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diligence in improving themselves and becoming leaders in their communities. Our leaders commanded respect because they treated others with respect and did not tolerate a lowering of standards. They understood the concept of leading by example. 
Used to be people understood the difference between demanding and earning respect. Most shunned those that "demanded" respect and only offered it to those that "earned" it. With Common Core, mediocrity is rewarded; individuality, excellence, and the success that comes with it is punished via higher taxes and more government controls. Our leaders today are devoid of honor, intelligence, trustworthiness and integrity tempered with the compassion necessary to lead a nation.

Post World War II entitlement programs began the increasing trend of accepting handouts from the government in the form of social security, VA benefits, government civil service jobs, welfare, public housing and buying on credit, People's greed and feelings of entitlement were fed by the programming on the television sets which were fast becoming a household necessity. Equal pay for equal work, EEOC, NAACP, women's rights, sexual revolution, gay rights, handicap rights, senior rights, transgender rights, minority rights and illegal aliens' rights are programs meant to create tolerance where none exists.

"What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of utmost importance that these should not be considered the same. We may wish to abolish conflict, but we cannot get rid of diversity…Fear of difference is fear of life itself." – Mary Parker Follett

This country before our Constitution and our current political system was a land full of diversity unfettered by laws except for the colonies. If government, leaders, authorities, employers take away incentives to improve ourselves via legislation (no matter which population you belong to) we abolish the very incentives needed to effectively overcome discrimination of any kind. It is only because we struggle to overcome that the values necessary to create a cohesive nation of diverse cultures can come to fruition and thrive. Force used to create change is never the answer. "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

Children, cultures and governments are like eco-systems in that to meddle in one aspect without consideration for the whole and your continued part in it is short-sighted. "Don't start something you can't finish." We're all in this together and unless we come to grips with that, we are doomed. What we become as a nation cannot be legislated, it comes with hard work, unity, love, compassion, understanding and vigilence in protecting the common values of truth, justice, honor and integrity.

It's not the destination that's important, it's the journey that makes you who you become.

Public education does not prepare anyone for life. Without a good education, your options for steady, gainful employment are few unless you are willing to do "anything" for "anyone". In addition to a lack of education is the conundrum of there not being enough jobs to go around that will support oneself. Minimum wage jobs are even fewer for the recent graduate due to a deficit of higher paying jobs for the over-qualified who are now their competition.

Where am I going with this? I didn't know until just now. The whole issue of minimum wage is only an issue because government has overstepped it boundaries. In fact, what I see as the most disturbing problem is that most people don't even know what boundaries are, nowadays. And, if they do, those boundaries are not respected. In fact, the whole concept of that word: "respect" has gone by the wayside (at least in this country).

I'm talking about standards. Americans once had standards that were instilled (or beaten) into them by the authority figures in their lives. Authority figures got to be authority figures because of their 

​​​​​No child left behind, revisited
By Tim Siewert

I know two men who are anachronisms as am I.  One of

these gentlemen is 73 and the other is 79.  Both operate

their own business of one as do I.  According to the norm,

both of these men should be “retired”; doing nothing

more than going fishing or (heaven forbid) golfing.  But

neither of these men enjoys these sedentary activities but

would rather be making their products; they both derive

personal enjoyment from this.  I believe that this attitude

of being productive has been yet another casualty of the

“no-child-left-behind” paradigm.

I have long known that the most fundamental skill necessary

for the development of a child, nay even the perpetuation

of society, is the ability to read.  The ability to read the

written word, along with basic ciphering, is the foundation

of all subsequent education.  Yet this most fundamental

skill is the very skill that has been relegated to being almost

superfluous today.  Everyone just wants to look at pictures

because they are functionally illiterate.  Therefore, it is no wonder that we have a nation of idiots today.

The “social medium” known as “Facebook” is a prime example of how literarily lazy most people are.  People will visit your FB page but if you don’t have many pictures for them to “like” (they very rarely comment); most often they promptly “navigate away”.  All one has to do is visit some of these pages and observe the comments: rudimentary spelling, grammar, and syntax (what’s that?) errors; the incessant use of nonsensical abbreviations; and the incessant, incorrect use of the word “like”.  What makes this even more confounding for me is that every computer has “spell-check” replete with grammar corrections.  The only explanation for the terrible deterioration of communication skills is the “no-child-left-behind” paradigm promoting laziness in the two most important fundamentals.

Then, most people’s penmanship, if you want to call it that, is atrocious.  Why?  Because penmanship “cursive writing” is no longer taught in schools, another casualty of “no-child-left-behind”.  I can only surmise that it has been deemed unnecessary.  Need I say more?

Let’s talk about the other fundamental skill for a moment: ciphering; some of you may know it as “arithmetic”.  It is now universally accepted that “close” is “good enough” when ciphering.  No longer does 2+2 always =4; either 3 or 5 are “close enough” to be correct.  How many people under the age of 30 do you think can correctly solve “11x11=?” without a calculator?  Not that any one answer is correct according to “no-child-left-behind”.  Every science discipline necessitates ciphering skills.  And people wonder why physicians and hospital staff personnel kill over 190,000 people a year due to ineptitude.  I ask, “Where is the public outcry about this?”

Then, don’t even let me start about geography.  According to a study some years ago, more than half of high school seniors think the State of Florida is actually the nation of Japan.  When I was in school, if you didn’t know the difference between Florida and Japan, you would have been labeled a real dumb-shit.  No one under the age of 30 knows how to use a map today.  If the GPS suddenly disappeared, in all likelihood there would be massive car pileups nationwide.  People have to rely on some box on the dash of their vehicle tell them when to “turn right here”.  This is presuming that people really know how to operate a motor vehicle; recent experience has shown me otherwise; they know “gas, brake, & steer”.

But I have digressed.  So why is proper education so important?  In the first part of the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” (my all time favorite movie) Lawrence meets Ali.  During the initial exchange, Ali informs Lawrence that he is able to read and write.  Ali says it in a way to let you know that he is very proud of this.  There are two things that set us humans apart from all other beasts on this planet: the knowledge of The Supreme Being (God) and written communication.  Many other species communicate between themselves verbally and with gestures, but man is the only species that has ever developed written communication on his own.  Many people have already denied God’s existence.  Without proper communication, the ability to read and write, nothing will differentiate people from all other beasts. 

​​​​​​​​​​​1776 MEN MAGAZINE



by Tim Siewert

The “no child left behind” paradigm that was

initiated by the liberal progressives in the late

60’s is one of the reasons for this country’s

woes;  this is because of a few issues.

First, it denies the imperfections of man.  Mankind is imperfect; anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.  The idea that all children are capable of constant success is also folly.  Part of the learning process is failure, followed by a repeated attempt(s) with some variation(s), hopefully followed by learning from these failings, which in turn ends with success.  A great example of this is Thomas Edison.  Edison had over 150 failed attempts before he perfected the incandescent lamp.  After each successive attempt, he learned something.  I am sure he had some uncertainty about his ideas and ability but eventually he succeeded.  Furthermore, to indoctrinate a child with the idea that they can only succeed predisposes the child for confusion when they do ultimately fail.  Then, when children (and adults) do eventually fail, they tend to believe that the reason for their failure has only to do with themselves, their inadequacies, and not with the fact that they have not been adequately prepared to tackle the problems life may send their way.  Consequently, because they internalize these feelings they do not seek the help they need to overcome these shortcomings.  This help that I refer to is not psychological either; it is the necessity for the adequate preparation for life which the “no child left behind” paradigm robbed them of in the first place.

The second reason for the failure of “no child left behind” is the immutable fact that everyone is not “the sharpest tool in the shed”.  The fact that some people possess less mental capacity than others is neither an insult nor a bad thing; it is just a statement of the obvious.  The world needs garbage collectors as much as rocket scientists; not to disparage refuse workers and as a matter of fact the world needs them more than rocket geeks.  My point is that while everyone is equal in the Eyes of God, this has more to do with their soul than their physical attributes.  To reward someone for failure is an insult to that individual, counterproductive to their learning process, and does society a disservice by creating people that do not understand the effort required to attain excellence.

This insidious, liberal, progressive “no child left behind” nonsense also absolves teachers from their responsibilities.  Erroneously, teachers that have a 100% success rate assume that they must be doing their job right although the curriculum that these teachers are pushing down the throats of the children does nothing to prepare the children for the world that the children will be expected to soon enter.  A case in point: I had a conversation with a local teacher a few years ago.  During this conversation I mentioned Avoirdupois weights.  She had no idea to what I was referring;  (F.Y.I. Avoirdupois weights are the grains, ounces, pounds, and tons for dry measure commonly used in the U.S.)  I, foolishly, expected a grade-school teacher with a college education to know this.  After all, I do not have any pieces of paper hanging on my wall, yet I have known this fact since I was in grade school (which was before "no child left behind" nonsense).  The teacher in question was one educated in the "no child left behind" system. So, my point of this is, how can the children possibly learn what they need to know if the teachers are ignorant?  Not that I think that knowing what Avoirdupois weights are is tantamount to succeed in life.  I offer this as an example.  The education system in this country has reached a point were we have successive generations of “dumbed down” people teaching a useless curriculum.  It is no wonder that the economy is failing.  It is the classic case of “the blind leading the blind” in practice.  It is ignorance gone to seed.

I believe that the liberal progressives that have so saturated our society were the advanced guard of the sociofascists that have hijacked our republic.  These people, along with the neo conservatives of the 80s, have totally destroyed and perverted our God-based society.

In reality, the “no child left behind” paradigm (only mandates "adequate" yearly progress) leaves all children behind.  It leaves them way behind the “power curve” in that it does nothing to prepare them for life and the society they are in which they are expected to function when they reach adulthood.  Political correctness and the “no child left behind” nonsense need to go if this republic is to survive.  No Child left behind (NCLB) has  been found to be wanting and as a result states are requesting waivers which then results in them having to adopt what is known as Common Core Standards (which establish the standards and measures for students' performance in reading and math). As usual, Congress is at an impasse with Senate Democrats proposing a 1,150 page plan that mandates states to get waivers plus create 25 new programs and 150 new reporting requirements for states and school districts; while Senate Republicans propose in a 220 page plan to restore responsibility to the states and communities giving teachers and parents freedom, flexibility and choice called "Every Child Ready for College or Career".  (More information is available online)

Meanwhile, while they duke it out, let us counteract the insanity of “no child left behind”: 1) be like Louis L’Amour; continue to educate yourself about whatever interests you. 2) Be like Thomas Edison; and have the courage to excel in a world that promotes and rewards mediocrity.  3) Be a Boy Scout; be honorable in a world that promotes, rewards, and glamorizes dishonesty.  And finally, and this is most important, 4) strive to keep your body & mind clean in a world that is totally polluted with unclean food and mindless drivel.