Restore Our American Republic

News and Views -April 17, 2018

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   In keeping with the theme of  ROAR’s “Year of Education,” this week’s newsletter contains Part 2 of Tasha Stacey’s review of David Kelley’s wonderful book, The Art of Reasoning, and an update on indoctrination in the public schools with a suggested remedy for reforming this serious problem (Indoctrination in our K-12 Public Schools … and How to Fight It). Also, please take the time to review a textbook example of how to avoid being put on the defensive in political/cultural debates by Jennifer Grossman (Diversity vs. Individualism in the issue of Race)

   Please help us grow ROAR’s subscriber base as a means of spreading our influence by forwarding this newsletter to other interested parties. Also, we welcome feedback and if you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this newsletter or ROAR’s operations, please contact us.

Very best regards,

Mike Gemmell,
Founder and President, Restore Our American Republic, LLC

 

 

Review: The Art of Reasoning: An Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking – Part 2

by Tasha Stacey

As I indicated in Part 1 of my review of The Art of Reasoning, David Kelley’s book presents practical  ways to apply logic to everyday life. Its dynamic lessons and teachings are presented so that the reader gets the opportunity to learn, create, and think logically in modalities that work for him/her. By carefully studying this book, readers will be able to train themselves to logically “steer” toward truth and away from falsehood in their professional and personal lives.

In Part 2 of my review of Kelley’s book I will be discussing the chapter on argument analysis, a fundamental skill needed for critical thinking. In everyday language, the word “argument” refers to a heated debate, but Kelley uses the term somewhat differently. He defines an argument as a type of reasoning possessing a structure of: (1) a proposition or premise(s), and (2) a conclusion. An example of  argument analysis can be demonstrated with the following issues:
1.   How do we know that Thomas Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses beginning in 1797 as a representative? (We weren’t there, but rather learned it in school, from our teachers, or a textbook.)

2.   How do you know what year you were born? (Obviously you weren’t a witness. You were told by people about these events that “happened” and trust that they were telling the truth.)

Generally, an argument consists of two components: a claim or assertion (e.g., I believe Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses) and reasons for the claim (e.g., multiple history references by reliable authorities). Both components are important and need to be included in a proper argument as Kelley defines it.

Analyzing the argument involves: (1) identifying the argument premises, (2) presenting the final conclusion, and (3) finding steps taken toward logically supporting that conclusion. Once we have taken apart such an argument and laid its structure out so that we can clearly see it, then we can ask whether the premises are true and whether they provide (probable or necessary) support for the intermediate or final conclusions. That is an exercise in logic and can include our own experience/ information, or information by other disciplines. It often includes gaging the gap between the initial premise and the conclusion and assessing whether additional premise(s) would close the gap between them.

As an example using current events, we might consider indoctrination in the realm of education. A premise used by those who advocate training young minds in “cultural diversity” might be– it is important to have knowledge of and be exposed to other cultures. A conclusion for the argument might be that it prevents racism and other biases. Someone breaking this argument down would need to look at the premise and ask the question: Should a young person be told to “respect” this or that culture when they don’t yet have the intellectual capability to think independently in order to make an informed evaluation? This is an example of argument analysis with real and practical ramifications in our current cultural environment. (See the essay below:   Indoctrination in our K-12 Public Schools … and How to Fight It   for further discussion on this issue.)

Unfortunately, much of what happens in political/cultural arguments today is that people talk past each other because they are not properly identifying and validating the premises in an argument. In an important essay, “The Hierarchy of Knowledge,”  (The Objective Standard, 2006), educator Lisa VanDamme pronounces the typical student of today and their grasp of argument analysis as “pitiful.” According to VanDamme, students don’t learn to logically evaluate the premises and connecting principles of an argument and because of this have virtually no understanding of history or other subjects.  The tragic consequence of this situation is that it is very rare to find a student in most schools outside of her academy with a love of learning.

If that situation is to change, the methods presented in Kelley’s book, including argument analysis, need to be understood and widely disseminated in U.S. culture.

Tasha Stacey was born (1994) and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. She obtained a principle scholarship to attend Colorado Mesa University for Culinary Arts, and became a certified personal trainer through the online course ISSA. She has an entrepreneurial heart and officially opened up her business this year, ServeFlow, LLC.

 

 

Indoctrination in our K-12 Public Schools … and How to Fight It

In Solving America’s Greatest ConflictThe Public interest vs. Private Rights, I noted the 4-step process used to entrench an establishment, and presented how this occurred in the entrenchment of the anti-industrial ideology in public research institutions. Public education in the U.S. has similar problems with an entrenched establishment and its ideas, e.g., John Dewey and his Progressive Education philosophy, and, increasingly, outright indoctrination of hard-left socialist doctrine not just at the college level, but in K-12 grades as well.

A short pamphlet, “Leftist Indoctrination in our K-12 Public Schools” by Sara Dogan and Peter Collier, published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, documents the alarming levels of indoctrination occurring in schools across America:

  • At the Edina School in Edina, Minnesota, all employees must take “Equity and Racial Justice Training.” This includes even bus drivers who are instructed that “dismantling white privilege” is at the core of the district’s mission and who are exhorted to acknowledge their racial guilt, and embrace the district’s “equity” ideology.
  • At La Plata School High School in Maryland students are ordered to copy the Islamic creed “Shahada” which states in part, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Students are also made to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam. One worksheet distributed by the school states, “Most Muslims faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
  • As part of transgender instruction in Rocklin Academy in Rocklin, California, a male kindergartener was reintroduced to his classmates as a girl. Later on, a first grader at the school was sent to the principal’s office for discipline after she called the student by his given name on the playground—unaware that the five year old had changed gender.

I could go on, but you get the idea. . . . For further examples of how wrongheaded our public schools have become, please see the pamphlet listed above.

At ROAR we believe in providing solutions to our political/cultural issues, not just bemoaning the current state of affairs. In this instance, the authors of the pamphlet have outlined a course of action to combat the indoctrination occurring in our public schools (Combating the Assault on K-12 Schools, p. 22) . The David Horowitz Center has presented the objective of an unbiased education rather than indoctrination in developing a campaign to secure legislation in all 50 states with its core doctrine of “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers.” Its purpose is to enforce traditional rules of fairness and non-partisanship in our public school systems. For those concerned with the education of their children and the current generation of young minds, I urge you to get involved by contacting the Horowitz Freedom Center (Horowitzfreedomcenter.org) and finding out about how you can help with this effort in your area.

Diversity vs. Individualism in the issue of Race 

One of the many areas of serious conflict in American society is the issue of race. The two perspectives that dominate current views on race are:

  1. “Diversity” in the distribution of individuals race/gender  is the standard to judge whether racism/sexism is or is not an issue. For example, a team in any organization [public or private] should have a numerical distribution of women and minorities that is approximately that of the general population.
  2. The “character” of the individual is the issue of importance and his/her ethnicity or gender is not the key issue in determining whether racism or sexism is occurring.

     Those believing an individual’s character is of primary concern over his/her ethnicity or gender regard quotas and diversity as attacks on the sovereignty of the individual, a viewpoint that I concur with.

The problem with leading conservatives in the Republican party is that they fail to understand the need to “frame” the issues, whether it is race, expenditures for defense, education, or virtually anything else. For over 100 years they have allowed Progressive liberals to define and frame the political/cultural agenda on every conceivable issue. As a result they are perpetually on the defensive and on issue after issue left scratching their heads as to why they continue to lose ground.

Thankfully, there are leaders outside of the Republican party hierarchy such as Jennifer Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society, who understand the need to frame the issues as an essential part of changing from a reactive stance to a proactive one. She recently put that knowledge into practice in a televised exchange on MSNBC with Roland Martin.

Grossman began the interview by stressing the importance of character over skin color and racial diversity and began quoting Martin Luther King on the subject. Martin attempted to object and told Grossman to stop quoting King. This is where the typical conservatives in the Republican party would have backed down and surrendered the high “moral ground,” but Grossman would have none of it and told Martin in no uncertain terms: “I’ll quote MLK every day and you won’t stop me!”

This is an absolutely textbook example by Grossman of refusing to let her opponent box her in and thereby put her on the defensive. For the full three minute televised exchange see: https://www.bizpacreview.com/2018/04/02/things-get-hot-when-a-white-panelist-is-told-not-to-quote-martin-luther-king-i-will-every-single-day-and-you-wont-stop-me-619455

For more on the importance of framing the issues please see Solving America’s Greatest Conflict: The Public Interest vs. Private Rights where I stress the importance of framing the issues in public policy. Also, please see the promotional material available for our upcoming book Grassroots Solutions: The Key to Restoring Our American Republic, where I will be extending those arguments and demonstrating the steps of how to do that in a number of case studies from property rights to defense and security issues. For information on both these works, please see ROAR’s home page: RestoreOurAmericanRepublic.org.

Summary

In this issue we have continued with Tasha Stacey’s review of The Art of  Reasoning by David Kelley. If readers are beginning to get the impression that we regard Kelley’s work as vitally important to the future of the republic in America, let me be the first to confirm that suspicion with a resounding—YES, we do! We hope readers also enjoyed a textbook example of framing of the issues by Jennifer Grossman on the issue of race relations in America. Rounding out this newsletter is our update on how to reform the insidious indoctrination taking place in our K-12 public schools.

We hope that those parents with children in grades K-12 will pay particular attention to the suggested reform actions concerning our public education system. To restore the republic in America it is imperative that America’s grassroots get involved, and I can think of no better area to begin that involvement than the realm of education.

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