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.

" 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.


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

"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


 Consistency has never been a strong suit of the left.


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.

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Lefties like to insult FoxNews by calling it Faux News.  Does it work the same way with Faux-chi?

The Intercept obtained over 900 pages about EcoHealth Alliance’s U.S.-funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China .

The documents detail two unpublished proposals funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and updates to EcoHealth Alliance’s research.

You will see why the left and Fauci owe Sen. Rand Paul a ton of apologies...

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

The Zoom Variant

Is there a medical justification for this, or just a political one?

A New Jersey student has said he is barred from taking classes at Rutgers University because he has not been vaccinated — even though he is only studying virtually from home.

Logan Hollar, 22, told that he largely ignored the school’s COVID mandate “because all my classes were remote” from his Sandyston home, some 70 miles from Rutgers’ campus in New Brunswick.

But he was locked out of his Rutgers email and related accounts when he went to pay his tuition at the end of last month — and was told that he needed to be vaccinated even though he has no plans to attend in person.

Hollar has now been forced to miss classes that started Sept. 1 — and has been warned it could be weeks before a decision is reached on his application for an exemption to the vaccine mandate, he said.

Now reread what I posted just a few minutes ago.

Healthcare Communism

A friend sent me a quote or paraphrase from an article in the current issue of The Economist:  "Liberals tend to defer to progressives and progressives tend to defer to totalitarians."  Seems true to me.  Then I read this, and the quote above seemed even more true:

And, to be clear, when I assert we live under healthcare communism, I don’t mean communism the way ye olde Karl Marx dreamed it up. I mean something even worse, more insidious—total state control of our lives, who wins and loses, who profits and who fails, who becomes a billionaire and who a pauper, even who survives… in other words communism as practiced in today’s People’s Republic of China and, increasingly, the United States.

Update, 9/8/21: As if on cue:

"Dr. Fauci said if hospitals get any more overcrowded they're going to have to make some very tough choices about who gets an ICU bed," the host continued. "That choice doesn’t seem so tough to me. ‘Vaccinated person having a heart attack? Yes, come right in, we’ll take care of you. Unvaccinated guy who gobbled horse goo? Rest in peace, wheezy.'" 

Scratch a leftie, and a totalitarian bleeds.  And we know how totalitarians like people to die. 

Update #2, 9/9/21The internet is forever:

This Work Week Hasn't Started Off Well

I enjoyed having yesterday off work.  It went downhill after that.

It started when I got to work today and somehow had two entirely different roll sheets for 3rd period.  It didn't take long to figure out what happened--what was supposed to happen next Monday actually happened today, but with errors.

We need another statistics class, and since I'm the only one who teaches statistics, I had to have another such class.  The only way to do that was to move one of my non-statistics classes to another teacher and use that period to give me a new stats class.  The new stats class was created, all right, but it was assigned to me along with the my other class during the same period.  Nobody had moved my other class to their new teacher.

You might think, that's no biggie, someone just needs to push a button in the computer and it's done.  Well, kinda.  But the teacher getting those students doesn't really exist yet.  After a succession of substitute teachers we finally got a long-term substitute a few days ago, and he is to get my class--but he isn't in our computer system yet.  He doesn't have a district-issued laptop, he doesn't even have a district email address yet.

And, because of all this changing, I no longer have a T.A. (teacher's assistant).  Some teachers have several, I need only one--and now that TA is gone.  Can I get another one over 3 weeks into the school year?  Unlikely.

This is the rockiest start I've seen to school in my 25 years of doing this.

Tomorrow we get out of school early but tomorrow afternoon I have an IEP meeting.  Via Zoom.  From home.  I don't enjoy IEP's, and after the last year and a half I despise doing anything by Zoom.  Tomorrow night we have to Zoom from home for Back To School Night--where I'll get to face parents of students I haven't even seen yet, and explain to them how I plan to get their kids caught up after missing the first 3 weeks of the course.

And we have a staff meeting--probably via Zoom--after school on Thursday.  Perhaps Friday will be OK.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Are Bodies Stacking Up Like Cord Wood at Cornell?

Can't blame it on the anti-vaxxers.  Must be people not wearing masks, right?

Cornell University has aggressively pushed its students to get vaccinated, announcing a vaccine mandate for the 2021-22 academic year in April and frequently denying religious and medical exemptions.

As a result, 95 percent of the campus population, both students and faculty, is vaccinated.

Despite this, Cornell University has more than five times the amount of confirmed positive cases during its first week of this academic year than it did during its first week of the 2020-21 academic year, according to the Cornell COVID dashboard.

It's not a pandemic anymore.  It's endemic.  Best learn to live with it. 

And that's exactly what's happening at Cornell.  They're living.  It's time to end the government overreach and mandates and oppression.  At this point I wonder if we don't have rights anymore, but permissions from politicians.

Update, 9/9/21Stanford, too:

While the private California university said the “risk of COVID-19 transmission is very low in masked settings among vaccinated individuals” it has not stopped it from a prohibition on any parties larger than a few people. The school said 95 percent of its students have submitted proof of vaccination.

“Indoor student parties will be prohibited until October 8, the end of the third week of the fall quarter for most students,” Associate Vice Provost Russell Furr said in an email to students. This new prohibition will “help limit the potential for virus transmission in this period when we are returning on-site.”

Update #2, 9/17/21: Brown, too:

Brown University has suspended in-person dining and student organization gatherings due to a slight uptick in positive asymptomatic COVID test results.

As of Sept. 14, there were 91 positive cases of COVID reported over the last seven days, a positivity rate of .7 percent, according to the university’s online data.

The campus also enjoys a vaccine rate of 97.9 percent among students and 95.5 among faculty and staff, the data show.

From the web site:

A free resource for parents and students concerned about the negative impact Critical Race Training has on education. Search our database of close to 400 colleges and universities to learn more about Critical Race Training on campuses nationwide. We've expanded our database immensely (and far beyond higher education) since it was made public and are adding and updating the site daily. Check back often for the latest information.

It's not just for higher ed anymore:

The main focus of is Critical Race Theory and its applications in higher education, as this is where the ideology was first developed and where many individuals are trained. Our database does not yet cover primary or secondary schools.

We recognize that Critical Race Training in primary and secondary education is a growing issue and one that’s significantly more difficult to track.

We’ve included some resources concerning Critical Race Training in primary school....

Spying On Students Is Much Easier Than Teaching Them

Schools should do less of this and more of teaching:

Texas schools are rapidly scaling up the use of technology that monitors email, web history and social media posts of potentially millions of students, often without their knowledge or consent, a Dallas Morning News investigation has found.
Legal and privacy experts have long raised concerns about this technology and questioned its effectiveness in detecting potential threats. Despite those worries, Texas’ schools have spent millions of tax dollars on these services since 2015.
The proliferation of student surveillance has been fueled by nationwide fears about school shootings, suicides and cyberbullying. Among school districts, no state has more contracts with digital surveillance companies than Texas, according to GovSpend, a company that tracks government spending.
What students do away from school on their own time is the concern of parents, not the school.

If Anyone Would Know About the Effects of Over-parenting, It Would Be People At Stanford

Research led by Stanford education professor Jelena Obradović finds that too much parental involvement when children are focused on an activity can undermine behavioral development:

Research has shown that engaged parenting helps children build cognitive and emotional skills.

Too much parental direction, however, can sometimes be counterproductive, according to a new study led by Jelena Obradović, an associate professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education, published March 11 in the Journal of Family Psychology.

In the study, the researchers observed parents’ behavior when kindergarten-age children were actively engaged in playing, cleaning up toys, learning a new game and discussing a problem. The children of parents who more often stepped in to provide instructions, corrections or suggestions or to ask questions – despite the children being appropriately on task – displayed more difficulty regulating their behavior and emotions at other times. These children also performed worse on tasks that measured delayed gratification and other executive functions, skills associated with impulse control and the ability to shift between competing demands for their attention.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

'Rona in Kona

Is the data in this graph false, or not?

If it's accurate, it sure doesn't speak well for all the 'rona mitigation efforts governments around the world have tried.

Facial Recognition Software

For most of us, 1984 was supposed to be a warning rather than a how-to manual:

The government of South Australia, one of the country's six states, has implemented a new policy requiring Australians to use an app with facial recognition software and geolocation to prove that they are abiding by a 14-day quarantine for travel within the country. ..

The app uses geolocation and facial recognition software to track those in quarantine. The app will contact people at random, asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes.

"We don't tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes," Marshall said.

If the resident cannot verify his or her location or identity when requested, the South Australia Health Department will notify the police, who will then conduct an in-person check on the person in quarantine. Marshall said the government will not be storing any of the information provided to the app.

Those people are bat-crap insane.

Health Care in the Time of the 'Rona

I know what let's do.. let's fire them and then cry about being short-staffed and unable to care for all the 'rona patients!

Ohio nurses are pushing back against hospitals requiring them to take the coronavirus vaccine, and a recent survey shows that about 30% of nurses at one Cincinnati medical center would quit before taking the vaccine.

One hundred thirty-six out of 456 nurses who responded to a union survey at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said they would quit their job instead of following a mandate to get vaccinated, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

How can this story possibly be true?

Conservative author and commentator Candace Owens was denied medical care in the form of a coronavirus test by a Colorado laboratory because of her political beliefs, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson reported Thursday.

Owens was sent a letter by Aspen Laboratories' co-founder Suzanna Lee informing her that her "booking" was being cancelled and that she would be "denied service" because of both her aversion to governmental face mask mandates and her analysis of the effectiveness of vaccination shots.

"We cannot support anyone who has pro-actively worked to make this pandemic worse by spreading misinformation, politicizing, and discouraging the wearing of masks and actively dissuading people from receiving life-saving vaccinations," Lee wrote in the letter obtained by "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

I'm sure it's in the name of science.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday Is Kilt Day

One of the younger teachers at my school is also a graduate of said school, and back in his day (not too long before I got there) the school had a Highlander Club.  I remember that club's existence the first few years of my tenure at school, and all I remember of it was that its members wore kilts to school each day.

This teacher is resurrecting the Highlander Club and drafted a few of us teachers to help get the ball rolling.  Accordingly, I ordered a kilt last Saturday and it arrived Tuesday--in plenty of time for those few of us to wear our kilts to school today (Friday)!  

What that teacher doesn't know is that today (I'm typing this post on Wednesday and scheduling it for Friday) I put an additional plan into motion.  I asked one of our woman teachers to send an email asking her fellow woman teachers to wear skirts on Friday for even more support :-)  

This could be fun, I hope it turns out great.

Update, 9/4/21:  Three guys wore kilts (more are on order), and several of our women teachers wore plaid, skirts, etc.  I had one student very adamant that he was going to join the Highlander Club.  It was a fun day for launching the club.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Why Credibility Is So Important

So many of our formerly-trusted institutions have lost their credibility in recent years, and we see the results all around us.  In addition to government, the fields of science in general and medicine in particular have taken pretty strong hits:

Is science itself one of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic? I asked Dr. Scott Atlas at the 13th annual Freedom Conference hosted by the Steamboat Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization. Formerly a professor and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, Atlas is now a senior fellow in health policy at the Hoover Institution.

Atlas has been under constant attacks by the left and the corporate media since he served as a special adviser to former President Trump and a member of the White House coronavirus task force from August to November 2020. The New York Times and the Washington Post ran hit pieces on Atlas, questioning his qualifications despite his distinguished career and scholarship.

Google-owned YouTube also removed a 50-minute video of Atlas’s interview with the Hoover Institute. Twitter took down his tweet that questioned the effectiveness of masks.

Atlas has refused to be silenced. He has a lot to say about how the scientific field and Americans’ trust in it have been tremendously harmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Science has been not just a victim,” he told me, “but actively participated in the self-destruction of its credibility.”

This part struck home with me:

“Science is not supposed to be about intimidating, countering interpretation of data, or abusing, or censoring data,” Atlas said. “Science is not supposed to have a view. Science is only about data and the scientific process. There is never supposed to be ‘an accepted view’ of science.”

Yeah, what he said.  Read the whole thing.

Teachers In The News

It's been a banner week for teachers and it's not even Friday yet!  Let's count down our entries, yes?

At #4, and new one here at RotLC, are the Colorado teachers who pledge to teach critical race theory in their classrooms, even if it's banned.

A project in the name of the late, self-proclaimed socialist college professor Howard Zinn has gathered thousands of signatures of teachers nationwide, including about 100 from Colorado, pledging to teach the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in their classrooms despite any bans by any state government or a local school district.

CRT is a school of thought that believes racism is institutionalized and embedded in America’s history, and that history should be viewed primarily through the lens of racial oppression.

Remember, they want to indoctrinate not their own children, but other people's children.

#3, a Virginia teacher who has been vindicated:

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of an elementary school teacher who was suspended for criticizing the district's proposed transgender policies.

The commonwealth's highest court on Monday rejected Loudoun County Public Schools' appeal to suspend Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher who was placed on administrative leave in May for criticizing the district's proposed policies for transgender students. Cross won a temporary injunction in the state's 12th circuit court in June and subsequently was allowed to return to the classroom...

The updated policies, which the school board approved on Aug. 11, also require teachers to call students by selected names and pronouns that align with their "gender identity." Cross spoke out against that provision in a May 25 school board meeting, days before he was suspended.

"I love all of my students, but I would never lie to them regardless of the consequences," Cross said. "I'm a teacher, but I serve God first and I will not affirm a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion, it's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God."

District officials claimed Cross's statement had a "disruptive impact" on the school community.

Coming in at #2, making her second appearance here on RotLC, the Southern California teacher who had students pledge allegiance to the rainbow flag instead of the US flag has been removed from the classroom:

A California teacher who went viral after bragging in a TikTok video that she had taken down the American flag in her classroom because it made her feel "uncomfortable" and suggested that her students should say the Pledge of Allegiance to a rainbow flag has been removed from her classroom.

"She has been removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave, as our investigation continues," Newport Mesa Schools spokesperson Annette Franco confirmed to Fox News Wednesday.

And our #1 teacher story of the week, also making a 2nd appearance here at RotLC this week, how could it not be the commie in the Sacramento classroom?  Watch the (hidden camera?) recording of the pinko, and hear him in his own words, here.  Watch James O'Keefe of Project Veritas celebrate the commie's exposure and imminent firing.  Watch the pinko's more subdued, less arrogant boohoo video hereAnd here's the latest:

The Natomas Unified School District has put a teacher with Inderkum High School on paid leave and says it is taking steps to fire the teacher for actions the district described as “inappropriate” and “irresponsible.”

In a more than two-page statement, superintendent Chris Evans said an investigation into an undercover video recently produced by conservative activist group Project Veritas led them to question the teacher’s methods inside the classroom.

Let's give it up for our teachers!

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Resignations at the FDA

The implication of this article is that science has been politicized.  That's not science, that's science! 

Two of the FDA’s most senior vaccine leaders are exiting from their positions, raising fresh questions about the Biden administration and the way that it’s sidelined the FDA.

Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research & Review and 32-year veteran of the agency, will leave at the end of October, and OVRR deputy director Phil Krause, who’s been at FDA for more than a decade, will leave in November. The news, first reported by BioCentury, is a massive blow to confidence in the agency’s ability to regulate vaccines.

The bombshell announcement comes at a particularly crucial moment, as boosters and children’s shots are being weighed by the regulator. The departures also come as the administration has recently jumped ahead of the FDA’s reviews of booster shots, announcing that they might be available by the week of Sept. 20.

A former senior FDA leader told Endpoints that they’re departing because they’re frustrated that CDC and their ACIP committee are involved in decisions that they think should be up to the FDA. The former FDAer also said he’s heard they’re upset with CBER director Peter Marks for not insisting that those decisions should be kept inside FDA. What finally did it for them was the White House getting ahead of FDA on booster shots.

Are you as shocked as I am?

The Scary Movie

I know and work with many people who act and perhaps truly believe that we live in some dystopian science fiction story wherein there are cooties in the air and we all have to wear masks in order to survive.  

I traveled for a month this past summer.  7 states, 30 days, 4600 miles.  Everywhere I went I encountered people going about their normal lives.  A few people here and there wore masks, and they weren't harassed or chastised for doing so.  In some states, it seems like the philosophy is "you do you".  I wore one once in 30 days, when I rode "public transit"--the gondola to the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque is considered public transit.  A couple thousand of us gathered at the convention center in Rapid City and almost no one wore masks, and somehow we survived.

This feverish nightmare that the maskers imagine is a strange one indeed.  The virus is politically attuned, which is why Barack Obama's birthday party and Chicago's Lollapalooza and Gavin Newsom's fundraising and massive riots in the streets don't spread the virus but "Trump rallies" and the Sturgis motorcycle rally do.

Or do they?

I've seen no evidence that any rally by President Trump caused an uptick in cootie cases, and here's some data showing that Sturgis didn't, either:

Two weeks after the gathering with more than a half-million attendees concluded, fewer than 200 cases have been attributed to the event.

The Associated Press still breathlessly reported Sunday that “nearly 4,000 people have been newly diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state,” but later noted that “a South Dakota Department of Health spokesman declined to link the Sturgis rally to the rising virus surge, noting only 39 COVID-19 cases directly attributed to the rally.”
That such a small number of statewide cases came from Sturgis is a miracle and should have been the headline.
Why do some people choose to live in an apocalyptic nightmare?