Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Just let teachers teach


For a group of people who likely haven’t stepped foot on an elementary school campus in decades, there seem to be some strong and very misinformed feelings about what goes on there. Kindergarteners aren’t learning about sexual intercourse, Second Graders aren’t being encouraged to explore different genders, and Fifth Graders aren’t being pitted against each other in some sort of guilt-inducing race war. That’s utter nonsense, and the people peddling it are lying to you for votes and ratings.
Instead of raging over the vile hogwash you are being fed, I’d encourage you to make better use of your time by volunteering an hour of your week reading with struggling students, becoming a business partner to help fund different school projects, or signing up to be a substitute teacher once a month. Find your local elementary school and start putting effort into getting to know the staff and students there. We aren’t evil liberals indoctrinating the neighborhood kids with some leftist agenda; we’re real people with big hearts who choose to spend every day working with kids so they better comprehend what they read, explore the world around them, ask questions so they can more fully understand what they see, and live effectively in a community. We tie shoelaces, give hugs to sad seven-year-olds, talk through conflict between fourth-graders, and provide wet paper towels to soothe boo-boos Kindergarteners swear exist but we can’t actually see. We laugh with our kids, eat lunch with them, and give them a feeling of comfort and stability many are missing at home. Sometimes we might even provide the first smile or kind word they’ve gotten that day. And yes, we occasionally lose our cool and raise our voices because the little boogers have gotten on our last nerve and we’re human, for goodness sake.
But mostly we love.
Stop believing the lies, quit demonizing us, and let us do our jobs. Carve out some time in the coming weeks and and make a visit so you can see what really happens in these weird and beautiful little spaces.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

“Four Boxes of Liberty”. They consist of the soap box, ballot box, jury box, and ammo/cartridge box.

 From 0x0123 on Reddit, answering this question:  "at what point do we say enough is enough and take up arms to defend our country? i'm probably pretty centrist on the political spectrum but even i can see the writing on the wall and it terrifies me."

The response:

First let me say thank you for reasonable and intelligent question. It’s a hard question to answer, and likely to be different for each person, which you’ve already recognized. I really do believe in the so called “Four Boxes of Liberty”. They consist of the soap box, ballot box, jury box, and ammo/cartridge box. The theory is that these are the methods available to the citizenry to resist tyranny. First you go out an protest for your cause. If laws have been passed that severely limit protests, or state violence has severely crushed or curtailed the effectiveness of protests then you move on to the next box. We’ve already seen laws that severely curtail protests in a number of areas of the country, as well as laws that legalize and legitimize violence against protesters in certain circumstances. As well as things like “free speech zones” that limit the ability of the public to protest in areas that would have a larger effect against the state.

The next box is the ballot box. This is pretty self explanatory. We see this right being curtailed as well. Gerrymandering, closing of polling places in areas that regularly vote to the left, cases of political violence or threats at polling locations left un-prosecuted, and states passing laws that allow the state legislatures to overturn elections if they don’t go their way. It’s up to each person to decide if this right has been significantly curtailed to the point where it’s now ineffective and you need to move on to the next box.

That next box is the jury box. The only real option for this box is jury nullification. If the citizenry is so thoroughly repressed or upset about a particular problem they can utilize their right to nullify as part of a jury and prevent the state from incarcerating people who’ve “broken laws” that are widely unpopular. Obviously this requires the public to largely agree that a specific law is being widely abused by the state or that a law is tyrannical on its face or oppressive. I want to point out here that these boxes aren’t necessarily all linear. What I mean by that is they don’t need to be used one after the other. They can be used together too; they’re simply the options citizens have to resist tyranny and oppression of the state.

The final box is the cartridge box. Regardless of what some people say, an armed citizenry is harder to oppress. To be effective though, there’s needs to be community organization. No one is going to “John Wick” it against the state.

I don’t personally think that violence in your own country should ever be done to other countrymen/women unless that violence is done against you first. Something we said in the Marine Corps was “respond to violence with overwhelming violence” and I think that’s applicable here. I don’t think there’s any place for taking up arms against the state in it’s entirety or part of the state before they’ve fully corrupted and taken control (I hope this makes sense).

Currently across democrats, republicans, and independents, almost 30% of the country believes that at some point in the near future it may be time to take up arms against the state. Almost 2/3 of Americans believe that the current system is dysfunctional and widely corrupt. I state these numbers because it gives a bit of a view to where we are with the four boxes of liberty. I’m personally of the view that we’re somewhere around the jury box/end of the ballot box area. What I mean by that is, protests in my opinion are widely ineffective and heavily suppressed. I don’t believe we’re at a point where we can significantly change the country, or the voting habits of our elected officials via protesting. Even if we held a general strike where people en masse stopped working, I think the state would use violence against people to get them to stop and go back to work. The ballot box has been heavily corrupted through money, gerrymandering, and laws about interference at polling places going largely unenforced. I do believe that with a concerted effort, an effort unlike any we’ve seen up to this point, we could still potentially get our country back. However this is becoming more and more unlikely by the year. Especially with a number of states passing laws that allow for the state legislature to overturn elections and place senators in their seats solely through the state legislatures like it was done prior to the 17th amendment (officially ratified in 1913 - the fight to change this started almost 100 years prior though).

The final option really is an option of last resort. When this sort of action is taken there’s no telling what could result. Your side could lose, it could result in a balkanization of the US, or worse it could fall to a foreign power during the infighting. If there are any options at all outside of this, they’re certainly preferable. You have to be sure that the country is both fully oppressive and tyrannical and that there’s no possibility for change through the other methods. I don’t personally feel we’re there yet. What I do believe though, is that we’re on a path that could result in this sort of oppression and tyranny if we don’t take drastic political actions and also recognize that it’s a real possibility. I feel as though Americans currently hold the view that it could never happen here. This is extremely dangerous because it causes a lack of action around the other three boxes that could prevent the use of the fourth box entirely. If we don’t organize and confront the possibility then I feel like the fourth box (cartridge box) response will be an inevitability at some point in the future.

Let me describe a situation where I feel like the fourth box should be used. Let’s say that another coup attempt (January 6th was a coup attempt, despite what media on the right tries to argue) and instead of it narrowly failing, it succeeds and a democratic election is overturned or somehow an unconstitutional government is formed. I feel that situation would require armed citizens to respond to it, with violence if needed. You’re going to have a hard time convincing people that anything short of a takeover of government, or a situation where one party makes their own removal from power impossible, would be a valid cause for taking up arms against the state. I pretty much agree with that view. As long as the other options are possible, then it’s not really time to arm yourself against the state.

Sorry for the length of this response, and I apologize if it wasn’t clear or I bounced around a bit. If you have any questions feel free to bounce them off of me. I hope that in some way this either offered you a different perspective or helped you clarify your own views whether it’s because you agree with me or because you disagree with me!