The first annual Utah Farm Conference was a raving success. If you didn’t go this year, watch for 2018 tickets soon.
If you go to this link, the entire program will still be available for a few days. Otherwise I will give you a quick review.
Utah Rep. Marc Roberts (sponsor of Utah Herd Shares Bill 2016)
Symbria Patterson is the event coordinator. I have worked with Symbria for years and her events are always over the top awesome!
Julia and I left truly inspired and will be incorporating a number of new ideas this spring on our campus farm.
SAVE THE DATE FOR NEXT YEAR’S UTAH FARM CONFERENCE
JANUARY 12-13, 2018
This year school begins on April 18. While we have a very full academic calendar, there are three events designed especially for you:
YOUTH FOR AMERICA
AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 2
SECOND ANNUAL STATESMAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT
Last April a team of volunteers converged on the Monticello College campus
and in just 36 hours transformed a bare piece of land into an orchard with 65
Thank you so much, we are forever in your debt.
This year we have consulted with Cal-Earth to begin building student housing. Cal-Earth did a wonderful job of training a number of MC faculty in the process of building “Super Adobe” domes for student housing.
During the week of June 12-17, we are inviting volunteers to join us for a week of hard labor and love as we begin construction on our first MC student domes.
If you are interested in joining us for all or part of this adventure, please
contact me directly at 435 590 1661 or email at email@example.com.
Here’s how it will work, it’s really simple:
- bring a tent and camp on site.
2. Work really hard from sun up to sun down.
3. We will feed you and you will have access to restrooms and showers.
When you are done, you will of course have helped us build our campus, and for that you have our eternal gratitude. But that is not all you will take home. When human beings put this kind of effort into helping others, it changes them. It will make you a better person, and if you bring the whole family, it will strengthen your family unit in ways that are almost indescribable.
CLICK HERE to learn more or to register.
It has always been true—the youth are the future. So what does your future hold? Are you prepared to lead?
Monticello College hosts our annual Youth For America retreat because we take your future leadership serious.
But nobody said that learning about great American leaders and developing your leadership skills had to be boring.
Come join us for a week of fun, excitement, and some of the most incredible natural beauty you have every seen.
Classes, colloquia, hiking, lake trips, bonfires, and wilderness experiences that will stimulate discussions and help you remember why this is the greatest nation on earth.
Perhaps most importantly, you will meet some of the best youth in the nation—youth like you who care about the important things, and you will make new friends that will change your life forever.
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to enjoy the beauties of the Blue Mountains and catch the vision of a lifelong Thomas Jefferson Education on the campus of Monticello College!
CLICK HERE to learn more or to register.
AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 2
SECOND ANNUAL STATESMAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT
The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
For some, this summit will be the beginning of an education they have longed for.
For others, it will be the next step in their intellectual development.
Still for others, it will be a launching pad into social/political change and impact.
Regardless your reason for attending, this summit will be a major turning point in knowledge acquisition and intellectual insight, in building deep meaningful relationships, and bonding with nature and nature’s God.
Everyone is familiar with the phrase “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”
We believe this so strongly that we have taken our theme from Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and will address the essence of this tome comparing and contrasting it with American history and our potential future.
Holding such a summit in the wilderness of the Blue Mountains, in the company of some of the greatest people in our land, and learning, analyzing, and meditating on the knowledge gained here will be the experience of a lifetime.
Come join us and begin to become part of the American solution.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams
Origins of Conservative and Liberal Thought
Decline and Fall of the Roman & American Empires
The Economy: Local, National, Global
Millennial’s: The New Economy
The Servile State: Medieval Economics
Location: Monticello College 1849 North Creek Road, Monticello, UT 84535
Cost*: $300 per person/$500 per couple
San Juan County Discount – $250 per person/$400 per couple
MA NL Student Discount – $215 per person/$375 per couple
Information: (435) 590 – 1661
*Cost covers meals and materials only. Housing should be secured separately.
On October 13 I posted the idea of voting your conscious rather than following the offerings of the parties in an article entitled The Sting. A few days ago Unite for America (a progressive organization) uploaded a video making an appeal to all Republican Electors of the up coming Electoral College.
Unite for America is asking the Republican Electoral College Electors to not vote for Trump. Most people I have shared this with have no idea what this means. “I thought we already voted Trump in as president,” they respond. Well, not really.
Let’s review. November last, American citizens voted for the next president of the United States. Well, that’s what most thought they were doing. Really what was happening is that we were fulfilling the requirements of Article 2 Section 1 of the US Constitution, it reads: “Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress…”
This means that these special Electors are really the ones who vote for president. Our job as voters is to select the Electors. The method used by all the states is the current party system. For the vast majority of the states, there is a “winner takes all” approach which means whichever party gets the most presidential votes, that party’s group of electors will represent the state in the presidential Electoral College election. “What? There is another election for the president? I thought we the people were voting for the president? I thought this was a democracy?”
Actually it’s not, it is a Democratic Republic and we have been following this same system for the past 226 years.
Article 2 continues (it was modified by the 12th Amendment in 1804): “The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed t0 the seat of government…”
The meeting of the electors takes place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after the presidential election (December 19 for this election). The electors meet in their respective states, where they cast their votes for President and Vice President on separate ballots. Your state’s electors’ votes are recorded on a “Certificate of Vote,” which is prepared at the meeting by the electors. Your state’s Certificates of Votes are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election. The votes are tallied by the President of the Senate, (Vice President) in the presence of the House and the Senate, the President being the person having the most votes, and the same follows for the Vice President.
This is all outlined clearly in the US Constitution Article 2 and in Federalist Paper 68.
Right now, you may be saying, “Wait a second, I thought Trump was President-Elect because he already got the majority of the electoral votes?” Well that’s not quite accurate. Trump is President-Elect because he got the majority of Electors, or a majority of the voters in a majority of the states voted Republican. That means that in each of those states, the Republican Electoral College Electors will represent that state in the real Presidential Election on Monday December 19, 2016.
Now to the real point of this post. As I started out, Unite for America is not happy with the direction of this election and they have created a video to try to influence the The Republican Electors to not vote for Trump and either swing to Hillary or cause the election to move to the House of Representatives.
I find this interesting. Progressive groups have been trying in earnest to abolish the Electoral College for decades, but now, when it seems to serve their interests, they are trying to use it to influence the election.
Unite for America is encouraging the Republican Electors to vote against their party or to become a “faithless elector.” This November 8, 2016 New York Times Article will walk you thru this in a bit more detail.
If this is new to you or not really clear, perhaps it is time to get a better education on how our government works and what part we play.
Monticello College 2016/2017 Capital Campaign
It is time to increase our efforts in building Monticello College and that takes money.
This capital campaign will raise $200,000. This campaign has three purposes:
- Build our Endowment ($25,000)
- Provide Scholarships ($100,000)
- Construction of Dining Hall (phase one) ($75,000)
The plan is simple: 1,000 donors contributing $10 per month for 18 months.
While things are tough in the world generally, America is still a land of plenty.
The average American family throws away $2,116 in food as waste per year (or $44 per person per month), spends $850 on soft drinks annually (that equates to $71 per month), and the average American adult consumes $21 worth of coffee per week (or $1,092 of coffee per year).
It is clear that we live blessed lives and have enough to enjoy luxuries.
It is also true that most Americans still love this country and value freedom in spite of the problems we may see on the horizon.
So we thought that you would jump at the chance to help protect our liberty and way of life by contribute a mere $10 per month to help us build the next generation of principled American leaders and Statesmen (a man or woman of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspires greatness in others and moves the cause of liberty).
Since the average American household uses $4,430 in electricity per year beyond typical needs and spend more than $1,200 in fast food per annum, we thought that asking for $10 a month would fit into your budget without cramping your style.
We have a fantastic program here and are only asking for $10 per month for 18 months to help us grow our campus and build these students into exemplary Americans and Statesmen.
This is a capital campaign so you will be hearing a lot about this over the next year. Join us in our cause of building great Americans and Statesmen at Monticello College.
Monticello College is a 501 (c) (3) educational institution. All donations are tax-deductible.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE and support Monticello College.
Here are a few highlights of campus life:
CLICK HERE to see more than 25 videos.
To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.
To Build Men and Women
The mission of this college is not to expand or convey knowledge, however worthy that goal may be. It is to build men and women. But you may ask, “What kind of men and women?” The mission focuses on the centrality of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage, thus the student becomes the focus, not the topic of inquiry, the curiosity of the professor, or the prestige of the college.
This focus governs all that we do. It determines our class size and structure, our grading procedures and how we award credit. It governs our teaching methods and guides our selection of texts. It even affects the structure of our campus and the décor of our buildings. In short, the very existence of Monticello College depends upon its ability to develop men and women with attributes necessary to become statesmen. Let us explore these attributes.
Virtue comes from the Latin word virtus meaning power or strength, which in turn comes from vir meaning man. Hence in the Roman sense, virtue is possessing those attributes that make a true man, namely, bravery, courage, and strength. Another version of virtue comes to us from the Greek arête, meaning being the best you can be, or reaching your highest human potential.
The term from Homeric times onwards is not gender specific. The man or woman of arête is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties: strength, bravery, wit, and deceptiveness, to achieve real results. This notion of excellence was ultimately bound up with the Christian notion of fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one’s full potential or fulfilling the end to which anyone or anything was created.
Combining these definitions, virtue is fulfilling the end to which mankind was created. And what is that end? In the ancient text of the New Testament, Christ declared: “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” In this scripture the word perfect comes from the Greek telios, meaning, “to be brought to its end, finished, complete or mature; wanting nothing necessary for completeness.”
Accordingly, man’s purpose is to develop God’s attributes, as evinced by his Son. Therefore, Christ’s attributes of love, faith, moral rectitude, and righteousness have historically become the definition of virtue for Western and Christian civilization.
Virtue which is valued in all religious text can be divided into attributes that relate to oneself and to others. Hence, living a moral life in relation to private duties is private virtue, while living a life of service and sacrifice for one’s fellow beings is public virtue. Understanding and incorporating virtue in its fullest context is the first attribute necessary to statesmanship.
A primary purpose of this college is to inspire students to develop private and public virtue. Through classical mentoring these attributes are most effectively developed. Virtue in a mentor is a moral prerequisite to effective mentoring. Once a mentor is well on the path of developing his own virtue, he can then seek to inspire his students to develop theirs. Drawing from experience in his own life, as well as the lives of the great men and women from history and literature, he leads discussions that investigate and define those attributes that contribute to virtue, and inspires the student to develop them. An important part of this inspiration is helping the students find their own personal mission of self-development and service to mankind.
Every person is born with a unique mission. The calling of a mentor is to inspire and convince others to pursue their missions. A mentor has no business stepping into the classroom if he does not feel that it is part of his mission to be there. It is not enough to know about and believe in statesmanship and public virtue. Our mentors have an unquenchable drive in their work because training statesmen is their mission. A mentor can look a student in the eye and exhort him to a life of purpose because he lives such a life. This is the essence of Monticello College mentorship.
Wisdom is “the right use and exercise of knowledge.” Do we care how much our students know? Of course, but the transmission of knowledge must be subservient to its end. Our students not only know historical facts, scientific theorems, and philosophical ideas, they apply them rightly to a multitude of situations. Students learn to balance the acquisition of knowledge through the study of the liberal arts with its application by learning personal leadership and time management skills in the classroom and on the farm.
Classroom and farm instructional sessions are structured by expertly weaving academic and experiential learning through the use of simulations and hands-on farm work, discussions, and field experiences to encourage application. The acquisition of knowledge is usually more recognizable and measurable than its application. But our mentors do not fall for the temptation to sacrifice the development of wisdom for the immediate reward that comes from being perceived as producing smart students.
Diplomacy is the art or effective management of one’s relations with others. As students learn and speak the language of the classics, they gain the ability to communicate ideas and apply them in a way that is inspiring and relevant.
Statesmen have the courage to venture, endure, and withstand dangers, fears, and difficulties that stand as roadblocks to their missions. Mentors play a pivotal role in developing attribute. Imagine a young student who possesses a strong work ethic and sense of mission, yet is afraid to speak in public. The mentor discusses great ideas as well as stories of men and women who sacrificed and endured fear to fulfill their missions. He then helps the student overcome fear by giving him the opportunity to share his ideas in front of a small group of peers and then larger groups over time.
Simulations are sometimes created to provide specific help for just one student to develop courage. This kind of specific attention builds courage for that one student and benefits the balance of the student body. Oral examination, wilderness survival training, and difficulty farm work are all opportunities to overcome fear and build courage. Churchill rightly said that courage is the most important of all virtues because it guarantees the others.
Mentors inspire greatness in students, who in turn inspire greatness in others. What is greatness? This might be more easily understood by describing what it is not. It is not fame; it is not a position of leadership; it is not having your name written in history books. Greatness is fulfilling your life’s mission.
This is similar to the way the ancient Greek and Roman religions described genius. They believed that every person had an innate or inborn power. Today we call this your purpose or mission. The Romans and the Greeks believed that to aid in the development of those powers or fulfilling that personal destiny, a tutelary deity or spirit was assigned to each person. This spirit was called genius. It may be thought of as the personification of each person’s unique abilities, interests, and mission. Fulfilling your individual mission and magnifying your talents and abilities is what makes you great.
Greatness comes from within. No one can make another person great. It is an individual choice. The purpose of Monticello College is therefore not to produce great thinkers, citizens or leaders; that is their responsibility. Our purpose is to inspire choices of greatness and to provide the necessary mentoring for each individual to reach his or her potential, and live his or her mission. Every mentor is pursuing the path of greatness and understands the power of example. Greatness is not a destination; it is a journey.
Mentors inspire students to seek greatness by identifying their own missions. They understand their own unique abilities and strive to develop them so they can better assist their students. Day in and day out mentors pay the price to achieve their own personal genius. As this occurs, they are in a position to inspire others.
Classics inspire. In addition to lecturing on facts, dates and theories, the mentor leads the class in discussions of great people and ideas. Inspiring in class and in individual coaching sessions is how mentors lead. The students leave these sessions motivated and resolved to study harder and serve better. As mentors inspire students through classical works, encouragement and example, a culture of seeking greatness develops and students begin to inspire each other.
Arrogance on the part of the mentor or student destroys inspiration. Forced and rote assignments are detrimental. Mentors are flexible in adapting to the mission of each student. This does not lessen the academic rigor of any class or program. Since no one has a personal mission of mediocrity, individual adaptation increases academic rigor.
Rather than simply filling students with information, the mentor approaches the classics in a way that draws the best out of them. He acts, as Socrates described himself, as “a midwife” assisting the labor of the mind in bringing knowledge and wisdom to birth.” Finally, grading and awarding credit is done in a way that inspires greatness. The mentor avoids using grading as a tool of manipulation. For this reason, standardized testing, percentile ranking and grading on the curve are not used at Monticello College.
Move the Cause of Liberty
The college strives to increase liberty within America by developing statesmen. Liberty may be defined as the ability to act as one chooses, restrained only by respect for the personal security, liberty and property of others. It involves a balance between the rights of the individual and the duty to respect the rights of others. Moving the cause of liberty is more than memorizing a definition. For example, who or what is man? Is man an evolved organism, a created being, or both? If our definition of man changes, does society’s role of protection also change? How does our conception of human nature change the way we view social forms? And what is the interaction between principles, forms and issues?
These are some of the questions that are discussed in what Robert M Hutchins called, “the great conversation.” As students seek to move the cause of liberty they participate in the great conversation and cultivate the attributes of statesmanship. The college endows students with a love of liberty, the knowledge required to be effective citizens, and the wisdom required to move the cause of liberty worldwide.
Monticello College aspires to create a citizen-legacy of new American Founders. Its graduates, regardless of their station in life, are trained to approach all challenges and opportunities from a perspective of independent intellect and self-reliance within a framework of cooperation and conscientious service.
The Sting – (the 1973 7-oscars winning movie about con artists)
Liberty is a political state of being; freedom is an internal state of mind.* Today we have front row seats to the end of American liberty and freedom and the greatest political con ever perpetrated on the American people. The thing about a con is that unless you are an insider or know what to look for, you never see it coming until it is too late.
The con that we are currently experiencing is that we must choose between Donald and Hillary. The truth is, it literally makes no difference.
Let’s do a quick comparison.
Party Affiliation – Both have been members of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
Policy Orientation – Both have flip-flopped on scores of issues and policies.
Values – Both have declared adherence to values that fly in the face of liberty and freedom.
Sexual Behavior – Both have tainted histories of questionable moral and sexual behavior. Do the research.
Political Record – Hillary has proven her lack of leadership ability in political office and Donald has given every indication after decades of business dealings that he is loyal first and foremost to “the Donald.”
Net Worth – The Clinton’s combined are at $125 million and Trump is at a solid $3 billion. They both are members of the wealthy, and most likely cannot relate to the average American.
Party Platforms – It is very difficult to see any difference between the parties these days, the leadership of both parties have committed America to inexpugnable debt for the next 100 years and have legislated us into a legalistic bondage of so many federal and state laws that it is estimated that the average American unwittingly commits 3 felonies a day. (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/you-break-the-law-every-day-without-even-knowing-it.html)
Donald and Hillary are two sides of the same coin. The con is that there are meaningful differences . . . there aren’t.
My advice? Do not vote for either of the two primary candidates.
For once America stop allowing the parties to control the elections and vote your conscience. Vote for the person who you believe can best serve our country as president. Forget about whether or not they can actually win. That is not the point. Imagine 30 million voters voting for who they thought could serve us best, irrespective of party candidates. That would break the entire stagnant and corrupt system.
Stop strategizing and start sharing your choice with as many people as possible. This will begin a flurry of conversation outside of the normal “political speak” and begin to introduce the idea of options. The party system is the problem. As long as the party system stays in place, we will continue to be offered limited and unqualified choices. The party system has a history of morphing into a new form from time to time. I say it is time we morph it out of existence.
Who in America has the personality traits, the background, the values, and the “disinterestedness”** to lead the free world?
That is who you should vote for.
See *Notes Below:
*Freedom versus Liberty
Dr. Shanon Brooks
Copyright © 2009 Shanon Brooks
I recently read The Long Walk to Freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. He discusses at length the distinction between freedom and liberty. Victor Frankl talked a lot about these differences in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. And of course, this topic has been discussed in great measure by such luminaries as C.S. Lewis, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Benito Juarez among others.
Even non-political writers, thinkers and doers have touched on this subject; consider the words of Dave Ramsey, Joel Salatin, William George Jordan, Suze Orman, James Allen, Gloria de Souza and Ryan Hreljac.
Liberty is a political state of being; freedom is an internal state of mind. To people who live in relative liberty, freedom can be a difficult concept. I recall somewhere in the hundreds of pages of his autobiography and numerous speeches, where Mandela suggests that even though South Africa may someday become a nation founded on liberty; true freedom comes from the mind and the heart. A study of Mandela’s life is a lesson in living by a set of principles, understanding the brutal facts around you and then working to enlarge your personal freedom thru discipline and an adherence to truth. This is referred to as the Stockdale Paradox by Jim Collins referring to the story of James Stockdale in his book, In Love and War. Frankl alluded to the same thing, when he related his story of life and death in a German concentration camp.
Liberty is an uncommon condition in world history. On the other hand, freedom has been as prevalent as the number of people who could see it and who had the will, knowledge and discipline to strive for it.
Today we have a very unique situation. Usually the struggle for freedom is outlined as a group that is suffering and has had their rights and liberties usurped and are now fighting back to regain them. The American situation is unique in that we have a climate (liberty) in which we exercise more freedom—even now—than most citizens of any country on earth, but because of our lack of education (not schooling), comprehension and discipline, we are on the verge of not only losing that environment (liberty) but also of losing the means of maintaining or regaining that liberty. (See History of Dark Ages and the book The Cube and the Cathedral – Wiegel)
We have ceased to think and act as a free people.
Free citizens live within their means, financially save for the future and are self-sufficient. Slaves must have most things done for them.
Free citizens look inward for solutions. Servants seek solutions from employers, the government or other sources outside of themselves.
Free citizens understand that society needs them to step-up and do their part. Subjects take little initiative and must be directed in all things.
100 years ago, Yankee Ingenuity and the American Dream were the stuff of legends. People flocked to this country at great sacrifice, not to join the ranks of welfare, but to live in a land of liberty and provide their children with a greater chance of experiencing freedom on a daily basis. In many cases, they had already mastered the “live-within-your-means thing,” they knew how to work hard and they adhered to a strict culture of self-discipline and morality. What they lacked in the “old world” was an environment of liberty in which freedom was the natural result of their chosen lifestyle and cultural mores (customs).
We seem to have the latter but fall short of the former. Until we, the America people regain our sense of disciplined direction; until we grasp the reality of the brutal facts; until we re-embrace the concept of delayed gratification—we will likely not see much improvement and I can almost predict that our grandchildren will not understand nor enjoy the bastion of freedom in which we currently live.
Ideas have consequences.
Copyright © 2009 Shanon Brooks
** In the awesome book, “An Education for Our Time,” Bunting defines the 18th century concept of “disinterestedness” as a quality of putting the people ahead of oneself. Serving on limited terms as a servant-leader rather than for a lifetime as a career choice.