Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Elitism driving continued school closings

Science from around the globe overwhelmingly shows that children are at extremely low risk of serious complications from COVID 19 and are rarely the cause of outbreaks. Many say this proves schools should reopen. Most teachers, administrators and union representatives have been arguing for them to stay closed. One argument I've been hearing in favor of reopening schools is that if people (adults who might be at higher risk), can go shopping at big box stores, then children should be able to go back to school. Favoring keeping schools closed, I've heard teachers, etc., answer that argument with the notion that nobody goes shopping at a big box store for seven hours a day, five days per week. They also add that we have to think about teachers and staff who might be at risk and "have families." I'd bet on the fact that few people would shop at a big box store for that many hours. However, the workers at those big box stores probably spend 7 hours, 5 days per week (or more) at their jobs. Because they are essential workers. Because it's their job. They're also mostly adults (some at high risk), and, I believe, might actually have families. So tell me which is true: 1) Teachers and school staff are non-essential, therefore expendable, or,
2) They're just better than people who work at grocery stores.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Minnesota should pay its own bills - Even if it hurts

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."  - H.L. Mencken
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has asked the federal government for "major disaster" aid to repair damage and other costs due to recent riots across the state. With damage estimated at more than a half  billion dollars, this is, the governor wrote in his letter to President Trump, "the second most destructive incident of civil unrest in United States history after the 1992 Los Angeles riots."

Walz didn't mention in his letter that the major disaster was because he and other leaders sat back and allowed the Twin Cities to burn.

Why on earth should dollars from every tax payer in the United States pay for the action or inaction of our feckless state and local leaders? Minnesota's ruins are not their fault. U.S. citizens had no hand in electing these fearful people who wouldn't know leadership if it threw a Molotov cocktail at them. 

There's an old-fashioned notion called "principle." If you stand on it, it means you're on firm footing, solid ground. The principle here is that the cost of repairing the damage done to Minnesota cities should be borne only by those responsible. And yes, that is we, the citizens of Minnesota.

Like it or not, we are responsible for this mess. Responsible, principled adults pay their own way. You might be thinking, "I didn't vote for those impotent leaders, I voted against them." I understand how you feel, because I'm in the same boat. 

We didn't vote for the likes of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who ran for office on his disgust for police shootings and inequality, but in 2.5 years still oversaw a system that allowed cops with insane numbers of complaints against them to keep their jobs. We didn't vote for any of those "in charge" who stood twiddling their thumbs and looking scared while their cities were destroyed around them, inspiring scathing articles to be written about their weakness in publications from New York to L.A.  We didn't sanction those who ordered the police in the 3rd Precinct to run, sparking copycat attempts across the nation. 

We didn't vote for Walz, who took an upside-down approach to Covid 19 and locked down all of Minnesota--even counties with no cases--during a pandemic that ravaged some states but remained fairly low here. (Care facilities were the exception, accounting for a staggering 80 percent of Minnesota's deaths, leaving another stain on our state.) The result was mass unemployment, economic and food insecurity, under-educated children, and confusion from the utter lack of logic of reopening the state as Covid cases rose. And stress. So much stress.

If you listened closely, you would have heard it. ...tick...tick...tick... The BANG that followed was as predictable as Covid outbreaks after the masses burst shoulder to shoulder into the streets with the blessings of officials, including Mayor Frey, who just days before had instituted mask mandates with $1,000 fines and threats against business licenses. 

Yet we're still responsible, and we're going to have to pay the bill. We didn't vote hard enough. We didn't care deeply enough. We keep letting these people run the place, even though their favorite place to run it is into the ground. 

We sit at the table alone holding that bill because we can't hand it to those truly responsible: the four police officers who killed George Floyd; the race baiters who lit the fuse; the useful idiots who did the bidding of the Marxist, racist leaders who control them even if they don't know it; the DNC and their compatriots in the media who egged it all on. It's not possible to make them pay in the dollars it will take to rebuild these communities (unless Joe Biden's campaign wants to pony up some money, like it did with bail for rioters and looters who destroyed our city).

We can make them pay, however, with loss of power. Vote harder in November. Care more deeply. Do more. For God's sake, don't give your children's minds over to those who seek to indoctrinate them. Get loud. Make change happen. We have time, because a lot of these elected officials have years left on their terms. While we wait (and work), get ready for your taxes to go up, because they will. 

We've paid in so many ways: fear, insecurity, loss of livelihoods, living in the national embarrassment that Minnesota has become. Even those across the state of Minnesota who don't have anything to do with what happens in "The Cities" still pay, and we're still responsible. We have no right to go to the federal government--our fellow Americans--with our hands out.

It's time to open our wallets. Maybe not just to pay for rebuilding what was torn down, but to help elect leaders who won't let it ever happen again.