About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Mayflower Compact

This Thanksgiving post is a little bit different from recent ones where I posted presidential proclamations honoring our marvelous holiday.  And of course the presidents who wrote the proclamations.

This post is based on historical documentation presented in Professor Peter W. Wood's book, 1620 - A Critical Response To The 1619 Project, regarding "the proper starting point for the American story in 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness."

The signing of the Mayflower Compact, on November 11, 1620, demonstrates how free people of all walks of life, real pioneers aboard ship, came together to create a society based on freedom & equality after they disembarked.

There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower - 50 men, 19 women, & 33 young adults & children.  There were 37 Separatists, later called Pilgrims, who were seeking freedom from the Church of England.  The Pilgrims called the nonreligious passengers "Strangers" - but they all came together out of the desire for self preservation in a new world looking to form "a civil body politic."

Of the 41 who signed the Mayflower Compact several were in the early 20s & some were underage.  But the signed document was "the first time in European settlement of the New World (that the) ideal of self-government based on justice" was attempted.  It "ignored class, wealth, & other marks of status" that were prevalent @ the time & as such showed the libertarianism of people who wanted to come to America.

Now the Mayflower Compact & the Declaration of Independence differ in many ways.  Jefferson's Declaration is "an explanation, a statement of principles, a list of complaints, & a bold assertion of a new authority of a new sovereignty," while the Mayflower Compact "is a bare statement of purpose" simply written for the people who signed it with a pledge to join together.

What both documents have in common is that they recognize that governments derive their just powers "from the consent of the governed."  

Professor Wood explains that the signing of the Mayflower Compact was "the moment when an idea of true self-government began to take root."

The full text of the Mayflower Compact is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.:

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

ACTA's College Evaluations 2021-2022

On September 29, the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) released their annual assessment of the core academic requirements of 1,133 of our nation's colleges & universities entitled What Will They Learn? 2021-2022.  This link will take you directly to the school evaluations - just plug in a school or click on a state & you'll learn all you need to know to get started in a college selection.  This is an invaluable resource.

ACTA works with college & university leaders on campuses around the country to strengthen curricula & raise academic standards.  What Will They Learn? is the only rating system that examines the course catalogs of each school evaluated to provide an alternative assessment based on a school's core curriculum, the program of study that all students share. 

ACTA reports that general education makes up one-quarter to one-third of a student's educational program @ most universities whether the student is taking engineering or accounting or anything in between.  A well designed core curriculum helps students develop the skills & abilities that employers prize, including mathematics, critical thinking, & written communication skills. 

For instance just a few years ago the University of Georgia was graded "F" by ACTA.  After working with ACTA Georgia achieved an "A" grade & a charter member of this blog's daughter graduated from the University of Georgia & commands an annual six figure salary while still in her twenties.  This Georgia graduate could have easily gone to a school with twice the cost & way less than half the earning power punch.

ACTA grades the schools based on what students actually learn in the classroom & every year there are surprises in that schools with big reputations & even bigger tuition bills receive poor grades.  This year I mention Stanford, graded "D" with a $56,169 tuition, & the usual leader in many surveys, Harvard, still graded "D" with a $54,002 tuition. 

Only 24 (2.1%) of the schools evaluated earned an "A" while 423 schools (37.4%) received a "D" or an "F".  The list of "A" graded schools is shown on the website.

Just 3.1% of U.S. colleges and universities require a course in economics & this woeful statistic becomes very apparent when you talk to new graduates or look @ the poor financial decisions that people make.  Just a few years ago ACTA found that only two schools required a course in economics in order to graduate - the U.S. Military Academy @ West Point & the University of Alaska @ Fairbanks.

The graphic below gives the entire grade breakdown for this school year.

Research shows that only 13% of Americans strongly agree that "college graduates in this country are well-prepared for the workforce" so this post could be the most important one you read all year.

Fourteen schools added a foundational course in U.S. government or history to their general education program in the past year.  But don't rest there but rather be prepared to fight back because the forces against America have never been greater.  Critical Race Theory (CRT), American Marxism, & false claims from the 1619 Project are being taught @ every academic level & you surely don't want your child, whether 4 or 22, being indoctrinated in school with ways that you know not to be true & go against everything you taught them @ home.