A Literate American: Home Brew

 Now, if I can teach a not-three-year-old to read in a few months in under a half-hour a day, how in god’s name can the schools fail to do it in twelve years?

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View And the really fun part begins when Fred tells us “how.” The only thing he left out is that these “schools” are funded by the government and that is why we call them Mandatory Government Propaganda Camps.  — jtl, 419

by at Fred on Everygthing

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsOne wearies, or I weary anyway, of the endless news stories reporting that children can barely read or not at all, can’t add, and don’t know anything.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1) The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math” “Nationwide, only 33 percent of public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading….”

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualThis in the United States? The exceptional nation, shining city on a hill, guiding light of mankind? On and on it goes: the national toleration of the stupid, the inferior, the lazy, and the uncultivated. More specifically, toleration of substandard teachers, substandard races, substandard approaches to schooling, and intellectually shiftless people bitching about everything being somebody else’s fault.

These laudable thoughts came to me when, having spent recent decades reading of the godawful effects of American schooling, I stumbled across a column I wrote thirty years ago about the same things, and about my daughter Macon. In it I proposed a simple solution to many of our gravest national problems. It can be effected in the home.

Let’s start at the beginning. The alphabet consists of all of twenty-six letters, as mysterious as potatoes. Big deal. How long can it take to learn two dozen little squiggles? Herewith my experience from the aforementioned ancient column:

“A story: When my elder daughter was barely two, my wife and I came back from a junket to Russia. We were on the sofa looking at a coffee-table book from Moscow when Macon waddled in and began hollering, “Bee! Bee!” Thinking that a wasp or some related monster had invaded our sacred domestic precincts, I went into protective-male mode and prepared to make war on the beast. No wasp. No bee. Perhaps the child was delusional, a paranoid schizophrenic.

Well, no. She was looking at a balalaika on the front of the book which looked like a lower-case B. “Hmmm,” I thought with my accustomed preternatural perceptiveness. The kid appears to be on to something. She was.

I got a set of those magnetic stick-em refrigerator plastic letters and began showing them to her for five minutes a day, about all the attention span she then had. Before reaching twenty-six months, she knew all of them, upper and lower case. It is true that her pronunciational mastery lagged her alphabetic grasp. You may not know of the letter “Bubble Dew.” It exists.

At three, she was reading. Yes, it was, “Billy chased the cat up the tree,” not “the eschatological significance of the kerygma.” Still, it was reading. It was what millions of kids who have finished school cannot do, even at the cat-and-tree level. She thought it was splendid fun. It did not occur to her that any effort was involved. Of course Daddy was making an enormous fuss over her, which was not a discouragement. Daddy is that way about his girls.

How did I bring about this onset of literacy? The same way I later did with her sister, who also was reading well before kindergarten. I told her that “c” said “kuh,” that a said “a” and t said “tuh.” Kuh-a-tuh. Cat. And look here, Pumpkin, “r” says “err,” and if you put it in front of “at” you get err-a-tuh, rat. Ain’t that something?

She agreed that it was. Indeed she received all of this occult lore with attention and no visible puzzlement. It quickly dawned on her that you could string these letter things together to express interesting thoughts. Soon she could sound out words she didn’t remotely understand and, when the multitudinous exceptions and peculiarities of English intruded, she simply learned them.”

A Literate American

A literate American. Currently university professor of art. It is what happens if you feed them.

I didn’t regard this as a miracle, because it wasn’t one. Kids have been learning to read practically forever. They are absorptive creatures, awash in curiosity. A couple of dozen letters, associated sounds, retentive memories, and voila! There is nothing to it. Patience, encouragement, and phonetics.

Now, if I can teach a not-three-year-old to read in a few months in under a half-hour a day, how in god’s name can the schools fail to do it in twelve years? Only three answers come to min: The kids are stupid, the teachers worthless, the parents shiftless, or some felicitous combination of the foregoing.

Stupidity: If some kids, or some races, simply lack the mental horsepower, it would make sense to separate them, teach them what they are able to learn–and not let them drag everybody else down. Shiftless parents: Ask how many hours a week the parents, or parent, of those failing kids in Detroit spend with them, teaching them to read? If the parents can’t read, they might try learning with their kids. Worthless teachers: A large part of the problem is exactly this, as has been multiply documented and as multiply ignored. In 1984, writing an article for Harper’s, I discovered:

“…the results of a competency test given to applicants for teaching positions in Pinellas County, Florida (which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater), cited in Time, June 16, 1980. To pass this grueling examination, an applicant had to be able to read at the tenth-grade level and do arithmetic at the eighth-grade level. Though they all held B.A.’s, 25 percent of the whites and 79 percent of the blacks failed. Similar statistics exist for other places.”

They  still do.

This is not just sick. It is sickening. We have teachers with a tenth-grade education teaching the twelfth grade. Bright kids read at the tenth-grade level in the third grade. Most of the black “teachers” and a horrifying proportion of the whites couldn’t do it after four years of college. With such a percentage being that retarded, we can be sure that many who passed barely did. It is insane. Why do we put up with it?

Political correctness. Or we don’t care. Or we are a nation of peasants.

In middle or high-school, my younger daughter brought home a chemistry worksheet with common chemical terms badly misspelled–on the order of “pollyefflememe.” Clearly the woman who wrote this was pig-ignorant and lacked even the minimal self-respect to check. In the third grade I could spell “polyethylene” because I had Gilbert’s fifty-bottle chemistry set and liked funny chemical words. This creature was “teaching” my daughter?

Without thinking I asked, “What color is your teacher?”

Anguished “Daaaaaaaaaady!”

She had made the connection. Everybody has. You just can’t say it or don’t want to admit it. You can’t criticize the blacks, because den you be ray cyst, so you can’t criticize the whites, who aren’t all that much better, so you have protected, unionized mediocrity at best and often way worse who, lacking  the intelligence, education, or culture to value actual learning, instead play psychobabble feel-good games. A country deserves what it tolerates.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.


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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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