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.

New Wrinkle

When last we met Rashad Turner, he was the firebrand leader of the Saint Paul chapter of BLM.

What a difference a couple years can make:

It would seem Turner started having misgivings about BLM for some of the same reasons I did – the organization joined with the Teachers union to piddle on the charter schools that are the lifeboats for so many kids, disproportionally minority, in the city.

He’s appearing at an event tomorrow evening at Willy McCoy’s in, I believe, Champlin, along with Kendall Qualls, the former CD3 candidate who’s been running “TakeChargeMN” – the group that produced Turner’s video, and which is aiming to evangelize the black community on the things that used to make it strong; family, faith, and an actual education.

I’m looking forward to it.

Avoidance

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Iowa State University professor tries to limit contact with White People. Sounds fair. I try to limit contact with groups of Black people for my own safety, because I’ve read the statistical proof. Of course, that essay is nearly 10 years old so the numbers may be out of date. Anecdotal supporting evidence came last year, in the Third Precinct in Minneapolis, and also in recent airport melee videos, and I live in a city committed to diversity entitlement above law enforcement, so the principles are still valid.

The professor lives in a town of 65,000 people that is 92% White/Asian (they’re the same nowadays, at least for affirmative action purposes) and she teaches at a school that is 85% White/Asian. True, there have been racial crimes reported in Ames, but they’re Black-on-White crimes so the professor’s safety is not at issue. What’s her reason for avoiding White People?

Joe Doakes

The “progressive” electorate isn’t going to call her on it. Who would know better than one of the people whose job is to un-teach critical thinking skills?

Hope

Stillwater students stage a walkout…

…and I can hear you tuning out already, thinking this is just another bit of canned outrage, with “woke” teachers and administrators using students as their pawns, but hear me out…

…in favor of “Back the Blue“.

A group of Stillwater Area High school students walked out of class Thursday morning to show support for police officers.

Students were encouraged to wear blue and bring thin blue line flags.

Look – I’m not a police fanboy. I think bad cops get the same treatment as bad criminals; being a bad cop is a betrayal of the trust (and power) the public gives them. I’m conservative enough to know why we need poice – and libertarian enough to want just enough policing.

And we don’t have just enough of it in the Metro. Not even close .

But let’s focus on the kids. The fact that some of them are being heard against the woke mob is encouraging. With a little luck, and good parenting, perhaps they’ll start engaging the commies in the classroom, too

This is to be supported.

It’s A Start

Homeschooling triples during the pandemic.

It may be the closest thing we have to a good side-effect of this past year.

The state – SD? FL? – who makes tax money given to education completely portable for things like home schooling (individual or group) or vouchers will see an economic and population boom like this country hasn’t seen since the days of Ellis Island.

All In This Together. Yuuup.

Vice President – and let’s be honest, future President, most likely after January 2023, so she has the statutory opportunity to “serve” two full terms of her own – Harris, expressing her deep empathy for working parents with kids at home:

If homeschooling, charter school and private school activists don’t start using this in their ads, they have only themselves to blame.

Logic

No less an authority than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream informs me that public schools are hotbeds of systemic racism.

No less an authority than President Trump informed me that racism is evil.

Plainly, then, the conclusion must be obvious: public schools are evil.

Minnesota spends more than $13 Billion per year promoting evil.

We should stop doing that. 

We should close all public schools at once.

Parents who care about education and who can afford to send their children to private school, will.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school, will home school.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school nor to home school them will be out of luck and their children will grow up ignorant and poor like their parents who probably were Trump voters anyway, so they deserve it.

Teachers, administrators, support staff laid off when the schools close, should learn to code.

Joe Doakes

The thing about calling racism “structural” is you gotta get rid of the “structure” to fix it.

For Me But Not For Ye Yadda Yadda Bla Bla

California teachers union official who’s spent months claiming that schools are unsafe…

…you already know where this is going, don’t you? Yet another Democrat official demanding compliance from the proles, while seizing special treatment for them and theirs. Right?

Right. And you know he’s a Democrat, because, well, he’s white, and elected, and in Berkeley, and I’ll just defer to the physical description:

“White man with dreads”. Only Urban Progressive Privilege conveys that level of immunity to charges of “cultural appropriation”.

Anyway – Meyer was caught on tape by “reopening” activists dropping his kids off at a private pre-school. I’ve added emphasis:

“Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union,” the group wrote in a tweet on Saturday along with video footage of Meyer. “He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.”

Meyer told Fox News in a statement that the video, which blurred out his child’s face, was “very inappropriate” and an intrusion of his child’s privacy. He added that there were “no public options for kids her age.”

Right – because of him, his union, and the state government over which both have inordinate control.

The Democrats are going to need another Republican to go to Cancun, and stat.

But Don’t You Dare Call Big Left Horrifyingly Reductionist

SCENE: Mitch BERG is at a local roastery, picking out some bourgeois coffee. Avery LIBRELLE walks in. BERG can’t quite react fast enough.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, f…for crying out loud, it’s been a long time, Avery. What’s…

LIBRELLE: (Interrupting) You say Democrats have trouble with critical thinking…

BERG: (picking a medium roast, ordering a half pound ground for french press) Yup.

LIBRELLE: …and that conservatism takes more mental energy…

BERG: …and it absolutely does, for people in modern society…

LIBRELLE: and that the modern left is hopelessly reductionistic.

BERG: You bet.

LIBRELLE: That is so wrong.

BERG: Nah. Here’s one of the modern left’s intellectual thought leaders at work:

BERG: Boiling a complex argument with lots of real world context down into an evil cover of a nursery rhyme is…

(BERG looks at LIBRELLE – who is happily clapping along and whispering the words)

(BERG silently pays for his order, leaves)

(And SCENE)

(

Indoctrination

Whatever you do, don’t you dare suggest public schools have become leftist indoctrination factories:


According to whistleblower documents and a source within the school, a fifth-grade teacher at the inner-city William D. Kelley School designed a social studies curriculum to celebrate Davis, praising the “black communist” for her fight against “injustice and inequality.” As part of the lesson, the teacher asked students to “describe Davis’ early life,” reflect on her vision of social change, and “define communist”—presumably in favorable terms.

At the conclusion of the unit, the teacher led the ten- and eleven-year-old students into the school auditorium to “simulate” a Black Power rally to “free Angela Davis” from prison, where she had once been held while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder. The students marched on the stage, holding signs that read “Black Power,” “Jail Trump,” “Free Angela,” and “Black Power Matters.” They chanted about Africa and ancestral power, then shouted “Free Angela! Free Angela!” as they stood at the front of the stage.

Apologists may respond “this is an anomaly! Not all public schools try to get away with this kind of thing!”

No. Just the ones in districts so blue that there will be no consequences – serving both to socialize (heh heh) the concept with other teachers, and to lower the bar of what’s “acceptable” elsewhere; “Oh, fer gosh sakes, Edina doesn’t have them chant “Free Angela” and talk about black “ancestral power”. No, perish the thought. We just study why Angela Davis is a hero (omitting all context about her crimes and communism itself, naturally), and why “whiteness” is a social cancer. Totally different things!”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is pretty clear on this: “When it comes to “progressive” policy, yesterday’s absurd joke is today’s serious proposal and tomorrow’s potential law”

Don’t be surprised.

Bad News / Good News

The bad news: As I observed with Ann Bauer while filling in for Brad Carlson last week, lockdowns are killing kids – especially kids who are, like so many these days, predisposed to mental illness:

Millions of American kids are struggling, and their chances for long-term improved mental health is predicated on the notion that we will now prioritize their emotional well-being, which our society has tragically shown it has no intention of doing.

Our hope for raising an emotionally healthy and mentally stable generation is dissipating with every day kids are kept locked in their bedrooms and out of schools. Skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety are in no small part due to the fact that children feel neglected and forgotten, and they are not wrong to feel that way.

Our society has abandoned them and treated them as disposable. The damage caused by this abandonment is incalculable, and compounding every day we allow inertia, irrationality and the craven priorities of teachers unions to rule our decision-making.

The good news?

What, are you new around here? This is progressivism at work, operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries “Big Education” and “Big Karen”. Short of turning our culture around, there is none.

I Tried

I tried to warn everyone.

During the presidential campaign, every time candidate Biden went on one of his roughly 200000,000,000,000 television ads saying “… I have a plan…“, I warned you.

“Ask for specifics“. What is the plan. Tell us.

I mean, neither I nor any of you could ask the campaign directly, of course. That fact got me thinking – wouldn’t it be cool, and salutary to democracy, if we had an institution with printing presses and transmitters and – work with me, here – perhaps rooms full of people who consider themselves a nearly monastic class of information gatherers, processors and disseminators, who take it not merely as their job but their calling to ask questions of those who would aspire to power, to hold them accountable, who might have asked those questions in our stead?

To paraphrase John Lennon, you might say that I am a dreamer.

And when it comes to schools – they of the infamous “plan“ to re-open them all within 100 days of coming in the office?

The “plan“ is apparently to put the goal posts on a C117 Globemaster and fly them to Diego Garcia.

If I Were A Harvard Alum…

…I’d be passing the hat to get David Hogg…

…to transfer or drop out.

But have no fear, Master Hogg. Logically, factually and intellectually, the intellectual foam pillow that is your worldview and movement has been on Mars for quite some time now.

Ivy League Alums Ponder Restraining Orders, Injunctions

David Hogg, who has built a very rewarding career slandering law-abiding gun owners, is his immense expertise from “gun safety” to industry. Seeking to “own” Mike Lindell [1], he announced last week he seeks to start a pillow company.

Last Friday, it turned out Hogg’s big idea had run into the same roadblock as his gun control agenda – reality:

That Harvard education is serving the lad well, isn’t it?

Not An Animal

“Protect” Minnesota has a new executive director.

We’ll come back to that.


Modern American “progressivism”, like all its many forebears in the past 200 years, has been all about rallying people against boogeymen. From “monarchists” in the French Revolution, to “Wreckers” in Stalin’s USSR to the Wobbly’s “Bosses”, up through “the patriarchy” and “the man” and “counterrevolutionaries” in Red China and San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, and if you have a hard time distinguishing between ’em, join the club.

Today, the boogeymen…er, boogiepeople on the left are pretty much all the things that people who are included are told to be “anti”. “Anti-Racism” “Anti-Misogyny” (not just sexism, anymore – it’s the more active, more malevolent noun these days), “Anti-Fascism”, “Anti-Transphobia”, and on and on – all of which sounds like good things to be “anti”…

…and, unsurprisingly, when you dig into the “Root Causes” of all those nouns, all things trace back to “Western Civilization” in all its particulars: the Judeo-Christian value on the individual and their worth, value, rights and responsibilities and potential of each and every person, as a person with a mind, a point of view, and at the end of the day an indivisible soul of personal, societal, political, intellectual and metaphysical worth.

Those aspects of humanity are anathema to progressivism in all its flavors. The focus is on the group – the Marxists “classes”, the Nazi’s irreducible focus on race, the modern academic Left’s obsession with a byzantine network of intersectional identity groups. The individual is nothing but a vote (for now), an appetite, a widget to be moved through the production line of life (like Obamacare’s awful caricature of Progressive humanity, “Julia”). Progressivism is “Materialist”. Souls, individual intellects and thoughts and reams, all are ephemeral; humans are widgets that consume and produce, and whose worth and value (to those in power) is expressed via their membership in the collective.

Those widgets have a term. “Bodies”. Not people. Not brains. Not souls.

Bodies.


Anyway – “P”M has a new director. And unlike the dotty, dizzy neverending font of comedy that was Heather Martens, or the serial fabulist The “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence, the new director presents us with a few surprises.

She’s “a gun owner herself” – which might be seen in several ways. Is “P”M moderating? Are they realizing that the culture war has slipped far enough away from them, especially over this past year, that they have to start speaking to people who need to be convinced?

And she’s apparently incredibly famous, since she apparently just goes by “Rashmi”. I’ve turned “Protect” Minnesota’s website, Facebook feed and other social media upside down, and not been able to find any reference to a last name, which is Seneviratne, by the way.

But even during the reign of the serial fabulist the Reverend Nord Bence, “Protect” MN wasn’t nearly extreme enough in its hatred of guns and (law-abiding) gun owners, enough for some people.

“P”M spawned a breakway group, “Survivors Lead” – basically a woman, Rachel Joseph, with a long history of progressive activism and a story; an aunt who was murdered, according to Ms. Joseph’s story, by a gun.

Quick aside: I don’t minimize anyone’s trauma over having a loved one murdered. But in the many times I’ve heard Ms. Joseph’s story, she’s never once mentioned a perpetrator, someone actually holding and using the gun that killed her aunt; that persons evil motivation, the legal fallout from the murder, whether that person was sentenced or not. It’d be wrong to crack wise – “what, did the gun animate itself?” – but omitting a perpetrator, his/her motives and the like from the conversation is incredibly intellectually dishonest.

Anyway – “Rashmi” and her apparent moderation are not going over well with “Survivors Lead”:

The extreme heckling the not-as-extreme about getting less extreme. That qualifies as “dog bites man”, at the very most.

Rather less so? There followed some more, er, ethnically pointed traffic on one social media feed (from which I’ve long been blocked) or another.

After which “P”M – operating through its usual social media persona, the omniscient third person that used to be Martens and Nord Bence – responded:

On the one hand, watching the agents of Big Left eating each other is one of my favorite spectator sports.

And if the biggest semi-organic anti-gun group in MInnesota (shaddap about Moms Want Action already) is pivoting from pushing Linda Slocum’s gun grab bill to highlighting the inequity of gun control (“Race, class and geography all play into who gets to have a gun and who doesn’t” – which is something every Second Amendment activist has known for 50 years) and speaking in the first “person” to the prudence of victims of violence to arm up, then in culture war terms that’s the sound of the first tank crossing the pontoon bridge at Remagen.

But…”white bodied privilege?”

What the flaming hootie hoo?

I thought for a moment – is this a shot back at the Rachel Dolezals and Elizabeth Warrens of the world, with their flip-flopping identities, by “actual” “people of color”, reinforcing the idea that while you might “identify” with one degree melanin or another, your apparent appearance still wins out in the great privilege lottery (which will, I suspect, get pilloried hard by the Trans crowd, for whom perceived identity is everything? I’ll let the fight that one out).

But no. It’s much less hilarious than that.

It’s “inclusion language” – slang or argot that one class of people use to track who is in, and who is “out” – to be sure. That’s part of it, and people are noticing:

Referring to people as bodies is a reminder, writer Elizabeth Barnes says in an interview, that “racism isn’t just about the ideas that you have in your head.” Barnes is the author of “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, The Girl Behind the Wall.” In intellectual discussions, theories about social oppression sound almost disembodied; “we talk about prejudice,” Barnes says, “like it’s just a matter of ideas.” The point is to emphasize the physical violence done to black people through slavery, lynching, and police brutality. In the case of women, the term “bodies” highlights “what happens to women’s bodies in health care contexts, in sexual contexts, in reproductive contexts.”

But behond that?

It’s a nod to the materialism of the left – that the mind, the thoughts, the indivisible soul of the indivisual human being is not merely irrelevant, but inconvenient to the obsession with identity.

Your melanin defines you.

In some ways its a cheap ad hominem – “of course you’d think that, you are (add a reference to your target’s melanin, or lack thereof)”. But pointing logical fallacies out to the foot soldiers of Big Left is a little like arguing salinity with sharks; it’s just part of the water they swim in.

So – gun groups eating each other? Good.

The debate contributing to the ongoing hijacking of the language? Bad.

The whole thing participating, in its own little way, in the further erosion of one of the ideals that’s made Western Civilization the most successful, and humane , civilization in human history?

Worse.

Government By Platitude

Governor Walz released…

…well, he called it his “education plan”, earlier this week.

Those of us who work in business – which significantly, has never included anyone in our executive branch – can identify what this…thing, is.

It’s a two page list of platitudes. One and a half when you leave out the header.

None of it has specifics. None of it is testable to see if it’s working or isn’t, in any way. And while we are assured that there’s more “plan” coming, mark my words – there’ll be no more substance in the thousands of pages of institutional gobbledigook that are surely to come.

But let’s translate the terms from their current Educational/Bureaucratic dialect – the form of English with the lowest signal to noise ratio of all our many argots – into actual English:

  • “‘Caring and Qualified’ Teachers” – Get ready to get logrolled with a few years of sob stories about how underpaid teachers, especially in the Metro, are.
  • “Expand opportunities and mental health staff” – Full employment for soft-science and non-profiteers in the school system.
  • “Statewide Mentor Program to help retain teachers” –
  • “Expand full service community school model statewide” – We need to expand the system’s efficiency at transferring taxpayer dollars, not just to Education Minnesota, but to the non-profit/industrial complex that’s attached to it like a remora fish – and all you schools in greater Minnesota need to step up and do your bit.
  • “Establish an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center” – Because why should we pay Pacific Consulting Group millions to screw up our schools when we’ve got PCG-trained career bureaucrats who can do it for us. Although we’ll still be transferring plenty of wealth to PCG.
  • “Expand rigorous coursework options” – You bought an education system! Now, for just a few billion more, you can have one that actually teaches stuff to kids! Maybe!
  • “Prioritize school funding to the students that need it most” and “Guarantee that compensatory aid funding supports students traditionally left behind” – jigger the various knobs and levers to move more money to the Metro.
  • “One time investment to ensure pandemic enrollment loss does not negatively affect students.” – parents and students are bailing on the public schools in record numbers. We need a bailout.
  • “Strengthen community and school partnerships” – No “community” non-profit left behind.

Hope that helps.

Bigotry Of Bizarre Expectations

Kind of a good news, bad news situation here. But maybe not in the way you think.

A teachers union president in Washington State refers to reopening schools as a “white supremacist” initiative.

The good – or “good” – news: this is an example of the type of rhetorical, social and policy overreach one can expect when “progressives” – in this case invariably white, middle-class, and visibly “progressive” – find themselves in power. This statement – literally, “wanting your kids back in schools, and wanting some sense of stability and normalcy for their mental health, at a time when teenage suicide is exploding all over the country, is racist” is the very definition of “2+2=5” – mental health is mental illness, concern for kids is a pathology, truth is lies. (And the ability to say it without having ones own peers pelt one with rocks and garbage is Urban Progressive Privilege).

ut another way, evil – no scare quotes. Inverting moral truth and moral falsehood is as textbook a definition of venial evil as exists.

That’s the “good” news.

The bad news? About half the country, as this is written, doesn’t know any better, or just doesn’t want to think about it that hard.

The Fix

Macalester students, forced to “study” remotely, get not a dime’s worth of break on their tuition.

Their institutions’ president has other priorities:

Now might be a fine time for conservative entrepreneurs to start getting into the higher ed business.

He/She/Whatever Who Forgets History Is Susceptible To Democrat Drivel

It’s possible that the collapse of public education isn’t a plot to make society dumber and more susceptible to totalitarian meddling.

But it’s hard to figure how they’d do a better job of it if they were trying:

Nearly 20 percent of millennials and Gen Z in New York believe Jews caused the Holocaust, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

The findings come from the first-ever 50-state survey on the Holocaust knowledge of American millennials and Gen Z, which was commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

For instance, although there were more than 40,000 camps and ghettos during World War II, 58 percent of respondents in New York cannot name a single one.

Additionally, 60 percent of respondents in New York do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

It was my observation when my kids were in school – over a decade ago, in the Saint Paul Public Schools – that the only things they learned in their various social studies classes were slavery and civil rights.

No “Federalist Papers” or origins of the Constitution. Nothing about the Civil War but slavery.

Nothing about the rise of progressivism, the causes of the Depression, World War II. Nothing about the sixties but Civil Rights.

Again – that was anecdotal, and entirely possibly wrong. But I’ve found little reason to not assume I’m at least largely right on this.

And this article is certainly a plaintiff’s exhibit.

And Then…

White, Jewish girl from Kansas City pretends to be Black girl from the ‘hood, for her entire career.  

She has a Ph.D.  from U-W, Madison.  Figures.

What do you bet she rode the Affirmative Action express all the way up?  “Black” woman applying to college and then to grad school – guaranteed admission.  “Black” woman doing “research” for a Ph.D – easier grading, more help, less criticism.  “Black” woman academic with excellent grades applying to be college professor – the script writes itself.

The news story compares her to Rachel Dolezal, the White woman who pretended to be Black to get a white-collar job (running a branch office of the NAACP).   True, but oddly, the story makes no mention of Elizabeth Warren, the White woman who pretended to be an American Indian so she could ride the Affirmative Action escalator into a professorship at Harvard.

That’s all fine, this woman confessed, she’s out in the open, and then . . . well, then what?  The college says they can’t comment on personnel matters, which implies she’s still working there.  She didn’t quit?  She didn’t give back the job she gained under false pretenses, the money that should have gone to another, more morally deserving person?

I see the confession . . . where’s the penance?

Joe Doakes

Penance is a form of white supremacy.

Haven’t you been paying attention, Joe?

Hail To The…Er, VIP

A friend of the blog emails:

Last night at a prayer meeting one of the members of the group told us that Minneapolis public schools made a change to job titles. This friend of mine is a teacher at Minneapolis South. He said it was announced yesterday that all titles in the Minneapolis public school system with the term Chief in them will be changed. It’s the end of racism as we know it.

Excising a word that existed in a constant context in the English language for hundreds of years?

Yeah, that oughtta fix it.