Education — America’s Sacred Bottomless Pit

The Washington Post ran a story this week that asked: “Does this 81-year-old hold the key to teaching kids how to understand math?” Treating her as if she was some valuable relic washed ashore from Atlantis, the reporter explains Mary Johnson has been “teaching math in the District [since] the 1960s as if little time has passed.”

Which is a good thing; because Johnson spends her retirement years trying to undo the mathematical illiteracy imposed DC children by educrats.

She does it by cheerfully violating all the modern rules of “pedagogy” promulgated by the witch doctors of education.

“Pedagogy,” by the way is a pretentious term used by the second–rate minds that run education schools. It really means “teaching,” but if the “experts” used clear language the taxpayer might realize the extent of the scam that comprises government education today.

Anyway Mrs. Johnson is a great American. You can read how she puts the ed borg in it’s place by clicking below for my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/budget-education-spending/2016/01/29/id/711891/

 

 

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Will the GOP Establishment Kill Trump With Kindness?

Trump WallIn 1998 I worked in a long–forgotten Venezuelan presidential race that has an important lesson for Donald Trump. The contest featured a celebrity outsider with perfect hair running against corrupt political insiders. (Is that redundant?) In Venezuela the insiders weren’t long–serving officials or hangers–on who became ethically bankrupt. The members of COPEI were criminally corrupt and many officials were jailed.

Irene Sáez, a former Miss Venezuela and Miss World, was the celebrity outsider. Sáez formed her own party called Integrated Representation of New Hope, which sounds clunky in English, but very Trumpy in Spanish since the initials formed the acronym IRENE.

Her unofficial campaign song was “Barbie Girl,” which pretty much topped off the package.

The combination of celebrity, outsider and iconoclasm catapulted Irene into what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. In the last poll of 1997, a year before the election, her support was 70 percent with none of Trump’s “built in” negatives.

Irene’s peroxide blonde hair received as much vilification as Trump’s does now. (History note, Trump’s coiffure is not original: During the Civil War generals with like hairdos were said to “have their rear guard doing the work of skirmishers.”)

Even though Sáez was mayor of a toney suburb of Caracas, pontificators viewed her as a lightweight who would soon discover running Venezuela is much different from sashaying down the runway at the Miss World pageant.

Her supporters were denigrated much the same way Trump’s are: Undereducated, unwashed masses lured by the siren song of celebrity. The only thing they weren’t accused of being was white, since after all it was Venezuela.

The expert’s mistake was overlooking the three steps to voter persuasion.

Celebrity only gives candidates a head start on step one: I.D. Voters know who they are and know they are running. The second step — Identity —makes them winners. Sáez’ identity was that of an outsider, as is Trump’s.

Once disenfranchised, denigrated voters find someone who reciprocates their outrage, they’re happy to take the third step: Investment. Meaning the candidate has their vote.

When the Sáez’ bubble didn’t burst there was panic at the possibility of a gravy train derailment. Just as is happening here now, both establishments scrambled to find a way to ooze into the outsider’s orbit.

Trump looks out his limo window and sees Sen. Chuck Grassley tapping on the glass trying to hitch a ride on the bandwagon. For Sáez it was the loathsome COPEI dumping it’s preferred miscreant and instead endorsing her candidacy.

Sáez response should have been an immediate and noisy rejection. Instead she made a disastrous mistake and accepted the mantle, which proved to be just a loan. Sáez support imploded as voters saw their outsider surrounded by the same old insiders.

She finished with 3 percent of the vote and had the additional indignity of seeing COPEI jilt her just before the election and support a third candidate.

Here the GOP establishment is cozying up to Trump because Ted Cruz is unthinkable as an alternative because he’s a genuine Constitutional conservative. As one GOP reptile told the New York Times: “We can live with Trump…there’s a feeling that he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.”

A disaster since influence peddlers and time–serving incumbents won’t continue to dip into the taxpayer trough under a Cruz administration.

Trump’s crucial test is the one Sáez failed. As far as the insider–loathing voter is concerned there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham.

Yet Trump may not recognize that. After the Grassley wedged his way into the limo Trump told a rally, “You know what? There’s a point at which: Let’s get to be a little establishment. We’ve got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don’t worry. We’re going to make such great deals.”

That’s exactly the wrong response. Trump should have told Grassley and the insiders to join the illegals at the back of the line. If Donald doesn’t believe me he should check with Sáez. It won’t even be an international call.

She lives quietly in Florida now.

Welfare Mother Meet Welfare Mogul

Team Owners by CategoryOne only has to glance at the long line of NFL owners flying to the league’s annual meeting in their private jets to know for a fact that welfare handouts only serve to create a culture of dependency. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the face of one–percenter entitlement, solemnly announced at the gathering that stadiums in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are “inadequate and unsatisfactory.”

If that’s the case why don’t the billionaires start remodeling? The Benham brothers could use the work.

Unfortunately NFL owners suffer from entitlement ennui. Owners expect government to pile on inducements until the total satisfies a billionaire. Determining a satisfactory amount is the problem.

Roose Bolton, in Game of Thrones, knew the dowry for marrying one of Walder Frey’s daughters would be her weight in silver. Since fat was more valuable than fair, he choose the orca–sized Walda. But how many tax dollars attract a fat–and–happy NFL owner?

The uncertainly had St. Louis in a tizzy. All signs pointed to the city having to return the NFL team it borrowed from LA 22 years ago. And Lord Goodell ruled Edward Jones Dome was too ramshackle for a team with a 7–10 record.

How did this all work out? That’s easy, to the advantage of the owners. Please click the link below to be transported to my Newsmax Insider column where the gods of copyright demand you finish the column.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Goodell-LA-NFL-Stadium/2016/01/15/id/709675/

 

Sudden Jihad Syndrome’s Related Pathology

islamophobia-a-word-created-by-fascists-and-used-by-cowards-to-manipulate-moronsMost of us with a cable, newspaper or Internet subscription are familiar with the 21st Century’s global epidemic: Sudden Jihad Syndrome. First identified outside the laboratory by Daniel Pipes, the disease is typically confined to males.

There also appears to be a correlation with Islam, but that’s controversial.

Mainstream media practitioners usually apply the Sudden Jihad Syndrome diagnosis to quiet, younger men who keep to themselves and do a great deal of research on YouTube. Hobbies include building pipe bombs, going to the shooting range and collecting anhydrous ammonia.

The rest of us know we’re in a Sudden Jihad Syndrome outbreak when, for no particular reason, the young man yells Allahu Akbar and either starts shooting or explodes.

Now, in the wake of the Philadelphia attack on a police officer, I’ve identified a related pathology called Sudden Imam Syndrome. This occurs when a secular politician, typically a Democrat although weak–minded Republicans exhibit low resistance, assures us after an attack that the Moslem terrorist “had nothing to do with Islam.”

In Philly the shooter was captured on camera firing at Officer Jesse Hartnett 11 times, scoring three hits. At the news conference announcing the arrest, Police Commissioner Richard Ross said: “According to him, he believed that the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the [Koran].”

Police Captain James Clark added the suspect “stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.”

Mayor Jim Kenney — in office all of four days, but learning fast — stepped up to the microphone and suddenly underwent a startling transformation. Imam Kenney assured us that in spite of what the shooter admitted, “In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.”

CAIR (Conceal All Islam Responsibility) seconded the mayor’s propaganda. Reuters reported “At this hour, it does not appear that he was an observant or mosque–going Muslim.”

As much as I respect the mayor’s reputation as an Islamic theologian, I’m going to have to lean toward the shooter’s explanation of his motive.

Reuters interviewed Jannah Abdulsalaam “who asked to be identified by her [Moslem] name.” (?!!!) She said the shooter was “’exceptionally knowledgeable’ about Islam. A neighbor said she saw him attend services at the local mosque “each Friday” and another acquaintance said the triggerman was quite familiar with Arabic before he signed up for classes at the mosque.

(Evidently CAIR was calling mosques in Philadelphia, MS a mistake anyone could make in the heat of the moment.)

Mayor Kenney appears to be the kind of cafeteria Catholic who can support a Democrat party that worships at the altar of abortion, while still claiming to be a Christian. So if Kenney’s so shaky on Christian doctrine, what gives him any credibility on the Koran?

Here we have an ISIS–pledging attacker wearing a dishdasha, screaming the traditional “Allahu Akbar” while trying to kill a cop and it “has nothing to do with Islam”? It’s like saying Japanese kamikaze pilots wearing a hackimaki headband had nothing to do with Bushido.

And where do these non–Arabic speaking instant imams gain the confidence to interpret Islam? I’m very familiar with pre–Christ Judaism, but I wouldn’t presume to tell a Jew where he’s gone wrong. Just as I wouldn’t tell a druid he’s worshiping the wrong shrub or a wiccan she’s mistaken grass clippings for sacred herbs. But both the mayor of Philadelphia and Sen. Bob Casey assure the nation there’s no Islam here.

But there is Islam here, just as there was in San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, 9/11 and the rest of the terror attacks. It’s commonality among these events that’s inescapable, yet the powers–that–be won’t acknowledge it.

The fact is a Christian who becomes confused about Christianity will often be seen supporting homosexual marriage or Joel Osteen, but when a Moslem gets confused about Islam the result frequently involves the coroner.

There is no hope for a reform of Islam unless Moslems admit there is something wrong and Islamic leadership unites to solve the problem. Relying on condescending practitioners of Sudden Imam Syndrome to deflect blame only serves to create more suspicion and distrust.

Google Designs the Self–Absorbed Car for the Self–Absorbed Man

Self Driving Car memeTo give you an idea of how far the nation’s confidence has retreated from the exuberance of the 60’s — I promise this isn’t an endorsement of Donald Trump — just look at current automotive culture.

Government Motors designs flimsy boxes to conform to arbitrary fuel efficiency standards. Electric cars, which the government wants a select few to drive while the rest of us are on a bus, are so expensive the only way to persuade the average person to own one is to subsidize the purchase with thousands of tax dollars.

Naturally “activist” busybodies worry those geek hummers don’t make enough noise to warn headphone–wearing idiots of the auto’s approach. That certainly wasn’t a problem with the Shelby Mustang. The roar of the exhaust in even the stock model approached NASA decibel levels.

Muscle cars were the perfect compliment to a muscular country. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits was a household name, “Fun, Fun, Fun” dominated the radio and Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Today we’ve gone from the “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” (Go granny, go granny, go granny go!) to the Little Old Robot from Cupertino (No baby, no baby, no baby no!).

The future according to Google features a self–driving car characterized an inability to relate to the moving culture around it. I call Google’s effort the Asperger Auto because of the effect the cars have when they leave the Google test track.

Individuals with Asperger Syndrome have trouble with social interaction and are often bound by limited or restricted patterns of behavior. Google’s car has all the classic symptoms: inward directed, reluctant to change behavior to fit surrounding social circumstances and a refusal to acknowledge social cues from other drivers.

Bloomberg Business reports a California motorcycle cop had experience first–hand when he observed traffic stacking up behind a suppository–shaped auto.

He entered the history books as the first motorman to initiate a traffic stop on a robot car. Equally unique, he resisted the temptation to inquire: “Do you know why I stopped you?” because there was no one to ask.

The self–involved vehicle was putt–putting along at 24 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, ignoring the jam it was creating as drivers with a rapidly deteriorating opinion of Google stacked up behind.

The quandary for the cop was to whom to give the ticket? The car couldn’t sign the summons and the two engineers aboard claimed to be just passengers. So the officer let the human cargo off with a warning and threatened to drop a magnet into the car’s CPU if it happened again.

Depending on whom you ask, auto–autos have between twice and five times the accident rate of human drivers. One similarity the cars share with humans is the accident is always the other guy’s fault, although in the car’s case it appears to be true.

A study from the University of Michigan found driverless vehicles, like your teenage daughter, have never been at fault in an accident. The auto–autos are “usually hit from behind in slow-speed crashes by inattentive or aggressive humans unaccustomed to machine motorists that always follow the rules.”

In essence, an auto strictly obeying the law is such a rare occurrence it may actually constitute a road hazard.

California is ready with a solution similar to the old law that required a horseless carriage to post a man with a lantern walking before it to warn unsuspecting horses. Regulators want a “backseat–driver–on–call” vehicle that “would require a human always to be ready to take the wheel.”

Naturally Google, the inventor of the “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” model that doesn’t have a steering wheel or a gas pedal, objects to the new rule.

Google has managed to automate the velocity vigilante who parks his sanctimonious speed limit observing vehicle in the fast lane and forces drivers with a greater sense of urgency to pass on the right.

The self–righteous, self–absorbed Asperger Auto coming to a highway near you.

Republican Surrender Caucus Schedules a Vote for Show


Ringling Brothers Side Show poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Step right up!

You’ll see Delilah, the girl with the million–dollar treasure chest. I’m not allowed to describe her act out here in public, but believe me, once she begins up around the post office and ends up down around the court house, ladies and gentlemen, you’re going to know that you’ve been to a red hot show!

                         Carnival Barker spiel

You may have thought the midway carny show is extinct, killed by Keeping Up with the Kardashians – which allowed you to see freaks without leaving your home – but you’re wrong.

January has a Capital Hill Carny Show designed expressly for conservatives, featuring Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as barker. I suppose you’re wondering what the man whose verbal incompetence single–handedly neutered the Benghazi Committee has to say. To find out, please click on the link below and read the rest of my Newsmax Insider column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Caucus-McCarthy-McConnell-Obamacare/2016/01/08/id/708739/