Utah Parents Push Back Against the Transgender Agenda – and Win

A group of Utah parents have prompted a review of an “equity book program” in their local school district after a teacher read a book favorable to transgenderism to a class of third-graders. The book, “Call Me Max”, written by transgender-identified author Kyle Lukoff, follows the story of a girl wanting to be seen as a boy.

The book is a transparent attempt to make children comfortable with the idea of changing gender. According to the book’s description, it is “a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.”

Some parents, however, saw the book as an attempt to indoctrinate their children into a false view of gender and sex.

To their credit, they did something — and their actions have made a difference.

According to a report by KTLA, the Murray School District has paused the equity book program and is now conducting a review of all the books in the program. “Call Me Max” was not part of the school’s equity book program, but was read in a class when a student brought it from home.

Parents can be discouraged from raising concerns about curriculum in their schools for a couple reasons.

First, a lot of LGBT propaganda is often packaged with other content that is not objectionable.

Only two books on the list appear to be directly about the LGBTQ community. One of those is for fifth graders about the work of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. The other is for sixth graders and titled “Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History.”

In addition to two LGBT books, the Murray School District equity book program includes books from black and Hispanic authors that give children a window into people and experiences they may not be able to understand. Not only is it not a problem for young children to be reading about the life and work of Frederick Douglass, it’s valuable.

But when good literature is packaged with bad literature as part of an “equity” curriculum, parents who object to the bad literature are likely to be portrayed as being opposed to the good literature as well. Sadly, in our current culture, being misunderstood is simply part of opposing bad policies and bad ideas.

Second, much of the problematic curriculum in schools is presented as “anti-bullying” curriculum. For many on the Left, the only way to solve the serious and tragic challenges of children who identify as LGBT is to create a world in which everyone affirms their identities and choices.

For Christians, that isn’t an option. But there can still be common ground because everyone wants to stop bullying. But even if we have the same goal, conflict will arise if our tactics are different. Some believe the best way to stop bullying is to encourage kindness and develop an atmosphere of respect despite differences. Others, however, believe the best way to stop bullying is to eliminate our differences and require conformity to a single set of beliefs.

When you engage with people who believe the solution to bullying is creating a world in which everyone believes the same things, conflict is inevitable. But it’s still worth it. It’s worth it because as parents, we aren’t fighting for our reputation or our social standing, we are fighting for the minds and hearts of our kids.

Besides, the world our kids are growing up in is going to require some courage. The pressure they face to conform and surrender will likely be much stronger than anything we faced. Their job will be made much easier if, in their moments of decision, they can be encouraged by the times they saw mom and dad do the right things even when it was going to be hard.

COLUMN BY

Joseph Backholm

Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. He combines extensive legal, political, and policy experience with a love for the way biblical truth cultivates human flourishing.

Previously, Mr. Backholm served as legal counsel and Director of What Would You Say? at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview where he developed and launched a growing platform that creates short, animated videos answering common questions about faith and culture. His YouTube career began as a self-identified “6’5 Chinese Woman” in a series of YouTube videos exploring the logic of gender identity.

He served as a legislative attorney for three years and spent 10 years as the President and General Counsel of the Family Policy Institute of Washington in Washington State where he managed educational, legislative, and electoral operations on behalf of life, marriage, religious freedom, and parental rights. He led three ballot initiatives on marriage and gender privacy.

He is a Washington State native who loves travel, sports, and whatever his kids are into. Joseph received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and his law degree from Seattle University. He and his wife Brook have four children.

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Woke At Last: Indiana’s Valparaiso University Cancels Crusader Nickname and Mascot

Our long national nightmare is over: all decent, properly woke people will be relieved and grateful that the one-time bastion of racism and Islamophobia in Indiana, Valparaiso University, is dropping its Crusader nickname and mascot. According to Valparaiso’s interim president Colette Irwin-Knott, “the negative connotation and violence associated with the Crusader imagery are not reflective of Valpo’s mission and values, which promote a welcoming and inclusive community. This is the decision that best reflects our values and community.” Yes, of course. Everyone knows that defending Western civilization, and being proud of those who did so, is out of the question these days. Nothing could be more unwoke.

Valparaiso student president Kaitlyn Steinhiser elaborated on the decision by saying: “The Crusader does not [represent the university] effectively. Valpo is and always has been a faith-based institution, and we want to make sure our symbolism is in alignment with our beliefs and speaks to the core values of the Lutheran ethos. At Valpo, we strive to seek truth, serve generously and cultivate hope. We do not believe having the Crusader as our mascot portrays these values.”

In any case, all this shame over the Crusader name, and expiating renunciation, is completely unwarranted. As The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS shows from primary sources, the Crusades were not, as the good people at Valparaiso University evidently assume, an unprovoked exercise of racist proto-colonialism directed against a peaceful Muslim world.

The Crusades were in reality a late, small-scale defensive response after 450 years of jihad attacks had conquered and Islamicized what had previously been over half of the Christian world.

Armies animated by the jihad ideology (or that eventually justified their actions by recourse to it) had occupied much of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain — as well as Persia and much of India — centuries before a Crusade was even contemplated. They had entered France and besieged Constantinople, the capital of the Christian Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, several times.

The Seljuk Turks’ victory over the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071, when they took the Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes prisoner, opened all of Asia Minor to them. In 1076, they conquered Syria; in 1077, Jerusalem. The Seljuk Emir Atsiz bin Uwaq promised not to harm the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but once his men had entered the city, they murdered 3,000 people.

That same year, the Seljuks established the sultanate of Rum (Rome, referring to the New Rome, Constantinople) in Nicaea, perilously close to Constantinople itself; from there they continued to threaten the Byzantines and harass the Christians all over their new domains. The Byzantine Empire, which before Islam’s wars of conquest had ruled over a vast expanse including southern Italy, North Africa, the Middle East, and Arabia, was reduced to little more than Greece. It looked as if its demise at the hands of the Seljuks was imminent.

The Church of Constantinople considered the Pope a schismatic and had squabbled with him for centuries, but the new Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus swallowed his pride and appealed for help.

And that is how the First Crusade came about: it was a response to the Byzantine Emperor’s call for help against Muslim invaders who threatened to destroy the Christian empire.

It is undeniable that the Crusaders committed many atrocities. So did their jihadi opponents. But in the main, the Crusader endeavor was not an exercise in imperialism or racism, but an attempt to protect Christians from jihad attacks.

So why shouldn’t Valparaiso University have a Crusader mascot and take pride in its own culture and heritage? Because that culture is spent, and weak, and confused, and anxious to appease a much more confident alternative culture that regards the Crusades as an affront.

The West continues its cultural self-abnegation in the face of the chimera of “Islamophobia” — a propaganda neologism designed to make people ashamed of defending themselves and their homeland against a newly aggressive Islamic jihad.

Valparaiso University is not alone. The rush to disavow any connection to Crusaders is part of a larger tendency to remain in denial about the jihad aggression that threatens so many in the world today. It manifests an acceptance of the Islamic view of history — which has been aggressively thrust upon the West in recent decades — that blames the origin of conflict between Muslims and Christians upon the evil Crusaders despite the timeline that proves this false.

At a time when the Crusaders’ ancient jihadi foes are newly invigorated and more aggressive than they have been for centuries, this cultural self-hatred is a recipe for disaster.

And as an aside, it’s interesting to note that Valparaiso University is dropping its nickname because it evidently thinks it glorifies the Crusaders, while the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins, and others have dropped or are in the process of dropping theirs because they think they’re demeaning to Native Americans. So are sports nicknames a sign of approval or of hatred and ridicule? The answer all depends on what will give you the most woke outcome.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Elite San Francisco School Nixes Merit-Based Admission

What’s next? A Mao-ist cultural revolution style purge/persecution/execution of intellectuals?

Elite San Francisco School Nixes Merit-Based Admission

Students and faculty at majority-minority Lowell High School claim current system is racist

By: Washington Free Beacon, February 11, 2021:

The San Francisco Board of Education voted late Tuesday to abandon the merit-based admissions process at a prestigious public high school after students, faculty, and others claimed the system perpetuates white supremacy.

Lowell High School—a public school within the San Francisco Unified School District often ranked among the nation’s best high schoolswill now admit students through a lottery, rather than choosing students with the best grades and test scores.

The school board’s resolution alleges that the admissions process at Lowell “perpetuates the culture of white supremacy and racial abuse towards black and Latinx students” and calls on the district to conduct an audit of racist incidents and create antiracist training programs for students.

While students of color currently make up more than 75 percent ofthe student body, Lowell is often critiqued for lacking diversity.More than half of studentsare Asian, less than 2 percent are black, and less than 12 percent are Latino.

Like many schools across the country, Lowell High School paused its merit-based admissions process last fall after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted admissions tests, much to the chagrin of Lowell parents and alumni. Families of high-achieving students in San Francisco view the selective, academically rigorous school as a more economical alternative to private schooling, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rather than dismantling the current enrollment system at Lowell, critics of the resolution—including students who spoke at the board meeting Tuesday night—suggest that the school district should do more to assist black and Latino students at the elementary and middle school levels.

“If the board wants to fight racism and truly believes that ‘all SFUSD high schools are academic schools,’ then simply put more resources into all the other high schools,” Lowell High School alum Emil Guillermo wrote in the Chronicle. “Don’t lower the bar at Lowell. Raise the bar at the neighborhood schools and make them all shine.”

Lowell is the only high school in the San Francisco Unified School District that uses a merit-based admissions process. The school board’s resolution claims California law prohibits public high schools from enrolling students based on grades.

The school’s Black Student Union has for years spoken out against an allegedly exclusive and discriminatory culture at Lowell. Last week, members of the group protested against a racist incident that occurred during an online antiracist training session last month. Hackers, who some believe could have been students, posted racial slurs aimed at black and Jewish students, as well as pornographic images, on an online conversation board.

Neither the San Francisco Unified School District nor the school board responded to the Washington Free Beacon’s request for comment in time for publication.

Last week’s resolution came alongside the district’s decision to change the names of 44 San Francisco public schools named after historical figures now deemed problematic. Schools named after presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln will be renamed. Critics objected to the district’s reasons for renaming 3 of those 44 schools: Paul Revere Preparatory School, James Lick Middle School, and Lowell High School.

Lowell is the latest elite American high school to abandon merit-based admissions in favor of processes that can be used to achieve racial quotas. Last fall, the Fairfax County Public Schools Board in Virginia eliminated the entrance test for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in an effort to boost black and Latino enrollment numbers

RELATED TWEET:

RELATED ARTICLE: The West’s Decline of Intelligence

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Beijing ☭ Biden Quietly Revokes Trump’s Ban On Chinese Communist Propaganda In Schools

CCP-owned dementia-riddled puppet in the White House.

Biden Quietly Revokes Trump’s Ban On Chinese Communist Propaganda In Schools.

By: The National Pulse, February 8, 2021:

President Biden quietly revoked a Trump-era policy that compelled primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions to disclose their relationships with Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes.

The policy – “Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms” – was proposed on December 31st, 2020.

“The rule would require colleges and K-12 schools that are certified to have foreign exchange programs to disclose any contracts, partnerships, or financial transactions from Confucius Institutes or Classrooms (the Confucius Institute offshoot for primary and secondary schools),” Axios noted.

And the Trump administration’s proposals were well-warranted: the well-funded, controversial operations disguise themselves as language and culture initiative despite being replete with “undisclosed ties to Chinese institutions, and conflicted loyalties,” Chinese state propaganda, and intellectual property theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Records from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, however, reveal that Biden nixed the policy on January 26 – less than a week into his White House tenure.

“A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that the policy was rescinded,” Campus Reform noted.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden’s ☭ CIA Pick Was President Of Think Tank That Took Millions From Chinese Communist Party Affiliates

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

The Power of Otherization

Otherization is the age-old phenomenon advanced by individuals who have a sense of their own specialness in the world.  The only antidote for their destructive behavior is for the “others” to assert their dignity and reclaim their culture, civilization, and country.


Some time ago, it was suggested that I submit my essays to a respected online publisher. It was accepted, but when it came time to reading the published piece, I realized it was missing my explanation, the point of my effort. I checked it against the original and wondered how the line had been dropped. I called the editor’s attention to what I thought was an inadvertent glitch, only to learn that he had removed it intentionally, not realizing its cruciality. After a few words of explanation, he agreed to its reinsertion, but the initial readers had been robbed of my intent.

It happened yet again.  Finding no spelling or grammatical errors and, I assumed, feeling a need to “do something,” he took an action that suited his own predisposition.  In his own defense, he cited his credentials.  What good are credentials when the patient has died?  He said it was not his company’s policy to check rewrites with the author, and I explained it was not my policy to have my name attached to changes I’d not endorsed.  And that was that.

Now, years later, I sent my recent essay, “Wasted Lives,” to an Israeli publisher that had been posting my work for numerous years.  I was one of several listed as bloggers.  When I searched my work on the site this time, I found my essay was replete with typographical or spelling errors, sarcastic parenthetical remarks, one or two unusual introductory insertions, and a postscript following my closing quote from a prominent author.  I contacted the editor to ask what happened and realized that she had taken a particular interest in my essay. In fact, she posted it on the op-ed page, which, apparently, then gave her leave to insert and embellish at will.  Her interest was personal, and her interjections were to the situations, quite unnecessary since I provided my opposition to the propaganda in ensuing paragraphs and links.  She was obviously slighted by my displeasure, did not apologize for her blunders, and the piece, complete with the nonsense and misspellings, remains buried forever under my authorship.  That was also that.

These incidents, while certainly small potatoes, are representative of something much larger that we are seeing in our world today.

There are many in positions of varying degrees of influence who have come to believe that they have both the power and perhaps divine right to scrutinize the deeds of others and take any actions they deem appropriate for their own objectives.  They have become the superior beings over the inferior ones who must obey.  The superiors have the right to “otherize,” to wield their power, to view and treat other persons or groups as intrinsically different from and alien to themselves.  “Otherization,” the noun, describes the condition in which an individual or group is excluded by an artificially established norm, thereby creating the discord endemic to a class system.

In our own schools, academia has infused a program that, under the guise of diversity, has divided the children against themselves, taught them to otherize by ethnicity, race, sex, and country of origin.  Instead of equality in laws and opportunities, they are taught equity, for equal outcome, which is unfairly regulating opportunities and treatment for enforced conformity.  The current vilification that has captured and manipulated our population is turning people of color against all Caucasians, uniting against so-called “white supremacism.”  They are first imbued with a sense of victimization, resentment and anger, then inflated with an entitlement, superiority, and need for revenge.  They are never taught that all of mankind’s history is a story of enslavement of all people, and that we in the west have made the abolition of slavery the law of our land.

The new powerful are then spurred to riot, damage, loot, cause harm and pain, while being exonerated of conscience and remorse.  These are our own “jihadis,” protected by their uniform black clothes and masks to erase detection, shame and facial expressions.  They are united to loot, set fires, bring down monuments to erase our history, and blamelessly attack police and everyday citizens.  This power of destruction, permitted, and even fortified, to flourish with payments and donated signs and weapons, enriches them to continue.  Their destruction has now reached a price tag of many hundreds of millions of dollars.

We know the schools are complicit.  For too long our revolutionary academia abandoned their dedication to a good education and replaced it with social justice ideology – with the goal of redistribution of everything for equity – the same outcome regardless of talent, ability, hard work, acquired knowledge and achievement.  The promise of equal opportunity penned in the US Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson has been corrupted by the socialists; the lot of some coming at the expense of others.  The elements of tribalism and discord are overcoming civilization and the cardinal values we hold dear.”

Beyond the foregoing luminaries are those of far greater influence, the social-media ubermenchen of the Internet or World Wide Web, whose world view is socialism, globalism, and intolerance of the “others.”  Being bestowed with enormous wealth, they therefore presume that they must possess exceptional wisdom.  Known as “Big Tech” (BT), they use their technological muscle to censor, shadow ban, and data mine to swing our country’s ideology to the left.  Established in the milieu of freedom of speech, intellect, information, expression, differing ideas and honest debate, BT not only discourages these ideals but is capable of removing them entirely.  Any topic researched may come up its opposite, to the leftist platform, or completely obliterated.

They are self-anointed standard bearers whose rules are resolute.   Views deemed “hate speech,” without explanation or defense, are eradicated.  The culprits are Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Youtube, which limit “dangerous content” (others’ views) and have gone so far as to remove access to communication necessities from the President of the United States.  If they can do it to him, why not to the rest of us?  A 2020 survey showed that Americans believed Big Tech has too much power, their reach immeasurable, their damage unbounded.

Their power extends to political coercion, control of information to affect public relations and opinions.  Suggestions of buyers’ remorse with regard to the election of Biden-Harris are suddenly surfacing as voters are learning what was previously withheld – information detrimental to their Constitutional rights.  The acolytes of the elites further conducted ballot harvesting, tampering and stuffing; voter suppression, and illegal poling practices.  Their minions threaten job loss and even bodily harm. All of this is only acceptable to a self-proclaimed elite who think in terms of ‘them’ and ‘us,’ classic otherization.

The winner was announced, the installation made – of a mentally impaired man who is illegally using the title and position of President of the United States.  This was a dream come true, not for us, but for former President Obama, who openly declared that he wanted a third term as president, because he is assuredly pulling the strings in the Deep State.  He now has four more years to bring to ruin the country that he and his wife openly detest and disrespect.  And should the illegitimacy be challenged, a tall wall with razor wire (a wall that Democrats eschewed for our southern border) encircles the compound in Washington.  Further, 27,000 armed National Guards also patrol, a sure-fire sign of a tyrannical regime’s preparedness to fight the 80 million flag-waving, freedom-loving American citizens, the Others.

We are now as close as we could ever have imagined to being a totalitarian state, with companies closing and rampant job loss, citizens deprived of access to communication and other basic services, opinions stifled and threats of re-education camps or classes.  The left has ample control over every facet of our society and, cleverly, has shifted the blame to the victims, the Others, the inferior white Europeans whose ancestry built the best free nation in the world, the ones who said we have a Republic – if we can keep it.

©Tabitha Korol. All rights reserved.

POLITICAL RATS: Lincoln Project Co-Founder John Weaver Exposed… [Video]


Last summer I posted on the political rats at the Lincoln Project.  This is an update on how the rats are scurrying now as one of their own has been outed as a sexual predator.

You have probably seen the news (a well-kept secret among deep Staters), but I am posting it because I had been so outraged that this bunch of Republican traitors, never-Trumpers, was filling the airwaves with trash about President Trump and doing it using Lincoln’s name.

Here is Breitbart with news on how this all went down…

Ryan Girdusky: Lincoln Project Is Part Grift, Part Grooming Operation for John Weaver

“The Lincoln Project has always been just two things: a grift for people to make money and a grooming organization for John Weaver to meet young men to try to get them in bed,” said Ryan Girdusky, journalist and author of They’re Not Listening: How The Elites Created the National Populist Revolution, on Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Girdusky broke the news that John Weaver, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, allegedly sought sexual contact with young men in exchange for jobs in politics.

“Within a day [of Weaver following me on Twitter], young men started coming forward and saying to me that I should be on the lookout,” Girdusky stated. Girdusky began investigating accusations of Weaver’s sexual solicitations from young men after being followed by Weaver on Twitter.

“They said, ‘This is what John Weaver does. He reached out to young men like me and he says I can give you a job opportunity if you promise me sex in the end.’ It’s three young guys who reached out to me very early on.”

Girdusky added, “I was trying to find out how many people possibly know about John Weaver, and it became very abundantly clear very early on that everyone knew. If you worked politics, there was no way you did not know about John Weaver and his actions towards young men, preying on young men.”

Republican strategist and political pundit Karl Rove saidon Monday that he knew of Weaver’s “pattern of behavior” since 1988.

So Karl Rove knew in 1988 that a top Republican strategist was using his position to seduce young men and never outed him?

The Breitbart story wraps with this:

The Lincoln Project raised over $87 million since its launch at the end of 2019.

One person enjoying a little schadenfreude today is Sarah Palin who knew all the rats surrounding Republican John McCain.

Endnote: I got my first appeal for money from the Republican Party yesterday and I am happily returning a note to them in their prepaid envelope, sans money of course!

RELATED ARTICLE: Lincoln Project leaders ‘disgusted and outraged’ after 21 men accused co-founder of sexual harassment

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

California’s new ‘ethnic studies’ high school curriculum legitimizes Boycott the Jews (BDS) Movement

Democrat Nazi party passing its version of the Nuremberg laws. Make no mistake, the Boycott, Divest, Sanction [Israel] movement is this century’s Nazi movement, only on a worldwide scale. It is the same tactic, same viciousness, same lies, same thuggery. Preceding Kristallnacht, the Nazis called for Germans to boycott Jewish-owned businesses. This was the direct antecedent to the boycott, divestment, sanction Israel (BDS movement). This is no different.

The Left continue their relentless campaign to legitimize Jew-hatred in the United States. In 2016, “California’s then Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a mandate to develop an ethnic studies program for high schools in California.” The latest draft of this program has been released. It’s a nightmare. It is virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. If there are not significant modifications made to this draft, then California high schools will become much less comfortable for Jewish students to say the least.

California Is Cleansing Jews From History

By Tablet, January 28, 2021

n the fall of 2016, California’s then Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a mandate to develop an ethnic studies program for high schools in California. California’s public schools have the most ethnically diverse student body in the nation, with three-quarters of students belonging to minorities and speaking over 90 languages.

Elina Kaplan, a former high-tech manager who had just stepped down as senior VP of one of California’s largest affordable housing nonprofits, remembers agreeing wholeheartedly with the idea at the time. “The objective was to build bridges of understanding between people,” said Kaplan, an immigrant herself, who moved to California from the former Soviet Union with her family when she was 11. “This was as welcome as mom and apple pie. It offered students the chance to learn about the accomplishments of ethnic minorities, as well as to address issues of inequality and bigotry.”

But three years later, when the first draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) was released, Kaplan couldn’t believe what she was reading. In one sample lesson, she saw that a list of historic U.S. social movements—ones like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Criminal Justice Reform—also included the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement for Palestine (BDS), described as a “global social movement that currently aims to establish freedom for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions.” Kaplan wondered why a foreign movement, whose target was another country, would be mischaracterized as a domestic social movement, and she was shocked that in a curriculum that would be taught to millions of students, BDS’s primary goal—the elimination of Israel—was not mentioned. Kaplan also saw that the 1948 Israel War of Independence was only referred to as the “Nakba”—“catastrophe” in Arabic—and Arabic verses included in the sample lessons were insulting and provocative to Jews.

Kaplan, 53, a Bay Area mother of two grown children who describes herself as a lifelong Democrat, was further surprised to discover that a list of 154 influential people of color did not include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, or Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, though it included many violent revolutionaries. There was even a flattering description of Pol Pot, the communist leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, who was responsible for the murder of a quarter of the Cambodian population during the 1970s.

Kaplan began calling friends. “Have you read this?” she asked, urging them to plow through the 600-page document. The language was bewildering. “Ethnic Studies is about people whose cultures, hxrstories, and social positionalities are forever changing and evolving. Thus, Ethnic Studies also examines borders, borderlands, mixtures, hybridities, nepantlas, double consciousness, and reconfigured articulations. …” This was the telltale jargon of critical race theory, a radical doctrine that has swept through academic disciplines during the last few decades.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Won’t Know Much About History

The old song said, “Don’t Know Much About History.” But if Joe Biden gets his way, we could revise the title to “Won’t Know Much About History.”

One of the last things outgoing-President Trump did was to sign an executive order on the 1776 Commission. It is geared toward teaching American school children about America’s true source of greatness.

Yet one of the first things incoming-President Biden did was to sign an executive order nullifying Trump’s 1776 initiative.

After Biden’s action—on his first day in office, as if this were a high priority—the 1776 Commission responded with a joint statement from its chairman, Dr. Larry P. Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College, prominent conservative African-American scholar Dr. Carol Swain, retired professor of Vanderbilt Law School, and Dr. Matthew Spalding, the vice president and dean of the school of government of Hillsdale’s D.C. campus.

They wrote, “The 1776 Report calls for a return to the unifying ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence. It quotes the greatest Americans, black and white, men and women, in devotion to these ideals. The Commission may be abolished, but these principles and our history cannot be. We will all continue to work together to teach and to defend them.”

The 1776 Report the commission released observes:

“The declared purpose of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission is to ‘enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.’ This requires a restoration of American education, which can only be grounded on a history of those principles that is ‘accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring, and ennobling.’”

Meanwhile, a group of historians condemns the 1776 Commission as being simplistic and misleading: “The report actually consists of two main themes. One is an homage to the Founding Fathers, a simplistic interpretation that relies on falsehoods, inaccuracies, omissions, and misleading statements. The other is a screed against a half-century of historical scholarship, presented largely as a series of caricatures, using single examples (most notably the ‘1619 Project’) to represent broader historiographical trends.”

I asked the aforementioned Dr. Carol Swain about this critique of the 1776 Commission. She told me, “They misunderstood the purpose of the Commission. We were not writing for academic scholars. It was never meant to be a comprehensive history report. We did want to address that part of today’s public debate as exemplified by the 1619 Project.”

The 1619 Project of the New York Times postulates that America’s real birth date was 1619 when the first African slaves came to these shores. Sadly, the 1619 Project is now being disseminated in many of our schools, thus, leading more young Americans to disparage our nation’s history.

But slavery was not unique to America—700,000 men dying in a national conflict that ended slavery is unique.

There is indeed a battle over American history. This is not just a battle over dry historical dates and names. It’s a battle over who we were, what we are, and what we will be.

What is America? In its essence, it is self-governance under God. Our Constitution is predicated on the Declaration of Independence, which mentions God four times. In effect, our founders declared their independence from England and their dependence upon God. As JFK put it, our founders declared, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

Jarrett Stepman of the Heritage Foundation wrote an entire book on the conflict over teaching the past, entitled, The War On History. He told me, “I think there’s been a long-term push, especially in education, not just the K-12 level but certainly from higher education, to basically turn around Americans and make them think that, ‘Well not only is our past unexceptional, it’s exceptionally bad.’ And I think that that narrative is so big in society now.”

He added, “We’re not a perfect country, as human beings are certainly not perfect. But this country has done a lot of great things….I think there are, unfortunately, a very powerful group of activists in this country, a lot of people in academia and higher education, who want to change that, who want to make Americans feel like their country is built on something terrible.”

I am of the persuasion that God did something unique in politics and world governance in the creation of the United States. Yes, slavery and mistreatment of the Native-Americans were there almost from the beginning. But these were in violation of the promise of America. They happened despite the promise of America, not because of it. And it was that promise that leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King appealed to in abolishing those injustices. History matters a great deal.

©Jerry Newcomb. All rights reserved.

‘Canceling’ Student Debt is Unfair to Graduates Like Me Who Sacrificed to Pay Off Our Loans

I gave up a lot to accomplish what I did, but debt ‘forgiveness’ would punish taxpayers like me for our hard work and frugality.


A year after graduating from college, I was able to pay off my student loans in full. Now, President Biden wants me to pay for my peers who have yet to do the same.

Biden’s platform includes “student loan forgiveness” of at least $10,000 per person. Meanwhile, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer have proposed $50,000 in debt forgiveness per individual. On its surface, this sounds generous. American student loan debt is nearing $1.6 trillion, and the cost of college is higher than ever. But what does this “forgiveness” entail on a moral level?

Loans are not “forgiven” or magically disappeared. They are paid off by taxpayers. Whether it is through higher taxes, printing more money, or contributing directly from the national debt, you and I will end up being the ones that pay for it. The United States is already over $27 trillion in debt and $125 trillion deep in unfunded liabilities.

Essentially, the debt burden is shifted off of the shoulders of those who signed the loans and on to everyone who pays federal taxes. If you’re like me, that’s fundamentally unfair.

Paying off my student loans was a concerted effort that took sacrifice. I started working after graduating from SUNY Albany in 2018. Following Dave Ramsey’s financial plan, I cut my living expenses, took on a side gig, and threw all that I could at my $27,000 in student loans.

I cooked my own meals and bought the most affordable groceries. Although I could afford an apartment, I chose to live in subsidized company housing one-and-a-half hours away from my workplace. Commuting for 15 hours a week was part of the price I paid to square my debt sooner.

I packed lunch most days, even when I had to wake up early to do so. It saved money at the cost of the convenience of eating out. Some nights after work I stayed up late to do freelance translation work instead of enjoying leisure time. I gave up a lot to accomplish what I did, but debt “forgiveness” would punish taxpayers like me for our hard work and frugality—just so others don’t have to take responsibility for their own choices.

Rather than stopping at saying that student loan forgiveness is unfair (it is), or that we can’t afford it (we can’t), we should take a deeper look at the root of the debate surrounding student loans. The student loan forgiveness camp is operating from the assumption that people are entitled to a college education and other peoples’ hard work. It codifies in policy the idea that adults are not responsible for their own actions (i.e. taking on debt). In a free society, I am not entitled to a college education and neither is anyone else.

Taking out a loan is a choice, and personal responsibility shouldn’t be supplanted by taxpayer bailouts. “Canceling” student loans means penalizing people like me for honoring my word and repaying the debt I chose to accept.

COLUMN BY

Matthew Noyes

Mathew Noyes graduated from SUNY Albany summa cum laude with majors in Political Science and Japanese Language. He is a columnist at Lone Conservative.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Flashback: Atlanta Grandfather Viciously Beaten, Left for Dead by Gang of Biden Voters

Taught by the political party they favor to hate white people, attackers left victim unconscious with multiple facial fractures.


When it first opened in 1969, Underground Atlanta was one of the most popular tourist and entertainment districts in the Southeast. My wife and I went there regularly with friends.

By 1972, Underground’s attendance topped 3.5 million. In 1973, there were 65 businesses employing hundreds of workers. At its peak, there were more than 80 restaurants, bars, boutiques, and shops in the Underground complex. Like the rest of the city back then, Underground Atlanta was clean, vibrant and safe.

But like the city itself, the attraction soon fell on hard times.

During a period that coincided almost perfectly with the Democratic Party’s adoption of its racially-divisive identity politics election strategy, Underground Atlanta became a dangerous place to visit, especially after dark. As violent crimes in the surrounding parking lots became commonplace, my wife and I stopped going to Underground, as did most Atlantans.

Over the years, persistent crime continued to plague the development. Despite a major renovation in the late 1980s, Underground Atlanta has faced a constant struggle to recover its initial glory.

Underground’s GM pays steep price for doing his job

Craig Waters is general manager of Underground Atlanta. Last June, after a night of race riots over the alleged police murder of George Floyd, the 66-year-old grandfather was the target of a vicious unprovoked attack by multiple black suspects while inspecting broken windows and other damage done to Underground property. Waters was beaten unconscious, suffering multiple facial fractures, including a broken eye socket. See shocking photographs of his injuries in this local TV report.

Would Waters have been beaten and left for dead if he wasn’t white? Probably not. Black-on-white racial hatred is inevitable when a political party spends a half-century telling inner city voters that white people are responsible for the wretched lives they lead.

Those who attacked Waters must be held accountable. What they did was evil, but I do not believe they are inherently evil people. The odds are off the charts that they were set on a troubled path earlier in life by virtue of the woefully substandard education meted out by Atlanta’s incompetent public schools. And, they were indoctrinated at every turn with the poisonous critical race narrative that white people are hostile to their interests. With two strikes like those against them, it’s hardly surprising that they lashed out in violence when an opportunity to vent their frustrations arose.

For the last half-century, Atlanta City Schools have been under the ironclad control of Democrats. While Atlanta’s most disadvantaged citizens live in rundown neighborhoods marred by rampant crime, generational poverty and chronic despair, the city’s lavishly-paid mayor, school superintendent and other high ranking officials drive new cars, live in new homes, dine at gourmet restaurants and vacation at 5-star resorts.

The inexcusable failure of Democrats to adequately educate the most disadvantaged children in our society is further described in the article below.


Battle for a Good Education | The Daily Signal

Big-City Schools: Where America’s Most Vulnerable Kids Languish

Democrats and Republicans alike say they’re fully committed to seeing that every child receives a quality education.  Bipartisan agreement notwithstanding, school children in urban America have gotten the short end of the learning stick for a long, long time.  How can anyone defend the following statistics?

  • In 2010-2011, public schools in the nation’s capitol spent $29,345 per pupil — nearly $600,000 per each classroom of 20 students —  yet the District’s 8th graders finished dead last in a nationwide proficiency test in math and reading.
  • According to a 2015 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 96 percent of 8th graders in Detroit’s public schools tested not proficient in math, and 93 percent tested not proficient in reading.
  • According to a 2017 investigation by Project Baltimore, 13 of the city’s 39 public high schools had zero students who tested proficient in math.  Zero!  Of the 3,841 students in the remaining 26 high schools, only 14 tested at or above proficiency in math, less than one-third of one percent.

For a half-century running, Democrat-run urban schools have robbed minority children of a realistic chance for a decent education.  In addition to earning an F-minus in their assigned duty to adequately educate students under their care, the three school districts named above have something else in common: they all are run by highly-paid Democrat administrators whose foremost priority is catering to the demands of teachers unions, one of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies.

In school systems with teachers unions exist, Democrats look the other way as the interests of teachers take precedence over the interests of children.  And no wonder. The overwhelming share of union dues paid by teachers is money-laundering study, nearly 99% of teachers union political donations in 2012 went to Democrats.  In 2016, teachers unions gave $43 million to Democrats, $260,000 to Republicans.

Teachers First, Children Second

Once sub-standard teachers have tenure, a Herculean effort is required to get rid of them.  The teachers-first, children-second pecking order in the school systems cited below exists in virtually every urban school district in America, where a king’s ransom of precious educational funding is frittered away to protect bad teachers.

  • New York City public schoolsoperate16 reassignment centers, also known as “rubber rooms.”  Rubber rooms are off-campus facilities where teachers accused of incompetence or gross misconduct are warehoused, as their glacial, union-mandated appeals process drones on, often for years.  While receiving full pay and benefits, teachers in rubber room limbo spend each six-hour day napping, reading magazines, playing cards or other leisure activities.  Despite constant complaints that it would do a better job of educating minority children if only it’s given more money, the city’s bloated and incompetent public school system squanders $150 million a year paying hundreds of unionized teachers to do little more than kill time while waiting to find out if they’ll be fired.  Wasting $150 million would be one thing if the city’s public schools did even a minimally acceptable job of educating disadvantaged minority children, but New York City has some of the sorriest public schools in America.
  • Getting rid of bad teachers is so difficult in Democrat-run school districts that Milwaukee’s public schools cameup with a mitigation plan called The Dance of the Lemons.  Because teachers union contracts protect all teachers, including those deemed unfit to teach, school principals in Milwaukee found it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.  To cope with the problem, principals hold a meeting at the end of the school year, where one principal swaps his or her worst teachers in exchange for another principal’s worst teachers, with both principals hoping the lemons they get won’t be as bad as the lemons they swapped.  How are the interests of students served when unfit teachers are shuffled around from one school to another in an endless game of musical chairs where every bad teacher gets a seat?
  • New York City and Milwaukee aren’t the only places where unionized, Democrat-run schools fail miserably at adequately educating minority children.  A 2010 investigation by L.A. Weekly found that the Los Angeles Unified School District spent $3.5 million trying to fire seven teachers for poor classroom performance.  Only four of the seven were eventually fired at the end of their union-mandated appeals process, which dragged on for an average of five years at an average cost of $875,000 per fired teacher.  Despite blowing through enormous sums of education funding, Los Angeles public schools graduated just 44% of its high school students in 2006, making it one of the worst-performing school districts in America.  Graduation rates in Los Angeles have since improved, but only after the Democrat-controlled California Department of Education changed its formula for determining graduation requirements.

Inexcusably sorry public schools in Democrat-run cities are nothing new.   They’ve existed continually for the last half-century, with millions of minority students left unprepared to succeed in later life.

The High Cost (to Students) of Bad Teachers

Just as it’s true that good teachers can have an extraordinarily positive impact on the future lives of their students, it’s also true that bad teachers can cause lasting harm to the futures of their students.

According to a study cited by Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, “a high-value-added teacher in grades 4-8 has a noticeable impact on subsequent long-term outcomes, including college attendance, earnings and family creation.”  How can young adults who were stuck with sub-standard teachers in the public schools they attended possibly do well in later life?  To be fair, socio-economics also plays a role in poor outcomes, but which party is responsible for the welfare-for-votes policies that inevitably lead to broken homes, generational poverty and chronic despair?

School Choice to the Rescue

How can our society help urban students get out of rotten public schools, and into the same kind of safe, high-performing private academies attended by children of affluent families?  The surest way is through federally-funded school choice vouchers.

Unfortunately, the mutually back-scratching alliance between Democrats and teachers unions blocks school choice at every turn.  In doing so, their unholy confederation wreaks unmitigated havoc on inner city communities by robbing generations of urban children of a realistic shot at a decent education.

Although Democrats and teachers unions know better, they say private schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  Anyone who thinks that should ask the two brothers in the video below.  Their story should be the story of every disadvantaged child in America.

©

New York Teacher Couldn’t Teach In-Person, Could Molest Girl In-Person

New York City’s teachers’ union, like its counterparts around the country, has been doing everything possible to fight against the need to reopen schools.

New York finally reopened elementary schools, but the United Federation of Teachers has been fighting against reopening middle schools and high schools. The so-called solidarity caucus of 4,000 UFT teachers wants to close schools entirely. Other lefty elements in the UFT have been shrieking that making them do their jobs will kill them. This didn’t stop them from trekking off to Sharpton’s 50,000 bigot march in D.C. or from protesting in person against teaching in person.

In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers, which is affiliated with the AFT, marched with cardboard coffins and fake body bags. Some union teachers wore skeleton t-shirts.

A Halloween skeleton attached to a garbage bag held a cardboard sickle and a message written next to dripping blood, “Welcome Back to School”. “I can’t teach from a cemetery,” one sign claimed. Another declared, “We Won’t Die for the Department of Education.”

Despite their claim that they feared for their lives, the march had little social distancing.

Meanwhile Annie Tan is keeping up her shtick of being the poster girl for the UFT’s “Making Us Teach Kids Will Kill Us” movement. If you want a sample, her current Twitter handle is, “Annie Tan is no martyr for DOE”.

“I think in particular “I have a right not to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me” is the truest and most life-affirming thing I can read during this pandemic. My and our community health and well-being are way more important than our value and productivity to capitalism,” she tweeted.

Meanwhile, one middle school teacher found the time to do things in person.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s says a New York City teacher was arrested after he met up with a Florida minor he met online.

According to the sheriff, on Saturday, January 23, around 1:30 a.m., Zeshaan Naqvi, 31, picked up a minor at their Tampa residence and brought them back to his hotel room.

The sheriff’s office said Naqvi was arrested at the hotel and admitted to officials he knew the victim was underage.

“It never ceases to amaze us the lengths predators will go to, to get what they want,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “In this case, a middle school history teacher booked a ticket, boarded a plane, and traveled across the country to meet with a minor who he had been chatting with for about three months. This behavior is deeply disturbing and serves as a grim warning to parents to monitor their child’s online activity.”

Zeshaan Naqvi appears to be a teacher at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens which is a middle school. Naqvi appears to live in Queens which is home to a large Muslim community.

The situation obviously reminds people of the Muslim sex grooming scandals in the UK.

Either way, if UFT teachers can molest students in person, they can teach in person.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Feminists: Biden Gender Identity Order ‘Unprecedented Attack on Women’s Rights and Liberty for Everybody’

Then why did you vote for him? Because you thought he would govern from the center? This is what the anti-Trump feminists get for voting for Joe Biden. The ruination of women’s athletics. This dreadful executive order will make it impossible for female athletes to compete on a fair basis. Male-to-female transgenders are obviously built much differently than women.

Does President Biden even understand how damaging these executive orders are? Does he even know what he is signing? Or is he just doing what the Left tells him to do? It’s so sad.

Related – Biden executive orders the ‘wishlist of the far left,’ Rubio says 

Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Feminists: Biden Gender Identity Order ‘Unprecedented Attack on Women’s Rights and Liberty for Everybody

By Breitbart, January 22, 2021

Feminists from the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) are condemning President Joe Biden’s executive order that removes any legal recognition of the two sexes and eliminates crucial protections for women in the federal government and beyond.

In a post at WoLF’s website Thursday, the feminist group called Biden’s executive order “an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and liberty for everybody,” noting Biden has circumvented the role of Congress to achieve what many consider to be the most contentious elements of the Equality Act:

With this action, Biden is bypassing the legislative process to implement the most controversial provisions of the Equality Act—changing the definition of sex in federal anti-discrimination regulations so that female people are no longer a discrete class with protected status under the law. As we predicted, the new administration is relying on the Bostock decision to do so.

The group cites the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Bostock v. Clayton Count, which, it states, “was clear … the ruling was only meant to be applied to hiring and firing discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”

“While we strongly support protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation,” the feminists assert, “The Biden administration has grossly expanded the application of the decision with far-reaching implications for women’s rights in nearly every aspect of public life, including Title IX.”

Biden’s executive order, released on the first day of his presidency, embraces transgender ideology:

It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” Biden said, promoting the pro-transgender policies of allowing boys in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms and admitting young men to compete against women in athletics.

WoLF said, as a consequence of Biden’s action, “female federal employees no longer have right to privacy, forced into compelled speech that ‘validates’ men’s identities.”

The feminists explained:

In addition to protecting people who identify as transgender against hiring and firing discrimination, this will also give male employees the right to self-declare themselves to be female and be treated as female for the purpose of sex-segregated facilities. This means that in federal buildings and in workplaces run by federal contractors, the four million women who work for the federal government will be forced to share bathrooms and gym locker rooms with men who say they identify as women.

“Federal employees will likely also be forced to use ‘preferred pronouns’ (inaccurate pronouns) for men who identify as women,” WoLF continued. “This should be seen as a major threat to freedom of speech and is part of a growing pattern of government bodies compelling speech from employees.”

On the first day of Biden’s presidency, the White House contact form was changed to include the visitor’s “pronouns.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ILLINOIS: School Board Denounces Member for ‘Islamophobia’ for Responding to Muslim Colleague’s Smear

Dima Ali called Dan Moroney a “white supremacist.” Moroney’s friend Matt Baron responded by likening Dima Ali to a terrorist. Baron has now been condemned for “Islamophobia,” why isn’t the District 200 school board apologizing for Moroney for Ali’s defamation of him? Because “white supremacist” is the acceptable smear that can be leveled at anyone and everyone who dissents from the Leftist agenda. No apology is necessary.

“D200 board denounces member’s ‘Islamophobia,’” by Michael Romain, OakPark.com, January 6, 2021:

During a special board meeting held Dec. 22, members of the District 200 school board apologized to Oak Park resident Dima Ali and formally denounced comments made by D200 board member Matt Baron that many community members said caused harm to Ali and other Muslim and non-white Oak Parkers.

The controversy dates to a comment written by Ali in November under a Wednesday Journal news article about Oak Park Trustee Dan Moroney, which was posted to Facebook. In her comment, Ali called Moroney a white supremacist.

Baron, who knows Moroney, contacted Wednesday Journal and urged the paper to remove the Facebook comment before submitting an opinion piece to the paper in which he compared Ali’s comment to someone leaving duffle bags in public places — code for terrorism. Ali is Muslim, a fact that Baron subsequently said he did not know at the time he wrote the piece.

Baron issued a written apology roughly a week later, calling his analogy “far too intense” and “needlessly over-the-top as I sought to stir people in this community to push back on unfair character attacks.”

During brief comments made at a Dec. 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, Baron said his metaphor was “intended to provoke bystanders like those who click like or love in response to the white supremacist label,” before doubling down on what he called his “key point — let’s stop the racial identity politics.”

In her remarks made during the Dec. 22 special meeting, Ali said she was disappointed by the board’s delayed response to Baron’s comments and called for his resignation.

“An Islamophobic board member should not be sitting right now like this,” she said, adding that she felt the board failed its marginalized students and community members by not condemning Baron’s remarks more swiftly.

“We’re not terrorists,” said Ali, who is also an Oak Park and River Forest High School parent. “We are your neighbors. … We’re your friends. In this community, we don’t drop suspicious duffel bags, we drop off bags full of donations. We drop off food, soup to any sick friend and community member.”

After Ali’s remarks, D200 board President Sara Dixon Spivy read a statement on behalf of the board majority that “formally denounced” Baron’s opinion piece, adding that Baron also “failed to recognize the impact and harm” of his opinion piece in his subsequent board comments.

The board said Baron’s “racist and Islamophobic remarks directly conflict with this board’s belief in racial equity and inclusion,” adding that they have also “undermined ongoing efforts” made by the district to advance its mission of improving equity and inclusion, and creating a “culture of warmth” for all OPRF students and community members….

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Wikipedia, Karen Armstrong, and Me

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

6 Key Takeaways Every Student Should Receive from Econ 101

A more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of destructive government policies winning public support.


In a 2015 podcast conversation with American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Vox’s Ezra Klein declared that “there’s nothing more dangerous than somebody who’s just taken their first economics class.” Often expressing a similar contempt for Econ 101 is University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak.

This expressed skepticism of Econ 101 comes across as wise and sophisticated—even hip—to many people who don’t grasp Econ 101. And it gives the mistaken impression that those who warn of the alleged folly of taking Econ 101 too seriously are experts not only in elementary economics but also in advanced economics.

Yet this contemptuous dismissal of the relevance of Econ 101 is foolish. Those who express it either really don’t know any economics whatsoever or mistakenly presume that the theoretical curiosities explored in Econ 999 are more relevant than is the reality revealed by Econ 101. But the truth is that Econ 101 taught well supplies ample, important, and timeless insights into the way the world works.

These insights, sadly, are far too rare among those who are unexposed to elementary economics.

No one denies that a deeper understanding of economic reality is supplied by training in sound, advanced economics. If, for example, we’re interested in understanding and predicting many of the details of how people react to changes in particular government policies—and in tracing out some specific consequences of these likely reactions—knowledge of economics beyond that which is conveyed in an intro-econ course is useful.

Similarly, if we want to better understand many observed commercial practices—practices such as corporate stock buybacks or automobile dealerships’ penchant for clustering near each other—then knowledge beyond principles of economics is often necessary.  No one can doubt the usefulness of more advanced economic training.

But it doesn’t follow from these observations that knowledge merely of economic principles is “dangerous.” The young person who absorbs Econ 101 but who takes no further courses in economics will nevertheless, and for the rest of his or her life, possess a genuine understanding of reality that is distressingly rare among politicians, pundits, preachers, and the general public. Far from being a danger to society, this person—inoculated against the worst and most virulent strands of economic ignorance—will serve as a beneficial check on the spread of ideas that are dodgy and sometimes perilous.

The true danger is not knowledge of “only” Econ 101. The true danger is ignorance even of Econ 101.

The typical protectionist opposes free trade not because he aced an advanced econ course and learned that, under just the right circumstances, optimally imposed tariffs can be justified on economic grounds. No. The typical protectionist opposes free trade because he doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. He doesn’t understand that the purpose of trade is to enrich people as consumers and not to guarantee the incomes of existing producers. The typical protectionist doesn’t understand that exports are costs and that imports are benefits. (He thinks it’s the other way ’round.) Failing to understand that the act of importing not only destroys but also creates particular jobs in the domestic economy, the protectionist mistakenly concludes that the more we import the fewer are the number of jobs in our economy.

The typical protectionist, in short, doesn’t understand the first thing about economics. Yet had he taken a well-taught Econ 101 course, he’d not swallow and repeat these and other myths about trade.

Likewise, the typical politician doesn’t support minimum wages because she has concluded after careful study that employers of low-skilled workers possess a sufficient quantum of monopsony power in the labor market, in addition to monopoly power in the output market, to nullify the prediction of basic supply-and-demand analysis that minimum wages shrink low-skilled workers’ employment options. No.

She supports minimum wages because she naively supposes that wages are set arbitrarily by employers and that higher wages come out of either employers’ profits or consumers’ wallets without prompting any changes in employers’ or consumers’ behavior.

And most of this politician’s constituents share her economic ignorance. They miss the reality revealed by Econ 101—namely, that wages are not set arbitrarily by employers and, therefore, that when the cost of employing workers is raised by minimum wages, employers respond in part by employing fewer workers.

In both of the above examples (and these are only two examples of many), more widespread understanding of Econ 101 would reduce the likelihood of these destructive policies winning public support.

They’re called economic principles for a good reason: What is taught in a solid economic-principles course are the principles of the operation of a competitive economy guided by market prices. They describe the logic of markets and, accordingly, in most cases offer a trustworthy guide for understanding the economy—and an understanding of the consequences of government interventions into the economy.

It’s true that reality sometimes serves up circumstances that render knowledge only of economic principles inadequate. But if economic principles did not on most occasions give reliable and useful insights into how real-world economies actually operate, they would be anti-principles. They ought not be taught, and students should demand tuition refunds along with compensation for being defrauded by their colleges.

But in fact, again, enormously important insights are conveyed in a good Econ 101 course. Here’s just a partial list of what an attentive Econ 101 student learns:

  1. Our world is one of unavoidable scarcity, and so to use more resources to produce guns is to have fewer resources available to produce butter. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, a free gun, or a free anything else.
  2. Wealth is goods and services; wealth is not money. And so to create more money without creating more goods and services is to create not more wealth but only more inflation—along with the distortions and uncertainties that inflation unleashes.
  3. When the cost that a person incurs to take some action rises, the attractiveness to that person of taking that action falls. This fact is why higher taxes on carbon emissions reduce carbon emissions and why higher taxes on income-earning activities reduce income-earning activities.
  4. Profits are entrepreneurs’ reward for successfully satisfying consumers’ wants; profits are neither stolen from consumers nor extracted from workers. Therefore, the greater the good performed in the market by entrepreneurs, the higher the entrepreneurs’ profits.
  5. Prices and wages aren’t arbitrary. They’re set in markets by consumers competing against each other to purchase goods and services and by sellers competing against each other to sell goods and services. Sellers in competitive markets no more control prices than do buyers.
  6. Because of the principle of comparative advantage, it’s literally impossible for one country to monopolize the production of all goods and services.

I submit that these and other lessons taught in Econ 101 are vitally significant and need not await being polished and conditioned by the lessons of higher-level economics courses before becoming immensely useful. Far from being dangerous, these and other Econ 101 lessons are beautiful and essential.

This article was reprinted from the American Institute for Economic Research.

COLUMN BY

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

CFACT “Green New Wheel” teaches facts at TPUSA conference

America’s high school and college students are continually battered with misinformation from celebrities, “news” organizations, and social media.

Amid the COVID lockdowns and election controversies, this Left-wing indoctrination is at an all-time high.

That’s why CFACT cosponsored Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit (SAS) in West Palm Beach, FL, this past week – to reach young people directly with facts, not hysteria.

CFACT debuted the “Green New Wheel” table game; an actual, spin-able wheel that CFACT developed to engage the public on the folly behind the Green New Deal.

It “spun up” quite the buzz among hundreds of students, the media, and even a celebrity or two, all while operating under the COVID restrictions put in place by county officials for the conference.

Kirk Cameron, the Christian actor and movie star, and Alex Clark, host of TPUSA’s “POPlitics” show, both took a spin. Unfortunately for Ms. Clark, she landed on Joe Biden and the Green New Deal, which meant she lost. Mr. Cameron, however, landed on free market energy, which gave him the chance at a prize.

Chandler Wysocki, a freshman at the Ohio State University, was very enthusiastic about CFACT’s message after spinning the Green New Wheel. “I love the message, and I am really looking forward to getting plugged in to the CFACT chapter on campus,” Chandler said. “There are tons of events I think we can do. A hike and litter clean up would be great to show that we as conservatives care about the environment, despite what the Left says about us.”

CFACT’s mission also attracted the attention of national media. Both CFACT’s Houser and Bob Knee, CFACT’s National Field Coordinator, were interviewed by America’s Voice TV about their mission on college campuses. Additionally, Bob sat down with Cindy Drukier, host of The Nation Speaks, a news program with NTD.com, to discuss the growing threat of China to freedom. Bob explained how China is using environmental issues as a political chess piece to gain influence and power on the world stage.

“With the Paris Climate Accord specifically, the Chinese Communist Party is using that agreement to gain a serious edge economically,” Knee explained. “In that deal the West has to slash emissions, but China gets to keep building as many coal plants as they want. It’s ridiculous.

In addition to CFACT’s presence, there were many big-name speakers who took the stage at the Summit, including Tucker Carlson, Governor Kristi Noem, Dinesh D’Souza, Jude Jeanine Pirro, and more.

“These students were fired up. They love freedom, and they understand that it is capitalism, not socialism that brings prosperity and helps the environment,” Houser said. “Look for big things from these new CFACT activists next semester and beyond.”

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.