Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Enrollment in public schools plunges

Good news! Federal government data for the 2020-2021 school year shows a steep drop in enrollment in public schools, with the biggest declines in the youngest grades.

While overall the drop was only 3%, the drop was stunning from parents enrolling their children for the first time.

Even more stark is the drop in enrollment among younger students. Preschool enrollment fell by 22%, and preschool and kindergarten enrollment combined dropped 13%.

The drop is even more significant in that it is really the first such decline in decades.

It appears that almost one in four parents have decided that public schools are not a good place for their little ones. Foolish mask mandates, absurd social distancing rules, and leftist propaganda promoting bigotry and sexual perversity are not what they want for their kids.

In a sane world, we would quickly see a reduction in the budgets for these public schools. Sadly this is not likely. Too many local politicians are under the thumb of the teacher unions, and serve them, not their constituents.

In the end however these budgets must be cut, if not entirely zeroed out. As long as the money keeps flowing to these corrupt institutions, they will have power and will use it for bad ends.

Let me add one more point: Considering the horrible state of the public schools, their mistreatment of children in connection with COVID, their failure to teach anything well in the past few decades, their new endorsement of racial bigotry and hatred, and their increasing partnership with radical sexual perversity, I must ask: Why on Earth are 78% of parents still sending their kids there?


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  • V-Man

    Free babysitting so they can go to work. Any education picked up along the way is a bonus.

  • Cotour

    The thing that must accompany this is the decoupling of peoples taxes with the funding of schools.

    These adjustments must include portability of that money to the school that the parents and the child choose to go.

    And the teachers unions will fight to the death to block that.

    And so they must be brought, dragged to a new reality.

  • John

    Link’s busted, at least on my system: http://good%20news%21%20enrollment%20in%20public%20schools%20plunges/

    I wanted to read the link to see if enrollment dropped simply because the schools weren’t open.

    People will still send their kids to public schools because it’s ‘free’. Other people will happily make those kids think properly, and pat themselves on the back for the righteous indoctrination.

  • John: Thank you. Link is now fixed.

  • Alton

    As the Progressives always say when a new gun control bill is passed…

    Good First STEP. !!!

  • wayne

    oh yeah— absolutely decouple taxes with the funding of schools.

    “Compulsory Education in the United States, A History”
    Part 3
    Murray Rothbard

    “Schooling in the United States began by copying the English model of voluntary private schools. But gradually through the 19th century, public schools were established and eventually attendance at them was made compulsory. They have served, and continue to serve, as a useful tool for state indoctrination into socialism, progressivism and egalitarianism.”

  • A. Nonymous

    The increase in home-schooling is welcome, indeed.

    One concern regarding the numbers–the decrease appears to be raw, gross attendance, year over year. It doesn’t seem to account for the slow demographic collapse that has been proceeding for the last few decades. Would this drop change significantly if balanced against the changes in the number of 4- and 5-year-olds in the US, or would it stay largely the same?

  • Phill O

    I am a firm believer in education, particularly in the sciences, but also in the humanities!

    If I were to construct a system today, it would involve parents banding together and educate their combined kids outside the government controlled systems.

    The parents in our new house church in Dogpound Alberta have done exactly that. There are about 3 students per teacher. I could help out in Chemistry, Physics and Math, but I could only teach to introductory the undergrad level.

    Absolutely stop the flow of money to the corrupted system!

  • Lee Stevenson

    Excuse me if my question here seems retarded, but in the UK the term “public school” refers to a non governmentaly sponsored school, with the exception of grants. Otherwise the students or parents pay for the education received. I am guessing that the opposite is true here?

  • Lee Stevenson

    Actually, you may be interested to know how it works over here in Sweden… ( Please don’t immediately jump down my throat, this is just a FYI!)
    All schools here are privately run, with the government buying the education for the kids, paid for with our tax dollars. No one grumbles because it is one of the most important things said dollars can go towards.

    The schools are closely monitored regarding results, environment, quality of food, etc. With those falling short, firstly being offered help and advice, and if failing to improve, funding being withdrawn, and the students being re-schooled.

    They are run on a “for profit” basis, but held to high account for the public service they provide. There is no “lowest tender wins”.

    This also leads to an interesting mix of schooling philosophy, my kids were enrolled in the “International English school”, it has a higher standard of discipline than most Swedish schools, with a focus on the English language, especially when regarding the sciences. The school motto is “Where teachers can teach, and students can learn”. I could not be happier with my kids education’s.

    My Lad has just finished year 9, and after working the entire summer at my place of work, ( like a good, not so little capitalist!) He is enrolled in a technical college which has a focus on computer technology. Also paid for by our social system.

    He has plans on either joining the airforce or becoming a programmer. I stand behind him on both choices, no one can argue with programming being a good choice, and to be honest, being a Swedish military pilot, he has very little chance of being shot down! Lol!

    I am very happy with the education system here, there is no crazy PC, no gender neutral bathroom, just a good evidence based educational system, transparent, and which delivers a world class bang for my buck.

    ( On a tangential note, long time readers may recall my arguing in defence of my son getting state supported daycare. Now he is starting college… Where the heck did those years go??)

  • Cotour

    Lee, in America the public school system as a rule has essentially been perverted and taken over by the teachers unions. And the concern for the children and what they learn is pushed way down the ladder and trumped by teachers benefits, retirement packages and political power.

    This system must be destroyed and recast where the tax money that is compulsory has been highjacked by these union operatives and now revealed to be racists and “Elite”, “Highly Educated and so superior” Socialists. They see themselves as being smarter than parents and so parents in their opinion need not concern themselves with what they are being taught (Read indoctrinated with). And that indoctrination is concerned with the perpetuation of that teachers union Socialist model.

    And its not the teachers as I can detect, they are genuinely concerned and dedicated people for the most part. Its the money and the resulting control and power by the unions that have in real terms become a danger and a threat to America.

    So if your schools operate as you say and your children are being properly and objectively instructed, I give you and Sweden two gold stars.

    Randi Weingarten on CRT:

    Gird your loins Randi.

  • wayne

    yeah– in the US, private = private, and public = taxpayers.
    -Vast majority of education at the K-12 level in the US is funded with local property-taxes. Depending on what State you are in there are various State funded schemes to balance out the disparity between school districts, and finally the Federal government kicks in about 10% of the total.
    Historically, we did not have compulsory k-12 education in the US, that’s a progressive thing from literally 120 years ago. Historically “basic” education has always been controlled by local authorities and non governmental institutions.
    How much does a ‘teacher’ earn? [generic elementary school variety] and are they members of unions?

  • Jay

    To add to Wayne’s accurate description of U.S. public schools – federal funding. It is a choice for school districts to accept funding from the Department of Education (DoEd), but that choice has consequences if accepted. It is 10% of the district’s budget but you have to accept 100% of what DoEd says. They have a curriculum and you must follow it if funding is accepted.

  • Lee Stevenson: Yes, the word’s meaning is backwards in the UK. In the U.S. “public school” correctly means tax-funded.

  • pzatchok

    Here in Ohio there was a long argument over if the state, local and federal funding was connected to the student or the school.

    Well it was found that the schools only received funding because of their student population. The students in their school.

    When the student goes to a private school the funding follows the student.

    That way a parent is not just paying property taxes to the public schools and at the same time coming up with cash for the private school they want to send their child to. We argued that forcing parents to do this was tantamount to keeping poor people in public schools and rich people would be the only ones able to send their children to private schools of their own choosing.

    Those nice Democratic unions wanted the students to be forced to stay in union public schools. The unions spent millions fighting the school choice movement.

    At the same time the state legislature allowed the students to move to the public school of their choice.
    This was to allow students to move from a failing school district to a better school system.

    Hundreds of thousands moved. So many moved out of our local failing school district that half the public schools there closed. The school system was so bad that they canceled half of the sporting activities. They have been under the direct control and management of the state for the last 5 years and still can not improve enough to take control back.

  • pzatchok

    At least here in Ohio public schools mean those schools managed directly by the local municipality. Or the state it the municipality fails.

    All schools have to teach to the same level and all students have to pass the same tests.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Cotour, I imagine that anywhere in the world, teachers are in the game to teach. Thinking back to what a horrible little tyke I was, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to teach me just for fun!

    @wayne, the average highschool teacher earns about $46,000 a year…. Not a fortune by any means, but a decent living wage. Almost every working man or women here are members of a union. ( This is where the disagreement begins… I can feel it in my water! Lol!)

    Unions are concidered one of the checks and balances we have here to hold both govenment and business to account. Under a socialist system such as we have, transparency and checks and balances from both the govenment and the worker are essential to keep corruption to a minimum, and to defend the rights of the citizen.

    I didn’t really want to go down this road, as I know most readers here believe I live under the devil’s own government, but unions are one of the strongest tools we, the citizens, have to hold govenment to account. Given the high tax/high social care system we vote for, and enjoy, such tools are important to prevent the government abusing their position, ( more to the point, to prevent the government even trying to abuse their position.) I am aware that most here would rather gouge their eyes out, than live under my govenment, but I am sure you must agree that having tools to stop governmental overreach is a good thing.

    @Jay, quote “They have a curriculum and you must follow it if funding is accepted.”, This doesn’t strike me as a bad thing, as long as the curriculum is one that ends up with a good education.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @pzatchok, that is genuinely sad to hear…. We also have a “money follows the student” model, the schools get X amount of money per student.
    It’s both strange and sad that your local schools cannot pull up their standards… Is there any obvious reason for this?

  • mkent

    It’s both strange and sad that your local schools cannot pull up their standards… Is there any obvious reason for this?

    The teachers unions.

  • @Lee, I was a big fan of unions when I was younger (both naivete and unions were different). For things such as breathable air in mines, unlocked fire doors, reasonable pay for job risk, etc… I think unions are a great thing. The problem, now, is that the federal government has taken over most of those issues (e.g. OHSA – Occupational Health and Safety Administration) so unions for worker safety have become redundant.

    The main purpose of US unions these days is two-fold: Make workers as hard to fire as possible, regardless of what they’ve done (this usually looks good on paper, so most members support it), and lobby the government (this looks less good on paper and many members would prefer to opt out, but cannot). Regardless of the subject of the lobbying, it has created a regulatory capture environment in which the government and unions work together to enhance one another, rather than be a check-and-balance on each other.

  • Jay

    Having someone only contribute up to 10% but dictate for the 100% is not equal in my opinion. Would you buy a car with a friend, you contribute 90% and the friend only puts in 10% but demands use of the car for 4 of the 7 days of the week? Just some background information for you about our public education system. Most school districts have a board of members and the head of the board is the superintendent. Depending on the district’s rules, board members are either elected, appointed, or hired. The board is answerable to the public in that district and some boards can be overridden, or fired, or dissolved by the public (parents).
    The board can set the curriculum and takes care of the district’s budget. When you accept federal funds, you accept their standards, and it limits what the district can do. For example let’s say you take the federal funding and that district must teach mathematics using a system called Math-ABC (made up name). The district knows the Math-ABC system does not work due to low test scores in neighboring districts, but they know that the Math-XYZ system is better and the students have higher scores/retention. You are mandated to teach Math-ABC per the funding agreement.
    Depending on the agreement with DoEd, that funding can be up to two years, you are locked in. I believe the federal DoEd is redundant since each state has a DoEd and should be dissolved, or have it reduced so it just gives the funding to each state’s DoEd. I know you have only been to couple of states here, but each state is different in regards to educational needs, just like each school district is different. One federal solution does not cover all.

  • Edward

    Robert Zimmerman wrote: “In the U.S. “public school” correctly means tax-funded.

    I think that it is backward in the U.S. Tax-funded schools are government schools, run by government. I believe that when We the People start our own schools they should be the ones called “public schools,” because we the public run them, and we the public choose whether or not to attend them.

  • wayne

    Glad you brought that up– while the Feds actually pay very little for K-12 education, that 10% allows them to control 100% of what goes on.

    I’d make a huge distinction between Public Sector Unions and ‘private’ sector unions. IIRC–We didn’t get public sector unions until JFK, even FDR thought it was a bad idea to have public sector workers bargain against taxpayers.

  • wayne

    The Debate over Public-Sector Unions
    2011 Free Market Forum: “Markets, Government, and the Common Good”
    Hillsdale College

  • Enjoying the discussion. The local districts have embraced Non-Compete Theory, so I’m looking forward to the next school bond vote. Do people want their money forcibly taken to have government employees tell their kids that they, and their parents, are less-than-human (racist) because of their skin color?

    An alma mater has begun fund-raising again, and I let them know that I would be happy to contribute, as soon as they end University support for race-based programs. Going to bet I’m not the only one.

  • pzatchok

    Our school boards are elected officials.

    Guess who gets the union support?
    Teachers who run for the school board.
    Their argument against anyone else is that how could you possibly know what or how to teach a student unless you have been a teacher for a few years?

    Teachers get elected and then vote for their own curriculum and of all things their own union contracts and pay.

    I have seen parents get elected and their children are then targeted for harassment by the teachers if the parents do not agree with the teachers unions.
    That is mostly over now that the parents have school choice.

    Bad teachers get hired into government run schools and the good teachers get hired into the private schools.

    Guess who has been arguing the hardest to keep the schools closed because of Covid? Union teachers.
    Guess who gets paid even if the schools are closed? Union teachers in government run schools.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Hmmmm….. It does seem messed up, even to me, ( and given some contemplation), that the agency donating 10% of the money gets 100% control of deciding the curriculum. I guess I am used to central funding and centrally decided minimums for basically what you guys would call STEM. I also understand that in a country vastly bigger than Sweden, a centralised system is just not practical.

    Regarding the union’s here, they do definitely stand in the workers corner, if someone is to be fired, a union representative must be present ( given that the employee is a member of the Union), to ensure that the firing is warranted, to argue for some form of compensation unless the firing is due to “gross misconduct”, and ensure it is not done on sexist or racist grounds etc… debated results get passed to an impartial ombudsman. ( A Swedish word!)

    My “blue collar” union (warehouse, retail, machine workers) negotiates with a combination of government employers representatives and employer union representatives for basic yearly pay rises. ( You are also free to negotiate your own, over and above, directly with your employer), This situation is as twisted and complicated as it sounds. The results are supposed to be decided by the 1st April, and if not, paid retroactively. Last year the results were pretty good… A minimum of 8% over 2020 thru to 2023, with no further discussion until then, and with a minimum of 4% directly but only back dated to July. They came to this result in September!
    I forgot to add, the union fees are about $25 a month for basic membership.

    The other main reason for joing a union is they run cooperative unemployment insurance. For roughly 60 bucks a month, they will top up unemployment payments to 80% of your wage for a year. I guess you could call this privatised socialism. The government alone will make sure you don’t lose your home, or starve, but will leave you very little over. Union insurance will top up that benefit to make sure you have the funds to, for example, actually move to find work.

    I know that in the US many communities have local ways and means to provide help and support, but with the exception of the more isolated communities, that support does not exist here.. Most of you will argue that, this situation is because of our “nanny state”, and while there may be a certain amount of truth in this, (although correlation is not causation), the Swedish mentality is very different to most European countries.. I put it down to a combination of the mad extremes of weather, and a latent guilt of selling iron to the Nazis, in the name of neutrality.

    I am enjoying this thread more than most I generally have here on anything on a slightly political bent! I am learning, and I hope I am explaining a little, mostly factual, regarding how I live, and the system I live in! Thank you!

    My next question is what do unions in the US do for the average working man ( which I consider myself..) , how much does it cost, and is it worth it?

  • Lee Stevenson

    I forgot to mention that the union will also get involved with health and safety issues, working conditions, etc, but these type of conflicts generally have govenment legislation in place already, so only in exceptional circumstances would they need to get involved.

  • pzatchok

    Labor unions here are pretty much the same as there.

    Union dues vary according to each union.
    Union benefits vary also.

    My son is a union industrial roofer.
    His union provides discounted healthcare and a 401k retirement.
    They also provide health and safety training every year and continuing training on new materials and techniques for his job.
    They have negotiated with the state unemployment service for seasonal unemployment payments when needed. and the union handles all the paperwork.
    They also negotiated for his 40 dollar an hour pay rate.

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