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Oceanview: Opinions of a Homeschool Father

by Michael Leppert

As I gaze out my window at the wide Pacific, daydreaming...

I am dissatisfied with the misuse of the word "peer" to be synonomous with one who is equal to another in age. The word "peer" originally meant equal in rank —lumping age into that definition came much later and is purely the result of institutional schools. When do adults ever find themselves grouped together on the basis of age? In the U.S. Constitution if we are accused of committing a crime, we are guaranteed a trial by a jury of our peers. Does anyone confuse that to mean a jury of people who are the same age as the defendant? I donít think so. Why is this error of thought and terminology made with children? Your childís peers are not those of his age —s/he may be much more or less emotionally mature than another person of like age, may be more/less intellectually or physically developed, etc. I consider the practice of misusing the word "peer" in such a way to be the direct result of school thinking, inaccurate and unhelpful in all ways.

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Susan Callan reports in Yes! A journal of positive futures that according to a report by The Christian Science Monitor, people in France are turning off their T.V.s in record numbers —over 1 million in the first four months of 1997, and arenít turning them back on! The reasons reported range from rejecting the imposition of a single world view to wanting to reclaim time for family, etc. I say Joie!

* * *

For many years, it has disturbed me that "science" occupies a place of respect as an objective field of endeavor that is completely out of line with its true practice —science may have been objective at one time, meaning that its reason to exist was the seeking of the TRUTH of this or that. Over the years, I have observed that science is not objective by any stretch, but rather, very subjective, usually with an underlying agenda. In pondering this state of affairs, I recently realized that the field of Science has done a switcheroo with the Catholic Church of medieval Europe when the church leaders jailed Copernicus, for instance, for his heliocentric theory, saying that it violated the view of the solar system set forth in the Bible. To our 20th Century minds, this was a gross over-stepping of what should have been the Churchís realm. Today, in the issues of vaccination, for instance, the "scientific" community lobbies and legislates things in the name of science that are not science, they are lab hoodoo, done around an alcohol lamp by people dressed in long white coats, chanting an "impressive" array of Latin terms every so often for effect, and collecting lots of money in study grants to do more hoodoo.

The majority of people wearing lab coats do not practice actual science by the definition most of us understand, but a quasi-religion that finds what it looks for and doesnít look for anything it canít find. If you have noticed and been disturbed by this sort of thing, let me offer this:

Gary Zukav, in his 1979 laymanís view of quantum physics, The Dancing Wu Li Masters*, provides the following definition on page 9: "When most people say Ďscientistí they mean Ďtechnician.í A technician is a highly trained person whose job is to apply known techniques and principles. He deals with the known. A scientist is a person who seeks to know the true nature of physical reality. He deals with the unknown. In short, scientists discover and technicians apply." Now we can all rest a lost more easily when we hear a white coat talking about Darwinís theory of evolution as if it were a proven, scientific fact: We are listening to technicians, not scientists. One reason this matters to me is that science has loomed larger as a curriculum aspect than it merits, in my opinion, and "scientists" have intruded into the lives of Americans in the aforementioned vaccination issue and many others. This is primarily because scientists ("technicians") and their PR people have made themselves the "priestly" class in 20th Century life.

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And now,in order to clarify a few misconceptions, I would like to shed some light upon Non-Profit Organizations also called NPOs, also called 501(c)(3)s. This number designates the Section of the U.S. Tax Code that governs such corporations, which are exempt from Federal taxes. The exact language is: "Code Sec. 501 Exemptions from Tax on Corporations . . . [c] List of exempt organizations . . . [3] Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which enures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individuals, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection [h]), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office." [The emphasis is mine.] This paying of dividends to stockholders is called "profit" when discussing corporations. A 503(c)(3) cannot pay dividends to stockholders, therefore it is "non-profit." This does not mean that they donít have money available to them.]

The person who runs an NPO makes a salary —Michael Kennedy of Boston, for instance, who was killed in a skiing accident last year, ran a heating oil NPO, distributing heating oil to low-income families, and his salary was reported to be in the neighborhood of $200,000 to $300,000 annually. Pretty hefty for any administrator, Iíd say. The administrative staff under the director also makes a salary. Obviously, this does not jibe with the concept of "non-profit" John Q. Citizen has. Ask anyone on the street if an NPO is a charity and the likely answer will be "Yes." Ask if they make any money, the answer will be "No." Both answers are wrong, as you can see by the Code itself. There is nothing said about an NPO not being able to have money around to pay salaries. People who work for NPOs will often say in a poor, lamenting tone, "Weíre an NPO, you know. . ." the inference being that non-profit means no money; it does not and never has. This law, Section 501(c)(3) was enacted in the 1930s and has not changed since then.

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