The silver lining

There may be a considerable amount of good coming out of the pandemonium in the long run:

The rate of households homeschooling their children doubled from the start of the pandemic last spring to the start of the new school year last September, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released this week.

Last spring, about 5.4{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} of all U.S. households with school-aged children were homeschooling them, but that figure rose to 11{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} by last fall, according to the bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

The survey purposefully asked the question in a way to clarify that it was inquiring about genuine homeschooling and not virtual learning through a public or private school, the Census Bureau said.

Before the pandemic, household homeschooling rates had remained steady at around 3.3{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} through the past several years.

Based on the previous statistics, that implies that around 8.5 million American schoolchildren are being homeschooled. That is absolutely massive and bodes well for the future.

But what about ME?

It’s not surprising to see how many of the good responsible conservatives who paid back their student loans are gnashing their teeth over the possibility that someone, somewhere, might be freed from debt-slavery.

But what about me? What about we poor rich kids who never had to borrow so much as a dime to pay for college? Isn’t it even more unfair that we a) had to pay ridiculously inflated prices because all those nasty little poor people were allowed to spend someone else’s money, and, b) we weren’t given any financial aid grants and were forced to pay the full retail price for the mere crime of having lots of money?

All right, I’m exaggerating. We didn’t actually pay for school. Our daddies did. See, that right there, that’s grit, that’s what that is. The Boomers are right. Just stop whining and do what I did. It wasn’t hard at all.

But it’s still unfair! How will WE benefit from a student loan debt jubilee? Why isn’t anyone thinking about ME and MY compensation? I mean, how can I possibly benefit from the housing market not completely collapsing because 45 million of the most educated people in America can’t qualify for a mortgage? What good is it to me if 45 million people suddenly have the ability to save money for the first time in their lives? I mean, it’s not as if savings = investment, or that I is a core component of Gross Domestic Product, right?

Why won’t you shed a tear for me?

The student debt jubilee

A student-debt jubilee is absolutely necessary, it’s just, and it’s fair:

Almost nobody is repaying their student loans

In the 2020 CARES Act, Congress gave student-loan borrowers a temporary break from repaying their loans. President Trump extended that twice and President Biden once, with loan payments now set to resume Oct. 1, 2021.

Borrowers could have kept paying if they wanted to, but almost nobody did. As Tom Lee of the American Action Forum recently explained, the portion of borrowers repaying their student loans dropped from 46{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} at the beginning of 2020 to 1{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} today. The portion of borrowers in forbearance rose from 10{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} to 57{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6}. The rest include borrowers who are still in school, who have gotten deferments or who have defaulted.

Now, I understand there are a lot of college graduates who will whine and complain about how THEY had grit and how THEY worked their way through school and how THEY pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Of course, these retards are all ignoring the rather pertinent fact that average annual college costs have increased 3,819{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} from 1964 to 2019.

The Cost of College in 1964-65

  • Average cost of public school: $261
  • Average cost of private school: $1,160 
The Cost of College in 2018-2019

  • Average cost of a four-year public school: $10,230
  • Average cost of a four-year private school: $35,830
Even if we adjust for inflation, the average annual cost of college in 1965 was $2,116.21 for public and $9,405.40 in 2019 dollars.
So, what I propose, in the interest of taking into account the narcissistic feelings of those who are more concerned about fairness about the past than what is good for everyone who is a participant in today’s economy, is to eliminate all student debts in excess of $4,000 for those who attended public schools and $20,000 for those who attended private schools.
This would make the remaining debts reasonably affordable going forward, would free those whose lives are already ruined by crippling debt servitude, and would mean various younger generations would have paid a similar amount for higher education as the Boomers. It would also end the charade of extending usurious loans to young people who cannot be reasonably expected to pay them off.
UPDATE: I’m going to type this very slowly in the hopes that the morons can understand this: contracts do not determine reality. It does not matter if you have signed a contract agreeing that you will fly to the Moon by flapping your arms, there is no way you can deliver on that contract. Moreover, fraud vitiates all contracts, and students who took out student loans were lied to, deceived, and defrauded. The fact that someone agreed to something does not mean that they are bound to the agreement in any and all circumstances.
UPDATE: The endowments of the 20 richest universities alone would cover one-fifth of the cost of entirely writing off all student loans.

“Unmarked graves”

It’s instructive to see how “mass graves” are discovered in countries that are believed to have committed war crimes, but they suddenly become “unmarked graves” when the bodies are found in Canada or the USA:

A Saskatchewan First Nation says it has made the “horrific and shocking discovery” of hundreds of unmarked graves — many believed to be children — near a former residential school, with a total expected to be over three times higher than the 215 discovered recently in Kamloops, B.C., according to a source briefed on the file.

Leaders of the Cowessess First Nation, a roughly two hour drive east of Regina, are expected to reveal details of the macabre discovery near what was once the Marieval Indian Residential School during a press conference Thursday morning, as well as the latest count of newly-identified remains.

“The number of unmarked graves will be the most significantly substantial to date in Canada,” says an advisory published Wednesday evening by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

The remains are in unmarked graves in a communal gravesite first used in 1885 but eventually taken over by the Marieval Indian Residential School, founded and operated by the Roman Catholic Church beginning in 1899 on what was then the Marieval Reserve.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) determined that at least 3,200 Indigenous children died while attending residential school, and that general practice was “not to send the bodies of students who died at schools to their home communities.”

If you ever wondered what happened to all those kids on the back of milk boxes, now you have a pretty good idea. It appears there have been predators in the schools and orphanages and foster homes for a very long time. 

Homeschool or die isn’t just a catchy rhetorical phrase.

UPDATE: Keep this in mind before you attempt to defend the schools, the Church, or the Canadian government.

The federal government is being sued by 7,258 former residential school students. Almost every lawsuit alleges a variety of suffering, from forcible confinement and loss of language to loss of family ties and forced religious indoctrination. Ninety per cent of all claims also allege sexual or physical abuse. A small number of these cases have already been validated by the criminal conviction of a sexual abuser.

The evils of anti-racism

And isn’t it remarkable how the mass graves of children just happen to keep popping up everywhere from Ireland to Canada:

A mass grave containing the remains of 215 children has been found in Canada at a former residential school set up to assimilate indigenous people.

The children were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia that closed in 1978.

The discovery was announced on Thursday by the chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation. The First Nation is working with museum specialists and the coroner’s office to establish the causes and timings of the deaths, which are not currently known.

Rosanne Casimir, the chief of the community in British Columbia’s city of Kamloops, said the preliminary finding represented an unthinkable loss that was never documented by the school’s administrators.

Canada’s residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

And to think the media is puzzled that so many Americans believe the international governing elite is little more than a collection of murderous satanic pedophiles. 

Implied consent for vaccination

I’m as virulently opposed to the not-vaccines as anyone, and frankly believe those responsible for creating them, advocating for them, and mandating them should be found guilty of crimes against humanity, but it is wise to avoid mischaracterizing the actions of the other side if one’s criticisms are to remain credible. For example, I’ve read the WHO report entitled Considerations regarding consent in vaccinating children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years old, and it simply does not indicate that the WHO “now considers your child’s presence in school informed consent to vaccinate that child”.

This is what the report actually says:

1. A formal, written consent process is used, particularly in middle- and high-income countries that have a higher percentage of literate populations and a longer history of providing vaccination to older age groups. Vaccination of this target group may be delivered through school health services. Health authorities inform the parents about the vaccination and written consent from the parent is required to opt-in, i.e. give permission for the older child/adolescent to be vaccinated. Alternatively, a written form is used to allow parents to express non-consent (or refusal) to vaccination of their child. This is known as an opt-out procedure.

2. A verbal consent process, whereby consent is given verbally by the parent after being duly informed about the vaccination. However, this approach can only be used when parents accompany the child to the vaccination.

3. An implied consent  process by which parents are informed of imminent vaccination through social mobilization and communication, sometimes including letters directly addressed to the parents. Subsequently, the physical presence of the child or adolescent, with or without an accompanying parent at the vaccination session, is considered to imply consent. This practice is based on the opt-out principle and parents who do not consent to vaccination are expected implicitly to take steps to ensure that their child or adolescent does not participate in the vaccination session. This may include not letting the child or adolescent attend school on a vaccination day, if vaccine delivery occurs through schools…. 

A common concern is that consent procedures affect vaccine acceptance and coverage. When comparing data from countries using written consent and those using informal, verbal or implied consent processes, comparable levels for vaccination can be seen in both settings.This suggests that the association between the informed consent procedure that a country uses, and actual levels of immunization coverage, is not strong.

While every parent should be wary of the “implied consent” standard and be certain that it does not apply to one’s children’s schools, the key is the distinction between the opt-in and the opt-out standards. But in both cases, for the time being, parental authority is still being respected.

That being said, you had better learn your local laws and take action accordingly. It might already be time to leave Canada to the Chinese.

Dozens of children flocked to the playground of Gordon A. Brown Middle School on Wednesday afternoon, to eagerly await their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Most were accompanied by parents, or older siblings, as the East York school announced Wednesday morning it would launch a pop-up clinic that afternoon.

Many parents had already been vaccinated — they were there to provide support. What they weren’t there for was to give permission. In Toronto, those 12-15 don’t need a parent or guardian to allow them to take the vaccine. Health Canada approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 to 15 on May 5, making Canada the first country to do so, with the hopes that school restrictions could be eased in the fall.

Criminalizing Christianity

That is the goal. And no amount of “free speech” or “free expression” is going to serve as even a modicum of protection for those who preach the Gospel or even speak the truth:

A school secretly reported its chaplain to the anti-terrorism Prevent programme after he delivered a sermon defending the right of pupils to question its introduction of new LGBT policies.

The Reverend Dr Bernard Randall told pupils at independent Trent College near Nottingham that they were allowed to disagree with the measures, particularly if they felt they ran contrary to Church of England principles.

Among them was a plan to ‘develop a whole school LGBT+ inclusive curriculum’.

Having decided that Dr Randall’s sermon was ‘harmful to LGBT’ students, the school flagged him to Prevent, which normally identifies those at risk of radicalisation.

Police investigated the tip-off but advised the school by email that Dr Randall, 48, posed ‘no counter terrorism risk, or risk of radicalisation’. Derbyshire Police confirmed that the case ‘did not meet the threshold for a Prevent referral’.

But in a disturbing development, Dr Randall, a former Cambridge University chaplain and Oxford graduate, claims that the school later told him that any future sermons would be censored in advance.  

He also claims that he was warned his chapel services would be monitored ‘to ensure that… requirements are met’. Dr Randall was later dismissed.

In Canada, a pastor was arrested yesterday. This is what becomes inevitable once a formerly Christian society becomes “inclusive” and is convinced to give up its blasphemy laws and permit “freedom of religion”.

No society ruled by liars can permit the truth to be told. And the governments of the West are increasingly ruled by those who worship the Prince of Lies. 

The Moral Hypocrisy

This is the article by Gad Saad condemning celebrity virtue-signalers that was vanished by Psychology Today, most likely because it intellectually jiu-jitsued the historical communist tactic of medicalizing ideological opponents. Possibly also because he had the unseemly temerity to suggest that a celebrity actually read a book.

Back in 2009, I authored an article on this platform titled The Narcissism and Grandiosity of Celebrities.  Continuing this tradition, this past week on my social media platforms, I critiqued the virtue signalling that members of the privileged classes engage in. Here is what I wrote: 

“Let me explain yet again the source for all of the platitudinous virtue signalling. The truly privileged elites know that deep down they are frauds. They suffer from existential guilt. Hence, one of the ways by which they assuage the guilt albatross around their necks is to demonstrate to the world that they are truly compassionate, truly loving, truly caring, truly profound. Hence, they love all “undocumented” immigrants. They love Mother Earth. They love the ozone layer. They love BLM. They love socialism. They love inner cities. They hate the gentrification of neighbourhoods. They love mentors of color. They cherish diversity. They love LGBTQ movies. They adore queer architecture. They are better than you. More caring, more cultured, more empathetic. This permits them to sleep better at night. See, I’m not a fraud. I may be a gargantuan parasitic hedge fund bullshitter but I really care. I may be an overpaid BS actor but I fight for solar panels. Those fly over rubes deserve their lot in life. They are racists who bed their siblings. We are science supporters who fight against Mother Earth rapists whilst flying in our private jets. It is a classic ego defensive strategy that permits the ruling class to exist within their fractured selves. Save this thread. Memorize it. I’m offering you a deep psychological explanation of our times.”

Seth Rogen who had been tagged on Twitter regarding the latter, retorted as follows:

“I actually watched your video and it’s so stupid. Why was I a left wing socialist when I was broke and unemployed according to your brilliant theory?”

To which I replied:

“Thanks for watching. Many young people are socialists when they are driven by immature impulses of utopia. They then grow up. You are a grown man with tons of money. Your current stances are rooted in vacuous empty signalling rooted in a desire to belong in Hollywood. It takes zero courage to hold your stances within the entertainment ecosystem. You espouse bullshit rhetoric that wins you points at the cool kids’ parties but you are otherwise as ignorant as my out-of-order toaster. I’d be happy to chat with you on my show as you have a very large platform and as such you have the opportunity to actually make a difference. Stop succumbing to the herd mindset. Learn how to think critically. Learn the meaning and implications of socialism vs. capitalism. You are among the MOST privileged people in the history of humanity. And yet you walk around as though you are a Che Guevara revolutionary. You are the product of capitalism. If you are such a socialist, send me some of your money. I’m trying to build an interdisciplinary research institute. Live out your convictions. If you are a socialist, you have no business being the beneficiary of the most capitalist industry in the most capitalist country in the history of humanity. Don’t be a hypocritical fraud. Cheers amigo.”

In my recently released bestselling book The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense, I discuss the differences between virtue signalling and honest signalling. Here are two relevant excerpts from a section titled “Do Not Virtue-Signal”: 

“Each time that a terrorist attack takes place in some Western city, nauseating hordes of cowards do one of two things: 1) Change their social media handles to the flag of the country that was attacked; 2) Share a hashtag on Twitter to signal their solidarity with a given cause (#JeSuisCharlie following the terror killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris; #BringBackOurGirls, made famous by Michelle Obama, in support of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram). Politicians seek to outdo one another in offering vacuous “heartfelt” condolences while in many cases continuing to enact policies that are directly responsible for the terror attacks in question. In the great majority of instances, these are utterly useless endeavors meant to do nothing but advertise one’s supposed virtue to the world (hence the term virtue-signaling). It is a form of cheap and costless self-aggrandizing that feeds one’s ego. I must be a good person who truly cares, as evidenced by my progressive hashtag. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those who engage in such platitudinous signaling are cowardly and meek.” (p. 178)

Later I added the following (pp. 180-181):

“During a highly publicized 2017 event held in Toronto, Oren Amitay, Jordan Peterson, and I were asked to identify our respective freedom of speech heroes. I responded that the ultimate heroes are those who risk their lives to defend such freedoms. I pointed to individuals from the Middle East (some of whom have been guests on my show) who are willing to defend these ideals knowing full well that they may pay the ultimate price. This is what having skin in the game looks like. This is costly virtue, not virtue-signaling. Over the past year or so, I have become good friends with Ensaf Haidar, the wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and I had the pleasure of meeting her three lovely children at a dinner organized by the actor Mark Pellegrino and his wife. Raif is serving a ten-year prison sentence and was scheduled to receive one thousand lashes (“only” fifty of which have thus far been administered) for having the temerity to question, in a rather tepid manner, various religious and cultural realities in the region. Retweeting #JeSuisCharlie is impotent virtue-signaling; critiquing the Saudi regime from within Saudi Arabia is courage in action.”

Bottom line: In order for a signal to be an honest one, it must be handicapping; it must be costly to the one who emits the signal. Raif Badawi lived out his convictions. He engaged in costly signalling. Seth Rogen and other champagne socialists do not live out their convictions. They are vacuous parasitic virtue signallers who wear Che Guevara t-shirts from the luxury of their Malibu homes. Be the former and reject the latter.

From dream to reality

Yes, Virginia, the 2020 edition of the Junior Classics is real at last. While we normally don’t bother printing samples before we ship orders to backers or flip the switch to activate release into the distribution channel, the large number of moving parts involved plus the sheer volume of books to be shipped inspired us to take an uncharacteristically safe approach to the process. Fortunately, our caution turned out to be unnecessary, which is why we have today begun placing the first orders to ship out the initial three volumes to the original backers of the project.

We are very appreciative of the incredible support that made it possible to turn this dream into reality, and also of the patience that allowed the production team to ensure that the project was done right.

The 2020 Edition of the Junior Classics features dozens of stories, even more classic illustrations, and the original artwork of Arkhaven’s Lacey Fairchild, and we are confident that this edition will come to be considered the definitive edition.

From the Preface to the 2020 Edition

For more than one hundred years the Junior Classics have been one of the great resources for teaching children to love reading and providing them with a lifelong taste for the Western literary canon.  These handsome books, containing short stories and selections from classic Western literature, have been passed down through the generations in many families, introducing boys and girls to Aesop, Homer, Bulfinch, and Virgil, and to Cervantes, Dickens, Poe, and Twain.

Wrapping time-honored tales in bright-colored covers, the Junior Classics proved irresistible to young readers over the years, reaching their aesthetic peak with the 1958 edition. Unfortunately, it was also then that the intellectual rot began, leading to the eventual demise of the series. A comparison with the 1918 edition reveals a methodical excision of the elements of Christianity and Americana that established the Junior Classics so firmly among God-fearing American families in the early part of the 20th Century. This process of secularization and intellectual enervation culminated in the 1992 edition, a literary abomination that further eviscerated the content and lowered the reading level to that of the barely literate. The title of the first volume, Let’s Read Together, amply demonstrates how a set of books intended to be read by children to inspire in them a love for quality literature devolved into books meant to be read to children to indoctrinate them.

Having witnessed the effect of the traditional Junior Classics on the reading habits of our own children, and observing the lengths to which homeschooling parents were willing to go to obtain the older books, we launched a crowdfunding campaign for the creation of a new edition of the Junior Classics, one that recaptures the spirit and purpose of the original.