Arizona Elementary School District Hit by Same Covid Vaccine Madness Afflicting the NFL

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Keeping kids safe is the number-one priority for any elementary school in America, right? But then there is the Cartwright School District in Phoenix, where selectively enforcing a Covid vaccination policy tops taking care of the kids.

How do we know this? Consider the case of one William Bishop, the now-former director for buildings and operations, who was recently demoted to substitute teacher by Cartwright Superintendent Dr. Lee-Ann Aguilar-Lawlor.

Why was Bishop demoted? Because his faith precludes his submitting to the Covid vaccination shot. The demotion came after he requested a religious accommodation, a request to which school officials never responded, except to bust him way down the pay chart.

Bishop is represented by the First Liberty Institute, the Plano, Texas-based public interest law firm that specializes in First Amendment litigation, especially when issues of religious freedom are involved.

Cartwright’s conduct is shot through with disrespect for constitutional liberties, to say nothing of common sense. Consider the description cited by First Liberty Counsel Rebecca Dummermuth in a September 9 letter to Aguilar-Lawlor:

“Cartwright’s actions are particularly indefensible because: (1) it already granted at least one nonreligious exemption from the mandate; (2) its demotion of Mr. Bishop will bring him into far more contact with students and other staff, thus contradicting the district’s presumed rationale for refusing to grant his accommodation request; (3) it chose not to impose its mandate on teachers, those most in contact with students and staff; (4) 21 percent of district employees remain unvaccinated; and (5) Mr. Bishop has natural immunity and his doctor advises against receiving the vaccine.

“These circumstances leave Cartwright with no tenable argument that a religious accommodation would impose undue hardship on it or that it has a compelling interest in imposing its mandate on Mr. Bishop but not many other employees (including those whose duties involve far more contact with students and staff).

“Therefore, the district is plainly in violation of the laws set forth above. To be clear, Mr. Bishop has no objection to a reasonable accommodation that could serve the District’s presumed health concerns. But he cannot accept the unlawful, second-class treatment to which the district has subjected him.”

Bishop’s objections are deeply rooted in his Christian faith, according to Dummermuth, who told Aquilar-Lawlor in the letter that:

“Mr. Bishop’s sincerely held religious beliefs prevent him from complying with the mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As a Christian, he believes that his body is a temple of God (I Corinthians. 3:16-17, 6:19), and therefore he has a God-given responsibility to protect the physical integrity of his body and not to defile it (I Corinthians. 8:7; II Corinthians. 7:1).

“Additionally, he believes that human life begins at conception, and he staunchly opposes abortion. Therefore, receiving a vaccine that has been developed using aborted fetal cell lines would violate his conscience.”

The district continues to pay Bishop his old salary, but the contract that specified the amount expires in the near future. Replacing it with a new contract based on a substitute teacher’s compensation will represent a 50 percent pay cut for Bishop.

*****

Continue reading this article, published September 10, 2021 at  PJ Media.

 

Surge in Antisemitism Linked to Spread of Critical Race Theory

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes

There’s a strong connection between critical social justice ideology, including critical race theory, and a rising tide of antisemitism around the globe, according to a new report from the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values.

As more businesses and governments adopt initiatives based on critical social justice ideology, antisemitic and other forms of bigotry are flourishing.

“When you hold an ideology that there are really only two kinds of people in the world, those that are oppressed and those that are oppressors, you’re going to end up empowering ideas of antisemitism,” says David Bernstein, a longtime Jewish advocate as well as the founder and CEO of the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Jewish Institute for Liberal Values.

He joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss his organization’s new report, as well as the implications for continued global acceptance of critical social justice ideologies.

Doug Blair: Our guest today is David Bernstein, a longtime Jewish advocate and founder and CEO of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values. David, thank you so much for joining us.

David Bernstein: Great to be with you.

Blair: Great. Your organization just released a white paper on how critical social justice ideology has led to an increase in antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment. Before we get into the white paper, would you be able to start by defining for our listeners what exactly critical social justice ideology is?

Bernstein: Sure. Critical social justice ideology is an umbrella term for critical race theory and other critical ideologies that we’re seeing—critical gender ideology, for example. It basically holds that bias and oppression are not just a matter of individual attitudes, as we’ve traditionally thought about them, but are embedded in the systems and structures of society. It also holds, problematic, in my view, that only those who are adversely affected by those systems, only the system’s victims, have standing to define racism or prejudice or bigotry for the rest of society.

That’s what we’re talking about here, is that ideology, which has taken hold in so many institutions in American life in the past several years, and particularly in the past year is producing antisemitism, among other problems, of course.

Blair: Where is this located? Are we finding critical social justice ideology in schools and certain political viewpoints? Where do we find this ideology present in our culture?

Bernstein: Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty much everywhere, or almost everywhere. You’re seeing it in newsrooms now, as you’ve seen it in The New York Times recently. You’re seeing it in health care institutions, in medicine, in scientific institutions quite ominously. Can you imagine how that’s going to corrupt scientific research over time? We’re seeing it in K-12 schools, obviously in universities and schools of education. We’re seeing it in the nonprofit world.

It’s pretty much everywhere. It’s in major corporations that are doing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs that are quite liberal in nature. We’re seeing it really take hold in a vast array of institutions in American life.

Blair: All right. Now, we have a definition of what this ideology is, what critical social justice ideology is. We can dive into your report. Let’s start with the top line. What relationship did your research find between critical social justice ideology and antisemitism?

Bernstein: When you hold an ideology that there are really only two kinds of people in the world, those that are oppressed and those that are oppressors, you’re going to end up empowering ideas of antisemitism. For example, this idea of Jewish privilege, which is an offshoot of white privilege.

When you say that there’s only oppressors and oppressed, then Jews who have succeeded largely in American society are going to be viewed as the oppressor class, and Israel, which has succeeded largely in the Middle East, is going to be viewed as the oppressor country. That, in the most simple form, is the problem, but it gets more complicated and sometimes more ominous as you look into it more.

I mean, the idea, for example, of intersectionality, which I’m sure your listeners are familiar with, this idea that all forms of oppression are related. That’s a multiplier of this idea of Jewish privilege, and makes it very hard for people to identify with Jews or anybody who’s perceived to be part of the privileged classes.

We can go into some of the other findings as well, but let me just add one more before we do that: equity. This idea that Ibram X. Kendi, a professor at Boston University, has popularized, that all disparities are a function of racism and discrimination.

If there are certain groups that are being discriminated against, and that’s what accounts for all their disparities—not just some of their disparities, but all of the disparities—then there must be people who succeed who are complicit in the system that brought the others down, and that’s Jews, that’s Asians, and other successful groups. It can be weaponized and has been weaponized against Jews in a way that’s increasing the level of antisemitism in society.

Blair: Right. You’ve mentioned intersectionality amongst other concepts that exist in a critical social justice ideology. You define in your report intersectionality as the theory that various identities interact in ways that create compounded discrimination or disadvantage constituting an intersecting system of oppression. In the sort of base level of this, where do Jews fit into the system to somebody who believes in this critical social justice ideology? What do Jews have to do in this system?

Bernstein: It’s very hard for people who buy into this ideology to look at American Jews who have been largely successful or are in their eyes white, and they’ve defined us as white, to say that we’re not part of the oppressor class. We must be, because we’re successful and you can only succeed in this worldview by holding other people down, by getting a bigger slice of the pie for yourself.

No matter how hard Jews tried—and we have tried. I tried, by the way, that’s part of what I would try to do in engaging other communities, engaging progressive spaces in my previous work, was to position Jews as being a marginalized group. We’re marginalized, like your groups are marginalized. And we should have our voice in the intersectional club, but that doesn’t work. It didn’t work. They just do not see it that way.

You also have sort of the intersection, if you will, with the Israeli-Palestinian cause. People insisting that Palestinians are the oppressed group and Israel is the oppressor. Then they look at the American Jewish community that is largely but not entirely supportive of Israel and they say, “OK, you must be part of the oppressor class,” and that’s how we’ve been marked.

Blair: One of the things that I’ve kind of been considering as I was reading this paper is it feels like a lot of the time when incidents of antisemitism come up, we’re reacting to a specific incident. It’s reactionary politics as opposed to a sort of ongoing discussion about where this comes from.

For example, when Black Lives Matter or an activist said something that’s pretty blatantly antisemitic, it seems like we’ll focus more on the specific thing that was said as opposed to the root ideology that leads activists to believe the antisemitic thing that they just said. Do you feel that this is sort of a true assessment of what’s going on? Why or why not?

Bernstein: Yeah. If there’s one finding in this paper that represents a wholesale departure from the traditional Jewish community approach to fighting antisemitism, it’s that we believe that the current ideological environment is like fighting antisemitism in a game of whack-a-mole.

The ideology is going to continue to produce incidents of antisemitism. If we continue to go and condemn this person and condemn that person, which we could do and should do, I guess, but without recognizing that the root cause ideology, the wellspring from which this comes is critical social justice ideology, we’re not really fighting the root problem.

There, I would say that we’ve got to take a massive strategic shift in how we think about fighting antisemitism. It doesn’t work to just fight antisemitism. You have to fight the underlying ideology. You have to start challenging people who claim that they have a monopoly on the truth when it comes to racism and race.

You have to say, “No, I’m sorry. We have the right to speak as well.” You’ve got to stick up for liberalism, because if liberalism starts to slip, and liberalism, by the way, I mean small “L” liberalism, and that is the free expression of ideas in society, if that starts to slip and give way to wokeism, then we’re not going to fare well. Jews are not going to fare well, other minorities won’t fare well either.

So we’ve got to start fighting that fundamental underlying ideology that’s giving rise to antisemitism and not just the antisemitic expressions of it.

Blair: One of the things that I’ve also been considering a lot as we were talking about concepts like intersectionality and this sort of focus on race, like in critical race theory, that both in America and worldwide, Jews are ethnically a minority. We’ve talked about the successes of the Jewish people, but how has it become so ingrained in both conspiracy theories and in critical social justice ideology that Jews are oppressors?

Bernstein: Yeah. Jews have always occupied a very strange space in societies where they lived. Jews have a very resilient culture and have been able to largely succeed in almost any society that they’ve been in. They’re perceived as sort of being intermediary. They are, in the eyes of, let’s say, white supremacists in this country, they’re viewed as the people that are bringing in other minorities to pollute the white dominant culture. Right? …

When you hear people with tiki torches say that Jews will not replace us, that’s what they mean. The Jews will have been the intermediaries that have allowed more Mexicans and other people to come in and replace us white people. That occupies a very special place in their imagination.

I think in the intersectional worldview, also, Jews are really confounding, in a way. We claim to have been discriminated against. We had this thing called the Holocaust that happened to us, we’ve been discriminated against, they see the hate crime statistics, and yet we’re white and successful. In a way, we’re a standing contradiction to that worldview and they have to shove us into one of those two boxes, which leads to sort of the erasure of our identity.

Blair: I do think it’s very interesting that Jews kind of occupy this space of simultaneously the oppressor, but like, historically speaking, you can acknowledge that the Jews have been persecuted on a world scale.

Speaking of a world scale, I would like to talk to you a little bit about the upcoming world conference on racism that is set to take place this month. Rather famously, the U.S. has previously boycotted these types of U.N.-backed conferences because they have a very strong anti-Israel bias. These conferences will regularly refer to Israel as an apartheid state and discuss how evil the country is on a variety of levels. With that in mind, is there a difference between antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment? On that note, is it possible to be critical of the state of Israel without wading into antisemitism?

Bernstein: I mean, absolutely. I mean, there’s nobody more critical of Israel than Israelis. You see that every day in any Israeli newspaper you might look at in English or Hebrew.

Many American Jews, myself included … we care about Israel. We love Israel. We might define ourselves as Zionists, people who believe in the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. And yet, we are critical of specific Israeli acts, policies that we think might be counterproductive. Many of us will say so publicly. We’ll say, “We think that’s wrong,” and, “Israel should do ‘X’ instead of ‘Y.’” That is entirely consistent with seeing Israel as a normal country or even caring about the Jewish state.

What’s not normal is when people start to deny the very right of the Jewish people to have a state, which is what you see in places like the World Conference on Racism, or you demonize Israelis as Nazis and judge it by a standard that you would judge no other nation.

That’s where you start to get suspicious and wonder, “Well, maybe there’s something much more sinister behind this than just criticism of a country or its policies.” What you’re really seeing are people who hate the Jewish people and are using that as a kind of a cudgel against the state of the Jewish people, which is the state of Israel.

Blair: It sounds like what you’re saying is that … anti-Israel rhetoric … is being used to disguise antisemitism in a way.

Bernstein: Yeah. By anti-Israel rhetoric, I mean, I would mean not just criticism of Israel, but really vicious criticism of Israel that’s completely out of proportion and irrational. And yeah, I think it disguises it.

I’m not going to say that there aren’t people who are opposed to Zionism that aren’t antisemitic. I think that there probably are. There are ultra-Orthodox Jews who, for a variety of reasons, theological reasons, don’t think there should be a state of Israel. I’m not going to call them antisemites. I think what you can say is that the phenomena of anti-Zionism is a category of antisemitism, even if there are exceptions to the rule.

Blair: OK. Other than this conference, and I’m sure there are other examples, would you be able to list some other things that are international manifestations of antisemitism and anti-Zionism?

Bernstein: Yeah. I mean, we’ve seen over the years, especially in the wake of like a war with Gaza, conflict of Gaza, these massive, very often violent protests.

I remember in Malmo, Sweden, I think it must’ve been around 2006, there were these massive protests against the Jewish community, major threats to synagogues and others. You had the mayor of Malmo blame it on the Jews for their support for Israel.

You see that in some European countries and you see, as we recently saw in the United States, by the way, in LA and New York, during the last Gaza round in May, you saw people beaten on the streets. I mean, literally like stopped and beaten at restaurants. These are manifestations of violent antisemitism that really comes from the left side of the political spectrum.

Blair: You’ve spoken a little bit on the implications for the sort of other oppressed classes. I think you’ve talked a little bit about Asians and other racial groups. Are there larger implications in our American society for the proliferation of critical social justice ideology beyond Judaism and antisemitism?

Bernstein: Absolutely. I would even say my primary critique of critical social justice or the imposition of critical justice is the fact that it’s fundamentally illiberal. It’s meant to try to stifle conversation. It stifles science. It stifles the free exchange of ideas.

It makes it harder to solve problems because how can you solve a problem if you’re not allowed to try to define it? In other words, if the only permissible explanation for disparity in the world is systemic racism, and if you proffer any other possible explanation for it, you’ll be deemed a racist, how are you going to actually solve that problem? Because racism doesn’t account for why there’s disparity in many cases.

I think it is fundamentally illiberal and it will create bad social outcomes and it will prevent people from talking to each other. It will be bad for race relations. I think it has many, many bad outcomes besides just the antisemitism and anti-Asian sentiment and the like.

Blair: Given that we can acknowledge that, obviously, antisemitism is a problem, what advice do you have for our listeners who want to push back against the rising tide of antisemitism and anti-Zionism around the globe today?

Bernstein: Yeah, I think it’s time that they recognize that there is this ideology at its root cause and that we have to start supporting liberalism. There, I’m really advocating for a new coalition.

I think the Jewish community has been very focused on sort of engaging the left and the far left of the American political system so that we can stop it from becoming too anti-Israel or too antisemitic. I don’t think that’s working well.

I think the lion’s share of our resources, our energies have to be to building a new coalition, groups with Asian Americans, and black heterodox thinkers, and Latino business leaders, and the like. A new centrist coalition that, on both sides of the political aisle, stands up for the liberal proposition of a society where people can express ideas and think out loud together.

I think that’s the kind of society we want to live in, and that’s the coalition we ought to create. That means that we have to create new institutions that fight for liberalism, and we have to create new institutions that aren’t captured in some cases by woke ideology that are right now making it hard for these institutions to function effectively.

Blair: Given that, do we have any examples of a positive success story that we can point to and say, “Hey, this is working. This is helping out”?

Bernstein: This is a very new phenomenon. I think, obviously, we’ve been watching critical social justice take over in certain institutions for quite a few years and certainly in the academy, but it was really after George Floyd’s murder that we saw … this racial reckoning really start to take effect. A lot of institutions started implementing new racial justice plans and committees and the like. It’s really been in the last year where you’ve seen this incursion at this level, which has provoked a backlash.

Many of us now are, I mean, we founded our organization only four months ago. There are very few existing institutions in American life, nonprofit advocacy organizations and the like, that were already actively fighting against the incursion of critical social justice ideology.

We’re learning as we go along. We’re making some headway in certain places. There are examples of us being able to get more and more people out of the woodwork and fighting against it. We’ve seen some institutions back off from their previous woke pronouncements and the like. But we’re just getting going and we’re going to have to find what works over time.

Blair: Glad to hear that things are going positively. David, we are running a little bit low on time, but I wanted to give the last word to you. Where can our listeners go to learn more about your organization and the work you’re doing to fight antisemitism?

Bernstein: Sure. We are JILV.org, Jewish Institute for Liberal Values … They can find us on Twitter at @JILVORG. They can also look into a new organization called the Institute for Liberal Values—which is an umbrella of groups, not just Jewish groups, but education groups and the like—and that’s ilvalues.org, and it’s coming into existence as we speak. Check us all out.

Blair: Great. Well, thank you so much. That was David Bernstein, founder and CEO of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values as well as a longtime Jewish advocate. David, thanks again for joining us.

Bernstein: Great to be with you. Thank you.

*****

This article was published on September 3, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Introducing “Taking The Mask Off”

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s far past time for the COVID regime to end.

In March 2020, our public health officials embarked on a major public relations effort. The novel coronavirus had arrived in the U.S. from China, and a fearful American public scrambled to stock up for the apocalypse: toilet paper, canned goods, bottled water, and face masks.

So U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams took to the media to get an urgent message out. “Americans get scared when they feel like they’ve lost control,” Adams said then on Fox & Friends, “There are things people can do to stay safe… [but] one of the things they shouldn’t be doing, the general public, is going out and buying masks. It actually does not help, and it has not been proven to be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus amongst the general public.”

Times have changed.

Now, almost 18 months later, these face coverings have become ubiquitous. After a temporary reprieve over the summer months, when vaccine optimism reigned, mask mandates are back across the country. Children are starting another school year with faces covered. Younger grades may not know a time when seeing classmates’ smiles was allowed. The mask has superseded its [dubious] medical benefits, and is now a potent symbol of right-thinking.

Our public health “experts” seem determined to extend their power to vaccine mandates as well. With the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, Big Business—and the government of at least one of our major cities—has moved quickly to force employees and patrons to get the jab. “My body, my choice,” was always a cynical platitude. They never meant it.

We must remember that this was all a choice. No, not the arrival of a deadly disease from China, but the concerted effort to radically alter daily life in response. It’s a choice driven by fear, by a failure to come to terms with our own mortality. And all the while, the goal posts shift, from “15 days to stop the spread,” to “flatten the curve,” to vaccines, COVID-zero, and on and on and on.

Enough. It’s far past time for this insanity to end.

So I’m proud to introduce “Taking the Mask Off,” a new series from The American Conservative. We will call out the hypocrisy of our public health regime. We will highlight the toll lockdown measures and mask mandates have taken on our families and communities. We will urge Americans not to accept a “new normal”. And we will actually “follow the science”, offering alternatives for what a balanced public health policy might look like.

We will, quite literally, take the mask off the COVID regime.

COVID-19 is here to stay, joining the countless other maladies that affect our fallen human condition. The loss of life at the hands of this deadly disease is tragic. Far more tragic would be a society in which living is lost, in which we are unable to pursue that which makes life worthwhile.

We at TAC hope to play a small part in preventing this greater tragedy.

*****

This article was published on August 29, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Politics of College Loan Relief are Baffling

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

For someone like myself who has been involved with and analyzed the political arena, one can almost always conclude as to why an elected official has taken a political position. Most of the time it is to serve their perceived constituency for the purpose of maintaining the elected official’s lifespan in office. Supporting college loan relief makes no sense for nearly all elected officials. Yet many are pushing it anyway.

There are three discernible voter groups that have an interest in this issue’s outcome:

People who never attended college nor have their children. That is about 51% of Americans. They have zero interest in paying for the college loans of the other 49%. Let’s say there are about 210 million Americans over the age of 18 years old. That means 107 million in that category.

The other 49% have either a community college or four-year degree. Of that 43 million have student debt as of now.

That means the remainder is a group of 64 million Americans. These people either paid off their loan, paid their way through college or had it paid for. I fall into two categories. I paid my way through college and ponied up for my two children to obtain college degrees. There may be a few people here who like the idea of loan relief. From my experience, most say No Way Jose.

Why would we pay for the debt of others who made the choice to incur it, while we managed to avoid? (Note: I had a $1,500 student loan that I paid off.)

By my calculations that is 81% of Americans (voters) who have little or no interest in relieving college loans just on pure economic terms. Even if you believe my numbers are off, or you believe that some of the people who have no interest in loan relief on economic terms but have sympathy for the issue, we can reasonably say that 75% of American voters don’t want this done.

I can point to the rationale for one elected official—Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren worked as a college professor virtually her entire career until becoming a U.S. senator. Her last gig was Harvard. Harvard has an endowment that could and should cover the college tuition of every one of their attendees. Only 56% of students receive any kind of financial aid. Apparently, 49% receive a free ride. But, as I said, the endowment could and should cover 100%.

Working where she worked there were many colleges nestled in a small area. It is a major constituency of Ms. Warren’s. Also, to my perception, Ms. Warren has never met a government-paid program she didn’t want.

Certainly, there are many members of the Democrat caucus in both the House and the Senate who have political interests akin to Ms. Warren’s. Uncle Bernie in the Senate comes to mind. The Squad in the House would be other politicians who are ideologically inclined to support handing out free money. Some people reading this column would say a lot of members of Congress these days are inclined to hand out free money. But most of those giveaways went to a much broader base of the population.

Another bafflement of student loan relief comes from the fact that the constituency is populated with high earners or people on their way to becoming high earners. The earning for someone with a bachelor’s degree is twice that of someone with a high school diploma.

Then why would Uncle Joe even be contemplating this? He says he is a moderate and that he is a supporter of the working man. Student loan relief does not fit the bill in either regard. President Biden has stayed away from any loan relief, but it is still being floated. Biden extended the nonpayment rule for another six months, making the extension for loan payment deferral to two years. No one asked if any of the debtors were out of work or unable to pay at this point. The economy is back at the level it was before the pandemic, and you can bet almost all the student loan debtors are perfectly capable of making their monthly payments.

The 81% of Americans who have no vested interest student loan relief need to make their thoughts loud and clear to their elected officials and our President that loan relief is not an option. It is bad public policy on so many levels. But, as defined here, it makes no political sense either.

*****

This article was published at Flash Report on August 29, 2021 and is reproduced with permission by the author.

 

Who Will Pay the Price? Who Should Pay the Price?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

As American citizens confront a foreign policy disaster of this magnitude, we must begin with an inventory of injured parties.

First, unquestionably, are the American men and women in our armed forces who have been killed and injured in this grievous failure. Very much like the Vietnam War, it is the grunts as we called them, who always pay the price for the Ivy League ‘best and the brightest’ who haunt the U.S. State Department and to an increasing degree, the U.S. Department of Defense.

There is nothing like a visit to a military cemetery, such as the one pictured above, to get a sense of the human cost.

It is difficult to feel sufficient empathy for the families who are dealing with the loss or long-term disability of their sons and daughters, when the effort for which such a dire price was paid now seems so meaningless. But we must try. What they must be going through is truly awful and painful without end. They deserve our profound respect and sympathy. It did not have to be this way.

Right behind them are the American civilians abandoned by the Commander-in-Chief.  U.S. civilians have been left behind before in conflicts such as  the Philippines in the early days of WWII after Japan’s rout of U.S. forces after Pearl Harbor. But that was because we did not have the means to save them. The Afghanistan debacle is so different. This is a self-inflicted defeat and humiliation of the United States, a country that had the means to get all of its American citizens out of country. Our leaders pulled out the means (its military assets) first and deliberately abandoned Americans. I cannot think of any act of cowardice and treachery in American history that compares with this.

The Afghanis will suffer greatly, women in particular but also many men who helped the U.S. cause. They are not just cruelly killing their opponents. They are doing so in a way to humiliate the United States. These are the people with whom the Biden Administration has entrusted the survival of our men and women left behind.

The network of alliances from NATO to SEATO will suffer because Biden and his advisors did not consult adequately with them, even though they had more troops in theatre than did the U.S..

The special relationship with Great Britain has been critically damaged as we have seen the unprecedented step of the British Parliament  condemning an American President.

The policy blunders coupled with clear and progressive signs of President Biden’s cognitive decline will embolden our enemies and give pause to all of our friends from Israel to Taiwan and around the globe. Perhaps worse than the senility of one man, is the utter stupidity of Biden’s coterie of advisors. What is their excuse? At least Biden might blame an aneurysm or senile dementia.

President Trump brought several Arab states, Israel and the U.S. closer together with the Abraham accords and other initiatives. This progress may well be reversed or lost if they believe the U.S. is a fickle and undependable partner.  Gee, I wonder where they might get that idea.

This is a terrible setback in the War on Terror.  We have demonstrated that we don’t understand radical Islam and how to deal with it longer term. Likely it will spread even more with training bases and support well beyond the geography of Afghanistan. With this disgusting failure of our President and his circle, militant Islam has shown it can defeat and humiliate the West. This will embolden them to attack us and our allies in the future. The Arab street respects power and Biden has shown the U.S. is currently run by incompetent weaklings and cowards.

There is a school of thought that says our reaction to radical Islam is what has made it metastasize. We have always found this school of thought wanting, as Mr. Qtub of Muslim Brotherhood founding fame was documenting and broadcasting his hate about the West based on his experience with American infidels during the innocent period of the late 1940s in rural Colorado. We can only imagine what he would think of modern day California and New York.

The American people will suffer for all of this. This will be unjust but the world will not care. A fair number of our countrymen would rather vote for a doddering old fool and a bunch of warmed over Marxist ideas than a strong-willed man who came from outside of the political club and sent far too many offensive tweets.

Say what you will about President Trump. At least he was in charge of his White House rather than the White House being in charge of him. He did not run from reporters but in fact engaged them, argued with them, belittled them, and yes, denigrated them. But he did not run and he faced his critics. For this combat, a sizable chunk of the public thought he was at fault for aggravating the press.

Well, now with the benefit of hindsight, we wonder how many voters would like to go back and change their ballots?

Who will suffer and who should suffer are, of course, two different groups.

Likely who will not suffer are the Democrat operatives who pull the strings behind Joe Biden, the puppet president. As one observer accurately put it, they put the man up to win, not to govern. The  machinery of the Democrat Party has a great deal to answer for. This includes this latest foreign policy disaster, the uncontrolled illegal alien invasion on the southern border, inflation, budget madness, declining race relations, soaring crime, turning the national security apparatus on political opponents, and the contradictory and idiotic policies related to Covid.

This is an unparalleled list of serious offenses for a President in the first seven months of his first year of governance.

Our fervent hope is that voters will see these offenses for what they are and give them such an electoral thrashing in 2022 that today’s radical Marxist Democrats become a footnote in history.

Then there is the main stream media who hid the incompetence of this man from the American public and viciously and intentionally distorted the views and record of his opponent. They deserve professional and economic destruction.

Where do these poorly informed and prepared advisers to this demented President come from? Where do the sycophants in the media come from?

This is a dangerous failure of America’s ruling class and its foot soldiers that largely comes out of our colleges and universities and then burrows into our increasingly ineffective institutions.

We now have a working list of who has been hurt by this botched job. Now we need to complete a list of who should be held responsible for this tragedy. We need to start with the Democrat Party and not stop until they are swept from the White House to the mayors’ mansions in every blue city. Then, we need to get to work and reform our universities and the many institutions that have been so damaged by the graduates of the failed public school system and higher education system in America.

NEA Head Demands More Lockdowns and Masks, Defends Anti-Vaccine Teachers

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

When Becky Pringle, the president of America’s largest teachers union, sat down for an interview with The Atlantic, a left-progressive magazine owned by liberal mega-donor she surely expected softball cover from her fellow arch-liberals. However, as the president of the United States discovered when he sat down with a Clinton administration flack-turned-ostensible-journalist this week, even the most committed partisan outlets cannot defend a leftist defending a completely indefensible position. For Pringle and the National Education Association, that position is simple: no vaccine mandates for us, but mask mandates and school lockdowns for your children.

For Your Children, Lockdowns and Masks

The Atlantic’s Emma Green asked Pringle a simple question: “Do you believe that every school in the United States should be open for full-time, in-person instruction in the fall of 2021?” Pringle’s response was not “Yes,” but the same hostage taking that teachers unionists have employed since the first identification of COVID-19:

We have been working the whole year to try to ensure that every single school has the big R: resources. . . . For that to be true, the community has to work with schools to ensure that they follow the science, listen to the infectious-disease experts, and then make decisions that will keep their students safe.

On masks, Pringle demands more mandates on your kids. For all Pringle’s citation of “the science” in defending these unprecedented measures, note well that European countries, which have often employed much harsher general lockdowns, have typically not forced elementary school children to wear masks for eight hours per day because European health officials have seen no scientific evidence that any benefits of such mandates exceed their costs.

For Us, Not Even the Fee for the Gaming License

But Pringle and the NEA think one intervention goes too far: vaccination mandates for school staff, who are often NEA members. While children cannot see each other’s smiles at NEA demand, Pringle cautions about “complexities of vaccinations” and asks that her members receive “accommodations that need to be made.” She did deign to acknowledge that unvaccinated teachers should regularly be tested for COVID.

Put simply, the ruling class of which Pringle is a member is to suffer no imposition comparable to that imposed on children and parents. In The Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone told the senator, “My offer is this: Nothing; not even the fee for the gaming license.” In exchange for demanding a previously unthinkable imposition on children, Pringle offers next to nothing.

Strictly Business

Green also pressed Pringle on a “perception” we have noted is well founded but liberals often prefer to ignore: Teachers unions appear responsible for most of the school lockdowns. And Pringle, following her AFT counterpart Randi Weingarten, responded like the politician she is, denying that she put her members ahead of children in an act of supreme gaslighting.

The COVID-19 response has made clear that teachers unions’ principal loyalty is to their political agendas and the interest of their most radical activist members. One cannot blame Pringle or Weingarten for putting the people who pay their salaries ($285,365 and $417,968, respectively) first. As Corleone would say, “It’s not personal . . . it’s strictly business.”

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This article was published on August 20, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Capital Research.

Texas Parents Seeking To Home School Increases Five-Fold From 2020 Record

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The number of Texas families pulling their children out of public schools and pursuing home-schooling in one week this month is five times greater than the same time period last year, the Texas Homeschool Coalition reports.

“We are literally inundated with calls and emails from thousands upon thousands of families asking how they can begin homeschooling this fall,” Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition, said in a statement.

“In the fall of 2020, the number of homeschooling families in Texas had nearly tripled from 4.5 percent in the spring to 12.3 percent by October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” the coalition reports. A conservative estimate put the number of students being home-schooled in Texas in 2020 at roughly 750,000, a state record.

Last year, the coalition saw a 400% increase in requests from parents to help them process withdrawal requests from public schools. Prior to the state shutdown, between 22,000 and 25,000 Texas students had already been withdrawn from the public school system.

But then as children returned to school through virtual learning and parents observed what they were being taught or not being taught and increased failing grades were being reported, more parents withdrew their children from public schools. The coalition then published an online map reporting data related to the withdrawal of children from public schools in grades 7 through 12 based on Texas Education Agency data, which includes only those grade levels.

But 2021 numbers are “now crushing” the 2020 records, Lambert says.

The weekly call and email volume the coalition received last week set a new record, with more than five times more parents contacting them then during the same week last year, Lambert says. The call volume exploded after school districts imposed mask mandates and other restrictions, defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order preventing them from doing so.

“Our call volume and contact volume doubled last week. We went from 300 to 500 calls to 1,000,” Lambert said.

Many parents hoping to have their children return to school in person with fewer restrictions than last year said they don’t want to have anything to do with school districts’ retaliatory policies for noncompliance or ongoing school district mandates.

Lambert told ABC affiliate KTRK TV, “We are hearing parents who are saying, ‘You know, I am real uncomfortable with the situation in the schools’, ‘I do not want my kids to wear a mask’, ‘I do want my kids to wear a mask.'”

Of the parents the coalition has spoken with, 72% said they were going to continue home-schooling as they did last year; 19% said they were going to try to return to in-person instruction and 9% said they were undecided.”

According to a survey last year by RealClear Opinion Research, 40% of registered voters polled said they were more likely to home-school after their state’s respective lockdowns ended, meaning in the Fall 2021 term.

John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children, said at the time, “Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling.

“Policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

Texas lawmakers took note, and passed two home-school-related bills during the regular legislative session. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bills into law, The University Interscholastic League Equal Access Bill, House Bill 547, and the Learning Pod Protection Act, Senate Bill 1955, which become effective Sept. 1.

HB 547 will allow public school district students whose parents pay taxes to school districts to participate in University Interscholastic League sponsored activities. SB 1955 exempts learning pods from local government regulatory burdens.

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This article was published on August 21, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

Educrats Are Panicking As Their Extremism Alienates More Families

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

These events at the beginning of a new school year indicate one thing: the educational establishment in this country is losing its grip on power and running scared.

The optics on unconditional surrender are terrible, which is why Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon avoided fanfare when she signed Senate Bill 744, a law that suspends high school graduation requirements for reading, writing, and math. Her reasons: to combat systemic racism and boost graduation numbers for minorities.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), already feeling the heat for advancing critical race theory, has doubled down by greenlighting Policy 8040, which provides exceptions for transgendered students at the expense of the rest of the student body and the faculty. The approval came a few days after LCPS showed its contempt for parents and community members by restricting their ability to attend board meetings and voice their concerns there.

Up in Rhode Island, the state branch of the National Education Association (NEA) is suing to block the public records request of a kindergartener’s mother who has dared to question the wisdom of teaching critical race theory to five-year-olds.

On the national scene, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, has threatened another year of school closures if students (vaccinated or not) don’t wear masks, a demand that is utterly unsupported by the science she claims to be following. This shakedown comes after emails revealed in May that the AFT had been instrumental in convincing the Biden administration’s Centers for Disease Control to delay reopening schools in early 2021.

Taken together, these events at the beginning of a new school year indicate one thing: the educational establishment in this country is losing its grip on power and running scared.

A Regime in Crisis

When in peril, authoritarian regimes react in predictable ways. They try to deflect attention from the glaring problems they created and often flat-out lie about how things are going. If need be, they will crack down on those who oppose them. Most important of all, they try to increase their subjects’ reliance on them.

All of these actions are signs that those who run these regimes are facing a serious threat in the form of a burgeoning revolution. The American education establishment is confronting just such a revolution.

Discontent with American schooling has been growing for decades, but the ruling junta has been able to contain the damage in large part through a massive disinformation campaign demonizing the various forces arrayed against them. Until recently, the power of the teachers’ unions and their political allies seemed all but invincible.

Then COVID-19 hit, and the game changed. Suddenly, parents saw just what their children were being taught, and they were not pleased. What’s more, they saw the ineffectiveness of remote learning and the hubris of those who foisted it upon their children. Now the smoldering embers have become a fire and the regime is scrambling to reassert control.

Assaulted on Several Fronts

Homeschooling is the most direct beneficiary of parents’ new revolutionary fervor. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reports a major surge in homeschooling using U.S. Census Data.

Even when compensating for remote learning by “[labeling] students as homeschoolers only if they were not simultaneously enrolled in public or private schools,” the data shows that three times as many homeschooled students in the spring of 2021 than there were a year before. While the HSDLA cites fears of COVID as one reason to expect the homeschooling boom to continue, it also notes that safety issues unrelated to COVID, such as bullying, and curriculum concerns are other major factors.

Recent information for the other two education options, charter schools and private schools, is more sparse. However, charter school creation and enrollment have been steadily increasing over the past decade and the movement will most likely benefit from the anti-teachers’ union sentiment engendered by lockdowns and curriculum shifts.

As for private schools, a report from the Cato Institute notes the economic turmoil of the last year and a half has forced some to shut their doors and reduced overall enrollment. However, because of their independence from school districts, private schools were far more likely to resume full-time in-person learning by the end of 2020, an important point to consider should public schools initiate lockdowns and remote learning in the future. Also, private school parents “reported fewer negative effects—academic, emotional, physical—on their children from the pandemic than traditional public school parents,” which testifies to the superior COVID responsiveness of the private sector.

The true measure of the cultural shift taking place, however, is in the increase in support for school choice. A RealClear Opinion poll conducted this past June indicated an increase in this support across the board, including for parents being able to direct how to spend some or all of COVID money set aside for K-12 education. Most surprising is the fact that in just over a year, support for school choice from registered Democrats increased from 59 percent to 70 percent, which bodes ill for the decades-old alliance between the party and the teachers’ unions.

The educational establishment’s spate of saber-rattling reveals the weakness of its commitment to the families it supposedly serves. Although it still possesses incredible resources, it fears real competition like never before. It is high time that American parents treat the educrats like the paper tigers they are and declare their independence by embracing the other educational options available in a free society.

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This article was published on August 23, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

China Wants You to Be a Woke ‘Anti-Racist’ While It Pursues Ethnic Cleansing

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

China is all aboard the cause of “anti-racism” and critical race theory.

At least, China wants the United States to be all aboard.

In a video produced by China Global Television Network, which is a state-owned media company controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, two narrators talk about “how to teach about racism to your kids.

The just-under-five-minute video explains that, among other things, “black people have gotten fewer opportunities than other people” and “racism is passed down from generation to generation.”

The whole thing is a stilted, poorly produced knockoff of a Robin DiAngelo lecture.

One line from the video is a particular laugher. A woman trying to teach about racism says: “It may be tempting to hide the news from kids but it’s better to tackle things head-on.”

This, from a country that more tightly controls information to its people and to the world than almost any other on earth.

Here, in year two of a pandemic that was unleashed upon the world as the result of the dishonesty of the Chinese regime, we are being given a lecture about how we need to tackle things “head-on.”

The video finishes with the lines, “being not racist just keeps things the way they are now, by being anti-racist, you can help lead our children to a brighter future.”

We can, at least, learn a few things from this video.

First, it’s interesting to see how Communist China appropriates the left-wing racial dogmas of American self-described “anti-racists” and proponents of critical race theory.

The final line of the video could be taken straight from Ibram X. Kendi, a darling of the woke, mainstream, left-wing media. This propaganda video is engaging in what one might call “concern trolling.”

No doubt, China is deeply concerned about racism in America and it’s just trying to help make the world a better place, right?

It’s a familiar script.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was eager to stoke and exploit racial division in the United States to cause as much chaos and damage as possible to its Western foes. This, even though its record on treating racial, religious, and ethnic minorities was generally appalling. Perhaps that just seems less bad in the Soviet Union because its treatment of pretty much everyone was atrocious.

Certainly, China uses similar tactics today. Glomming on to movements like Black Lives Matter to claim moral equivalence or even superiority to the United States.

This leads to the second conclusion one can draw from the video. It’s awfully rich to be getting a lesson about racism and racial tolerance from a country that is in the process of ethnically cleansing its population by force. The communist regime, as is now well documented, has come under scrutiny for putting Uighur Muslims in concentration camps.

It is effectively committing genocide by forcing Uighurs into reeducation facilities and sterilizing women by force. They are also being used for forced labor.

Let that sink in.

A country currently using an ethnic minority as literal cotton-picking slaves while trying to eliminate them from existence wants to give the U.S. a lecture about racism.

The Chinese Communist Party wants us to know that by being anti-racist we can be led to a brighter future as it ruthlessly pursues ethnic cleansing.

As with all dictatorial, totalitarian regimes, the truth in this case means absolutely nothing. Life under the Chinese regime means always living by lies. It wants us to live by those lies, too, or else.

If we can assume that the Chinese Communist Party puts out propaganda videos to promote the good of the party, then it’s noteworthy it enforces ethnic and cultural unity in its own country at the end of a gun, while enthusiastically promoting wokeness and racial division in America using the language of the modern left.

Maybe this should make us think about how China fears genuine American strength, which comes through patriotic assimilation, unity, and the concept of e pluribus unum. That certainly won’t come at the end of a gun in this country. It comes through reinvigorating ideas that Americans most fully embraced not long ago.

That is the legacy of 1776 and the generation of Americans who came before us who made this country great.

China would clearly be happy to see that never return.

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This article was published on August 20, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Prop. 208, Won’t Allow It To Break Spending Limit

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Arizona’s high court didn’t strike down a voter-approved tax increase on the wealthy, but it’s not going to let the influx of new revenue break a constitutional cap on education spending, either.

The Arizona Supreme Court remanded Fann vs. Invest in Education back to a trial court Thursday morning, saying it’s too early to say whether the ballot initiative is entirely unconstitutional.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, and other lawmakers challenged the constitutionality of Prop. 208, seeking to enjoin the tax until they could prove it doesn’t meet constitutional muster.

The lawmakers claim only legislators can levy a tax and voters wouldn’t have approved the measure had they known most of the money would have been tied up under spending caps.

At issue is whether voters would have supported Prop. 208 had they known it was possible a large portion of the money couldn’t be spent legally because of spending limits in the state constitution.

The new law is expected to raise about $800 million annually and be distributed to the state’s public schools to increase teacher pay and fund other initiatives. The justices estimated $600 million of that wouldn’t be accessible under current laws capping annual education spending.

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, said the defense’s position that the 3.5% tax was a “grant” isn’t valid, but the tax itself isn’t ready for a final verdict.

“We hold that the direct funding provision does not fall within the constitutional definition of grants in article 9, section 21 of the Arizona Constitution, and Prop. 208 is therefore unconstitutional to the extent it mandates expending tax revenues in violation of the Education Expenditure Clause,” Brutinel wrote. “Likewise, the remaining non-revenue related provisions of Prop. 208 are not separately workable and thus not severable. However, because we cannot determine at this preliminary stage of the case the extent to which, if any, such funding will exceed the constitutional expenditure limitation, we decline to enjoin the imposition of the tax pending further proceedings in the trial court.”

The court did hold voters could enact a tax on themselves via a ballot initiative, something Fann’s camp claimed was the sole duty of the Legislature.

Vice Chief Justice Ann Timmer partially dissented, saying the measure should be allowed to remain if one part is deemed unconstitutional.

“Fann has not shown that Prop. 208 is facially unconstitutional,” she said. “But because I disagree with the majority’s severability analysis and the framework imposed on the trial court for deciding whether Prop. 208 is unconstitutional, almost certainly dooming the measure, I dissent from that part of the opinion.”

Gov. Doug Ducey reacted to the opinion.

“The Supreme Court has said it plainly and clearly: Prop 208 is, in their words, ‘unconstitutional’. As one Justice put it: The framework ‘almost certainly dooms the measure,'” he said. “There is a clear legal path to Prop 208 being knocked down entirely, it’s only a matter of time. Today’s ruling is a very positive one for the state and for taxpayers. The out-of-state proponents of this measure drafted bad language, and now they are paying the price.”

Proposition 208 narrowly passed in the 2020 general election. It institutes a 3.5% tax hike on income over $250,000 for taxpayers filing individually or $500,000 for jointly filing. The higher income tax placed Arizona at the ninth-highest income tax brackets in the nation in terms of the top marginal rate. Business advocates called the new rates a “growing crisis” in terms of the state’s competitive stance compared with otothers that recently lowered their tax burdens.

The tax is separate from regular state income and cannot be reduced or supplanted by state lawmakers. To get around this, Republicans enacted a budget that eventually flattened the state’s income tax to 2.5%. They also included a 4.5% tax cap on what individuals could pay as a percentage of their income, which lowered those subject to the 3.5% tax to a 1% state income tax burden.

Invest in Education is leading campaigns to get initiatives on the 2022 General Election ballot to invalidate these laws.

The initiative had survived other challenges in lower courts, finding the controversial aspects of the measure’s language to hold constitutional muster.

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This article was published on August 19, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.