Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Bit-by-bit, people are putting a higher priority on teaching old-fashioned civics. About five years ago, “a coalition of prominent leaders assembled by the Arizona-based Joe Foss Institute launched a Civics Education Initiative.” They started with the premise that students shouldn’t graduate unless they pass the same test that immigrants must pass when they apply for citizenship.

This movement started after it was discovered that “fewer than half knew that John Roberts is the current chief justice of the United States. More than one-quarter thought Brett Kavanaugh was.” When students were asked the term length for U.S. senators and representatives, “fewer than half of college graduates could give the correct numbers.”

While this is disturbing information, there’s more frightening news lurking on the horizon:

As Education Week has reported, the very idea of schools using the citizenship test elicits a “torrent of criticism from leaders who favor the new, broader conception of civics education.” Jessica Marshall, former social studies director for Chicago schools, put it this way: “[The citizenship tests] don’t tell us if young people know how to mobilize their communities to get resources or pass laws they care about.”

It isn’t the job of schools to teach students how to be progressive activists. Back in September, I wrote about Rep. Dean Urdahl’s op-ed (Part I and Part II). In that op-ed, Rep. Urdahl wrote this:

Next session, the MSBA [Minnesota School Board Association] plans to double down on its campaign against civic education. MSBA officials want to no longer have to offer the civics test. This crosses the line from passivity to enmity regarding civics. Testing conveys a message; we care about what we test. Eliminating the test implies MSBA doesn’t think civics is important. In Minnesota, it should not be about the number of tests, but rather, are we testing the right things.

Rep. Urdahl also wrote this:

The failure is measurable. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the highly respected “Nation’s Report Card,” reports that 75% of our graduates leave high school not proficient in civics. They are failing. A nationwide poll found that two-thirds of Americans can name an American Idol judge, but only 15% can name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One-third of our graduates can’t name a single branch of our government. The Annenberg Study revealed that 37% cannot name one right guaranteed in the First Amendment. There are students who think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.

Rep. Urdahl also wrote that MSBA wants school boards, not voters, to have the final say on operating levies:

Over 332 school boards are elected by their communities. These members are trusted and charged with the governance of school property, budget, curriculum, technology, taxes, student achievement and teacher quality – ensuring excellence and equity in all public schools. Therefore, MSBA asks that you honor and trust the work of these local officials by allowing school boards to renew an existing operating referendum, by reducing the current number of mandates, and provide flexibility to meet the unique needs of their schools and communities.

TRANSLATION: Those pesky citizens shouldn’t have a say on their property taxes. We know what’s best. That’s what progressive arrogance sounds like.

Since the DFL controls the House in 2020, it isn’t likely that they’ll say no to MSBA. That means we’ll need the GOP Senate to stop this unaccountability initiative dead in its tracks. Trusting school boards to do the right thing is like giving matches to an arsonist, then expecting him to not set something on fire. That isn’t insanity. It’s stupidity.

It’s also imperative that we elect a GOP majority in the House and maintain the GOP majority in the Senate in 2020. We can’t afford unified DFL state government. We saw what a disaster that was in 2013-14.

These things should be taught until students understand why we adopted this Constitution and why the US is the greatest nation on earth. We should make it illegal to teach political activism in schools. That’s the job of political parties and outside groups. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for that stuff.

In addition to emphasizing teaching civics, it’s essential to emphasize teaching history, math and science, too. It’s important to de-emphasize the victimology classes, too. Civics classes unite us as a nation. Victimology classes divide us. Let’s work to unite, not divide, this great nation.

Thanksgiving—Historical Truth or PC Myth?
By Ramblin’ Rose

The Left seems determined to destroy our country in Congress, the courts and classrooms. Of those venues, they’ve probably made the greatest gains in our educational system through indoctrination. Anti-Americans are convincing our youth that the history books are lies and “they” have the real truth. Of course, that means that “they” must rewrite our history, declaring all white Europeans were villains that came to this hemisphere for pre-meditated massacres of the indigenous peoples to steal their lands. Later, those of “white privilege” also imported black slaves. This storyline promotes the minority ethnic groups are “victims” whom the Left must dominate for the “abusers” to buy forgiveness (reparations) from their ill-gotten wealth. And the Left gets to rewrite history for their gain.

Eighth graders in Portland, Oregon heard this definition of Thanksgiving… “a celebration of the genocide of the Indians by greedy capitalist Europeans.”

Activists do not only attend Ivy League schools or universities in southern California. Students at Macalester College (a Christian college according to a headline) called Thanksgiving an “unethical” holiday, just like Columbus Day and Christmas break. For those students, Thanksgiving is about violence and oppression.

Several of the 2020 Democrat candidates for the presidency have advocated paying reparations for all the misdeeds of those “white” evildoers committed against their “victims.” If liberals consider the Indians so pathetic, why do sports teams claim Indian names? Why are military armaments named after Indians? Yes, the Left is trying to remove those identities as well. Progressives need the downtrodden to depend on them for survival and provide liberal elitists with power and control.

Many parents assume that teachers are educated persons dedicated to imparting knowledge to the next generation. Yes, BUT… The parents are often too busy to examine the curriculum of the schools that their children attend. Liberals have the opportunity to rewrite history texts that are eagerly printed and distributed by ultra-left publishing companies that are also responsible for mentoring states in writing their teacher licensure exams. The Left have written the tests and determined the “right” answers for the current group of modern teachers.

One goal is to unteach the myth of Thanksgiving. Young learners are eager to learn. Young adults are eager to prove themselves smarter than their parents. The harvest field is ripe.

At Salt River Elementary and Puente de Hozho schools in Arizona, students learn of the traditions of the Native Americans, with emphasis on their identity as indigenous people, harvest and giving thanks. They don’t learn about the Pilgrims. The article stresses the liberal bias with this comment: “Teaching the myth of Thanksgiving is not required in the Arizona state standards for history and social studies. It depends on whether the teachers choose to include it in their lesson plans or the schools’ curriculum includes it.” Thanksgiving is only included in the kindergarten and first-grade lessons along with other holidays, not as a part of the history of this great country.

At first blush, the emphasis on identity and traditions of an ethnic group could be considered commendable until one realizes that requests for recognition of holidays and contributions of other immigrant groups who came and enriched our culture are denied. The response usually follows an argument along these lines. “No, those immigrants came long ago and assimilated into this culture. They have no culture in this country. Those from northern Europe did not add to the history of this country.” (paraphrase and summary to me in academic settings by professional educators)

That is offensive. Liberals are quick to point out that this country is a nation built by immigrants but select which immigrant groups are worthy of recognition—certainly not those of “white privilege” from northern Europe. Others, yes. And, now some claim that the Native Americans have always occupied this land. Apparently, they now refute the arrival of immigrants via the Bering Strait centuries ago. The modern version also has all indigenous groups living in perfect harmony with one another and nature. Truth or myth? History lessons or indoctrination?

Just as the Left refuses to acknowledge Christmas or even utter the word, they are also attempting to change Thanksgiving to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

History professor and author David J. Silverman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that summarizes the anti-American view of Thanksgiving.

“Contrary to the Thanksgiving myth, the Pilgrim-Wampanoag encounter was no first-contact meeting. Rather, it followed a string of bloody episodes since 1524 in which European explorers seized coastal Wampanoags to be sold into overseas slavery or to be trained as interpreters and guides.

“In 1616, a European ship conveyed an epidemic disease to the Wampanoags that over the next three years took a staggering toll on their population…

“The challenges are undoubtedly stark. The Native American past and present tend to make white people uncomfortable because they turn patriotic histories and heroes inside out and loosen claims on morality, authority and justice. They threaten to tear down monuments and rename buildings. But confronting the dark history of colonialism in Indian country also promises to shed light, cultivate national humility and, most important, signal to Native people that the country values them.” (an aside: What is the new name for Lake Calhoun in Minnesota?)

In his book, This Land is Their Land, Silverman explains the myth.

“The myth is that friendly Indians, unidentified by tribe, welcome the Pilgrims to America, teach them how to live in this new place, sit down to dinner with them and then disappear. They hand off America to white people so they can create a great nation dedicated to liberty, opportunity and Christianity for the rest of the world to profit. That’s the story—it’s about Native people conceding to colonialism. It’s bloodless and in many ways an extension of the ideology of Manifest Destiny.”

“One is that history doesn’t begin for Native people until Europeans arrive. People had been in the Americas for at least 12,000 years and according to some Native traditions, since the beginning of time.

“In 1769, a group of pilgrim descendants who lived in Plymouth felt like their cultural authority was slipping away as New England became less relevant within the colonies and the early republic and wanted to boost tourism. So, they started to plant the seeds of this idea that the pilgrims were the fathers of America.

“It gained purchase in the late 19th century, when there was an enormous amount of anxiety and agitation over immigration. The white Protestant stock of the United States was widely unhappy about the influx of European Catholics and Jews and wanted to assert its cultural authority over these newcomers. How better to do that than to create this national founding myth around the Pilgrims and the Indians inviting them to take over the land?”

History.com provides a timeline related to celebrating historical events to give thanksgiving. One paragraph contradicts the previous statements.

“Archival evidence is slim, but according to a letter from Plymouth colonist Edward Winslow, dated December 11, 1621, the colonists wanted to celebrate their first good crop of corn and barley grown with generous assistance from the native Wampanoag Indians.”

Edward Winslow, one who had been instrumental in organizing the journey to America and one of the men who signed the Mayflower Compact, wrote his historic account of that celebration in 1621.

“Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Melanie Kirkpatrick, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of “Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience,” also focuses on the positive relationship between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. But her statements vary dramatically from the previous exposé.

“…what most consider the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in October 1621 after the pilgrims’ first harvest. The feast lasted for three days and included games and all-around good cheer. It was attended by 90 Wampanoag warriors and 53 Pilgrims, according to Pilgrim Edward Winslow’s account.

“It’s unclear whether the Wampanoag were expected to be there or even invited – although they did bring enough venison to feed the entire party for three days. It’s also likely that this was (at least in the beginning) a tense interaction. The Native Americans were all male warriors. They outnumbered the Pilgrims nearly 2:1, and many of the Pilgrims included women and children, who were not trained for battle.

“Nevertheless, the two groups gathered and gave thanks for the bounty of the harvest, and the rich natural resources of this American continent. There was plenty for which to be thankful. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag had settled on a peace treaty – and the English newcomers had survived the winter largely because the natives had shown them how to plant corn, where to fish, and how to survive in the environment…”

While there was much to be thankful for at that gathering, it was not called “Thanksgiving.”

Although arguments, both historical and liberal, abound, this article highlights some of the salient views of both sides. No, I am not ready to embrace statements about the Englishmen who traveled in a small ship across the Atlantic with their families to exploit the Indians and to teach their women and children how to massacre the savages. I am convinced that those Pilgrims faced an intolerable tyrant in England and were willing to risk all in pursuit of religious freedoms and a better life. I am not convinced that the Indigenous Peoples inhabited North America from the beginning of time and lived in harmony with all other tribes and were committed environmentalists. I believe that there were honorable and courageous Pilgrims and Indians who worked together to live in peaceful harmony—a harmony that was broken by corrupt persons in both societies.

I pray humbly and fervently that stability and unity once again are a reality in this nation blessed by our Almighty Creator.

Happy Thanksgiving—Thanks be to God, to the Pilgrims, to the compassionate Native Americans and for the generations that have worked to make this a great nation.

More Government Control, Less Parental Voice
By Ramblin’ Rose

At a campaign rally at Clark-Atlanta University, a historically black college, the night after the Democrat debate in Atlanta, Georgia, Powerful Parent Network protestors, predominantly black, chanted “Our children, our choice!” Pro-choice at that moment did not advocate abortion, rather school choice. Elizabeth Warren claimed in her speech that she wants good schools for all children and therefore must increase spending for public schools and completely ban for-profit charter schools, nor would she support expansion of charter schools, according to her aide. Warren would also direct the Internal Revenue Service “to investigate nonprofit charters that are run by for-profit entities or operate with the assistance of for-profit service providers.”

But school-choice advocate Sarah Carpenter challenged Warren: “We want the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private school.” Warren denied the reports, saying, “No, my children went to public schools.”

Warren’s claim was not completely accurate. While, technically, she was probably not lying, only covering up “the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” her communications director Kristen Orthman clarified the next day that the candidate’s daughter did attend public schools and her son did as well—until 5th grade and then attended an expensive private school—tuition is currently $18,000 a year—Kirby Hall School in Austin, Texas, where the student/teacher ratio is 5:1. Her daughter attended Anderson High School, a public school ranked as one of the best in the country per U.S. News and World Report. Neither school would fit the profile of the schools represented by the attendees of the rally in Atlanta.

Nor does her personal wealth reflect that of middle America—Forbes listed her personal wealth at $12 million. Warren is adamant about giving away other people’s money…and now for schools.

Unfortunately for Warren, the data do not support her plan. The 2019 NAEP Report confirmed claims of failure but also pointed out that enormous amounts of taxpayer money have not closed the achievement gap. In fact, the gap is widening. The Trump administration advocates more parental choice.

Education Secretary DeVos reacted to the October 30, 2019 release of the Nation’s Report Card with these words:

“Every American family needs to open The Nation’s Report Card this year and think about what it means for their child and for our country’s future. The results are, frankly, devastating. This country is in a student achievement crisis, and over the past decade it has continued to worsen, especially for our most vulnerable students.

“Two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers. In fact, fourth grade reading declined in 17 states and eighth grade reading declined in 31. The gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite $1 trillion in Federal spending over 40 years designated specifically to help close it.

“This must be America’s wake-up call. We cannot abide these poor results any longer. We can neither excuse them away nor simply throw more money at the problem.

“This Administration has a transformational plan to help America’s forgotten students escape failing schools. By expanding education freedom, students can break out of the one-size-fits-all system and learn in the ways that will unlock their full potential. They deserve it. Parents demand it. And, it’s the only way to bring about the change our country desperately needs.”

Time to check out the data…at least a part of the problem relates to the number of people in the public schools and who they are. According to the findings of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the number of administrators in K-12 schools has increased 2.3 times faster than the number of students in the last 20 years. Since 1950, that increase in administrative positions has grown by 700%. In 1970, the student/teacher ratio was 22.3/1 in public schools. In 2015, it had dropped to 16.0/1. So smaller class size has not produced higher test scores. More administrative staff didn’t produce higher test scores, either.

Once again, candidate Warren has been trapped by deceit and lies—her ethnicity, her firing for being pregnant, her children attending public schools.

Even ABC News reported the event as an attempt to pander to black voters—a focus on black issues at a black institution with a DJ playing Drake and DMX songs and introduced by Pressley (one of “the Squad”) who is the first black woman from Massachusetts serving in Congress.

At least at this event, the candidate found opposition to her propensity to fund federal program with other people’s money. This time, the people resisted her push for fewer parental choices for their children in attending schools other than the publicly supported ones dominated with progressive programs of indoctrination.

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of my starting blogging. It’s been lots of work but it’s been so worth it. Whether I’ve written about the Purple Finger Revolution in Iraq, the Orange Revolution in some little country called Ukraine or the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, I’ve become much better informed. In those 15 years, I’ve reported on City Council corruption. I was the Vote No operation when the ISD 742 tried sneaking through the Tech HS bonding referendum of $140,000,000+ I’m proud to say that we defeated that referendum. Although we lost the ‘return match’, at least we made sure the citizens were fully informed.

I’ve covered other issues of corruption too, including the widespread corruption at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and at MNLARS.

Along the way, I’ve met some great people who’ve become good friends. Since I can’t remember each of their names, I’ll just thank my friends and tell each of you that I’ll be in touch soon.

These days, of course, I’m focusing on Adam Schiff’s faux whistleblower, aka CIA snitch, and Schiff’s carefully choreographed impeachment hearings. Right around the corner is the 2020 presidential election. Unlike the Never Trumpers, I expect a positive outcome for the GOP.

For those of you interested in helping defray the costs associated with LFR, leave a comment & I’ll help you through the process of financially helping me.

“Do It for the Kids”
By Ramblin’ Rose

That statement alone triggers such emotional reactions that sensible people often lose all sense of reason, especially in the current panic and mania of youth worldwide. This world is full of conservationists (or “good stewards” in Biblical terms), but their statements are not heard because they do not label themselves environmentalists.

Hundreds of thousands of youth around the world left classes to protest “climate change” on September 20, 2019, and activists, including their acclaimed leader Greta Thunberg from Sweden. Thunberg and some 700 youth activists continued the protest at the United Nations on Saturday, complete with demands for financial commitments and threats against the leaders if their agenda is not met. Komal Karishma Kumar from Fuji told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “we will hold you accountable, and if you do not, remember we will mobilize to vote you out.” (Intimidation strategy from indoctrination—learned from adults or inherent in human DNA?)

Let’s try to follow this historically and logically.

First, what is the difference between weather and climate? According to the NASA:
“The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.
“Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) changes in the atmosphere. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure.
“In short, climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area.” [Editorial question: If climate relates to a long-term pattern of weather in a particular area, how can the environmentalists call it global?]
“Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather for a particular region.” [Another question: Did the study of climate change only begin in 1989?]

NO!! NASA attributes interest in the topic to Thomas Jefferson in the late 1700s.

In mid-September, Breitbart published a chronology of the sensational predictions about ice ages, global warming, climate change. Please remember the definitions above—a particular area for a period of 30 years:

  1. 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975.
  2. 1969: Everyone Will Disappear in a Cloud of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
  3. 1970: Ice Age By 2000
  4. 1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
  5. 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
  6. 1972: New Ice Age By 2070
  7. 1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
  8. 1974: Another Ice Age?
  9. 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life
  10. 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
  11. 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes
  12. 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
  13. 1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
  14. 1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
  15. 1988: Maldives Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
  16. 1989: Rising Sea Levels Will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
  17. 1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
  18. 2000: Children Won’t Know What Snow Is
  19. 2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
  20. 2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
  21. 2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
  22. 2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
  23. 2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World
  24. 2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet from Catastrophe’
  25. 2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
  26. 2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015
  27. 2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’
  28. 1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide
  29. 1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources
  30. 1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
  31. 1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
  32. 1977: Department of Energy Says Oil Will Peak in 90s
  33. 1980: Peak Oil In 2000
  34. 1996: Peak Oil in 2020
  35. 2002: Peak Oil in 2010
  36. 2006: Super Hurricanes!
  37. 2005: Manhattan Underwater by 2015
  38. 1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
  39. 1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable
  40. 1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish
  41. 1970s: Killer Bees!”

It appears that the dates listed cover more than 30 years and no particular area is listed in all 41 articles. Hmmm.

This link provides photocopies of many of the predictions when published, all filled with doom and gloom and not a single prediction came to fruition. There is certainly a divide between the environmentalists and the skeptics. Both sides agree that it is probably driven by financial greed and politicians seeking fame, fortune and power at a global level. However, the guilty parties are distinct for each side.

On the “green” side, we read: “Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, which contends nature “is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.”

While on the other side that notes the lengthy list of failed predictions, we read:

“Scientist Art Robinson’s The Petition Project gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is ‘no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.'”

Al Gore still maintains that 99%+ of the scientists agree with him about the urgency of dealing with “an ice age,” and later it was “global warming” that transformed itself into “climate change.” [the power of linguists to transform scientific issues to fit the current set of selected data]

Many of the 2020 presidential candidates on the extreme left have embraced some very radical solutions to addressing this issue: having no children (and the birth rate is drastically lower across the world—and then abortion lowers the numbers even more), cannibalism, elimination of all fossil fuels. How do those politicians expect to travel or transport goods? Or will they have an exemption for personal travel in private jets? How will the environmentalists deal with the toxic/hazardous wastes in solar panels as they fail/break/deteriorate/age? How can the environmentalists justify solar panels that create 300 times more waste per energy unit than nuclear energy?

After the recent hurricane Dorian and the massive devastation that it caused, how did it rank among the deadliest hurricanes in US history?
These are the five deadliest hurricanes in American history:

  1. The Great Galveston Storm (1900) The deadliest storm in American history, the Galveston hurricane killed 8,000 to 12,000 people.
  2. Hurricane Maria (2017)
  3. The Okeechobee Hurricane (1928)
  4. Hurricane Katrina (2005)
  5. The Chenière Caminada Hurricane (1893)

Dorian did not make the list. Notice that only two occurred within the last 30 years. That magic 30-year window for climate change was not met with historical data and the scientific guidelines. However, the media acted as if Dorian was the ultimate proof positive of climate change caused by humans, portending the apocalypse of the world. Hurricanes have ravaged the USA long before fossil fuels were ever used for transportation or industry.

A similar claim could be made to refute the alarms and panic about the eruptions of volcanoes. They are not a novelty after the globalists claims of the last 60 years. What about some of the startling predictions?

In early May of this year, an IPBES from the UN predicted the potential loss of 1 million species since the extinction rate has accelerated in the last 10 million years. This is not the first prediction for the loss of species. In fact, in 1970, S. Dillon Ripley of the Smithsonian Institution predicted a loss of 75%-80% of all animal species before 1995. It did not happen. In 1979, Norman Myers, a biologist at Oxford University, predicted a loss of 25% of all species by 2000. It did not happen.

Some people are holding funerals for the glaciers that are disappearing. Swiss dressed in mourning black held a funeral complete with speeches and a wreath-laying ceremony for The Pizol in the Glarus Alps of northeastern Switzerland. Ironically, according to Matthias Huss, a glaciologist, since 1850, more than 500 glaciers have disappeared in Switzerland. Iceland also held a funeral for a lost glacier in August, 2019.

But, in 2016, a NASA study reported that 90% of the world’s glaciers are growing. The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) reported that since 2010, the sea ice areas of the Arctic have been growing. Despite the evidence of greater ice masses, since 2017, at least six polar research ships have had to abandon their expeditions at both poles due to thick ice impeding their travel. Some call this stupidity—repeating the same practice with different results expected. Others would call it Karma.

Apparently, the data have not been able to provide a definitive answer for scientists and glaciologists. Lunacy does seem to be an apropos term to describe the manifestations of 21st century alarmists. Let’s concern a couple of examples.

In mid-September of this year, an allegedly Christian seminary, the Union Theological Seminary, held a chapel service for Christians to confess their climate sins to plants. The hysteria of paganism and syncretism has entered religious institutions, calling traditional Christian theology “deplorable.” Even Pope Francis instructed the masses to “obey the United Nations.” The UN’s adherence to the climate change agenda is celebrated in late September in New York.

At Creation, God (Genesis 1:28) directed mankind to dominate the world and all that He created. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Good stewards believe that God created everything for good and as elements for mankind to employ in daily life. That would also include fossil fuels. Recently, the alarmists held a protest in Washington, D.C. While the protestors may consider their event successful, just consider how ridiculous it was to cause gridlock and increased carbon emissions.

Another progressive environmentalist solution is to “Don’t eat cows; Eat the Rich!” Yes, cannibalism is part of the green deal’s remedy for climate change. Yet, at the Iowa Polk County Steak Fry in mid-September, 17 Democrat presidential candidates grilled 10,500 steaks/burgers and 1000 vegan burgers.

At the UN, Greta Thunberg and 15 kids filed a lawsuit against 5 countries (Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey) for excessive carbon emissions. They did not include China in the lawsuit even though China is responsible for approximately a third of the carbon emissions in the world. These young people are telling the world leaders that they are more informed than scientists and world leaders and that they will hold the world leaders accountable for their future. It is more likely that they have been indoctrinated more than educated about nature.

I agree. “Instead of frightening young people with alarmist hyperbole that the world is ending, it would be better to offer them something truly constructive, such as an education.” If their interest in the future is genuine, then an informed mentor and classroom teacher could provide the accurate information—even from both extremes—and allow these kids to study and investigate and search for a real answer for becoming good stewards of the world instead of making unfounded claims and outrageous threats for actions that do not fit into their prescription for curing all the ills of the world through taxation and restriction of thought.

If the concerns were really about climate change and pollution, the countries under attack would be China, Mongolia, Botswana, Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, and the UAE because they are the nations that are producing the man-made pollution. However, the activists are attacking the USA. The goal is to destroy this civilization and turn all control over to the globalists. The real story is about politics, power, control, social engineering, lies and deceit.

God help us all!

God help the young to learn and to not fall as innocent victims to the lies of those who seek to destroy those who seek to follow God’s commands to care for His Creation and know that they will be accountable to Him alone at the End of Time.

Friday night on Almanac, Larry Jacobs of the U of M’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School was interviewed about the impeachment process. Early in the interview, Jacobs said that “these folks are new to the process. We’ve already seen Congressman Schiff make some mistakes. Washington Post already called him out for a Pinocchio because he wasn’t fully forthcoming about his relationships and his conversations with the whistleblower.”

Adam Schiff didn’t lie because he was “new to the process.” Schiff lied because he’s a dishonest political hack. Further, that isn’t the only lie Rep. Schiff told. His opening statement at the Maguire hearing was a complete fabrication. Why Speaker Pelosi picked Schiff to be her point person on this is puzzling.

Later, Jacobs said that we’ll start seeing subpoenas getting sent out to the White House. That’s wrong, too, because they aren’t considered by judges to be subpoenas until you have a vote of the Committee of the Whole, which is as it sounds. That’s where all 435 representatives vote, in this case to open an impeachment inquiry. Because Ms. Pelosi hasn’t held that vote, we don’t have an official inquiry.

That’s an important distinction because courts look at those so-called subpoenas as “requests for information” if they aren’t issued for “legislative purposes.” It’s an issue of separation of powers. If Congress wants to impeach a president, then it’s given limited law enforcement authorities. Otherwise, their subpoenas must be done for legislative purposes.

Later in the interview, Jacobs said “These are sacred values and law. The president has been, both openly and behind the scenes, talking to foreign powers about contributing to his domestic political campaign.” That’s false. Further, Jacobs doesn’t have proof that verifies his allegations. At the top of page 3 of the Trump-Zelensky phone call transcript, President Trump said “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike — I guess you have one of your weal thy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.”

There’s no way that can be construed as President Trump asking foreign powers to contribute to his re-election campaign. This can’t be construed that way either:

The other thing, there’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it — It sounds horrible to me.

You’d have to find a thoroughly liberal judge to rule that as a campaign finance violation. I’m talking about a judge to the left of the judges on the Ninth Circuit. I don’t know if such a critter exists. But I digress.

Let’s stipulate for this conversation that it is a campaign finance violation. Even if that’s true, that’s usually handled by the candidate writing a check to the FEC. I’ve yet to see that type of dispute resolved through impeachment.

It’s indisputable that Richard Nixon would’ve been impeached and convicted if he hadn’t resigned his office. Kenneth Starr cited multiple felonies that he accused Bill Clinton of committing. In the end, Clinton surrendered his Arkansas law license and pay the plaintiff almost $1,000,000. Both of those impeachment inquiries started by investigating charged crimes.

Can Professor Jacobs seriously insist that the Trump impeachment semi-inquiry is even close in terms of a constitutional crisis as Nixon telling staff to destroy documents and wiretap phone conversations without a warrant? That’s what a legitimate constitutional crisis looks like. What’s happening now is a farce. To mention the 2 things together is silly.

It’s difficult figuring out whether DFL operative Mark Jaede, who moonlights as a non-teaching professor at St. Cloud State when he isn’t an activist, is dishonest or if he’s just stupid. It could go either direction. Both options have significant proof that would prove that option correct. I’m sitting at this point because Prof. Jaede’s comment seems more along the lines of DFL talking points than outright stupidity.

The situation starts with Dan Johnson’s monthly column in the SC Times. Johnson is the chairman of the Benton County Republican Party. This month, Johnson’s column was about the Democrats’ impeachment “witch hunt.” Johnson’s column was well-researched, which meant that comments needed to be either condescending or snarky. Here’s the comment that Prof. Jaede left:

Trump asked a foreign leader for a “favor” – going after a political rival. Despite all the Republican attempts at denial, that is corruption. We should hardly be surprised that Trump cannot recognize his own corruption and thinks the call was “perfect.”

I wrote about the transcript in this post. The word “favor” is only used once in the transcript. Here’s how it was used:

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your weal thy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation .. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people.

That’s the transcript published on the White House’s website. As any student would notice, the favor wasn’t to go after one of President Trump’s political rivals, least of all Joe Biden. If Jaede thinks Trump needs foreign dirt to take down Biden (or any potential Democrat rival, then he’s employing wishful thinking. There isn’t a Democrat who can beat Trump this year.)

The Democrats’ spin notwithstanding, the truth is that asking a foreign leader to help get to the bottom of the hacking of the DNC’s server is anything except corruption. If it’s anything, it’s President Trump taking election security seriously. It’s getting difficult to take Prof. Jaede seriously. He’s a professor who, at least until this year, didn’t teach. His time was mostly spent being an activist. Then again, SCSU isn’t that bright if they’re paying him not to teach.

Indoctrination’s Impact on Schools
By Ramblin’ Rose

How long has it been since this country had the best educational system in the world as measured by instruments recognized internationally? How long has it been since Minnesota was a leader in education?

The test results for 2018 became public a few weeks ago. On August 29th, the Times reported “The North Star system, introduced last year, focuses less on assigning punitive labels for schools based on how students scored on one single test — the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments — and more on the nuances of education to create more equitable and well-rounded learning opportunities for all students across the state.”

A punitive label? A single test? Students take multiple tests annually in MN schools—even 5 times a year in Kindergarten and the test is delivered via a computer—those victims are 5 or 6 years old. But the computer testing is a part of the Common Core (CC) that supposedly died. It seems alive and punitive.
(an aside: Did you know that parents have the right to opt out of the mandated tests in MN? Just visit the Department of Education website for the forms and the warnings of possible consequences for the child’s future with such a decision.)

So how did students do in central Minnesota?

The words from Marsha Baisch, assistant superintendeAnt of elementary education at St. Cloud school district, set a tone of gloom: “The first blush doesn’t always tell the whole story.” She continued with five factors to evaluate “the whole child.” The test scores are only one facet of the new (one year old) reporting system.

As one continued to read the article, the tone was gloomy and seemed to celebrate mediocrity—as long as others also have lowered scores, it must be interpreted as “OK.”

“The patterns of our scores mirror the state,” said Sylvia Huff, executive director of research, assessments and enrollment for St. Cloud school district. “So both the state as well as our district saw a slight drop in math proficiency and in reading, it was basically relatively unchanged.”

The data found on the MN Department of Education website shows that MN students do score at a level “slightly” higher than national average. That is still far from the #1 status that many stakeholders espouse.

Back to central MN…

In St. Cloud schools in math proficiency, students dropped from 40% proficient (i.e., meeting or exceeding the standards) in 2018 to 37% in 2019. The statewide average was 54%, also a decline of 2.4% points. In reading, the drop was less—46% proficient to 45% proficient. Across MN, the score was 59% proficient or above.

Other area schools also reported declines.

Sartell-St. Stephen school district:
Math—77% to 75%
Reading—76% to 72%
Sauk Rapids-Rice school district
Math—54% to 52%
Reading—58% to 56%
ROCORI school district
Math—64% to 62%
Reading—66% to 65%
STRIDE Academy
Math—49% to 48%
Reading—49% to 48%
St. Cloud Math and Science Academy – increased scores noted
Math—13% to 21%
Reading—22% to 27%
Athlos Academy – increased scores noted
Math—25% to 31%
Reading—36% to 40%

And the international comparison is a little more dubious. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) was first administered in 2000 but only to 15-year-old students in 70 countries. Thus, the results do not correlate to the MN results. However, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Assessment (TIMSS) dates from 1995 in the areas of math and science and tests fourth and eighth graders in approximately 60 countries. In the latest reported data, American fourth graders in math tied for 13th place behind 10 systems, statistically indistinguishable from 9 systems and higher than 34 countries.

In any case, the USA does not score as the leading country in education even though it claims to want to have a leading role on the international scene, as do I. However, unless students have greater academic achievements, they will be followers and not leaders in discussions and decisions based upon information, facts and logic.

It seems that the right answers do count when it comes to international assessments. Maybe the politicians should try to sell Common Core to the educational institutions in order to regain their assumed leadership position.

So, what do parents do in order to attempt to enroll their children in the best schools? They often vote with their feet and the ascribed tuition dollars.

Three obvious alternatives for families are private schools (costly tuition and fees) and charter schools and open enrollments with neighboring districts. We know that Sauk Rapids froze that option recently.

Let’s use one large diverse district as the example of what is undoubtedly reflected in other districts. In the Minneapolis district, there were 45,443 students in a local school and 4,669 attending a school outside the district in 2003. In 2018, the students in a local school numbered 35,141 while those in non-district schools jumped to 18, 044. In this district, 80% of the students leaving the failing district for a chance at a better education were students of color.

The same exodus is occurring across the state. The demographics may vary, but the percentages are probably quite similar. Parents are hoping for better than the government-funded and government-driven schools with the government-dictated curriculum.

Political does not refer to the party of the President; it refers to the ideology of those who control the indoctrination of the system; those committed to the conversion of free thinkers into obedient lemmings who follow their mandates.

Do our schools teach to the strengths of each individual (meet the students where they are and challenge them to do better), or do they embrace CC that mandates teaching to the “lowest common denominator?”

In Part I of this mini-series, I highlighted the things that weren’t happening in Minnesota schools. In truth, I couldn’t have written that post without the information in Rep. Dean Urdahl’s op-ed. In Part II, let’s dig in further into other things that the MSBA is pushing.

Rep. Urdahl is exactly right to highlight the fact “that one of the MSBA’s top agenda items is to gain the ability to continue levy referenda by a majority vote of the local school board, instead of putting that vote before the people. While crying for local control, the MSBA is asking to remove the ultimate local control, that vote, from residents statewide.” Talk about talking out of both sides of their mouths. Apparently, the MSBA wants parental control except when they want school board control of finances. If you think that doesn’t sound consistent or principled, leave a comment below.

Honestly, that’s the type of duplicitousness that should fire up parents to throw these bums off their school boards. Shame on these parents if they don’t take action. This is the opportunity to not get ripped off with their property taxes and to provide the education that their children need. Would these parents prefer that their children get trained in activism or get indoctrinated rather than get an education that will make them indispensable leaders of their communities?

Thanks to Rep. Urdahl, we’re getting this early warning:

Next session, the MSBA plans to double down on its campaign against civic education. MSBA officials want to no longer have to offer the civics test. This crosses the line from passivity to enmity regarding civics. Testing conveys a message; we care about what we test. Eliminating the test implies MSBA doesn’t think civics is important. In Minnesota, it should not be about the number of tests, but rather, are we testing the right things.

The foundation of Minnesota’s success in the 1970s was that students were taught the important things that would make them leaders. Based on this information from Rep. Urdahl’s op-ed, it isn’t a stretch to think that this generation of students will be taught how to be activists instead of being taught how to be chemists, journalists and other CEOs.

I cannot overemphasize the fact this is a crisis with dire consequences for the future if we continue to diminish the building blocks of our nation. Some of our school districts do a fine job with civics. It should be consistent across our state. Civics should be taught in some form in all grades, but especially to high school juniors and seniors who will soon be voters and are ready to learn the subject.

Amen, Rep. Urdahl. Right now, we have a U.S. Senator who thinks that the legislative branch gives orders to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. HINT: She’s currently running for president as a moderate from Minnesota.

Let’s get on the phone with our legislators. Let’s tell them that we want students to be taught about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Let’s teach our students the things that’ve helped make America the greatest nation in the history of this planet. Let’s spoil the MSBA’s activist agenda. It’s time students were taught important things before they got to college.

Dean Urdahl’s op-ed is must-reading for every Minnesota parent, in my estimation. In his opening paragraph, Rep. Urdahl writes “Our Republic faces crisis after crisis: Our government is crippled by polarization, Congress can’t seem to get anything done, Supreme Court appointments have become a three-ring circus, no agreement can be reached on immigration and our borders, health care solutions can’t be reached, our infrastructure is decaying and the national debt is out of control.”

Then he highlights what he sees as the underlying problem, writing “It’s easy to identify the problems. Digging deeper shows that these are the results of a more pervasive root cause: the diminishing of civic education nationally and in Minnesota. The foundation of our understanding of how our government works is withering. The outcomes include confusion, misunderstanding and decay in our system. A district court judge has told me that every day he sees the repercussions of citizens not understanding how our system works.”

Junior high schools and high schools that don’t teach in-depth history lessons about the writing of the Constitution, including principles like federalism, the Bill of Rights, separation of powers, the 3 branches of government, due process and the presumption of innocence, are cheating students. How many schools teach in-depth lessons on the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, where the Jim Crow laws came from and who started the Civil Rights Movement? Apparently, our schools are failing on these fronts. Badly:

The failure is measurable. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the highly respected “Nation’s Report Card,” reports that 75% of our graduates leave high school not proficient in civics. They are failing. A nationwide poll found that two-thirds of Americans can name an American Idol judge, but only 15% can name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One-third of our graduates can’t name a single branch of our government. The Annenberg Study revealed that 37% cannot name one right guaranteed in the First Amendment. There are students who think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.

Fortunately, Rep. Urdahl isn’t one to just complain about a problem. He’s willing to fight to fix the problems he’s highlighted:

A study by the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation found that only 36% of Americans could pass a test that immigrants pass at a 97.5% rate. Last session, I tried to pass a bill that required a course be offered for credit to juniors or seniors in high school. Facing stiff opposition to that from the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), I compromised to change the requirement to “encourage.”

In its recent wrap-up of the legislative session, MSBA touted its success in weakening my bill by claiming that it would reduce the number of electives and reduce local control. These claims mystify me. I compromised and amended the bill to allow for more electives. Honors programs, PSEO and other accelerated options were exempted. Frankly, it comes down to teaching what is wanted versus what is needed.

It’s shameful that a lobbying organization would attempt to water down students’ curriculum. And yes, it’s indisputable that MSBA is a lobbying organization:

MSBA represents every school board member in the state along with more than 837,000 public school students. MSBA is the leading advocate for public education by supporting, promoting and strengthening the work of public school boards.

Here’s what MSBA believes:

  1. An investment in a student is a smart investment in our state’s future.
  2. Providing school districts maximum flexibility and control provides benefits to students.
  3. State policies should ensure every student has the opportunity to graduate prepared to be successful in the postsecondary path of their choice.

That middle bullet point sounds great until you think of who’s running the schools. Parents, have you heard that students have been trained to be activists? Why weren’t they being taught important things like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, how the federal government was formed or why the Founders decided that the Electoral College was best system for electing presidents?