The Actual Point

Conservatives spend a lot of time talking principles, but not as much time as they should telling people what they want to do for the average American. On the other hand, liberals talk incessantly about what conservatives want to do “to” the average American, but almost all of it is wrong. Here’s what conservatives actually want for Americans.

The Left is more than happy to define it’s “enemy”. So why is the “enemy” so willing to be defined by them?

1) A country where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, but isn’t dragged down by an insistence on equal results.

2) A safe neighborhood where you can let your kids go out and play in the front yard without having to worry about them being shot, kidnapped or coerced by gang members.

3) A country as free as possible of illegal aliens who commit crimes, use taxpayer services without paying, take jobs that should go to citizens and drive down wages for Americans.

4) An environment with clean air, clean water and clean soil.

5) The right to worship the God you believe in as you please, without interference from the state, as long as you don’t hurt anyone else.

6) An environment where Americans can reap rewards as large as the market is willing to pay for their particular talents, work ethic or unique skills.

7) The dignity of supporting yourself with a job, free of dependence on the government.

8) A government that will stay out of your way and allow you to reach your full potential free of interference.

9) The freedom to live as you please and do as you please with your property without interference from the government.

10) The ability of parents to be able to send their children to a school, public or private, that best fits their needs.

11) The protection of the world’s foremost military and a government that is willing to use it to insure the safety of American citizens.

12) A Medicare and Social Security program that are financially solvent long-term so they can continue to benefit retirees.

13) The freedom for people to speak their minds without being censored by the government.

14) A decent culture so that children have a chance to grow up without being morally corrupted.

15) A responsible government that keeps order in the streets, protects Americans from crimes, and enforces basic regulations to keep people from being taken advantage of by crooks or unscrupulous businesses.

16) The ability for women to achieve their fullest potential, whether that’s by being a corporate CEO, opening their own business or staying at home as a full time mom.

17) A country where people are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. (Martin Luther King, anyone…)

18) Low taxes, so that Americans get to keep more of their hard earned money instead of sending it to the government.

19) A country where everyone from the President of the United to States to the humblest citizen has to obey the same laws or face the same potential penalties for breaking those laws.

20) A fiscally responsible government that takes great care to wisely spend the tax dollars it collects.

Maybe we should tack these theses to the doors of Congress and the White House! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez


Sowell Helpers

It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.

The Walton Family Foundation — created by the people who created Walmart — has given more than $300 million to charter schools, voucher programs and other educational enterprises concerned with the education of poor and minority students across the country.

The Walton Family Foundation gave more than $58 million to the KIPP schools, which have had spectacular success in raising the test scores of children in ghettoes where the other children are far behind in academic performance.

D.C. Prep, in Washington, whose students are mostly poor and black, has also received grants from the Walton Family Foundation. Its test scores likewise exceed those of traditional neighborhood schools, as well as the test scores of other local charter schools. Other wealthy people across the country have been doing similar things for years, including high-tech tycoons like Bill Gates and Michael Dell. It is one of the great untold stories of a unique pattern of philanthropy that makes America truly exceptional.

Yet these philanthropists have been attacked by the teachers’ unions and by others in the education establishment, including academics.

It was painful to watch a well-known historian of education on a TV talk show recently, denouncing people from “Wall Street” who have promoted alternatives to the failing public schools. Apparently, in some circles, you can just say the words “Wall Street” and that proves that something evil is being done.

You can listen in vain for any concrete evidence that these philanthropic efforts to help educate poor children are creating harm.

Instead, you get statements like that from the head of the American Federation of Teachers, saying, “they’re trying to create an alternative system and destabilize what has been the anchor of American democracy.”

If government-monopoly schools, with iron-clad tenure for incompetent teachers, have been an anchor, they have been an anchor around the necks of American students, who consistently score lower on international tests than students from countries that spend half as much money per student, and yet have students who outperform our youngsters, year after year.

It is not written in the stars that youngsters in ghetto schools have to score miles behind everybody else. Data from the 1940s show test scores in Harlem schools comparable to test scores in white working class schools on New York’s lower east side. (See “Teachers College Record,” Fall 1981, pages 40-41.)

Even today, particular minority schools — sometimes charter schools, sometimes Catholic schools, and sometimes even regular public schools headed by principals who defy the prevailing educational dogmas — turn out black students who can compete with other students academically.

Teachers’ unions and others who defend the public school establishment decry competing schools, on grounds that they are somehow undermining the public schools.

One of the claims is that these alternative schools drain money from the public schools. But expenditures per pupil in the public schools have risen during the era of the spread of alternative schools.

Of course, if there were no alternative schools, the total amount of money going to the public school system might have increased more. But this would not necessarily produce more money per student, since charter schools typically do not get as much money per student as the public schools get.

Then there is the claim that alternative schools “skim the cream” of the students, and that this explains why their test results are better. But many, if not most, charter schools select among their applicants through a lottery.

Lots of things need to be done by lots of people to improve our education system, especially for schools in minority neighborhoods. Demonizing those who are trying to help is not one of them.

But the Agenda is The Agenda!

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

His Brain was for it before his mouth was against it!…

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 

Read The Union Label

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 

Of all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers’ unions.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to suppress the spread of charter schools in Louisiana was just one of the signs of that cynicism. His nationwide threats of legal action against schools that discipline more black students than he thinks they should are at least as damaging.

Charter schools are hated by teachers’ unions and by much of the educational establishment in general. They seem to be especially hated when they succeed in educating minority children whom the educational establishment says cannot be educated.

Apparently it can be done when you don’t have to hire unionized teachers with iron-clad tenure, and when you don’t have to follow the dogmas in vogue in the educational establishment.

Last year, there was an attempt to shut down the American Indian Model Schools in Oakland, California — schools that had been ranked among the top schools in the nation, schools with the top test scores in their district and the fourth highest scores in the entire state of California.

The reason given was that the former — repeat, FORMER — head of these schools was accused of financial irregularities. Since there are courts of law to determine the guilt or innocence of individuals, why should school children be punished by having their schools shut down, immediately and permanently, before any court even held a trial?

Fortunately, a court order prevented this planned vindictive closing of this highly successful charter school with minority students. But the attempt shows the animus and the cynical disregard of the education of children who have few other places to get a comparable education.

Attorney General Holder’s threats of legal action against schools where minority students are disciplined more often than he wants are a much more sweeping and damaging blow to the education of poor and minority students across the country.

Among the biggest obstacles to educating children in many ghetto schools are disruptive students whose antics, threats and violence can make education virtually impossible. If only 10 percent of the students are this way, that sacrifices the education of the other 90 percent.

The idea that Eric Holder, or anybody else, can sit in Washington and determine how many disciplinary actions against individual students are warranted or unwarranted in schools across the length and breadth of this country would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

Relying on racial statistics tells you nothing, unless you believe that black male students cannot possibly be more disruptive than Asian female students, or that students in crime-ridden neighborhoods cannot possibly require disciplinary actions more often than children in the most staid, middle-class neighborhoods.

Attorney General Holder is not fool enough to believe either of those things. Why then is he pursuing this numbers game?

The most obvious answer is politics. Anything that promotes a sense of grievance from charges of racial discrimination offers hope of energizing the black vote to turn out to vote for Democrats, which is especially needed when support from other voters is weakening in the wake of Obama administration scandals and fiascoes.

Eric Holder’s other big racial crusade, against requiring identification for voting, is the same political game. And it is carried out with the same cynical promotion of fears, with orchestrated hysteria from other Democrats — as if having to show identification to vote is like a revival of the Ku Klux Klan.

Blacks, whites and everybody else can be asked for identification these days, whether cashing a check or using a credit card at a local store or going to an airport — or even getting into some political meetings called to protest voter ID laws.

But to sacrifice the education of children, especially children for whom education may be their only ticket out of poverty, is truly a new low. As someone once said to Senator Joe McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

Why would they? THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA and no one is allowed to get in the way of it. Period.

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

For the Children

Thomas Sowell: If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left’s avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now — and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.

These schools have given thousands of low-income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life. Last year 82% of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed citywide mathematics exams, compared to 30% of the students in the city as a whole.

Why would anybody who has any concern at all about minority young people — or even common decency — want to destroy what progress has already been made?

One big reason, of course, is the teachers’ union, one of de Blasio’s biggest supporters.

But it may be more than that. For many of the true believers on the left, their ideology overrides any concern about the actual fate of flesh-and-blood human beings.

Something similar happened on the West Coast last year. The American Indian Model Schools in Oakland have been ranked among the top schools in the nation, based on their students’ test scores.

This is, again, a special achievement for minority students who need all the help they can get.

But, last spring, the California State Board of Education announced plans to shut this school down!

Why? The excuse given was that there had been suspicious financial dealings by the former — repeat, former — head of the institution. If this was the real reason, then all they had to do was indict the former head and let a court decide if he was guilty or innocent.

There was no reason to make anyone else suffer, much less the students. But the education establishment’s decision was to refuse to let the school open last fall. Fortunately a court stopped this hasty shutdown.

These are not just isolated local incidents. The Obama administration has cut spending for charter schools in the District of Columbia and its Justice Department has intervened to try to stop the state of Louisiana from expanding its charter schools.

Why such hostility to schools that have succeeded in educating minority students, where so many others have failed?

Some of the opposition to charter schools has been sheer crass politics. The teachers’ unions see charter schools as a threat to their members’ jobs, and politicians respond to the money and the votes that teachers’ unions can provide.

The net result is that public schools are often run as if their main function is to provide jobs to teachers. Whether the children get a decent education is secondary, at best.

In various parts of the country, educators who have succeeded in raising the educational level of minority children to the national average — or above — have faced hostility, harassment or have even been driven out of their schools.

Not all charter schools are successful, of course, but the ones that are completely undermine the excuses for failure in the public school system as a whole. That is why teachers’ unions hate them, as a threat not only to their members’ jobs but a threat to the whole range of frauds and fetishes in the educational system.

The autonomy of charter schools is also a threat to the powers that be, who want to impose their own vision on the schools, regardless of what the parents want.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to impose his own notion of racial balance in the schools, while many black parents want their children to learn, regardless of whether they are seated next to a white child or a black child.

There have been all-black schools whose students met or exceeded national norms in education, whether in Louisiana, California or other places around the country. But Holder, like de Blasio, put his ideology above the education — and the future life — of minority students.

Charter schools take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Your Federal Family

“mundane matters often get brushed aside by ideological crusaders out to change the world to fit their own vision. When the world fails to conform to their vision, then it seems obvious to the ideologues that it is the world that is wrong, not that their vision is uninformed or unrealistic….To those with the crusading mentality, failure only means that they should try, try again — at other people’s expense, including not only the taxpayers but also those whose lives have been disrupted, or even made miserable and dangerous, by previous bright ideas of third parties who pay no price for being wrong.”

Doesn’t that sum up the Left in a nutshell.

Holder is also taking legal action against the state of Louisiana for having so many charter schools, on grounds that these schools do not mix and match the races the way that public schools are supposed to.

The fact that those charter schools which are successful in educating low-income and minority students that the public schools fail to educate are giving these youngsters a shot at a decent life that they are not likely to get elsewhere does not deter the ideological crusaders.

Nor does it deter the politicians who are serving the interests of the teachers’ unions, who see public schools as places to provide jobs for their members, even if that means a poor education and poor prospects in life for generations of minority students. All this ideological self-indulgence and cynical political activity is washed down with lofty rhetoric about “compassion,” “inclusion” and the like. (Thomas Sowell)

In August, DOJ’s civil rights division — the same bunch that dropped the case of a group of New Black Panthers wearing military garb and carrying billy clubs as they stood outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 — filed suit against the state of Texas. In it, the government said it would not allow the Supreme Court’s decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.

In its suit, DOJ also contends that Texas adopted a voter identification law with the purpose of denying or restricting the right to vote on account of race, color or membership in a language minority group. Under Texas law, Holder said, “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them — and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”

Holder called such fees “poll taxes,” a mechanism once used by southern states to keep poor minorities from voting.

Holder’s problem is that the Supreme Court has already ruled that requiring photo IDs to vote — as required, for example, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention — does not constitute an undue burden on minorities since the requirement and any fees are applied to all voters equally.

A study by the University of Delaware and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that “concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing.” Nothing, that is, unless you are an administration willing to play the race card to gain minority votes in the next election.

Just as in Indiana no one could find a single voter disenfranchised by Voter ID, the vote results in Georgia also expose the myth of voter disenfranchisement, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of statewide voting patterns after the law took effect in 2008.

“Elections data reviewed by the AJC show that participation among black voters rose by 44% from 2006 — before the law was implemented — to 2010. For Hispanics, the increase for the same period was 67%. Turnout among whites rose 12%,” the newspaper reported.

“If you look at the numbers, they clearly show that critics of this law were wrong,” said Hans von Spakovsky, former legal counsel to the Justice Department’s civil rights division who now works for the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Their argument has always been it would depress turnout. But it didn’t happen — quite the opposite.” (IBD)

But the reason they are so hopped-up about it is clearly just racial politics. Whitey doesn’t want you to vote for a Democrat, that sort of BS.

The politics of racial division , is “inclusion”.

A news release issued Tuesday by Health and Human Services refers to “our federal family.” How charming of Washington to try to con Americans into thinking that it’s a nurturing institution.

The federal government has in fact become a belligerent force, and for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make it sound as if it’s a warm, cuddly family that merely wants to protect its own is an insidious use of language. It’s an obvious effort to cloud reality, to reshape Americans’ thinking. (IBD)

Orwell couldn’t do any better.

H.L. Mencken famously said “the urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” He understood what the “federal family” is really all about.

Do you?

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen