• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

“School closures were a disaster for a lot of kids in terms of math and reading scores. But it’s worse that that…..”

School counselors see warning signs about students’ mental health

by JOHN SEXTON at HotAir:  May 30, 2022  

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File

I’ve written before about pandemic learning loss and the evidence that school closures were a disaster for a lot of kids in terms of math and reading scores. But it’s worse that that. Students who returned to school are also showing signs of mental health issues at greater rates than before. The NY Times spoke to more than 300 school counselors who reported an increase in emotional problems compared to pre-COVID levels.

Nearly all the counselors, 94 percent, said their students were showing more signs of anxiety and depression than before the pandemic. Eighty-eight percent said students were having more trouble regulating their emotions. And almost three-quarters said they were having more difficulty solving conflicts with friends…

Emotional health is necessary for learning to happen, counselors said, yet children had lost stamina and motivation in the classroom: “If what they are asked to do requires critical thinking or more than 10 minutes of effort, many students struggle, become frustrated and refuse to do the work,” said Laurenne Hamlin, a junior high counselor in Elkhart, Ind.

Another weakness was social skills. Sixty percent said children were having more trouble making friends, and half said there had been more physical fighting and online harassment of peers. “There is horrific violence and bullying,” said Alaina Casey Mangrum, a counselor in a Pittsburgh elementary school. “There are physical altercations every single day.”

One factor that seems to correlate with these problems is the duration of school closure. The longer a school remained closed, the more likely students are getting into fights now. Another issue some of the counselors pointed to was the influence of social media, particularly TikTok.

Computers were another factor, they said. After using them to attend school from home for so long, students are having trouble disconnecting, and more have had unrestricted access to the internet. Counselors connected that to an increase in age-inappropriate sexual behavior, drug use and vandalism. Thirty percent to 40 percent said they had seen an increase in each. In comments, many mentioned TikTok challenges, like one to vandalize or steal from school bathrooms…

Amy DeCesare, a counselor at a Catholic elementary and middle school in Albuquerque, said: “The influence of things like the TikTok monthly ‘challenges’ to young people, encouraging them to vandalize or disrespect the school environment and staff, is obvious. We also see significant online bullying and harassment — frequently teachers are the targets.”

The Times wrote about the influence of TikTok last year.

It’s all on TikTok. Missing are soap dispensers, bathroom mirrors, paper towel holders, fire alarms and even a teacher’s desk — anything that can be swiped from school and then revealed in a TikTok video, with the hashtag #deviouslicks.

In the last month or so, TikTok has hosted close to 94,200 similar videos under #deviouslicks, or #diabolicallicks, according to the website Know Your Meme. The hashtag also seems to have encouraged more serious vandalism, with students taking ceiling tiles, hand-railings, toilets and bathroom stalls…

“We are trying to convince students that this is not a prank, it’s vandalism,” Stephen Hegarty, the district spokesman, said. “It’s potentially a criminal behavior, and it’ll be a really bad day when we identify it.”

The TikTok challenges seem more like a symptom than a cause. Kids who are already acting out in other ways (fights, bullying) are essentially taking suggestions from their peers on other ways to act out. The article suggests the vandalism is an inappropriate way some kids are trying to deal with the powerlessness they’ve felt over the past couple years.

My own take is what we’re seeing in some of these schools sounds a lot like the kind of misbehavior we’ve seen among adults since the pandemic. For instance, by April of 2020 there were reports that while traffic was down, the number of people speeding was up. There were stories from around the country of people pulled over for driving over 100 miles per hour. And it turns out that problem never went away, even as traffic returned. About the same time that some of these TikTok challenges were taking hold last fall, the Associated Press published this story on speeding drivers.

Motorists do not seem to be slowing down.

“People are flying down the roads,” Maine State Police Cpl. Doug Cropper said of summer traffic on Interstate 95. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Tickets issued by the California Highway Patrol for speeding in excess of 100 mph from January to June were nearly double pre-pandemic levels, and the number of tickets for reckless driving citations grew, as well, officials said.

In New York state, the percentage of fatalities for which speeding was the primary cause and the total number of speeding tickets grew from January through June, compared to the year before the pandemic, officials said.

“There is continued concern about the rise in speeding and aggressive driving as we enter the heart of the vacation travel season and increased traffic volumes on the highways,” said Beau Duffy, spokesperson for New York State Police.

And it’s not just speeding. Road rage incidents are up as well as the Washington Post pointed out last month.

Last year was the worst on record for road rage shootings in the United States, according to data released by Everytown for Gun Safety, which found that more than 500 people were shot and wounded or killed in more than 700 incidents. The monthly average of 44 people killed or wounded by gunfire on the roads was double the 2019 average…

Experts say the rise in road-rage-related shootings is a quantifiable slice of an alarming problem. While it is difficult to determine the frequency of other kinds of road rage incidents — such as making obscene gestures, throwing objects or sideswiping or forcing a fellow driver off the street — anecdotal reports suggest that belligerent behavior on the road has generally increased during the pandemic.

“It’s like the Wild Wild West out there, and it’s just unacceptable,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of external engagement with the Governors Highway Safety Association. The group manages the National Law Enforcement Liaison Program and frequently hears from officers about “angry drivers, road rage aggressiveness, people going incredibly high rates of speed and people being really unpleasant to each other,” she said. “It is very concerning.”

I can’t prove these things are related but that’s how it seems to me. The pandemic created a general anxiety combined with a sense that the rules don’t really matter or weren’t being enforced. There was a literal breakdown in the social order for a period of time. Kids in school are reflecting that with emotional problems, fights, etc. Adults on the road are exhibiting some of the same behaviors, i.e. breaking the law, acting reckless, getting into fights with other drivers on the road. Not everyone is acting out but enough people are that we see a noticeable bump in these behaviors. I’ve been on the road here in California and you can still feel it out there. There’s an edginess that wasn’t there before. Things just haven’t settled down yet.

Our American Decay…..This Memorial Day!

May 30, 2022

Memorial Day: Connecting the Present with the Past

By Scott S. Powell at American Thinker:

Memorial Day is a profound American holiday because it connects the present with so many different points of our past. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was a day set aside to honor those who lost their lives in the Civil War — America’s most costly war, taking the lives of as many as 800,000 men. Among American holidays, Memorial Day is unique also in that it originated from the vanquished, not the victor.

After the war was over, women from the South — Columbus, Mississippi, and Richmond, Virginia — set out to decorate with flowers the gravesites of their fallen Confederate soldiers. But they became so moved in the process that they decided to equally decorate the gravesites of Union soldiers buried alongside their loved ones. That expression was profound for it showed amazing forgiveness toward even a merciless Union victor like General William Sherman.  

Although Abraham Lincoln could have blamed the South for starting the war by seceding from the United States and firing the first shots on Fort Sumter, he expressed no accusation or bitterness toward the South and held that both sides were to blame for the Civil War. “With malice toward none, with charity for all… let us bind up the nation’s wounds,” said Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address.

Decoration Day would not become a national holiday for nearly a century until after the two World Wars and the Korean War cost America another 559,000 lives. During the Vietnam War, Decoration Day was officially renamed Memorial Day to honor all servicemen who died in the line of duty in any war or engagement. It became an official national holiday when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.

While remembering those who lost their lives in serving America in wartime is a central purpose of this holiday, Memorial Day takes on its deepest meaning when we connect it with our heritage and roots. A takeaway from the Civil War era is not only acknowledging the magnanimity and quality of character of so many leaders of those earlier times, but also the respect and civility that allowed healing and moving forward as a nation.

One glaring difference between those times and the present is that we have lost much of the civility that facilitated keeping our diverse peoples together in earlier times. The qualities of character and societal norms shaped by Christian influence that were taken for granted through the mid-20th Century — which included grace, respect, tolerance, and manners — have been increasingly crowded out by a coarse secular culture, and more recently by the legions of woke whose religious fervor has added to the aforementioned a judgmental closed-mindedness and loss of spontaneity, humor, and joy.

The deepest meaning of Memorial Day can be found in simply remembering that when Americans sacrificed their lives in military service, it was not just to defend the United States, but it was also to uphold the natural God-given rights of all people that were articulated in the nation’s founding documents, which established a government of the people, by the people and for the people. As a result, America became an inspiration for others around the world… Some likened America to being a light to the world, like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.

One cannot help feeling that America’s light has dimmed this Memorial Day 2022 with our country’s leadership losing its way on many fronts and even betraying the people. So, it is fitting to reflect on our past and rediscover the threads that not only hold us together but also provide strength to the patchwork of our national fabric to withstand the storms ahead.

A discussion of Memorial Day would not be complete without appreciating the significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, formally established on what was then known as Armistice Day, three years after the end of World War I.  Congress had approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier who had fallen somewhere on a battlefield in France at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier came to be recognized as the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery — the most sacred military cemetery in the United States. And here, one of the profound ironies of our history is that this hallowed and sacred ground came from vanquished Confederate general Robert E. Lee, who despite his defeat in leading the Confederate cause in the Civil War, ended up with the highest unrecognized national honor. That honor unexpectedly came from the loss of being forced to give up his family’s Arlington House plantation, which he and his wife forfeited to the federal government after they sided with Virginia and the South. The 1,100 acres of that seized plantation land would later become the Arlington Cemetery, providing a final resting place for future patriots who gave their lives for the cause of freedom and the American republic.

The selection process for the World War II Unknown proved more difficult than that of World War I since American soldiers had fought on three continents. Then, the process was interrupted by the Korean War, which resulted in numerous deaths that could not be identified. Finally on May 28, 1958, caskets bearing the Unknowns of World War II and the Korean War arrived in Washington. The caskets were rotated such that each unknown serviceman rested on the “Lincoln catafalque,” a raised platform that held President Lincoln’s casket in April 1865. Two days later on May 30, then the official date of Memorial Day, those Unknowns were transported to Arlington Cemetery, where they were interred in the plaza beside their World War I comrade.

The Vietnam War Unknown was identified in 1998 as Lt. Michael J. Blassie. Afterward, with so many “missing in action” in the Vietnam War, it was decided that the crypt designated Unknown for that war would remain empty. It was rededicated to honor all missing U.S. service members from the Vietnam War on September 17, 1999, with the inscription on the crypt reading, “Honoring and Keeping the Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975.”

The inscribed words on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God” are an uplifting reminder that all those who died for the American cause should have a special place in our hearts as they do in God’s. Anyone who visits the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of weather by special armed Tomb Guard sentinels cannot but be humbled and even tearfully reminded of what Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Memorial Day reminds us that U.S. military personnel are asked to put their lives on the line. Defending the nation and fighting wars is the most serious and important job of all. We have to acknowledge also that there has been inept political and military leadership, such as what led up to throwing away a long and hard-fought victory in Iraq by withdrawing all U.S. forces in 2011, enabling the rise of ISIS; and the hasty retreat from Afghanistan in August 2021, which unnecessarily cost 13 American Marines and left behind some $83 billion of U.S. military equipment in what was effectively a surrender to the Taliban.  Similarly, there should be zero tolerance for policies or programs that divide and demoralize our troops such as Critical Race Theory indoctrination, which has been the willful policy choice of President Biden’s Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In sum, Memorial Day this year takes on a greater twofold meaning than it has previously. We are called to remember those who died in military service to the country and recommit to the conviction that those lives lost shall never be in vain. Equally important, we should remember and deepen our appreciation of a heritage that began with a courageous, brilliant, and faithful group of founders and those that followed who were willing to give their lives to establish, preserve and protect the United States and what it stands for.

While many of us now feel that the light from the City on a Hill has grown dim, our Constitution still stands, and we the people are still in charge. In the face of internal and external enemies seeking our demise, we cannot falter or retreat, for we have much to do. Let us go forward with the biblical admonition that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will… forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Scott S. Powell is senior fellow at Discovery Institute. 

Why Have George Floyd’s crimes the day he died BEEN MADE TO DISAPPEAR? Who Caused the RIOT? WHO CAUSED THE VIOLENCE?

GEORGE FLOYD supporters around the world have been protesting against police brutality following his death in May.

His death sparked the recent Black Lives Matter protests after a video went viral on May 25, 2020, showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck and back as he pleaded for his life.

Who was George Floyd? Reported by the US Sun:

George Floyd was a 46-year-old dad who spent most of his life in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

He was charged in 2007 with armed robbery in a home invasion in Houston.

In 2009 Floyd was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents.

Years later, seeking a fresh start, and unemployed, he left Houston to find a job and start a new life in Minneapolis, where he worked as a truck driver and bouncer.

Prior to his death, he had been working as a security guard at Latin American restaurant Conga Latin Bistro in the city.

But, due to the coronavirus stay-at-home orders, Floyd lost his job.

Conga customer Jessi Zendejas said in a Facebook post that the security guard “loved his hugs from his regulars.

“[He] would be mad if you didn’t stop to greet him because he honestly loved seeing everyone and watching everyone have fun.”

BEAUTY STILL EXISTS IN TODAY’S DEM AMERICA……IF YOU CAN FIND IT!!!

Minnesota’s DFL Party Hasn’t Lost A Statewide Election Since 2006!

POSTED ON MAY 29, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

A DIRTY TRICK FOILED?

Minnesota’s DFL party hasn’t lost a statewide election since 2006, but they apparently are taking no chances. Over the last few days a mini-scandal has emerged, as DFL operatives apparently plotted to take over the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party, which siphons votes from the Democrats. While this doesn’t seem to have been captured on audio, it is claimed that they intended to change the party’s name to the “MAGA Party,” thus wasting Republican rather than Democratic votes.

As heard on leaked audio, the plan was to take over the Cannabis convention that was scheduled for yesterday, entertain a motion to change the party’s name, rule from the chair that the “Ayes” have it regardless of the actual vote, and then adjourn. Kyle Hooten recounts the story, which emerged mainly on Twitter. This is one of my favorite parts:

“We don’t give a shit if it’s unfair,” he explains to those in attendance. “We gotta get this done. We gotta do it now or we’re going to lose 7%. We’re going to lose [Governor Tim] Walz if we don’t do this shit, and we gotta do it and we gotta do it now, and being nice is nice but fuck that, let’s just do it.”

Spoken like a true Democrat! Personally, I find it heartwarming that Minnesota Democrats think thy are in danger this cycle. I hope they are right.

Is the story correct? It seems to be. The Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party canceled its convention and released a statement, quoted in the linked article, indicating that they, at least, believe it is true:

Now, in 2022, the DFL is facing stiff odds that they estimate is 7-points behind the GOP. By infiltrating the Grassroots Party, they could destroy the weed movement to eliminate the competition.

It looks like the Democrats will have to come up with another dirty trick.

That Ramos Case!

May 29, 2022

Something About School Shootings

By Clarice Feldman at American Thinker:

Every mass school shooting strikes terror in parents’ hearts and grief in the communities in which they occur. You might from press coverage have the idea that they are a regular occurrence, but, in fact, they remain rare — 13 mass school shootings since 1966.

Still, like all seemingly incomprehensible tragedies it causes a search for meaning. After all, people my age went to schools where there were rifle clubs. Kids in those clubs regularly brought their weapons to school, and yet there weren’t any school shootings. (I expect in some rural areas of the country this may still be the case.)

What is common, as it is in all tragic events, is the jumbling of facts and the need to wait a few days for a clearer picture. The best information I can find right now about the shooting in Uvalde, Texas comes from the Wall Street Journal.

With minor additions as late-developing information comes in from elsewhere, that is the source of this summary timeline. 

Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old, shot his grandmother Tuesday morning. He drove her truck to Robb elementary school and crashed it in a ditch at 11:28. Emerging from the truck he began shooting at persons outside a funeral home located across the street from the school. Police received a 911 call about the shooting at 11:30. He then climbed a fence and entered the school grounds, began firing without interference at 11:40. By 11:44 the local police arrived at the school. By that time Ramos had locked himself into a fourth-grade classroom and killed teachers and students. Some students in that room sent 9ll messages as the shootings were taking place. The location of the gunman was known but the police did not enter the room until 12:40. 

(The Texas DPS says the police did go in and engage Ramos immediately but then retreated and stood outside in the hallway until 12:50.) Ramos entered the building at an exit door one teacher, not identified, had propped open when the shooting began outside the school and failed to secure it. Presumably this is the same person who first called 911 and if so, it is easy for investigators to determine the teacher’s identity. This seems to have been the first serious mistake, the second being the police failure to stay in and engage Ramos immediately. 

Mass shootings — unlike the never-ending daily carnage on the streets of our major cities — receive outsize coverage from people who have their pet theories as to why such tragedies occur. I think we are dealing with a combination of the killers’ psychiatric issues and clueless behavior by their family members. The family usually expresses disbelief that one of their members could do this. Less blinkered observers report that Ramos abused animals, bullied people, engaged in self cutting, threatened girls with rape, and announced on social media that he’d be shooting up the school before he made good on that threat. 

Parents were prevented in the interim between Ramos’ entry into the school and the tardy police response from entering to save their kids. One woman was handcuffed for trying. When she was released from the police cuffs by a friend, she climbed the fence, entered the school and removed her two children to safety. The Border Patrol arrived at the school shortly after noon to assist. As they did with the parents, the local law enforcement team on site refused to allow them to enter. 

Flopping Aces, echoes my thoughts on this.  Reviewing several other cases — Jared Loughner, Nikolas Cruz, Peyton Gendron — along with this one, the  author shows that those closest to the shooter just were not paying even minimal attention to the teens’ psychiatric issues:

Salvador Ramos wasn’t right in the head and was known to police. He also left a trail:

Just hours before the killings took place, Ramos had messaged an acquaintance on Instagram telling her he had a ‘lil secret’ he wanted to share, after earlier tagging her in a photo of two guns he bought himself on his 18th birthday. His TikTok account also featured a short user bio that read: ‘Kids Be Scared.’

He mutilated himself

Neighbors and classmates say his behavior spiraled into the bizarre and macabre as he entered his later teenage years, with one friend telling Good Morning America: ‘He had scars on his face and someone asked him, ‘Are you ok?’ and he just said with a smile ‘I did it myself, I liked how it looked.’

He began dressing in dark clothes and military boots and used his BB gun to target random people, one local claimed.

Ramos sent Facebook messages:

‘Ima do something to her rn [right now]’ wrote Ramos in a message at 11.10am Texas time. He added a few minutes later: ‘She’s on the phone with AT&T abojt [sic] my phone… It’s annoying’.

At 11.21am he wrote ‘I just shot my grandma in her head’ and added in his final message: ‘Ima go shoot up a elementary school.’

None of these young people should have been able to buy a gun. Families always profess shock and surprise but never seem to pay attention to the trails of crumbs being left along the way.

Without fail, such events encourage those who’d like to wipe the Second Amendment off the books and deprive lawful citizens from the means to defend themselves. Does the fact that the cops stood outside the school for an hour during the slaughter give you comfort? It doesn’t ease my friend Betsy Gorisch: “Among all the other things we need to keep in mind about the Uvalde school shooting there is this: In what is arguably the only true test of whether or not we should rely on the police to protect us, the courts have ruled that they cannot be sued for failure to do so.” That’s another way of saying law enforcement has no legal duty to protect you.

Professor Ann Althouse also finds that the police response diminishes the anti-gun crowd’s arguments:  “If the police don’t arrive and save us from violence, how can this event support the argument for restricting guns? This is the very situation that makes the most responsible people want to own guns. It reminds me of the summer of 2020, when there were riots, and the police stood down.”

Just as reason will not stop the anti-gun crowd from using this wretched example of inept and useless law enforcement to argue that we should depend solely on them and cede our rights to personal defense, these events only fuel the efforts of demagogues to use them for other sleazy political purposes. Right on cue Democrats again try to inject race into the mix, led off by Barack Obama “crowbar[ring]” the death of the far from innocent George Floyd into this tragic slaughter of the Uvalde innocents. 

Well, at least, unlike the Washington Post which seems to be editorless, he didn’t claim the cops shot Floyd. 

 

Subscribing To The Left’s Catechism!

MAY 29, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

YOU MUST PARTICIPATE, COMRADE!

One of the strange phenomena of our time is the co-opting of sports organizations into the service of leftism. I can’t explain it, but here is another case: the French Football [Soccer] Federation organized a pro-LGBTQ+ demonstration by players who were told to wear “rainbow” jerseys. Most went along, but one–a Senegalese Muslim named Idrissa Gueye–apparently didn’t participate. Natalie Solent at Samizdata has the story; links omitted:

Idrissa Gueye is a Senegalese footballer who plays for his country and for the French side Paris Saint-Germain.

On Sunday 15th May, Paris Saint-Germain played Montpellier. On that day, players in the French Ligue 1 were meant to wear football jerseys with the numbers in LGBT rainbow colours in order to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Unexpectedly, Mr Gueye did not play in that match. So far as I can find out with my limited ability to search news reports in French, he has not said why he sat out the match, but it is widely believed that it was because he felt that it would be incompatible with his religious beliefs to wear a shirt in Pride colours. He is a practising Muslim.

This is the really sinister–one might say Stalinist–part:

Via Paul Embery, I found this quotation from a letter that the FFF (Fédération Française de Football / French Football Federation) sent to Mr Gueye on May 17th:

There are two possibilities, either these allegations are unfounded and we invite you to speak out without delay to silence these rumours. For example, we invite you to accompany your message by a photo of yourself wearing said shirt.

Or the rumours are true. In this case we invite you to realise the impact of your act, and the grave error committed. The fight against discrimination towards different minorities, whoever they might be, is a vital fight for all times. Whether it’s skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, or any other difference, all discrimination is based on the same principle which is rejection of the other because they are different from the majority.

By refusing to take part in this collective operation, you are effectively validating discriminatory behaviour, and rejection of the other, and not just against the LGBTQI+ community. The impact of football on society and the capacity for footballers to be a role model for those who admire them gives us all a particular responsibility.

For the Left, it is not enough that fellow leftists show solidarity in the cause du jour. All must be forced to participate. No one can sit on the sidelines. Why? Because holdouts might stimulate questions from those who wonder whether the Left’s causes are really righteous. That can’t be permitted. Unanimity is required.

Ms. Solent writes:

One does not have to share Mr Gueye’s religious beliefs, or his (probable) opinions on LGBT issues, to see something sinister in this demand that he make a display of loyalty to prove his “innocence” of a charge that he did not participate in what is effectively the visual equivalent of compelled speech.

It certainly is compelled speech, which would be unconstitutional in the U.S. if enforced by government. But the reality is that compelled speech is common in leftist precincts like our universities, government agencies, and, increasingly, big business. It is not enough to sit out leftist campaigns: all must participate, or else. This is a serious threat to freedom of conscience in the U.S. and many Western countries, not only for Muslims but for the majority who, in various ways, don’t subscribe to the Left’s catechism. We can only fight back at the ballot box.

“Our feckless trade policies have led to a potentially disastrous reliance on China!”

MAY 29, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

INFANT FORMULA REVISITED

The infant formula shortage is a crisis for many American families, and the end is not in sight. What caused supplies of a staple product to run out? The most thorough explanation I have seen comes from Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute. (Numerous links in the original are omitted here.)

Lincicome fingers government as the culprit, with protectionism as villain number one:

U.S. policy has exacerbated the nation’s infant formula problem by depressing potential supply. First, … the United States maintains high tariff barriers to imports of formula from other nations—all part of our government’s longstanding subsidization and protection of the politically powerful U.S. dairy industry. Imports of formula from most places, such as the European Union, are subject to a complex system of “tariff rate quotas,” under which already-high tariffs (usually 17.5 percent, but it depends on the product) increase even further once a certain quantity threshold is hit.

We even restrict imports of formula from most “free trade” (scare quotes intended!) agreement partners, including major dairy producing nations like Canada. In fact, a key provision of the renegotiated NAFTA—the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)—actually tightened restrictions on Canadian baby formula to ensure that new investments in Ontario production capacity by Chinese company Feihe would never threaten the U.S. market…

Government regulators contributed to the problem:

If tariffs were the only problem here, then high prices in the United States right now might induce alternative supplies from overseas producers looking for new customers and profits. Unfortunately, however, the United States also imposes significant “non-tariff barriers” on all imports of infant formula. Most notable are strict FDA labeling and nutritional standards that any formula producer wishing to sell here must meet. Aspiring manufacturers also must register with the agency at least 90 days in advance and undergo an initial FDA inspection and then annual inspections thereafter. And the FDA maintains a long “Red List” of non-compliant products that are subject to immediate detention upon arriving on our shores. As a result, the FDA routinely issues notices that it has seized “illegal” (e.g., improperly labeled) infant formula from overseas.

The issue is not one of quality or safety. Perfectly good European products are confiscated:

Key here is the European Union, which is the world’s largest producer and exporter of infant formula, especially in the Netherlands, France, Ireland, and Germany. (China, it must be noted, produces a lot of formula but sells almost all of that to its domestic market.) European formula also has been found to meet FDA nutritional requirements, and is in high demand by some American consumers. Yet, when parents here have tried to import European formula, it’s been routinely subject to seizure by the FDA. In fact, formula made by two of the most popular European brands—HiPP and Holle—is on the FDA’s red list and thus only arrives here via unofficial, third party channels.

Unless the FDA gets to it first.

There is much more at the link, including the fact that the federal government buys about half of all U.S. baby formula through the WIC program, which requires sole-source contracts for infant formula. The result has been a highly concentrated industry with little incentive for new entrants:

[A]s the dominant buyer of infant formula in the United States and by demanding below-market contract prices, WIC may discourage additional investments in U.S. capacity or new market entrants. Put simply, nobody had an incentive to break into the U.S. infant formula market—or to boost existing U.S. production—when half of the market is effectively controlled by a single buyer demanding unprofitable prices and compliance with piles of state and federal regulations.

As a conservative, I am pro-free trade. But events of the last few years have convinced me that for security reasons, the U.S. needs to assure a safe–most likely domestic, but probably including, say, Canada, Mexico and a handful of other countries–supply of energy, pharmaceuticals, and critical minerals. Our feckless trade policies have led to a potentially disastrous reliance on China for all three of these product categories. But Lincicome argues that protectionism creates its own security issues:

[T]he infant formula situation is an unfortunate reminder that the trendy economic nationalist policies proposed to make America more “resilient”—tariffs, localization mandates, government contracts, etc.—can actually make us weaker by discouraging global capacity, supplier diversity, and system-wide flexibility. As I’ve said a million times now, reshoring supply chains might insulate us from external supply and demand shocks, but it also can amplify domestic shocks (and reduce overall economic growth and output to boot). We’re seeing that reality play out once again in the highly protected and regulated U.S. dairy market, where domestic production accounts for the vast majority of American consumption. Indeed, infant formula—with its protectionism, regulations, and heavy dose of government direction—is pretty much the poster child for what nationalist “industrial policy” advocates today propose for all sorts of “strategic” industries.

Those points deserve thoughtful consideration. One way of putting it is that if we are going to onshore critical industries, we should make sure that our regulatory agencies don’t screw them up. But how to do that, when the swamp rules?

I am not going to change my view that we are crazy to rely on China and other hostile powers for products and materials that are critical to our survival. But at the same time, globalism and international trade can provide diversity of supply–a good thing, if only to keep our own power-hungry agencies in check.

50 YEARS OF AMERICAN DECAY! (It began at schools and its disappearing MOTHERS!

Progressive policy experiments hurt the people they claim to help

By THE Post Editorial Board

May 28, 2022 4:39pm 

Criminal justice reforms from progressives like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg only lead to more crime.
Criminal justice reforms from progressives like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg only lead to more crime.REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

It’s astonishing how regularly progressive “innovations,” especially in the name of equity, end up doing serious damage to already vulnerable groups. 

Take crime. In New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and elsewhere progressive DA’s and other electeds made sweeping “reforms” these past few years: ditching bail, decriminalizing quality-of-life offenses and hamstringing cops. 

Crime, unsurprisingly, shot up. Here in New York major crimes are up 34.2% over the past year, reversing the trends of a quarter-century. Gun violence is nearly double pre-pandemic levels. In ‘Frisco, murders are up almost 37% from pre-pandemic levels. 

The poor and minorities suffer most. In 2020, 65% of New York murder victims were black, though just 24% of our population is. Blacks and Hispanics were 63% of San Francisco shooting victims, though they combine for only 18% of the population. 

Equity? Bull.

On education, liberal public-school districts across America have been lowering or jettisoning standards entirely because they allegedly shore up white supremacy. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio did his level best to end NYC’s Gifted & Talented program because of black and Hispanic underrepresentation in it. In Virginia, California and elsewhere similar programs were cut entirely or had their entry requirements lowered. Another “reform,” in parts of the city and elsewhere, is to re-engineer admissions to selective middle and high schools to “improve” the racial mix.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to end Gifted and Talented programs hurt the Asian-American community.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to end NYC’s Gifted and Talented programs hurt the Asian American community.

These moves did nothing for the “underrepresented” (unless you count being forced into a school where you’re not prepared to compete). They did, however, severely dent the prospects of another minority group: Asians.

How does that advance diversity and inclusion? 

Add to that disastrous COVID school closures — demanded by the same crowd that wants to kill calculus and Shakespeare. Data shows only 37% of black 1st graders nationwide are on track to hit literacy benchmarks this school year, a massive drop from 51% in 2019. For Hispanics it’s 42%, down from 54%. 

And on literacy, progressives have long sacrificed kids to ideology. Witness their decades-long war on phonics, which ensured that generations of kids failed to learn how to read well (or at all). Guess who was most affected?

Indeed, COVID itself was the perfect larger opportunity for progressives to test-run more new and terrible policies, like lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates.

School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic set students back.
School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic set students back.

The results broke the exact same way. Poorer, less-white communities in cities around the country bore the brunt. National black unemployment skyrocketed from its historic low in 2019 and has not yet healed; the Hispanic/white employment gap also hit historic levels.  (These aggressive measures did nothing to improve our COVID outcomes, by the way.)

For some of these innovations, time is running out. San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin faces a likely recall; LA’s soft-on-crime George Gascón faces a second recall vote. Manhattan’s own Alvin Bragg has walked back some of his worst policies, and the next governor may well remove him for refusing to do his job. Seattle’s Ann Davison is trying to undo the harm her predecessor caused.24

What do you think? Post a comment.

Woke school-board members got the boot in San Francisco. NYC mayor Eric Adams is refusing to give into COVID alarmism and rebuilding the G&T program. Anti-phonics guru Lucy Calkins of Columbia Teachers College recently recanted her idiotic theories in the face of overwhelming evidence of how much damage they’d done.

And that’s all to the good. 

But why are the people who suffer the most in these experiments always the same groups the left claims it wants to help?

The Decay of America’s Schools Began Its Rot IN THE LATE 1960s! THE DEM NATION OBLIGED!

Texas Becomes 23rd State To Exit National School Boards Association  

BY: CHUCK DEVORE

MAY 27, 2022

Plainview Texas High School

Author Chuck DeVore profile

by CHUCK DEVORE at the Federalist:

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) finally left the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the 23rd state to do so. The exit happened hours after news broke that the NSBA had planned to request that the Biden administration invoke the Insurrection Act to federalize Army National Guard troops and deploy them to intimidate parents trying to exercise their First Amendment right to petition redress of grievances at school board meetings.

The NSBA didn’t cite the Insurrection Act in its draft request for National Guard troops to Attorney General Merrick Garland, but that act is the only legal option for a president to take command of a state’s National Guard to restore public order.

That Texas’s NSBA affiliate would be among the last to sever ties with the organization might seem counterintuitive to a non-Texan. But Texas school boards, as in much of the nation, skew left of the general population.

TASB’s tardy exit was likely hastened by election results on May 7, when conservatives won dozens of school board races against pro-mask incumbents who denied that explicit material is in libraries, as well as the existence of lesson plans based on critical race theory. The most high-profile loss for TASB was by Jim Rice, TASB’s immediate past president and a 12-year veteran of the Fort Bend Independent School District.

Left Seeks to Stifle Dissent with Force

The latest revelation from NSBA’s efforts to bring in the federal government for school board meetings betrays a troubling and dangerous trend of the left seeking to stifle peaceful dissent with the power of government or threats of violence.

In NSBA’s case, the letter they did send to the Biden administration on Sept. 29 of last year claimed that heated public comments at school board meetings amounted to “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials.” They also claimed this was sufficiently “heinous” as to be “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes” subject to enforcement under the Patriot Act or other laws.  

Less than a week later, the NSBA letter sparked an order by Attorney General Merrick Garland detailing the FBI to investigate alleged threats against school boards — diverting agents from more important work, such as stopping mass murderers.

No Parallel to Ike Calling Up Guard After Brown

Some on the left may see the call for military intervention at school board meetings as analogous to Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s invocation of the Insurrection Act in 1957 in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that racially segregated schools were “inherently unequal” in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education.

But the circumstances couldn’t be more different. In 1957, as nine black students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Democratic governor there, Orval Faubus, called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from attending school.

Eisenhower countered, issuing Executive Order 10730. In the justification section of the order, Eisenhower noted that “certain persons in the state of Arkansas, individually and in unlawful assemblages, combinations, and conspiracies, have willfully obstructed the enforcement of (court) orders… (and this) obstruction of justice hinders the execution of the laws of that State and of the United States, and makes it impracticable to enforce such laws by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings; and… such obstruction of justice constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution of the United States and impedes the course of justice under those laws.”

In this, Eisenhower was harkening back to the early days of Reconstruction after the Insurrection Act, passed in 1807, was amended to contend with the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and more formal state and local government efforts aimed at denying the full exercise of rights to recently freed slaves. Not only did Eisenhower send in active-duty troops, he also federalized the Arkansas National Guard, removing them from Faubus’s command, since they were being used to thwart rule of law.

Parents Respond

In an interview, Christopher Zook, president of Texans for Educational Freedom, a PAC backing conservatives in school board races in Texas, commented, “When a national organization like NSBA labeled parents as domestic terrorists, they revealed their true intent. NSBA took the first shot, and parents responded.”

Noting the electoral victories for conservative school board candidates, Zook said, “The biggest mistake any person can make is to get between a momma (and poppa) and her cubs, and that is exactly what NSBA did. These recent school board elections continue to show that parents will not stand for radical indoctrination in our classrooms.”

James Quintero, a policy director with the Texas Public Policy Foundation (where I also work), told me that, “On the ground, school boards are engaged in all sorts of bad behavior, like demanding staff vote for bonds and threatening consequences if they don’t, and spreading disinformation related to new debt and tax rates. At the legislature, special interest groups, like TASB, go all out to defeat conservative attempts to stop these practices with legislation.”

According to IRS filings, TASB brought in $78.3 million in revenue in 2020, virtually all of it from taxpayers in the form of payments from school districts. James Crow, TASB’s executive director, pulled down $1.1 million in 2019 (a legislative session year) and $448,418 in 2020. TASB had 10 employees making $250,000 or more in 2020.

By pulling out of its national affiliate, NSBA, TASB likely believes that its member boards across Texas will be less inclined to leave TASB, thus preserving millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded fee revenue. Even so, TASB’s considerable clout in the Texas legislature will take a hit in the upcoming 2023 legislative session, especially as several teachers’ union-backed Republican candidates lost their runoff elections on May 24 to more conservative challengers.

Analyzing the runoffs, Zook said, “This week’s elections go to show Texans want a more conservative legislature. People do not want radical indoctrination in our schools, and TASB has now come to the realization they lost some allies to more conservative challengers. TASB is finally coming to terms that they cannot get away with their radical policies any longer…their actions have consequences.”