Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Culture

Fighting for our children

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News on Tuesday:

The outrage that so many parents and community members are feeling is the realization that many of our government schools no longer consider themselves accountable to the people.

 

Throughout Wisconsin, and the rest of America, we are witnessing an eruption of outrage and activism by parents who are angry with their local school districts and the people who run them for indoctrinating children with critical race theory. This latest advancement of Marxism in our schools, however, is only the latest manifestation of a much deeper issue.

 

The real source of the outrage is our collective realization that the people who run our government schools no longer consider themselves accountable to the communities they are supposed to serve. Too many of our school administrators, teachers, and board members just want parents to shut up, pay their exorbitant taxes, and blindly accept what their children are being taught. It is an all-out assault on small “r” republicanism. When the pandemic began and we knew so little about the latest virus, parents wholeheartedly supported their local government schools as they made difficult decisions in what everyone thought was the best interest of the children.

 

Eighteen months later, we know much more about the virus, the minimal risk to children, and the incredible damage that many of the virus mitigation methods do to children. Despite this, too many schools have persisted in damaging children despite the clear science and the protestations of parents. The refusal of government schools to follow their community’s direction on virus mitigation was a shock for many parents. The entire purpose of having an elected board of community members run our government schools is so that the school district will reflect the collective will of the local community. Not only have many school districts refused to acquiesce to that collective will, school administrators, teachers unions, and the board members who serve them have treated the community with contempt for daring to challenge the mental and moral supremacy of officialdom.

 

The infusion of CRT into the curriculum of many schools was another revelation for parents. CRT is a postmodern radical racist ideology that has its roots in the Marxist dogma of dividing people by arbitrary characteristics. Marx divided people by economic class. CRT divides people by race. In both cases, they eschew the rights and liberties of individuals in favor of collective reward or punishment. They are ideologies that erode individualism as a means to subjugation.

 

CRT put a name to something that has been happening in too many of our government schools for some time. Now that parents are objecting and the term “CRT” has become politically toxic, some schools are changing the name to “social emotional learning,” “culturally responsive teaching,” or just infusing the ideology throughout the curriculum without assigning it a name. Fortunately, many parents are already onto the game and are trying to hold their local school board accountable.

 

In Mequon, an intrepid band of parents rallied the community to recall four members of the School Board who have been ignoring the community on issues from virus mitigation to the efforts to radicalize the children through the curriculum. Importantly, the parents in Mequon, now awakened, are pointing out that while the school board and administrators have been focused on botched virus responses, radical curriculum, and shaming parents, the school district’s education performance has been declining for years. This is true of almost every government school district in Wisconsin. While school administrators and board members focus on turning out a generation of woke radicals to fuel the leftist revolution, parents just want educated kids who are equipped to go get their American dream.

 

The outrage that so many parents and community members are feeling is the realization that many of our government schools no longer consider themselves accountable to the people. They consider themselves to be autonomous institutions whose purpose is to transform the bigoted, inequitable, individualistic society around them. Their hubris fuels their derision of the people they are supposed to be serving.

 

It is incredibly important that the people in Mequon and elsewhere reclaim their local government school boards for their communities. Education is the key to success for each child and every moment wasted is a moment taken from that child’s future. Teachers can model respect, dignity, and personal responsibility while teaching a full curriculum of reading, mathematics, economics, finance, civics, history, literature, geography, science, art, mechanics, technology, and all of the other subjects that compose a well-rounded education. Time is the most precious commodity a school has and there is not a moment to waste on divisive indoctrination.

San Francisco Shuts Down Restaurant for Refusing to Become Vaccine Enforcers

This is fascism.

The popular burger chain In-N-Out is sizzling mad after San Francisco shut down its indoor dining for refusing to check customers’ vaccination status.

 

The company’s Fisherman’s Wharf location – the only In-N-Out location in San Francisco – was temporarily shut by the Health Department on Thursday for declining to enforce the state’s stringent coronavirus restrictions.

 

Authorities said the burger chain had refused to bar clients who couldn’t show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, as required by a city-wide mandate that came into effect on August 20.

Texas Abortion Law Remains in Effect

The process continues.

The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, was briefly paused after a federal judge issued a temporary injunction last week barring its enforcement. Days later, the law was reinstated after a panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary administrative stay.

 

In the latest development of the high-profile case, the court rejected the Justice Department’s request to again halt Texas’ ability to enforce the law. In a 2-1 order Thursday night, a panel of judges granted Texas’s request to continue to stay the preliminary injunction while it pursues its appeal.

 

The court’s order did not detail its reasoning behind the ruling, which is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Parents Are Stupid and Shouldn’t Have Any Say in What Their Kids Are Taught In School

That’s pretty much this guy’s message.

Parents have an important role in the education process, no doubt, but when it comes to what is being taught, that should be left up to elected and appointed professionals that have a background in education and actual experience with teaching. Just because a parent disagrees with something doesn’t make what they disagree with inappropriate for the classroom.

 

Parents tend to let their personal views cloud what they think should and should not be taught in schools. Being an educated person means that you are a well-rounded person. A well-rounded person learns about many different topics and perspectives.

 

Parents that are demanding to have a say in what is and isn’t taught need to think about the consequences of their demands.

 

At best, parents dictating what teachers teach could lead to dangerous inaccuracies in the many facets of education. At worst, it could poison our students’ minds with nonsensical dribble.

Government Indoctrination Centers Drive Passion in Republican Base

I’m heartened to see communities trying to take control of their schools back. I hope they are successful

But the issue that transformed Yoder, a stay-at-home mother, from a reliable voter to the kind of person who brings three young children to an evening campaign rally was not her Christian values or her pocketbook.

 

It was something even more personal, she said: what her children learn in school.

 

“The past year has revealed a ton to me,” Yoder, 41, said as she waited in this northern Virginia exurb for a speech by Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor. “The more I’ve listened and paid attention, the more that I see what’s happening in schools and on college campuses. And the stuff I see, I don’t want corrupting my children.”

Petition to Remove Principal Who Loves Iron Maiden

Sacrilege.

Parents of high school students in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada have started a petition to remove a school official because of the classic heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

 

Close to 400 people have signed the Change.org petition to transfer Eden High School Principal Sharon Burns.

 

IHeartRadio reported that the petition was started by Debbi Lynn.

 

“As concerned parents with impressionable children at Eden High School in St. Catharines, Ontario, we are deeply disturbed that the principal assigned to the school blatantly showed Satanic symbols and her allegiance to Satanic practices on her public social media platforms where all the students can see them under @edenprincipal (not her personal account),” the petition said.

 

On Friday, an update on the petition said they didn’t want to remove Burns because of her love for Iron Maiden but because of “openly displaying her OWN handmade sign with the 666 clearly displayed on it.”

 

The number 666 is used to represent the devil, antichrist, or evil.

Hostile Workspaces

This is a letter in the student newspaper of my Alma Mater:

I am an instructor at Texas A&M, and I have always loved my job. But this semester, the classroom feels like a very unsafe space. In fact, it feels actively hostile.

 

[…]

 

If you walk around campus, enter an academic building or participate in a classroom exercise, you would assume that everything is back to normal. Very few people — students, faculty and staff — are wearing masks. Almost no one is exercising additional social distancing. Northgate bars and restaurants are as crowded as ever. Our football stadium and tailgate venues attract thousands of fans for every home game.

 

Everyone is behaving normally. But things are not normal.

There’s a phrase in Aggieland that says, “Highway 6 runs both ways.” I’m sick of people forcing their fear on everyone else. If this guy (assume it’s a guy… it’s unsigned) is too afraid to teach in that environment, then he can go to another place of employment that takes more precautions. Clearly the vast majority of people are comfortable being mostly normal. We don’t need to all bend our behavior to make the most skittish among us feel better.

And as for this part:

I can’t require my students to wear masks. Our governor and our school have outlawed mask mandates. I can “strongly encourage” mask usage, but students can ignore my encouragement, and many do. Furthermore, every time I encourage the use of masks in the classroom, the atmosphere of the classroom changes. The facial expressions of my students harden. They lean back in their seats and cross their arms. Several of them sneer at me. The belligerence is palpable. It’s uncomfortable. It feels dangerous.

Perhaps they are done taking medical guidance from some rando instructor and are capable of making their own choices.

Teacher Licensing Doesn’t Improve Teaching

I know… we’re a bit focused on education lately. Our teaching licensure bureaucracies are being leveraged as an instrument of the Left to indoctrinate and propagate that indoctrination. They have very little to do with the quality of teaching.

Meanwhile, researchers have found no difference in performance between certified and noncertified teachers. Super­visors also don’t seem to think licenses mean much: The Aspen Institute has found that just 7 percent of superintendents and 13 percent of principals think certification guarantees that a teacher “has what it takes” to be effective in the classroom.

Indeed, preparation programs frequently seem more focused on insisting that would-be teachers embrace an ideological deluge of “anti-racist” and “social justice” dogma. The American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education champions the “integral role educator preparation programs play in advancing scholarly work on Critical Race Theory” and urges them to “resist recent federal attacks.” Accreditation standards for teacher preparation call for candidates to inventory “their personal biases” so as to promote “equity, diversity, and inclusion.” At the nation’s largest teacher-preparation programs, two in five faculty say that their area of study includes equity, race, or diversity — and about a third of these scholars employ a critical-race-theory perspective.

 

While alternative licensure programs may seem a promising workaround, the vast majority of them are owned and operated by schools of education. The schedule and structure of the programs may look different, but the culture, curriculum, and cost of the training don’t meaningfully change. Even programs such as Teach for America, which is inevitably depicted as an “alternative” route into the profession, typically partner with schools of education to license their teachers.

Proponents of teacher licensure frequently offer analogies to medicine or engineering, arguing that professionals in each field need certain essential knowledge and skills. They have it partly right. Those fields do require licenses. But what they ignore is that licensure in those professions signals only a baseline grasp of the requisite knowledge and skills — not that someone will be a “good” physician or civil engineer. Likewise, teacher licensure is a poor proxy for ensuring that someone will be a good teacher. Perversely, though, even as the ed-school professoriate preaches that good teaching is largely a matter of relationships and emotional intelligence, they defend bureaucratic, rigid licensure systems that just aren’t capable of accounting for these traits.

People Will Comply If you Threaten to Bankrupt Them

Shocking. If you coerce people into something by threatening to take away their livelihood, a lot of people will comply. Bullying and coercion works. Entire criminal enterprises have been based on this fact. That doesn’t make it right.

California’s requirement for all health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, which took effect Thursday, appears to have compelled tens of thousands of unvaccinated employees to get shots in recent weeks, bolstering the case for employer mandates.

Artist Takes the Money and Runs

Brilliant.

The pieces were meant to be reproductions of two works by artist Jens Haaning, who previously used framed cash to represent the average annual salaries of an Austrian and a Dane — in euros and Danish krone respectively.

But when the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg took delivery of the recreated artworks ahead of the show, gallery staff made a surprising discovery: the frames were empty. Rather than being the handiwork of thieves, the loaned cash was missing thanks to Haaning himself, who says he is keeping the money — in the name of art.

 

“I have chosen to make a new work for the exhibition, instead of showing the two 14- and 11-year-old works respectively,” Haaning told the museum in an email, the text of which is now displayed next to the empty frames.

 

“The work is based on/responds to both your exhibition concept and the works that we had originally planned to show.”

 

The “new” conceptual piece, which Haaning has titled “Take the Money and Run,” is now at the center of a dispute between museum and artist over labor, contractual obligations and the value of work — all fitting themes for the exhibition.

America’s murder rate soars

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a slice:

What can we do about the exploding crime rate? First, we have to collectively decide that we want to do something about it. Politics trail culture and there is a significant cultural movement that not only accepts more crime, but views its destabilizing effect as necessary to drive social change. Until our culture rejects that movement for the cancer it is, there will always be political support for the policies that empower criminals.

 

Second, assuming we actually want to change it, we must drive change in local elections. Most of the decisions about funding law enforcement, use of force policies, prosecutions, etc. are made by local governments, elected district attorneys, elected sheriffs, and elected judges. People make policy and we must elect people who will make policies that protect our communities.

 

Most things that happen are not the result of some mysterious force. They are the result of decisions that we make. Until we decide that we want to have less crime, it will not happen.

 

Violent Milwaukee

Frankly, until the people in Milwaukee start caring, it’s hard for me to get up the energy. I’ll just avoid going there.

Milwaukee is in the grip of the worst violence in its modern history. There were 189 killings here last year, a 93% increase from 2019 and the most ever recorded.

 

The jump reflects a nationwide trend. In one study, researchers from the nonprofit Council on Criminal Justice looked at 34 cities and found that 29 had more homicides last year than in 2019. The overall rise was 30%, though in most places killings remained below their peaks in the 1990s.

 

Among the 19 cities with more than half a million people — including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago — none saw a bigger surge than Milwaukee. With 127 killings through the first half of September, the city is nearly on pace to match last year’s record. Hughes was the 78th person killed this year.

 

[…]

 

Black officers now make up 18% of the force, which has downsized considerably over the last two decades and become much less diverse. The homicide unit has shrunk to two dozen detectives.

 

[…]

 

Milwaukee police have solved 58% of the homicides committed last year, down from 68% in 2019. The rate so far this year is 34%.

What kind of chumps are we?

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week.

America is increasingly becoming a country where if you work hard, play by the rules, take care of your family, and live up to your responsibilities, you are a chump. Not only are you a chump, but you are held in contempt by those who want what you have.

 

Many of us grew up in an America where we were expected to build our own American Dreams. In our teens or early adulthood, we would enter the workforce in some low wage job to work our way up the ladder. Without any real skills or experience, entry level jobs were compensated accordingly. Those first jobs were grunt work, but they taught us responsibility, diligence, work ethic, and the value of a day’s work.
Now the thought of a crummy first job has become taboo. Some people expect their first jobs to be “family supporting” even when there isn’t any family to support. Convinced that they posses a personal dignity that wafts above the demands of menial labor, they sit home and sponge off others while waiting in their lobby of their own future.

 

Some of us chose the path of college to gain an education necessary for our chosen careers. We worked, scrimped, and chose a college within our means. Many of us also borrowed money with the full understanding that it was a debt we were incurring as an investment in our own futures and would pay the money back with the wages of that future.

 

Now we are being told that we must also pay off the bad investments in others’ futures too. When that neighbor kid took out massive loans to go to a college she could not afford to get a degree in something that had little market value, she made a bad investment. But instead of being responsible for her choice, she tells us that we must pay for her bad choice with a righteous entitlement that is only learned in our most esteemed universities.

 

As we began our families, many of us grew up in an America where we were expected to be responsible for them. We had to feed, clothe, house, and educate our children so that they would become responsible adults who could build their own futures and contribute to their communities. This often meant making personal compromises. We scaled our living expenses to live on one income so that one parent could stay home or worked overtime to afford help. We bought the store brand food, took “vacations” to the neighboring county, lived in modest homes, and became masters of the thrift stores.

 

Now we are being told that all those compromises we made in our own lives to care for our own families cannot be expected of others. Instead, we must pay to feed every kid in school whether their families can afford it or not. We must pay for child care for other people’s kids. We are not permitted to question the choices of parents who enjoy their steak dinners and vacations as they expect us to feed, clothe, and provide child care for their children. To ask such questions is deemed insensitive and inappropriate.

 

As we thought about getting older, many of us put money away to care for ourselves in our dotage. We have spent a lifetime pulling money out of our earnings to stash away with the hope of growing old. Again, we made compromises. We ate out less, bought cheaper houses, made that old couch last another year, and just lived with that dent in the car door instead of fixing it. A lifetime of little compromises is the price borne to afford an independent old age.

 

Now we are being told that if we have managed to save a nest egg for ourselves that we must share it with those who never made those compromises. Even now, the liberals in Washington and Madison are eyeing retirement funds as “wealth” to be taxed and taken for those who lived as if they would never grow old.

 

Now President Joe Biden is mandating vaccines, but only for Americans who are working and being responsible. If you are an illegal alien, are on the dole, work for Congress, are a refugee, or refuse to work, you do not have to get vaccinated. Only Americans who are gainfully employed are being forced to choose between getting vaccinated and pauperism. Irrespective of your opinion on federal vaccination mandates (I vehemently oppose them), only Americans who are being responsible, working, contributing members of society are feeling the heavy jack boots of Biden’s mandates.

 

So what kind of chumps are we? Why work hard, make personal compromises, and invest in a future that you will never be able to enjoy?

 

These questions are why socialism always fails. People are compassionate and want to help care for those in our society who are truly not able to care for themselves. When, however, people are forced to work harder to pay for those who are unwilling to care for themselves, they become chumps. And when the chump’s burden of paying for their lazy neighbor becomes too heavy and robs them of the rewards of their labor, then the chumps give up and look for some other chump to pay the bills. The cascade continues until there aren’t any more chumps left to pay.

Parents Push Back on SEL and CRT Curriculum in West Bend

I heard rumblings about the West Bend School Board’s meeting last night, but the video of parents sharing their views is incredibly compelling. Check out the Washington County Insider for more.

Quite a few parents asked the board to call an emergency meeting to remove the SEL and CRT curriculum from the West Bend School District.

 

“Stop teaching SEL in Badger and the high school and take emergency action to remove it now. You are causing harm to our children,” said parent Corine Freund. “It is not safe in our school. My son got beat up last week in your school district and I am tired of it.”

 

Nicole Casper has two children and already removed one from the district opting for homeschooling. “Why do you think it’s ok to continue teaching something parents don’t want,” she said. “Why is there such a pushback against parents who are concerned to have this stopped?”

 

Jamie Dutcher read from SEL curriculum that promoted a website for 13-and-14-year-old children. The website loveisrespect.org reminded students to “clear your history after visiting this website.”

 

“Sex can be a fun and gratifying activity for you and your partners to enjoy together. Five tips for your first time. … You can live chat your questions to us.”

 

Dutcher said she asked superintendent Jen Wimmer about the site and Wimmer told her the website was stricken from the curriculum.

What kind of chumps are we?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

America is increasingly becoming a country where if you work hard, play by the rules, take care of your family, and live up to your responsibilities, you are a chump. Not only are you a chump, but you are held in contempt by those who want what you have.

 

[…]

 

Now President Joe Biden is mandating vaccines, but only for Americans who are working and being responsible. If you are an illegal alien, are on the dole, work for Congress, are a refugee, or refuse to work, you do not have to get vaccinated. Only Americans who are gainfully employed are being forced to choose between getting vaccinated and pauperism. Irrespective of your opinion on federal vaccination mandates (I vehemently oppose them), only Americans who are being responsible, working, contributing members of society are feeling the heavy jack boots of Biden’s mandates.

 

So what kind of chumps are we? Why work hard, make personal compromises, and invest in a future that you will never be able to enjoy?

 

UK Abandons Vaccine Passport Plans

Something like this should be unworkable in a free society. We’ll see how free Americans still are.

PLANS to introduce Covid vaccine passports have been SCRAPPED as Sajid Javid confirms people won’t need them to get into nightclubs and cinemas.

 

The Health Secretary revealed this morning that Covid jab passports won’t be introduced as a measure to fight the virus as we enter the winter months.

 

[…]

 

Previously, it was reported that Tory MPs were furious about the PM’s vaccine passport blueprint – with more than 50 poised to rebel against it in a Commons vote.

 

Steve Baker, deputy head of the Covid Research Group, said it’s “increasingly plain” the plan is about “coercing the young” into getting jabbed.

 

Rebel leader Mark Harper added that vaccine ID will be “pointless, damaging, and discriminatory”.

And earlier today, Mr Javid also confirmed that PRC tests for double-vaccinated Brit holidaymakers will be scrapped “as soon as possible.”

 

The Health Secretary revealed he’s already asked officials to get rid of travel testing rules, as they shouldn’t be in place for a second longer than “absolutely necessary.”

Biden Expands Reach of Federal Government with Sweeping Orders

I truly mourn the America we’ve lost. If we allow our president to use the violent power of the federal government to force needles into the arms of hundreds of millions of Americans, then we are definitely no longer in the America that previous generations enjoyed.

He said he had directed the US Department of Labor to require all private businesses with 100 or more staff to mandate the jab or request proof of a negative coronavirus test from employees at least once a week.

Nearly 17 million healthcare workers at facilities receiving federal benefits will also face the same requirements, he said.

 

[…]

 

The time for sweet-talking, for cajoling Americans to take the Covid-19 vaccine is over. The time for government mandates has arrived.

That was the blunt message Joe Biden delivered to the nation on Thursday afternoon. While many Americans have received at least one jab, the president laid the blame for the continued US health crises squarely at the feet of the 25% of the public who are unvaccinated and the politicians who he said were “actively working to undermine the fight”.

Mr Biden said his new vaccine orders were not about freedom or personal choice, but that’s exactly how some Americans will view them – as a forced choice between vaccination and continued employment. And while the mandates will increase the number of vaccinated Americans, it will also enflame a debate already rife with political tension.

Denmark to Require Work for Welfare

Good for them. America could use some policies like this.

Some migrants in Denmark will now be required to work 37 hours a week in order to receive welfare benefits.

 

It will be a requirement for those who have been on benefits for three to four years, and who have not reached a certain level of proficiency in Danish.

[…]

 

The prime minister said that the rules were aimed at migrant women. The government says six out of 10 women from the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey are not in work.

 

“It is basically a problem when we have such a strong economy, where the business community demands labour, that we then have a large group, primarily women with non-Western backgrounds, who are not part of the labour market,” she said.

Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard said the jobs could range from picking up cigarette butts on the beach to working in companies.

Doctors Walk Away from Duty

Before you cheer this… think it through. If your doctor is deciding whether or not to give you care depending on your personal health decisions, then get a different doctor.

In a letter to her patients, Linda Marraccini said she will no longer continue in-person services for unvaccinated patients beginning Sept. 15, NBC Miami reported.

 

Marraccini wrote that her practice will “no longer subject our patients and staff to unnecessary risk.”

Think local. Act local. Know global.

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

It is this commitment to each other that is the foundation of small-“r” republicanism. If each of us takes responsibility and ownership for our homes and communities, then we end up with much stronger communities. Strong communities build stronger nations and stronger nations build a stronger world.

 

It is easy for compassionate people to get caught up in the woes of the world, but we can best make that world better by working locally. Get involved. Stay involved. Make the world better one community at a time.

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