Archive for April, 2018

Say what you want about Elizabeth Warren, aka Pocahontas. She’s nothing if not politically flexible. It wasn’t that long ago that Sen. Warren “trashed the politically vulnerable Montana Democrat for supporting a landmark bank deregulation bill.” This week, Elizabeth Warren “is coming to the rescue of Sen. Jon Tester in the face of escalating attacks by President Donald Trump.”

In her fundraising letter, Sen. Warren said “Jon and I don’t agree on everything — but I know that Jon makes every decision with the working people of Montana and all across this country in his mind. He’s a good and decent man, and right now he needs our help.”

Rather than calling her Pocahontas, I’d argue that it’s more appropriate to call her Pinocchio. What “good and decent man” throws a military veteran under the proverbial bus for purely partisan gain? That isn’t what I’d consider the actions of a good and decent man. Listen to what Sen. Tester said in this press availability:

Less than 30 seconds into the availability, when asked to confirm Sen. Tester’s statements, Sen. Tester said “I just can’t confirm it at this moment in time.” If that’s the case, Sen. Tester, why didn’t you just do your due diligence rather than leak this information to the press? I’m betting that Sen. Tester wouldn’t have followed this path had Adm. Jackson been appointed by President Obama. I’m betting that Sen. Tester would’ve quietly checked into the allegations rather than leaking it to the press. In fact, I’m betting that had Jackson a) been nominated by President Obama and b) had been guilty of the charges, Sen. Tester would’ve swept that information under the rug.

Later in the video, the MSNBC anchor and the MSNBC correspondent admit that they don’t know if the allegations were true or false. Since then, however, we’ve found out that the Secret Service has issued a statement that emphatically said Adm. Jackson wasn’t guilty of the accusations leveled against him.

Meanwhile, Sen. Warren has defended Sen. Tester, saying “Jon’s a man of integrity and courage, and I know he’s not going to back down or change his votes because of a television commercial or a tweet. But he needs our help to build the sort of grassroots campaign that can go town-to-town, person-to-person, to talk about what this election is really about.”

Finally, Sen. Tester defended himself, saying “It’s my duty to make sure Montana veterans get what they need and have earned, and I’ll never stop fighting for them as their senator.” What a crock. Sen. Tester has less integrity than the witch that ‘entertained’ the media at this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Technorati: , , , , , ,

Turnabout is Fair Play!
by Silence Dogood

Last Thursday, the HR director sent out an email to the campus community indicating the vice presidents and president recommended not allowing alternate summer schedules for staff.

Since all of Saint Cloud State’s administrators are state employees, what about having each administrator voluntarily report their hours on campus for each of the Fridays during the summer? The expectation, of course, is that they should be available on campus for eight hours each Friday. Where appropriate, they could indicate that they used vacation time to allow them to be off campus. Just to be helpful, they could use the form reproduced below.

In this way, the campus community could see that the campus is appropriately staffed on Fridays with senior administration leaders and it would also provide a higher level of accountability. Clearly, if the clerical staff need to be on campus on Fridays, it seems only logical that members of the senior administration would be willing to do so as well. Remember leaders lead!

Don’t hold your breath!

While it’s still best to be cautiously optimistic about achieving a lasting peace between North Korea and South Korea, it’s indisputable that optimistic signals keep getting sent from the Korean Peninsula. This time, the signal comes in the form of “the South Korean government said on Sunday that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had told President Moon Jae-in that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country.”

It’s best not to get too giddy until this initiative gets fleshed out more. The devil is still in the details. Still, it’s another hopeful development in negotiations between North Korean President Kim Jung-Un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.

Further, “In Washington, Trump officials spoke cautiously about the chances of reaching a deal and laid out a plan for the dismantling of the North’s nuclear program, perhaps over a two-year period. That would be accompanied by a ‘full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear program with a full international verification,’ said John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser.”

Pundits have questioned whether President Trump would get hoodwinked by Kim Jung-Un, possibly because they still don’t think he’s capable of being president. If there’s anything I trust about President Trump, it’s negotiating abilities. If that’s what the left is worried about, they don’t have to worry. The thing that they’re forgetting is the fact that Trump studied the deals past presidents have made. That’s led to a different negotiating style this time. That’s what’s led to this:

This is still the best protocol when negotiating life-changing treaties:

I trust that President Trump and National Security Adviser Bolton will verify that North Korea is living up to its obligations.

UPDATE: Moon Jae-In, South Korea’s president, thinks that President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize “for his role in talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and end the decades-long war between the North and South.”

If that happened, journalists’ heads would explode. Here’s hoping it happens.

Follow the money—again!!
Written by Rambling Rose

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the investment (current years/dollars as reported) in K-12 education with state and federal tax dollars:

Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2013–14 amounted to $634 billion, or $12,509 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2015–16 dollars).

One would expect good returns on such investments, but the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as The Nation’s Report Card, released earlier in April, gives the nation’s schools a failing grade. Only 37% of the high school seniors tested as proficient or better in reading, and only 25% in math. Among the black students, the results were even lower: 17% proficient or better in reading, 7% ‘at least proficient’ in math.

It gets worse. Nationally, the graduation rate is over 80%. That means that the high school diploma has lost its meaning. With the high school diploma in hand, 63% of the graduates are declared proficient in reading at the 12th grade level when the test scores reveal the opposite. Likewise, 75% of high school graduates are deemed proficient in math skills when they are not. For black students, the numbers are even lower as noted by the test scores in the previous paragraph.

What does that diploma certify? Attendance? Are those young people ready to continue their postsecondary education?

Apparently. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that “70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college.” Studies report that two-thirds of community college students enroll in at least one remedial course as do 40% of those in a four-year institution. Many universities hire special tutors to assist their athletes, many who read at the fourth- to eighth-grade levels.

College professors admit that they have had to “dumb down their classes” in order to teach their inadequately-prepared students. Others have removed the analytical components of the programs. Majors have become “studies” with the emphasis on social issues. Sadly, the cycle continues. Many of the least prepared enter education, as revealed by their intended majors reported by SAT scores—26th of 38 options.

The executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the organization that represents every state’s top education official, Carissa Moffat Miller, stated “Today’s release of The Nation’s Report Card confirms that there is still much work to be done to close achievement gaps and ensure that our young people are ready for success in college, careers and life.”

Yes, there is much work to be done—by teachers, administrators, politicians, students and PARENTS. Parental involvement and schools with a focus on academics and not ‘justice’ issues would be a start.

It appears that dollars alone are not the answer.

What wasn’t written in Kathy Kersten’s latest article on Minnesota education is that the principles of implicit bias and restorative justice are destroying what’s left of education in Minnesota.

First, the article talks about how “MDHR also announced the filing of ‘charges’ of ‘educational discrimination’ against the St. Louis Park School District and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District. Apparently, these two districts declined sufficiently to bend to the department’s will, though a St. Louis Park school official told MinnPost that the district is, in fact, ‘seeking to enter into an agreement’ with the department.”

What’s particularly frightening is the fact that school districts that don’t heed the MDHR’s threats are faced “with a choice: enter into an agreement with the department to come up with a plan to address [discipline] disparities, or face litigation.” In other words, do it our way or we’ll destroy you with expensive litigation. The DFL hasn’t explained how that isn’t oppressive. The DFL hasn’t explained why these threats of intimidation and financial ruin aren’t based on official complaints instead of statistical disparities.

For districts and charters that have chosen to enter into a collaborative agreement with the Department, all have submitted three-year plans that outline the specific strategies they’ll be implementing. These strategies include a broad range of things like professional development trainings to help educators address the “implicit bias that influences perceptions of student behavior” and ways to increase student and community engagement.

This is insane. How can you fight something that exists only in the minds of the most whacked-out liberals? Let’s see if you can spot the flawed thinking in the opening paragraph of this article:

Ten Minnesota school districts and charter schools have reached a pact with the state Department of Human Rights to fix racial disparities in student discipline.

I’m betting everyone reading that noticed the flawed thinking that deals with discipline disparities, not behavioral disparities. Next, notice Commissioner Lindsey’s statement:

“I’m encouraged. There was some good ideas that came out of the conversations with the school districts and charter schools. They are going to drive change and we will see positive results in Minnesota because of their efforts.”

Next, check out this sentence:

State leaders say the discipline disparities amount to human rights violations.

Commissioner Lindsey didn’t define what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Until that’s defined, his declarations are subjective. Next, check out this video on implicit bias:

How many people think that “for like 75% of white Americans, it’s hard to put black and good together”? I don’t buy that for a split-second. I know that’s a phony ‘statistic.’ This isn’t the way to achieve justice. FYI- the definition of justice is “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” Righteousness isn’t situation-based. It’s defined by the Word of God, who is never-changing.

Just like other progressive social experiments, restorative justice and implicit bias will fail. The only question left is how much society will be harmed.

Technorati: , , , ,

Sen. Jon Tester, (D-MT), has been skating on thin ice since President Trump crushed Hillary in Montana, winning by more than 100,000 votes. When Sen. Tester voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts, he likely sealed his fate. If that didn’t seal his fate, Sen. Tester’s vicious attack on Ronny Brown pounded the final nail into his political coffin.

This morning, the NY Post’s editorial certainly criticizes Sen. Tester, saying “Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) unveiled a stunning laundry list of complaints allegedly made by unnamed whistleblowers — claims that Jackson was routinely drunk on duty (to the point of being ‘unresponsive’), created a ‘toxic work environment’ and handed out prescription opioids like ‘the candy man.’ And yet no one seemed to notice any of this as Jackson was treating three presidents and their families over a 12-year period.”

Like I said in this post, it’s incredible that nobody noticed any of these traits during his multiple FBI background checks. Further, I cited this article, which states “Over the last 48 hours, media outlets have alleged that U.S. Secret Service personnel were forced to intervene during a presidential foreign travel assignment in order to prevent disturbing (former) President Barack Obama. The Secret Service has no such record of any incident; specifically, any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. Rear Admiral Jackson, in his role as the official White House Physician, has provided years of dedicated support to the men and women of the Secret Service, often miles from home and under difficult travel conditions, in order to ensure our personnel are healthy and prepared to execute our critical mission.”

In other words, Sen. Tester’s vicious attack against Rear Admiral Jackson wasn’t justified but it was likely orchestrated. Now President Trump is chiming in on Sen. Tester:

Ruining an innocent man’s career for purely partisan reasons is disgusting. Montana can do better than Tester. In fact, it’s difficult to picture how they could do worse than him.

As for the orchestration accusation, what else explains the 23 faceless accusers who’ve made this accusation? They’ve never shown their faces. They’ve never been subjected to scrutinization by a profession interrogator. (Not that it would happen but wouldn’t you love watching Trey Gowdy interrogate these 23 cowards?) This is pretty cowardly, too:

Tester’s office has not specified the time frame during which the alleged misconduct occurred. The senator’s spokeswoman Marnee Banks said the office would not comment until it knew more about the White House records.

The 23 cowards are mentioned in this report:

Then there’s this:

CNN had reported allegations that Jackson drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee and that Secret Service personnel intervened out of concern that he would wake Obama.

And this:

The Democratic staff on the committee considering Jackson’s nomination also claimed Jackson had doled out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers panicked because they thought the drugs were missing.

That sounds pretty orchestrated. Faceless (aka cowardly) staffers make the accusation, the media dutifully reports it and Democrat senators announce that they won’t comment on it. Tester’s office won’t even say when the alleged incident happened.

What part of that sounds like it’s on the up-and-up?

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another Slap in the Face of the University!
by Silence Dogood

The first person someone meets when they come to the St. Cloud State University campus is usually one of the clerical staff—they are the public face of the University.

In case you didn’t already know, summers are short and precious in Minnesota. For many years, staff—with approval of their supervisors—were allowed to work four ten-hour days per week (with Fridays off) instead of the usual five day a week eight-hour workday.

Three years ago, President Potter decided that in order to save money, revised summer hours would no longer be allowed. When it was pointed out that this did not in fact save any money (working forty hours per week whether in four ten-hour days or five eight-hour days is still the same number of hours), he tried to recover and cited that it was to be able to “serve student needs.” This might be a noble sentiment. However, this also is a joke because the campus is almost a ghost town on Fridays in the summer.

Schedule EMS (campus planner) lists 749 entrees between 5/14/2018 and 8/2/2018. Only 75, which is almost exactly 10% have a class meeting scheduled on Fridays. If you search on the Summer School link for all classes, the first 250 summer classes are displayed. Of those, only 30 have a class meeting time on Friday and, of those, 7 are graduate courses that meet class on Friday and Saturday.

Several university staff quit/retired over the original decision. The next year, the administration reversed their decision and allowed staff, again with approval of their supervisors, to work four ten-hour days. Life was good again.

The following year (i.e., last year), the administration changed their mind and university staff were again required to work five eight-hour days per week. The staff were told that they could use vacation days if they didn’t want to work on Fridays. So, the idea that it was to serve student needs was nonsense. Additionally, if staff use vacation days to take Fridays off, they still get paid—so there are no cost savings!

Thursday, the following email was sent to the campus community.

The summer hours taskforce recommendation on summer hours was ignored and the result of this process resulted in the same outcome. Staff would no longer—with permission of their supervisor—be allowed to work four ten hour days. The reason given now: “With the upcoming presidential transition, the decision was made to remain consistent with last year during this upcoming summer.” Can I say that this is nonsense? The VP’s and Interim President knew for a year that a presidential search was occurring and that a transition to new leadership would be occurring during the summer of 2018 so why blame that fact for a bad decision? Why delay this decision and not other decisions?

Just to be consistent, for only two of the last 36 years, staff have not been allowed to work the alternate summer schedules—again with approval of their supervisors. So, to be consistent, staff should be allowed to decide (in consultation and approval of their supervisors).

Several staff have posted their comments on the university email system regarding this decision:

This decision has increased the lack of morale on campus. Proof again the decisions made at the top who cares how it affects the employees below. This is another beat down and if they have run out of hammers maybe facilities will borrow them some so they can continue to keep us down.

I am very disappointed that our administration once again has ignored the recommendations of our community and has shown us all that we are not valued as employees or people.

This is the second time this month that I have felt like the people who provide the critical foundation for this campus to operate have been disrespected.

Yet another slap in the face by this administration.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. None of the administration has come to the defense of this policy. Perhaps because there is no defense and perhaps that is why the top Huskies have not taken individual responsibility. The top ‘dogs’ must not feel they are unleashed to do amazing things and they collectively blame a process and a new person for their actions, which is consistent with their past efforts to avoid being held accountable.

Clearly, morale has been low at SCSU. It you are not certain, just look at the results of the Great Place to Work Survey. Moral has just gotten even lower for those people that are the first ones to greet visitors to the campus. Makes sense to me.

Though they might not know it yet, the Democrats have a major Ronny Jackson problem on their hands. Former Obama State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf is part of that problem, saying that Democrats have to take seriously the “credible allegations” against Admiral Jackson. My first reaction is that the smear campaign isn’t credible for multiple reasons.

First, Admiral Jackson has gone through FBI background checks 3 times, once when he first became President Bush’s personal doctor, again when he stayed on as the Obama family doctor and finally when he became the Trumps’ WH family doctor. Admiral Jackson went through a background check when he became an admiral, too.

These “credible allegations” have gotten shot down. The article says “Over the last 48 hours, media outlets have alleged that U.S. Secret Service personnel were forced to intervene during a presidential foreign travel assignment in order to prevent disturbing (former) President Barack Obama. The Secret Service has no such record of any incident; specifically, any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson.”

The statement continues with this:

Rear Admiral Jackson, in his role as the official White House Physician, has provided years of dedicated support to the men and women of the Secret Service, often miles from home and under difficult travel conditions, in order to ensure our personnel are healthy and prepared to execute our critical mission.

In other words, this was a deliberate attempt at sabotaging the reputation of a good man who had the bad misfortune of being associated with President Trump. Democrats just sabotaged a distinguished member of the military for purely partisan points. That’s as disgusting as it gets. This video highlights the fact that Democrats are behind this:

At the start of the video, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi identifies “Democrats on the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee” as putting out this information. Further, these Democrats accuse Admiral Jackson of writing prescriptions for himself, then accused him of “multiple counts of drunkenness while on duty, including incidents while on overseas travel.”

These accusations supposedly came from 23 unidentified members of the military, “many of whom are still in uniform.” Until they’re willing to step into public view and be questioned and interrogated, these statements are too self-serving to be credible.

These Democrats aren’t guilty of a crime but they’re definitely guilty of attempting to ruin a good man’s career by using anonymous sources to make unsubstantiated accusations. This isn’t the American way as the Founding Fathers envisioned it. That’s why they wrote the Bill of Rights to include the right of a defendant to question his accusers.

Husky Pride?
by Silence Dogood

It’s a sample of one class on one day. As a result, making any kind of broad generalization is a stretch. However, it remains a sample worth considering. On Thursday morning fifty-three students showed up to take the last exam before finals. Of the fifty-three students, only a single student wore an SCSU branded shirt/jacket. The student that did show Husky pride happens to be an athlete at SCSU so they are somewhat obligated to wear the school colors. A single student out of fifty-three represents less than 2% of the class. Five other students in the class were wearing shirts with other school brands:

Bemidji State
Minnesota State Mankato
Wisconsin (football)
Air Force (hockey)

Two female students in the class wore “Pink” monogramed shirts. So, “Pink” branded shirts out-performed the home school brand.

What does this mean? With such a small sample it’s hard to reach a definitive conclusion. However, a simple walk around on campus (unless it is a day when they are recruiting students), you might get the idea that what was true in one class on one day was true in general.

Maybe the cost of SCSU branded apparel is much more expensive than that from other schools so fewer people can afford them. Perhaps there was a YouTube challenge on Thursday to not wear your school colors to class. Many explanations are possible. However, these two explanations are probably less likely than the fact that SCSU has an image problem that rebranding and giving away free tee shirts won’t solve.

If there is a solution for an apparent lack of Husky Pride or for increasing the value of the brand, it’s seems to be a closely guarded secret. What I do know is that ‘unleashing’ a tired old dog won’t make that dog fetch. Will an increase in Husky Pride solve SCSU’s enrollment and financial problems? Perhaps, but doing the same old things over and over and expecting a different outcome is nothing to be proud of nor will it solve any problems. It seems that something new is needed or a lot of SCSU branded merchandise will be found on the discount rack or at yard sales.

Whose Values? What Values?
By Rambling Rose

Protests about gun control and efforts to update an “antiquated” Second Amendment abound in the media. However, there is little to no coverage of student-led protests to protect the yet-to-be-born babes in the womb or those that speak out in favor of use of guns for defense. Only by chance did I see a post by Franklin Graham on Facebook that alerted me to the April 23rd “sit-out.” On the 24th, I still found only one article that published coverage of the protest.

Parents entrust their precious children to the schools in good faith and trust that the instruction follows traditional values of the USA society. WRONG!

Just as parents were unaware of the educational boondoggle of the Obama administration, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and forced upon 45/46 states of the nation by Arne Duncan with Race to the Top, known as Common Core (still alive in many states as per the Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015), so are parents unaware of the leftist infiltration of the curriculum and the perverse values that even the youngest learn. Some call this health curriculum “Pornography 101.”

In North Carolina, the elementary schools initiated a program called Welcoming Schools to promote “family diversity” (interpret—same sex parents) and “gender-inclusive, non-binary schools” (interpret—same-sex and transgender platforms). “The program, developed by the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign, subjects students to opposite-gender role-play, and encourages them to cross-dress and to view traditional attitudes of family structure as harmful…” Students who question the curriculum are referred to Planned Parenthood.

In Cumberland County, North Carolina, another Planned Parenthood program, Get Real, was introduced into the sixth and seventh grade program. When parents objected to the promotion of homosexuality and gender confusion and explicit descriptions of sex acts, the schools dropped the program.

The progressives have utilized other names to promote similar programs, including Making Proud Choices and Safe Schools. Sadly, their agenda for gender identity and sexual behavior has integrated the entire curriculum. Sadly, too, is the guise of promoting the inclusion of these deviant practices as a program to combat bullying—a farce, a lie…but a strategy that has not received much attention by anyone.

Thanks to the vigilant eyes of parents in North Carolina, programs were changed. Thanks to those same parents a global protest did occur (reportedly) on April 23, 2018. How many parents are still unaware of the pervasive practices occurring daily in this country’s schools? Whose values should be included in the classroom? The parents/the family, naturally. But is that reality?

Parents need to be involved—ask your children about their classes, discuss the books that they read, ask about “ceremonies” performed/celebrated in their classes…VISIT the schools and ATTEND classes.

Many have predicted the fall “from within” without a single gunshot. Yes, the LGBTQ community indoctrinates the next generation and has radicalized young people against their parents and their values to embrace “what they learned in school.”