>> 8 Sep 2004


Here is an essay by another new contributor to A TANGLED WEB - Gene Malone. Having spent more than 25 years teaching in US public schools, Gene is also the founder of Freedom 2000/USA, a grassroots organization to oppose the nationalization of local schools. Freedom 2000/USA is an active opponent of Goals 2000/Outcome Based Education/School to Work and the hundreds of federally financed failed fads such as whole language and more.

I went to the Lake Michigan beach yesterday to try to escape the reality of rapid social changes from freedom to the new planned society commonly called socialism. As I try to forget the new restructuring called OBE, or Outcome Based Education or Community, I became fascinated with an ant colony at my feet. They were busy, busy, busy! The colony of ants were running to and fro with the appearance of work in their great activity. unfortunately, my relaxation was thrown back to visions of endless schoolboard meetings, consultants, experts, strategic plans,visions, consensus, children as consumers and human resources, and time on task and TQM, and Effective Schools, lifelong earning, whole language, creative math and spelling, self-esteem, world-class workforce, more mindless schoolboard meeting, professional staff development to put in OBE and Madeline Hunter teaching methods, and on and on...

Then, I remembered I came to the lakeshore to forget this education babble blessed in the name of Change or We care for the children. It struck me instantly: This robotic ant-force at my feet was the model for OBE. Busy, busy, busy. OBE has the exact characteristics: always busy, perhaps accidently "learning without ever coming to the knowledge of the truth," said the Master Teacher. OBE denies creativity, individuality, achievement; working in a consensus-mode, all with no great accomplishment Now I know the roots of OBE, the highly structured, life-long worker robots of the interesting, but slave colony, of the ants, directed by the Queen ant. Shirley McCune, an OBE'er said at the Kansas Governors' Conference in 1989, which then Gov.Clinton chaired, "What we're into is the total RESTRUCTURING of SOCIETY."

Outcome Based Education or community is the Ant Colony of the twenty-first century. This systems approach to human life reminds one of the 5 to 100 -year plans of centralized socialist planning, before its so-called collapse recently. As I stop daydreaming about an OBE/ant society for our present and future America, I again watched carefully the frantic/perpetual activity of my new-found friends, the enslaved worker ants. They-and we-will have much in common if we thinking humans cannot correct the wrong plan of OBE in education and our once-free nation. Outcomes of an OBE/ant society are obvious: forever working and producing nothing of permanent worth, and forever taking orders from a central figure of authority like the Queen ant Winston in George Orwell's "1984" asks,

" What will this New Order or New Age be like?" O'Brien replied, "The jackboot forever on the human face." The same Orwell said the planned society would, "Never again allow you to be capable of love, friendship, joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage or integrity." (I might add that truth, itself,would be rare and suspect.) That is the characteristic f the new-permanent management fad, OBE. In education,i will deny a basic tenet of learning in a free society, that is-THINKING and DECIDING for YOURSELF, after amassing information that would help you decide/sort truth from error and freedom from the ways of tyranny. The following quote of George Orwell is the OBE education for Americans, "If people cannot write well; they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, other will do their thinking for them."

Yes, the ant colony is an insect bureaucracy. OBE is a planned, factory-workforce with its permanent oppressive, un-elected trio of mindless, soul-less pseudo-educators, government busybodies, and in-house min-manipulators (psychologists, psychiatrists) and an added class-the DATA FREAKS who are interested in numbers rather than truth, responsibility and consequences of one's actions.

Now, back to watching the highly organized ant colony in the sand. Nothing has changed. Albert Einstein, a non-OBE genius, that s-one who excels- said, "Bureaucracy is the death of any achievement." Imagine a nation without differences! Ray Bradbury, the science-fiction writer once stated, " We are anthill men upon an anthill world." Indeed, his observation was in development but can be changed. The European general, Napoleon, once said, "Unhappy the general who comes on the field of battle with a system." I presume this means that room for choice, maneuvering, and flexibility are matters needed for winning. May I quote Napoleon again, "There is one kInd of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men:TIME." Indeed,and an Ant Hill/OBE society not only will be life-long mindless working, but life-long control by planners you did not elect or respect.

Enough of this ant-watching. I am not becoming relaxed, but more anxious about our present and coming national society and its principles of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. On the way to swim in the August waters of the usually cool Lake Michigan, another thought. WINTER is coming soon with its cold, snow, and new changes. I will forget the OBE Lake Michigan Ant Hill Society. Yes, give me winter anytime. The falling snowflakes at least are each unique and beautiful; they drift careFREE through the air in an unplanned, creative, free-fashion, which reminds me more of the America I prefer: unique, beautiful, and always free. As I leave the Lake Michigan shoreline, I approach again the babble of bureaucracy and the songs of sire socialism under the propaganda of change. I am going back reluctantly to the error of restructuring from freedom to collectivism and the model in the sand, the Ant Hill society predicted by Orwell. I do not look forward to the developing Anthill society as America's future.

I prefer for you and for me the Snowflake model of society: individuals free to be different in an environment of truth, opportunity, individual freedom and responsibility guided by the Creator.


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