Discover more from Riverside County Liberty Letter
On school and learning lessons
Hello Liberty Lovers of Riverside County!
If this is your first newsletter, welcome! We had a bunch of new people sign up after meeting us at the Norco Fair over Labor Day weekend, and we’re glad you’re here. Welcome to the world outside the authoritarian frame.
In the News: Back to School (for some Teachers, too)
The period spanning the end of August and start of September brings with it one of the great dreads of youth: the start of the school year. Schools have been in the news a lot in the last few years, and with good reason. More and more people are noticing more and more wrong with public education, so more and more stories of utter foolishness keep drifting into circulation.
The biggest recent example is the story of Jaiden from Colorado. If you are unaware of this story, googling “Jaiden from Colorado” will find you a pile of summaries and commentaries, but let’s sketch out the basics. Jaiden is 12, and had a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack at school. He was pulled out of class and his mother was called, with both sitting down with a school administrator who explained that the Gadsden flag was inappropriate for school because it was “associated with racism and slavery.”
This is a complete misrepresentation of the Gadsden flag, as anyone with any knowledge of the flag’s history well knows. It would appear, however, that the school administrator did not know the flag’s history, so Jaiden and his mom ended up in the office to get a talking-to.
What follows can only be described as a complete parenting win. Phone video of this meeting exists, and at about the 30 second mark you can watch for yourself as Jaiden has the greatest epiphany of his life: teachers can be dumb, too. Jaiden shares a look with his mother (who is off camera), and smiles a smile that speaks volumes. He has clearly been taught the correct history of the flag at home, and knows his mother is about to rhetorically body slam the school lady. And he has his popcorn ready.
There are three lessons we can learn here in Riverside County from Jaiden’s story:
First, Jaiden clearly has a home life where he is being taught true things, and knows his parents are good people who have his back. There is a ton of personal responsibility wrapped up in that, and it is worth reflecting on how to create an environment like that in your own home. Your own home is the first and strongest bulwark against government overreach, and it must be maintained and strengthened constantly. You cannot hand off this responsibility. You must spearhead this effort yourself. This will require sacrifice, but no sacrifice is more worth it.
Second, it is worth considering how Jaiden’s parents are helping him understand the world. In this case, they have Connor Boyack’s Tuttle Twins series (see Suggested Reading below) to thank for giving Jaiden the background understanding that led him to sport a Gasdsden flag patch in the first place. Resources exist that can help you build an environment of learning in your own home. Find them and use them. Your kids will be better for it, and the most important thing you can do to fix today’s messed-up world is raise good kids in it.
Third, Jaiden attends a charter school. Charters are a huge step in the right direction for education, as they inject choice and competition into schooling. When businesses compete for customers, services improve and the customers get increasingly amazing things offered to them. It’s true in every industry, but public education fights this truth at every turn. It is worth noting that the managing board of Jaiden’s school weighed in the very next day, correcting the administrator’s lack of understanding, and reinstating Jaiden right away. There is no reason to believe a government board running a government school would have been nearly as quick to correct this error. The reason for this is obvious: most government schools believe they have no competition, so there is nowhere else for their customers (children) to go. Market-based competition between the schools in Jaiden’s area meant that his case was addressed quickly and fairly, lest his parents take him (and their money) elsewhere. Everything about that is an unmitigated good.
Libertarians’ love for choice in education stems from our bedrock belief that free markets simply get more done more efficiently than anything else. From the national platform:
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability, and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
This can happen in Riverside County. It’s on each and every one of us to stand up for it and champion it. Government isn’t going to give it up without a fight. Join the fight.
Check Your Voter Registration
If you vote, be sure your registration is Libertarian. Whether you vote or not, it doesn’t hurt to check your registration from time to time, just to be sure nothing suspicious is going on with it (like to make sure your address is accurate, and your party preference hasn’t been changed “accidentally” by some bureaucrat who manages the database). Check your registration at the California Secretary of State page at this link: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/cavoter
Being a registered Libertarian voter certainly allows you to call yourself a real libertarian. However, there is more you can do. You can join the national Libertarian Party as a “sustaining member" by signing the membership application statement and paying dues (currently a minimum of $25 per year) to the national organization. The number of national sustaining members in each state is used to allocate both delegate slots at national conventions and representation of the state parties on the Libertarian National Committee.
Note that while paying dues at the state level (California) or the county level (Riverside County) makes you a "central committee member" at those levels, national membership is separate.
If you aren't a dues-paying member at all, you can join as a national member AND as a state/county member using a single online form:
If you are already a state/county member but not a national member, please consider adding national membership now. If you have any problems with the form, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org (or join the Discord server listed below and ask the whole state party) and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.
Join us in taking a stand for a world set free!
Discord Servers for State and National
If you are a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party, there are two additional communications channels you can join to be part of the insider conversation.
The LPCA Discord server is ready for you to join! Find the server at this link: https://discord.gg/wfXzapGsTd
There is a new and growing LNC server as well! That server can be found here: https://discord.gg/fxdH2bre
Discord is an off-Facebook communications forum for productive and meaningful discussion to help grow the Party, and make it the vehicle for liberty it was always intended to be. Join and enjoy some general camaraderie, share liberty memes, get news of upcoming events, and (politely) engage with libertarians across California and the whole country!
Upon joining, you’ll be put in a new member channel awaiting verification. Be patient. Once your dues status is verified, you will get more information about how you can interact in the communications channels.
Suggested Reading This Month
The Tuttle Twins homepage. Enjoy! https://tuttletwins.com/
Joel Salatin on mob mentality and its dangers. https://manwardfinancial.com/steer-clear-mob-mentality/
The Tenth Amendment Center on why the Preamble of the Constitution is NOT a good basis for any discussion of what is “constitutional.” https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2023/08/15/the-preamble-is-the-least-important-part-of-the-constitution/
A scary but insightful way to view the world: Brokenism. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/brokenism-alana-newhouse
As always, for up-to-date event details be sure to bookmark and regularly check:
10 September 2023: Comedy Show. Libertarian comedian Robbie “The Fire” Bernstein comes to Riverside County on his perennial Summer Porch Tour. LPRC Vice Chair Matt Gunnell will be hosting this stop on the tour at his property in Aguanga, and we’re excited to welcome Robbie to the Inland Empire! Check out the Eventbrite link and get your tickets. Fair warning: Robbie is … irreverent. Take that as you will. We’re libertarians. You can make your own decisions for your own life. :)
23-25 February 2024: The Libertarian Party of California annual convention. This may seem distant, but it’s worth getting onto your calendar. This one has an added feature: since 2024 is a presidential election year, this convention will include the election of state delegates to the national convention in May (in Washington D.C.). For us here in the southern parts of the state, it’s even convenient, since it will be held in Orange County! Contracts are being finalized right now; watch our website for details, which we will post as soon as they are available.
Closing Thoughts from the Chair
I attended a Shabbat Hatan and Kiddush the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Some dear friends decided to finally get married (Well done making it official, you two! You know who you are…) and while I could not make it to the wedding itself I was available to attend these services to show my support and respect for the happy couple. I had never experienced a Jewish worship service before, but found the ritual of it moving, the spirit of it delightful, and the practitioners warm and welcoming. Reverence for the divine is a universal language.
In 1774, when the delegates to the first Continental Congress met, their first order of business was deciding if they should begin with prayer. However, they could not agree on what representative of which religion should offer it. Samuel Adams rose, and according to a letter written by his cousin, John, declared “that he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country.”
It’s a sound sentiment, and one I share. The right to pray (and by extension the right to not pray, if that’s your preference) is THE fundamental right. The right to believe as you choose is the foundation from which all else springs. Respecting others’ right to pray is the fundamental responsibility of all libertarians, and of all Americans. Civility about others’ prayers is the cornerstone of a free civil society.
You are free to kneel at whichever altar you believe offers you contact with eternity. What you cannot do, what you must never do, is force anyone to kneel alongside you. As you consider the ways of people who pray very differently from you, do not recoil. You might be surprised at what you learn, about them, about you, and about God.
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