30 November 2007

CNN/YouTube “Debate” as Entertainment

There’s lots of new around the last two days about question plants, lack of investigation and deleterious motives with regard to the show passed as a debate on Wednesday. Thankfully, I didn’t watch. There was a far more entertaining hockey game on at the same time (the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Lightning, 5-1), and I was hoping to be entertained.

If I had only known that the CNN/YouTube debate would actually be staged theater, I might have gotten more entertainment from watching it – though that is doubtful.

It is highly suspect to allow folks to ask pointed questions and not ask them about their political affiliations. And it’s not that I care what those affiliations are. They do not matter so long as they are out there in the open. It is only fair to the debaters and the viewers, because not only should the answers be weighed and judged, but the questions as well. If folks know that a question comes from an operative of a political foe, that question can be handled and considered differently by both the debater and the audience.

But in the end, it seems that the CNN/YouTube debate has finally caused the primary debates to “jump the shark” into pure entertainment. The issues do not matter nearly as much as the sparing, jabbing, and upper-cuts delivered in the political cage-match of the entertainment debate. And it’s all to the detriment of our political process. It is no wonder that “[n]early two-thirds of Americans do not trust press coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, according to a new Harvard University survey.” (Editor and Publisher article.) It is not news, after all; it’s entertainment!

28 November 2007

Bill Clinton “Opposed Iraq”…Really?

Having just read that former President Bill Clinton "opposed Iraq from the beginning," according to the Washington Post, I have to shake my head and wonder under what Commander in Chief I served from 1998 to 2000. During that period of time, I (and countless others like me) made more than a few trips to the Middle East to enforce the No-Fly Zones over Iraq. While absolutely nothing of note happened during my early trips there, from December ’98 onward, it was a different story.

During President Clinton’s time in office, both the northern and southern No-Fly Zones became much more like war zones. Almost daily, Iraqis shot at Coalition (Brit and US) aircraft. In response, Coalition aircraft dropped ordinance on Iraqi facilities, particularly air defense facilities. (For more detailed information, see fas.org and its timeline, by year and month.) The exchanges began in December 1998 when Saddam Hussein kicked out the UN inspectors (again). In response, Operation Desert Fox was launched. 1999 was a particularly “busy” time in the No-Fly Zones, and the back and forth whet on, to some extent, until March 2003.

So when folks read that the former President Clinton is stumping for his wife to become the next President Clinton, folks should remember that a lot of history comes with that family. Where Senator Hillary Clinton says she would (eventually) get US troops out of Iraq, it is instructive to remember that her husband, now opposed to Iraq, got US airmen far more involved in Iraq during his tenure. When folks take the time to remember his actions, the former President’s current words ring hollow.

26 November 2007

A Better, Shorter Answer

Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Fred Thompson an odd question. Mr. Wallace asked if a President Thompson would allow states to enact laws regarding abortion that he does not personally agree with. He asked this not long after asking two straight yes or no questions, if life begins at conception and if abortion is the taking of life, and getting a straight yes to both questions.

Mr. Thompson’s answer to the states question, however, was not as forceful as it could have been. What Mr. Thompson could have come out of the chute with on the states question is something akin to, “The President is not a dictator. He should not, must not, and cannot simply force his will upon the people.” This would have been especially appropriate because, in framing the question, Mr. Wallace quoted Mr. Thompson as saying that “people ought to be free at state and local levels to make decisions that even [Fred Thompson] disagrees with; that’s what freedom is all about.”

While Mr. Thompson got the message out that states should have more autonomy regarding abortion in a way, he should have been more forceful about it. In the end, the viewer/listener is forced to use a quote from Mr. Thompson that Mr. Wallace uses in his framing of the question to really flesh out what Mr. Thompson believes in the matter.

Mr. Thompson did, however, give a convincing argument about how, if Roe v. Wade were repealed, then states could institute more restrictive laws regarding abortion. This, in Mr. Thompson’s estimation, would be more realistic than going after a Constitutional amendment regarding abortion because an amendment would probably never pass.

In the end, Mr. Thompson’s answers were fairly convincing, though muddled with back-and-forth and not as forceful as they could have been. He did his best when he stuck to explaining his beliefs and convictions; he wasted time talking about other candidates' records and positions.

24 November 2007

Howard Out as Aussie PM

A long-awaited election has come and gone in Australia, and John Howard and his Liberal (read: conservative) majority is out, Kevin Rudd and his Labour (read: liberal) majority is in. Mr. Howard may not even keep him seat in Parliament. The mandate, if public opinion which has been fairly steady since before I left Australia in August is to be believed, is for change. Mr. Rudd represents that change.

But it seems to me, as has for some time, that this election veered toward “change for the sake of change” rather than change for some specific reason. Mr. Howard has been PM for more than eleven years and has overseen a long run of economic prosperity in Australia. But at some point, I suppose, the citizens of Australia (or the majority of them, anyway) got tired of seeing the same face as head of government, hearing the same message, voting for the same man (or party). So there will be change in Australia.

According to reports, the election was mainly run (and lost, for Mr. Howard) on domestic issues. Internationally, Mr. Rudd plans on signing up to the Kyoto treaty. It will be interesting to see how that effects the booming Australian coal export economy, most of which goes to China. Mr. Rudd also plans on “negotiating” with the US for the removal of all Australian combat troops from Iraq. This will also be interesting, as Australian and US servicemen have fought side by side in every major war since WWI.

But for folks in the US, it may be a sign of things to come – the “change for the sake of change” vote. If that is the case, it’s a great time for it simply because there is so much choice for “change”. Outside of Senator Clinton, none of the names running for President have a legacy in the White House. With the exception of one candidate, any person elected will bring change in the sense that the Bush/Clinton cycle will end. Thankfully at this point, Americans have more choices than our Australian allies did. For us, it is a choice among many; for them, it was either, or.

Not Reproducing

I just couldn’t help writing a little something about the article in the Daily Mail from the 21st about a woman, Toni Vernelli, who refuses to reproduce and is very proud of it. She reportedly had an abortion the one time she thought she was pregnant and then had herself sterilized thereafter. This all happened about eight years ago. (Which makes me wonder just why it is in the news now.)

My initial reaction to reading the full article was a mix of disgust and desire to write something quite mean in reply. But then it hit me: this type of person will take care of herself. By not reproducing, this woman and those like her will mark the end of their own beliefs. The only way to keep the vision of not reproducing alive (so to speak) is to recruit others to the cause. It is remarkable to think how much self-loathing must be present in a person to convince himself or herself that putting an end to the family tree is a goal to be pursued. And pursued, no less, to save something that cannot be enjoyed after the saving act. All other things aside, at least the Jihadist has the belief that something better awaits him in the afterlife. Mrs. Vernelli and those like her will never enjoy the thing they are attempting to save. Some folks might think this as the pinnacle of selfless acts. I see it as the height of self-hatred.

As Mark Steyn reminds us, “demography is destiny.” At some point, Mrs. Vernelli and those like her will wilt and wither. The key for those of us who do not share her method for stewardship of the planet is to ensure that she and those like her have as little influence as possible on public policy.

22 November 2007

A Quick List of Things I’m Thankful For

Just a few quick thoughts fitting the day.

- I’m thankful to be an American, and back in the US. Being in Australia was great, but being home is something else.

- I’m thankful for my wife, my life and my health.

- I’m thankful that my wife and I have a house to call our own.

- I’m thankful for my family and my wife’s family.

- I’m thankful to have a job (or two).

I hope everyone has a great day this Thanksgiving.

21 November 2007

My 2¢ on Education Reform

And it may be worth less than that, but I couldn’t help but to take another read over Senator Obama’s education plan, which appeared again today in the news (link here). I won’t go over the whole thing again, if only because it doesn’t seem to differ from that of John Edwards all that much. There are references to universal pre-kindergarten education, increased federal funding of state college tuition, and creating some sort of accountability for teachers, though the measuring stick for this is oddly missing. Senator Obama says, according to the article, “Failing teachers would be moved from classrooms and replaced with ones who are competent.” I suppose that means a federally mandated teacher appraisal system. But I’m getting side tracked here.

The main point where Senator Obama seems to diverge from his fellow Democrat presidential candidates is with regard to parental involvement. Again, from the article, he says, “We can spend billion after billion on education in this country. We can develop a program for every problem imaginable and we can fund those programs with every last dime we have. But there is no program and no policy that can substitute for a parent who is involved in their child's education from day one.” Indeed, and I might add “until graduation from high school.” And even more, “an advocate for the education, not the comfort, of their child.” In my opinion, parental involvement is an overlooked aspect of why children fail in school.

What follows is just my opinion. I may be right or wrong. I’m happy to take any reasoned criticism; doing so will help me refine my thinking.

If I could change two things about education, they would not be teacher pay and instituting an ever-earlier start to a child’s public education. One would be a return to, and mastering by the student of, the fundamental elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic during the first eight years of school with continued testing of that mastery through graduation. The second would be relieving micromanagement of classroom teaching by instituting end-of-course exams over stated objectives (mastery of the above mentioned fundamental elements with regard to subject matter) and letting the teacher decide how best to reach that destination.

Return to a basic, fundamental, non-“fluffy” curriculum throughout the K-12 cycle. Reading, writing and arithmetic must be the foundation for higher level thinking. Too often, educators either aspire or are told to aspire to hit the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy as much as possible. The result, in many cases, is that students may be able to think creatively, or they may feel really good about themselves, but they lack the fundamental tools of language, self-control and reasoning to get anything meaningful out of their heads. Or, on the other side of the scale, students may be despondent because they aren’t very creative; they can’t operate on the high end of Bloom’s because they don’t have those basic, fundamental skills. In either case, expecting students to operate on the high end of Bloom’s while hoping they pick up the rote, lower end skills (sentence structure, fact memorization, multiplication tables, and basic reading comprehension) is simply madness.

It is madness as well to dictate what and how a teacher presents to his or her class and simultaneously expect that teacher to individualize teaching to each child in the room. Yet all too often, this kind of doublethink is practiced – or at the very least, given serious lip service. The fear, I feel, is that schools will have teachers who just don’t clear the bar with regard to curriculum but who can’t be fired because of legal or contractual entanglements. The solution is to mandate a curriculum and teaching technique so that if something fails, it is a thing, not a person. Curricula can be changed with relative ease. The downside, which is substantial, is that mandating the what and how of teaching is actually professionally offensive to teachers who do care, who are competent, and who believe in a team approach toward education. For those competent educators, a list of objectives, a text and support from administrators and fellow teachers are the starting place for success, not a script to read from.

Those things being said, parental advocacy for education (again, not student comfort) is a great help for teachers and students alike. So maybe I’ve expanded to three things: parental advocacy, mastery of fundamental skills and individual teacher-driven curricula toward stated objectives. Now just how the federal government mandates or influences those things is another question.

20 November 2007

Selective Statistics, Hate Crimes and USA Today

A story from the 20 November edition of USA Today, headlined “FBI: Hate crimes escalate 8% in 2006,” is curiously selective in its reporting. What is quite interesting is the singling out of Muslims, homosexuals and Hispanics as groups experiencing “larger spikes in attacks” during 2006. This is done in the opening paragraph of the online article. The numbers, including those printed in the text of the article, make me question why these three groups were held up as examples.

For instance, the article reports: “Attacks on Muslims increased 22% to 156 last year. Attacks on Catholics increased by almost a third to 76. Almost seven in 10 were crimes against Jews, which were up 14% to 967.”

Based on those numbers, saying that Muslims experienced a “larger spikes in attacks” than Catholics or Jews is curious. “Almost a third” is larger than 22%. That would mean that Catholics experienced a greater percentage increase in crimes labeled as “hate crimes” than Muslims. On sheer numbers, Jews were the targets of “hate crimes” more than six times as often as Muslims. Why, again, were Muslims singled out in the opening paragraph?

The homosexual reference in the opening paragraph I thought was odd because I did not think that there would be another group to compare statistics with. I was wrong. According to the 2006 FBI report, there were 26 anti-heterosexual incidents logged during 2006. The way that the report sorts the data, there are five sexual preference-based categories, four of which involve homosexuality at some level. It is curious that the USA Today article does not mention this at all.

Finally, there is the reference to Hispanics. For the “Ethnic / National Origin” category that Hispanics fall into in the report, there is only an “other” category for comparison. The FBI report shows 576 “hate crime” incidents against Hispanics, a rise of 10.3% from 2005. To get any sort of comparison, one has to compare Hispanics with another category in the report. In the “Race” category, the FBI report shows 2,640 “hate crime” incidents against blacks and 890 “hate crime” incidents against whites. That’s an increase of .4% and 7.5% respectively. While Hispanics did experience an increase percentage-wise in incidents labeled as “hate crimes,” the number of incidences is dwarfed by the number reportedly experienced by blacks. Again, it is very curious why the USA Today article does not mention this at all.

The article did, however, take two paragraphs to mention the Jena incidents, particularly the noose hanging incident. That the noose hanging was not reported as not a “hate crime” only leads to a paragraph on how many noose hangings were investigated by the Justice Department (more than 40).

Obviously, there’s more to the USA Today story than the reader would be lead to believe from reading the first paragraph. Sadly, the reader has to go elsewhere to get more in-depth information – information that would not have required more column inches.

[Note: it seems that the AP - American Thinker blog here - has taken the same tack as USA Today with regard to the FBI report.]

19 November 2007

CBS and Vet's Suicide Rate

This past week, one of my classes had some free time at the end and one of my students asked a question. (I always encourage them to ask questions about anything when we have the time.) He said that on the news the previous night, the reporter said that “half of the guys coming back from Iraq are committing suicide.” I was more than a little taken aback. Recognizing that a large part of this statement was teenage hyperbole, I asked the class to do a little math-in-public with me (teaching across the curriculum, you know). Using a rounded number of 140,000 troops in Iraq, I asked all of the students if more than 70,000 Iraq war veteran suicides would be more of a news story. Given these numbers and this reasoned thinking, the students recognized that the story – with these exaggerated numbers – was clearly bogus.

Then this morning, I read of the New York Post site that the “news” report was actually aired. My student got the percentage all wrong, but the exaggeration of actual statistics was certainly there. Here is a quote from the CBS report, via the Post:

"One age group stood out," it said: "veterans age 20 through 24, those who have served during the War on Terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age."
The Post goes on to debunk the numbers, based on information from a variety of sources. And as any person who has been in the military can tell you (from his or her yearly suicide prevention training), incidences of suicide within the military community is generally lower than the civilian population.

But that’s not what CBS would have my students believe. Here’s the message that teenagers get from this “news” report: If you, young person, go to and make it back from the quagmire of Iraq alive, you just might decide that life is too horrible and off yourself. Better to stay home and see the world through our eyes. It is much safer and you won’t be bothered to think for yourself.

I think all of us, and most importantly our young people, deserve accurate information to consider rationally and thoughtfully, not the sensationalist, emotive tripe that CBS has in this case delivered.

18 November 2007

Politicized Science and the IPCC

-- Originally posted on American Thinker --

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the IPCC has delivered another warning of impending doom. This time, it has to do with the world's oceans' ability to absorb carbon dioxide. While I am not qualified to get into the science of this, I think it is instructive to dissect how the message is being delivered to the masses. For this, I'll use the Drudge-linked article from The Independent, a newspaper from the UK.

As might be expected with any article, the headline attempts to grab the reader's attention. In this case the headline reads, "A world dying, but can we unite to save it?" The "we" does not mean to imply that all the people of the UK should unite. This is a global vision; the "we" is global. The mission is messianic -- save the world -- which is all fine and good as long as the reader, or the believer, truly understands the intent of such an outlook.

In brief, the point of the IPCC's warning is that as the oceans soak up carbon dioxide (the article claims 500 billion tons since the industrial revolution), they become more acidic. In doing so, the life forms therein must adapt or die, and therefore the crisis.

Just like previous reports, this one was "[d]rawn up by more than 2,500 of the world's top scientists and their governments, and agreed last week by representatives of all its national governments." That means this is really not just science, but politicized science. It is the pursuit of "truth" so long as the agreed upon "truth" fits into the political machinations of the signatory governments. To mistake the IPCC reports with pure science is, by the reports' own admission, to only read half of it.

The political aspect of the IPCC report is clearly spelled out in the article itself. It "is designed to give impetus to the negotiations" which will happen in Bali in December. Again, the report is a premeditated attempt to push parties toward some sort of restrictive program with regard to carbon dioxide emissions. By having its end in sight, presumably before the writing, the IPCC politicizes its science. Whatever happened to the disinterested pursuit of the truth?

Most of the rest of the article is a whirlwind tour of the effects of carbon dioxide-saturated oceans. All of them are alarming. They are meant to be. They are designed to be.

The most curious of these points are the continent-specific predictions, which are saved for the knock-out punch at the end of the article. It claims that the "Greenland ice sheet will virtually completely disappear" and sea levels will rise "by over 30 feet". Bangladesh, which may already be in the reader's mind from the recent typhoon, is posited as a place which would disappear because of this. The Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef will both be destroyed. The farmlands of the US will dry up. And in Europe, the most curious outcome, "[w]inter sports suffer as less snow falls in the Alps and other mountains." All of this will happen, according to the article.

Though I am not a scientist -- far from it -- I have to wonder why all of the scare-mongering, shock-value numbers and political sign-offs are necessary. If the science really proves beyond a reasonable doubt that we are indeed headed for a climactic apocalypse, then the science should speak for itself. It should not be "designed" or packaged to influence politicians or the public. It should do so of its own merit. By allowing political influence into the equation, and in abundance at that, reports like this one taint and jumble the common person's view of both scientist and politician.

15 November 2007

Moving

Meaning that I'm, or rather we're, moving, not the blog. Getting ready to unpack things from storage that we haven't seen in nearly two years. It's Christmas in November.

I'll be back on Sunday or Monday.

11 November 2007

Thoughts on Veterans’ Day

My first Veterans’ Day since returning has come and gone now. I can’t say that I did anything special. The only military-like event today was talking with the son of a friend about ROTC. The school where I teach is having an assembly for Veterans’ Day, but I’m not too sure of the content there. All in all, it has not been a very special day.

And I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but the way that Veterans’ Day is recognized by the wider public doesn’t say much about the importance of the day or the men and women honored. There is no standard ceremony, no point in the day when we are all asked to stop, remember, and give thanks.

On ANZAC Day, Aussies and Kiwis have that moment – sunrise ceremonies.

Without doubt, it is easier for the ANZAC tradition to be encapsulated into one moment, one ceremony. The landings at Gallipoli were, if I remember correctly, the first of many brave operations over the horizon for the ANZACs.

Perhaps instead of having Veterans’ Day take the place of Armistice Day (the end of World War I), we should move it to June 6th and recognize the day – on the day, not the following Monday – when US troops, along with the UK and the Canadians, landed on the continent. Sunrise ceremonies would be quite appropriate for such a day.

Perhaps that day, that moment could give folks something to rally around. Not a slogan, not an ideology, not a sound byte. A time, a space to stop, remember, and give thanks. I could be, it should be a chance to consider again what it means to be an American, a free person, a community, a nation.

09 November 2007

Bali: Hub of Climate Change

Just in case there wasn’t enough hypocrisy involved in the “climate change” storyline, here’s some more to pile on. The UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Bali in December. Not wintery New York – or what could be expected to be a wintery New York – but sunny Bali.

As others have pointed out, it is more than a little hypocritical for “climate change” true believers to hop jets and fly (and most likely in business class at least) half way around the world to have a rah-rah for saving the planet. What carbon offsets will the UN by buying for this junket?

It underscores what a charade the “climate change” gurus are perpetuating. It is not about saving the planet; it is really about money and lifestyle. I’m obviously not talking about a “green” lifestyle, either. If the UN Climate Change Conference truly wanted to show its concern for the planet, then perhaps it would hold a massive video teleconference. How much carbon would that save?

But in the name of “saving the planet,” these yahoos (and I mean that in the true Swiftian way) will travel across the planet just to sit down and simultaneously wring hands and congratulate each other. It’s a scam. Indeed, these folks will live as richly as possible for as long as they can soak others for the bill. But what else should be expected out of the UN?

07 November 2007

Thinking Energy

Chasing ghosts is much easier, and probably more fun and exciting, than tackling real, tangible problems. That’s why, I think, there’s so much attention being paid to the idea of “global warming” or “climate change.” There are carbon offsets being sold, talks of capping, taxing and trading carbon emissions, and “green” events of various flavors – from concerts (not so green) to week-long news themes.

But somehow I just don’t think that these movements will amount to much when it comes to meaningful change. Sure, they make noise. They also make a whole lot of money. And most of all, they don’t change behavior. Just tonight, I watched a blurb on a news channel (FoxNews, I think) about how Gov. Schwarzenegger and Rep. Pelosi paying hundreds of dollars per private jet trip to “offset” their carbon output. A little money will wash away this spot, to paraphrase Shakespeare. But note, there’s not really a change of behavior, only money changing hands.

So it makes me wonder just what would cause change. Perhaps there are events going on right now that will nudge the country toward changing energy consumption and charge the smart and entrepreneurial to come up with new, varied and realistic solutions.

It appears that market forces are in place, or if not there, nearing that point. Oil will reach $100 a barrel soon, it appears. Gas is steadily climbing in the US. I can only imagine what it’s like in Australia at this point. It appears that the world will demand more and more oil – along with other sources of energy. But at some point, the cost will begin to outweigh the benefits of using the energy.

And then there’s Pakistan and Iran. Not that geopolitics has ever pushed oil and gas prices into the stratosphere (and I don’t think they’re there yet).

It’s not that I want all of these things to create chaos in the world. Living in interesting times is not something I care to do. But if the times do get even more “interesting” (and now that I’ve used that term, I’m not sure I like it all that much), there should be some clear vision about where we’re going. That vision shouldn’t center on how much the ice caps will (or won’t) melt in a given location or how much carbon we’re allowed to exhale from our activities. The vision has to be about how to preserve our way of life in a way that negates energy dependence as much as possible.

06 November 2007

Musharraf's Pakistan

If there’s one issue to watch over the next week or two, it is the developing situation in Pakistan. President Musharraf’s resent dissolution of the Supreme Court and crack down on political opposition is not a good sign for where the country is headed. That Supreme Court was, incidentally, about to rule on the legality of his recent re-election.

While according to reports there isn’t a major uprising, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be one. Sometimes these things take a few days to grow, to spread. I honestly hope that they do not.

I hope I don’t sound – how to put it – anti-freedom. Just from my horribly limited Western view of Pakistan, it’s Musharraf’s country. Not ideal at all, but given the alternatives, I think that a strong President Musharraf, with a dynamic political body underneath, is a good thing, at least for the rest of the world. One of the alternatives would be the Talibanization of Pakistan, which would be horrible for Pakistanis, not to mention more than a little scary for the rest of the world. We can at least be fairly sure that President Musharraf will not use the nuclear weapons Pakistan possesses.

01 November 2007

NAME and the Multicultural Classroom

Just when I think that I’ve read the height of multicultural drivel, something comes along to prove me wrong. I found this morning’s wakeup call on Neal Boortz’s site (linking to a Baltimore Sun article). It concerns the national conference for the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME – event site here). Some of the conference’s events appear, to say the least, to be loaded with ideological jargon and indoctrination. Both the Boortz and the Sun articles cite the same list:
- "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: Dismantling White Privilege and Supporting Anti-Racist Education in Our Classrooms and Schools."
- "Talking About Religious Oppression and Unpacking Christian Privilege."
- "Beyond Celebrating Diversity: Teaching Teachers How to be Critical Multicultural Educators."

I’d add two more from the event brochure:
- “Teaching For Social Justice In Elementary Schools”
- “Math, Media and Multiculturalism”

Based on NAME’s goal statement, it seems strange to me that there appears to be so much racial, religious and social bias packed into the above events. One of NAME’s stated goals is “to eliminate racism and discrimination in society.” If that is so, why are there explicit assumptions that Christians and whites are oppressors?

Is there a need, in some strange, twisted way, to create another victim class of white Christians? Does this group need to self-flagellate because of who they are, regardless of their intents or motives? It would appear so, based on some of the conferences listed above. But it would take a lot of time and space to “unpack” – to use the multi-culti term – the intents and motives of groups like NAME.

And more to the point, it appears that there must have been some hubbub over a few of these events. The “Christian Privilege” and “Unbearable Whiteness” conferences were canceled, according to the NAME event site, along with two other conferences. The others I’ve listed above, all with more insidious names, all appear to still be on the slate.

How multiculturalism comes into play in the math classroom baffles me. 2+2=4. There’s nothing racial about that whatsoever. Word problems…fine. Change the names and the objects being counted. Big deal. Next thing I expect to see is “number discrimination” – making 2 the victim of 3 because it is defined it as one less.

Why anyone would want to push social justice, which the Baltimore Sun article points out is a term which defies definition, in an elementary school defies logic as well – unless for ideological indoctrination.

One bright spot, one could hope, is that the obviously racist and anti-religious conferences were canceled. Perhaps folks could read exactly what those conferences were about and rejected those ideas either by direct complaint or by simply not registering for them. Either way, it is a welcome sign that some ideas just don’t hold water when put out in the light. If the other ideas can have additional light shone on them, perhaps folks will see them for the ideologically driven clap-trap that they are.