Monday, October 18, 2021

Germany, The Economic Powerhouse of Europe

Want to know how much European-style social programs cost?  Here's how much:

Germany's per capita GDP

  • Germany gdp per capita for 2020 was $45,724, a 1.6% decline from 2019.
  • Germany gdp per capita for 2019 was $46,468, a 2.81% decline from 2018.
  • US States per capita GDP (in 2019 dollars)

     

    Bottom line:  If Germany, the “economic powerhouse of Europe”, were the 51st US state, its per capita GDP would place it 47th in the country, ahead of only Idaho, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.  The UK would beat only MississippiFrance wouldn't even beat MississippiDenmark would be near the middle of the packSweden would be near the bottom, and Norway (with its North Sea oil revenue) would be near the top.

    That's how much the social welfare state eats up.

    Sunday, October 17, 2021

    Let's Talk About Systemic Sexism

    9:35-10:45 is, to me, the most significant.

    On What Planet Do These People Live?

    Are college sports, especially high profile sports like football and basketball, dominated by whites and Asians or something?

    “Student-athletes” will not need minimum scores on standardized tests to eligible for Division I and II sports under a proposal by an NCAA task force, reports Mark Schlabach for ESPN.

    Dropping scores is “part of the NCAA’s eight-point plan to advance racial equity,” writes Schlabach.

    My tax dollars pay for state schools and their NFL/NBA farm teams.  And now they're considering getting rid of even the veneer that we're teaching "student-athletes" anything.  Why should I have to pay for that?

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

    Save The Commie

    There are idiots supporting Sacramento's most audacious commie teacher:

    Supporters of a Natomas Unified School District teacher filmed in an undercover video discussing antifa called for the district to allow the teacher to return to his position during a Wednesday news conference at the Sacramento office of civil rights attorney Mark Merin. 

    Natomas Unified has announced they plan to fire the Inderkum High School teacher, Gabriel Gipe, after a conservative group, Project Veritas, filmed him and published an edited 12-minute video of him sharing how he wants his students to become revolutionaries...

    “After an investigation, Mr. Gipe was recommended for termination because he had violated many policies, Ed Code, and more,” read a statement from Natomas Unified. “As we shared, there are nearly 400 pages of charges and evidence. Mr. Gipe was actively teaching pro-communism ideology in a US Government class.” 

    The district said Gipe “was clearly representing his school and district” during the recorded conversation. His termination must be approved by the board of trustees...

    Merin, who is not officially representing Gipe, said the district moved forward with its decision without due process. 

    “How is it that a school board can jump to a conclusion and announce a disciplinary job action against a fantastic teacher who is extolled by his students without the minimum due process that is enshrined in our state constitution, our federal constitution, and in the contract that teachers have with their school board?” Merin said.

    I call BS here.  I have no doubt that Comrade Gipe was provided due process.  What it looks like he wasn't provided is what I call undue process, the purpose of which is to make eliminating the commie so difficult that the district just acquiesces.

    The linked article goes on to identify several people speaking in support of Comrade Gipe.  This one, though, wins the idiot prize:

    Sonia Lewis, a community activist who works with several school districts in the area, said teachers across the country are afraid of losing their jobs for speaking the truth in history classes. 

    “And that truth is simply the history of those who have been left out of Black and brown and indigenous, API, Latinx, LGBTQ, Muslim communities all over this country,” Lewis said. “Having taught social studies in this state, knowing the standards that are required to make sure that information is disseminated based on the information on standards and curriculum, I know for sure that revolution is change and it is positive.”

    No one in California is afraid of losing his/her teaching job due to speaking in favor of the groups Ms. Lewis mentions.  No one.  Let me wear a MAGA hat to school one day (on Hat Day, no less) and let the complaints roll in.  BTW, I almost never wear hats, certainly not to school, and I wore that one only because it was a gift from a student.

    Anyway, here's what I have to say to Comrade Lewis:

     

    I spent the first several years of my adulthood training to kill commies, I'm not going to brook their nonsense now.  

    G'bye, Gipe.  May you rot in Hell some day.

    Previous post on the topicHere's a more subdued cockroach after the light was shined (shone?) on him.

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

    It's "For The Children", No Doubt

    First there was this:

    They laughed and cheered when plumber Scott Smith was crash-tackled by police and humiliated at a school board meeting on June 22 as he tried to raise the plight of his 15-year-old daughter, who he says was raped and sodomized in the school bathroom by a boy in a skirt. No one expressed any concern for his daughter. 

    There was no compassion, either, from superintendent Scott Ziegler, who claimed bafflingly at the meeting that there had been no assault in a school restroom anywhere in Loudoun County and airily dismissed parents’ concerns about the risks of transgender bathrooms. Then he gave a little woke homily to show those powerless parents in the room who really was in charge. 

    “Time magazine in 2016 called that a red herring … we’ve heard it several times tonight from our public speakers but the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” he said. 

    Tell that to the Smith family. 

    The rainbow activist who allegedly threatened Smith’s livelihood at that meeting told him point-blank his daughter’s rape three weeks earlier did not happen, as if she would know.

    That made the Dem narrative look bad, so now there's this:

    Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly voted for — and Governor Ralph Northam signed — a law allowing schools to refrain from reporting instances of sexual battery, stalking, violation of a protective order, and violent threats occurring on school property in 2020.

    Some people are so open-minded that their brains fall out.  I'm talking to you, lefties. 

    Update, 10/16/21:  And then...

    Scott Smith, a Loudoun County father who was arrested at that June event, said this week that his daughter was sexually assaulted in a girls' bathroom at Stone Bridge High School by a male student who was wearing a skirt. The Loudoun County sheriff's office has confirmed that an on-campus sexual assault was reported on the day Smith says his daughter was victimized. 

    The boy accused of assaulting Smith's daughter later allegedly groped a female student at nearby Broad Run High School after forcing her into an empty classroom, Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Buta Biberaj told WTOP in an interview this week. 

    Yesterday's Big News

    The oldest man to travel into space so far:

    WELL, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Star Trek alum William Shatner, 90, becomes the oldest man to travel to space. Shatner “became the oldest person to ever to reach the edge of space — the Kármán line, which is 62 miles above Earth — on Wednesday when he traveled on Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 for the 10-minute commercial flight. Shatner was emotional after he landed, saying, ‘Everybody in the world needs to do this.’”

    He wasn't an astronaut yet when I met him, but he was still a fairly exalted figure:

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    ABC: Amish Beat Covid

    How do you explain this?  Mask/vaccine nazis will have a hard time, either because it means that their favored authoritarianism doesn't work, or because it exposes their authoritarianism as nothing more than authoritarianism for its own sake:

    "Full Measure" host Sharyl Attkisson traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see how Amish communities handled Covid-19 without electricity or television.

    "There's no evidence of any more deaths among the Amish than in places that shut down tight— some claim there were fewer here. That’s without masking, staying at home, or" vaccines, Attkisson reported.

    "Oh, we're glad all the English people got their Covid vaccines. That's great," one man said. "Because now we don't have to wear a mask, we can do what we want. So good for you. Thank you. We appreciate it. Us? No, we're not getting vaccines. Of course not. We all got the Covid, so why would you get a vaccine?"

    Monday, October 11, 2021

    Indigenous People's Day


    From Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge and wisdom:

    Some post-conquest sources report that at the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs sacrificed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days. This number is considered by Ross Hassig, author of Aztec Warfare, to be an exaggeration. Hassig states "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed in the ceremony.[12] The higher estimate would average 15 sacrifices per minute during the four-day consecration. Four tables were arranged at the top so that the victims could be jettisoned down the sides of the temple.[19] Additionally, many historians argue that these numbers were inaccurate as most written account of Aztec sacrifices were made by Spanish sources to justify Spain's conquest.[20] Nonetheless, according to Codex Telleriano-Remensis, old Aztecs who talked with the missionaries told about a much lower figure for the reconsecration of the temple, approximately 4,000 victims in total. 

    I guess 4000 is ok.

    Is there any people in history that hasn't been conquered by some other?  My own ancestors, the Britons, were conquered by Romans, by Angles/Saxons/Jutes, by Vikings, by Normans--whom did I miss? 

    Indigenous People's Day.  I'm not buying it.

    UpdateThe Historical Falsification of Columbus' "Crimes"

    Update #2:  If you offer a "land acknowledgement", a statement recognizing that your event is taking place on "stolen land", and you don't give the land back to the natives, aren't you just rubbing their noses in it?

    Sunday, October 10, 2021

    Milestone!

    Of the few pictures I've posted on Unsplash.com, one has reached 1000 downloads!

    There's no telling how long (weeks, months, years, decades) that link will last, so here's the picture:

    We Can't Have Excellence, It Makes People Feel Bad

    All the fake things labelled as "toxic" in our culture can't hold a candle to the actual toxicity surrounding the destruction of excellence:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is phasing out New York City’s Gifted and Talented program, he announced Friday — bowing to critics who complain that the coveted model is racist.

    There are big problems in our culture, but white supremacy and structural racism are not among them.  Let's be honest about what the "problem" is with Gifted And Talented Education programs--too many Asians and not enough blacks.  We can't fix the problem if we don't identify it properly.

    The Price of Gas

    We had a random 3-day weekend off school, so Friday I went up to the KOA in Oroville.  I took my trailer, a friend took her new rig, and we had a great time hanging out.

    This is what I came home to today.  Outside of Costco and Sam's Club, Arco is about the cheapest gas around:

    This is California.

    Domestic Terrorists

     


    A continuation of this post.

    Friday, October 08, 2021

    Break Time!

    Today is a random day off in my district; I'm not going to mock this silliness of random days off when we started school the second week of August.

    In a few minutes I'll hook up the trailer and head to a campground about 90 minutes away, where I'll meet my friend from school who's bringing the Taj Mahal.  Should be a nice way to spend the weekend.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2021

    If You Think I'm Kidding When I Tell You How Sick California Is, Wait Until You Read This

    This is almost unbelievable:

    On September 22, AB 1184, which was cosponsored by Planned Parenthood, became law. As the California Family Council explains, this diktat “prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the ‘sensitive services’ of anyone on their policy, including minor children, even though the policy owner is financially responsible for the services.” The term “sensitive services” refers to all health care services related to mental or behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, gender affirming care, etc. The bill doesn’t detail the kindly sounding “gender affirming care,” but as defined by the University of California, San Francisco, it’s hormone therapy and a laundry list of surgeries including vaginectomy, scrotoplasty, voice modification, etc., ad nauseam.

    And all these goodies start when the child is 12 years old! So, if your daughter, who is in 7th grade, wakes up one day and decides she rather be a boy, she can now act on it. She starts with puberty blockers, and uses your family insurance policy to pay for the services rendered. When the statement is sent to you, there is no explanation of any procedures she underwent. It’s a dirty little secret between your kid, her doctor and the insurance company. You, the parents, are reduced to insurance bill-paying bystanders.

    I say almost unbelievable--because is it truly so hard to believe that such a law was passed in California?

    Lefties say they want parents involved--until the parents make a decision not in accord with unicornian politics.  Then, the state just takes over.  Problem solved!

    Heroes

    A year ago, these people were hailed as heroes.  Homes and businesses had yard signs celebrating and honoring these people.  What a difference a year makes:

    Kaiser Permanente announced thousands of its employees across the country have been suspended after choosing not to get vaccinated.

    The hospital reports that 2,200 of its nationwide employees have been placed on unpaid administrative leave as of October 1.

    The suspensions are impacting two percent of Kaiser's entire U.S. workforce.

    Company officials say those employees have until December 1 to either get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs permanently.

    Next we'll be told we have to keep 'rona restrictions in place because of "overloaded" hospitals.

    The Father Got In Trouble??

    This teacher needs to be not only fired, but jailed.  Or beaten.  Perhaps both:

    A father was seriously hurt, he says, for standing up for the rights of his second grade son at school.

    The boy was allegedly told he couldn't go the bathroom and stayed in his soiled pants all day.

    The angry dad confronted the teacher and that's when the trouble started.

    Vincent Nemorin was put in handcuffs after questioning the second grader's teacher at PS 193 Wednesday about why his son was allegedly left sitting in feces for hours.

    "We are just demanding basic health needs. Nothing extra. Children should never be restricted going to bathroom," said Yumi Nemorin, Vincent's wife.

    Yumi says she never imagined a simply discussion would end with her husband in handcuffs.

    At one point he slips trying to get in the police vehicle.

    Police say the teacher told them she felt threatened.

    She should have felt threatened.  My guess is if the man was going to hurt her, he would have.  Her principal should be threatening her job.  Instead, way to use law enforcement as a cover for this horrible teacher.

    A Department of Education spokesperson said in a statement: "We take this allegation seriously, and are investigating the matter. Ensuring safe and supportive environments in all our schools is critical, and there is additional support being provided to the school to address parent concerns. We will continue to work with the school community to ensure the school is meeting their needs."

    Eyewitness News could not reach the principal or teacher directly for comment.

    I'm curious how the teacher would defend having a 2nd grade child sit in "soiled" pants all day.  How would the principal defend the teacher?

    If the facts truly are as attested in this article, the minimum that needs to be done is firing the teacher.

    These People Are Disgusting

    From Instapundit:

    JOE BIDEN’S RETURN TO DECENCY: Biden Calls Disgusting Harassment of Sinema and Manchin ‘Part of the Process.’

    Biden is basically inviting continued harassment of senators of his own party but, hey, no mean tweets.

    UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Seems like this gives Sinema and Manchin an excuse to switch parties and blame the Dems’ activist wing. Sure they’ll get grief from that, but when you’re already being chased into the bathroom. . . .

    The Dems like harassing those with whom they disagree, and they especially like having the power of government behind them when they do it:

    The Department of Justice is launching an effort to combat what it said is an "increase" in "threats of violence" against school officials and teachers across the country.

    "Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values," Attorney General Merrick Garland said of the effort in a statement Monday. "Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety."

    The guy the Dems wanted on the Supreme Court now says that disagreeing with the local school board makes you a terrorist.  Nope, no way that's going to be abused.

    Riot in the streets, rob from stores, burn down city blocks--FBI stands back.  Tell your elected school board you don't want your kids learning toxic racism in schools--FBI will be there to arrest you.

    These people are disgusting.

    Update:



    Tuesday, October 05, 2021

    When The Public Schools Fail

    I'm a little hesitant to talk about "failing schools".  As a teacher, when I see a "failing school" I ask why is it considered failing.  Of course it's considered failing if a large number of students is failing, but where does the fault lie in that?  My observations tell me that "failing schools" often have a lot more problems than just low grades--those problems are brought from the community into the schools by the students.  But if there are discipline problems, why are there discipline problems?  It's not like the teachers of the school don't want order and an opportunity to teach, so why do schools have discipline problems?

    The answer is simple.  The moment parents or community groups challenge a rule or a disciplinary action, the dam begins to break.  Administrators, either at the school or the district level, give in because doing so is easier (for them) than maintaining a standard.  The moment students know there is no penalty for misbehavior, you get plenty of misbehavior.  And why would you expect any different?

    So I place the burden of "bad" schools on the students, the community those students come from, and administrators.  Yes, there are incompetent teachers as well as bad teachers--those who made the news awhile back, changing students' answers on standardized tests to make themselves or their students look better, for example--but for the most part I don't think teachers carry the lion's share of responsibility for a school's being considered "bad" or "failing".  You can say that since I'm a teacher, my view is somewhat self-serving--and it would be if it weren't sincere.  On this blog I have never shied away from calling out bad teachers, but teachers don't usually support lax disciplinary policies or stupid grading policies.  When a school has those, it cannot help but spiral out of control.  It will be a "failing school".  When a district doesn't care about student achievement, there will be many "failing schools".

    That's what happened in this district:

    In what could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, middle-class black families in Queens are mobilizing against the city Department of Education’s routine acceptance of rotten public schools.

    As The Post’s Georgett Roberts and Selim Algar report, these parents in District 29 aren’t taking “We need more resources” as an excuse.

    “A lot of people knew that it was bad,” explains local activist Michael Duncan, “but they didn’t know it was this bad.”

    How bad? District-wide, just 28 percent of black students in grades 3-8 passed their 2019 state math exams and just 37 percent passed English. At some schools, almost no one passed: A whopping 94 percent of fifth-graders at PS 134 in Hollis, for example, flunked math; 83 percent bombed English.

    No wonder the district saw a 13 percent drop in enrollment over the past four years. These are the children, after all, of middle-class black homeowners, “successful people,” Duncan points out. “The results in our schools are not reflective of the community. Something is wrong here.”

    Money’s not the problem. PS 134 spent $27,000 per student in 2019, much more than double the national average (New York state spends the most per pupil in the country). Catholic schools and small private schools in the area spend far less, with far better results.

    No, the problem, Duncan and others in the new Students Improvement Association say, is that the DOE’s chief priority is making the adults who run the schools happy, rather than ensuring kids get the best education.

    Failed superintendents, principals and teachers aren’t fired; they’re dumped on majority-minority districts. Meanwhile, the de Blasio-era rollback of discipline has also fueled classroom disorder, as Queens state Sen. Leroy Comrie has warned.

    District 29 isn’t unique: Gotham spent nearly $27,000 for every public school student across the city in 2018 — with dismal results. But the teachers union and other special interests do just fine.

    With the pandemic further exposing the DOE’s priorities of serving the adults, not the kids, the rebellion in District 29 could force a sea change: If enough parents refuse to accept the system’s indifference to learning, a change will have to come. 

    Let's hope.

    Appreciated

    Is it Teacher Appreciation Week or something?  We usually "celebrate" that in May--maybe that's a California thing?--but I've heard a little about it this week, too.

    Yesterday, all our teachers (and who knows, perhaps other staff as well) each received a small bottle of scented hand sanitizer from the Senior Class.  There was a tag with a witty comment attached.  I thought that was nice.

    Today each of us received a 1" succulent plant from the Junior Class.  A popsicle stick sign in each one said "Thanks for helping (school name) students grow!", and on the back it said "from the juniors in student government".  Awesome!

    The standard has been set.  I wonder if we're getting anything from the sophomores tomorrow....

    Update, 10/6/21:  Today we got Altoids and lip balm :)

    Update, 10/11/21:  I forgot to add last week that the freshmen gave us baggies of candy.  Were they sending a message, one way or the other, by including an Airhead? :-)

    Monday, October 04, 2021

    The Obliteration of Standards In Pursuit of "Social Justice"

    Hard to disagree with this:

    Societies set standards for a host of reasons, though two are primary.  First, standards, whether civil or legal, allow us to measure objective reality.  For instance, the purpose of standards, such as school grading, is to identify the relative skill of people in a particular endeavor–with the endeavor in schools being the ability to read, write, and reason.  Second, and flowing from the first, standards allow us to identify those people who excel in that skill set and promote them and, as a corollary, to find and help those who fail to meet the standard. Moreover, the effectiveness of particular efforts can be assessed.

    Everything in the above paragraph is either antithetical to, and under direct attack from, progressive leftists. They have no desire to identify objective reality.  They have no desire for a meritocracy.  They have no desire to assess the effectiveness of any efforts they embrace to address supposed problems.  Their goal is not to benefit society by upholding a meritocracy or, at the other end of the scale, to help those they claim to want to help. Instead, they simply want permanent political power in this country.  Everything else is secondary.  And to accomplish their real goal, they invoke the charge of “systemic racism” to attack standards and the facts that inform those standards.

    Read the whole thing.

    Your Disapproval Does Not Change Reality

    How much damage did this ineffective policy cause?

    New Zealand has abandoned its policy of COVID-elimination and will instead shift its focus towards a "contain and control" approach after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged more than a month of restrictions had not got the country to zero cases.  

    The nation recorded a further 29 community infections on Monday, taking the number of cases in the current Delta outbreak to 1,357.  

    The first case in the latest outbreak emerged in Auckland on August 17, prompting Ms Ardern to order a Level 4 nationwide lockdown while declaring: "We want to be short and sharp, not light and long". 

    "Short and sharp, not light and long".  Reality doesn't care about your witty quips, either.

    Will the KFC guys still be charged with "breaching public health rules"?

    Just the language here should turn your blood to ice:

    Auckland will move to a Level 3 lockdown from midnight on Tuesday. However, freedoms will still be severely limited, with residents confined to their homes unless they are attending school, work or shopping.

    The rest of the country remains at a Level 2 lockdown with shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs all open. 

    "Freedoms will still be severely limited".  Amazing to hear that in the Anglosphere, which used to be a beacon of freedom in the world.  For the BBC such talk is just another day at the office.

    Sunday, October 03, 2021

    What A Strange View

    What could possibly motivate someone to complain about increased range from an electric vehicle?

    Think about that. There is a fast, comfortable electric car that will go a full five-hundred and twenty miles before you need to stop and plug it in. As Jasper said when he stepped out the Kwik-E-Mart freezer, “What a time to be alive.”

    But, like, do you really even want an electric car that can go 520 miles? The more I stare at that figure, the more I think the answer to that question is: Maybe I don’t.

    I could be completely off-base here, but there's only one general reason I can come up with for not supporting as much fuel efficiency as possible:  less opportunity to complain about global warming, less opportunity to control others, increased standard of living.  In other words, for upbeat people like me, there's no downside--and that's the downside.

    Fire up those nuclear power plants while we're at it, to keep those cars powered.

    Not A Good Game

    4-0 Army played at 1-3 Ball State (Muncie, Indiana) yesterday.  Ball State returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and it went downhill from there.  After spotting them 21 points, Army clawed back in the 2nd half but it was not to be.  Final score:  28-16.

    Our next game is at Wisconsin, followed by #19 Wake Forest.  Ugh.

    Friday, October 01, 2021

    Zuby Says...

    Not being a fan of rap music, I've never heard of this Zuby chap--but I like what he says here:

    Very hot take. I am not convinced that the actions of governments around the world have saved more lives than they destroyed over the last 18 months... It's feasible that them doing absolutely nothing would have led to a similar or better overall result - all things considered.

    I've thought about this a lot. I believe the vast majority of govt rules and policies have been a net negative. Many have directly and indirectly harmed or killed people. Strong suggestions to 'wash your hands, take vitamin D, and lose weight' would have been more effective.

    It was known from March/April 2020 that it was elderly people and those with major co-morbidities who were high risk. Instead of being calm, sensible, and trying to prioritise and protect said individuals (as many smart people suggested), they shut down the whole planet. SMH

    If the world was run by sane, decent people, who care about liberty, they would have communicated transparent facts and honest risk statistics - by demographic Made health suggestions based on real science And allowed people to do what's best for them and their loved ones.

    The notion that government bureaucrats, giant corporations, and career politicians care about you, your friends, and your family more than you do is absurd. As is the notion that they know what's best for each individual's health and wellbeing.

    They won't recommend sunlight, vitamin D, zinc, exercise, fat loss, or prophylactics... But they will force masks (even outdoors), business closures, house arrests, quarantining after negative tests, and other nonsensical BS... It was never about health. Clearly.

    Preach.   

    Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

    If you want to see education thought at a twisted low, look no further than this example:

    A YouTube video posted by Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, details a new grading scale that lacks the letter "F."

    The system, announced during the 2021-22 school year, does not include 0-49.9 percentiles for students.

    "Our whole intent is to ensure that grades focus on the process of learning," Principal Christina Pierre said in the video. "Therefore, grades will not include behaviors, attitude, tardiness to class, whether the assignment was turned in late or on time. There's other ways that we can communicate those things to parents."

    Associate Principal Norman Bell went on to elaborate that students are encouraged to retake/revise tests, quizzes, papers, projects and have a 10-day window to do so from the date the grade is posted. 

    I can agree that grades should reflect academic achievement and not behavior, but retaking assessments just to get a higher grade defeats the purpose of the assessment in the first place.  Any incentive to do well on a test or quiz is removed, leaving the first attempt as nothing more than a "test reconnaissance".  It's a system designed with a student's mentality rather than an educator's; students view grades as a commodity to be hoarded, educators view grades as a record of achievement towards a set of academic standards.  This system is definitely of the "get the highest grade" genre, rather than the "let's see if the student has learned anything" genre.  It sickens me when educators at any level advocate this sort of system.

    Rather than insist on learning, they just get rid of the grade that shows that students aren't learning.  Then they let students retake a test just to get a higher grade.  What, exactly, does the grade signify at that point?  The ability to hoard a commodity, is all.

    And lest you think that this was done in a not-overly-full-of-white-students school,  US News shows this school to be 63.5% white and 9.7% Asian.

    Thursday, September 30, 2021

    I Finally Made It

    It took me 24 years, but I have finally made it to the highest number on my district's pay scale--short of taking on another class or some other stipend-paying responsibility, of course.

    I'm not quite happy working in my district, though.  It's a very poorly run organization.  Very poorly run.  And that makes for a lot of crap to run downhill to the schools.  A lot of that crap is of my district's own making.

    I really liked Rapid City when I was there this past summer, so I looked recently--and sure enough, there are math teacher openings there.  The highest pay shown on the job listings is exactly half of what I make here.

    So I just have to gut it out, rack up some good retirement pay, and then leave this state.  At most that means six more years of this crap--with reasonable pay.  And then a reasonable retirement.

    Be The Americans The Australian Citizens Are Trying To Be

    An ominous read:

    I used to watch WWII documentaries about Germany and ask, “Why didn’t those civilians fight back before walking into a gas chamber?” Now I know.

    The United States has gone from the land of the free and the home of the brave to: “Show me your vaccine passport or you’re fired.” The truly disturbing part is that it took only 18 months for Americans to allow their freedoms to erode. Many Americans on the left, happy to be told what to do, welcome the tyranny.

    What’s coming next? Well, have you seen what’s happening in Australia?

    Watch this brief video, unless you don’t like to see unarmed girls and women (and men) strangled, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, slammed to the ground, and pepper-sprayed...

    Australians are fighting for freedoms they took for granted in early 2020, and are being brutalized by cops who are doing the dirty work of a government that believes it’s ok to beat people protesting Draconian reactions for a virus that has a 98.8% survival rate on their island...

    We should look to Australia to see what is coming our way next, and keep watching those WWII documentaries.

     

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021

    "Segregating By Race Is Bad"

    Here's the 2nd "enemy of my enemy is my friend" post in a row.  I'm not much of a fan of Bill Maher, but when he's right, he's right:


    "Believing in separate but equal, that's out of step--by 67 years."  Yep.

    "...you get so woke you come back out the racist side".  Yep.

    Lots more good stuff there, watch the whole thing.

    The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

    Or "politics makes strange bedfellows".  Or "a stopped clock is right twice a day".  Whatever.  I may agree with this woman on nothing else, but I'll agree with her on vaccine mandates, even if I don't agree with her reasoning:

    A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Greater New York chapter warned of another “uprising,” similar to the George Floyd protests of last year, because of vaccine mandates, reported the Daily Wire.

    “We’re putting this city on notice that your mandate will not be another racist, social distance practice. Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising,” said Chivona Newsome.


    Monday, September 27, 2021

    Show Me Your Papers (said with best German accent)

    Today all employees in my district received a voice mail and an email.  Identifying information has been removed from the email, otherwise it's copied:

    Good afternoon, 

    In August, state officials issued a health order which requires all individuals providing services to California schools to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. As an employee of XXXX School District, you are subject to the requirements of this health order. 

    Before Oct. 8, all employees must verify their vaccination status. You can do so by using your district login credentials to access the “Verify COVID-19 Vaccination/Testing” tile found in **link**.

    Click the “Verify Vaccination Status” option from the main menu. You can log in while at work or at home and on any device including your smartphone or tablet. (Taking pictures of your documents with a mobile device may be easier than scanning them in.) 

    Detailed instructions on this process are attached to this email. You can also read detailed instructions on how to complete this process at **link**.  

    If you are fully vaccinated, you have met the requirements of the health order once you submit your vaccination verification and receive a confirmation email. You are not required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing but are encouraged to test every other week to screen for asymptomatic infections. 

    If you are not fully vaccinated, or if you fail to verify your vaccination status by Oct. 8, you will be required to test for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Testing will be made available to you at no charge. Testing locations may include your school or worksite, district testing sites, health care providers, or private providers. More information on testing can be found in the FAQs. Each week, those required to test will need to return to the verification system (found in **link**) to verify their result.

    If you need more information or would like to submit a question about the process please visit **link**.

    We understand that any distraction from supporting our students, families and co-workers is a burden. Thank you for doing your part to help meet the requirements of this health order and maintain the safety of our schools and community. 

    I have to "show my papers" in order to work.  There are places in this country--for example, our two largest cities--where you have to "show your papers" in order to go out to eat, and suggestions of requiring your "papers" to go to the grocery store no longer seem so farfetched.  We continue to slide away from being "citizens" and slide closer to being "subjects" of the state.  Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.

    Update:  I never dreamed the Australians would have sunk so low, so fast:

    Australian officials on Monday again reminded their subjects that the nation's "zero COVID" strategy has somehow given them the power to strip the people of their freedoms.

    Government leaders in the state of New South Wales — where the bureaucracy just a month ago announced that it was giving vaccinated citizens a "reward" of one extra hour outside their homes for recreation time — announced during a Monday press briefing that unvaccinated folks "will lose their freedoms" in October, Sky News reported...

    The state has been touting its 70% threshold goal and said Monday that it expected to hit that goal by Oct. 11. The updated "freedoms" for the 80% threshold will include freely traveling anywhere in NSW; allowing people to stand up and drink in pubs (aka "vertical drinking"); up to 10 visitors at a private residence; groups of up to 20 people allowed to gather outside; no limits on fully vaccinated attendance at weddings and funerals; and a number of other "extra freedoms" the government will deign to give the hoi polloi.  

    Perhaps Mr. Jefferson's Tree of Liberty needs a little watering down under.

    Saturday, September 25, 2021

    Who Is The Most Famous Person You've Met?

    At 7th period (happy hour) yesterday we had a brief conversation about the most famous person we'd ever met.  The most famous I could come up with was Dr. Edward Teller, but today I realized that while he might be the most significant person I've ever met, he wasn't the most famous.  No, that distinction goes to the Captain himself, William Shatner.

    Who is the most famous person you've met?

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    One Potential Source of Post-Retirement Income Is No Longer Available To Me

    And it hasn't been for a couple of years:

    On Sept. 30, 2019, the Navy ended its decades-old NCPACE program, which provided classroom-based college courses to sailors and Marines at sea.

    The Program for Afloat College Education, or PACE as it was known then, began in 1974 as classroom instruction in basic college courses, usually taught by a civilian instructor. Through the years, the program, and name, evolved.

    Most recently, the program existed in two versions: the NCPACE-IL and NCPACE-DL.

    While NCPACE-IL offered free "Instructor Led" college courses in a classroom setting onboard a deployed ship, the NCPACE-DL program offers "Distance Learning" programs to sailors and Marines at Types 2 or 4 sea-duty commands. The courses can be taken while deployed or in homeport.

    While the NCPACE-IL program is ending, the NCPACE-DL program remains unchanged.

    What a disappointment.

    Pretending

    You can pretend there’s no difference between the sexes, but the rest of us choose to live in the real world.

    If you don’t like boys’ physically dominating girls in sports, keep the sexes separate in sports.

    Hat tip:  NewsAlert.

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    Do You Know Why Schools Spend So Much Time Focusing On Students' Out-of-School Behavior?

    Because doing that is much easier than actually teaching:

    A week after the pandemic forced Minneapolis students to attend classes online, the city school district’s top security chief got an urgent email, its subject line in all caps, alerting him to potential trouble. Just 12 seconds later, he got a second ping. And two minutes after that, a third.

    In each instance, the emails warning Jason Matlock of “QUESTIONABLE CONTENT” pointed to a single culprit: Kids were watching cartoon porn.

    Over the next six months, Matlock got nearly 1,300 similar emails from Gaggle, a surveillance company that monitors students’ school-issued Google and Microsoft accounts. Through artificial intelligence and a team of content moderators, Gaggle tracks the online behaviors of millions of students across the U.S. every day. The sheer volume of reports was overwhelming at first, Matlock acknowledged, and many incidents were utterly harmless. About 100 were related to animated pornography and, on one occasion, a member of Gaggle’s remote surveillance team flagged a fictional story that referenced “underwear.”

    Hundreds of others, however, suggested imminent danger.

    In emails and chat messages, students discussed violent impulses, eating disorders, abuse at home, bouts of depression and, as one student put it, “ending my life.” At a moment of heightened social isolation and elevated concern over students’ mental health, references to self-harm stood out, accounting for nearly a third of incident reports over a six-month period. In a document titled, “My Educational Autobiography,” students at Roosevelt High School on the south side of Minneapolis discussed bullying, drug overdoses, and suicide. “Kill me,” one student wrote in a document titled “goodbye.”

    Nearly a year after The 74 submitted public records requests to understand the Minneapolis district’s use of Gaggle during the pandemic, a trove of documents offer an unprecedented look into how one school system deploys a controversial security tool that grew rapidly during COVID-19,  but carries significant civil rights and privacy implications.

    We're doing it for the chiiiiiildren, it's for their saaaaaaaafety.

    Why Do So Many People Want To Compel Others To Wear Masks?

    It's just weird.  Are you so antisocial that you don't like seeing another human's face?  Or do you just like the fact that you get to compel someone else to do something they don't want to do?

    On August 24, Oregon governor Kate Brown instated a state masking requirement that requires everyone five years and older, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield in outdoor spaces if they are less than six feet apart from individuals not in their household.

    “Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.”

    On August 24, Oregon had 49,889 active cases of COVID-19. As of yesterday, Oregon had 86,623 active cases of COVID-19 — an increase of 73 percent from the day the governor announced the outdoor mask requirement. Keep in mind, cases merely mean positive tests; an active case does not necessarily mean that person is significantly ill. The seven-day average of daily new cases has actually declined a bit, from a peak of 2,322 on August 30 to 1,616 yesterday. This wave appears to have peaked.

    Nonetheless, the fact that the state with the most far-reaching masking requirement has seen a 73 percent increase in active cases in about a month is a vivid illustration of the limitations of masks. The Delta variant is really contagious, and no state can mask their way out of the pandemic.  link

    How many more examples do we need to see before that truth gets through your skull?   And then to force this upon children, who are the least vulnerable population?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly removed guidance for phasing out masks and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts in schools, cached versions of the agency’s website show. 

    The CDC made the changes when it updated its guidance on universal indoor masking for students, staff, teachers and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status, on Aug. 5. 

    "We believe that our state, as well as teachers unions, probably had an influence over this change," Jonathan Zachreson, an advocate for fully reopening California schools, told Fox News. "It's basically mask indefinitely in schools forever, and there is no off-ramps. So it's really disappointing to see that." 

    Teachers unions have previously influenced changes to the CDC’s school-related guidance, reports have shown.

    These people really are sick.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    John McWhorter

    Politically, John McWhorter and I aren't on the same page.  I agree with him on race issues, though:

    Black teenagers often see school as “White,” writes John McWhorter, a Columbia University linguistics professor, in the New York Times.

    He blames the in-your-face, macro-aggressive racism of the past for persuading students that studying hard is disloyal to your race or “racially inauthentic.”

    That sort of racism is over, McWhorter writes. Black students should be told they can do well in school, if they “do the work"...

    McWhorter believes “it is more progressively Black to ask why we can’t seek for Black kids to get better on the tests.”

    Type "McWhorter" in the search box at the top or bottom of this page to see other posts I've written about him, especially after seeing/hearing him speak at this past summer's Freedom Fest in Rapid City.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

    I've Said It A Million Times Before

    Consistency is not a strong suit of the left:

    In New York City, you need your photo ID and a vaccination card to enter these locations. The liberal self-own here is just epic. Photo identification is Jim Crow 2.0, but it's okay for COVID vaccination status. It's mind-blowing how liberals so expertly dice their talking points into sashimi.  link

    Add this to all the leftie politicians and celebrities who have publicly violated 'rona-mitigation laws (the most recent being Donkey Chompers and the mayor of San Francisco, as well as Grey Goose Pelosi, de Blasio, Newsom, Whitmer) and it's no wonder why people with intelligence don't take those people seriously--on 'rona or any other topic.

    Who have I left off the list?  Add them in the comments.

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    Talking About Data

    I believe this to be true:

    A familiar happening: Teachers come together, pull out last week’s assessment, and talk about the student data to determine gaps in knowledge to plan adjustments to instruction.

    But are these data discussions actually leading to tangible outcomes for students? 

    According to Heather Hill, a researcher and professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the answer is no. In a review of 10 studies -- each of which examined the impact of whole-team data discussion -- Hill found that two had positive impacts, one had a negative impact, and the rest had zero impact. 

    “Across 10 different programs which tried to see this theory in action, there were zero [showing] impacts of getting teachers to really be productive, understand what kids don’t know, and change their instruction,” said Hill, in an interview with Edthena. “That convinced me we’re doing something wrong in schools.” 

    So should educators fully eliminate the practice of reviewing student data? Definitely not. 

    Just throw out the group discussion of such data.

    Read the whole thing.

    Trigger Warnings Don't Work

    Hint:  they were always about control, never about people's feelings:

    The original proponents of trigger warnings on campus argued that they would empower students suffering from trauma to delve into difficult material. “The point is not to enable — let alone encourage — students to skip readings or our subsequent class discussion,” the philosopher Kate Manne wrote in The New York Times. “It’s about enabling everyone’s rational engagement.” 

    Now, about a decade after trigger warnings arrived on college campuses, it’s clear that an avoidance rationale is officially competing with the original lean-in logic. 

    A recent Inside Higher Ed piece by Michael Bugeja, an Iowa State journalism professor, is emblematic of this shift. In light of the tumultuous times (a “mental-health pandemic,” ongoing sexual violence and racism, the anxiety of returning to in-person instruction), Bugeja says that trigger warnings are needed now more than ever. All faculty members should follow his lead, he argues, and include detailed trigger warnings on their syllabi accompanied by the following note: “You don’t have to attend class if the content elicits an uncomfortable emotional response.” 

    Bugeja’s article prompted us to review the latest research on the efficacy of trigger warnings. We found no evidence that trigger warnings improve students’ mental health. What’s more, we are now convinced that they push students and faculty members alike to turn away from the study of vitally important topics that are seen as too “distressing"....

    We appreciate that advocates of trigger warnings have drawn attention to the fact that students’ mental health affects their learning. And we share their commitment to treating students with compassion. As a result, we think it’s imperative to acknowledge that the best evidence to date finds that trigger warnings do not minimize anxiety and emotional distress, and might even do the opposite. Furthermore, applying trigger warnings to any material that elicits an “uncomfortable emotional response” makes a mockery of the real challenges faced by those suffering from PTSD. As the Harvard study we cited earlier concluded, trigger warnings are “unvetted interventions” and their use is “irresponsible to victims of trauma.” In our view, the problems with trigger warnings extend well beyond mental-health concerns. By contributing to a misguided safety-and-security model of education, trigger warnings ultimately deprive all students of the most powerful learning opportunities.

    An Interesting Compliment

    I've never had more than one Teacher's Assistant, I've never needed more than one.  This year, however, because a counselor had nowhere to put a student but I already had a TA, I agreed to take a second one to help the counselor out.

    The TA I have later in the morning told me today that he's good friends with the TA I have earlier in the day, and that kid told him that he's glad that I don't let him use his phone in class at all--because it forces him to do his homework after he's run out of whatever I give him.  Thus, he has his afternoons entirely free because he can get his homework done during my TA period.

    Isn't it weird how they'd choose to play on their phones--which they often tell me is boring because they're just searching for something to entertain themselves--rather than do their work, even though they know they'd actually be happier if they got their work done?  That they need to be compelled to do what they know would actually make them happier?  Addiction is a strange thing.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    The So-called Logic of the 'Rona-phobes

     https://twitter.com/justin_hart/status/1438230531561254913:

    "The protected need to be protected from the unprotected by forcing the unprotected to use the protection that didn't protect the protected."

    Only Certain Groups Can Say Certain Words

    This author says, not so fast:

    Is it acceptable for pedagogical purposes to enunciate the epithet “[N-word]”?...

    I am an African American, born in 1954 in the Deep South (Columbia, S.C.). My parents of blessed memory were refugees who fled Jim Crow oppression. They were branded as “[N-word].” And I have been called “[N-word]” too. 

    Should my race make a difference, cloaking me with more leeway in my pedagogical options than white colleagues? I abjure such a “privilege.” In the domain of culture there ought be no boundaries that fence out people based on racial identification or ascription. There ought be no words that Blacks are permitted to say but that whites or others are prohibited from saying. While racist use of “[N-word]” should be condemned no matter the racial identity of the speaker, nonracist deployment of “[N-word]” should be accepted no matter the racial identity of the speaker. ... 

    Racism, alas, remains a powerful presence that displays itself ubiquitously, as in the deeply disturbing campaign to intimidate dissident instruction about the history of American racial wrongs. Racism is a looming, destructive force that we must vigorously resist. Vigilance is essential. But so, too, is a capacity and willingness to draw crucial distinctions. There is a world of difference that separates the racist use of “[N-word]” from the vocalizing of “[N-word]” for pedagogical reasons aimed at enabling students to attain important knowledge.

    Some words we don't use in public merely because they're base and vulgar, with synonyms a-plenty for substitution.  In certain instances, though, they can be appropriate.  So it is with some slurs.  

    Let's be honest, there's some quality literature out there that can't be read without racial slurs, and that includes more than just Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and James Baldwin.  The article above insists on an academic use of certain terms that otherwise wouldn't be appropriate.

    Dress Code

    Our staff continues to marvel at the clothing, or lack thereof, that so many of our students are wearing--yet only a few of us enforce the rules rather than just complain about it.  Yesterday a student asked to interview about the dress code for the school's newspaper, and as I was on my way to a meeting I asked her to send me her questions via email.  She did, and I replied today.  Here it is, with only the school name edited:

    1.     Why do you enforce the dress code? 

    I enforce all rules, whether or not I agree with them.  Having rules that you don’t enforce breeds contempt for the rules that are enforced.  Either get rid of the rules or enforce them, and since the rule exists, I enforce it.  The dress code just happens to be a rule I support.

    2.      Do you feel the dress code is necessary for a safe learning environment? Why or why not?

    The dress code isn’t for safety, it’s for decorum.  There are times and places where it’s appropriate to display your body, and school is not the place.  I was once told that if you’re a professional, if you don’t change into more comfortable clothes when you get home from work, you’re not dressed appropriately.  I’m not saying that students should necessarily be that way, but that philosophy merits a little thought.  If you’d raft down the river in the same clothes you are wearing to school, I’d suggest that you’re not appropriately dressed for school.

    3.  What does dress coding look like for girls vs for boys?

    When I arrived at XXXX in 2003, the majority of dress code violations were by boys—pants sagging under their butts.  Today, with the same dress code, now it’s the girls who are the majority of violators.  It’s not the dress code that is the problem, it’s the students who don’t comply with it that are the problem.

    4.    Do you believe the dress code is fair or unfair? Why?

    Fair or unfair?  I don’t know what that means.  It’s *reasonable*, and complying with it is not burdensome.  Keep in mind that in work environments, showing off too much of your body can be considered sexual harassment.  Additionally, I speak to many of our (younger) women teachers, and even they are often mortified by what some students, especially girls, wear to school.  This isn’t a “men oppressing women” thing—the dress code is district-wide, and there are women on the school board—this is an “adults teaching the slightest bit of decorum” thing.

    5.    How do you go about dress coding students? 

    I give students a copy of the district-approved dress code and notify that student’s vice principal of the violation.  If the violation is egregious, I have been known to ask the student to leave class and put on something more appropriate for school.

     

    Now let me ask *you* a few questions! 

    1.     Do you agree that there should be *some* dress code, that there should be *any* limits on clothing? 

    2.     Why do some students seem so interested in showing as much of their bodies as possible?

    3.     Does being “body positive” imply that you should show off as much of your body as possible? 

    4.     Is school for “expressing your individuality” or is it for “conforming so that the mission of education can be best achieved”?

    5.     Do you want to see your parents, or your teachers, wearing the types of clothes in public that students in violation of our dress code wear at school?

     

    I don’t expect you to reply to my questions.  I merely offer them for your consideration as you draft your article.

    And if you feel I'm just some curmudgeon, I can't tell you how many butt cheeks--actual butt cheeks!--I see daily sticking out from the bottom of shorts, or how many midriffs/belly buttons I see each day.  It's inappropriate at school.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    Wait By The River Long Enough, And Eventually The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By

    In other words, many times we don't have to go after our enemies; give them time and opportunity and they'll do at least as much damage to themselves as we would do.  That thought came to me as I read this piece from Larry Sand* about the Los Angeles teachers union president's recent comments:

    In a stunningly revealing exposé in Los Angeles Magazine, United Teachers of Los Angeles president Cecily Myart-Cruz told the world what many of us already knew – that her primary concern is advancing her Marxist political agenda rather than educating children. The in-depth piece has received much media ink, notably her comment about pandemic-related learning loss. When asked about how her union’s insistence on keeping L.A.’s schools locked down for over a year may have impacted the city’s k-12 students, Myart-Cruz responded, “There is no such thing as learning loss. Our kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.” She went on to say that “learning loss” is a “fake crisis marketed by shadowy purveyors of clinical and classroom assessments.”

    Her jaw-dropping words are at odds with those who have researched the subject, however. For example, McKinsey & Company reported in July that the impact of the pandemic on K–12 student learning was significant, “leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the (2020-2021) school year.” The researchers also noted that school shutdowns “widened preexisting opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest.” They add that Blacks were especially hard hit, and that high schoolers have become more likely to drop out of school. They also report that “the crisis had an impact on not just academics but also the broader health and well-being of students, with more than 35 percent of parents very or extremely concerned about their children’s mental health.”

    Even the not-exactly-right-wing Los Angeles Times editorial page trashed Myart-Cruz, stating in no uncertain terms, “Learning loss is real. Stop pretending otherwise.”

    What could I tell you about this person that would be worse than her own words?


    *Full disclosure:  Larry Sand and I serve on the board of directors of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, or CTEN.

    Math Is Harrrrrrrd

    Someone wasn't thinking:

    The capsizing of the Golden Ray cargo ship off the Georgia coast two years ago, which resulted in more than $200 million in damage, was caused by incorrect calculations about the vessel's stability, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.

    It didn't help that a couple watertight doors had been left open, which made the problem go from bad to worse much faster than it had to.

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    When Did American School Officials Become So Anti-American?

    The (lack of ) reasoning behind this decision makes you wonder if these people could find their butts with both hands and a mirror in a well-lit room:

    Students at a Washington state high school wanted to mark the 20th year since the Sept. 11 attacks by wearing red, white and blue at a patriotic-themed game but were refused because the event could "unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently," according to a report.

    Jason Rantz, a host on KTTH 770/94.5FM, reported that the event was canceled by an unnamed staffer at Eastlake High School in Sammamish "at the last minute." A student told the show that he was informed that the "red, white and blue was going to be seen as racially insensitive and may affect people in a way that we will not understand and for that reason that we were to change our theme."

    It's not like people of all races weren't killed that day.

    Sunday, September 12, 2021

    So Much Is Unexplained Here

    Why are these health care workers so reluctant to get a vaccine?

    Why would a hospital rather fire them now than have them unvaccinated, which is exactly how they've been the last 18 months and more?

    Something's not right.

    A hospital in upstate New York will put baby deliveries on hold after too many workers in its maternity unit resigned over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to local reports.

    Lewis County General Hospital will be forced to temporarily stop all baby deliveries after Sept. 24 due to the staff's refusal to get vaccinated, WWNY-TV reported.

    So far, six employees in the hospital’s maternity ward have chosen to resign instead of getting the vaccine, while another seven are undecided, Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer said during a news conference on Friday, according to the station.

    "If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to reengage in delivering babies here in Lewis County," Cayer said.

    Since the vaccine was mandated for health care workers on Aug. 23, Cayer said that 30 workers have resigned, 20 of whom held clinical roles like nurses, therapists and technicians, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

    While 464 of the hospital’s workers have been vaccinated, 165 others have yet to receive the vaccine, Cayer said.

    "It just is a crazy time," Cayer told the paper, emphasizing that the hospital will not be shutting down services. "It’s not just LCHS-centric. Rural hospitals everywhere are really trying to figure out how we’re going to make it work."

    Saturday, September 11, 2021

    Hypocrisy

     Consistency has never been a strong suit of the left.



    Jelly

    I went to a friend's today to see her new RV.  She and her wife sold an SUV and their old RV to buy an almost-new 31-footer.  It's a motor home, not a trailer, but it's sort of a toy hauler, as the back 6' or so is a "garage" that is the perfect size to carry their Honda scooters.  The ramp for the garage doesn't open out the back, though, but out the right side, making it convenient in shorter-length camp spots.  Oh, and pretty much the entire left side is a slideout.

    I'm a little jealous.

    I have dubbed this vehicle the Taj Mahal.  Let the camping begin!

    The Highlander Club

    Years ago, when I arrived at my current school, there was a student club called the Highlander Club. I don't know what else that club did, but each Friday its members wore kilts to school. The teacher with me in this picture was a club member when he was a student there (just a few years before my arrival). He's drafted a half-dozen or so teachers to wear kilts on Fridays in order to help drum up student support for reinstituting the club.
    Yes, I'm wearing a woodland camouflage utility kilt and a West Point t-shirt :-)

    Army Football Team Today, 9/11/21

    Army never trailed, and even though Western Kentucky scored a touchdown with 22 seconds remaining in the game, Army pulled out the win 38-35.

    Thursday, September 09, 2021

    How Does Booze Relate To The 'Rona?

    Australia has turned totalitarian so fast I can hardly believe it:

    Residents in apartment blocks locked-down by NSW Health are having their alcohol deliveries policed as part of a policy to limit the number of drinks being consumed each day.

    NSW Health has imposed rules limiting people in “NSW Health controlled buildings” to a certain amount of alcohol each day in a bid to “ensure the safety of health staff and residents”...

    Residents are allowed to receive a ration of one of the following: six beers or pre-mixed drinks, one bottle of wine, or one 375ml bottle of spirits.

    Excess alcohol is being confiscated until lockdown rules are lifted...

    However it is unclear what powers NSW Health has to limit the delivery of alcohol to people isolating in their own homes; public health orders do not mention alcohol limits...

    A spokeswoman for the Sydney Local Health District said when NSW Health took control of apartment buildings for the purposes of limiting the spread of coronavirus, the buildings became subject to alcohol consumption restrictions.

    What's next, mandatory calisthenics?  You might be thinking that I shouldn't be giving them any ideas, but they already got the ideas from Orwell.

    The True Purpose of Masks

    Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, nails it on masks:

    Masks, as Twitter wags have noted, are by now the equivalent of MAGA hats for Blue America. As washed-up child activist David Hogg put it last year, “I feel the need to continue wearing my mask outside, even though I’m fully vaccinated, because the inconvenience of having to wear a mask is more than worth it to have people not think I’m a conservative.” 

    Such statements capture an unfortunate fact about our society: We’re so politically tribalized that even our response to the pandemic says more about politics than about anything else. That’s especially true when it comes to masking...

    The problem is that despite all the calls to “follow the science,” the science on masks doesn’t actually demonstrate that they are magic talismans against contracting or spreading COVID. In the right circumstances, they are modestly useful. Medical personnel who wear N-95 masks, gloves and goggles while tending to patients very seldom get infected (in fact, when they catch COVID, it’s usually at home, not at work). 

    On the other hand, the average person walking around Walgreens wearing a “face covering” made of cloth is mostly engaging in Hygiene Theater. Some “face coverings” even make things worse: The ever-popular fleece neck gaiter appears to do so, by breaking up exhaled droplets into smaller ones that stay in the air longer...

    A recent study conducted by a US Army medical team and published in the Southern Medical Journal looked closely at mask mandates in Bexar County, Texas, home of San Antonio, and found that the mandates didn’t help. Its conclusion: “There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.” 

    Nonetheless, mask mandates are a common response to COVID spikes (as are lockdowns, which the World Health Organization recommends against). They provide a sense that politicians are doing something, and they have become a tribal identifier for people on the left.

    Wearing a mask lets you publicly proclaim that you take COVID seriously and, by its very visibility, lets leftists show their strength in many cities and neighborhoods, while identifying opponents for shaming and exclusion. (Hogg also commented about “very liberal area[s] where 99 percent of the people you see are wearing masks” — you don’t want to stand out as a Republican there!)

    The very visibility of masking makes shaming easy, and I think many people are into masks as much for the shaming opportunities, or the fear of being shamed, as for any concrete benefit.

    The headline of that article proclaims, "Masks are here to stay as long as libs need to shame their political enemies".  The only so-called science involved is political science.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2021

    What Could Possibly Have Prompted The US Dept of Education To Misrepresent Racial Statistics Regarding Misbehavior In Schools?

    I'm sure it was an entirely innocent mistake (said in deadpan voice indicating sarcasm):

    A recent lawsuit illustrates yet again that the Biden administration makes false claims without evidence.

    On June 4, the Biden administration issued a notice calling for new federal policies about school discipline, in light of the fact that “students of color” are disciplined more often than “their White peers.” It cited a controversial report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights “finding that: Students of color as a whole, as well as by individual racial group, do not commit more disciplinable offenses than their white peers.”

    But as a Washington Post news reporter noted in 2019, the Commission never showed that “finding” was true. The Commission’s chairwoman, who is now President Biden’s nominee to head the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, “pointed to a few spots” in the Commission’s report to “claim that there are no underlying differences in student behavior. But those citations did not offer such evidence. One set of data referenced in the report showed the opposite,” noted The Post’s Laura Meckler.

    Moreover, studies and surveys show that black students do have higher rates of misbehavior in school. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows blacks are much more likely than whites to get into fights at school — 11.4% of blacks did so, compared to 5.2% percent of whites, according to the Education Department’s NCES Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016...

    On August 30, the Education Department finally produced some of the requested emails. The emails show that the Education Department should have known better than to claim that students of color don’t commit more disciplinable offenses than their white peers.