The choppers are in the air

The 1st Biden Air Cav will soon start spraying Agent Green, exfoliating with borrowed dollars whatever canopy of fiscal sanity still remains below.

President Biden told reporters on Thursday that he is considering taking executive action to broadly cancel student loan debt, and a decision may be imminent.

“I am considering dealing with some [student] debt reduction,” Biden said today. However, he appeared to conclusively rule out $50,000 or more in student loan forgiveness. “I am not considering $50,000 [student] debt reduction,” he said. His comment confirms his earlier statements rejecting larger amounts of student loan forgiveness, and would seem to contradict suggestions made earlier this week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that Biden was seriously considering cancelling $50,000 or more in student loan debt.

Biden did not specify an exact amount of student loan forgiveness that he is considering, although clearly it would be under $50,000. He also did not address rumors that he is considering imposing income restrictions on student debt cancellation.

The proposed debt cancellation would “only” be for the federal student loan program. Even the Socialist Squadrons at Camp Joe don’t yet dare force private lenders to forgive debt.

Schumer wants the $50,000 per snowflake. Biden may opt for $10,000 per, another number mentioned as a possibility.

Whatever the final number, there will be a cost to the taxpayer. Whatever Treasury bonds were used to lend the money still exist, and would need to paid back and are still charging interest. A freebie amount of $50,000 would cost around a trillion.

Then there’s the moral hazard. If the debt can be forgiven once, it can just as easily be forgiven again. Students will start to borrow with the expectation they won’t have to pay back the loans.

So, this is a step out the back door towards “free” education.

Another aspect that Biden needs to tap dance around is a means test, or some kind of income limit. Student loans are held by more higher income people than lower income. Biden can’t be seen to be handing stacks of cash to “rich” kids. (A lot of student debt goes for graduate schools.) So, he might just make it a welfare program and forgive debt only for lower income people.

Perhaps with their free money, the kiddies can take an economics class or two and discuss the idea that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

A square thought in a round mind

Yesterday Mr. D posted on what any conservative more than five minutes old has learned, which is conservatives are not allowed to have certain thoughts. And, a couple days ago I posted on an irony I’ve longed noticed on the Left, that they view themselves as tolerant and open and decry attempts to enforce, as they see it, conformity, yet they themselves are wholly intolerant when faced with opposing viewpoints.

All this reminded me of a friend of mine from my school daze. He’s a genuinely gentle and nice fellow, but he’s of the Leftist persuasion.

He posted this on facebook awhile back, before the election, and the resulting tongue baths from other lefty friends were what you’d expect.

I believe that the most valuable ideal is kindness.

I believe that all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, religious belief
or non-belief, political alignment, sexual orientation and status in life
are deserving of respect.

I’m not perfect in embracing this next ideal but I do my best. It’s all
about having an open mind. I may not agree with the political positions,
religious beliefs, or phobias of others but I do my best to listen to and
respect others.

Then, pulling a 12-G turn, he posted this awhile later…

I am tired of listening to you all! And now I ask that if you truly believe
that we are better off under the current President, if you believe that we
don’t need stricter laws and bans of certain guns, and/or if you have or
intend to disparage the young people of March for Our Lives…then please
unfriend me now and save me the trouble of having to do so myself, which I already have done for some others.

I no longer have the patience to listen to you.

The resulting tongue baths from other lefty friends were what you’d expect.

Continue reading

Don’t Say Logic, Knowledge Or Boundaries

SCENE: It’s 6AM, at Twin Cities International. Mitch BERG is leaving an airport bar, after having his ritual shot of whiskey before getting on a plane for a business trip. As he turns to walk down the concourse, he almost literally runs into Aaron ROSTON, A writer at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“.   ROSTON is a crossing guard at a school in rural southern Minnesota, and is a bullying activist – mostly focusing on promoting bullying of children of conservatives. He is wearing a t-shirt that says GAY on the front.

ROSTON: Merg.

BERG: Hey, Aaron. On your way to Florida, I see?

ROSTON: Not bad, for a stupid person. How could you tell?

BERG: Just a hunch.

ROSTON: You’re an idiot, so you should know Governor DeSantis’s bill makes it illegal to say “gay” in Florida. I’m going there to practice civil disobedience and also spend my stimmy checks.

BERG: Civil disobedience?

ROSTON: I’m gonna say gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay…

BERG: Huh. Courageous. Of course you are, and you do realize that the Florida law doesn’t make talking about homosexuality illegal. It just bars teachers from doing spontaneous sex ed classes with kids under the age of 8.

ROSTON: You’re too stupid to be an educator, so I’ll explain this to you. What if I have a kid who has two mommies, or two daddies, and is confused about the situation? What am I supposed to do?

BERG: If a kid has same-sex parents who haven’t explained the situation to the kids, that’s both weird and – here’s a radical notion – their business, not yours.

ROSTON: So you’re a mouth-breathing gay hater. What if I wanted to tell my children…

BERG: They aren’t “your children”. You’re a public employee – a crossing guard, as it happens, but I hear teachers who say the same thing – who is part of a system we, the public, pay to teach our kids how to read, write, do math, think critically, and other skills. So – you were saying?

ROSTON: What if I wanted to tell (makes scare quotes) my students that my partner and I were going axe-throwing over the weekend?

BERG: Then you tell them you’re going axe-throwing. Big whoop.

ROSTON: You moron. And what if I then wanted to tell them that after axe-throwing, we were going to go back to my place and __________ his __________ in the ___________ until ___________ with a…

BERG: (Interrrupting): Well, if it were my five-through-eight-year old, I’d be calling the police and teaching you a lesson about boundaries.

ROSTON: So you hate gays.

BERG: Hey, look – over there! A kid in a wheelchair with a MAGA hat.

ROSTON: WHEREWHEREWHEREWHERE! I wanna make him cry…

(sees nothing)

ROSTON: (Looks around frantically) Where? Merg?

(But BERG has disappeared)

And SCENE

Can The Center Hold?

I’m not one of those conservatives that bags on teachers as his default setting. My mother’s parents were teachers. My dad was a great teacher. My little sister teaches. Three out of four of them voted or vote GOP. Teachers are as individual as anyone else.

Now, as an example, when bad cops – corrupt sergeants, mobbed-up detectives, thumpers on patrol, sadists in squad cars – emerge, the question pops up; why don’t the good cops do something about the bad cops? Why does the “thin blue line” seem to believe standing with a bad cop is more important than good civilians?

So – let’s take that (perfectly valid) logic and apply it to teachers. Why aren’t the good ones able to do something about teachers like this?

The question is only partly rhetorical.

Great Time For A Strike, Denise…”

Minneapolis teachers will likely be walking off the job.

The timing…doesn’t seem great, from their perspective:

I think Majority Leader Gazelka got this one right:

Some Conclusions “Science” Needs To Make

I’m not sure there’s scientific evidence of any of these – but if someone gave me a seven figure government grant, I’m sure I could come up with some.

School Kids “Walking Out Of Class” Is Not Spontaneous: Big Left must be trying to get people to the polls in nine months; the headlines are again full of stories of teenagers “walking out of school” to “protest” “causes”.

Amazingly, there were news cameras waiting right there as they walked out of school, carrying their professionally printed signs!

Those are some pretty motivated, well-funded, well-organized high school kids!

There are, of course, exceptions.

Mascists, Lockdown Fanboys/Fangirls Will Exhibit Deep Psychological Issues When Crisis Fades: The people hectoring you about your mask at Target are having the time of their lives right now. Feeling that they’re saving lives by badgering people about masks, virtue-signalling their vaxx status, and demanding we stay the locked-down course are living out their version of fighting an existential threat – sort of like their grandfathers landing on Utah Beach, only with DoorDash bringing them Oaxacan tacos, left “safely” on their doorsteps.

And like many of those veterans, when the crisis is over, so will end The Best Years Of Their Lives.

I”m picturing a movie in ten years about the readjustment blues and trauma that “veterans” of the pandemic will feel – sort of like Coming Home, only with DoorDash bringing Oaxacan tacos.

Hard To Believe…

…that a city run by Kim Norton, which has been becoming blue-er and blue-er over time, would play passive-aggressive bureaucratic pattycake games with the citizenry…

right?

A group of parents, with a Twin Cities law firm, are asking for records related to the district’s adoption of Critical Race Theory.

And how did that go over?

“On Nov. 12, an attorney representing the district said that it would cost ‘Equality in Education’ $901,121.15 to obtain the records and they must prepay before the district completes their request,” the report reads.

The battle lines for next November could not be clearer.

There’s A Part Of Me…

…that looks at an article like this, (and, for that matter, infuriating junior-high-level behavior like this among America’s future US attorneys) cheering on the demise of regard for academia outside, well, academia, and things “More, faster, now!”.

But while it’s a fact that academia has tutyhis rned into a cesspool of leftist indoctrination, I get to this bit here (I’ve added emphasis):

Unfortunately, as we’re starting to see, there’s a bit of a pushback against that sort of thing. It’s limited, but more and more people are flocking toward non-woke entertainment. People are starting to look to the trades as an option after high school. Folks are backing laws restricting some of the leftist indoctrination on our school campuses.

Nothing wrong with looking at the trades.

But academia, worthless as it largely currently is, is of disproportionate importance in a society’s future. As Orwell said, “He who controls the future, controls the past. He who controls the present, controls the past”. Academia controls, not history, but how history is passed down to future generations; they control a disproportionate share of the cultural “present”.

And telling kids who have it in them to fight that battle, to instead go and be an apprentice electrician, is a little like Eisenhower sending the D-Day invasion ashore in New Jersey rather than Normandy. It’s a path of lesser resistance, but it doesn’t really win the war.

I suspect what society really needs is an academic equivalent to Fox News: for conservative money to go to building a classically-liberal academic system, and letting people vote with their feet.

Which is far easier said than done – but then, isn’t everything that’s worth doing?

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum. And The Schools.

Schools in Edina – once known as a good school district – are

Pictures of Normandale Elementary School in Edina show students eating their lunch outside with hats, coats and mittens on.

“Since the beginning of school, I learned that essentially if you brought a lunch from home, you were eating outside,” said Carissa Palm, the mother of a third-grader at the school.

The related article, from KSTP-TV, is too full of nauseatingly idiotic school administrator pullquotes, or, worse, “no comments”, to get through without yelling at the screen.

Government is the things we do together – stupidly and with the lowest common intellectual denominator in charge.

The Modern Conundrum

I was told that if I voted for Donald Trump, school boards would be overrun with domestic terrorists.

And they were right.

“For those who got an issue with this critical race theory equity, this is something I fight for, for my children,” Austin reportedly said during the school board meeting . “How dare you come out here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through,” listing things such as Jim Crow, lynchings, and the oppression…

“I’ll bring my soldiers with me next time … locked and loaded,” Austin stated as he was being escorted out of the meeting by officers. Plemmons reportedly questioned whether he had been addressing her, to which he replied, “locked and loaded.”

That’s “1,000 soldiers, locked and loaded”, coming out to defend Critical Race Theory…

…which does not exist.

A Long Train Of Abuses And Usurpations

If society can’t trust its public institutions to do their jobs fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

We’ll come back to that.


In the generally outstanding Danish TV program Rita – about a middle school teacher fighting burnout – there was one particularly jarring moment, if you were an American parent; the eponymous teacher was discussing problems with a particular student, and reacted with derision and a little muted disgust to the idea that the kid’s parents knew better about how to deal with the situation than her and the rest of the school staff.

It’s not an uncommon view in Europe; German schools have a similar point of view, but the Scandinavians have taken it to what seems to libertarian Americans an absurd extreme.

I say libertarian Americans, with a small “L”, as opposed to more-communitarian Americans. I once ran into an American – a DFL ward heeler from Saint Paul – who said loudly and proudly in public that he was happy to leave his kids education to “the experts”. I was never sure if that was entirely because that’s what he believed, or if he knew he’s get thrown in the stocks by the teachers unions that control so much of the DFL.

But it’s worth a reminder that the sentiment – not just of my DFL friend, but of a good chunk of America – probably jibes more with “Rita” than with most of the people reading this blog.

This particular op-ed in the WaPo, written by a couple of teachers union shills, titled “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t“, has been drawing a lot of ire on the cultural right.

The thesis of the article shows us part of the problem:

In their search for issues that will deliver Congress in 2022, conservatives have begun to circle around the cause of “parents’ rights.” …curtail the established rights that Americans have over the educational sphere. Yet what’s actually radical here is the assertion of parental powers that have never previously existed. This is not to say that parents should have no influence over how their children are taught. But common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents.

And there’s a decent point in there, actually. To be educated is, in fact, to have the basis to think for oneself, to stake out one’s own beliefs in the world, to figure out who one actually is and what one really believes. By historical accident or design, my own education more or less fit the bill; I’m sure if my parents had had full sway over everything I learned and how I learned it, I may have become a conservative much later, if ever.

So. yeah – “education” in the classical sense of the term is one of the things that enables a child to become a separate, autonomous adult…

provided that the schools actually teach critical thinking.

And that’s a big caveat:

 When do the interests of parents and children diverge? Generally, it occurs when a parent’s desire to inculcate a particular worldview denies the child exposure to other ideas and values that an independent young person might wish to embrace or at least entertain. To turn over all decisions to parents, then, would risk inhibiting the ability of young people to think independently. As the political scientist Rob Reich has argued, “Minimal autonomy requires, especially for its civic importance, that a child be able to examine his or her own political values and beliefs, and those of others, with a critical eye.” If we value that end, “the structure of schooling cannot simply replicate in every particularity the values and beliefs of a child’s home.”

Which would be a perfectly legitimate idea…

provided the schools weren’t doing exactly what they “worry” about the parents doing.

Can you honestly say modern state schools teach critical thought?

The authors of the piece seem to think so – but I suggest they are describing an education system that has existed since the 1980s only in their fantasy.


If society can’t trust its institutions do do their job, fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

Can we trust public education to do the mission the authors claim it has?

I think you know my vote.

Either Way…

If this sign is a Democrat campaign sign…

…(and it’s likely not, since it includes none of the mandatory “Paid For By…” subtitles) then I’d love the DFL to get honest and bring it here.

And if it’s a false flag GOP parody?

Then I hope someone brings it here even more

Just So We’re Clear…

I tend to cut people a lot of slack on things that some see as outrages, cover-ups and howlers.

For example, when Joe Rogan couldn’t get Sanjay Gupta to condemn CNN for calling Rogan’s Ivermectin treatment “horse medicine”, some screamed foul. And it was a terrible look – but what, yo8u want a guy to shade his employer on the biggest podcast in the world? Be reailstic.

And a few weeks back, when the pit reporters translated “F**k Joe Biden” into “Let’s Go Brandon”, some howled the network was covering up for Biden’s growing unpopularity. No – in that case, she was doing what everyone working live in the world of broadcast (as opposed to cable or webcasting) is trained to do from the first time they take a microphone in front of a crowd; take any FCC violations that slip through and try to neutralize them, to prevent as many FCC complaints against their hundreds of affiliates broadcast licenses as possible. Because someone will complain.

(And honestly, that particular meme may be the closest thing to “fun” we’ll have this political cycle).

And so my inner solomonic pollyanna is fighting with my pouncing Republican and education-reform zealot on this bit here:

A badly chosen example in the heat of what sounds like a pretty annoying moment? Perhaps.

Evidence that Ms. Peddy reallly thinks there’s a legitimate opposing view on the Holocaust? I doubt it.

But the idea that teachers are baffled about providing multiple points of view on things that are controversial – Columbus, the 1619 Project, the founding of the country, the roots of the Second Amendment, the causes and motivations of the Civil War, how different the USSR and Nazis weren’t, and on and on?

I can’t really pollyanna my way around that.

A Rohrschach Blob

The recent school shooting in Arlington Texas was all things to all people.

To “progressive“, it was a sign that “gun violence“ was still a huge bogeyman.To some fairly reductionist people on what is sometimes called “the right“, the news that the shooter was a black teenager, especially after a video of a chillingly violent altercation in a classroom that was said to have led up to the episode, confirmed a raft of biases about black teens, public schools and the possibility of rehabilitating violent teenage boys. Which, it was assumed, the shooter was.

To others, it was yet another sign that the law enforcement system had failed to put a repeat offender in jail, allowing him to continue to predate on society. Although to be fair, coming from people in the Twin Cities,

Turns out the story may be a lot more complicated than that, and that nobody had “wealthy black kid from a loving home, who has been bullied and robbed for being fairly well to do, shooting in self-defense“ on their Urban juvenile crime bingo card.

Berg‘s 18th Law is called a Law for a reason.

Offsetting

On the one hand, I see stories like this Dash people protesting at the home have a school board member…

…and point out that what they’re doing isn’t really a whole lot better than what John Thompson did.

On the other hand, I read stories like this, and wonder if a little well focused fear wouldn’t be a very good idea for a lot of public officials?

The Better Mousetrap

The new dean of the Hamline Mitchell law school says it’s time to do away with the bar exam, since it’s not “inclusive“ enough.

With all due respect to someone who, I suggest with all humility, hasn’t quite earned it yet, allow me to suggest alternatives approach; do away with law school as we know it today.In

Not every country requires a would-be lawyer to spend three years and $200,000 in law school as a prerequisite to taking the bar exam. In the United Kingdom, for example, it’s perfectly acceptable to “read“ for the British equivalent of the bar exam – One can walk in (figuratively, I’m sure; I imagine there are fees, registrations and so forth) and take the exam, and on success, become a practicing Barrister.

I would suspect it’s harder to pass the test without three years of motivated study, to say nothing of getting a job worth the effort without the degree (and the alumni guide) from a high-end law school.

But opening the profession up to people who are motivated to practice law, rather than acquire the most prestigious sheepskin, couldn’t hurt the ailing profession.

School Dazed

Over the past few weeks, the news that young men are rapidly heading toward being a superminority – 1/3 of the population – at America’s colleges and universities has seemed to come as a surprise to the bits and pieces of the media that have reported on it at all – like, for instance, this piece in The Atlantic,

Of course, this has been anticipated literally for decades. I first read the prediction in 2000, in Christina Hoff-Summers’ The War on Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Young Men

And it’s been a significant subject on this blog since the beginning, no less than when I spent quite a bit of time wrestling with modern education’s treatment of boys, most notably my son and stepson. . The Atlantic piece all but dismisses the notion that modern adademia (and its product and farm club, K-12 education) pathologizes boyhood, and that systematic discrimination sours boys on education even before modern post-secondary academia takes over and treats “maleness” like a mental illness. I think the article is wrong, and I’d welcome a serious, frank (read “no holds barred”) debate on the subject.

But I come here not to recap views of the disease, about which I have few doubts, but to ask questions about the treatment.

Boys are opting out of school – post-secondary education, in this case, but it applies across non-vocational higher education and non-engineering and hard-science spaces (which continue to be fairly male-dominated, despite decades of effort) . And it’s causing…

…well, “concern” may be an overstatement.

My pullquote from the Atlantic piece:

The implications of the college gender gap for individual men are troubling but uncertain. “My biggest immediate worry is that men are making the wrong decision,” Goldin said. “I worry they’ll come to severely regret their choice if they realize the best jobs require a degree they never got.” There is also the issue of dating. College grads typically marry college grads. But this trend of associative mating will hit some turbulence, at least among heterosexual people; if present trends continue, the dating pool of college grads could include two women for every guy. As women spend more time in school and their male peers dwindle as a share of the college population, further delays in marriage and childbirth may ensue. That would further reduce U.S. fertility rates, which worries some commentators, albeit not all.

Background

I not only went to college, I got a BA in English. And, perhaps unexpectedly given the state of modern higher ed, I went in a fairly “progressive” but not very well-read Democrat, and came out four years later a Reagan conservative – because of my English major adviser.

I’m sure he’d have been cashiered from academia, or at least the humanities academy, these days.

I got, in short, the sort of humanities education that today trips a whole lot of social and political triggers, but set me up for not only the life I have today but system of beliefs by which I live (and about which I write on this blog and talk on my radio show) pretty darn well, conservatism and all.

Of course, higher ed has changed a lot in the past 35 years. The academy, which tended to lean left when I was in college, has toppled over to the left today. Conservative thought is not only scarce, in some cases it is actively hunted down, intellectually speaking (so far).

A Pox?

The response from a lot of my conservative and libertarian friends has been along the lines of “Good! Get our young guys to go to tech school or do apprenticeships and become mechanics and plumbers and HVAC techs!”

There’s a practical side to that; the modern secondary education seems to consider high school grads who don’t go to college as defeats, personal slights to them as teachers. But, obviously, not everyone wants, or is suited, to be a teacher, an administrator, a professional. Destigmatizing the trades would be a wonderful thing.

But there’s a social and political side as well; some say it’s high time for young conservatives to secede from academia, go into the trades. A pox on the whole house of academia.

I get it.

But thinking back on 17 year old me? The closest thing I had to an interest in the trades was working in radio, which I’d most definitely learned on the job (then as now) – and which, to be fair, turned out to be a career, albeit not a lucrative one. Beyond that? 17 year old Mitch, just as *&^% year old Mitch, lived in his head, not with his hands, for better or worse. Even with hindsight, I can’t think of a trade I would have been happy with. (Happy with learning to a basic level of competence is another story; I’d love to have retained some of the electricity or carpentry knowledge I picked up along the way, but that’s purely avocational, not a career goal).

But it was a moot point, because when I was 17, college was not only moderately affordable, it was presented as a place to learn the tools to think critically about the smorgasbord of ideas pelting one about one’s head.

And the first 13 years of school hadn’t beaten all love of learning out of most of us guys.

Eating The Seed Corn

So I completely support destigmatizing the vocational education track.

And I understand the impetus to chuck the whole thing.

But as the masculine half of this nation’s collective brain gets pushed out of the “Brain” half of this nation’s public life, what does it get replaced with?

The feminine half?

Forget for a moment that it’s a “Feminine” half trained by, well, modern academia, with all of its current adjectives (post-structural, proto-Marxist, anti-Western-Civilization, and I could probably go on from there). Leave that out of it completely for a moment.

What happens to a nation that cedes its public intellectual life entirely to its feminine half?

Men and women lead differently, process threats and stress differently, appraise situations very differently.

And that difference can be a good thing.

But what happens when the doors that do get opened to college grads – the thinking, rather than doing jobs – have nothing but women going through them?

It’s been de rigeur since the late seventies to reflexively bark “a society and world run by women would be perfect! No war, no hunger – it’d be like having Mom run everything!”

Which, like all “progressive” fever dreams, is reductionist baked wind. A society whose entire intellectual direction is run by women – especially a society which has become as centralized, bureaucratized, credentialized and driven by increasingly stratified institutions as ours is becoming – would have different dysfunctions than a completely masculine society, but dysfunctional it would remain.

And beyond that – quick: someone show me a matriarchal society throughout all of human history that has survived prolonged conflict with an aggressive patriarchal one? History bids us to look at sub-Saharan Africa, where indigenous culture is highly matriarchal…

…and was easily steamrollered by the aggressive, patriarchal, militaristic Bantu, Swahili, and other masculine mega-tribes.

Families, across all of society, need male and female influences to thrive and survive.

So do the societies themselves.

And we’ve known for a generation, now, that we’re slowly losing that, on an intellectual level. Some of the dumber among us are celebrating it.

It’s going to be a big problem in the future.

Against Type

The pandemic and civil unrest has led, as we’ve noted in this space, to a massive realignment of attitudes about firearms, with Democrats, women and minorities the fastest-growing members of a fast-growing lifestyle.

And now – school choice?

Granted, the “choice” is for more mask mandates.

But any port in a storm.

That’s A Daring Stance Indeed

Professor “joins the lowercase ‘movement'” (sic) to reject the “symbols of hierarcy”.

Let’s forget for a moment that she’s keeping the “Doctor” in front of her name – as noxious a symbol of hierarchy as there is.

But let’s dig a little further.

Writing in pure lower case is the sort of stylistic affectation afforded almost exclusively to “artists”, from the wonderful e.e.cummings to a raft of “quirky” and almost invariably tiresome cartoonists, “writers” and other “artists” – almost all of whom get whatever legitimacy they claim from being part of the academy or some genus of counterculture or another…

…all of which is another term for class privilege.

Wonder if I can find a “lowercase movement” meeting somewhere?

Also – it’d be interesting to run a poll of indigenous Americans to see if professors affecting lower case helps them, and how much…

Immolation

The late Nick Coleman used to accuse my fellow Northern Alliance bloggers and I of trying to “burn down the public schools“ for suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the teachers union and the administrative/industrial complex weren’t necessarily working in kids best interests.

It’s taken 15 years – but it sounds like all the smart parents agree:

Enrollment in public schools nationwide declined by 3 percent last year. But it was the numbers for kindergarten enrollment that should chill the blood of teachers’ unions and school district officials. Kindergarten enrollment tanked by 13 percent last year, and it’s only expected to get worse this year.

One school district in Brooklyn, New York, has seen its rosters fall from 345 students in 2018–19 to a projected 225 this September, with kindergarten enrollment collapsing from 76 to 37. Because school funding is pegged to enrollment, that school stands to lose a sizable chunk of its funding — funds to pay teachers and other support staff.

And yes, it’s not the pandemic itself that’s causing the collapse in enrollment. It’s the policies put in place to assuage the desires of teachers.

My theory: progressives, when they get in the power, always, always, always overreach. Sometimes it even hurts them:

All of which would be another reason to view 2020–21 to be the apex of teachers union power, to be followed by inexorable descent. They got their work-at-home carveouts, their school closures, their preferred party running the federal government, their vaccine fast-tracking, their fingerprints all over the “science,” and their hundreds of billions in federal largesse. And as a result of all that influence, they created a product that’s literally repellant to millions of parents, even at the cost of free. Their ranks will almost certainly thin.

If I had known what I was doing, I would’ve spent a lot more time and effort trying to put together some sort of “homeschool pod“ when my kids were that age – sharing the effort with some of the other parents who had gotten disgusted, even back then, with the system.

Slopping The Cultural Trough

My grandmother spoke only Norwegian until she was eight years old. But starting around age eight, like a lot of second-generation Americans from immigrant homes, she switched to English. I remember her teaching us maybe a couple words – and I, like my dad, only remember her speaking it occasionally around Sophie Swenson, another Norwegian woman in the neighborhood.

They were in America. They learned English.

Later, of course, when I started learning Norwegian, I learned Grandma’s dialect, from Sør-Trøndelag, in the hill country near the Swedish border, was pretty much the Appalachians of Norway, and I may have dodged a linguistic and cultural bullet. Nonetheless, I grew up feeling just a skosh deprived – and that was one of the reasons I had for taking seven years of German between secondary and college – I figured in the back of my head it’d help me learn Norwegian one day [1]

I won’t say Grandma marinaded us in the old country’s culture, even without the language; life back in Tydal had been pretty rough. My great-grandfather, Ole Berndson, had two sons and two daughters, and all but the youngest son left Norway in their twenties and early thirties, bespeaking a pretty rough time of things in the 1880s. Grandma told stories of people living on tree bark soup when things got hairy, and that wasn’t unusual. Ole got his farm foreclosed not long after (by the anscestor of someone I’ve met online, and plan to visit one day when I do finally get there, God willing), leaving his son Bersvend to have to adapt, making a fortune as a lumberman. Here, all three married – my two great-great aunts to North Dakota farmers, and my great-grandfather to my great-grandmother up near Thief River Falls.

My Dad and I put most of this together ourselves – Grandma died in 1980, before either of us took on a huge interest in geneology. But she left enough hints so that we were able to get at least the broad outlines.

But I learned my cultural heritage – the parts that matter, anyway. Because I’m American.

And I’m thankful that I leanred it, rather than having it taught to me by a government bureaucrat.

Now, I’m not saying that to wallow in nostalgia, or to claim the old way is always the best.

But while I can’t speak for parents in a culture I neither much know nor understand, I’d have to think a Somali parent who actually cares about the place he moved to must be getting a little dismayed by this story:

There is a new effort underway at Minneapolis Public Schools to make sure Somali students know and understand their language and culture.

“There’s no shame in being bilingual,” said Deqa Muhidin, the MPS district program facilitator. “It’s an asset and we want them to celebrate that.”

Minneapolis does a noxious, toxic, rotten to the bone job of teaching kids the history and meaning of our own culture. Why the hell would any parent want that same pack of dullards teaching their kids – any kids – about their own?

[1] I was about one-third right. German and Norwegian share a little vocabulary, but almost no grammar, syntax and structure. As it happens, Norwegian is a little like speaking English, only with different words for just about everything. And a bizarre structure for definite articles just to make it interesting.

The Real Problem

The NYTimes tweet re the recent cheating scandal at Dartmouth Medical School:

So, the school taking radical and dubiously ethical means to root out cheating at a medical school is “sowing mistrust”.

One guess as to where else “trust” is going to be a little dodgy…?

A Little Hope

This video’s been making the rounds. I’ve had at least a half dozen people refer it to me. It’s Brad Taylor, speaking last week at the Rosemount School Board, on how his education has already been given over to indoctrination:

I give speaker points: the kid is excellent.

All you folks moving to the third-tier burbs looking to escape the lunacy? The lunacy is following you. Running away ain’t gonna work. You’re going to have to stand and fight.

And a few thousand more like Mr. Taylor and his like (I’m looking at you, Kyle Kashuv, wherever yo88u are) it may be a fair fight.

As re getting him on the NARN? My people are already calling his people.