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About Stephen Smith

  • Member Since: February 26, 2019

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Stephen Smith is a graduate of UCLA and has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area his entire life. In 2010 and 2012 he was the Republican Party endorsed candidate running against longtime incumbent Xavier Becerra, for the House of Representatives in the United States Congress. He admits to having a bias in favor of our Nation's founding principles. Stephen can be contacted at smith4liberty@outlook.com

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The Times, They are a-Changin’

| Opinion | March 21, 2019

Recently, I met for breakfast with a Home School Mom (HSM) who is also a school choice activist. As I suspected, being a responsible HSM requires energy, dedication, perseverance, wisdom and a willingness to innovate. In her case, she is also an agent for change in how we approach and fund education. She was accustomed to hard work and long hours. HSM came from a poor family and did not find her academic voice until she spent two years in community college. She eventually became a medical doctor, serving at County General Hospital. Like most students, she had amassed massive college debt and put in 70-80 hours a week to pay back her tuition.

The trigger for HSM to become an educator/administrator for her children was the advent of the controversial Common Core program being advocated by our school systems. This led to her studying Common Core, current educational practices and the curriculums being taught to our children. After doing approximately 100 hours of research, she concluded that the school system was just not working and that our children were being dumbed-down. After looking at high school textbooks and helping some of our two-year college students, that certainly was no surprise to me. She further came to believe that our school systems were a scam. She was convinced it was more about hustling money for schools to pay off pensions than about giving the students the tools they needed to be successful in life. She learned that California was two years behind the rest of the country in education. It was then that she decided to take her children out of school and take on the challenge of supervising her children’s education.

HSM told me that the masses are waking up, and we do not need the educational system as we have known it. She told me about Sage Oak, Inspire and Sky Mountain charter school systems that have programs to help home schoolers and provide accredited classes for children whose parents are taking responsibility for their education. It turns out there are many resources available for home schoolers.

In addition to accredited schools that can provide specific classes, the internet has many educational sites with free or inexpensive advanced classes. She cited many other examples of resources now available to parents who choose to have their children home schooled. Many two-year colleges offer free classes and books to High Schoolers who can do college level work. The possibilities are truly exciting. She talked of the advantages of designing a program that was consistent with the strengths and talents of the student. It is a far cry from the one-size (perhaps really three or so) fits-all method offered by the public-school systems. It also avoids the indoctrination designed to change social norms that have infiltrated California State approved textbooks. That subject alone easily fills a book.

Public-school students are being provided with age inappropriate state approved materials. The schools have fear mongered about climate change, leaving children in terror that they will be dead in 12 years. So much for schools having safe spaces. They are graduating without basic math, reading and writing skills to do college work. They are not taught the critical thinking necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments fed to them.

HSM co-founded Highland Latin Academy, where parents of home schoolers taught classes in their own area of expertise, including hard science, economics, mathematics and biology. She taught finance and anatomy. She has recently come under attack by her local school system, which is why I have respected her anonymity. They claim that her group was not providing an adequate education, so she had her 14-year-old daughter equivalency tested. It turns out that she was already doing college level work. Three years ahead of the public schools!

HSM is convinced that our school systems are failing our students. She believes that the greatest source for progress and innovation is competition and the free market. That is why she has signed on to be the Home School Liaison for SchoolChoice2020.org. SchoolChoice2020.org is proposing a change in California law. Currently, all educational funding is going to local schools based on zip code. Under SchoolChoice2020, educational accounts would be created for individual students and would follow them to whichever accredited schools their parents choose to enroll them in. This means that low income families can send their children to the best schools available, public, charter, private or religious. As of this writing, the projected amount would be about $16,000 a year. Unspent funds would accumulate and any left over could be used for trade schools or college.

If you wish to contact HSM, learn more or help SchoolChoice2020.org. Use the contact information on their web site. Ask them about sponsoring an event in your home and providing a speaker.

‘Stultus Est Sicut Stultus Facit’

| Opinion | March 14, 2019

The Head in the Sand Party has just announced its latest nomination for the obscure “Stultus Est Sicut Stultus Facit” (Stupid is as Stupid Does) Award. It’s rumored to have been suggested by the slogan’s creator, philosopher Forrest Gump, and endorsed by the Flat Earth Society. The winner is Superstition University, and its school of critical thinking and logic analysis, for the remarkable teaching and counsel it has given to the Congressional Committee’s questioning of Trump’s ex-fixer and attorney, Michael Cohen. An additional letter of commendation has been submitted for subpoenas issued by Rep. Nadler – which do not include reliable witnesses who were involved in, or created the dossier, that led to the investigation of President Trump. Where are the people who submitted the FISA warrant?

The investigating Demo(c)rats, who historically prided themselves on practicing and employing scientific methodology in their advocacies, have fallen victim to operant conditioning as described by behaviorist B.F. Skinner. His study of rats using his famous Skinner box may provide some illumination. An example of his experiments would be (while in the box) every time the rat turned to the left, it would be given a food pellet. In no time at all, the rat would be turning in circles to the left. When the rewards were withheld the turning behavior would shortly extinguish. Germane to this case is when the pellets were being given to the rats randomly. If by chance the rat was turning left when given the pellet, the subject might begin to turn in circles to the left. More commonly, the rats would begin to engage in bizarre repetitive behaviors in hopes of obtaining more of the coveted pellets.

This type of operant conditioning is known as random reinforcement. The rat would keep turning, as long as it occasionally gets the reward. The relevant factor is that when the rewards stopped altogether, they would continue the behavior, seemingly indefinitely, rather than stopping it quickly as in the example of always getting a reward for the desired behavior. Skinner suggested that this is how superstitions are established and seemingly never go away. Common examples are superstitions about walking under a ladder or seeing a black cat. Athletes are famous for their superstitious behavior, like not shaving during a winning streak, or not washing and changing their socks. Oh yes, and the Demo(c)rats’ obsession with investigating President Donald Trump which has gone on for more than two years with no credible evidence on Trump-Russian collusion presented to date.

The problem for the Democrats, and evidently several top officials in the FBI, was finding themselves in an extreme state of cognitive dissonance. There was no doubt in their minds that Hillary Clinton was going to win the Presidency, and that a boorish Washington and political outsider named Donald Trump did not have a chance of rising to the highest office in the land. After the electoral votes were counted, Donald Trump was declared our next president, while a devastated Hillary Clinton and her supporters were searching for who or what should be blamed. They became the Charlie Browns of politics. Remember his often-used line “How can we lose when we’re so sincere?”

Then the solution to this mental conflict came to them like a gift from the Gods. Donald Trump had to be in collusion with the Russians. It’s the only explanation. Members of the FBI began an investigation. The unsupported Clinton opposition research dossier was presented to the FISA courts to allow spying on American citizens associated with Trump. The slightest allegation presented without evidence became proof. Allegations alone reinforced the superstition that has dominated the thinking of Democrats. They engaged in the presumption of guilt by suspicion, supported by random unsupported hints of collusion. The superstition of Trump colluding with the Russians received one random reinforcement after another. Superstition has morphed into an act of faith. That faith has resulted in the rejection of any exculpatory witnesses or evidence. Questioning of Michael Cohen was restricted. They put faith in a witness who is a serial liar and unable to keep his stories straight. They pressured him to violate attorney-client privilege. Now they are moving to the politics of personal destruction by going after anyone associated with the President. The only winners will be the legions of attorneys. Cah-ching!

True scientific method and legal investigations, to have credibility, must approach things quite differently. They do not begin with a conclusion. They begin with an extensive look at the evidence. All the evidence. Some may support the hypothesis, others may not. In a legal case, the prosecution is required to give any exculpatory evidence they find to the defense. Turns out that the Demo(c)crats pre-interviewed Cohen for over 12 hours without allowing Republican participation. After looking at the data (evidence) you may then come up with the hypothesis. E.g. I think Michael Cohen is a liar. Then you test for it. E.g. Mr. Cohen testified under oath before Congress that he was not interested in having a position with the Trump administration.

You then find an interview where he stated that he was looking forward to having a position in the administration. Therefore, you can state that Michael Cohen is a liar. Typically, you then submit your hypothesis to peer review for confirmation. After testing for other examples that Michael Cohen is a liar and the hypothesis is confirmed, only then can you safely say that Mr. Cohen is a liar.

So, I am going to give it a try.

After hearing years of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press conferences, I suspect that Rep. Nancy Pelosi often lies. She recently stated that the freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar is not anti-Semitic. I have found many examples of Rep. Omar making statements that most Americans would consider anti-Semitic. Therefore, I conclude that Speaker Pelosi lies during her press conferences. I understand that other politicians may also lie. Saying that others do or do not does not add to or take away from my hypothesis. That said, I submit my hypothesis that Speaker Pelosi lies during her press conferences, out for peer review. Please send your responses to the “Head in the Sand Party” and remember “Stultus Est Sicut Stultus Facit.”

Have a nice day!

Which Inner Voice Are You Listening To?

| Opinion | March 7, 2019

Robert Kennedy once said, “There is a Chinese curse which says, ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty.”

Although there is no evidence in Chinese literature of this frequently quoted curse, the intent of the message has never been more relevant. The never-ending attempts to discredit the president, the critical meetings with the presidents of North Korea and China, new calls to overturn the principles behind our Constitution and replace it with the tyranny of socialism, the fear-mongering over climate change, fundamental conflicts with nations that aspire to dominate individuals through the application of Marxism, economic collapses of totalitarian and socialist countries and all types of human suffering including the lack of medical care and starvation have proven to be an effective distraction from the greatest evil that our leftist-progressives friends are attempting to force on the American people.

Much of the wisdom found in our Judeo-Christian heritage is not dogma. Instead, it is the result of centuries of observation of what our founders would refer to as natural law put in place by our Creator. The famous 10 Commandments (now removed from the public square by misguided courts) is a call for us to be focused on goodness. Who can argue with the definitive statement of “Do Not Murder”? It is the ultimate direction on how to best live in a civil society.

In Isaiah 24:5, the Torah states, “The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant.” If that observation of Natural Law is correct, the net result of ignoring the Commandment of “Do Not Murder” would result in harm to the very land that we live in. Another way of looking at it might be that it is not just the victims of murder who suffer, all people living in the land that tolerate murder will suffer as well. That is what I call a moral imperative. As an aside, I ask you take note that it is not about what tools were used or how the murder was committed. It is the act of murder itself.

The idea of having a “right to life” is far more than a slogan used by people advocating against abortion. It is embedded in the very core of our nation’s DNA. From the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Think about it for a moment. The purpose of the government of the United States of America is to protect our Creator-given right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. From the very beginning, our country was focused on goodness.

There is a dark and evil idea among leftists that puts itself in opposition to human existence. In the last two weeks I have seen it evidenced in social media by a woman in political leadership, by nearly half of the U.S. Senate and in an Academy Award nominated popular motion picture. It frightens me, and I hope for all Americans sake that Isaiah 24:5 is wrong.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a recent social media posting said that “And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, ‘Is it okay to still have children?’” Clearly this suggests that we need to reduce the numbers of human beings and a clear justification for abortion. In China when the state limited the number of children to one per couple, culturally having a strong bias towards having boy babies, parents often choose to drown female babies after birth. It has been a common message by extreme environmentalists that we need major reductions in the human population. By any means? The other problem with this ill-conceived idea is being faced by China now. There are not enough new people coming into the work force to help provide and care for the elderly. Talk about throwing Grandma of the cliff. Expect an advocacy for age-based Euthanasia as a bi-product to preserve Medicare for all. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, you will not be young forever.

Democrats recently blocked a vote in the U.S. Senate that would require Doctors to treat botched abortions born alive, rather than their terminating the life of the newborn. There is a word for it. It is called infanticide, the murder of infants. Do you really wish that the same people who voted to allow infanticide will be allocating your healthcare when you are elderly, should they have their way with Medicare for All? Appalling! Of course, the Democrat vote was highly applauded by Planned Parenthood whose founder was Margaret Sanger. Ms. Sanger admired the Eugenics efforts of Adolph Hitler. When I checked out the quotation sites for Margaret Sanger, they all had hearts and flowers types of statements and not one that reflected the evil which resided in that woman.

I just watched Marvels Infinity Wars. The plot revolves around a powerful being seeking a crystal that would give him the power to eliminate half of all humanoid life in the Galaxy. His justification is that the people would be happier with full bellies if half of them were killed, putting less stress on the environment. He further justified his desire by stating that people would be eliminated equally, rich and poor alike. Marvels Super Heroes united to fight him. The holder of the stone on earth was Dr. Strange. The battle was fierce, and many lives were lost in the battle. In the end, as his fellow Super Heroes looked incredulously at him, Dr. Strange gave the powerful being the crystal and said, “It is for the best.” Soon afterwards, 50 percent of all people in the Galaxy turned to dust. The end. The movie endorsed the idea of randomly murdering half of all people for the sake of the environment. This plot twist was not designed for the sake of scaring the audience. It was presented in a very matter-of-fact manner. Remember, “It’s for the best.” I have yet to hear a statement of disgust.

How is it possible that our society has become so obsessed with endorsing something so profoundly evil? How is it that the murder of human beings is being viewed as a virtue? How did we come to have this level of depravity? Please read “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. Then ask yourself, which inner voice you are listening to? The one that wants us to be good, or Screwtape’s?

The ‘Head in the Sand Party’

| Opinion | February 28, 2019

Definitions from Merriam-Webster

Head-in-the-sand:
Unwilling to recognize or acknowledge a problem or situation (the government’s usual head-in-the-sand response)

Crisis:
An unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending especially one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome

Juncture:
A point of time, especially one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances

Once again, I apologize for using definitions, but it appears to me that our elected officials do not know the meaning of “crisis” or “juncture.” It appears to this outsider that they all have their “heads in the sand.”

The official Democrat talking points are that our failures to provide security, enforce existing immigration laws, stop human trafficking, and to prevent masses of immigrants without health screenings/documentation or violent gangs and deadly drugs from illegally entering our country are all crises made up by President Trump. They refuse to acknowledge families who have lost loved ones from the actions of illegal immigrant felons, or victims of MS-13 and opiate addiction. They scoff at the idea that we have arrived at a critical juncture. The Republicans purport to agree with the president’s description of the crisis, but judging by their actions, both Democrats and Republicans are blind to it. Either they do not care, or they seek advantage in the continuation of the tragedies that our inactions allow.

It appears to me that in Congress, we really have only one party affiliation, and we all voted for them. Call it, the “Head in the Sand Party.” The elected in California and New York are among the charter members.

The great intellectual and philosopher Forest Gump said it best when he first proclaimed their new motto: “Stultus Est Sicut Stultus Facit” (Stupid is as Stupid Does).

The Republicans and Democrats, in a rare case of bi-partisanship, universally voted for the motto while believing “Stupid is as Stupid Does” was only referring to the other party. Senator Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Senator Cory Booker are all vying for party leadership. The ex-Republicans all smugly declared they would support whoever got the most votes. AOC has already declared herself spokesperson.
I find the Democrats’ arguments against expanding border barriers incomprehensible. For example, they agree that the opiate problem is real and they do not deny that the drug supply is coming from our southern border. They assert that 80-90 percent of drugs being smuggled into the country are interdicted at ports of entry. Those drugs, captured on non-barricaded borders, represent a very small amount. How can they possibly know the amount that they did not catch? They assert that there is a real need to provide more drug detection technology at our ports of entry, and there is no need for barriers elsewhere.

Huh? Let me understand. You acknowledged that drugs are coming in from our southern borders is a problem, and we intercept tons of the vile stuff where we have big beautiful walls. Further, where we do not have walls or adequate patrols, we fail to intercept drugs and that is proof that walls do not work!

As Forest Gump might say, “I may not be a smart man, but I know what ‘bull pucky’ is. Have a nice day!”

Both parties, by passing the recent bill, failed to provide the infrastructure to deal with tens of thousands of people seeking to cross our borders. We will still be lacking the housing required to hold them, in addition to the personnel to process them. Our current policies are certainly not up to the magnitude of our current situation. People with evil intent will continue to cross at will at non-port of entry locations. People looking for work or a handout will continue to declare they are seeking asylum. We will continue to fail to address the humanitarian crisis. Democrats will continue to accuse those seeking to reject MS-13 gang members, drug cartels and human traffickers from entry into United States as, “hating all Hispanics.” Seems to me they are the ones being racked with prejudice.

Our elected men and women may be smart, but unlike Forest Gump, they do not know what love is. They have proven that they neither love the American people or the honest desperate people seeking entry into the land of opportunity. Their actions make one wonder if they instead love the criminals. The bill provides numerous incentives for immigration and illegal border crossings to expand. It is as if they are posting signs with the “Land of Opportunity” crossed out, and “Drug Cartels and those who wish to be taken care of, Welcome!” written below. Their heads are buried so deep in the sand that they have become disconnected from truth. “Stupid is as Stupid Does.”

Where is the female priestess from Pandora for Eywa, who will seek to educate the stupid and say “Then we will see if your insanity can be cured”?

It may just take a person who is not really loved by either party. Former President Jimmy Carter once spoke of his favorite President. He described him as a man who always got straight to the point and often with very blunt (crude) language. He frequently went against the common political wisdom. It turned out that usually, he was right. Prior to running for office, he only had experience in business and sometimes failed. He was a foe of Socialism and tyranny. When Congress failed to do its job, he always reminded himself “The Buck Stops Here.” He was, of course, President Harry Truman.

Perhaps I need to stop thinking of President Trump as channeling King David (see a previous article) and suggest that those who support liberty, capitalism, true equality and national sovereignty, begin chanting “Give them Hell, Donald!”

The consequences of his policies do not demonstrate hate, they demonstrate compassion. They attack the evils of socialism. Dear elected representatives, please put in expanded border controls, effective barriers and new immigration policies (check out mine from a previous article) into place, “Then we will see if your insanity can be cured.”

Breaking News! The Head in the Sand Party has just announced it’s presenting its first lifetime achievement “Stultus Est Sicut Stultus Facit” award to Boston College for giving a degree in economics and international relations to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The award will be presented by Boston College Alumni BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD at their weekly “Dumb and Dumber” film festival. Rep. AOC was heard saying, “I am sick and tired of the media talking about how stupid I am, when we should be talking about how stupid my policies are.” Have a Nice Day!