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By Michael Grunwald

There used to be an organization for people who believed in a truly limited government — limited taxes, limited spending, limited interference in individual lives and limited intervention in foreign affairs. That organization was known as the Republican Party. But the only one of those beliefs that still motivates the G.O.P. establishment is limited taxes. In 2008, people who still hold all of them joined the Ron Paul Revolution.

But now the revolution is ebbing. Congressman Paul’s new campaign finance report shows that he’s raised nearly $35 million, including more than any other Republican candidate in the fourth quarter of 2007, and he’s inspired remarkable passion among the kind of diehards who hold up campaign signs on highway overpasses and post irate comments on obscure blogs. But the presidency isn’t decided on YouTube or Technorati. Paul didn’t win any Republican primaries, and he recently conceded that “victory in the conventional sense is not available.”

Of course, nothing in Paul’s world is ever done in the conventional sense, so he has refused to drop out of the race and endorse the presumptive G.O.P. nominee, Senator John McCain. Instead he argues that all Republicans should have “the right to vote for someone that stands for traditional Republican principles.” And he’s got a point.

The real significance of the Paul campaign is not the ubiquitous bumper stickers and lawn signs or the online fund-raising records ($6 million in one day, plus another $4 million, hilariously, on Guy Fawkes Day) but the mirror Paul held up to the modern Republican Party. When his fellow candidates denounced big government, Paul was there to remind them that President Bush and the G.O.P. Congress had shattered spending records and exploded the deficit. When they hailed freedom, Paul asked why they all supported the Patriot Act and other expansions of executive power. And when they called themselves conservatives, Paul asked what was so conservative about sending thousands of young Americans to try to transform the Middle East.

In some ways, Paul is a throwback to the frugal and isolationist wing of the old Republican Party, the fuddy-duddy GOP of Robert Taft and Calvin Coolidge. His fiscal policies evoke the idealistic Republican revolutionaries who seized control of Congress in 1994; he wants to abolish the IRS, the Departments of Homeland Security, Education and Energy, and most of the federal government. He refuses to vote for unbalanced budgets, and he has opposed spending taxpayer dollars on Congressional Medals of Honor, even for Rosa Parks or Pope John Paul II. Typically, his campaign has reported no debts, and still has more than $5 million in the bank. Meanwhile, Paul’s foreign policies evoke candidate George W. Bush’s call for a “humbler foreign policy” in 2000, although Paul goes much further; not only did he oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq, Kosovo and the war on drugs, he opposes U.S. involvement in the United Nations and NATO.

Under Bush’s leadership, of course, the Republican Party has been anything but frugal and anything but isolationist. The congressional Republican revolutionaries seemed to lose their zeal for shrinking the federal government once they controlled it, which is one reason voters expelled them from power in 2006. And these days, it’s usually Democrats who call for a humbler foreign policy. Paul’s leave-us-alone libertarianism hasn’t fit in with a party anxious to read our e-mail, improve our values, assert American power abroad and subsidize friendly industries at home. The party’s recent mix of “national greatness” neoconservatives, evangelical theoconservatives and K Street careerists has had many goals, but leaving people alone hasn’t been one of them. That’s why Paul was the one getting booed at G.O.P. debates. And that’s one reason why Paul’s fervent followers were banned from the activist Republican website RedState.

In fairness, though, another reason RedState’s directors got tired of the Paulistas was that so many of them seemed — what’s the polite word? — nuts. Paul’s supporters aren’t all black-helicopter paranoiacs, but the black-helicopter paranoiacs sure do support Ron Paul. The controversy over a few racist articles in his old newsletters was probably overblown; there’s no evidence that Paul himself was ever a racist. But he is an extremist — partly in the Barry Goldwater extremism-in-defense-of-liberty-is-no-vice sense of the word, but also in the wacky let’s-relitigate-the-currency-debates-of-the-1820s sense of the word. The late William F. Buckley wanted conservatives to stand athwart history yelling stop; Paul seems to want to slam history into reverse. The guy genuinely wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and start circulating gold again.

Still, even if you set aside Paul’s kookier ideas, there just doesn’t seem to be a road to the White House for any candidate who opposes the war in Iraq as well as higher taxes, the war on drugs as well as higher spending, restrictions on privacy as well as restrictions on guns. That’s a real “freedom agenda,” a true assault on big government, and while it clearly spoke to some angry dudes with high-speed web connections and time on their hands, it’s just as clearly not where America stands today. Paul didn’t have a lot of company on the House floor when he rose recently to complain about government overreach in the investigation of the disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned after revelations that he had been a customer of a high-end prostitution ring.

But even if Paul’s ideological purity is never going to get him to the White House, it does help illuminate the impurities — and sometimes the hypocrisies — of today’s Republicans, just as Ralph Nader can do for the Democrats. The G.O.P. candidates all claimed to defend taxpayers, but Paul was the only one who refused to accept a taxpayer-funded pension or taxpayer-funded junkets. The candidates all talked about shrinking big government, but Paul was the only one who included the Pentagon and NSA wiretaps and petroleum subsidies in his definition. Bush’s approval ratings have been abysmal for years, but Paul was the only Republican who really campaigned for change.

And in doing so Paul illustrated what was so striking about the Republican race. The leading candidates had all strayed from Bush and current orthodoxy in the past — Rudy Giuliani on abortion and gay rights, John McCain on tax cuts, torture, health care and campaign finance, Mitt Romney on just about everything. But while Paul was getting attacked every time he called for a new direction, the rest spent the primaries minimizing and renouncing their previous departures, implicitly promising four more years of Bushism. McCain is lucky he has some time to craft a new message, because that’s not where America stands today, either.


From the HSLDA E-lert Service…

Court of Appeal Grants Petition for Re-hearing

On March 25, the California Court of Appeal granted a motion for
rehearing in the ‘In re Rachel L.’ case–the controversial decision
which purported to ban all homeschooling in that state unless the
parents held a teaching license qualifying them to teach in public

The automatic effect of granting this motion is that the prior opinion
is vacated and is no longer binding on any one, including the parties
in the case.

The Court of Appeal has solicited a number of public school
establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs including the
California Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department
of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three
California teacher unions. The court also granted permission to
Sunland Christian School to file an amicus brief. The order also
indicates that it will consider amicus applications from other groups.

Home School Legal Defense Association will seek permission to file
such an amicus brief and will coordinate efforts with a number of
organizations interesting in filing briefs to support the right of
parents to homeschool their children in California.

“This is a great first step,” said Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA.
“We are very glad that this case will be reheard and that this opinion
has been vacated, but there is no guarantee as to what the ultimate
outcome will be. This case remains our top priority,” he added.


-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances…

Most homeschools don’t need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you’ll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it’s obvious that we don’t need someone “making-over” our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we’re fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA…



The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

Get busy and join the:

The dollar is crashing… gold is soaring…
Are you and your family prepared?

Thought I’d keep you posted on the case in California.
Note the part I highlighted from the court case; it makes me shudder a bit.

HSLDA: Update–Defending Homeschool Freedom in California

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The following is an update on the developing situation in California from Michael Farris, Chairman, Home School Legal Defense Association.

State Superintendent Supports Homeschooling

On Tuesday, March 11, Jack O’Connell, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced that he believed that homeschooling is still legal in California. O’Connell’s statement is welcome news. To read it visit . Some might conclude that the statement ends the controversy. However, it is not the end of the matter; it is just an important step along the way.

His clarifying statement was probably the result of the massive public outcry against the February 28 decision of the California Court of Appeal which effectively ruled that homeschooling is illegal in California unless conducted by a credentialed teacher and that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool.

O’Connell’s statement is helpful, but the courts will undoubtedly take the position that their determination of the meaning of state law is final even though they should give serious deference to the position of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

It should also be remembered that local school districts make the decision about when to initiate prosecutions for truancy, and they are not officially controlled by the state agency on these matters. However, many local officials may be influenced by O’Connell’s positive statement.

Did the February 28 Ruling Intend to Affect All Homeschooling Families?

Some have contended that the decision of the Court of Appeal in In Re Rachel L. only affects that particular family. While a court order can only direct one family to stop homeschooling, the case clearly sets a legal precedent that will be binding against all other families if this case is not reversed. (Technically, the decision is binding only in the Second District which consists of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. However, other appellate
districts will normally treat it as persuasive precedent. If ratified by the Supreme Court of California, it formally binds all California counties.)

There are two basic issues in the case:

1. Does state law allow parents to homeschool without a state teaching credential?

2. If not, is this law unconstitutional?

Below are three short quotations from the case which give the clear answer:

“It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught.”

“California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home.”

“We agree with the Shinn court’s statement that ‘the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.”

In the first quote the court makes it clear that it believes that parents may not operate their own private schools. In the second they deny that a parent has a constitutional right to homeschool, and in the third they concur that California law does not accommodate parents pursuing their own education program for their children.

As you can see, the decision is categorical and was not written to be limited to just the facts of this case.

Due to the scope of the court decision, HSLDA is pleased to be working with other self-identified pro-homeschooling organizations, including Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), Homeschool Association of California (HSC), California Homeschool Network (CHN), and Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in order to oppose this ruling. We are all in this one together.

What is HSLDA’s Immediate Plan of Action?

We plan to:

1. Support the family’s petition for review to the California Supreme Court.

2. File an amicus brief on behalf of all our members, and others we represent, if the California Supreme Court accepts the case for review.

What Can California Homeschoolers Expect in the Short Run?

We believe that it is highly unlikely that local officials will begin proceedings against homeschool families until this present case is resolved.

This ruling has obviously caused great concern among California homeschoolers. We want to remind all California homeschoolers that you should stay calm in the face of this decision. Please continue to operate your homeschool, because we believe that our interpretation of the law is correct and will ultimately prevail in the court system.

We must remain vigilant, however. If you are a member of HSLDA, and you are contacted by a school district, please contact HSLDA immediately.

Long-Range Solution

On another front, later today I am meeting with a half-dozen congressmen to plan a strategy to push for a constitutional amendment on parental rights. We have been receiving numerous calls from members of Congress wanting to respond to this decision. See for more information.

Final Thoughts/Conclusion

The way the homeschool law has worked in California for the past two decades has been successful for all homeschoolers. If we can keep what we have today that would be a significant victory for homeschool freedom.

We also understand that the current situation has caused much stress for California homeschool families. We are praying, and we encourage you to pray, that the threat we face will be swiftly removed and that homeschool freedom in California will be preserved.

We have seen God’s hand of protection on the homeschooling movement for the 25 years we have been working together for this cause. There is no reason to begin to doubt God now.

Michael Farris
Chairman, Home School Legal Defense Association

March 11, 2008

An update to HSLDA Members and Friends on the California Court of
Appeal Decision on Homeschooling:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell comes to the
defense of homeschool families. “The California Department of
Education policy will not change in any way as a result of this
ruling. Parents still have the right to homeschool in this state,” he

After the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in Los
Angeles ruled on February 28 that parents had to be credentialed
teachers to educate their own children the statement from O’Connell is
encouraging news for the homeschool community.

“O’Connell has it right,” said Michael Farris, Chairman of HSLDA. “But
the court decision must still be overturned before homeschool freedom
can be restored in California.”

The Court of Appeal ruling shocked the homeschool community because in
one sweeping decision it effectively outlawed homeschooling.

“We hope the statement from O’Connell puts the brakes on any
enforcement action,” said Farris.

HSLDA will be pursuing several legal options, including seeking review
by the California Supreme Court and petitioning the same court to
depublish the opinion in order to return California to being a state
where a family can legally homeschool in California without fear.

“We have just started the legal battle to restore homeschool freedom
in California,” said Farris.

To visit HSLDA’s Info page on this court decision, which has the legal
status, link to the decision, and info on legal grounds for
homeschooling in California, use this link:

Ian Slatter
Director of Media Relations

Y’all! I want to alert you to an occurrence in California and ask for your help.

A California Court of Appeal recently decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher. The case arose in a confidential juvenile court proceeding. The Court could have restricted its decision to the facts before it, but instead, it issued a broad ruling that effectively outlaws home education in California. The family and their California counsel are planning to appeal to the Supreme Court of California, which could result in reversal.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) will be formally petitioning the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion, which would cause it to be of little effect. Please join me by showing that many other people, both in California and across the country, care deeply about homeschool freedom in California by signing the HSLDA petition.

You can sign it here:

Do not allow the government to take away the right for parents to educate/be in charge of the education of their children!!!

She is a SCOUNDREL!!! And I absolutely ADORE her!!! ♥

Okay, y’all! Want something to do?!? Tired of the msm saying that Ron Paul has quit?!?

Let’s shake things up a bit!

You MUST be encouraged… you MUST realize that there are hundreds of delegates UP FOR GRABS at the RNC!!!

Just because Romney and Huckabee have encouraged their delegates to back McCain… they are under NO OBLIGATION to do so!!!

If anything… the Romney and Huckabee delegates should be reason enough for RP to go to the RNC (and for us to go and show our support, as well)… RP MUST GO TO THE CONVENTION! Odds ARE against him… but if he had a chance to speak… and NOT about the economy– we’ve ALL heard his rant on the economy and getting rid of the IRS and inflation and the fed… and while we agree… there are SO MANY OTHER THINGS THAT AMERICANS WANT TO HEAR ABOUT… if he’d go to the RNC and mention the OTHER issues… those delegates would be HARD PRESSED to support McCain! We need Ron Paul to go to the convention and:

  • REALLY talk about his strategy for victory in Iraq…
  • REALLY dig into American Independence and Sovereignty
  • He needs to talk about Border Security and Immigration
  • We want him to talk about Life and Liberty…
  • about Property rights and Privacy and Personal Liberty…
  • about Health Care and Social Security
  • about education… if teachers and parents REALLY knew his stance, they’d fall all over themselves in support of Ron Paul…
  • And Home Schooling (it’s bigger and more important than ever before)!

What do we do about those delegates?!?

We get lists!!! We go to each state’s GOP site and find the lists of delegates… we look up addresses and start writing letters (remind the delegates of the enormous responsibility they’ve undertaken) and sending Ron Paul packets.  It might be good to mention in your letters that most members of the GOP, who believe what Ron Paul stands for, foolishly succumbed to msm spin and pressure and voted for Romney and Huckabee because of questions about Ron Paul’s electability… that they knew McCain was “electable” and still refused to vote for him.

We start with our own state and then go from there! Feel free to leave comments here with your state’s delegate information. That way, when someone finishes his/her state, he/she may come here and get to work on another one.

I’m about to get to work on a Louisiana List. I look forward to you sharing yours!

I want to encourage you, too, to email or write letters to Ron Paul’s campaign staff, encouraging THEM to send packets to all of the delegates up for grabs, as well.

Woohoo… something to do!

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

Dr. Ron Paul’s latest message to his supporters:

I admit, all I could say was, “Well CRAP!”
I know… not very bright or inspiring… but so be it!

I had hoped that Dr. Paul would have thrown his support behind a rally at the RNC. It seems more logical to me: It’s more central, will have a larger impact, and gives revolutionaries more time to organize and plan. Granted, it is Monday- Thursday, but can history really be made in one day?!? 😉

Which brings me to another point. We’re all so very excited and passionate about what we believe. We all want to DO something. That is GREAT! That needs to be tempered, though, with wisdom, with structure, with organization. Our rush to DO makes me think of something Plato wrote: “The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.”

It IS a curse and often causes much more harm than good when we are taken over by our desire to DO SOMETHING… ANYTHING… NOW!!! We need to be patient. Not complacent, but patient. There IS a difference! We need to remember that revolutions are not won in a day. Things take time… planning… organization… wisdom… and leadership. It’s hard to grasp, with our fast-food mentality. But we MUST be mature about this. We must put off immediate gratification for long-term gain.

We must organize a unified front and have a vision, a mission, and a plan. We can not be thousands of chickens with our heads cut off, all running every which way! We need to POOL our ideas and resources… make decisions as a TEAM… as a BODY… and THEN act… TOGETHER. Changing the nation is going to take some time, y’all! Things are a MESS… it will take a while to right it.

It’s like gaining weight… boy! A few burgers and milkshakes and suddenly you’re a pear. Overnight, it seems. The weight goes on so quickly… but then to take it off! Oh my GOODNESS! Months and years of lifestyle changes… working out, eating right… the 2 months to put the weight on becomes 2 years to take it off… BUT!!! Unlike the discouragement we might feel at becoming physically fit… unlike the never-used and expired gym memberships… we can NOT let discouragement get the better of us in THIS endeavor… we can NOT give up and abandon our fitness regime for a free nation! It took no time to get into this mess… but it’s going to take a long time to get out of it. I’m not ready to go to the gym… but I AM ready to rally with our country’s Liberty-lovers… and to commit myself to keeping my children free.

About the march/rally and my disappointment at Ron Paul throwing his support behind June 21st… I spoke last night with Ray Powell and Bryan Siemon of the North Virginia Patriots and Revolution March. Of course, at first all I could say was “Crap! Crap! Crap!” But they were very encouraging. Just because there will be a rally in D.C. on the 21st (if permits can even be obtained), it does not mean we need to abandon our desire to rally at the RNC. RIGHT ON! 🙂

*As an aside, I must say, trying to write a blog while kids are arguing over trains and vintage little people is VERY difficult. Please forgive my rambling, as I am often interrupted with the call to mediate!* 😉

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved