Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Reading List Wars

I was reading The Passive Voice blog, and this caught my eye.
Publishing Perspectives readers are familiar with this case from our reporting earlier this month on how the police organization president, John Blackmon is calling for an English-class summer reading list to drop The Hate U Give (HarperCollins, 2017) by Angie Thomas and All American Boys (Simon & Schuster, 2015) by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
Both books have stories that include police brutality and racism as themes, and both are among the most highly acclaimed bestsellers in their sector of recent years. Blackmon’s complaint about the books–two of four titles from which students of Wando High Schoo’s English 1 class in Mount Pleasant are to choose and read one.
In the guild’s open letter to the police group, executive director Mary Rasenberger writes, “Attempts at censorship by law enforcement organizations cannot be tolerated in a democracy. Educators must be free to choose books on any and all subjects for their students’ reading.”
The position of the Guild is clear - government employees are NOT to dictate which books schools will use.

However, as Passsive Guy points out,
this is an argument between two different entities comprised of government employees.
 Furthermore, like the Guild, the police organization - the FOP, the Fraternal Order of Police - is NOT an official part of government. It is a private, voluntary organization - which makes this NOT censorship, which is action by government.

Because I like to see context, I checked out some of the lists (the two books that caused objections are boldfaced):

English I - CP (College Prep)

  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds - kid out to avenge brother's death, meets people who have been affected by violence
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - story of refugees on a boat that will be sunk - set in WWII
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - chance meeting between rich privileged boy, and poor immigrant Jamaican girl who is being deported
English I - Honors
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds - what are the odds! Another book by the same guy as above! This is one of the ones that was specifically objected to. It deals with racial tension in school and community (hint: the cops AREN'T the good guys)
  • Denton Little’s Death Date by Lance Rubin - science can predict your date of death - the named protagonist is due to die tomorrow.
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin - alternative WWII history - girl escapes from death camp, is changed by experiments performed on her
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - a classic, for once
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles - yet another classic - one that is specifically anti-war
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - yet another classic - government is the evil one, again
English II - CP - repeats the list of English I CP

English II - Honors
  • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding - yet another classic, this one showing how awful young men are
  • A Hope in the Unseen:  An American Odyssey from the Innter City to the Ivy League, by Ron Suskind - yes, that IS a typo in the list - poor Black kid succeeds
  • Educated, by Tara Westover - a girl from a survivalist family leaves them, and 'gits her an edu-ka-shun'
  • Elon Musk:  Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance - biography
  • Sgt. Reckless:  America’s War Horse,by Robin Hutton - bio of a horse - but, she's FEMALE!
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls - po' girl leaves crazy family behind, becomes successful (hey, isn't there already one book on the list like that?)
English III CP

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, (fiction) - Indian kid moves to a school off-rez, where is it the only Indian other than the mascot
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gina Showalter, (fiction)
  • Gal by Ruthie Bolton, (biography) - girl grows up in abusive SC home
  • Gym Candy by Carl Deuker, (fictionGroomed by his fater (sp) to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids.
  • Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls, (fiction) - ranch girl, breaks horses, grows up to speak against prejudice (another by the same author as the above list)
  • Sunrise of Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers, (fiction) - Robin Perry from Harlem is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him. 
English III Honors

ð     The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - fiction - slave in the Grimke family, and owner-daughter of the house (in real life, a feminist and abolitionist) - both changed by their relationship
ð     The Color of Water by James McBride - author writes of his mother, daughter of Polish immigrants who marries Black minister, has 11 children
ð     The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - child befriends her coach and teacher. Turns out, he is a Nazi. Will she betray him to his pursueers? Will she help him kill himself? Who cares?
ð     Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (repetition? They seem to like the same authors a LOT) - a story about a school shooter. The other book that was protested - and, again, WHAT A SURPRISE! The cops shot a young man who wasn't doin' nothin' at all!
ð     The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - girl from the hood, attends a prep school. She witnesses a shooting by a cop. Outrage ensues. Did I mention that the kid that got shot had been doing NOTHING, nothing at ALL?
ð     Toughness  by Jay Bilas - coach talks about how to be mentally tough
ð     Beautiful Boy by David Sheff - journalist father talks about his son's battle with addiction to meth
ð     Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance - a REALLY good book. Vance is hard-headed about the deficiencies and strengths of his family, and what it took to get out of the poverty trap.

There are more books - go here to see the rest. What strikes me about the choices is that they are so problem-focused. Only a few are not destined to be forgotten in a short time, both by readers, and by history.

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Monday, July 09, 2018

What Women Mean to the Left

Tools.https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270615/sex-lies-and-deep-state-daniel-greenfield


Nellie Ohr, employee of Fusion GPS (source of the 'pee-pee' story), with her husband, Bruce Ohr, deputy attorney with the DOJ, who worked with Steele (who promoted the 'dossier'), until Steele was fired. Nellie's work at Fusion was directly tied to trying to bring Trump down.

Nellie is Yet Another Woman Useful Only Due to Hubby - YAWUODUH. HRC, is, of course, the Premier Example.

Bruce has since been demoted, although he is still employed by the DOJ, and retains his position as director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).

He got off lightly; actions like his can result in JAIL TIME.

Not for Democrats, of course. Even with evidence of DNC and HRC campaign payments.

Sex-for-information.




AMAZINGLY, Ali Watkins just HAPPENS to have 'fallen' for men COINCIDENTLY placed in positions that could provide her with information that could fuel stories that would promote her career.

What a LUCKY girl!!!!

TWICE!!!!!!! Some girls have ALL the luck!

Naturally, some non-Leftists have charged that she used her vag*** for profit, making her a who**, but that's just people envious of her luck.

Use and Abuse.



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Saturday, July 07, 2018

An Update on Previous Posts About Vaccination

I've blogged about this issue in the past - no, I doubt that vaccines are responsible for autism, but I do believe that inoculating pre-school children with the high number of vaccines on the schedule is probably not in that particular child's best interest.


The recommended schedule for children - check out the large number of vaccines, and particularly the number given when the kid is only 2 months.

Both doctors and the CDC strongly discourage alternative scheduling (designed to reduce the number of vaccines in a single visit). They admit that they do so to improve the chances that all shots will be given, not because it's better for the child to be given so many different vaccines at one time.

But, some of these don't make sense - IF the kid is not in a group child care setting.

I looked up one of the diseases on the schedule - Rotavirus. I'd not heard of it before (link to CDC site).
Rotavirus was the leading cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children in the United States before rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 2006. Prior to vaccine introduction, almost all U.S. children were infected with rotavirus before their 5th birthday. Each year, among U.S. children younger than 5 years of age, rotavirus led to
  • more than 400,000 doctor visits,
  • more than 200,000 emergency room visits,
  • 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and
  • 20 to 60 deaths.
Globally, rotavirus is still the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children. In 2013, rotavirus caused an estimated 215,000 deaths worldwide in children younger than 5 years old.
Those most at risk?
Among U.S. children, those in child care centers or other settings with many young children are most at risk for infection.  
So, it's really mostly because kids are in day care that this disease has become so widespread.

HPV issues

More links

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Friday, July 06, 2018

After the Crisis - Puerto Rico

One of the many things Leftists and those allied with them fulminate about is the Federal Government's response to the crisis after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

Did the Federal Government delay aid? Were they trying to 'kill people', as a few more hysterical people have suggested?

Well, no.

The problems of Puerto Rico long precede Hurricane Maria. The island has been over budget, corrupt, and willing to let its people live in appalling conditions for many decades. The hurricane did not cause the problems. The Federal government refused to let politicians use this tragedy as an excuse for open-handed tsunamis of cash, delivered to the more-than eager political class - i.e., greedy crooks.

First, Trump has been criticized for bringing attention to the government's use of some of the money it received for bonuses for government workers. They DID do this, claiming that the law compelled them to.

B$. They had a choice - to use that money for its intended purpose, which was to restore basic services to the island. Instead, they chose to use it to reward their cronies in government. Even Snopes, for all its twisting around, can't evade the basic truth.

This report of the crisis has a more balanced analysis of the situation.

  • First, a message from Ground Zero - "Local officials praised the Trump administration’s response..."
  • "The aid effort quickened with the opening of the island’s main port in the capital, San Juan, allowing 11 ships to bring in 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, dozens of generators and food. Dozens more shipments are expected in upcoming days."
  • "The federal aid effort is racing to stem a growing crisis in towns left without water, fuel, electricity or phone service. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) said they would take satellite phones to all of Puerto Rico’s towns and cities, more than half of which were cut off." This was augmented by ham radio operators, who brought communication to many of the more remote parts of the country.
  • "The island’s infrastructure was in sorry shape long before Maria struck. A $73bn debt crisis has left agencies like the state power company broke. As a result the power company abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years, leaving the island subject to regular blackouts." So, being without power is something the people learned to live without, BEFORE the hurricane.
  • "A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances authorized up to $1bn in local funds to be used for hurricane response, but Governor Rossello said he would ask for more." Greedy b@$t@rd.
  • I guess that his experience in private industry was a plus, as "Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response before the storm hit"

Official death count - 55 souls. Ignore those 'estimates" of dead people - they are based on ridiculously-skewed 'math' models. The actual number is bad enough.

Even NBC had to admit that the Federal government had responded admirably, even as they added to the calls for more aid.

But, what about those reports that business interests kept Trump from helping the island?

Bunk.

The Jones Act mandates that US ships must be used to carry all merchandise to the island. Is this bad?
Proponents of the Jones Act say that without it, the country would be forced to rely on cheaper international ships operated by foreign workers and put American vessels in a more crowded and less efficient shipping environment.
Temporarily waiving the Jones Act for Puerto Rico "would take American first responders out of the loop and replace them with Filipino or Russian or Chinese crews," Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. "Doing that at a time when many U.S. mariners in this region have had their homes damaged, their lives uprooted and now they need to work, to take that away is not something you want to do."
Keep in mind that the Jones Act is helping provide much needed money to families of the dock and ship workers. Work - not charity.

The bottlenecks for private charity efforts continue.

And, some of that is solely due to people on the island.
Part of the reason for the distribution backlog is that only 20% of truck drivers have reported back to work since Hurricane Maria swept through, according to a representative for Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.
As always, private efforts often have the most positive impact.
One of the guiding concepts of disaster relief in recent years is that neighbors are the real first responders. In a large event like a hurricane, there are never enough EMTs, police, firefighters, and medical personnel in a place, and it’s impossible to bring them in immediately. The essential role played by the Cajun Navy and other good samaritans in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey demonstrated both the importance of ordinary citizens and the ways in which governmental response is delayed and limited even when running as designed.
 It took ARMED FORCES to get equipment and materials that had been hoarded released.

The power problems pre-dated the hurricane.
Mismanagement is not a new phenomenon for PREPA, which for decades has been Puerto Rico’s sole power provider. For most of that time, it had been self-regulated, with a board comprised largely of political appointees with little to no background in the electricity sector. The lack of oversight created conditions for corruption and disinvestment, with its generation and transmission capacity falling into severe disrepair over many years.
 Read the rest at the above link. It will give some perspective on the infrastructure, and the changes to the administration of it that will be necessary for the island to recover. Money alone will not help, and may well hinder recovery.

The nature of the energy sources is also an on-going problem.
More than half of Caribbean nations rely almost exclusively (pdf) on fossil fuels, according to the International Monetary Fund. 
If there is any part of the planet that can make the case for solar, it's the Caribbean. Dependence on fossil fuels is stupid, as every bit of energy has to be imported, using scarce cash to purchase something that could be produced entirely on-island.

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Thursday, July 05, 2018

Enjoying This Makes Me an Evil Person, But...

...it's truly hard to have much sympathy for these guys.



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The Upcoming Battle for the Supreme Court

Sometimes, people say, "This is not political," about an issue.

My response?

It's ALWAYS political. The upcoming battle to control the confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice is gonna be a brawl. Because of the timing, it may well have a major effect on the composition of Congress.

One major effect: the currently-elected RINOs may stake their jobs on the outcome of this fight. Those who side with the Democrats may well find that they are voted OUT in the next election.

From the Democrats' position, that may be a feature, not a bug.

The Senate RINOs should pray - fervently - that voters have a short memory. Myself, I doubt they do.

How will Senate races involving presently-serving Democrats who side against the nominee turn out? For those in hard-core Left states, the same as usual - Yellow-Dog Democrat, all the way.

For those in less rigidly aligned states? They could lose - BIGLY.

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Monday, July 02, 2018

The Structure of a Viable Society

The discussions about the Star Wars franchise, and the meaning of the structure of its society have gotten me to think philosophically.

NOT my strong point. I tend to be a concrete thinker, more comfortable with the nuts & bolts, than the theoretical underpinnings.

However, the tangled and confused framework of Star Wars has gotten me to think about it.

First, some analysis of the Star Wars politics. You can listen to the audio, or scroll down for the transcript.

And, another perspective, comparing the fictional worlds of Star Wars and Star Trek.

The media's representation of governments has long had the ability to influence peoples' conception of the ideal. Star Wars came into being just as those post-Vietnam War rebels were beginning to build families and take responsibility for civic affairs. It appealed to the idea that their government antagonism might help them form a new, and better, world.

Star Trek, in contrast, was pro-World Government, pro-interventionist, and imposed their cultural norms upon the alien races they encountered. Despite the ideals of the Prime Directive, the show featured repeated, deliberate refusals to abide by it in practice.

Both shows suffered from refusal to realize that there needed to be alternative ways to deal with opposition than to blast it out of existence. Their cultural norms were planet-wide, and alternatives were either ruthlessly repressed, or encouraged to take over - and wipe out the opposition.

So, is it any surprise that young people weaned on this influence do not know how to function in a diverse society? Cannot work with those opposed to their Grand Vision? Have only one strategy for dealing with opposition - destroy them?

The current fight over replacing Justice Kennedy can be summed up thusly:


Was Gorusch an extreme Conservative?

It's been an ugly Spring - and, it looks likely to get uglier.

Read about one of the founding members of the Modern Left to see their philosophy.

The Bayou Man has more on Knowing Your Enemy.

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Summer Reading List Wars

I was reading The Passive Voice blog , and this caught my eye. Publishing Perspectives  readers are familiar with this case from  our re...