The Real Thing

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Argyle-Texas-arms-teachersThis, gentle readers, is how it’s done. There is nothing as feckless as a gun free school zone sign, nothing as unlikely to actually deter murderers bent on killing children. But letting a bad guy know he’ll be facing armed adults deadly serous about protecting kids, and not letting him know how many or where?

Ah. Isn’t that obvious? Isn’t that rational? Isn’t that actual school safety as opposed to feeling safe?

It’s in Texas. You don’t suppose that has anything to do with it, do you?

The Michael Brown Case, Update 4: The Law

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Michael Brown credit: the political insider.com

Michael Brown
credit: the political insider.com

Since the publication of my first three articles on the Michael Brown case (the Michael Brown archive is available here), much–and little–has happened.  The fun of rioting having lost its luster, and the looted stores having lost their merchandise, Ferguson is mostly quiet.   CNN has obtained an audiotape it represents as a tape of the shooting, presenting it as extraordinarily important. That there is apparently no convincing evidence it is what it purports to be is not a bar to yet another breathless media story. On this tape, reportedly as many as ten possible gunshots are audible, which would seem to contradict what appears, for the moment, to be the best evidence that only six were fired.

The New York Times has decided that the word “burly” as in “the burly Michael Brown” is “racially charged,” and now refuses to use the word again. As the Internet burly Powerline has noted, “burly” means “strongly and heavily built,” which the 6’4” 292 pound Brown certainly was. In the case of the Times, this is not an issue of editorial, grammatical purity, but of narrative preservation. Unable to produce charming photographs of a slight, cute 12 year-old Brown, ala Trayvon Martin, the Times resorts to banishing adjectives that might tend to tarnish any potential cute 12 year-old images they might have created in the collective public consciousness.

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AP Testing: Social Justice And Irony For All

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APAs a teacher of AP English, I’ve come to view the Advanced Placement English exam as primarily a scam. Administered by the College Board, which bills itself as “a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity,” the entire process resembles the Common Core method of controlling not only curriculum, but of economic control and enrichment. The College Board is also responsible for the SAT. Yes, that SAT.

The theory of such things is not without merit, but the end result doesn’t stand up to intellectual scrutiny. Theoretically, students take AP courses to learn what they need to know to pass AP exams. If their scores on those exams are sufficiently high, colleges and universities may—emphasis upon may—accept those scores for varying degrees of college credit. The benefit to students is comonly sold as college credit at the cost of only the testing fee.

The problem is that education is about far more than passing standardized tests. As more and more American parents are beginning to understand, education is most effectively and efficiently about anything but standardized testing. Continue reading

Less Lethal = Less Life

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credit: patdollard.com

credit: patdollard.com

The Michael Brown Case has brought many anti-police zealots out of the woodwork, but it has attracted as many opposed to armed self-defense. These are people who, through animus or simply a lack of understanding, suggest that when rushed by a drug-fueled, 6’4” 300 pound felon that has already attacked and injured you, you should be restricted to “less-lethal” means, such as a Taser, bean bag rounds, pepper spray and similarly ineffective means to stop them without really hurting anything but their feelings.

The good folks at the Truth About Guns have been kind enough to publish my latest article on the dangers of using less than appropriate force when lives hang in the balance. If you have a few minutes, it may be worth your time.

Obama DOJ: Zoning For Me But Not For Thee

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credit: hackerearth.com

credit: hackerearth.com

Americans that have been conscious and paying attention during the last six years have had more than sufficient reason to suspect that when President Obama has claimed to be Christian, he might not be telling the truth. In fact, there is more than sufficient reason to suspect that Mr. Obama has no idea what the truth is.

First he drew a red line, then he didn’t. He got our troops out of Iraq, then someone else did. Whatever; nothing is his fault. Obamacare would save every family $2500, everyone could keep their doctors and hospitals and their insurance. Millions would be insured for the first time and it would actually save the government money! My favorite was when Mr. Obama claimed he attended the church of the Reverend Wright, a church steeped in hatred of whites and America, and Marxist black liberation theology, hundreds of times, but had no idea of the reverend’s beliefs. My second favorite was when he swore he could no more abandon the Reverend than his white grandmother, and all too soon, the wheels of the campaign bus went thumpity-thump, twice. Continue reading

Sacrificed On the PC Altar

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Fired Principal Lacey

Fired Principal Amy Lacey

File this account under “You’re much better off not working there.” From Townhall.com: 

On November 12, 2013, Amy Lacey, the principal of Texas’ Hempstead Middle School, was placed on administrative leave and subsequently fired when she made a simple request to students: speak English.

Now that the gag order has expired, Lacey is speaking out about what happened that day, dispelling rumors that she banned Spanish from the school’s campus.

‘I informed students it would be best to speak English in the classrooms to the extent possible, in order to help prepare them for [state] tests,’ she wrote in a letter to the Houston Chronicle explaining her side of the story. ‘It is important to note that I did not ban the use of Spanish anywhere in the school or at any time, even though teachers had reported to me that they had experienced instances in which students had been asked to stop talking during instruction, and they responded that it was their right to speak Spanish — ignoring the fact that they shouldn’t have been speaking [in any language] during class without permission. The perception of the teachers was that students were being disrespectful and disrupting learning, and they believed they could get away with it by claiming racism.

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Education Problems And Solutions, #1: The Wages of Failure UPDATED

credit: gridworks.net

credit: gridworks.net

In 2011, I wrote a seven-part series on the problems of contemporary education, and proposed solutions for them.  It’s time to revisit and update that series.  Much has changed in the age of Obama. Seizing control of the educational apparatus is always a primary goal of good communists everywhere, because molding the minds of the young is the vanguard of the revolution.  Or in Obama-speak, the fundamental transformation of America.  Let’s go forward to the past:

NOTE:  This is the first of a multi-part series on the problems facing public education.  I suspect that many will be surprised at the problems I identify as many of those problems will almost certainly not be the same problems so commonly bandied about by various critics of education.  I suspect many will be surprised by the solutions I offer to these problems—at the end of the series—as well because they will not cost billions or require wholesale reinvention of multiple wheels.  In fact, most will require little more than common sense, may be accomplished on the local level, and may actually save money.  With that, welcome to my daily world!

Education Problems and Solutions, #1:  The Wages of Failure

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