Monthly Archives: February 2017

CONFIRMATION OF EDUCATION SECRETARY, BETSY DEVOS

According to PJ Media, after an all-night marathon by Senate Democrats holding the floor to protest the nomination of school-choice advocate Betsy DeVos, Vice President, Mike Pence, was brought in to break a Senate tie and confirm President Trump’s cabinet pick for Secretary of Education.

Pence Breaks Senate Tie to Confirm Betsy DeVos

It was the first time the Senate historian could remember a vice president needing to break a tie on a cabinet confirmation. The 50-50 vote was the result of the promised “no” votes from Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Both of these senators have been referred to in the past as RINOs, Republican in name only. Susan Collins, Senator from Main, stated that she was troubled and surprised by Mrs. DeVos’ lack of familiarity with the landmark 1975 law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Senator Collins also said that she was concerned with Mrs. Devos’ lack of experience with public schools. Senator Murkowski, from Alaska, indicated that she was concerned about Betsy DeVos’ support for public schools, saying Trump’s pick has been “so involved in one side of the equation – s immersed in the push for vouchers – that she may be unaware of what actually is succesfull in the public schools, and what is broken, or how to fix them.

Now that Betsy DeVos has been confirmed by the Senate, here are seven lies, according to PJ Media that the Democrats have spread about the nation’s new Secretary of Education. 7 Desperate Liberal Lies About Trump’s Education Pick Betsy DeVos

  1. She’s against public education. USA Today senior political reporter, Heidi Przybyla, on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, declared that Betsy DeVos is very much against public education. The Washington Post’s, Valerie Strauss wrote a story entitled, “To Trump’s education pick, the U.S. public school system is a ‘dead end.’” Strauss bot her ammunition from a speech given by DeVos at South by Southwest in Texas in 2015 where Devos stated, “We are beneficiaries of start-ups, ventures, and innovation in every other area of life, but we don’t have that in education because it’s a closed system, a closed industry, a closed market, a monopoly, a dead end.” However, according to PJ Media, DeVos wasn’t condemning the U.S. education system, she was supporting reforms to being in more choice. Per Ed Patru, spokesman for Friends of Betsy DeVos, Strauss knew full well that Betsy doesn’t believe public schools are a dead end, but she ran the headline anyway. Patru further indicated that Strauss took a quote, divorced it from context, and then labeled Betsy an opponent of public education. Patru continued to indicated in the PJ Media article that DeVos does not push for school choice in the thousands of school districts across the country where public schools are doing a great job.
  2. She’s got an unfair donor advantage. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer wrote an expose’ about Betsy DeVos, labeling her “Trump’s Big-Donor Education Secretary.” Mayer used DeVos’ record of contributing heavily to conservative causes to attack Trump, whose campaign attacked “the donor class” during the election. DeVos is, indeed, a big donor and has been attacked on that score for quite a while. “I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence,” she wrote in a 1997 article for Roll Call. “Now, I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.
  3. She’s against all regulation. The New York Times’ Katie Zernike painted DeVos as an anti-regulation extremist. “A believer in a freer market than even some free market economists would endorse, Ms. DeVos pushed back on any regulation as too much regulation. Charter schools should be allowed to operate as they wish,” Zernike wrote. This was an organized labor talking point verbatim, Patru told PJ Media. Patru further indicated that Ms. Zernike’s story was well-reported but completely one-sided because it made no attempt to understand or explain shy Ms. DeVos opposed a labor supported plan to create a third bureaucracy overseeing charter schools in Detroit. What Ms. DeVos opposed, Patru explained, wasn’t oversight itself, but rather a double standard for public and charter schools: It wasn’t because Betsy was opposed to oversight, it was because Betsy was opposed to imposing additional oversight on charters while Detroit public schools have none. One hundred charter schools have closed in Michigan, but not a single traditional public school has closed.
  4. She’s an elitist. The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead, after noting that DeVos has no ties to Putin and has not actively called for the dismantling of the department she was chose to lead, went on to suggest that her history made her unqualified to run the department. “Devos has never taught in a public school, never administered one, nor sent her children to one.” Patru replied, “Neither Obama, nor Hillary were ever said to be unqualified to lead on education issues, despite the fact that they both sent their kids to private school and never seriously considered enrolling their kids in DC public schools. In 2015, Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan pulled his children out of public school and put them in private school. Education Secretary, John B. King, the last in the Obama administration credited his public school teachers with his success, but even he is a proponent of charter schools and helped to found one. Does this make him an unqualified elitist?
  5. She’s a racist. Of course, no one on the left when trashing someone on the right leaves out the racist accusation whether or not it’s a valid accusation. Plus, liberals make up the definition or racism as they go along to whatever suits their needs of the moment. The New York Times’ Katie Zernike quoted Tonya Allen, president of the Detroit non-profit, Skillman Foundation as follows: “If she was showing herself present in places and learning from the practitioners, that’s a fine combination, but Betsy never showed up in Detroit. She was eager to impose experimentation on students that she has not spent time with and children that she does not have consequence for.” Patru indicated that this was an obvious insinuation that DeVos is racist, considering lack children unworthy of her care. Patru further indicated that while this racial line of attack has not been explicit, it could not be further from the truth, and pointed out the broad base of support she has earned among African Americans, urban Democrats, Latinos, and other minorities because of her work in promoting educational equality.
  6. She is a religious extremist. This is another standard attack by liberals regarding those they hate. Shortly after then President-elect Trump announced DeVos as his education pick, liberals launched a coordinated attack branding her as a religious extremist. The ACLU of Michigan said her support for school vouchers perverts the bedrock American value of separation of church and state, because vouchers allow parents to choose religious schools. The head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State argued that DeVos fought to divert resources away from public schools into private, mostly religious institutions, adding that she is the leader of the crusade to create school vouchers across the country. Other journalists joined in this attach. Katherine Stewart of The New York Times thought it necessary to roll out a 30-year quote from a pastor distantly related to Mrs. Devos. And she even described DeVos as a member of a fringe religious group aiming to enforce “biblical laws” and replace public schools with all-religious schools, an obvious ridiculous statement. Patru further indicated that Betsy has never and will never attempt to impose her personal beliefs on anyone. To the contrary, she has been an outspoken advocate for empowering parents to choose how their children are educated.
  7. She supports child labor. After DeVos was chosen by trump, Alana Horowitz Satlin, assignment editor at the Huffington Post, breathlessly informed Americans of a horrible secret: Group Funded by Trump’s Education Secretary Pick, “Bring back child labor.” It seems as though Satlin was terrified that DeVos would put kids back in the coal mines and the 19th century factories. There were lots of problems with this narrative. First, it was never even DeVos making the argument. While she was an Acton Institute board member for ten years, and her family’s foundation had donated money to the group, the article arguing for child labor was written by Joseph Sunde, a project coordinator at the Acton Institute. Furthermore, Sunde was arguing that teenagers should be more able and probably encouraged to work a few hours a week at at fast-food restaurant or grocery store.

The fact that all liberals, including the teachers’ unions hate Betsy DeVos is a good thing in her favor. Furthermore, I agree with her statement that there have been major innovations in most occupations and institutions except public education, due, in part, to the teachers’ unions who don’t want any changes in innovation, technology, etc in the classroom. I believe if most had their way, they would still be working out of the old teacher grade books, averaging grades using a hand-held calculator, and filling out report cards by hand. Of course, they would still “bitch” about all the work they had to do and somehow blame those of us who work just has hard, if not harder in the private sector, for not wanting to pay extra taxes for their raises.

Most of us, in our chosen fields, have had to undergo changes. Sometimes we resisted, only to determine later that the changes were good things. Sometimes we resisted and the change was not a good thing. But bottom line, we had to accept those changes whether we want to or not.

Teachers are always holding themselves out to be morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, and to be unsympathetic to the plight of teachers is tantamount to pulling Santa Claus’ beard. However, the foul language and hate that they have shown toward conservatives who support Betsy DeVos is almost unmatched to the vitriol that I see every day on social media from the left. Public school teachers, especially those who espouse teachers’ unions are neither morally or intellectually superior to the rest of us. In fact, just the opposite is true.

A special thanks to PJ Media for much of the information contained in this article.

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THAT WOMEN’S MARCH

The day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a march took place on the National Mall called the Women’s March on Washington. Initially, it was referred to as the “Million Women March,” but that was changed.

My initial reaction was to question what these women were marching for or against. Was it just that they hate Donald Trump and were traumatized by his unexpected victory over their beloved, Hillary Clinton? Did they have some valid “beefs” with the new administration or were they generally unhappy with the progress women have made for over half of a generation or were they scared that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned?

According to one of the organizers, Tomika Mallory, the effort was not anti-Trump. Instead, it was a continuation of a struggle women have been dealing with for a very long time.

Per npr.org, the march got its start as a cross-country collaboration among seven women in the aftermath of election day and gained traction online, becoming a network of 50-plus events in multiple countries.

Organizers Hope Women’s March on Washing Inspires, Evolves

Still not sure about the purpose of the women’s march, I sought out information from the far-left website, VOX. In an article entitled, “To understand the Women’s March on Washington, you need to understand intersectional feminism.” Well, hold it right there. I don’t know what intersectional feminism is Reading further down into the article, I determined that “intersectional feminism” is the idea that many women are members of other marginalized groups, which affects their experiences.

Brittany Cooper, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University explained, “And those parts—race, gender, sexuality, and religion, and ability—are not incidental or auxiliary. They matter politically.” Lehigh University’s Monica Miller defined it in an unpublished 2014 interview with Vox: “An intersectional feminist approach understands that categories of identity and difference cannot be separated and doesn’t abandon one category of analysis such as gender, or sexuality in favor of analyzing others such as race, and class.”

Apparently, this concept of intersectionality is not a new one. Kimberle Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia is credited with coining the term intersectionality in a 1989 paper entitled, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics.”

After wading through the Vox article, I still didn’t have a clue as to what this march was all about. But it did make me wonder why I’ve spent so much of my time trying to be the best that I could in the fields where I have worked. Could I have not done just as well writing BS articles and contemplating the concept of intersectionality? Silly me.

Washington, you need to understand intersectional feminism.

After the above, and almost two weeks, I’m still not sure what this march was about. The women participating have indicated that it was about women’s right in which they were being denied. I heard complaints of lack of access to basic women’s health care, violence against women, reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, etc.

As few as fifty-five or sixty years ago, a woman could not get credit or purchase a house. Furthermore, a woman graduating or leaving school was destined to live with her parents if she had not found herself a man and didn’t have plans to marry. The most common occupations for women back then were secretary, school teacher, or nurse. If you did accept a job in a town other than the one in which you grew up, you were lucky to be able to rent a room. While in those days, there were certainly women doctors, lawyers, and engineers, they were few and far between.

Fast-forward to today, and none of the above holds true. Women are buying houses, getting credit, entering fields of their choice. The sky’s the limit.

Could things be better for today’s woman? Of course, they can. Perfection will not be achieved until Jesus returns and sets up his 1000-year kingdom here on earth.

Now, I’m sure that there are places where women doing the same job as men are getting paid less. That may be an unwritten company policy or there may be reasons a certain woman is getting paid less than a certain man. I’ve written on this before and in my writings indicated that discrimination is hard to prove and each case of alleged inequity should be examined separately. But if a woman finds herself in that position, I believe it should be up to her to do what’s best. Leave the company and go someplace else to work. And I do acknowledge that this may be easier said than done.

We’re human beings. We have brains and a sense of reason. Unlike animals, we can, and at times must refrain from giving into certain urges or behavior. In other words, we have the means to take responsibility for ourselves, and we should, if possible, do so.

Many women are concerned with a Donald Trump presidency that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and it will therefore, be up to the states to decide on abortion restrictions. At this time, no one can say whether or not that will happen.

Some women seemed to be unhappy with the fact that it is their bodies chose to carry a child and give birth to that child. Thus, they want society to pay for their birth control, even though most birth control methods cost less than $15.00 per month. With the above, some of these women participating in the marches on January 21, feel anger because it’s necessary to purchase certain feminine products for hygiene purposes; whereas, men don’t have to purchase such things.

In her rant during the march in Washington, D.C., actress, Ashley Judd indicated that pads and tampons are still taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not. According to Politifact, that is only half true. When it comes to sales taxes on purchases, states typically set the rules. Seven states currently exempt tampons, menstrual cups, and pads from taxation. Five states have no sales tax at all. So, as of January 22, 2017, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia tax feminine hygiene products. Because it is a prescription drug, Viagra, an erectile dysfunction medicine, isn’t taxed in any state except Illinois. Rogaine, a product for hair loss, is exempt from taxes in eight states because it is an over-the -counter treatment  and doesn’t require a prescription.

Are pads and tampons taxed but Viagra and Rogaine not?

How much money are we talking about? Is it even worth it? If you think it is, then petition your state representative for review.

The women’s march in Washington and the sister marches held around the country, including my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, were nothing but a bunch of spoiled whiney babies throwing temper tantrums that their candidate was not elected president. And to add fuel to the fire, many of the hats worn were knitted by hand and had cat ears on each side. These were more commonly called “pussy hats.” Some of the women were also wearing costumes made to look like female genitals. Vulgar signs were displayed and foul language such as the F-word were often shouted.

According to The Black Sphere, following the march, tens of thousands chose to leave their signs outside various DC landmarks, including the White House and the Trump International Hotel.

TrashFromMarch

Women’s March Trash: literally piles of trash left on the streets.

Can you get much classier? Even if I did have a major grievance about something, I would not allow these marching women, whether they were part of the Washington march or other sister marches around the nation, or even advocates of the marches, represent me on anything. In fact, I fear they have hurt women’s causes all over the nation. Would you hire someone who was a part of an advocate of these marches? I certainly would not.

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