Fireworks

Couldn’t make it to last night’s Saint Paul School Board meeting.

Swiftee could, though (I’m adding my own emphasis here).

 Board member Tom Goldstein spoke at length about his objections to the presence of military recruiters on school property; he barely made an effort to conceal his contempt for the two US Navy Master Chief Petty officers present.

He said that he was of a mind to make their job as hard as possible and went on at length about his objections to the war in Iraq. He also said that he “didn’t care if the war was not a school board issue”.

The district’s tanking test scores and dismal graduation rates bear him out on that fact.

Board member Tom Conlon, as ever the lone voice of sanity, pointed out that the board’s time would be better spent pursuing an improvement in the districts academic achievement

For starters, thank goodness for Tom Conlon; Swiftee’s right.  If you follow the Saint Paul School Board long enough, you start to think that Tom is the only one in the bunch whose head isn’t swaddled in tinfoil.

But let’s look into this issue.

A small, vocal, and (because the board is so very hard-left) very well-connected group of students, parents and advocates in Saint Paul – almost universally white, upper-middle-class, and DFL – are voicing their distaste for the military.  Their own kids are safe, of course – Saint Paul allows parents to sign an opt-out form that forbids recruiters from talking to their children. 

But they want to make sure that no children are exposed to [what they regard as] the big, bad, evil US military.

These same people are leading a push to keep the services’ Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs out of the schools.   These programs – whose enrollment is heavily if not mosty minority, in Saint Paul – teach discipline, self-respect (as opposed to self-esteem – a distinction that few in the SPPS seem to recognize), and organization; they also provide an entree into college-level ROTC programs, which may be the best chance for many of these kids to afford college.  In exchange for five years in the military, these kids – many from the sort of straitened circumstances that the programs’ detractors merely drive past on the way to their yoga classes – can get a college education, and more importantly a good start in adult life.

But there are uniforms involved, so the granola-chomping, Whole-Foods-shopping, Highland-Park-dwelling detractors wrinkle their noses, and call their pet school board members to complain.

This battle is a class struggle, all right.  It pits the patrician inner-city DFL against the people in this city that regard military service as an honor, or a gateway to opportunity, or one’s privilege as an American citizen.

Ironic, isn’t it?  The Democrat “Farmer Labor” party stands, yet again, against the values of the farmers and the workers?

As no public comment was allowed at the meeting yesterday, I will be on the lookout for the next meeting on this subject.  Suffice to say I will not miss the next one.

23 thoughts on “Fireworks

  1. Has the school board voted to remove JROTC from St. Paul public schools? No
    Has the school board voted to bar military recruiters from St. Paul public schools? No

    Know wonder you can not defeat our real enemies abroad, you are too busy fighting imaginary ones at home.

  2. Rick,

    They haven’t voted for either yet. But both ideas are in circulation, are gathering support (and, if I have anything to do with it, opposition), and will come to a head (given that this is an election year).

    Go back to spin-doctoring for dictators.

  3. Rick, trust me; you are WAAAY outside your league here.

    You DO NOT want to THINK about defending the deliberate malfeasance that is the status quo of the SPPS.

    I have spent nearly ten years battling this bag of assholes, and assholes is an acceptable description for a group of people who have deliberately shortchanged the kids they were elected to serve in favor of serving their union masters and their own political motivations.

    I have repeatedly caught these people misappropriating funds, deliberately lying to their constituents and blatently pandering to leftwing special interests even when it was to the detriment of the students…and I make these serious accusations with impunity because I have the documentation to back what I say and the assholes know it.

    I’m all for a good partisan political knucklebuster….but not when kids are involved.

  4. Do the public schools get ANY funding from the feds at all?

    If they do, couldn’t they be brought under that same law that states public colleges that receive federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus or they forfeit their federal funding?

  5. Switftee:

    “I have the documentation to back what I say and the assholes know it”

    Then I am sure Tom Conlon would be happy to publish your research on an official document over his campaign disclaimer. Or better yet I am sure someone in Gov. Pawlenty’s Department of Education will release your research as an official DOE report.

  6. Bill C

    “If they do, couldn’t they be brought under that same law that states public colleges that receive federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus or they forfeit their federal funding?”

    Even the Socialists (the real ones not the generic right wing straw man) know the law better than you.

    ““However, we understand that the No Child Left Behind Act in effect blackmails school districts into allowing military recruiters, by penalty of cutting funding to schools whose administrations take action to ban military recruiters altogether.”

    socialistminnesota.org/2007/01/27/students-to-board-of-education-%e2%80%9cmilitary-out-of-st-paul-schools%e2%80%9d/

  7. Hi RickDFL!

    Care to get on topic at all?

    The “fighting foes” and “publishing research” tangents are interesting, but not related to what Mitch wrote above. Go back up and read it again (or perhaps for the first time) if want to discuss it. Otherwise, maybe you should wait for Mitch to write something you are more interested in before you start commenting.

  8. “Then I am sure Tom Conlon would be happy to publish your research on an official document over his campaign disclaimer. Or better yet I am sure someone in Gov. Pawlenty’s Department of Education will release your research as an official DOE report.”

    Shouts RickDFL over his shoulder as he runs away.
    RickDFL has an unfortunate tendency to argue from authority — note his use of the word ‘official’x2 in his comment — in an especially clumsy way. By selecting the sources and tests that make up his ‘authority’ based solely on how well they accord with his argument of the moment, he is really asking us to accept himself as the authority.
    In this case he wants us to believe that authentic criticism of the SPSB can come only come from a board member or the governor’s office on official stationary.

  9. RikDik has no idea what he is talking about..he just wanted to air his lip out a bit.

  10. Maybe someone can refresh my memory. Who was it from around here that ran for St. Paul school board and got his ass whooped?

  11. “authentic criticism of the SPSB can come only come from a board member or the governor’s office on official stationary”

    Wow – any hint of subtlety is lost on some people. I think every time Swiftee opens his mouth he adds five votes to the DFL total. I don’t want Conlon or Pawlenty to publish Swiftee in order to legitimize Swiftee. I want Conlon and Pawlenty to publish Swiftee to de-legitimize Conlon and Pawlenty.

  12. Hi RickDFL!

    Care to get on topic at all?

    I thought you’d been around here for a while…

  13. RickDFL,

    Even the Socialists (the real ones not the generic right wing straw man) know the law better than you.

    You know what? Fuck you. Sincerely.

    I make no claim to be a law expert. That’s why I asked the question in the first place. A simple “Yes, the NCLB act states exactly that” would have been sufficient, you prick.

  14. RickDFL,

    Even the Socialists (the real ones not the generic right wing straw man) know the law better than you.

    Thanks, you arrogant ass. A simple “Yes, the NCLB act states exactly that” would have been sufficient.

  15. Ok, 2 posts haven’t shown up. If they magically appear later, my apologies.

    If they are stuck in some sort of holding pen/cache, awaiting administrative approval, go ahead and pick the one you feel most comfortable with, Mitch.

  16. Or if they were punted off to the digital ether by langauge filters, then never mind. He isn’t worth wasting too many more brain calories on.

  17. If there are links or “language” in a comment, it goes into a moderation queue. I don’t often get to do much moderating during the work day.

  18. I want Conlon and Pawlenty to publish Swiftee to de-legitimize Conlon and Pawlenty.

    Your preening sense of superiority is failing you, badly, yet again. Sorry, Rick.

    Swiftee has a well-deserved (cultivated?) rep as a firebrand. To put it mildly.

    But when he sets to work getting his facts together, he can build a damning case that’d do any good lawyer (much less a niggling nit-picker) proud.

    Your customary overconfidence isn’t warranted, Rick. As usual, when actual on-topic facts get into the discussion, it favors us.

  19. Who was it from around here that ran for St. Paul school board and got his ass whooped?

    So?

    What does that have to do with anything?

    He ran, he lost. Doesn’t mean he’s not absolutely right about an awful lot of things.

    I can’t say as I agree with Swiftee on everything he’s said over the years, but on this one, as with so many others, he’s right. That he didn’t win a school board race (which was as good as bought and paid for with MFT money) doesn’t impeach him in any way.

  20. Mitch:
    “But when he sets to work getting his facts together, he can build a damning case that’d do any good lawyer (much less a niggling nit-picker) proud.”

    Then I am sure that Conlon or Pawlenty would have no problem putting their reputations on the line by endorsing his research.

  21. I don’t need anyone’s “endorsement”.

    My research consists of nothing more than obtaining copies of documents published by the MN Dept. of Education and whatever school district I am addressing.

    All I have to do from there is to present them to the “responsible” party’s for an explaination.

    It’s called giving an idiot a rope and letting him hang himself…something you have taken to the next step by removing the middleman and providing your own rope.

  22. Then I am sure that Conlon or Pawlenty would have no problem putting their reputations on the line by endorsing his research.

    Rick,

    Every time I want to say “this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever written”, I have to stop, and remember; there’ll always be something else!

     I’m not aware of a whole lot of government officials of either party “endorsing” the research and opinion of private, activist citizens (beyond the normal contacts one makes with friendly supporters) – I’m not even aware of chuzzlewitted wackjobs like Mark Ritchie “endorsing” the work of his supporters.  Why would Swiftee, Conlon and the Governor alone be judged by that absurd criterion?

     And do you think for a moment that Conlon and Pawlenty don’t have at least *some* of the same research driving their own policies on the subject? 

    Hint: as re the issue at hand in this post, I do know the answer to my question. But let’s see if you can get it, shall we, without changing the subject and scampering away?

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