A high school social studies teacher in Batavia, Illinois, faces disciplinary action for informing students of their Fifth Amendment rights in connection with a survey asking about illegal drug use. The survey, ostensibly aimed at assessing the needs of students at Batavia High School, was distributed on April 18. After picking up the survey forms from his mailbox about 10 minutes before his first class of the day, John Dryden noticed that they had students' names on them and that they asked about drinking and drug use, among other subjects.
So what did the "Social Studies" teacher do? He told his students that under The Fifth Amendment the students had no duty to answer any question that incriminates them.
Incidentally, that particular bit of information the teacher imparted is factually correct.
I remind everyone that the drugs being queried about are illegal and in many cases simple possession of said drugs is a felony. For a school to pass around surveys with student names on them, thus tying responses to people, is asking those students to admit to the commission of a serious crime! Never mind that since the drinking age is 21 asking about drinking by underage people is also asking them to admit to a crime.
Oh, and yes, there's a cop stationed at the school. Did he or she have access to those surveys? Not that it matters; the school is a state actor and thus is subject to protection of the Constitutional Rights of the citizens under its umbrella, including the students.
Now the school board intends to decide "whether to punish" the teacher in question.
In America, teaching students that the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, prohibits government from compelling or pressuring you to incriminate yourself is now subject to sanction.
The Board Meeting is apparently today -- and if you live in Batavia, you might want to consider exactly why you would pay property taxes and support a so-called "school" that not only refuses to teach high school students about The Bill of Rights and what it protects but also intentionally and willingly violates those rights and threatens to punish those who point out that students, as citizens, have those rights and thus have no obligation to answer any such "survey".
The scary truth is that letting these 9.4 million founder is our -- we, the people’s -- active national higher-education plan. We know it leads to fewer jobs for the 9.4 million, many without health insurance or a living wage, and we know we will pay later in Medicaid and food stamps.
Wick is part of the system, as a teacher, that has driven the cost of education well beyond where someone can pay for it in cash by flipping pizzas. He now demands that we use "public funds" to meet the price he helped jack up to the moon and as a bludgeon to get people to go for it he threatens us with "having" to hand out food stamps and Medicaid to so-called "underserved" people if we don't.
Go sit on a running chainsaw Wick. Repeat until your cranium has been cleared of human excrement and there is room to insert a brain.
The take-away in discussions of this study is that we should do a better job of getting them into wealthier colleges that will pay their way. Why not say that they are worth the public investment, no matter what school they go to.
First create, out of whole cloth, a nation of dependent children irrespective of age.
Then demand that those dependent children be given pacifiers in the form of food stamps and Medicaid so they don't rape, rob and shoot us.
I'm tired of this crap. The only person responsible for your success is you. Wick teaches "writing" in a community college, a job that shouldn't exist and wouldn't if anyone gave a damn up front.
By the time you get out of High School you damn well ought to be able to read, write and calculate. If you can't then the problem doesn't lie in a college, it lies in the outrageous level of dependence that we foster by making possible people sitting on their asses while draining our nation's resources.
Funding abounds for research papers, conferences and ideas. What’s missing is anyone willing to be responsible for seeing that more of these 9.4 million people complete their education, degree or certificate, or just obtain a skill. Is the world too messy for such big plans? U.S. President Lyndon Johnson would have disagreed. He enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Higher Education Act of 1965 -- the backbone of today’s federal higher-education policies -- all with the Vietnam War under way.
Uh huh. And that "Great Society" program destroyed the two-parent family, skyrocketed crime and led directly to ridiculous levels of teen pregnancy and dependence. It was an abject failure at doing anything other than trashing our nation and creating generations of adult children who lost the feedback mechanism (that is, privation and even death) that comes from a decision to sit on one's ass rather than become industrious and take responsibility for one's own future.
Remember, Johnson promised the end of poverty and dependence. What we got instead was ramping handouts to people who refuse to help themselves and exploitation of that dependence by people just like Wick.
Expanding that which has utterly failed in the hope of success is either the mark of insanity or that of an evil bastard who intends to screw over the productive, enhance the cycle of dependency and poverty, and hope to skim off part of the largesse for themselves in the process.
I am left with only one question: Which is it?
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday introduced her first standalone bill in the U.S. Senate – a bill to lower student loan interest rates.
If Congress does not act, interest rates for newly issued subsidized Stafford loans are set to rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. Warren wants to prevent that raise, and lower the rates even further, to a "discount rate" given by the Federal Reserve to banks, which currently stands at 0.75 percent.
So let's see.
We have a problem with college being too expensive for people to pay cash with money they earn by flipping pizzas. This was most-emphatically not true 30 years ago when a full semester's tuition was typically under $1,000. Classical economics tells us the ridiculous escalation in price has occurred because there is too much money chasing too few services.
Subsidized loans, changes in loan terms so they are non-dischargeable and similar acts of Congress have caused colleges to be able to raise prices at rates that are multiples of general inflation due to these gross and intentional distortions in the market.
Prices have risen to consume all available loans and now have risen to the point that for many students and paths of study the net return on said "education" is in fact negative.
Warren's answer to this is to drive yet more inflation into college prices by making the loans "cheaper", thereby expanding the pool of people who can "afford" to pay said fees ignoring the fact that the cost increases that will inevitably follow will simply make the economic argument for said education even worse than it is now!
This is called theft, in this case from students into the pockets of colleges undertaken at gunpoint by douchebags like Elizabeth Warren.
This sort of "bill", say much less anyone proposing, voting for or enforcing so-called "laws" that grant special status to loans made for education, ought to constitute a felony for which the responsible "lawmakers" should do life in prison plus forfeit their entire net worth to the young adults so-harmed.
Last night I was invited to lead a discussion of "Common Core" as it relates to the school systems at our local Tea Party meeting. The meeting was interesting, with one gentleman who showed up "loaded for bear" defending the premise that Common Core consisted of "mere standards" much like our current Sunshine State Standards.
I pushed back hard with the following arguments which, astonishingly, he actually tried to argue against!
One of the primary arguments the proponent brought proved up to be, under questioning, that it would make his job easier. It turns out that he writes lesson plans across three states and now must check conformance against three state standards. This was the only provable reference to "benefit" that he was able to cite! Making your work easier is an interesting rationale for doing something that may harm our children.
Now this morning I found this article in which actual harm has been alleged:
STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.
A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place.
One of the questions raised last night was exactly when did our local County School Board engage in a robust, public process of debate and analysis of both cost and benefit before beginning to implement "Common Core"? The antagonist did not know, and neither did anyone else -- including myself. It appears that Okaloosa County's School Board, as with the board involved in the letter above, simply "decided to do it" internally without that robust and public debate.
This was defended as "representative government" but it is in fact nothing of the sort when the process is obscured and public input either not sought or ignored. Indeed it makes a mockery of the premise of "representative government" when there is no representation as the so-called "representatives" take actions in the dark of night and/or willfully obscure and obstruct public debate and participation.
The club of coercive federal dollars is a large part of this process as well. As just one example Medicaid is in fact voluntary on the part of the States -- no State is compelled to offer it within its boundaries. Compliance is achieved by threatening to withhold billions in federal funds if the State does not do as the Federal Government wishes. This same process was abused to enact a "55" mph speed limit; there was no federal authority to do so, but the threat of withholding all federal highway funds from any state that refused to pass the necessary law was put in place.
If I stick a gun up your nose and threaten to blow your brains out if you don't give me the contents of your wallet the fact that you hand over your wallet can hardly be called "voluntary."
Finally, implementation of "Common Core" will destroy competing textbook publication. This is already a huge problem in that there are two large state populations, California and Texas, that effectively drive the publication of all K-12 educational material. The further consolidation of this industry and decimation of choice will make impossible the furnishing of texts even by boutique publications, which will wind up with no market of any size when all 50 states comply. With the movement of texts to electronic distribution, a movement the schools are embracing piece-by-piece, this will get much worse since old texts can be resold and re-distributed but a DRM'd electronic version is locked to the device to which it is originally delivered.
Those who wish to argue for "Common Core" have a heavy and, I assert, impossible-to-meet burden of proof. They wish to argue that the states should voluntarily but permanently cede sovereignty over their educational process.
To sustain such an argument it is my position that they must demonstrate real, tangible, scientifically proven benefit and be willing to take personal criminal liability for any deception or failure to disclose contrary information. This benefit must show:
The last is already known to be false, and thus as constituted Common Core must be defeated.
Those School Boards who attempt to adopt this nonsense must be removed from office in their entirety by the parents and citizens of the districts in which this trash has been proposed and/or implemented.
A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.
Principal Susan Wright released a statement to local media defending the decision.
“These are toys that were commonplace in the past,” she wrote. “However, some parents prohibit all guns as toys. In light of that difference, the school offered to replace the soldiers with another item and the soldiers were returned home with the student.”
“Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions,” she stated. “In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.”
So first you claim that respect for opposing opinions is part of your educational mandate (and it is, according to the US Supreme Court) and then you defecate all over both that respect and The Constitution. (USSC Tinker .v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 7-2, 1969.)
Fountain said it was beyond outrageous to compare American soldiers to deranged mass murderers.
“In our politically correct society they can’t separate the good from the bad,” he said. ”I’m sure hammers are allowed in schools — although a lot of people are killed by hammers.”
Not only is this act outrageous it is also unlawful.
The Supreme Court in that 1969 decision stated that school officials cannot censor student expression unless they can reasonably forecast that the expression will cause a substantial disruption of student activities or invade the rights of others. And yes, this applies to third graders.
You have no right not to be offended, ergo whether someone else doesn't like toy soldiers is immaterial.
So let's do something about it rather than whine online.
Schall Elementary is located at 325 East Frank Street in Caro, Michigan, 48723.
I recommend that all readers stimulate the economy by going to Amazon and sending Susan Wright, the Principal, one package of gen-u-ine Made-In-The-USA package of toy plastic soldiers complete with rifles, pistols, machine guns, mortars and bazookas.
For a mere $12.50 (plus shipping) you can tell Susan Wright what you think of her stomping all over a third grader's birthday party -- and The Constitution.
(If $12.50 is too much I'm sure one or two toy soldiers in an envelope, assuming you have a couple still laying around, will work just fine as well -- and costs just a stamp or two.)
Oh, and if Susan doesn't want these soldiers perhaps she can give them to her students who believe in America, including our freedoms and values.
My package is already on the way to Susan for delivery sometime next week -- is yours?
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.
NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.
The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.
Looking for "The Best of Market Ticker"? Check out Ticker Classics.
Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.
The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.
Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.