/11/gatto-reads-social-engineers-admitted.html. I went through the whole 6.5 hour Gatto interview and can testify it is well worth the time when you have access to deep reseachers like Gatto, Sutton, Iserbyt, Griffen, and Pinto for example.

        • Aaron-both in the UN piece about the plans for us that will be in the next post and in reports created for that Government Summit in Dubai I mentioned this morning, there are mentions of a global class of well-paid ‘planners’ that are to be the admins of this new vision. I find it quite chilling. but I have now encountered it several times in what is coming out just in recent months. Accenture, Deloitte, Boston Consulting, Thomson Reuters were among those who had created reports on this new vision of Governments basically in charge of meeting citizen needs and using data to do it.

          The weird thing is I actually have numerous former colleagues with kids at the Ivies now. I keep thinking Oh. My.

  3. Are We Dealing With Rattlesnakes?

    From Indigenous People’s Literature — http://www.indigenouspeople.net/snake.htm

    The Little Boy and The Rattlesnake
    The little boy was walking down a path and he came across a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake was getting old. He asked, “Please little boy, can you take me to the top of the mountain? I hope to see the sunset one last time before I die.” The little boy answered “No Mr. Rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you’ll bite me and I’ll die.” The rattlesnake said, “No, I promise. I won’t bite you. Just please take me up to the mountain.” The little boy thought about it and finally picked up that rattlesnake and took it close to his chest and carried it up to the top of the mountain.
    They sat there and watched the sunset together. It was so beautiful. Then after sunset the rattlesnake turned to the little boy and asked, “Can I go home now? I am tired, and I am old.” The little boy picked up the rattlesnake and again took it to his chest and held it tightly and safely. He came all the way down the mountain holding the snake carefully and took it to his home to give him some food and a place to sleep. The next day the rattlesnake turned to the boy and asked, “Please little boy, will you take me back to my home now? It is time for me to leave this world, and I would like to be at my home now.” The little boy felt he had been safe all this time and the snake had kept his word, so he would take it home as asked.
    He carefully picked up the snake, took it close to his chest, and carried him back to the woods, to his home to die. Just before he laid the rattlesnake down, the rattlesnake turned and bit him in the chest. The little boy cried out and threw the snake upon the ground. “Mr. Snake, why did you do that? Now I will surely die!” The rattlesnake looked up at him and grinned, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

    [This ISC post and the links provided make me think we are dealing with rattlesnakes who will fatally or otherwise disastrously harm us and society. The “rattle” is a warning sign — a particular narrative permeating this intentional 21st Century Paradigm Shift — that we need be leery of. ]

  4. It seems they have more or less completely eliminated the classics from English curriculum, except for Shakespeare. That would be too obvious, and besides it’s so old that it transmits little of modern European culture.

    I am on a mailing list for parents of gifted students, and people are being steered away from APUSH unless the kid is truly interested in the subject, a history buff perhaps. In the old days it would have been the normal thing for all good students, but now I guess there’s so much busywork (or worse) and annoyance associated with it that you’ve got to be really devoted to want to go through it.

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