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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:49 am
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The February 22, 2021 Lost Horizons Newsletter Mid-Edition Update
...where real knowledge intersects with real Americans!

HEY, People! Please don't just read what I post here (or anywhere), and nod your head sagely or approvingly and then move on to other things. I don't post in order to affirm your sense of things. I post in order to equip you with perspectives and arguments with which to educate others, and in the expectation that you will forward my posts to other people (or direct them to those posts). PLEASE do those things.

We won't win by YOU knowing what I present. We will win by LOTS OF OTHERS knowing what I present.

Reaping The Whirlwind
For eighty-five years American parents, especially, have largely abdicated their responsibilities and let bureaucrats decide what goes into their children's heads. It can be no surprise that what has been coming out of them lately is hatred and scorn for those parents and their values and traditions.

THROUGHOUT MOST OF MY CAREER as a writer, I have had two chief areas of interest (aside from my overarching focus on promoting a widespread and accurate understanding of American law). The first and foremost has been the nature and limits of the power of taxation allowed to government. The second has been the danger of "public" (that is, state) education of children.

And danger it is. As was famously said by Vladimir Lenin, "Give us the child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevik forever." The same dynamic plays out with anyone else into whose hands are entrusted malleable young minds, and there is no safety from the resulting harm in the simple fact that those hands belong to what is imagined to be a benevolent state.

"Content neutrality" is a myth. Indeed, the mere idea that content could be neutral (or, at least, that the state would deliver neutral content) is itself an ideological position, the transmission of which influences the perception of all things in the mind of its recipient. Further, the state, given the role of educator, inevitably imprints upon children a view of itself as not only benevolent, but also necessary, and an authority figure to be believed and obeyed, as well as honored.

But of course, "education" doesn't stop with state idolatry. History, economics, civics, literature and all aspects of the manner in which people interact are within the scope of the education project. Each of these areas-- by which are established a person's broad understanding of the world-- are susceptible to manipulation in service to a preferred view and inescapably must be so manipulated. As observed above, "content neutrality" is a myth.

However much you or I may think that our preferred view of any given subject of concern is the objectively correct view, there are others who feel differently-- or are prepared to behave as though they do, in any event. It is no surprise that when we put our vulnerable children into the hands of others for imprinting, it is the preferred view of those others which ends up being imprinted instead of the views of the children's parents.

To so deliver our children to the hands and influences of others, of whose preferred views we have little direct knowledge and over whose decisions in molding our children we have little direct control is to cast those seeds-- from which the next generation of neighbors (and voters) will arise-- to the wind, to grow outside our careful guidance and nurturing.



A Few Observations About Bitcoin, TDS, "Gender Dysphoria" And Section 230
An eclectic mix, I know. But the mind goes where the mind wants to go...

BITCOIN HAS BEEN ON a lot of people's minds, lately, especially now that it is trading at $50,000 per coin and "tax time" approaches. Having had some inquiries as to my views of bitcoin's relevance to the income tax, and especially with the IRS trying to pre-emptively characterize apparent (or real) growth in bitcoin value as "capital gains", let me make a few points.

First of all, as regards "growth in value" of bitcoin, it is nearly as legitimate a statement of economic reality to say in such cases that bitcoins have not grown in value; rather, the fiat "dollar" has diminished in value. When previously 100 federal reserve notes (FRNs) could buy one bitcoin and now more are needed to make the same purchase (or more can be had in exchange for one bitcoin), it is as much because the FRNs are worth less than they used to be relative to the bitcoins as anything else. No real "gain" is necessarily involved.

Of course, bitcoin DOES grow in value relative to FRNs to some extent now and then, because it rides popularity bubbles. But even in this regard, such growth in relative value doesn't qualify as "capital gains" relevant to the income tax.

Enjoying a simple growth in the value of something one owns against fiat "dollars" (or anything else) isn't itself an engagement in a taxable activity. Tax-relevance of such growth can only arise if the growth is generated by the performance of inherently-taxable acts, and the growth merely serves as a measure of how much activity was conducted in order to determine the proper rate of tax to apply.

The rise in value by itself has no tax relevance whatsoever.



The Decline of the West: American Education Surrenders to 'Equity'
by Philip Giraldi

Public education in the United States, if measured by results, has been producing graduates that are less competent in language skills and dramatically less well taught in the sciences and mathematics since 1964, when Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked. The decline in science and math skills has accelerated in the past decade according to rankings of American students compared to their peers overseas. A recent assessment, from 2015, placed the U.S. at 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD), the United States came in at 30th in math and 19th in science. Those poor results must be placed in a context of American taxpayers spending more money per student than any other country in the world, so the availability of resources is not necessarily a factor in most school districts.

Much of the decline is due to technical advances that level the playing field for teachers worldwide, but one must also consider changing perceptions of the role of education in a social context. In the United States in particular, political and cultural unrest certainly have been relevant factors. But all of that said and considered, the U.S. is now confronting a reassessment of values that will likely alter forever traditional education and will also make American students even more non-competitive with their foreign peers.

Continued... (with an important afterword)


Illuminating Anniversaries For This Week!

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