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The Deep State: Government “without Reference to the Consent of the Governed” Tags: media government governed transparency MEDIA

It is no secret that concerned citizens are condemning the United States government’s lack of transparency, accountability, and honest constituent representation. Reporting for Moyers & Company, Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for twenty-eight years specializing in national security, addressed the issue of the “deep state” that undemocratically orchestrates unchecked private agendas, while corporate media distract the public’s attention by focusing on traditional Washington partisan politics. Lofgren contended that, although the deep state is “neither omniscient nor invincible,” it is a “relentlessly well entrenched,” “hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed.”

Exploiting the world’s resources and governments with criminal impunity, a wealthy elite—sporting an estimated $32 trillion in tax-exempt offshore havens—are the deep dark secret of plutocratic imperialism, operating behind more visible, privately controlled government representatives. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the House Financial Services Committee incoming chairman in 2010, openly flouted constitutional rights when he stated, “My view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

The establishment news media labels Congress as the most hopelessly deadlocked since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the American Civil War. However, corporate media do little to draw attention to the hidden wealthy elites who undemocratically control our government, because these elites own the major media. It is only the deep state’s protectiveness toward its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. The US needs brave, determined, and well-supported leaders to demand implementation of “loophole” proof laws in a restructured system of checks and balances in order to effectively halt the unethical influence of wealthy powers on our democratic representatives.

Source: Mike Lofgren, “Anatomy of the Deep State,” Moyers & Company, February 21, 2014, http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state.

Student Researcher: Alexander P. Ruhe (Burlington College)

Faculty Evaluator: Rob Williams (Burlington College)



Home-birthed Children Seized After Parents Refuse to Use Hospital Tags: Home birthing hospitals children parents government

Written by  Selwyn Duke


t perhaps was your grandparents’ birthing experience. But this certainly isn’t your grandparents’ government. A Washington state couple has had their children seized by Child Protective Services, allegedly because they refused to take them to a hospital for a check-up and treat their older child with steroids — for eczema.

Cleave and Erica May Rengo certainly are do-it-yourselfers (Mrs. Rengo is shown with one of her twins). The Bellingham residents eschewed a traditional marriage ceremony and instead, as Cleave put it, “just prayed and invited God to bless our relationship so we'd have a family built on a firm foundation.” Soon afterwards their first child was conceived, and nine months later Erica delivered him at a birth center. But when the new mother found herself pregnant again in short order, the couple returned to their independent ways and decided on home birth. Erica related the reasoning and desires behind this decision: “I've done a lot of research about other women who have done it and they said the spiritual experience was so much more wholesome,” she told media outlet King5.com. “It was just us. We wanted to preserve that sanctity and sacredness in our birth.”

But the home birth, on October 2, was not without surprises. Having forgone an ultrasound, the Rengos never expected a daughter to be born — on the heels of their second son. They’d had fraternal twins.

The deliveries themselves, however, were problem-free. The babies were healthy, and Erica “describes her homebirth as ‘exquisite’ and ‘empowering.’ Morna Kai Grace and Daniel Clemente were born into their parents’ loving arms,” wrote Terri LaPoint at MedicalKidnap.com.

But the post-partum period was anything but problem-free, with the couple getting a harsh lesson in how the state has been empowered. It began when paramedics arrived at the Rengos’ home after being called by an outside party, possibly a family member worried about the home-birthing. The couple allowed them into their home in deference to the concerned family members, and LaPoint writes about what happened next:

Paramedics arrived to find the twins nursing and everybody doing fine. The twins each weighed over 5 lbs, and the paramedics allegedly verified that everyone appeared healthy. The paramedics allegedly recommended that they go to the hospital for evaluation, which is standard procedure for EMTs.

The Rengos say they declined, telling them they didn’t want to expose their newborns to the dirty environment of the hospital. They were planning to follow recommendations they had found, which stated that newborn twins should stay home for the first six weeks of life, to give their immune systems the opportunity to build up.

This refusal of hospital care obviously didn’t sit well with someone, as CPS was called. A pair of social workers appeared at the couple’s residence the next day, asking to see all three children and claiming they were there “to help.” But it turned out their definition of “help” was bit different than the Rengos’.

One of the social workers found some eczema on the skin of the couple’s eldest child, 10-month-old Levi. The Washington Timesreported on what transpired next:

CPS then suggested the couple treat the older child’s eczema with steroid-based creams, rather than the probiotics, coconut oils and natural remedies they were already using. But the parents said no.

“It’s a very harsh treatment and can have very negative side effects,” [Mrs. Rengo] said, King 5-TV reported. “It can cause damage to bones, the muscular system and liver.”

And dad weighed in: “They wanted the authority in my household. I told them, ‘I’m a Christian and God gave me the authority in my household,” Mr. Rengo said, King 5-TV reported.

It was soon after that discussion that CPS removed all three children from the home.

There certainly have been other cases, many high profile, in which children were seized from parents who refused them medical treatment. But these have invariably involved serious illnesses such as cancer. In contrast, eczema is a benign skin condition that can be itchy but is far from life-threatening. I once had it myself, concluded stress was the cause, and it disappeared over time without treatment. And it is certainly understandable that the Rengos wouldn’t want to use steroidal medication on a baby with nothing but a nuisance rash.

More outrageous still, say critics, that rash was the only problem CPS could cite. LaPoint reports that the children were found to be healthy and safe, their home was hygienic, and the Rengos had no substance abuse problems. Moreover, the couple had already taken the twins to a pediatrician, who gave them a clean bill of health. And while they were having a problem gaining weight — likely caused by Erica’s difficulty breastfeeding three babies — this problem was remedied when she supplemented the children’s diet with formula, as per the doctor’s recommendation. Despite this, a CPS agent would later testify before a judge that the Rengos were guilty of neglect in refusing to treat the older boy’s eczema completely.

And then the fateful day came. On November 6, CPS agents knocked on the Rengos’ door. They said they were there to take the couple’s children. LaPoint writes about what then ensued:

With one baby on her back, the frightened mother fled out the back door with her children to a neighbor’s house, but police and CPS “hunted her down,” and took these breastfed babies from their mothers’ arms. The twins were 5 weeks old.

Erica broke down into sobs as I spoke with her. “My children were safe and healthy with me.” Since they have been taken by CPS, Levi has reportedly had pneumonia, and has reportedly been diagnosed with “behavioral problems” because he screams and cries all the time.

He is screaming, Erica says, because he wants his mom and dad.

And in the state’s care these poor children remain to this day, even though the Rengos have been charged with no crime. As King5 writes, “In a petition filed Tuesday,” the couple’s attorney, Stephen Pidgeon, “calls the seizure of the children ‘unlawful, unconscionable, and inexcusable.’ Though there were calls to the home about domestic issues prior to the children's birth, the petition claims no evidence of ‘clear and present danger,’ rather that CPS is trying to impose their standards of ‘proper parenting.’”

And many find this conclusion inescapable. The Rengos certainly are quirky, and home birth is not without risks. While I personally know a woman who delivered her babies at home without incident with a midwife’s aid, I’m also close to two OB/GYNs who would point out that in the rare cases when there are serious complications, recourse to state-of-the-art medical care and equipment can mean the difference between life and death. But do we want the state to become arbiter of these matters? Home-birth is the historical norm, after all.

Some would also mention the tremendous hypocrisy here. If Erica Rengo had decided to kill her babies in the womb, the decision would have been defended as her “right” and wouldn’t have made news. But if a woman decides to bring a baby to term, the very same abortion advocates will say that she may not refuse him standard medical care or transport him without a child seat; they even generally insist that she mustn’t spank him. In other words, you may kill your child when he’s in one location. When he’s in another, you may not even risk his life or cause him pain in the slightest.

Of course, the pain caused when CPS rips children away from their parents appears of no concern to CPS. We can only hope that the Rengo babies are in better hands than the hapless eight-year-old boy who was cruelly told by a doctor working hand-in-glove with CPS, in a different case LaPoint brought to light, “If I have it my way, you’ll never see your mommy and daddy again.”



This Is What Happens When A Kid Leaves Traditional Education Tags: child boy kid children school home schooling education careers lifestyle happiness survival skills creativity live skills

Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. Not only was he home schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.


Logan’s story can be seen in a similar light as Jacob Barnett‘s story who was first put in Special Ed by his school until he was pulled out of standard education and is now seen as an incredibly intelligent young person who is on track to winning a Nobel Prize one day.

I also recently did a TEDx talk in 2014 about my story of leaving college for good. You can check that out here.

More on Education & Homeschooling

Education is often considered the foundation for creating a well rounded and productive society, but this belief usually stems from being sure that those coming out of the education system are able to keep the cogs of society turning in order to maintain profit margins of large companies in a system that requires constant growth. Instead of having creative and out-of-the-box-thinking people, the current style of education creates more submissive, obedient and trained graduates so the current system is always maintained.

What this means is that standard education is focused less on each individual and their growth and more on creating a supply of worker bees that can go out into the world and follow within the confines the system sets out. Sir Ken Robinson gave a famous TED talk in 2007 where he discussed his beliefs about how education kills creativity. This TED talk is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time and  has inspired many to re-think the way we are educating our children. Since traditional education is still taking its time with adjusting, many are turning to homeschooling as a solution as it allows children to explore education much like Logan did.

Currently about 3.8% of children ages 5 – 17 are home schooled in the US. In Canada, that number drops to about 1%. This is a number that is expected to continue growing in both countries as more see the limitations of our current education system. Also, studies done in the US and Canada show that home schooled children out perform their peers from both private and public schools.

In my view, home schooling is much more likely to create a creative, adaptive, and forward thinking person who is less conditioned to think only within the small confines of a crumbling system. Does this mean it is for everyone and that one can’t turn out that way through standard education? No, I simply feel the chances are far greater with homeschooling.

My decision to leave school behind when I was in college came from the same beliefs I hold today about education. I felt confined within the system and I felt it wasn’t going to lead me somewhere I wanted to be. It didn’t matter whether I was studying business, engineering, marketing or music, I did not enjoy the methods and couldn’t see a way to change things except by leaving. Aside from what society would make us think, leaving education and a diploma behind was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made as I was then able to explore and learn anything I wanted without having to worry about a rigid structure which promotes memorization and useless testing. I believe we will be OK if we leave the current education system behind and choose other methods. This isn’t to say homeschool is for everyone, but I truly believe that a drastic, and I mean drastic, change in the way our education system functions needs to happen, and soon.


Does Education Kill Creativity?









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