Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

She assured me this sort of thing would not happen, nonetheless it is happening

original article: A sixth-grade teacher tried to pull a fast one on parents by assigning a sexual orientation quiz
October 13, 2017 by Pat Gray

Parents in an Atlanta suburb were not happy when they found out their children were subjected to a sexual orientation and gender identity quiz by their sixth-grade teacher at Lithonia Middle School.

The quiz included wildly inappropriate fill in the blank questions regarding sexual preferences and suggestive references to homosexuality and transgenderism, but parents were having none of it.

“Why are they teaching that in school? What does that have to do with life?” an infuriated Octavia Parks told Fox 5 Atlanta.

“We’re talking about a sixth grader who still watches Nickelodeon. I’m not ready to explain what these words are nor what they mean,” said Parks.

The district is currently investigating. Pat pulled no punches when he got wind of the story and praised the parents for standing up to this kind of stuff but highlighted the double standard. Check out what he had to say in the clip.

To see more from Pat, visit his channel on TheBlazeand listen live to “Pat Gray Unleashed” with Pat Gray weekdays 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio 

children, corruption, culture, diversity, education, homosexuality, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, scandal, sex

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Filed under: children, corruption, culture, diversity, education, homosexuality, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, scandal, sex

School choice: let’s be honest enough to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day

original article: Guest column: School choice data doesn’t reflect classroom reality
October 11, 2017 by Robert C. Enlow

Louisiana has become a closely watched laboratory for school choice, and for good reason. The state has several ways families can choose: voucher programs, tax-credit scholarships, a tax credit and deduction program, alongside a system of traditional and charter schools.

The spotlight shone a little brighter recently when a study from the University of Arkansas and Tulane University showed a negative effect on first-year students using private school choice programs to access new schooling options. But by the third year, things had turned around for those students. Unfortunately, much of the attention focused only on the first-year decline. That is simply not fair, nor is it the way we have ever judged traditional public schools.

Adults have trouble adapting to a new routine at the gym, let alone a new job or a relocation. Imagine how a second-grader feels to walk into a new school, meet new teachers and make all new friends — potentially while learning a new set of rules and adapting to a new school culture. Indeed, kids need time to adjust to new school settings, and their future success can depend on the extent of their mobility.

The recent study shows students in private school choice programs actually make gains after that first- and second-year decline — and in some areas wind up ahead of their public school peers within three to four years. Students in Louisiana saw steep declines in both reading and math scores in the first year of the voucher program, a result that may be attributable to the short window students initially had to enroll and the limited number of private schools participating. After the first year, outcomes improved in both areas, with reading scores higher after the third year than when students began the program. The Louisiana Scholarship Program had significant positive effects on reading scores for the lowest-performing students.

Simply put, kids need time to adjust to new circumstances the same way grown-ups do. And interviews with school leaders and staff in other states have found private schools participating in choice programs also needed to make some adjustments to better serve the students who were coming from public schools. School choice programs enable students to leave a school that is not working for them and switch to a school they believe will be a better fit. We know from our original research that families choose for a variety of reasons, but chief among them are better academics, smaller classes, a safer environment and a focus on morals and values.

While private school parents report overwhelming satisfaction with their choices, that doesn’t lessen the literal and figurative learning curve for students who may be coming from district schools with large classes, lower academic standards or less emphasis on character development. They’re not only in a new school; it’s a completely new experience for them. Which brings up a final point as we look at this new Louisiana study and anticipate additional research on the effectiveness of choice programs: Supporters and opponents alike have become far too reliant on standardized test scores — often from only one, state-mandated test — to determine whether a type of school or choice program is successful. As choice programs go, Louisiana’s is one of the most restrictive in the nation when it comes to testing.

Yet when you ask families whether and why they are satisfied with their child’s K-12 experience, test scores are rarely among their top indicators of a quality school. Rather, they tend to focus on safety, class size and college acceptance rates. And there are studies that show choice programs have positive effects on high school graduation rates, college enrollment and persistence in college. As school choice continues to gain support, we must broaden the conversation about effectiveness to include more than scores, and we must seek access to more data that can help us determine not just how students are performing in math and reading, but what effect expanding educational options has on them beyond graduation.

We also must resist the temptation to jump on every short-term data finding as a symbol of the success or failure of a school choice program — or for that matter schools, teachers or students. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and humans don’t adjust to new situations overnight.

bias, education, ideology, innovation, reform, study

Filed under: bias, education, ideology, innovation, reform, study

The Harvey Weinstein story goes much deeper than one big creep

original article: The Human Stain: Why the Harvey Weinstein Story Is Worse Than You Think
October 09, 2017 by Lee Smith

The New York Times last week broke the story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s long record of sexual harassment. Actresses including Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd came forward to detail Weinstein’s depredations, and so did former employees of the man who founded one of the most important independent film companies of the last 30 years, Miramax. The details were so jarring and the trail of abuse so long, that it was impossible to read the story and not come away wondering: How did no one know what he was doing?

But of course people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Like the New York Times, for instance. Sharon Waxman, a former reporter at the Times, writes in The Wrap how she had the story on Weinstein in 2004—and then he bullied the Times into dropping it. Matt Damon and Russell Crowe even called her directly to get her to back off the story. And Miramax was a major advertiser. Her editor at the TimesJonathan Landman, asked her why it mattered. After all, he told Waxman, “he’s not a publicly elected official.”

Manhattan’s district attorney knew, too. In 2015, Weinstein’s lawyer donated $10,000 to the campaign of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance after he declined to file sexual assault charges against the producer. Given the number of stories that have circulated for so long, Weinstein must have spread millions around New York, Los Angeles, and Europe to pay off lawyers and buy silence, including the silence of his victims. But he had something else going for him, too. He knew his victims would be reluctant to go public because it might suggest that some of their success, their fame even, was a function of their inability to protect themselves from being humiliated by a man who set the bar for humiliating others at the precise level of his own self-loathing.

Hollywood is full of connoisseurs like Weinstein, men whose erotic imaginations are fueled primarily by humiliation, who glut their sensibilities with the most exquisite refinements of shame. A journalist once told me about visiting another very famous Hollywood producer—you’d know the name—who exhibited for my friend his collection of photographs of famous female actresses—you’d know their names, too—performing sexual acts for his private viewing. As with Weinstein, this man’s chief thrill was humiliation, and the more famous the target the more roundly it was savored: Even her, a big star—these people will do anything to land a role; they’re so awful, they’ll even do it for me.

One of the refrains you hear today from media experts and journalists is that they’d known about Weinstein’s transgressions for a long time. The problem, they say, was that no one was able to nail down the story.

Nonsense. Everyone had it, not just Waxman. Sure, reporters hadn’t been able to get any stars to go on the record. But that means the story journalists were pursuing wasn’t really about Weinstein’s sexual depredations. It means that what they wanted was a story about actresses, junior executives, or assistants who had been humiliated, maybe raped, and chose to remain quiet in exchange for money and/or a shot at fame.

Of course no one was going to get that on the record—very few journalists would even want to publish a story like that. But journalists always had the actual story of how a Hollywood producer humiliated and sexually assaulted women. How? Because he victimized journalists.

Fox News reporter Lauren Sivan told Huffington Post that a decade ago, Weinstein masturbated in front of her. She says she didn’t say anything at the time, when she was an anchor on a local cable show, because she was “fearful of the power that Weinstein wielded in the media.” She was right and her fear was understandable.

Writing in New York Magazine, Rebecca Traister remembers the time when she asked Weinstein an interview question at a book party, he screamed at her, spit in her face, called her a “c—t,” and then put her boyfriend in a headlock and dragged him to the street. Traister said nothing at the time because she figured she had little chance against “that kind of force.”

I don’t blame her or Sivan for not saying anything, never mind reporting the story. Weinstein is violent, vindictive, and litigious—as well as sexually abusive—facts that the entertainment and political media knew for years. No one wanted to publish that story. But that’s not the same thing as “not being able to nail it down.” “Nailing it down” would have amounted to nothing more than printing a collection of facts under a byline.

The real issue, as Traister notes, was that “there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or as screenwriters, or for his magazine.” Traister is referring to Talk, the magazine Weinstein started at Miramax with Tina Brown. The catchword was “synergy”—magazine articles, turned into books, turned into movies, a supply chain of entertainment and information that was going to put these media titans in the middle of everything and make them all richer.

Traister and I worked at Talk together in the late ’90s. There were lots of talented journalists but it was still a mess. Outside of “synergy,” there was no idea driving the magazine, and Tina’s search for a vision was expensive. She spent lavishly on writers, art directors, photographers, and parties. Harvey got angry. Every time Tina went downtown to meet with him he screamed at her the whole time. He humiliated her. At least this was the story that went around the office every time she went down there, a story circulating through, and circulated by, several dozen journalists.

Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s “mistreatment” of women.

So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellent New York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story.

The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.

Why wouldn’t they? He made terrific movies and he was a big mover in Democratic party politics, raising millions for local and national campaigns, including the Clintons. (Hillary, some readers will recall, was on the cover of Talk’s first issue.)

John Kennedy, Jr. tried to blend politics and entertainment with the magazine he founded, George. His basic insight was correct; but he misunderstood something crucial. And John John misunderstood it because he was, by all accounts, a good man.

You know the old joke about Washington: That it’s Hollywood for ugly people. Kennedy thought that this was unfair to Washington and that the people in the nation’s capital had the capacity for glamour, too.

But it turns out that the joke works in the opposite direction: Hollywood is for ugly people, too. That was Harvey Weinstein’s essential insight, and how he managed to combine the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media. They’re all repulsive—and I know they’re disgusting or else they wouldn’t be courting, of all people, me.

Thus his fortress was quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed. Writers and journalists—the intellectuals, in his mind—were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call. Hey, I just optioned your novel and I already know who’s going to make the movie. And oh yeah, please confirm that you don’t, like I think I may have heard, have a reporter looking into a story about me.

A friend reminds me that there was a period when Miramax bought the rights to every big story published in magazines throughout the city. Why mess with Weinstein when that big new female star you’re trying to wrangle for the June cover is headlining a Miramax release? Do you think that glossy magazine editor who threw the swankiest Oscar party in Hollywood was trying to “nail down” the Weinstein story? Right, just like the hundreds of journalists who were ferried across the river for the big party at the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the premiere of Talk—they were all there sipping champagne and sniffing coke with models in order to “nail down” the story about how their host was a rapist.

That’s why the story about Harvey Weinstein finally broke now. It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays. They’re broke because Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.

Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them. Who’s going to make a movie out of a Vox column? So what does anyone in today’s media ecosystem owe Harvey Weinstein? And besides, it’s good story, right? “Downfall of a media Mogul.” Maybe there’s even a movie in it.

Rebecca Traister says the stories are coming out now because “our consciousness has been raised.” Between Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, argues Traister, people are now accustomed to speaking and hearing the truth about famous, sexually abusive men.

This is wrong. It has nothing to do with “raised consciousness”—or else she wouldn’t have left off that list the one name obviously missing. It’s not about raised consciousness or else the Democratic party’s 2016 presidential campaign would not have been a year-long therapy session treating a repressed trauma victim with even its main slogan—“I’m with her”—referencing a muted plea for sympathy for a woman who’d been publicly shamed by a sexual predator.

Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. The deal was simple: Pay up, genuflect, and get on with your existence. It was like a papacy selling indulgences, at the same time that everyone knew that the cardinals were up to no good. The 2016 election demolished Clinton world once and for all, to be replaced by the cult of Obama, an austere sect designated by their tailored hair shirts with Nehru collars. “That is not who we are as Americans,” they chant, as Harvey Weinstein’s ashes are scattered in the wind.

abuse, bias, bullies, corruption, cover up, criminal, culture, elitism, ethics, extremism, feminism, political correctness, politics, progressive, scandal, sex, sexism

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The political left can’t tell the difference between fantasy and real life, and doesn’t care to

original article: The media doesn’t understand guns — and doesn’t want to
October 4, 2017 by Stephen L. Miller

The American political left and mainstream media pundits at large do not understand guns. They are not educated about them and they refuse to learn about them. They could not tell you the difference between an automatic or semi-automatic firearm. They don’t understand what a suppressor does or does not do. It’s safe to say most of them have not heard the term “bump stock” until this week.

What they are, however, is convinced that we need more laws to prevent mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas from happening ever again – and they will host guest after guest on their shows who are not experts in firearms, or firearm training, to lecture the American public at large about why this needs to happen.

If anyone out there on that side of the aisle is wondering why your pleas to “do something” are falling on mostly deaf ears,that would be why.

Democrats would be better off offering up legislation banning high-rise hotels in attempting to make a connection to the Las Vegas shooting than they would suppressors or background checks

It’s a largely one-sided debate happening on cable networks, and it is why those on the right – including everyday Americans and lawful gun owners not responsible for mass shootings or breaking gun laws – largely ignore what is blaring out at them from their televisions and social media.

Column after column is fired off about how much the National Rifle Association donates to congressional candidates (spoiler: it’s not much, about 200K a year). For every breathless declaration that the NRA has blood on their hands, it’s worth noting more journalists have committed mass shootings in this country than NRA members.

Firearm experts in media such as Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski (also an NRA-certified instructor), National Review Online Editor Charles Cooke and Federalist co-founder Sean Davis are sidelined from national cable news and Sunday show appearances in favor of guests who suggest suppressors are used by hunters to prevent deer from hearing a fired shot. Gutowski, Cooke and Davis will never be invited on Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert’s shows to clear up the falsehoods being spread to mass audiences or to defend the second amendment of the United States Constitution.

The Las Vegas narrative jumped to ludicrous speed shortly after the massacre ended when losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demanded that we “put politics aside” right before immediately politicizing the shooting in the same tweet. She then went on to state, “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.” Mrs. Clinton’s claim that firearm suppressors render guns “silent” was given three Pinnocchios by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post. This of course didn’t matter. Kessler’s fact check went mostly ignored on social media. Clinton’s false tweet about firearm suppressors garnered more than 58,000 retweets on Twitter. Glenn Kessler’s fact check? Thirty.

Kimmel chastised Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress for not enforcing laws about guns that literally do not exist.

Within hours of the Las Vegas shooting, Senator Chuck Schumer was pushing the narrative that the GOP was ramming through legislation to de-regulate silencers. This was also a fabrication. Reporters began shouting questions at Paul Ryan about “Silencer” legislation. The 64-year-old shooter in Las Vegas did not use a suppressor but Democrats have found their shiny object to fixate on – much like the no-fly list post-Orlando – which had nothing to do with the actual tragedy at hand.

Democrats would be better off offering up legislation banning high-rise hotels in attempting to make a connection to the Las Vegas shooting than they would suppressors or background checks.

America’s foremost health care expert, Jimmy Kimmel, once again repeated long-debunked Democrat talking points in another tearful monologue (Las Vegas is his hometown so it’s hard to berate him for showing emotion). Kimmel chastised Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress (again) for not enforcing laws about guns that literally do not exist. These include the so called “gunshow loophole,” an online background check loophole and allowing mentally ill individuals (a move supported by the ACLU) from purchasing firearms. All of these claims have been debunked and yet are ignored by fact-checkers at mainstream outlets and cable news pundits. Stephen Paddock did not have a criminal background, prior record and no evaluations of suspect mental health. So what then?

New York Times Magazine’s Ana Marie Cox tweeted “Man, imagine if the right believed in unfettered access to the ballot box as much as they believed in the right to own guns.” Her sudden support of background checks and voter ID laws (two things needed to purchase a firearm in America) are a welcome surprise.

Politico reporter Dan Diamond tweeted out an email announcement from The American College of Physicians calling for a ban on all automatic and semiautomatic weapons. What Diamond did not reveal is a ban on semiautomatic weapons would include most handguns. I’m not sure members of media know this fact, and more importantly, have demonstrated zero willingness to learn. But sure, let’s put them in charge of the health care debate.

And this is where the credibility chasm exists in media as they continue to parrot Democrat narratives on guns. As the sun rose on Vegas the morning after, and before Americans could grasp the facts of what had happened, Democrat leaders including Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and their celebrity Hollywood base were already pointing fingers and placing blame without facts and without knowledge.

Law-abiding, gun-owning Americans will not be lectured to about a national tragedy they had nothing to do with, and they certainly won’t be lectured by elitists in media who refuse to understand even a basic grasp or terminology about a sacred constitutional right.

And until they do, we will refuse to have that “conversation” the left and the media keep telling themselves needs to happen.

bias, corruption, crisis, culture, Democrats, ethics, government, gun rights, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, legislation, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda, public policy, regulation, second amendment, tragedy

Filed under: bias, corruption, crisis, culture, Democrats, ethics, government, gun rights, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, legislation, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda, public policy, regulation, second amendment, tragedy

Gun control advocate: blanket gun control not the answer

original article: Statistician Who Championed Stringent Gun Control Now Argues Against It After Studying Data
October 3, 2017 by HANK BERRIEN

Writing in The Washington Post, Leah Libresco, a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, the site run by famed statistician Nate Silver, admits that she reversed herself on gun control, evolving from blaming the NRA for gun deaths to realizing more stringent, blanket gun control was not an answer to gun deaths.

Libresco starts by confessing that before she started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate her, and she blamed the National Rifle Association for blocking the banning of assault weapons, restricting silencers, and shrinking magazine sizes.

Then she started analyzing data from the roughly 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and a light bulb went on. She writes that when she examined the evidence, “The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.”

Notably, Libresco dismisses the oft-stated myth that the tight gun laws in Britain and Australia had any relevance for America, as she writes, “Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans.”

Libresco continues, “When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an ‘assault weapon.’ It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.”

Libresco notes, “Silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer.”

Some more reality: “Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them.”

Segueing to the next-largest set of gun deaths, young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides, and the tertiary set, women killed (mostly as the result of domestic violence), Libresco decides, “Few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.”

Libresco writes, “I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. … I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions.”

Suggestions?

Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts.

Libresco concludes: “We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.”

crisis, culture, government, gun rights, public policy, reform, science, tragedy
 

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Conservatives should have the same free speech rights at Colin Kaepernick

original article: Christian Artists Should Have The Same Free Speech Game As Colin Kaepernick
August 30, 2017 by James Gottry

In case you haven’t been following the news, the NFL, or the little blue bird I like to call Tweety, Colin Kaepernick is trending. Again. But this time it is not for kneeling on the field during the national anthem. It is because he is not even on the field during the national anthem.

If you’ve missed the off-the-field action, here are the highlights.

  • March: Kaepernick opts out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers.
  • April – present day: No NFL team signs Kaepernick.
  • August 23: More than 1,000 people rally outside NFL headquarters in New York, demanding that Kaepernick be signed by the start of the regular season next month.
  • August 24: Two bars in Chicago announce their TVs are on the fritz they will not show any NFL games until Kaepernick is signed.

Throw in Michael Vick saying Kaepernick should cut his hair to “be presentable,” then Vick apologizing and saying “his Afro has nothing to do with him being signed,” and Jim Brown arguing that Kaepernick should be an activist or a football player but not both, and we’ve got ourselves a good ‘ol-fashioned controversy. (Not that conflict has been missing from the news cycle.)

I love it. NFL teams are free to sign Kaepernick, not sign him, or offer him a discount on season tickets. Those who don’t agree with Kaepernick’s views are free to cheer his current unemployment, wave a flag, or whistle the national anthem all the way home. Fans of Kaepernick are free to fly to New York and protest outside the NFL, burn a flag, and decry the injustice of it all. And yes, two bars in Chicago are absolutely free to pursue a new demographic by playing Lifetime movies on Sunday afternoons.

It’s the beauty of America. The beauty of freedom of speech and conscience. And yes, the beauty of learning to co-exist with people who think differently than you.

Now, Let’s Join Another Game in Progress

In Colorado, Jack Phillips is facing a very different set of rules. Like Kaepernick, Jack took a principled stand in relation to his career. Jack is a cake artist and decided years ago that while he would serve any individual who came into his shop, he would not accept invitations to create certain custom cakes. Cakes with alcohol in them, and cakes that promote atheism, racism, or indecency were on that list. So were cakes that were anti-American. So if you want a flag-burning cake for your Kaepernick protest, Jack is probably not your guy.

It turns out, no one cared too much if Jack declined an invitation to make a cake with alcohol in it, or a flag-burning cake, or a Halloween cake. If they did care, they voted with their wallets and took their business elsewhere. That’s fine with Jack, because he doesn’t want to force anyone to believe what he believes; he does, however, want that courtesy to go both ways. He wants true tolerance, the kind where we can co-exist with people who think differently than we do. Sound familiar?

No problems there. But there’s another type of cake Jack doesn’t design: cakes for same-sex weddings. That’s the one that has Jack scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Because when two men entered Jack’s Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked that Jack design a wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony, Jack politely told the couple that he would gladly sell them anything in his store, but designing a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage was not something he could do.

So why is Kaepernick’s situation playing out in the court of public opinion while Jack’s is playing out in the Supreme Court of the United States?

When the couple left Jack’s shop, they had a range of options. Among other things, they could have applauded his free exercise of conscience based on his sincerely held religious beliefs (unlikely in this situation, though not unprecedented). They could have held a rally imploring Jack to change his views, or they could have voted with their wallets and taken their business elsewhere (which they did).

But they took an additional action, one we haven’t seen in the Kaepernick situation. The men asked the government to punish Jack for attempting to live peacefully according to his views, and—when offered the power to interfere—the government obliged.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Phillips’s decision to live by his conscience was unlawful and ordered him to re-educate his staff, file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years, and create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings if he creates wedding cakes at all. That’s why Jack finds himself preparing to go to the Supreme Court and ask the justices to protect free speech and religious freedom for all people.

Too Many Men on the Field

The day after the news broke that Chicago bars were announcing their plans to nix NFL games, attorneys for Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib, were in a courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona. As I’ve written before, they also face something Kaepernick does not: government interference and punishment.

Meanwhile, Barronelle Stutzman is waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will hear her case, and this 72-year-old grandmother stands to lose everything. She is also the victim of government interference and punishment.

If you disagree with Jack, Brush & Nib, and Barronelle, then write a letter to the editor, attend a rally, and otherwise express your beliefs. Raise a flag, burn a flag, but don’t give the government the power to throw a flag.

If the government can force a Christian cake artist to design and create a cake for a same-sex wedding, it can force a Muslim singer to offer her services for an Easter service, or a liberal speechwriter to draft speeches for a conservative candidate, or a pro-gun control T-shirt designer to create shirts for the National Rifle Association that say “more guns are the solution.” That kind of government blitz on conscience should alarm all of us, no matter where we stand on the individual issues.

After the New York rally, Kaepernick tweeted, “My faith always has been and always will be in the power of the people!” He’s right. And when it comes to free speech, the government belongs on the sideline. We the people can handle it.

censorship, christian, civil rights, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, free speech, freedom, government, ideology, judiciary, justice, political correctness, public policy, relativism

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What I wish I would have said about abortion

My family and I recently had a discussion about abortion with some dear friends. Well, it was mainly me and the wife of the other couple. Now, if this discussion was with a stranger I most likely would have unloaded. Most defenses for abortion are quite common and easy enough to respond to.

Some people who defend the killing of children are monsters. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is one. Dr. Mary Gatter, admitting she sold aborted baby parts, and would like sell more because she wants a Lamborghini, is another such monster. Never mind the profit motive here, move on.

But some people have been led to believe certain things that simply are not so, and would not defend abortion if they could see the picture as opponents do. Abortion culture teaches an inverted ethic. We should take a closer look at it.

I don’t recall how the discussion moved to the abortion issue. One of the earlier comments from my friend was something like “would it surprise you to know that I’m pro-life?” I wasn’t surprised by that, and I told her so. But during the course of the discussion she proceeded to defend keeping abortion legal. Apparently, she’s of the “I don’t personally support abortion, but I think abortion should be legal” bent. I wanted to phrase her position that way, and then rephrase it with a less sanitized choice of words. “You mean you don’t personally support killing babies, but you think killing babies should be legal?” But I didn’t say that. This is my friend, after all, and I know she is not like the monsters mentioned above. My friend is susceptible to reason; I don’t believe the monsters are.

Letting the discussion play out on the sanitized language field was one of my mistakes. Another semantic game the monsters play is trying to distinguish between “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion” while bullying women who are pro-life. In discussions with monsters I would ask “the choice to do what?” It’s a surreal experience watching abortion supporters perform logical gymnastics trying to avoid the obvious fact that even in perfect circumstances, two lives enter an abortion clinic but only one life leaves. Another tactic is accusing abortion opponents as being opposed to “abortion rights” rather than being opposed to “killing babies”. See how one definition makes abortion look good and the other makes abortion look bad? Diverting attention away from the whole picture, focusing on a tiny subset of facts, and playing semantic games are very common in this battle. Obscuring the nature of the evil in question is one of the best tactics used to defend it. So when the monsters use tactics like this, ordinary folk like my friend catch on to it. I should have pushed for this clarification of language right from the beginning.

Predictably, the discussion moved on to matters of “what about when the life of the mother is at stake?”. I understand why the discussion so often moves in that direction. Most people who think abortion should remain legal don’t realize those of us who think killing babies should be illegal have already thought through this aspect of the situation. For the moment, let’s overlook the fact my friend was defending killing babies. For now let’s pretend questions about the mother’s life can honestly be addressed to the exclusion of the child’s life. Of the many pro-lifers I know, all of them are willing to make an exception for cases where bringing the child to full term would cause the death of the mother. For instance, if a pregnant woman has cancer and her therapy would end up killing her baby, I know of no one who would deny the mother access to the healthcare she needs. Though, for Stephanie Hosford, aborting her child was not necessary.

But cases where the mother’s life is almost certainly at serious risk are extremely rare. The monsters who bring up these cases often use them (dishonestly) as an excuse to guilt people into supporting unlimited abortion. And in doing so they teach our society to think along the same lines. My friend wanted to keep talking about the 1% of cases, the rarest cases. She wanted to dig deep into the details, to see how far banning abortion, with exceptions, could go. But there was also a hint that she was searching for flaws in my position, almost as if any problem that might be found in my approach would invalidate the entire argument. Of course, no policy in human experience is 100% without flaws. My preferred solution is not invalidated simply because it might not be absolutely flawless, as that is a quite unrealistic standard.

We could easily claim abortion shouldn’t be allowed because of its flaws. Abortion’s most vocal supporters demand absurd standards. For example, some of the more rabid abortion supporters claim a 12 year old girl should be allowed to have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge despite the fact our laws require that same girl to have both of those things to get her ears pierced. Or, that same girl participating in Planned Parenthood’s own pro-abortion poster contest would be required by Planned Parenthood itself to provide written parental consent – simply to submit posters. Another example is the absurd claim men have no right to speak about abortion because this is a women’s issue, unless of course those men approve of it. The hypocrisy aside, telling someone they have no right to speak on a topic because of their gender is what we call sexist. But I didn’t say that.

There were, of course, the interruptions. When asked if I thought some form of medical board should be employed in the matter, in my response I was interrupted in mid sentence (something that happened numerous times) and was later accused of claiming a medical board should be invoked at every case where executing the child was thought to be the only way to save the mother’s life. It is perfectly appropriate for a bipartisan board of medical professionals (rather than lawyers or politicians or government/insurance bureaucrats) to establish guidelines for what doctors ought to do in rare situations like this. This was my point, but I didn’t get to make it since my friend was thinking of an invasive bureaucratic process invoked at every instance – putting words in my mouth. She heard as much as she wanted to hear and assumed the rest of my position. Unfortunately, this is a normal thing in a discussion on a controversial issue. We all need to be careful about this. To interrupt and presume (effectively misconstruing what other people say) does not help us understand the other side of the debate. When the truth is on your side, you don’t have to resort to tactics like this. But I didn’t say that.

We did discuss the 99% of cases a little, cases where the mother’s life is not in danger. I wish I would have stated in these cases the question for me is “under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty?” What was mentioned briefly was the example where a woman is raped and a pregnancy results. This is one of the best examples of the inverted ethic our society teaches.

So in a very realistic scenario: a man attacks a woman, he rapes her, and this results in a the conception of a child. In the United States, our inverted ethic tells us the death penalty should NOT be an option for the rapist, but it should be an option for the child. A child in the womb is the epitome of human innocence. The rapist is one of the worst examples of human depravity. This not the kind of rapist who engages in a consensual act with a woman, she gets embarrassed afterwards, and decides to accuse the guy of rape. There have been many cases of such false allegations. The Duke Lacrosse Team, though a different type of situation, should be brought up as an example of fake rape whenever this type of debate occurs. But it should also be mentioned instances of fake rape make it more difficult to deal with real rape, where someone is actually accosted and violated. Yet, the question remains, under what circumstances is it justifiable to give a child the death penalty, especially if our laws don’t permit this option for a rapist? Regardless of how the child is conceived, that blood is innocent. But I didn’t say that.

There was also the notion of “forcing” women to have children. That’s a fantastic lie the monsters have taught us, where the notion of natural consequences has been all but forgotten. The fact that a particular activity has a realistically high chance of a predictable and natural consequence has been obscured from the discussion. The claim banning abortion would be same as “forcing” women to give birth completely ignores the fact the overwhelming majority of pregnancies result from a mutually consensual act. Actions have consequences and in this case obvious consequences, as attested by the multi-billion dollar birth control industry. Why would there be so much money in birth control if this cause-and-effect sequence were a mystery? Whether you approve or disapprove of birth control has nothing to do with the fact the cause-and-effect sequence that results in pregnancy is not a mystery. If you use birth control, you prove you understand that sequence.

Recreational sex in a consequence-free environment is not a human right – we don’t have a right to be free from natural consequences, whether they be the nature of biology or the laws of physics. You can gripe about natural laws all you wish, but the universe doesn’t have to care or acquiesce. Rather than look at the painfully explicit common sense of the situation, abortion supporters have contorted their logic into a contrived grievance of “forced motherhood”. The child is not responsible for being conceived, yet that is who is punished (by the death penalty) in the act of abortion. I hear abortion advocates complain that the rape is not fair to the woman, which is true, but it’s also legitimate to ask how is killing the baby fair? This pro-abortion line of argument also intentionally dismisses the common place alternative of adoption. “Forced motherhood” is lie that dismisses both natural reality and the adoption alternative.

There was also the question of how banning abortion would affect the culture. My friend was convinced such a change of law would result in a great deal of new children in the world. I presume she also meant “unwanted” children, almost as if being “wanted” was the criterion by which society decides who has a right to live or not (thankfully we don’t live in a society like that, but progressive culture is pushing us in that direction). On this question we addressed the fact life is not a static thing. Because life is dynamic, changing the law on this fundamental and important issue would not be limited only to one presumptuous reaction; it would change expectations and actions across all society.

Many major laws have been implemented with certain intentions, yet realized unintended results – because society reacted in unpredictable (or unacknowledged) ways. One recent example involves an education funding issue in the U.K. Sex-ed funding was reduced, accompanied by predictable criticism. But what was surprising (at least to the advocates of progressive sex-ed and “free” birth control) was the result: a reduction in teen pregnancies by more than 40%. One might get the impression the government sex-ed policies, those who crafted them, and those who promoted and defended them may have neglected some basic tenets of human nature.

Legalizing abortion has resulted in an average of over 1 million abortions per year in the United States since 1973 – the overwhelming majority of which had nothing to do with rape or the mother’s health. Well over 50 million abortions have been performed in that time, in the U.S. alone. Let that sink in. This is not the same as 50 million heart surgeries, nor, I reiterate, were these health or rape related abortions. Over 50 million human lives have been snuffed out for the sake of convenience, in the name of women’s rights. Today the abortion supporting narrative pushes the killing of babies as healthcare, it plays semantic games with personhood (like other great evils in the past), and it acts as precedent for other pro-death movements such as euthanasia.

Assisted suicide has been pushed in Western societies as a “right-to-die” and a “choice” type issue. Who could have foreseen the influx of euthanasia support, even euthanasia against the patient’s wishes, once right-to-die laws were implemented in the name of choice? Some of us could, given the ostensible push to normalize killing as a response to human suffering. Today we frequently hear the argument medicalized killing qualifies as healthcare, just as is done in the abortion debate. Think about that: medicalized killing. What could possibly go wrong with that? (Oregon Senate Committee Passes Bill to Allow Starving Mentally Ill Patients to Death.) I mean, it’s not as if the absurdly named “end of life care” would be pushed as a substitute for actual healthcare, would it?

This brings me to what I thought was the core of the issue for my friend. She mentioned her concern that banning abortion would lead to curtailing other rights for women. And that’s one of the biggest lies our society teaches us about abortion.

Everyone believes in the slippery slope argument (as my friend does). It just depends on the issue. The slippery slope is constantly proven on matters of speech. Approved speech is the opposite of free speech (a right explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution). The list of restricted speech is constantly expanding. While ridiculing the political right about their supposed fear mongering, their concerns are justified every day with the latest updates to the list of banned words and violently thwarted public speeches. But the slippery slope argument is not always valid.

The slippery slope was invoked to defend slavery. Keep in mind, supporters of slavery treated it as a “property rights” issue. By casting slavery as a matter of property, its defenders were able to wrap this evil in the cloak of constitutional rights. The abolitionists were not at all interested in curtailing property rights, though slavery defenders accused them of wanting to do just that because that’s how they (slavery supporters) had defined the issue. The abolitionists argued that, in a free country where we are all created equal with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it was morally invalid and an American contradiction to treat one person as the property of another. That is not a right, that is an injustice. The fact slavery defenders disagreed with or maligned this perspective did not change the ugly reality of the situation.

The same applies to abortion. The monsters have defined the issue in terms of women’s rights, preaching that banning abortion would inevitably lead to curtailing other rights women have. I’ve written on this point before, taking a closer look at how the abortion industry wants everyone to think of abortion in only one way, their way (while they ridicule pro-lifers for being rigid). They insist the fight over abortion has always been about controlling women. Abortion opponents argue something quite different; we argue killing one’s own child is not a right, it’s an injustice. From that perspective, it is patently untrue that banning the KILLING OF CHILDREN poses a threat to women’s rights. The defenders of “women’s rights” are in the unenviable position of having to argue against LIFE as a human right. In fact, treating a class of people as non-persons poses a grave threat to other human rights. The “not a person” argument was used to defend slavery and is once again used to defend abortion – by the same political party. But I didn’t say that.

We didn’t get into other details such as the striking eugenicist tone of the abortion crowd. Did you know there are efforts to eliminate Down Syndrome, not by curing the ailment, but by eliminating the people through abortion? I didn’t mention this comment made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about Roe v Wade:

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

On a global scale, the frequency at which abortion is tied to population control is demonstrated by a recent speaker invited to the Vatican who claimed decreasing the human population by 6 billion people would have a “pro-life” effect. Talk about inverted ethics. Pope Francis has appointed an abortion supporter to the Vatican’s pro-life academy. Others in positions of power have bought into the population bomb myth. We should all be cautious about listening to people talk about universal healthcare (the government controlled kind) and women’s rights who also believe the human population is one of the world’s biggest problems. The conflict of interest and ulterior motives can’t be that difficult to spot.

We didn’t get to matters of the science related to abortion, such as the fact the child can feel pain even in the womb, or the fact the preborn child is not part of the mother’s body but is actually a separate entity, or that science strongly indicates the child in the womb is human being. Nor did I ask, if the “fetus” is merely a formless clump of cells (another popular argument among the monsters), how can organs be harvested from it?

Speaking of a formless clump of cells, abortion culture preaches outright scientific fraud. For the first few weeks of gestation, one can legitimately argue the “fetus” is just a blob. But to argue the child is merely a blob of cells at 9 weeks or later is downright anti-science. An article on Live Action News details how an abortion facility in New York “uses false depictions of abortions in an attempt to convince women that early abortion is trivial and easy, encouraging women to abort”.

Compare the image provided by the abortion clinic of what the child looks like in the 9th week of gestation (left) to an image of what the child would actually look like (on the right). If the child at 9 weeks of gestation really were as depicted by the abortion clinic, please tell me where the harvestable organs are. You don’t have to take my word or Live Action News’ word for it. Google some images on “ultrasound 9 weeks” and compare the results to the images provided by the New York abortion facility. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

We didn’t discuss the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, or the fact the majority of American Planned Parenthood clinics are set up for easy access to black communities. Nor did we discuss the fact black folk make up about 12% of the American population, but well over 30% of American abortions.

We didn’t address the issue of what has been termed “post birth abortion”, refusing to give medical aid to a baby born in the process of a botched abortion. Really? Does Planned Parenthood actually defend killing babies after birth? Yes, they do. And some judges do, too, believe it or not.

We didn’t talk about the growing problem of healthcare practitioners being coerced to participate in medicalized killing. A nurse in Sweden was fired because she refused to assist in performing abortions. A Canadian nurse was recently forced to resign from her job of 30 years because she refused to sign an oath agreeing to help euthanize patients who wanted assisted suicide. Nor did I mention Planned Parenthood too often fails to report known incidents of sex trafficking and child sex abuse because of obvious financial motive. Planned Parenthood is, after all, a major international corporation. It would be intellectually lazy and dishonest to ignore or dismiss this factor. I didn’t mention the fact Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest abortion business.

We didn’t talk about former abortionists who have converted to the pro-life side, and now fight against abortion. Nor did we talk about Norma McCorvey, the famous “Roe” from Roe v Wade who became a pro-life activist, fighting to overturn that court ruling. The same is true of Sandra Cano, the “Doe” of Roe’s companion case Doe v Bolton.

We didn’t talk about the absurdity of branding the killing of one’s own child as “healthcare” or the odious ideas that killing babies is an act of compassion or women’s empowerment. How does killing a baby “empower” women? No more than beating up a woman would empower men – in other words, abuse is not empowerment. Notice I didn’t pose the question with rhetorical sleight of hand, asking “how does abortion empower women?”. I asked a more honest question, one that does not hide behind sanitized language intended to mask the evil reality of the situation. Besides, on a global scale, given the majority of sex-selective abortions target girls (as many cultures have a clear preference for boys), here is yet another reason to question how women are “empowered” by this. But since boys and girls are both targeted, it’s curious that abortion is defined as a women’s rights issue, rather than a baby’s rights issue.

Nor did we discuss the demonstrably false idea that in some locations Planned Parenthood is the only place a woman can get any healthcare at all. The truth is, there is no where on the planet that Planned Parenthood is the only source of healthcare, so it is asinine to suggest women “won’t have access to healthcare” if Planned Parenthood is closed down or if abortion is banned. This is a popular claim among the monsters.

We didn’t talk about survivors of botched abortions who have grown into adults now fighting against abortion. When confronted with the claim abortion is about women’s rights, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen bravely asks “what were my rights?” Nor did we discuss the myth of absolute autonomy, the idea women should have absolute control over their own bodies, when we ALL (even the staunchest abortion defenders) support laws restricting what people can do. If you support even ONE such law, you don’t believe in absolute autonomy. And there is no reason for me to pretend you do.

After all, why do people support any laws restricting what people can do? Usually, laws designed to protect people from harm garner widespread support. But on the issue of abortion, somehow we can’t all agree that killing babies is inflicting harm.

We didn’t talk about the case of Kermit Gosnell, a respected man of his community, advocate of women’s reproductive health issues, and branded America’s most prolific serial killer convicted of killing babies born alive and some of the women he “served” in his abortion clinic, not to mention the harm he inflicted upon other women under his “care”. Nor did we discuss the underhanded protection Gosnell enjoyed by the political establishment and the news media who went out of their way to avoid bringing Gosnell’s story to the public. Nor did we talk about the many other women who have died as a result of shoddy abortions, yes even women in the United States. What, did you still think abortion was safe? Or are we going to act like a few women’s lives are a price worth paying for the sake of being able to legally kill our children? If there is any situation where the 100% flawless standard should be demanded, it’s this.

Since that discussion with my friend, I found an astounding article on The Stream written by Jennifer Hartline. Hartline’s no-nonsense approach to this issue raises some powerful points we in the right-to-life community need to own. She says:

I’m tired of hearing people … tell me that abortion is vital — no, indispensable — to women’s health, well-being, equality, success and happiness in this world. I’m sick of hearing that women simply cannot thrive without the legal right to terminate their babies.

I’m sick of the womb being cast as the ball and chain around a woman’s neck. I’ve had it with babies being cast as the aggressor, the enemy, the thief of dreams. Abortion advocates rely on the narrative the Mom and Baby are locked in combat with each other, and only one can come out alive. This demented view of pregnancy means Mom has to kill Baby in self-defense.

I’m sick of fertility being cast as a disease, and pregnancy as some flukey and horrible thing that happens sometimes after you have sex, even though it shouldn’t because latex and chemicals are supposed to prevent that. I mean, how’d that happen?

I’m sick of women being told they cannot be happy unless their female bodies cease to do female things. I’m tired of hearing that women must be like men in every way, or they cannot be considered equal…

For me, the discussion was not about winning the debate. It was about winning the war. I’d much rather see my friend defending life than defending the killing of children. Making her an enemy helps neither of us in any way. And it doesn’t help in the war, either. Challenging the notion killing children is a “solution” or a “right” is at the heart of the matter. I intend to bring up these details next time, if there is a next time.

Ideally, American society will reach the point where so many people identify with the right-to-life side that banning abortion will become the standard attitude, and it will not be those defending the rights of babies who have to fight an uphill battle. This battle will not be won by legislation, but by winning hearts and minds. The legislative battle, though absolutely necessary, is merely the icing on the cake. Ending the injustice of killing children for the sake of someone else’s convenience is the real battle.

abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Filed under: abortion, culture, ideology, philosophy

Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course

original article: Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course which describes ‘whiteness’ as ‘a very bad idea’
August 21, 2017 by Jeffy Fisher

A professor at an Iowa college is teaching a class called “American Whiteness” this fall that will explore the “historical expansion” of white people in the U.S. as well as “challenges to whiteness.”

Professor Karla Erickson is offering the course, which will look at “whiteness as a specific racial formation with a distinct history, proactive and defensive politics, and institutional and personal investments,” Campus Reform reported.

Students will learn about the “historical expansion” of whiteness; “formal and informal advantages that accrue to whiteness”; and potential “challenges to whiteness.”

On this week’s episode of “The Jeff Fisher Show,” Jeffy Fisher thought the title “American Whiteness” sounded like a TV series available to stream.

He pointed out that college and university campuses are tumultuous places where students protest in order to feel “safe.”

“What we need more of is people finding ways to divide us on college campuses,” Jeffy said sarcastically.

To see more from Jeffy, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Jeff Fisher Show” Saturdays 9 a.m.–noon ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

bias, bigotry, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism

Filed under: bias, bigotry, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism

Transgender lesson for 5-year-olds, parents precluded

original article: School gives transgender lesson to 5-year-olds, refuses to give details to parents
August 24, 2017 by Lianne Laurence

Tensions continue to rise in a Sacramento suburb over a boy who “transitioned” to a girl at Rocklin Academy Gateway kindergarten last June during a lesson that some parents say left their five-year-olds traumatized.

Angry parents flooded the Rocklin Academy School Board meeting Monday to protest that they weren’t forewarned the boy was transitioning to a girl or that the kindergarten class would be taught about transgenderism, reported CBS.

Parents were notified only a week later and told only “that two books had been read, not that there was a transgender student in the class,” according to a parent statement provided to LifeSiteNews by Greg Burt of the California Family Council.

But kindergarten teacher Kaelin Swaney defended her actions at the board meeting.

“I’m so proud of my students. It was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said, according to CBS.

Teacher, board won’t tell parents what happened

But the teacher has refused to disclose to parents what happened during the lesson, according to the parent’s statement. Instead, she told the parent to “ask our student.”

The school board has taken the same line, says Karen England, executive director of Capitol Hill Resources, a pro-family public policy group.

Board staff “are refusing and they refused even afterwards to answer parents’ questions and have referred the parents to their children who were in their class, to the five-year-olds, as to what happened,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Because of state regulations governing open meetings, the board couldn’t legally address the issue Monday night because it wasn’t on the agenda, England told LifeSiteNews. The teacher and parents spoke during the general comments section.

Board accusing parents of inaccuracies

The board is now saying that parents’ accounts of what happened on the second-to-last day before summer break are inaccurate.

In a Tuesday email to parents, Rocklin Academy superintendent Robin Stout disputes the “timeline of events” but adds: “Because of our obligation to protect student confidentiality and safety, we are not at liberty to correct every detail.”

Stout states no “transition ceremony took place” but the “gender transition of the student had occurred before the day the book was read.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Stout and Rocklin Gateway School but did not hear back.

According to the parent’s statement, one-third of the class (seven students) said the teacher read one book in the beginning of the day and another at the end. (The two books pro-transgender books were “I am Jazz” and “The Red Crayon” and target four to eight year olds.) Somewhere in between, “the child changed his clothes from boy clothes to girl clothes.”

“All of the students knew that the child now had a girl brain in a boy body and that he had a new name that the students were to call him,” the parent stated. “Because of this we are assuming that there was some sort of presentation.”

At the next day’s graduation ceremony, the teacher introduced the student by “his girl name” and “all of the students knew he was now a girl and that he had to be called by his new girl name,” the parent stated.

“The school did not refute this happened until a week ago,” she wrote. “They are now disputing the sequence of events but not that the events did not take place.”

Parent getting hate mail; school fears lawsuits

That parent is also getting hate mail among the responses to a petition she has launched, Burt said. “People are afraid to talk about this issue.”

Parents fear not only the backlash but lawsuits, noted England. “I’m getting a letter from a legal group that lets them know that no, you can’t get sued for telling the truth.”

Schools also “are scared to death” they’ll be sued or charged with discrimination, Burt said.

He blames California’s lawmakers for this.

Indeed, Stout has stated the board didn’t have to tell parents in advance because gender issues don’t fall under sex education and aren’t subject to the state’s opt-out and parental consent laws.

California law also bans discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

A July 31 school board presentation stated a child has a “right” to self-identity and anyone who intentionally does not use a student’s preferred pronouns could be guilty of “gender identity harassment.”

More transgender laws coming

California’s senate is now poised to pass SB-179, which will create a “third” gender for birth certificates and driver’s licences, Burt said.

“This particular bill allows a parent to change the gender of their children, no questions asked, no doctor’s note required,”  he told LifeSiteNews.

“Plus there’s no age limit, so a parent can change the sex on their two-year-old’s birth certificate by simply filling out a form if they wanted.”

Added Burt: “So what’s a school do if a boy comes in and it says legally on his birth certificate that he’s a girl and he’s obviously not a girl?”

The California senate is also considering Bill 219, which will jail people for up to a year for not using the pronouns of choice for patients in long-term care facilities. The bill mandates such facilities place men claiming to be women in rooms with women.

Parents and faith leaders must fight back

The kindergarten blowup in Rocklin is the inevitable result of such legislation, Burt says.

The California Family Council is “pleading with parents and religious leaders speak out publicly regarding their opposition to laws that promote transgenderism and to call and personally meet with their legislators,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Way too many people who disapprove of these government policies have been silent about their opposition. And policy makers have interpreted this silence as approval of the direction they have been going. That has to stop,” added Burt.

“This isn’t going away,” England told LifeSiteNews. “The school is digging in. … It’s erupting.”

bias, bureaucracy, children, cover up, culture, diversity, education, elitism, ideology, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, scandal, sex

Filed under: bias, bureaucracy, children, cover up, culture, diversity, education, elitism, ideology, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, scandal, sex

More social justice math, it’s “discriminatory”

original article: Math is ‘unjust and grounded in discrimination,’ educators moan
August 23, 2017 by Toni Airaksinen

  • Two national organizations of math teachers are on a mission to prove that math education is “unjust and grounded in a legacy of institutional discrimination.”
  • In a joint statement, the groups complain that making students “master the basics” leads to “segregation and separation,” and call on math instructors to adopt a “social justice stance” in the classroom.

Two national mathematics organizations are on a mission to prove that math education is “unjust and grounded in a legacy of institutional discrimination.”

The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) and TODOS: Mathematics for All “ratify social justice as a key priority in the access to, engagement with, and advancement in mathematics education for our country’s youth,” the groups declared last year in a joint statement, elaborating that “a social justice stance interrogates and challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics education—and in society as a whole.”

Next month, NCSM and TODOS, along with a few other membership societies for math teachers, will host a free webinar drawing upon the principals noted in their joint statement, inviting any interested members of the public to join in hearing “A Call for a Collective Action to Develop Awareness: Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education.”

[RELATED: Teachers learn to use math as Trojan horse for social justice]

The president of NCSM, Connie Schrock, is a math professor at Emporia State University, and multiple professors serve on the board of TODOS.

While the organizations hope that math can be used as a tool for social justice in the future, they also believe that math has historically perpetuated “segregation and separation,” asserting in their joint statement that “mathematics achievement, often measured by standardized tests, has been used as a gatekeeping tool to sort and rank students by race, class, and gender starting in elementary school.”

Citing the practice of “tracking,” in which pupils are sorted by academic ability into groups for certain classes, NCSM and TODOS argue that “historically, mathematics and the perceived ability to learn mathematics have been used to educate children into different societal roles such as leadership/ruling class and labor/working class leading to segregation and separation.”

[RELATED: Michigan colleges drops math, considers diversity course instead]

“In practice, children placed in ‘low’ groups experience mathematics as an isolating act consisting of fact-driven low cognitive demand tasks and an absence of mathematics discourse opportunities,” the statement contends, attributing the condition to “a pervasive misguided belief that students must ‘master the basics’ prior to engaging with complex problems [sic] solving.”

The groups also bemoan the “white and middle class” workforce of math teachers, fretting that it may not appropriately “reflect” the demographics of the communities in which they teach, such as immigrant or racial minority communities.

Social justice could be the key to solving these issues, they say, calling on math teachers to assume a “social justice stance” that “challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics.”

[RELATED: Prof finds ‘no evidence’ sexism is behind gender gap in STEM]

NCSM and TODOS even provided detailed strategies that math teachers can use to promote social justice, such as advocating for increased “recruitment and retention of math teachers from historically marginalized groups” and challenging “individual and societal beliefs underlying the deficit views about mathematics learning and children, with specific attention to race/ethnicity, class, gender, culture, and language.”

But social justice work is nothing without accountability, they warn, declaring that “we must hold the profession and our organizations accountable to making a just and equitable mathematics education a sustainable reality.”

Campus Reform reached out to NCSM and TODOS for more information. TODOS did not reply, and NCSM President Connie Schrock declined to schedule an interview.

bias, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, government, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, reform

Filed under: bias, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, government, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, reform

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