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Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone: Why Americans Abandon Public Schools and Their ‘agendas’



Numerous American parents want to hold schools accountable for politicizing their children’s curricula – or to pull the kids out of the system altogether

The United States has reached a tipping point when it comes to big government vs government by the people, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the education system. The Covid-19 pandemic, as terrible as it was, had one unexpected but productive side effect – it pulled back the curtain on what government schools (aka “public” schools) are teaching kids. At the same time, it exposed what can go wrong when a tyrannical city council, teachers’ unions, and school board members pile on mandates, restrictions, and put students last. For many families, opting out has been the only option.

In 2020 and 2021, online learning via Zoom or other video conferences meant the classroom was brought into the living room. And many parents did not like what they saw and heard. A kind of awakening took place, and is still taking place. Controversial topics like critical race theory and gender ideology were exposed and debated, seemingly for the first time. Parents began showing up at school board meetings and addressing their concerns – and in some cases, were met with hostility.

Meanwhile, social media drew attention to public school teachers who were caught speaking to elementary-aged children about gender and “preferred pronouns” – topics that, at this time, tread the border between education and political indoctrination. Some of the more outrageous examples of politically-driven, unhinged teachers were brought to public attention by the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok. Despite the account being suspended from the platform (and reinstated after some backlash) hundreds of teachers were seen, for the first time, bragging on camera about teaching transgenderism to students, and inappropriately sharing their sexuality and personal lives.

‘Year of the parent’

Alarm bells went off from Florida to Virginia to California, which prompted parents to run for school board positions, remove their children from school altogether, and get more involved in their children’s’ education. Conservatives have even dubbed 2022 “the year of the parent.” And why shouldn’t it be? Parents have the right, after all, to know what their children are being taught, and ultimately decide what is best for them and their family. Anyone who says otherwise needs to have their motives questioned – which is exactly the intent behind the new docu-series out by Project Veritas. Released on August 30th, “The Secret Curriculum” goes undercover to expose educators. One teacher in the series goes so far as to coerce high-schoolers into pledging allegiance to antifa.

And while it’s one thing to speak up at school board meetings, it’s another to see the results of all of this at the polls. Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin solidly beat out his Democrat opponent in Virginia last year – a state that hasn’t seen a Republican in that office since 2009 – because he addressed the concerns parents have about “woke” school board members and educators.

In blue states like my own, parental frustration had more to do with schools mandating masks and coronavirus vaccines, despite very few school-wide outbreaks and the unlikelihood of children experiencing extreme illness. While some religious exemptions were in place for vaccinations, masks became a point of contention that pushed many to breaking point. I spoke with a neighbor here in Los Angeles over the summer as she was still contemplating whether to send her seven-year-old to school in the fall. She had never considered home schooling as an option before Covid, but confided that she just wasn’t willing to mask her child for eight hours per day – and she is not alone. Her sentiments are felt by many in California, and their exasperation resulted in the “let them breathe” coalition, which gives parents resources to fight mask mandates.

It should come as no surprise then, that California, which had some of the strictest school Covid policies in the nation, saw a decrease in enrollment. Cal Matters reported that school enrollment saw a decline of more than 100,000 students from 2020 to 2021. That number is expected to increase.

In a recent blog titled “The School Board Takeover” California legislator Kevin Kiley noted that 50,000 children did not show up for the first day of school in the Los Angeles Unified school district. He encourages parents running for California school boards. Still, more and more moms and dads are opting out altogether. Homeschooling has trended steadily upward for decades, with the biggest increase jumping 3.4 to 9% between the fall of 2019 and fall of 2020.

Is home schooling better?

Home-schooling is not a new phenomenon in the United States, and is, in fact, rooted in American tradition. But do children fare better or worse when taught at home? A look at the data paints a positive outlook on the homeschool front, showing that 67% of homeschoolers graduate from college, compared to 59% of public-school students. The homeschoolers also score better on achievement tests, averaging 72 points higher on SAT’s. These numbers held fast across all demographics.

Ideally, most parents want their children interacting and engaging with other kids in a classroom and at playgrounds and ball fields, but not if it comes at the expense of handing their children’s minds over to people and institutions they don’t trust. And certainly not at the expense of hindering their speech and social development with masking – which is understandably a deep concern among most parents. Humans need to see entire faces to process most social cues. That being obvious, children also need to spend time with other kids their own age in an environment outside the home.

Historically, conservatives and Christians were more likely to favor home schooling, along with the rural population. Many assumptions and stereotypes have been made based on those demographics. And then there is the looming question of whether all parents are qualified to educate. Most parents are able to find resources they need for learning at home, but not in every case. This brings up the issue of poverty in America, and the feasibility of being financially able to quit the system. In some low-income families, kids may depend on schools for two meals per day.

Another potential downside of avoiding formal education – and one that can’t be solved so readily – is the possibility for greater societal divide. If it is verifiably true (and it may not be) that politically conservative parents are more likely to homeschool their children than their liberal counterparts, then this could create more polarization in the country over time. The two competing world views will have even fewer opportunities to intermingle and find common ground than they do currently, and that at a formative stage of the young people’s lives. This outcome would be difficult to measure, however, especially since statistics show that homeschooled children participate in an average of five activities outside the home. Learning at home need not mean isolation, but it does require extra effort to create social engagement.

Ultimately, it is school choice (private schools, charter schools) and the option to avoid government schools altogether that ensure freedom in education. And for those who opt out, it is up to the parents to make sure their kids aren’t missing out on the social experiences they need. If young adults end up choosing college over trade school, they must be sufficiently prepared. Fortunately, there are abundant resources available, even for middle- and high-school-aged students. I know parents who are thrilled with Hillsdale College’s online courses because they offer a variety of history, economics, literature and classics courses, complete with tests.

Home schooling is understandably not for everyone. Not all parents (or kids) want to go that route, and not all families are able or equipped to make it happen. But that doesn’t necessarily leave such families at the mercy of public-school curricula. More and more are choosing to get involved, run for their local school boards, become more aware of what is being taught in their children’s classrooms and hold the teachers accountable when necessary.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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Russia May Be Linked to Stockholm Koran Burning – Finnish FM




29 Jan, 2023 15:48

HomeWorld News

Moscow has slammed the suggestion as “disgusting”

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has claimed that Russia may have been behind the public burning of Korans in Stockholm, Sweden last week. He added that the stunt could have been orchestrated to derail the country’s bid to join NATO.

On January 21, Rasmus Paludan, an anti-Islam activist and leader of a minor Danish far-right party, Stram Kurs (Hard Line), set the Muslim holy book on fire outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Ankara strongly protested the action, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying on Monday that Sweden could no longer rely on T?rkiye’s support for its accession to the US-led military bloc.

On Friday, Paludan burned copies of the Koran in front of a mosque, the Turkish Embassy, and the Russian Consulate in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Speaking to Finnish TV channel Yle on Saturday, Haavisto floated the idea that Russia could be linked to the book burning. “This matter is under investigation. Various ties in the activist’s circle have been uncovered,” Haavisto said. “I cannot say with certainty … But we have been shown a concept of how to act in order to inflict maximum damage [to the NATO membership bid].”

T?rkiye puts NATO expansion on hold – media

The Russian Foreign Ministry harshly condemned the Koran burning. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday that Haavisto’s suggestion that Moscow may have been responsible for the incident was “disgusting to watch.”

Finland and Sweden ditched their longstanding policies of non-alignment and jointly applied to join NATO last year, citing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

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As the Pentagon’s Favorite Think Tank Calls for a Swift End to the Ukraine Conflict, Is the Mood Shifting in Washington?




The RAND Corporation, a highly influential elite national security think tank funded directly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it should avoid “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine.

What are the US’ interests in Ukraine

The report has an unequivocal title, “Avoiding a long war: US policy and the trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” which provides a strong indication as to its contents.

It starts by stating that the fighting represents “the most significant interstate conflict in decades, and its evolution will have major consequences” for Washington, which includes US “interests” being actively harmed. The report makes it very clear that while Ukrainians have been doing the fighting, and their cities have been “flattened” and “economy decimated,” these “interests” are “not synonymous” with Kiev’s.

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse, and RAND cites several reasons why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

From the perspective of US “interests,” RAND warns that while the Kremlin has not threatened to use nuclear weapons, there are “several issues that make Russian use of nuclear weapons both a plausible contingency Washington needs to account for and a hugely important factor in determining the future trajectory of the conflict.”

And what are the risks for the US

The think tank believes the Biden administration “has ample reason to make the prevention of Russian use of nuclear weapons a paramount priority.” In particular, it should seek to avoid a “direct nuclear exchange” with Moscow, a “direct conflict with Russia”, or wider “NATO-Russia war.”

On the latter point, RAND worries that US general Mark Milley’s demand that the conflict stay “inside the geographical boundaries of Ukraine” is on the verge of being disrespected, as “the extent of NATO allies’ indirect involvement in the war is breathtaking in scope,” including “tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and other aid” and “tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support,” along with “billions of dollars monthly in direct budgetary support to Kiev.”

Such largesse could, RAND forecasts, prompt Moscow to “punish NATO members…with the objective of ending allied support for Ukraine; strike NATO preemptively if Russia perceives that NATO intervention in Ukraine is imminent; interdict the transfer of arms to Ukraine; retaliate against NATO for perceived support for internal unrest in Russia,” if the Kremlin concludes the country’s national security is “severely imperiled.”

These outcomes are “by no means inevitable,” but still represent an “elevated” risk, particularly in light of incidents such as a Ukrainian air defense missile striking Polish territory in November 2022 – a situation exacerbated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky falsely claiming it was a deliberate Russian strike. While this event “did not spiral out of control, it did demonstrate that fighting can unintentionally spill over to the territory of neighboring US allies.”

Another incident like that could mean “the US military would immediately be involved in a hot war with a country that has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.” This, as well as a conventional conflict between NATO and Russia, is a prospect Washington should avoid at all costs, RAND argues.

A clear implication is the US could lose such a conflict, one key reason being, as pointed out by RAND, “the intensity of the military assistance” being given to Ukraine by its Western backers is already approaching an “unsustainable” level, with US and European weapons stocks “running low.” This consequently means a longer war equals more Ukrainian territory reunified with Russia.

Is there a solution?

On the subject of territorial losses, RAND is unmoved by arguments Ukraine should attempt to recapture all that it has lost since 2014, as “greater territorial control is not directly correlated with greater economic prosperity” or “greater security.” Land having been retaken by Kiev since September means “Russia has imposed far greater economic costs on the country as a whole.”

RAND also considers the worth of arguments that “greater Ukrainian territorial control” should be assured “to reinforce international norms, and to foster Ukraine’s future economic growth” to be “debatable,” as even in the “unlikely” event Kiev pushes “beyond the pre-February 2022 line of control and manages to retake areas that Russia has occupied since 2014,” the risks of escalation from Moscow, including “nuclear use or an attack on NATO” will “spike.”

The Kremlin would likely treat the potential loss of Crimea as a much more significant threat both to national security and regime stability,” the report warns.

All these factors make “avoiding a long war…the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks,” so RAND recommends the US “take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely,” including “issuing assurances regarding the country’s neutrality,” something that Moscow had requested before the conflict began, to deaf ears, as well as “sanctions relief for Russia.”

However, the report warns against a “dramatic, overnight shift in US policy,” as this would be “politically impossible – both domestically and with allies,” instead recommending the development of “instruments” to bring the war to a “negotiated end,” and “socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies” in advance to lessen the blow. This process should be started quickly though, as “the alternative is a long war that poses major challenges for the US, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.”


What this proposal ignores is that Western leaders have consistently proven they cannot be trusted to respect or adhere to treaties they have signed and brokered with Russia, such as the Minsk Accords, which former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted were never intended to be implemented, but rather to buy time for Kiev.

It may be the case then that Moscow won’t be interested in RAND’s solution at all, and choose instead to finish the war on its own terms.

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Drone Attack Will Not Affect Iran’s Nuclear Program – FM




A military facility was targeted in a strike resulting in only minor damage, Tehran has said

Iran has condemned an overnight drone attack that targeted a Defense Ministry facility in the city of Isfahan. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian insisted on Sunday that the strike will not affect the progress the country is making in developing peaceful nuclear energy.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart in Tehran, Amirabdollahian insisted that acts such as this will not have any impact on Iranian specialists’ “will and intentions” or obstruct their advances in peaceful nuclear energy.Earlier, the Iranian Defense Ministry said that a military ‘workshop’ in Isfahan was targeted in an attack that resulted in no casualties and caused only minor damage. It is unclear if the facility has anything to do with Tehran’s nuclear program.

Officials will now launch an investigation into the incident. Parliament’s Security and Foreign Policy Committee will discuss the issue with Defense Ministry officials, the committee’s spokesman, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, told Mehr News Agency.

The authorities in the province of Isfahan also launched an investigation, according to Fars News Agency, citing a local official.

The attack, which involved at least three ‘micro drones’, took place late Saturday, according to military officials. One unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down and two others “fell into defensive traps and exploded,” the Iranian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that the assault resulted in no casualties and only minor damage.

Iranian social media also reported blasts in various parts of the country at that time, including a major blaze at an oil refinery in the northwestern city of Azarshahr. On Sunday, the nation’s IRNA news agency called the reports about the explosions false.

A senior official in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, where Azarshahr is located, also told the news agency that a fire was caused by a leak in an oil pipe and had nothing to do with any other incidents. He also said the blaze was extinguished within hours and led to no casualties.

Al Arabiya reported, citing unnamed American sources, that the US Air Force and another nation were involved in the attack. The media outlet also claimed that the drone strike targeted a ballistic missile depot.

The Jerusalem Post cited Western intelligence sources as saying that the attack was “a tremendous success,” contrary to what the Iranian authorities said.

Officials in Tehran have yet to name any suspects.

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