Partisanship versus Patriotism

If partisanship blinds one to his/her obvious duty, that person does not deserve to hold office in this Republic.

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (March 17, 2019)

There comes a time when partisanship can blind politicians to their duties as patriotic Americans. Apparently the U.S. Congress has arrived at that time. Anyone who has been following events at our southern border for the past several months has seen an alarming situation grow worse and worse.

The caravans from Central America have been arriving with increasing frequency – to the extent that we are now expecting nearly one million illegal immigrants to cross from Mexico into our country this year. Under our current laws, “catch and release” has become again the order of the day. Everybody knows by now that we simply do not have enough capacity to house so many people at the border, so hundreds of thousands of unvetted, undocumented individuals are being shipped all over the country every day.

Yet our politicians cannot seem to do anything about it. First, the Democrats stubbornly refused to provide funds to build the barriers needed at the border crossings which are not protected by natural barriers. They had absolutely no basis for this opposition, since most had previously supported even larger budgets for such construction. Their only reason was naked partisan hatred of the President of the other party, Donald J. Trump. All the experts, from the Homeland Secretary on down through present and past heads of the Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) – even the reporters who are covering the stories — pleaded in vain for the support necessary to deal with a massive humanitarian and national security situation.

The reason that this issue had not been resolved by the Republican Congress which preceded this one is the stubborn refusal of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change the “60-vote” rule to break cloture when it became obvious that the Democrats were united against anything and everything that appeared on the new president’s agenda. McConnell allowed the exception for Supreme Court nominees but acquiesced in most other cases. With a majority of only 51 votes, the Republicans squandered their two-year advantage on many key issues. And this situation continues even now.

The Congress continues to thwart the only politician in Washington who is sincerely trying to  perform the foremost duty of the national government, namely, defending the American people from foreign intrusion. Today, that intrusion is not military, but cultural, medical, criminal and economic. It should not be necessary to point out that protection of the American people is the foremost obligation not only on the President, but also of the entire federal government, including the Congress. Flimsy excuses of abrogation of  the separation of powers as stipulated in the Constitution are no justification for allowing the tragedies at the Mexican border to continue and increase every day, including the unabated flow of illegal drugs, gang members and criminals into the USA.

Elected representatives of the federal government take an oath to defend and uphold the laws of the United States of America against all foes, foreign and domestic. If they can’t or won’t live up to that oath, they should be branded as traitors and removed from office. Rumors of impeachment are targeting the wrong victim. If partisanship blinds one to his/her obvious duty, that person does not deserve to hold office in this Republic.

 

© 2013 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

The Stations of the Cross

A Lenten Meditation

Hi everybody –

Every once in a while we should raise our eyes from the daily issues of life and contemplate our higher calling. Such is the season of Lent, the Christian preparation for Easter. My contribution is a meditation on sin and forgiveness, death and resurrection. I am attaching some comments on the YouTube version.

 

As always, feel free to let me know your questions and opinions.

 

For more writings, poems, interviews and guest editorials, see my website,

DrLarryOnline.com

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4QKXMch2WY

Stations of the Cross

Written and narrated by Dr. Larry Fedewa

 

 

 

Comments:


YeshuaLeader

Truly an epic poem shared with passion. Where the pace is rapid, I couldn’t help reflecting on the similarly hypnotic cadence of The Hound of Heaven, a poem that has been my companion and consolation for many decades. The message also reflects the wisdom and gratitude in Amazing Grace: “I once was lost but now am found …” Great Lenten meditation. Hard to imagine Dr. Fedewa could cover so much — and convey so much more — in just 4 minutes and 19 seconds. Time well spent, especially now during Lent. Thank you!

 

luckyfredneck11 months ago

I just attended the stations of the cross @ St. Katharine Drexel Church here in Frederick, Maryland. Thank you!

 

YeshuaLeader1 year ago

So much passion … and so much depth. So much insight … so much to contemplate … and so much with which to ultimately identify. Thank you!

 

Phyllis Ramsey1 year ago

This was a very inspiring poem for the Easter season. It should make all of us who believe in Christ to do some deep soul searching as to our true devotion to him. Thank you, Dr. Fedewa!

 

 

Copyright, 2015 Richfield Press, Ltd.

 

 

 

 

K-12 in the Information Age

IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) for everybody!

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (March 4, 2019)
I believe there is more than one good answer to the challenge of providing a superior education to today’s children. I also believe that these answers will be found only through competition. This means that the government monopoly of education must be curtailed, and that the voucher programs being advocated by local pioneers, and now with the encouragement of the federal government, collectively will find the best answers to our contemporary challenges. My own suggestions for a new model of schooling are outlined below.
1.Learning theory  
 
My thinking about schooling starts with the realization that humans are
always learning. Everything we see, hear, and experience is new knowledge in some degree or nuance.
My motto is: Every NOW is NEW!
 
Even the most familiar and routine events yield something new, if only a recognition of their place in our life. Learning is part of the human condition. Place a baby on the floor and the first thing the baby does is start to explore. We never stop exploring. So, the question is not “Do we learn?” The question is, “WHAT do we learn?
 The answer is that we learn and remember best whatever we are interested in. The secret to successfully educating people is to find out what interests them. A person’s interests usually have some relation to his or her life – its problems, challenges, ambitions, or moments of joy. In this sense, our interests are very personal. For example, Johnny may be very fascinated with cars. Why cars? Perhaps because of the sense of exhilaration he gets when a car goes fast. Or, because his Dad is fascinated by cars and Johnny sees the shared interest as a bridge to his father’s affection. Or, perhaps he likes to watch NASCAR on television. The point is that his interest motivates his learning and his learning fulfills some personal need or desire.
The key to “student-centered learning”, therefore, is the discovery by the educators of each child’s interests. Johnny’s interest in cars can quickly lead to his need to know how to read, how to write, how to compute numbers — eventually, perhaps to industrial design, engineering, or science. And, his interests will change as he learns more and more. To keep him motivated, his interests must be tracked and exploited even as they change.

 

2. Implementation

 

How can the interests of millions of students be tracked and accommodated? Is that possible? Without today’s technologies, it was not possible. Our current educational system of schooling is built on the nineteenth century assembly line paradigm (which made possible mass production). The child begins on the educational assembly line and accumulates pieces of knowledge and skills as he/she moves from one station (grade) to the next, until that student emerges after 13 or 17 or more years a finished product as defined by the assembly line.
This why is “mass education” is similar to “mass production”. It is all wrong for today’s students. The outcome of mass production is a physical product – a car, a wheelchair, an airplane. This product is the exact replica of every other product which comes off that line. But the outcome of education is primarily the graduate’s capability to earn a living by his/her unique contributions to society. In this, our current educational system is woefully lacking.
Not so long ago, the goal of education could not be summarized as stated here. The goal of education was the development of the whole person, not a bread winner.  But “the times they are achangin'”, as Bob Dylan said.
 
3.     Student-centered education must be individualized.
 
The most promising approach to this task so far is the  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a federal law which requires each school district in the United States to enter into a legal agreement with the parents of all children with disabilities to provide an individualized education program (IEP) for that child.
The fundamental premise of my approach to child-centered education stipulates that an IEP be developed for every single child in the United States.
4. Grades K-3
 
In my system, a temporary IEP would be developed during the kindergarten year, but in any event prior to the start of Grade 1. The focus of this first IEP would be the development of the foundational skills of literacy: reading, writing, arithmetic, and fundamental manners and ethics required by a civilized society.
These four years provide both these skills and an observation and testing period prior to the development of the first version of the Master IEP to be reviewed and adjusted annually for the rest of the child’s school years. Decisions to be made by the IEP team (parents, teachers, administrator and – if practical – the child) are based on the child’s interests, test results, and observed behavior. A strategy is then developed to build a sequence of knowledges and skills related to the perceived data as well as the favored places, instructors, and socialization environments for the student’s progress.
 
5.   The physical environment
 
Homerooms as now used are obsolete. Various groups of students would be formed around large interest categories, such as, electronics, physical sciences, government, mathematics, and history. Each of the themes would have certain general requirements, such as its history, bibliographies, public speaking, research and (where relevant) experimentation. The “groups” (classes), however,  would be defined by interest and capability rather than age. Each student would engage in a different sequence of activities, based on an individual IEP. Instead of a “homeroom”. each child would be given a carrel (like graduate students), that is, an individual booth, equipped with a desk. internet accessible computer, book shelves, locker, etc.
 6.     Teaching
 
Instruction would have two modalities: tutoring and classes. The student’s specific interests (e.g. cars) would be furthered by tutoring individually or in small groups (after the Oxford University model). Classes would be groups, scheduled by interest and capability levels and controlled by computer-managed instructional systems, available to the student on his/her computer. One benefit of this system would be to capitalize on peer teaching and learning – always proven to be the most effective combination for certain types of learning. It also would expand the socialization opportunities for all ages. For older students, there would also be elective lectures on various general topics, such as politics, space, economics, religion, etc.
 
7.      Teachers
 
Teachers would be divided into two basic categories: subject experts and academic counselors. The counselors would be the “customer service” agents responsible for individual interaction with the student. The subject matter experts’ responsibilities would be to see that the students are given proper guidance, information, and training through classes and tutoring. The model for this role would be the graduate student’s major professor, or the Oxford tutor system.  This reorganization of education thus would require major changes in teacher education.
 
8.    Research
 
Academic goals would cluster around the ability to research. In an information age, information is a critical commodity, and the ability to find, analyze and act on information is fundamental to success in the information economy – not to mention success in personal decisions and relationships. Thus, the emphasis on the carrel and the independent access to the unlimited resources provided by the internet. Never before in history have individuals had access to the entire Library of Congress (and more) at their fingertips. Today’s children must learn how to use this priceless treasure.
 
Conclusion 
This outline merely scratches the surface of the possibilities for re-structuring America’s educational system utilizing contemporary technology. It is presented with the hope that it will stimulate creative thinking and actions to upgrade our society’s contributions to human history and to our own happiness.
Copyright, 2019 Richfield Press (All rights reserved)

Keep Reading

Income inequality in 2019

Bill gates and the truck driver                                     

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 23, 2019)

The first Americans were workers. They cut down the trees, plowed the fields, built the buildings, milked the cows, prepared the food, sewed the clothes, and spent most of their time doing the tasks that were necessary for survival in a hostile land. Thus the main thrust of American technology has always remained labor-saving devices.

The  effort to replace the drudgery and difficulties of human labor has produced unheard-of efficiencies — from Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and gun assembly lines to the invention of tin cans and sewing machines to the succession of ever-increasing machines and techniques in America’s march through time. These technologies have also provided an extension of human powers. They have made it possible for humans to lift huge weights, see new sights faraway as well as infinitesimally tiny, travel at astonishing speeds to astonishing places, and think thoughts never before conceived.

Future looking prophets have long wondered what would happen to all the people whose labor has been saved when they were no longer needed. We now have an answer to that question. They have simply stayed in place but without the work that had sustained them and their families. There are still 3.5 million American workers in their prime who are not working even in this booming economy. (see Jeffery Bartosh, Baron’s Market Watch, March 3, 2018)  Keep Reading

Democratic Capitalism and World Peace

 “Blessed are the peacemakers. . . . “                    

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 16, 2019)

It is a wholesome and uplifting exercise to dream occasionally about what an ideal world might look like. Clearly, such ideas are far from the messy realities of the world as we know it today but lifting our gaze to the clouds can give us courage as well as direction.

So, what would a world look like if democratic capitalism were universally practiced instead of restricted to our own country and a few of our friends? First, we have to describe what we mean by “democratic capitalism”.
Keep Reading

Politics is NOT a game!

Everybody should win something

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 10, 2019)

The soaring rhetoric with which President Donald J. Trump concluded his 2019 State of the Union address was totally unexpected, but as uplifting in its own way as that of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. And we need to be lifted up – from the pettiness and willful blindness which have characterized much of our political discourse as our loyalties and pronouncements have descended into a cauldron of partisan gamesmanship.

As author John Daly observed on “The Dr. Larry Show” last week, the American public has taken to looking at politics as a competitive sport where there must be winners and losers. This perspective has been both led and followed by the news media. Smaller and ever smaller incidents, actions and words are being analyzed in terms of who won and who lost. Fox News has even scheduled an end-of-week quiz every Friday night called “Winners and Losers”.  Keep Reading

What should Virginia Governor do?

Trial by twitter?                                                                        

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (February 3, 2019)

By now everyone has heard about Governor Northam’s week from Hell. First, he makes headlines in a video which records his cold-blooded description of how the execution of a new-born baby would proceed according to a proposed law (later defeated by the Virginia legislature). Then, his page in the 1984-yearbook of his medical school surfaces showing his picture along side two other pictures, one of a Ku Klux Klansman and one of a black face performer. At first, he waits for nearly a day before issuing an apology for the pictures, seeming to admit that one of them is him. Then he has a press conference in which he denies that he is either of the figures represented.

In the meantime, the apparently unchallenged fact surfaces that his nickname in medical school was “Coon”. Never late to the hanging, both Democrat Senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both former Virginia Governors, renounce Northam and call for his resignation, along with nearly every other politician in Virginia and Washington.

So, the question arises, “What should the Governor do?” He has clearly been declared guilty of racism, the most deadly of accusations among the “diversity” crowd, through trial by twitter. In this regard, he is the latest in a growing list of recipients of conviction by popular demand. The list includes people from all walks of life, from NFL stars Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, to Senator Al Franken, to Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, and countless others.

In the age of instant social media, this trend poses a danger to the personal freedom of everyone. We are all at the mercy of some malicious slander posted on Facebook, Twitter or any one of the millions of mailing lists, which then goes “viral” and ruins a person’s reputation, if not career, marriage or business. It can happen in the blink of an eye – often without any more proof than someone’s word. Frequently, the accusation is not any more than disagreement with someone’s position on a particular topic. Whatever happened to: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend with my life your right to say it.” ?   (Attributed to Voltaire by biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

This is the case in the Northam affair. He is under attack on two fronts – his obvious advocacy of infanticide and his apparent racism as a young man. While the latter would seem to be by far the more serious of the two accusations, it is the second that has incurred the ire of his fellow Democrats. So, how should the charge against Governor Northam be evaluated?

First, racism is a moral evil, not a criminal matter. Therefore, there is no legal recourse against him. Whatever action is taken will be at the Governor’s own discretion. Secondly, the charge must be clarified. Even if the circumstantial evidence of his alleged racism as a young man were to be further substantiated, the real question is not about Ralph Northam at age 25, but about Ralph Northam today, at age 59. As yet no evidence of current racism has come forward in all the blather posted to date. On the contrary, the intervening years have been occupied by military service, private medical practice and political activity. Nowhere has there been any accusation of racism. It seems therefore reasonable to assume that, even if Ralph Northam was insensitive to racial sensibilities as a young man – not admitted or proven by any hard evidence as of this date – it seems reasonable to assume that his life experience has taught him the significance of these sensibilities. In the absence of any hard evidence to the contrary, therefore, Governor Northam should not be considered a racist.

With respect to the second issue, advocacy of postpartum abortion, however, the situation is different. There are two criteria for continuing in office: legal and moral. It is not against the law to advocate murdering babies. Such an advocacy is, however, evidence of moral blindness. Any person who does not recognize the right of a newborn baby “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is not fit to hold high office in the government of this republic.

Unfortunately, the same public opinion which stands ready to condemn someone of racism on the flimsiest of evidence also steps aside when the issue is the rights of newborn children. All the implications of this position appear to be covered in a cloak of partisanship. This is a morally untenable position when it comes to babies already born, breathing and crying in the arms of the mother. Frankly, killing that baby in the womb at a much earlier stage of life is also morally repugnant. But whatever considerations favor the survival of the child in the womb are magnified 1000% after birth.

Killing a living, breathing baby is infanticide and should be an indictable offense of murder in the first degree. The current position of the Left in sanctioning this practice is the crassest form of barbarism. If a woman does not want a baby as a result of intercourse, she should take measures to avoid conception. After a child is born, it is too late to change her mind.

On this basis, Governor Ralph Northam should be deprived of his current office.  His cold-blooded narrative as recorded on videotape reveals a moral opacity which constitutes a threat to anyone whose life is in danger, whether criminals, the terminally ill, or the permanently disabled. Assisted suicide cannot be far behind; those willing to kill babies would not stop at killing old people under the same rationale, namely the convenience of caretakers, the preference of heirs, or the cost to the state. There is no place for these killers in the high offices of the United States of America.

 

© 2019 Richfield Press (All rights reserved)

A Book Review: The Windmill Chaser

Triumphs and Less in American Politics                               

Former Congressman, author, lobbyist

By Bob Livingston, 2018 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 296 pp

 

This is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary man. Bob Livingston’s memoir starts with his beginnings in a troubled family through his time in the Navy, law school, first jobs and finally his entry into politics as the first Republican Congressman from his district near New Orleans, LA since before the Depression.

The story hits its rhythm, as they say in sports, as his 22 years in the U.S. Congress unfolds. The climax comes when he ascends to Speaker, only to have it snatched away at the last minute.

Along the way, Bob explains in simple language his common-sense politics and comments on past and current people and events from his own perspective. What emerges is a very attractive conservative philosophy which is worth reading for its own sake.

The reader is also struck by the author’s honesty, even humility — a quality not commonly expected in a politician. This perspective is particularly evident as he details the background and events surrounding the House impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. That segment adds a first-hand account of his part in that historical epic, with all the pathos and tragedy he and his supporters experienced. Equally enlightening is his assessment of the impact of those sad days through the years that followed. Altogether a valuable and occasionally riveting addition to the literature of that era.

 

Amazon Book Review

by Larry Fedewa, PhD,  Richfield Press 2019

January 16, 2019 Dr. Larry Show: deep dive into immigration policies and problems

 

Click here for podcast: https://bit.ly/2CzC9QS

The most difficult issues relating to immigration policy are discussed, including barriers, humanitarian crisis, caravans, DACA, visa enforcement and reform, and national strategy.   No holds barred.

Guests commentators: L A Batchelor and Tom Donelson

 

 

Are Catholics welcome in the new Democrat party?

What about Jews?                                            

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 18, 2019)

As the platform – and actions – of the Democrat party have become more actively pro-choice on the issue of abortions, questions have begun to surface more widely as to whether a practicing Catholic can in good conscience be a member of the Democrat party? It is true that there are a number of very prominent Democrats who also profess to be Catholics, including 2016 vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former Vice President Joe Biden, among others.

The tipping point is the increasingly adamant position of the Catholic Church in opposition to abortion in any form. As research shows more clearly the viability of the fetus at a very early stage, the basis of the Church’s position has evolved from disapproval of abortion as a birth control measure to condemnation of abortion as a form of infanticide, i.e. murder.  Keep Reading