Christianity: Protestant Gnosticism?

A peculiar trend I have noticed living in the U.S. is the peculiar emphasis on religion as entirely spiritual with a rejection of materialism. Like there is a kind of magic poser imbued with the invocation and acceptance of a word- Jesus.

Now, I have been around many religions in my life. Some I was born into, forced into or sought to understand. Never have I understood American Protestants. They take the belief to a level where it almost seems like it is important to hate the world and love Jesus. That is the path.

A certain element found in the Orthodoxy and Catholic faith is the extreme disdain for gnosticism, calling it a grand heresy. Gnostics believe something non-physical existed in Jesus’s life and it was some esoteric knowledge to “sever spirit from body” to get to Heaven. These kinds of thoughts were similar to pagan and shamanic rites. Curious, given the methods employed by the Roman Church in their evangelism in Europe. So it made me think…isn’t the concept of a “Rapture” (rejected by Catholics and Orthodox) something of a gnostic belief itself? Magically pulling your body up to the sky and leaving a pile of cloth on the ground seems pretty shaky.

So why is gnosticism so bad? Well, if you haven’t read some apocrypha, some exist stating Jesus killed a young boy for bumping into him and blinded his mother for voicing her discontent (Infancy Gospel of Thomas), only to revive the child and restore her vision upon apology. Another case is where Jesus solicited a certain woman for services and another even suggests Jesus asked Judas to betray him, which kind of degrades the whole “divine” claim. Needless to say, these books are non-canonical and the works of the Gnostics who existed for a short time after the Crucifixion.

When you really put a lens over the state of Western Christianity, you see quickly the revisions and rituals have taken just about all meaning from it and replaced it with lazy worship, song, freedom from guilt of sinning without any penitent acts (fasting, prayer, acts of mercy) and apparently, possibly, maybe gnosticism. I can’t say for certain, but I can say the state of Christianity in the West looks more like a business than it does a lifestyle. Perhaps that is why Islam, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and Judaism are growing while church attendance is down for the majority faith. Perhaps the issue is people just don’t feel it or they believe science has given us all the answers we need. Or perhaps we just like our greedy lives just how they are.

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Democracy Fails, Time and Time Again

Without outright advocating for modern political methods such as totalitarianism, I say we should outright reject and question democracy as a guide to governance.

(Note: far-aligned ideologies, Marxism or Fascism, can be democratic on the left and totalitarian on the right. Left ideological tenants can be fo the people or for a state head (much like totalitarianism).

The reason I conclude this, is our human history. My first example is the glorious state of Rome, the Roman Republic. While ruled by aristocratic patricians (this is curiously where democracy starts to waiver), it primarily held some 10,000 square kilometers of land in its claim in roughly 500 B.C. The aristocracy worked to some degree in the interests of the local regions and the central figure of the Republic was not a de facto dictator.

In 27 B.C., Gaius Octavius is named Augustus and the period of the Empire is officially made. He gained his power when his adopted father Julius was assassinated in 44 B.C. As the only son and heir apparent to a nation where Senate power was actively wavering due to internal conflicts between aristocrats, militant leaders were always in the running.

So began a period where Rome would create impressive roads and infrastructure across Europe, since the past few hundred years saw aggressive expansion pushing their borders to nearly 2,000,000 square kilometers. This militarism had a massive impact on the state of Rome. Conscripts from tributary states were even taken into Roman ranks (Auxilia) to fill the expansion. It doesnt take much to see the similarities to the Western “Republics” of today. A byzantine economy, military and social structure, as well as dictation led to the downfall of Rome as a Republic. It was Octavian that had changed the face of Rome, and all Europe. Albeit with little props given by those who were oppressed during the Empire.

Looking to the founders of democracy we see a peculiar case for democracy. Men like Socrates found democracy to be tasteless and unrealistic, citing that certain people fill certain roles. The analogy of the sweet vendor and the physician is one such case. The sweet vendor is selling treats made of honey you could easily enjoy all day. The physician will tell you to forget about ingesting things you shouldn’t, or may recommend something disgusting to improve your health.

No one wants to feel discomfort, so they take comfort in things they do like. This is a flaw with democracy, as our leaders we think to elect may be the candy maker because he is known and loved for his sweets; meanwhile, our physician is known to have to perform tasks that may harm or be unfavorable to the individual, so some reject him.

So how has Greece done with democracy? Simply put, Greece has seen theocracies, monarchies, republics and empires since then. The modern state of Greece is democratic and a parliamentary republic on paper. Greeks disagree, seeing Greece as a collection of pĆ³leis that have unique histories and culture. Thessaloniki was a place of classical revolution against ruling classes. Athens is the art and intellectual Capitol of the West. Sparta is the land where men of men and more pragmatic governance once existed (Info on The Peloponnesian War will tell you how divided Greece has been- it’s intriguing stuff). One entire province within Greece is dedicated entirely to men for religious purposes (Athos) and other unique tales are found everywhere in Greece. Democracy never really took hold, as we can see. However, among their respective city groups democracy had some relative successes. By reducing the size of influence democratic processes proved rather effective at a city level. This kind of city engagement is still common in Greece. Most Greeks would agree you can’t trust federalism with a state, but you can trust a community.

So what do I derive from these opposed stories? That democracy works only when the culture is in unison. In many ways, the U.S. founders were likely conmen, not as bright as they thought, or utopians that believed somehow you can build in equal state in a society where slavery was acceptable. I also deduce that the smaller the population the better it may function. I also hold a belief that technology also plays a role in the limits of governance, suggesting that we shouldn’t “grow too big” – as we see with globalization trends. Cultural and material inequalities will eventually bring systemic collapse in the form of mass social division, down to the family unit.

While it sounds like I am echoing conservative arguments of “downsizing government”, I am rather suggesting that any federalist policymaking is detrimental to a system. American “intervention” is a threat to democracy. Government decisions to limit social programs in favor of letting private sector take up the burden is a threat to democracy. Laws that have no purpose (spitting on sidewalks – $80 fine?) are a threat. Lack of oversight to private banks is a threat to democracy. Many things a “make government small” party suggest actually are still just federal abuse of power that will eventually contradict the pursuit of democracy in favor of less due process.

This was relatively functional as a system back in the early 20th century, when states made most of the decisions and the U.S. didn’t spend a majority of tax revenue for military. Granted, it was still an unequal society full of segregation and no voting rights for everyone.

Today we are reaching a point where whatever increases GDP values is what is done. One has to wonder what democracy even is if what we have in the West is considered one.

Christianity for Dummies: Protestants, Roman Catholics and Orthodoxy

Living in the U.S. it is hard to look at religion and see anything more than an obsession with saying a lot but not doing a lot. Paired with the constant state of denying stable human relations in favor of things God scorns, like prejudice and avarice, we have a recipe for mass secularism in our society; perhaps even worse, such as total demonization of the faith in general. I thought I would try to take an unbiased crack at these three primary “Churches” to explain what each believes and how they practice. Practice, as you will read, is precisely what religion is. Belief is a guide, but your discipline to uphold the tenants of your faith is ultimately what molds you. Onto the comparisons!

Protestantism first reared its head in the 16th century with the 95 Theses. This reformation began in Thuringia, Germany and would be a rebellion to the Catholic Church, which controlled society from Britain to parts of the Balkans and up to Scandinavia. Their presence was universal and rule was generally observed by both serf and noble. Martin Luther would be a voice of rebellion to the Church following their decision to impose a salvation tax that basically states that if you can’t pay up, you will go to Hell. Much like I have written before, I am somewhat of a Marxist and so I must recommend you read “The Peasants War of 1525” by Friedrich Engels, co-writer, partner and occasional publisher of Karl Marx. Engels was highly empathetic with Christian struggles throughout their history (more on this) and makes a beautifully rich explanation of Martin Luther, the Roman Church, and how both were morally corrupt. In practice, protestants observe a principle called Sola Scriptura. In Latin, this means roughly “only written”. It emphasizes the taking of the New Testament by reading and literally interpreting it free of any institutional interpretation. This has unfortunately led to hundreds, maybe some thousand(s) of “micro-schisms”, where church disagreements simply spawns new churches. Many do not observe a unitary trinity.

Next we have Roman Catholics. These observe the central authority that is the Pope. They believe the Pope communicates directly with God and the word of the Pope is auxiliary to God. They observe many ancient teachings. Many observe the Great Lent, a period of reflection where individuals refrain from eating certain things. They pray a few times a day, generally upon waking and sleeping, as well as eating. Icons play a role in worship, creating a kind of object to focus upon. They do follow a trinitarian view, but recognize each as being somewhat unique unto themselves (Father, Son, Spirit). The Church decides how Scripture is to be interpreted. In recent years the Church has seen more and more observance go to the wind, namely ritual practice with relation to things such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday fasting. It strikes a somewhat middle ground. All churches that are Roman Catholic are in communion with the Vatican authority. This churches does observe many Old Testament rites as well. Many will adopt a Saint’s name, as well.

Finally we have the Orthodoxy, which is autocephalous (each church governs itself). Unlike Protestantism, however, differences are mostly in ritual rites and Saint observance more than actual biblical interpretation. They also posses the largest diversity of followers of any Christian Church. Liturgy exists in Modern Greek and Ancient (Koine), Amharic (Ethiopian), Hebrew (Messianic Church), Arabic, Slavonic (Across the Slavic sphere), and quite a few others perform their liturgy in a related tongue. Despite this massive diversity, nearly every Church follows the interpretation of scripture as the Patriarchate of Constantinople sees. They do not have a Pope, except for the Russian Orthodox Church (can’t explain this without touching politics). The largest difference Orthodoxy has with these other two major schisms is its ability to remain in communion, and its massive dedication to observance. The Orthodox see the Old Testament as equally important to the new, and observe well over 180 days worth of fasting yearly. During this time, often fish, oil and wine will go untouched. Prayers are when you awake, then the first, third, sixth, ninth, eleventh and twelfth hour, before and after a meal, and before bed. The Orthos is also read at times, among many other unique prayers. The average Orthodox Christian prays pretty much anytime they need or have a moment. A rosary is always carried. A shrine alike a Catholic table is typically at home, as well. On this table is typically a picture of the Theotokos (Holy Virgin), Yeshua, regional and patron Saints (Orthodox take the name and birthday of their named Saint- if they do not share a name, an official will bestow one upon Chrismation). In addition, frankincense is burned during prayer (I have also heard of other things burned, like musk) as is a vigil lit permanently. These typically burn olive oil, as it doesn’t flicker (important to ritual) and will douse if dropped. This is in observance of the biblical significance of olive oil and its many uses (anointment to lighting). These lamps are burned as an offering to God in this church. Typically, they are kept burning continuously. Also, icons are typically arranged by hierarchy. Minor regional saints are lowest on the prayer wall or furthest back on the table. Patrons sit higher or near top. Yeshua and the Theotokos always are arranged closest or highest in order. The Orthodox Church also does not take any particularly strong political stances and preaches love above all (Russia shows exceptions to this rule at time, due to state relations). Another interesting factoid is confession is not done with the privacy of a screen. One is face to face addressing the Father or Master (Bishop) and confessing directly to them. They are a trinitarian church and believe that Yeshua was the Father, Son and Spirit in one, united as One (think “Yeshua is God, son of Mary and also God himself”). It’s also key to add this church is unique in the sense that it subscribes to Asian Metaphysical Thought. They believe man is born good (western thought isn’t solid on this) and believe in God as a creator, but acknowledge God is outside the cycle of beginnings and ends.

Example Lists of Churches and Denominations:

Protestant – Lutheranism, Baptist, Latter Day Saints (Gnostic Elements), Anglicans, Methodist, Redeemers, Mormonism (???), Pentecostal, Anabaptist, Calvinism, Adventism, Presbyterianism, Evangelism, etc.

Roman Catholicism – Roman Catholicism, Eastern Catholicism, some small Slavic interpretations also exist, but only differ in ritual.

Orthodox Church – Ethiopian, Jerusalem – (sometimes coined Arabic), Russian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Greek, Syrian, British, Ukrainian, Romanian, Antiochian, Alexandrian and American. Another observes the rites and reading in Israel but tries to retain Jewish identity. These are typically called Messianic churches and are (were?) Jewish. It is debatable if they can be considered Orthodox, but my research suggests they can be considered as such (Despite liturgy being Hebrew).

I hope this small summary gives you all a different perspective to view faith from. Many in our West today claim Eastern Faith without practicing well. When we fast (Matthew 6:16 – fasting is NOT optional) we learn to readdress our relations with food in excess. We curtain our sexual drive. We go without to breed inner discipline. Buddhists do this for the same reason. So do Hindu. It is through not just belief but practice that we obtain discipline. Discipline transcends all, as we live in a world of excess. Food is everywhere. Luxuries. Sex is everywhere. What the more strict Faiths teach is how to live a life you wont regret. if you fast you will be healthy, mentally and physically. If you pray it will calm your mind (keep in mind Catholics and Orthodox don’t pray for wishes – prayer is largely just synonym for meditation in silence on a message. God clearly states in the New Book he isn’t going to interfere with this world at all times. You will face challenges. You have to overcome them and grow).

So no matter what you follow, be sure to actually read your Bible daily. Decode the messages and apply them. Be happier. Stop looking down at others.

…and if you aren’t a believer in anything, well, sorry infidel. Do what you need to.

Why Are We Still Arguing Politics in the United States? (Party Comparisons)

Reviewing the U.S. political landscape, plenty of other nations look our way and can, at best, conjure up the time-held belief that Americans are…well, stupid.

Are we, though? I would say yes, we are. We still uphold a binary party system where the economic world is literally dominated by bipartisan politicians and business moguls. While we continue to say “those damn democrats” or vice-a-versa, an almost permanent oligarchy continues to hoard not just wealth in the form of cash, but wealth in the form of access to ownership. Considering starting a business? Make sure there’s no Walmart nearby if you’re selling goods. Services? Make sure there is smart grounds to compete. Many of the wealthiest in the U.S. have been wealthy for multiple generations. Your idea won’t be special.

So the bulk…what actually is different between the two? Well, as the satirical image highlighting this interrogation suggests, almost entirely mundane social issues. One side wants all your kids to grow up wearing skirts with combat boots and the other wants to be able to marry their first cousin. Somewhere in the middle is every single American ever who is almost entirely illiterate when it comes to economics and how a free market actually works. Lower taxes? Well, with that comes the constant state of instability we systematically have. If we observe a 100 year volatility chart we will see that while the U.S. experiences growth, it almost never is by the wisdom of the marketeer. The volatility index suggests that in this time, there is never a time where anyone can predict the direction the market will take. Neoliberal economics (with debt practices like austerity for social programs but mindless debt spending for military functions) is a major contributor to this uncertainty, and Republicans and Democrats alike have little idea what neoliberalism is or that they indirectly support it.

Neoliberalism is observed by both parties. The agrarian capitalist types of the South were our oldest rebels against this system, and the North supported it.

Nowadays the big government and small government argument is what every lame-brained individual may indulge in. One says big is ok, as public control can be maintained through threats of violence; in liberal cases, legitimate trust of a “lesser evil”.

The small government argument is arguably the weakest. These types often believe that billionaires got where they are fairly and deserve to keep every penny. They say big government should not be in business, but doesn’t understand the daily financial operations national and multi-national corporations actually engage in. They don’t understand that wealth was obtainable because of internal designs geared towards the increasing of gross domestic output. At any cost, the impoverished are often the ones left getting taxed to support corporations who routinely flop, but are too big to fail”- leaving the government no choice but to bail them out or face a major blow at the tickers.

The logic is circular on both sides. Ultimately, the Republicans have more realistic social values (apart from good ol’ ‘Murikuhn Prejudice), but liberals might have a better grasp on the economic side of things.

Both could stand to actually practice what they preach and do good works by other people. In my opinion, Americans could stand to learn more about…well, any other country and their political system to see how a country that has an actual nonpartisan political field where a range of discourse is the norm. Perhaps they could learn that other countries are not fans of the U.S. foreign policy. That maybe, maybe, a predator drone strike over Mr. Abadi that killed his two sons might push him to commit acts of violence against your home nation.

Not really a possibility, right? We’re too busy figuring out who can and can’t wear skirts and what our temple dedicated to Milton Friedman should look like.

Huffington Post’s Recent Attempt to Demonize Russia for Media Control

Reading through, day by day, mountains of articles, we learn quickly just how outlandish some pieces are.

The one I saw today led me to want to offer an opinion. Vladimir Putin was reported to have issued a statement to “cultural leaders” to curtail the message and growing popularity of rap music in Russia. Citing the music as drug inspired, sex addicted and deviant, Putin desires to have individuals across Russian markets to ensure that it is adequately monitored to prevent young citizens from adopting some of the lifestyle described in the music.

Now, this article was meant to slam, so I mean to slam back. The first is…are we really so silly to think that our “cultural leaders” aren’t purposely spewing the kind of lavish, bourgeois and morally irresponsible things we as a society all disdain in the first place?

How many parents have heard music like this and thought “that b**** hop on the d*** she be twerkin” is something their children should look at and say “that’s fine”.

What liberal madness overtakes a nation when our idea of good, moral fun is somehow separating meaningless sex and drug use from the lessons we are taught from youth.

So how dare you to judge a man for aiding in looking out for the impressionable. Here’s an idea- rap goes back to having meaning. There was a time I would hear rap and think that- was a real message. Gone are the days of music with meaning. If you ask me, maybe the current American government should consider some censorship itself.

Maybe it would do something for its global status as the place you’re most likely to get shot or abused at a random truckstop.

People are impressionable. Music in particular is something that affects people differently. We should be a little more cautious what we put out.

Likewise, so should Huffington Post. Considering they, along with Washington Post, have been on some kind of crusade to nowhere since the administration took over.

At this rate, the democratic platform won’t have a speck of influence left come 2020. While we all know I disdain the Republican and Democratic parties as a whole, a one-sided power structure (even in parties with similar interests) is dangerous. This is how real despots appear.

Unity without an Enemy: Un Nouveau Colosse

(Above: Plaque at the foot of Lady Liberty)

A common theme is apparent to much of the peripheral world. Core (economically advanced) countries are overwhelmingly aggressive in their foreign policy, often using coercion or subterfuge in markets to expand their wealth. To do this, many times they make an enemy for the country’s populace to rally behind. In the U.S. following 9/11, Iraq became the target of this aggression despite the events unfolding in Afghanistan, where an old conflict with the Soviets some 35 years back led the U.S. to fund the Taliban in Pakistan, a collection of young college students who would oppose the order in the Soviet Afghanistan. Among these men was an Osama bin Laden, who operated in tandem with information agencies. A divide between the two led to the eventual rise of Al Qaeda, which to some extent fractured into fringe groups, with a disrupting presence in Iraq and Syria following the Kurdish uprisings.

So…what can we learn from this? We learn that a neoconservative tendency to justify their actions as “goodwill intervention” is a time-tested way to try to rally a nation.

Well, the internet exists and we can talk about this. It’s a rouse. The reasons for invasion are numerous, and liberals, conservatives and independents of all varies political beliefs will typically always have mixed emotions on what exactly that is. What is certain is that major terror attacks in the U.S. supposedly bring us together against a common enemy. For awhile.

The truth is…it has a little to do with our economics. We seem to stop caring the longer any incited conflict advances. That is not circumstance. The reason is that the U.S. citizenry generally lacks any unity. There are major cultural differences across the U.S., all inspired by regional history. However, over the past few decades we have seen that undergo violent transformation into a cultureless market of consumers.

This consumer culture is destroying our social relations. Look at Black Friday news reports. People are literally killed on this day. Over useless things like televisions and toys.

So what is wrong? We are spoiled and valueless. So how do we fix that?

Let’s look at another country. For all intents and purposes I will choose a nation with a pluralistic society and a unified identity. I would say a good one to observe is Brazil. In Brazil, there are a large number of white, European folks of Spanish and Portuguese origin. Natives also live among the general populace (many are also left to their devices, but corruption in government has allowed foreign logging companies to damage their claims). In addition, Africans from the slave trade of colonial times past also call it home, and receive a good deal of equality compared to other countries.

So why is that a thing there and not here? Does Brazil need to tackle a developing Levantian country to coax them into resource trade and global participation? No. Brazil is culturally homogeneous (natives who live apart from society excluded, obviously). They have a mutual understanding of their roles in society. They have a similar outlook with a relationship to food (mama’s home cooking beats a cheeseburger any day). They have similar dress and customs, and celebrate native culture as something important. There is no colonial regret. It is in the past, and now is what matters. It was an unforgivable past, but it’s likely this social trait has more to do with religious inspirations more than anything (inference).

So if much of Brazil would rally against an oppressive government or foreign aggression, why do we Americans always hear awful things like “conservatives should die” or “liberals dont want guns that makes killing them easier”.

What the hell kind of talk is that? Also, why do these polarized peoples BOTH support a federal government they KNOW isnt helping? Just to sate a couple value issues? Republicans say they love Jesus and you have to say you love Jesus too or you’re going to hell. Democrat liberal types absolutely must push things onto these others like transsexuality or homosexuality without ever explaining why or trying to rationalize it through a way the other may understand. In a lot of ways, the so-called “right” do not follow what they preach and the so-called left, tolerant as they are, smart and educated as they are, are too dense to see they have horrible tactics and no sensitivity to differences within their own country.

So I propose a new Enlightenment. We should demand increases to education. We should make religious studies a thing, but not force it on them. Maybe even awaken the old Enlightenment concepts of art, literature and these practices. Right now, the U.S. needs a facelift. If you live in the south and are a proud Christian, take up a brush and easel and make something! It doesnt have to be good. We just need to share in our own experiences. If we were founded on the ideas of democracy and a nation for every man, why is it we do not explore it? We are losing culture to a materialistic, consumer obsession where our items define who we are.

Liberals are right about one thing. White Americans lack culture. It is declining. However, let’s not just say them. Afro-Americans are as well, and popular media can point that out pretty quick. Asian Americans retain a portion if their homelands, mostly due to filial obligations. Latinos are questionably the most enriching and entertaining migrants we get, and they bring life to wherever they go- party, too (seriously, has anyone ever attended the parades in Texas and California on holidays?)!

So why are we blaming others when we all know the issue is with our society and our obsession with “stuff”?

The issue is not a loss of traditional values. If having to respect someone else in a place where we prided ourselves as being a safe haven for all, it would make sense. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to be an ass. In tandem, if you fear “Christian morality” is leaving the nation, I have two things to say:

1. It was never a Christian nation. Tons of evidence exists to suggest Ben Franklin was an atheist, Hancock and Jefferson were Deists (Jefferson was very aware of the Quran, too). Tristram D., early MA senator was a Christian of protestant observance and John Adams even had a copy of gnostic literature in his library!

2. If you’re afraid we need to “crusade for Christ” in the U.S. or lose that identity, and ignore the previous point, I have a bone to pick. Isn’t our faith LITERALLY ALL ABOUT ACCEPTANCE? If it were a Christian nation, we should accept a man for his skin. We should love our wives and cherish them. We should not speak ill of others. All these things are a disgusting warping of the colonial values many European colonists had. A sense of superiority bred by backwards societies who worship Kings before God. Don’t be partisan and obsess over men. Worry about your development as a person. Others will envy you for trying to become a better, more understanding person. Even if they don’t get you at all.

So understand this. Many slaves brought here were Muslim. Some were animist (believes in spirits in nature). Many Europeans who came here were darker and Catholic (Mediterranean). Many were pale and hailed from the Germania parts or the UK. In the 19th, Chinese came to help build our railroads due to a labour shortage. Indians came from India to assist with farm projects following the end of slavery and the massive labour shortages to follow. Our nation required men like M.L. King to bridge a gap. It needed people like Chavez to earn them what the nation claimed to give everyone in the first place.

If we want to fix our own, let’s ask…how has history shaped us and how can we implement our learning into something we can all look at and say, “yeah, we all did that, didn’t we.”

Look to the arts. Don’t let corporations or your government control them. We are better than they are. The farmers, the unemployed, the factoryhands, service workers, industrial workers, musicians, artists, educators…you make it possible. Not the people who employ and direct you.

The Greatest Country in the World: 14% of the Population Can’t Read

Long have I heard that the U.S. is the de facto leader of the entire world. Every day an overly patriotic sticker or television ad marks the absolute divine providence that is the U.S. Others are inferior. Especially those damned communists.

So why is it that we only have an 86% literacy rate? Of the U.S. population of some 325 million, the USDE (Dept. of Education) and National Literacy Foundation has found that over 32 million Americans can’t read. In addition, 21% can’t read above a 5th grade level and 19% of high school students can’t read when graduating. These stats are all taken from peoples in the survey above 18 years of age.

As the most economically successful country of the developed world, what excuse can we offer for this failing? Education is cut more and more for a rising defense budget. States who denounce federalism or the current administration receive less money to continue these programs. Some places, like my homeworld of Oklahoma, have considered cutting school to 4 days a week, cutting out an hour, and increasing class sizes. They’re already nearly 2 students to a single textbook in some counties. Many of those textbooks still have Gorbachev heading the Soviet Union and a split Germany. You’ll never as confused as I was to hear about Yugoslavia and how it is a menace to the Balkans…in 2018.

The current administration aims to make school a private affair. I would be inclined to say…

Can we please use tax dollars for things we ACTUALLY need?