Utah Standard News
“A Platform as Powerful
as the People Who Use It”
Menu

Radical Gender Theory Has Now Made Its Way Into More Than 4,000 Schools

Published by . Filed under Education. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Radical gender theory has made sudden inroads in America’s schools. Many parents have watched in confusion as their children repeat the movement’s slogans and adopt synthetic sexual identities such as “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “genderqueer.” The next question for many families is: Where does this surge in left-wing sexual ideology come from? One answer: from a network of professional activists, who have smuggled university-style gender theory into more than 4,000 schools under the cover of “gender and sexuality” clubs, or GSAs.

The main national organization behind this campaign, the GSA Network, is a professionally staffed nonprofit with a multimillion-dollar annual budget. GSA Network serves as an umbrella organization for more than 4,000 “gender and sexuality alliances” across 40 states. Once called the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the group rebranded in 2016, reflecting a new focus on “the limits of a binary gender system.” The individual chapters, which operate in elementary, middle, and high schools, often use the language of “LGBTQ inclusion” and “anti-bullying” in their public relations, but behind the scenes, the central organization is driven by pure left-wing radicalism that extends far beyond sexuality.

Continue reading the entire piece here at FoxNews.com

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/radical-gender-theory-made-way-4000-us-schools

Race Matching and Other Crazy Theories Destroying Our Schools

Published by . Filed under Education. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Gov. Ron DeSantis nails it when he demands that teachers “educate children, not indoctrinate.”

As schools reopen, a war is raging to control the minds of students.

On one side, the nation’s largest teachers unions are pushing race consciousness, demonization of American history and graphic sex education, even in elementary school.

On the other side, irate parents are battling the indoctrinators. They’re insisting teachers stick to math, science, reading skills and what everyone can agree are the facts about history.

Teachers and left-wing allies are demanding that kids have safe spaces reserved for each minority group or gender. All kids deserve respect and safety from bullying. But what’s missing right now is safety from propaganda. Schools should be made into safe spaces for learning, shielded from political brainwashing.

As the school year begins, teachers should be told to scrub their classrooms of Black Lives Matter logos, rainbow flags, “Believe Women” signs and other slogans. Reserve the blackboards for ABCs, multiplication tables and historical timelines.

The Carroll County Board of Education in Maryland voted in June to ban political slogans and symbols in the classrooms, other than the Stars and Stripes and state and county flags. “Our students are a captive audience,” explained one board member, “and as such need to be protected from all political agendas, both from the right and the left.”

Last week, the Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin did the same. It should be the approach everywhere.

The tougher challenge is scrubbing the curriculum, which is largely determined by the teachers unions, with input from leftist groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and the American Civil Liberties Union.

State legislatures in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma passed 12 bills in 2021, and another seven so far this year, to limit what teachers introduce in the classroom. Over 100 more bills are in the works around the country. Most resemble Florida’s new Stop WOKE Act. They bar discussions of sexuality and gender in K-3 grades, and limit sex education topics in the later grades to what parents approve. The bills also bar critical race theory themes including labeling white people as oppressors and Black people as victims.

Leftist groups such as the ACLU and Pen America decry these laws as “gag orders” that threaten to destroy “open inquiry.” Nonsense. These new laws don’t gag anyone from discussing sex, gender or race in public. They protect children from being force-fed racially divisive and sexualized materials.

A third-grade reading circle is not a public square. The children have no choice but to be there and are too young to pick and choose what they believe.

Children who have been told there’s a Santa Claus and believe it are also likely to believe a teacher who tells them they can be pansexual or nonbinary, or that a child with a boy’s body parts can be a girl.

Parents want control over what their children are taught, especially about sensitive topics. But even if you’re not a parent, the stakes are high. Society can’t prosper when young people enter the workforce lacking skills, filled with animus toward their country and unprepared to function at work and in civic life.

The two biggest teachers unions — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are pushing racial division. A new Minneapolis union contract specifies that when layoffs are needed, white teachers will get axed before nonwhite teachers with the same seniority, to increase the chances nonwhite students have a nonwhite teacher. Citing left-wing pedagogy that encourages “race matching,” defenders of the contract claim Black students learn better with Black teachers.

The contract violates the rights of white teachers, but it’s also unjust to students of color. Race matching doesn’t prepare them for the real world any more than labeling them victims does. What employer can deal with new hires who need “safe spaces” and a boss whose race matches their own? Students raised to expect these things will be doomed, and our nation will be, too.

https://patriotpost.us/opinion/90747-race-matching-and-other-crazy-theories-destroying-our-schools-2022-08-24

Guns of Washington: 5 Agencies With Gun Stockpiles

Published by . Filed under US News. Total of no comments in the discussion.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

Conspiracy theories sometimes have at least a thread of truth in them, which is what makes them valid to some on the far right.

One of those theories is that the federal government is not on their side. Concern has been raised in conservative circles about the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents as just one example. Trust in the IRS has been in decline for many years, ever since President Richard Nixon used the government as a weapon against his political enemies and Lois Lerner during the Obama administration denied tax-exempt status to many conservative political and religious organizations.

It isn’t just politics. Americans for Tax Reform, a politically conservative U.S. advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., has listed 10 examples of outrageous behavior by the IRS.

more at https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/08/23/5-government-agencies-with-guns/

Joe Biden’s Great Student Loan Heist

Published by . Filed under US News. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Democrats need November votes, so taxpayers will be saddled with the loans of higher earners and more inflationary pressure.

Whenever Democrats need votes, they roll out the “free” giveaways. Today it’s “forgiving” student loans and extending the “pandemic pause” on payments for another few months. Income redistribution is not the constitutional role of government, but it nevertheless accounts for a huge swath of outlays in the modern federal Leviathan.

Joe Biden, who’s approval rating is justifiably in the toilet, is planning a big announcement today in a desperate attempt to shore up those numbers. He will eliminate $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers with an annual income of $125,000 or less. At least that’s what the leaks are saying; the final numbers could differ when Biden wanders over to a teleprompter this afternoon.

Update: Indeed, he’s bumped the threshold to $20,000 because he’s such a generous guy.

Ironically, $10,000 is a compromise that will make few folks happy. Democrat activists wanted $50,000. The NAACP slammed the reported plan because it doesn’t go far enough. “If the rumors are true, we’ve got a problem,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. That’s because the NAACP estimates, “Across all racial groups, Black borrowers hold the most student loan debt despite also being consistently underserved by postsecondary institutions.” Johnson says Biden’s reported plan will leave “Black people — especially Black women — behind.”

Responsible adults of every color who’ve already paid off their own debt and don’t want to take on someone else’s advocate $0 in forgiveness. Biden loves the number zero and should’ve stuck with it here.

Not only is there no constitutional authority for such charity, the president is not the one with the power to create any new outlays. “The president can’t do it,” said noted constitutional scholar Nancy Pelosi last summer. “So that’s not even a discussion.” She added, “The president can only postpone, delay, but not forgive.” Anything of that sort would require “an act of Congress.”

What does she say now? “ .”

If you’re wondering how much all that “free” money will cost, the answer is roughly $300 billion in the first year. That’s according to estimates provided by the Penn Wharton Budget Model — the same modelers that observed the Inflation Reduction Act will not, in fact, reduce inflation. The left-leaning Brookings Institution says forgiveness will be even more expensive, at $373 billion.

Paying off student loans will increase inflation, too. Indeed, just as the tax credit for electric vehicles pushes the price of EVs up, subsidizing college tuition is the reason for its high inflation rate over the last 40 years. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that “$10,000 of debt cancellation could add up to 15 basis points [to the inflation rate] up front and create additional inflationary pressure over time.” Additionally, “Debt cancellation would boost near-term inflation far more than the [Inflation Reduction Act] will lower it.”

One of Barack Obama’s lead economists, Larry Summers, agrees: “Student loan debt relief is spending that raises demand and increases inflation.”

A disproportionate number of beneficiaries of this taxpayer giveaway will be higher earners. Penn Wharton says, “Between 69 and 73 percent of the debt forgiven accrues to households in the top 60 percent of the income distribution.” Further inflation of college tuition will then price even more lower-income Americans out of the college market.

Democrats love to talk about “fairness” and “equity,” but this might be among the least fair or equitable transfers of wealth imaginable. Democrats want high income earners to pay their “fair share” of taxes, but evidently not their fair share of their own loan obligations.

“Forgiving student loans is unfair to students who have paid off their loans,” says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the Department of Labor. “[It’s] unfair to students who have chosen less expensive community college options, [and it’s] unfair to taxpayers whose dollars are paying off the loans and who have no college education.”

Too bad for all you suckers who paid off your own loans, even if you were proud to be able to repay the obligations you signed up for in exchange for that college education. But it’s a Merry Christmas for the 43 million Americans who carry a cumulative $1.75 trillion in student loan debt, and especially the 15 million with balances below $10,000.

So why now?

Two reasons. First, the more immediate reason from a date standpoint is the August 31 deadline for the federal government’s deferral of student loan payments. That pause has already cost taxpayers between $115 billion and $300 billion (the fact that there are differing estimates is a red flag in and of itself). The pandemic has been the excuse for what Donald Trump started in March 2020, but Joe Biden has repeatedly extended it to great advantage as leverage for something Democrats want anyway.

And that’s the second reason. Democrats need to buy votes ahead of November’s midterms. We predicted after May’s extension of the pause through August 31 that this was going to be the pre-midterm calculation. Either Biden buys those votes with loan forgiveness, or he inspires bitterness against stingy Republican opponents who block it in court. Heads he wins, tails the rest of us lose.

more at https://patriotpost.us/articles/90765-joe-bidens-great-student-loan-heist-2022-08-24

A Sober Assessment of the State of America and the World

Published by . Filed under Commentary. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Are we living in the last moments of human history? Is the whole world about to explode? Has America ever been in a worse condition than it is now?

Certainly, we are living in chaotic times, times of trouble and upheaval. But how bad are things, really? How dire is the condition of the world?

There is a mindset that C. S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery” which he defined as “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate of our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that count discredited.” In other words, if it’s newer, it must be better.

The exact opposite of this concept is the idea that if it’s newer, it must be worse. Society is not what it used to be. Families are not what they used to be. Morality is not what it used to be. Education is not what it used to be. Everything is on the decline!

But are things really that simple? Can we make such blanket statements?

Are Our Feelings About How Bad Things are Aligned With Reality?

Andrew Klavan, who was born in 1954, was describing his early days with the Daily Wire team, which included much younger men like Ben Shapiro and Michael Knowles.

Klavan wrote, “sometimes the younger guys would say things like, ‘This is the most divided era in American history,’ and I’d say, you know, between the ages of ten and fourteen, I saw the president of the United States murdered by a Communist, his senator brother murdered by a Palestinian and the greatest civil rights leader of the age gunned down by a racist pornographer. To me, things look pretty chill. I think that was useful to keep the rhetoric in check and align our feelings with reality.”

Of course, it’s easy to think that America is the worst it’s ever been. Doesn’t it often feel like that?

After all, when is the last time we’ve been this politically polarized? When have we had to deal with LGBTQ+ extremism? When have we faced such uncertainty about the future? What about the horrific school massacres? What about the dangers of cancel culture and wokeness? What about the racial divisions? What about the plague of porn? And the epidemic of fentanyl overdoses? The list goes on and on.

Still, as Klavan said, we need to “align our feelings with reality.” How bad are things, really?

Some Things are the Worst They’ve Ever Been

The fact is that some things are the worst they’ve ever been in our nation’s history, such as the ubiquity of porn or the rise of radical transgender activism.

On the other hand, other things are better than they’ve been in decades, such as the strength of the pro-life movement, from the overturning of Roe v. Wade to the passing of pro-life legislation in state after state. And despite the racial tension we’re living with, things are certainly far better today for black Americans than they were prior to 1964, let alone prior to 1865.

It’s true that we’re having serious economic struggles. But Americans today, on average, live in far more luxurious conditions than did previous generations, and we’re nowhere near the times of the Great Depression.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

And despite the deadly uptick in certain drug overdoses and the legalizing of pot, illicit drug use is lower today than in past decades, as is violent crime. (The murder rate in big cities is back to where it was 25 years ago, but again, that just means things have been really bad before.)

As for being a divided nation, which we are, we are nowhere nearly as divided as we were immediately before and after the Civil War.

Even our colleges and universities, many of which had strong Christian foundations and most of which have swung far to the left, have had bad days before. As revival historian James Edwin Orr noted in one of his lectures, after the Revolutionary War, America experienced a period of spiritual decline.

Spiritual Decline After the Revolutionary War

Things got so bad on some of our campuses that not a single professing Christian could be found at Harvard, which was founded for the glory of God. At Princeton, only two believers were found and only 5 students who did not belong to the filthy speech movement.

Students rioted on some campuses and, on one occasion, took a Bible from a church and burned it. Orr even states that Christian students were so few on some campuses that they met in secret and recorded their meeting notes in code lest they should be discovered. This really happened in our country! (I strongly encourage you to take 25 minutes to watch this old lecture by Dr. Orr. He also …

more at https://stream.org/a-sober-assessment-of-the-state-of-america-and-the-world/

The Magical World Of Liberal Equity

Published by . Filed under Commentary. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Well, gosh, let’s see. If you hire people on the basis of anything other than competence, you should not be surprised by this result. That is to say, if a middling performer who happened to be a Person Of Color got the job over a Person Of Paleness who was more qualified, you should not be surprised to find that the diverse employee can’t do the job as well as those who were hired on the basis of competence alone.

Think about it: if white people with blue eyes had a significant hiring advantage over all other white people, because the newspaper decided that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion required increasing the number of blue-eyed white employees in the newsroom, it stands to reason that the blue-eyed would not rate as highly on performance as the other whites, overall, because they were selected for an attribute that had nothing to do with their ability to do the job.

Seriously, does anybody really think that The New York Times is racist? I guess those who believe that the only possible explanation for racial disparities in job performance is racism must believe it. The report I linked to above, from NPR (naturally), doesn’t even mention this as a possible explanation for the disparity. It is inconceivable to the liberal/progressive mind that this could be true.

Therefore, the evaluation system at the Times will have to change to reflect DEI priorities. Newsroom managers will have to figure out another way to determine who among their workers can actually get the job done.

I don’t feel a bit sorry for the Times, or any newspaper that has promoted the DEI ideology. I spent years working for a variety of newspapers, and it was common knowledge that people were hired and promoted beyond their ability to do a job because they filled a diversity quota. I remember arguing with a (white) newsroom manager over this, back when it was still safe to say such things in newsrooms, and pointed out that you can either follow an ethic of “diversity,” or you can put out a top-quality newspaper, but you couldn’t do both. This manager, who had totally bought into the DEI ideology, said that, and I quote, “Diversity is a component of quality.”

No, it actually isn’t. Newsroom managers are liberals — often disproportionately white — who are desperate to be morally clean. I once had a conversation with a white liberal second-tier editor who took a step down and went back to reporting, because he said he was afraid he was going to be named in a libel lawsuit someday. Why? Part of his job was to rewrite and re-report news stories that had been badly done by diversity hires — stories that routinely had factual errors. He told me that he was constantly anxious that he was going to miss something in his rewrites, and was going to open his newspaper up to a lawsuit. But the higher-ups at his paper were unwilling to listen to his complaints about the risk they were taking, to say nothing of the fact that he was expected to do extra work to compensate for the sense of moral righteousness the senior editorial hierarchy enjoyed for hiring diversely….

Don’t Trust D.D. on Election Integrity

Published by . Filed under Commentary. Total of no comments in the discussion.

As inflation continues to soar and the economy continues to fall, Beltway elitists continue to dismiss what was one of the most obvious examples of voter fraud in the history of the United States: the 2020 Presidential Election.

Voter fraud has been with us for millennia, but the 2020 election was especially alarming. In 2020, a number of swing states changed the election rules and procedures, which compromised the security protections of the process. Several states sent out millions of ballots in the mail, causing confusion and obfuscating the tracking and authentication of those ballots. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg famously infused hundreds of millions of dollars deemed “Zuckerbucks” into local elections. This created unreliable and troubling outcomes in the election and caused distortions of the rules in swing-state big cities such as Phoenix, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

President Donald Trump rightly focused on the problem of election integrity long before the 2020 election; it was a subject that had motivated him for years. In May 2017, President Trump announced the creation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, with Vice President Mike Pence in a titular role as chairman. Although Pence did not get involved personally, he did provide his own staff to serve as the staff of the Commission. The real leader was the vice chairman, conservative Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—a well-known crusader against voter fraud.  

The Commission also included recognized experts in the field, such as author Hans von Spakovsky, election attorney J. Christian Adams, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. If any presidential commission could make a dent in the problem of voter fraud, this was it.

The Commission made headlines at its initial meetings in July and September of 2017, presenting over 900 cases in which individuals had been convicted of election crimes, and showcasing a study that revealed thousands of cases of double voting in the 2016 election.

more at https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dont-trust-dc-on-election-integrity/