Well Informed People

“…wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government…” Thomas Jefferson, 8 January, 1789

Thomas Jefferson has been called, “The first Libertarian” also, Theodore Roosevelt called him a “slippery demagogue.” Ironic isn’t it? Two granite faces next to each other for the rest of time, and yet so opposite in thinking? I do, however, think that if there were one thing Thomas, and Theodore would agree upon it is education.

Today we talk about education reform almost as soon as education is mentioned. It’s as if nearly every American knows something needs to be done. I recently asked friends of mine what they would do if they were tasked with reforming education, and most people agreed: more money! Pay the teachers a higher salary, get the children more supplies, and make sure that funding is equal amongst all of the schools. I would have agreed with them six months ago, but you know, it’s not class sizes, and lack of tools that holds the U.S.A. down at number 16 on the list of education systems.

We have failed to realize that education only meets a specific number of students’ abilities to learn, now, before you light your torches, and sharpen your pitchforks I ask you to wait just a moment. I am not saying that our children can’t learn what we try to teach them, I am saying it is the method.  We need to find out what method each student learns best with, and teach them using those styles.

I am not promoting pigeon holing students to one method or another, I am not saying our teachers don’t need an increase in pay, what I am saying is that I would have learned so much better had my teachers given me my lesson’s in alternative ways. I feel I would have done astoundingly better had I been given a single real world problem, then asked to find a solution using whatever materials I had available. I would have combined reading, practicality, testing, scientific method, and logic into my own lessons.

That would not have worked for my foster brother, I won’t give you his name, but I see how my brother learns, and I think that if, given a set of schematics he could have figured out any mechanical issue much faster than myself. Now certainly there are things each student should know, and I am not an educator so I have only cursory experience. I am just saying that our education system has some fundamental issues, and I hope that those can be explored long before we decide that the best solution is simply money.

Pains of Freedom

The Incorrigible John Adams“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”

― John Adams

Our second president is perhaps the most overlooked. In his time, he placed George Washington as the commanding general of the revolution, wheeled and dealed to get the Declaration of Independence signed, used every ounce of his power to avert war with France, and then laid the foundation for the Louisiana Purchase.

Yes, John Adams may be the reason you are today not paying taxes to the British government (no offence Brits, if you knew me, you’d know I love you!) but let’s be honest our Freedom wasn’t built on one man’s back. It was the persistence, and perseverance of three generations of father’s to found our Union. From Benjamin Franklin, who died not long after the election of our first President, John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, who fought for, wrote, and negotiated our independence, and to James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay who wrote out constitution.

These men, most who later became presidents, ambassador’s and elder statesmen (or statesmen who were killed before becoming elderly because of duels- I’m looking at you Mr. $10) The point is that our Nation came into being slowly, with guidance, and assistance from men, who, sadly we cannot  now seek the approval of. What’s the point you ask?

When asked to write the bill of rights, James Madison thought it ridiculous, how would it be possible for a government to restrict a person’s right, if in fact, the government never had that power to begin with. I am most thankful for Madison’s opponents requiring the bill of rights, and especially for ensuring it was Madison who wrote them.

Sadly, poor John Adams is repenting, even now. The freedom he gave us, that Madison ensured to us, that Washington fought to bring about, that Franklin negotiated for us, it is well, and truly lost.  (21 U.S.C. § 811)( 18 U.S.C. §1464)   (12 U.S.C. ch.3). My point is that our government, when originally set up was never supposed to be there to restrict our freedoms, our federal government was meant to protect our freedoms from encroachment by the states. I am deeply saddened by the move from a government of freedom, to a government of restriction, and I think that many of our founding fathers would have been as well. government of restriction, and I think that many of our founding fathers would have been as well.