Tag Archives: Opinion

Cinema Thursday: The Miseducation of America with Charlotte Iserbyt

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt (pronounced Izzer-bee), former Senior Policy Adviser in the US Department of Education during the Reagan administration, was interviewed in May of 2011 about the miseducation of America.  It’s not so much an interview as it is her telling the story of what has gone on in education.  Please listen with both ears and your mind, you’ll need them.  There is so much information in this video.  I really felt that my brain drowned in information (that’s a good thing).

Charlotte Iserbyt’s website is deliberatedumbingdown.com.

Charlotte Iserbyt: The Miseducation of America Part 1-Full

Read the Transcript: America’s Road to Ruin

Read more of Iserbyt & others’ work here.

Charlotte has also written the book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America which is online for free.   It is a chronological history of the past 100+ years of education reform.  It contains a lot of research including government plans and policy documents from her time in the Department of Education.

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Avoiding GMOs in Your Garden

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Lately, it seems that we’re up to our eyeballs in GMOs.  Corn, soy, zucchini, you name it they’ve tampered with it.  That’s why gardening is important.  When you grow something yourself you know what went into its development.

But you didn’t think that Monsanto and their cronies would watch their customers drift off into organic-ville quietly did you?  Of course not.   They want to capture whatever revenue streams are available.  And since gardening is in vogue again (and they’re already in the agriculture business) of course they’ll try to get their slice of that pie.

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The two major ways Monsanto is interfering is by buying up smaller seed companies and also the names of heirloom seeds.  That way you either buy from them without realizing it or the seed company has to pay Monsanto for using “their” seed name.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, has written an excellent article about this HERE.  Thanks for alerting us, Sarah.

Here is a list of seed companies Monsanto has bought or does business with.

This post was linked to the Homestead Barn Hop!

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Top 10 GMO Crops

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GMOs are everywhere.

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3 Articles You Should Read

I’ve been meaning to do a post about each one of these articles but decided just to give a link and my take on it.

Taiwan destroys US meat laden with growth-boosting drug

Here’s an idea: instead of Taiwan legalizing ractopamine so the USA will play nice, how about we ban ractopamine too?  Otherwise it just sounds like a kid being pressured to do drugs so that their peers will accept them.

Photo credit: Jiri Hodan

5 great reasons to kick your soda habit

With friends like these, who needs enemies?  Not only will soda inflate your dental bills, it can also give you cancer, fry your brain, and pollute your water!

Farming communities facing crisis over nitrate pollution, study says

Industrial agriculture is showing its Mr. Hyde side.  Nitrates from fertilizers and animal manure are polluting California’s Central Valley water supply and causing massive damage to the residents’ health.  Hopefully farmers will realize how dangerous this is and pursue nontoxic methods.

Articles are from MSNBC

This post was linked to the Homestead Barn Hop!

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Cinema Thursday #9: Ammonia Ridden Pink Sludge

If you’ve gone to a news site lately I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “pink slime.” And it’s no wonder!  70% of ground beef in the U.S. contains this pureed, disinfected goop!  Maybe it really is “safe” at least in the sense that it’s been cleaned, but that begs the question: Why does our beef need to be sterilized?!

To the lady in the video below who stated that use of pink slime does not need to be disclosed because “It’s beef.”  The beef has been soaked in ammonia!  Ammonia is the additive!

On the bright side, McDonalds has decided not to use soylent pink anymore.  Because obviously no one would order a supersize McSlime with a large ammonia to go, please.

Read more:

School Children Served Pink Slime for Lunch

McDonald’s Announces End to ‘Pink Slime’ in Burgers

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Step Aside Mom–School Can Feed Your Kid Better than You

In North Carolina, a 4-year-old student’s lunch was inspected and deemed unfit.  So, the cafeteria gave her lunch and sent her home with a lunch bill for $1.25.

Photo credit: Yoppy (Flickr)

Because, obviously, cafeteria chicken nuggets are more nutritionally suitable than a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, some potato chips, and apple juice.

After the incident, a school manager said: “It sounds like the lunch itself would’ve met all of the standard.”  Duh.  Grain+meat+dairy+fruit sounds pretty USDA satisfactory to me.

Really, the major problem isn’t with the lunch, it’s with the authority structure.  It all boils down to what does the government have authority over?

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earnedThis is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Government’s job is to keep us safe and free, not to inspect our lunches and tell us what to eat.  And it’s our job to hold them to that.

Read more here:

Backyard Farming – School Lunch Shenanigans

The Blaze – N.C. Food ‘Inspector’ Sends Girl‘s Lunch Home After Determining It’s Not Healthy Enough

Carolina Journal Online – Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”

This post was linked to the Homestead Barn Hop!

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I’m Such A Bad Blogger

Oy vey, I do not post regularly.  My apologies for no Cinema Thursday last week; I hadn’t seen any good videos to share.  Suggestions for future Cinema Thursdays are very welcome.

I’ve been getting a lot of experience lately with icy waterers.  The temperatures have been such that the chickens’ water has frozen every night, and I have no expectations of this letting up until at least April, maybe May.  I haven’t taken any pictures of the chickens lately, but I will try to remedy that soon.

Also, I may not post much until after the Holidays, so, more apologies in advance.

Happy Holidays!

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They Didn’t Have the “Green Thing” Back In Her Day

My Mom showed me this true story from a friend’s friend.  I really enjoyed it and thought you all might too.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts; wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. Cobblers repaired their shoes, so they lasted decades.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.


Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then!

(Thanks, Tom Dooley!)

This post was linked to the Homestead Barn Hop!

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Wisconsin Judge Says You Can’t Own Bessie

Judge Patrick J. Fiedler of Wisconsin stated in a recent clarification of his decision about the sale and distribution of raw milk that, “This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one’s choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue.”

Well then, let me present you with  some “more developed arguments” on my side of the issue–the side that says, “I have the right to own the livestock of my choice and reap the benefits thereof.”

Judge Patrick J. Fiedler

Because the Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims are “underdeveloped,” Fiedler states:

(1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

(2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;

(3)  no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;

(5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice;

(There are more, but we’ll just stick to these.)

Hmm, maybe you can rationalize that about cows and raw milk, but let’s do some copy/paste work and see if these arguments still make sense.

What if:

(1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a [horse] or a [herd of horses];

(2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to [ride] their own [horse];

(3)  no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their [horse] at the farm of a farmer;

(5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to [buy] and [ride] the [horse or herd of horses] of their choice;

There are a lot of horse owners who might take issue with that.  I have friends who board their horses and can go ride them whenever they like.  Why can’t I do that with a cow?

“But horses don’t produce dangerous foodstuffs!”  An opponent says.

Well, mares actually do produce milk that has been used in Asia for years in foods like kumis.  However, horses are dangerous in other ways, just ask Christopher Reeves.  Maybe Judge Fiedler will ban them next.

Photo Credit: Christian Cable

Let’s do another one. This time we’ll use food:

(1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a [snack cake] or a [box of snack cakes];

(2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the [snack cakes which they bought];

(3)  no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their [snack cakes] at the [pantry] of a [pantry owner];

(5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce [or buy] and consume the [snack cakes] of their choice;

Now you can’t buy Twinkies, eat Twinkies, make Twinkies, or leave Twinkies in your friend’s pantry for when you come visit.

“Yeah, okay, maybe the ‘no fundamental right to own statement’ was a little over the top, but it’s not that big of a deal.”

Really?  Do you want the government to come up with an approved foods list?  You only have a fundamental right to own dog breeds that meet Federal standards of safety?  How about if the government removes your children from your custody because you gave them the best food you could think of, only it wasn’t “approved?”

Where in the Constitution does it say, “The government shall regulate all victuals and livestock to ensure micro-managed safety of the general populace?”

Article the twelfth [Amendment X], Bill of Rights:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Article the seventh [Amendment V] Bill of Rights:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, [...] nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Article the seventh seems to say that if they take away the cows from the farmers and/or owners, that’s eminent domain, and therefore the cows are for public use.  Open-source dairy, anyone?

The government has no right (outside of eminent domain) to remove property from any person.  Cows aren’t illegal.  Let’s keep it that way.

Sources:

The Complete Patient

Bill of Rights

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