2021 Seniors:  Overcoming Pandemic Setbacks To Graduate

2021 Seniors: Overcoming Pandemic Setbacks To Graduate

By Catherine Barrett |

As graduation season is quickly approaching, many high schools and universities are faced with deciding between virtual or in-person ceremonies. As states begin to lift mask mandates, as reported by The New York Times, educators choose to continue holding virtual graduations. Being forced to host these small ceremonies is not ideal, and the loss of their special celebrations will sadden many students. However, due to public health risks presented by the pandemic, this precaution is necessary for many schools. Virtual graduation is a hard decision, but it may have an upside. Let’s analyze the lack of traditional graduation ceremonies in serving as an eye-opener to the ‘lost’ school-time and the starless future in the job market.

Amid the complex changes, everybody has been compelled to cope. The strife of the pandemic has made way for more neighborly festivals later on. The need to adjust the face-to-face functions for pandemic limitations has set out the freedom for graduations to be more available later on. This option permits relatives who can’t travel or individuals with more extended families to participate in the special day.

Because of the pandemic, plans changed, and life was reconsidered. The virtual graduation functions were unquestionably not what seniors had expected as the hotly anticipated finish of their school vocations. Virtual graduations are not the slightest bit amazing arrangements; understudies merit the magnificence and acknowledgment that accompanies achieving such an accomplishment as moving on from secondary school or even primary school. Nonetheless, this isn’t to imply that beating the earlier year’s deterrents has received no rewards.

Alumni of 2021 merit the option to be disturbed about their deficiency of conventional functions, and their misery over virtual beginnings ought not to be neglected. Following quite a while of challenging work and late evenings considering, these understudies were denied graduation services and their capacity to command the entirety of their achievements face to face. Notwithstanding, these equivalent, appalling conditions have made COVID-time initiations open to potential participants who might not regularly have the option to drive to conventional graduations.

Regulatory Capture, Teacher Unions, And COVID Child Abuse/Imprisonment

Regulatory Capture, Teacher Unions, And COVID Child Abuse/Imprisonment

By Dr. Donald S. Siegel and Dr. Robert M. Sauer |

In his seminal article in 1971 on the economic theory of regulation, the Nobel Laureate George Stigler of the University of Chicago argued that government agencies were often “captured” by the industries they were designed to regulate. Before Stigler, the common view was that noble regulators worked assiduously to correct “market failures” with regulation, in order to promote the public interest. Stigler showed that if we assume that regulators have other goals in mind besides promoting the public interest (e.g., covering up their own government failure or enhancing their power, prestige, and budget) they will eventually represent the interests of the industry they are supposed to regulate.

This is referred to as “regulatory capture.” Examples such as a “revolving door” between defense contractors and the Department of Defense and cozy relationships between pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration and large energy firms and the Environmental Protection Agency come to mind. When there is regulatory capture, the interests of firms become more important than the public interest, which leads to a net loss to society.

Traditionally, capture theory applies mainly to private sector interests, i.e., firms and industries. However, thanks to several intrepid reporters at the New York Post, we now know that capture theory can also be applied to public sector unions. These reporters uncovered palpable evidence of explicit collusion between the American Federation of Teachers and the CDC. Similar types of explicit collusion between teacher unions and public health officials may also be occurring at the state and local levels. We know that it has also occurred in the U.K., where Boris Johnson appears to be defying trade union pressure to keep masks on secondary school children.

What motivates political appointees at the CDC to collude with teacher unions to prolong lockdowns and continue the confinement and deformity of our children? First, the Biden administration is beholden to teacher unions, who provide substantial financial support to Democrats and also constitute a major, reliable voting bloc. Second, CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and thus, is responsible for the single greatest government failure of all time. Their ineptitude, inconsistency, and overall incompetence, both before and after the outbreak of the virus, has been staggering. Therefore, it is important that the CDC keeps its trade union friends for political cover. Third, public health police state officials, such as the CDC director, are basking in the limelight and flush with funds, power, and influence. For infectious disease experts, who have become our un-elected rulers, these are the best of times. Pandering to teacher unions allows them to continue regulating all aspects of our family life. Note also that while the CDC is lionized by the media, they are also shielded by craven, cowardly politicians from any accountability for the damage they have inflicted on our economy, society, and physical and mental health, as a result of their misguided quarantines, lockdowns, and “re-openings.”

A sad irony is that the agency responsible for the most massive government failure of all time is allowed to grow and prosper, while continuing its ongoing collective theft of private property, services, and economic, personal, and religious liberty. For example, thanks to the CDC, the entire cruise industry has been grounded for at least fifteen months. CDC guidelines have led to closures of public libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions for over fourteen months. The CDC Director’s recent message of “impending doom” is music to the ears of teacher union officials, who have a vested interest in maintaining maximal use of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as school closures, physical distancing, and masks for children as young as two years old.

It is impossible to understate the dastardly actions of teacher unions in exerting undue influence on the federal agency charged with deciding how and when to “re-open” schools. Let’s start with the fact that teachers have already received more special treatment than any other type of worker. Recall that when our state-run COVID religion was established in March 2020, a totalitarian/Orwellian taxonomy of “essential” and “non-essential” workers and industries was developed. In most states, teachers are “essential” workers. Unlike many “non-essential” workers, teachers have received full pay during quarantines and lockdowns, with virtually no job losses in the sector. In some school districts, teachers have even received raises and additional benefits, while children remain at home to learn online, often with inferior Internet connections and overwhelmed parents to supervise them. Unlike almost all other “essential” workers, many teachers have not physically reported to work since March 2020. Also, in many states, teachers were vaccinated before many others in their age groups, since we were told that this step was necessary to reopen the schools. The forced masking of students as young as two years old for six hours a day is designed to protect teachers, not students. It has never been clearer that teacher unions aim to prolong the pandemic party for teachers while paying no heed to the physical and psychological damage to the nation’s students.

Now that the collusion between the teacher unions and the CDC has been exposed, we can no longer pretend that public health officials have the public interest in mind. Their claim to follow the “science” has been revealed as fallacious, since they are actually following “political science.” Since March 2020, we have all been human subjects in a grand social science experiment, which has been conducted without “informed consent.” As social scientists, when we conduct an experiment, we are required by law to obtain the informed consent of each of our human subjects. That is, we are required to explain to each subject, in great detail, precisely what we are trying to accomplish in our project, as well as its duration, cost, and risks. All of these protocols have not been followed. We also have to abide by an ethical code, which says that there should be no psychological or physical harm to the subject.

There is no doubt that this unprecedented and deviant child experiment has inflicted significant harm on its human subjects. Thus, while some might say that it is wrong to demonize public health officials, we say that their actions, especially as they relate to children, have been demonic. Regulatory capture of the CDC by teacher unions is a scandal of epic proportions.

For these reasons, we call on parents to reject CDC guidelines for schools and any semblance of the “new normal” at schools. We should no longer allow our children to be unwitting subjects in this deviant and unethical grand social experiment. CDC and teacher-union-enabled child abuse and its ongoing destruction of normal childhood development must end now. The next time your child is forced to wear a face mask for seven hours a day and prevented from interacting with her playmates, you should call child protective services on that teacher or school official. The CDC and the teacher unions are now officially guilty of child abuse.

Donald S. Siegel, Foundation Professor of Public Policy and Management and Director, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University (Donald.Siegel.1@asu.edu)

Robert M. Sauer, Professor of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London (Robert.Sauer@rhul.ac.uk)

CEOs Whiff On Election Integrity

CEOs Whiff On Election Integrity

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Members of the Public Policy Committee of Greater Phoenix Leadership recently endorsed an editorial entitled “Disenfranchising Voters is Not Election Reform”.

“As an organization of CEOs at the helm of hundreds of thousands of employees in Arizona“, they felt it their public duty to warn of efforts in the legislature not only “undermining our carefully crafted voting system“ but also “actually attempting to suppress the votes of Arizonans“.

They were especially incensed by the “stringent new identification requirements for those voting by mail“ and the “purge of voters from the Early Voting List”. They grouped these bills with other less important measures, then claimed that all of them had “one thing in common: making it more difficult for Arizonans to vote”.

Voter suppression is a serious accusation. It evokes our racist past and implies serious civil rights violations. It’s a cheap slander when charged carelessly without reasonable proof.

There was one critical element missing in the CEOs’ argument: even a single example of how any of these bills would make voting more difficult. Did they even read the bills? There is no such case to be made.

Let’s look at some facts. Voter ID is required for all in-person voters. Their ballots are handled securely throughout the process and their votes are made without any inappropriate influence.

Yet for bulk mail voting (I.e., voting with a ballot not specifically requested by the voter), all the rules go out the window. No ID is required either for receiving nor submitting a ballot.

It’s no surprise that several election experts and commissions have tagged bulk mail voting as a potential source of significant fraud, even though any fraud that does occur is largely undetectable. With mailed ballots, unlike in-person ballots, it’s impossible to know who filled them out and under what circumstances.

The “stringent new requirement“ for mail-in voters would simply require the mailed ballot to include either a voter registration or Arizona Drivers License number. The measure is far from a comprehensive solution but…voter suppression? Give me a break.

The purported “purge“ of the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) is nothing more than routine maintenance of the files of bulk mail voters that inevitably become inaccurate with time. County recorders would be required to send a notice to voters who had not returned a mail ballot in four consecutive elections, most likely persons who have died, moved or simply lost interest.

If the addressee failed to respond within 30 days, they would be removed from the list. However they would still be registered to vote and could request reinstatement on the PEVL at any time.

No harm, no foul. Yet this is “Jim Crow 2.0“ according to Democrats desperate to maintain the fraud-vulnerable status quo. But even if passed, these reforms would still not be as restrictive as many laws already on the books in California, Connecticut, DC and other Democrat strongholds never accused of “voter suppression“.

The phenomenon of woke CEOs pressuring legislatures to push left-wing electoral nonsense is not unique to Arizona. Georgia legislators suffered withering criticism from their business community after passing bills similar to those being considered here.

As in Arizona, Georgia activists like the CEO of Coca-Cola were unable to offer any specific objections, other than generic “voter suppression”. With President Biden‘s encouragement, Georgia was nevertheless penalized with the loss of baseball’s All-Star game. Arizona too is facing the threatened loss of scheduled sports championships.

The GPL CEOs, like athletes and entertainers seeking influence, mostly just reiterate the talking points of the Democrat/media crowd. They claim the that voting issues are non-partisan when in fact even mild reforms are unanimously opposed by Democrats.

The CEOs write that voters are satisfied with the current system, so there is nothing to fix. Again, the reality is different. Non-partisan polls reveal a clear majority of voters harbor at least some distrust of our system and favor specific reforms like Arizona’s.

Election integrity isn’t racist, it’s essential to our right to vote. Your vote has been stolen if it is canceled by fraud or manipulation just as surely as if you were refused a ballot.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Instead of Following Science, the CDC Listens to…a Teachers’ Union

Instead of Following Science, the CDC Listens to…a Teachers’ Union

By The Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

This was all supposed to be based on “science.” Or so claimed groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for over a year now. It was the rationale for the draconian lockdowns. It was the reasoning behind the overreaching mask mandates. And whenever the topic of schools reopening arose, we were told that students couldn’t return to in-person learning yet because “science.”

Then, on February 12, President Biden issued a statement declaring that opening most K-8 schools by the end of his first 100 days was a national imperative. That sounds good enough, but this announcement came with a catch. President Biden said that this could “only be achieved if Congress provides states and communities with the resources they need to get it done safely through the American Rescue Plan.”

But the president didn’t stop at shamelessly pushing his disastrous $1.9 trillion “COVID relief bill” that’s jam-packed with far-left policies unrelated to the pandemic. He went on to praise the CDC as providing “the best available scientific evidence on how to reopen schools safely.”

Certainly, you would hope that the national public health agency of the United States would follow science when forming such a plan. But instead, the CDC allowed itself to be manipulated by one of the most powerful teachers’ unions in the country: the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

So much for following the science…

>> READ MORE >>>

Acknowledged, Systemic Racism Exists: It Doesn’t Originate Where You Think, However

Acknowledged, Systemic Racism Exists: It Doesn’t Originate Where You Think, However

By Jeff Utsch |

Every so often, the answers to problems of the day are best revealed through questions. Jeopardy gets it right.

So, today’s answer is, “These are the True Racists,” and the questions are as follows:

Are racists those who want to keep minorities ignorant, allowing no school choice and locking them into the public school system? Or, is it those who want to give every child the choice of where to receive an education?

Is it those who say and care nothing about the numbers of Black men killed by other Black men in inner cities? Or, is it those who understand all Black lives matter, not merely those killed by police?

Is it those who promote abortion clinics in the inner city? Or those who seek to protect the sanctity of life?

Is it those whose policies have helped destroy families of minorities and refuse to learn from experience? Or, is it those who grasp the failure of these policies and want to change them to preserve the family structure?

Is it those who teach victimhood and, “No, you can’t without government’s help?” Or, might it be those who acknowledge the bright potential and future of all and those who support and encourage all in realizing their potential?

Is it those who create dependency and no path out from poverty? Or, is it those who want what is best for each individual and strive to adopt and implement policies that would do just that?

Is it those who tell you that you were never a true American, entitled to the full benefits of citizenship, with no hope of attaining the American dream? Or, is it those who know you are an American with all the rights and privileges that entails, and the ability to pursue your own happiness?

Is it those who teach that any struggle you face is derived from racism and flaws in the system? Or, is it those who cheer for your success and who recognize that each individual has unique challenges to overcome?

Is it those who have such low expectations that they don’t think you can obtain an identification card? Or, it is those who see an equal and treat you as such?

Is it those who see color first, to the exclusion of attributes? Or is it those carrying-out Martin Luther King’s vision of judging by character alone?

Is it those who wish to re-segregate? Or, those who strive for integration?

Is it those who intentionally use race to divide because of their own nefarious ends? Or, is it those who want to heal and continue what progress we’ve achieved?

Is it those who don’t want you to know the real statistics of police shootings, as it would destroy a narrative? Or, it is those seek to tell the truth of local policing?

Is it those encouraging entitlement and rage as a way of life? Or, would it be those who strive to instill self-worth and dignity?

Is it those teaching false history to intentionally manipulate perspectives? Or, it is those teaching history, its shames included, who understand America’s progress in living-up to its creed of “all men are created equal?”

Is it those who teach Critical Race Theory whose teachings hold that all whites are identified as oppressors? Or, is it those who teach that all are to be judged as individuals and are mindful that many of all colors have fought for racial equality?

Is it those that teach “us-versus-them?” Or, those who teach of a common, “we?”

Is it those seeking to divide along racial lines? Or those aiming to unite as Americans sharing similar visions?

The Jeopardy paradigm takes the mask off and reveals the answers.

Those most often pointing the finger, accusing others as being racists, protest too much.

It is time that the truth be known.

Yes, it seems that systemic racism IS flourishing in America, but it is not coming from our traditional core ideals, founding documents or American patriots. It is coming from those who perpetuate bogus lessons of history and false, self-serving proscriptions.

All must look at facts and stop accusing those bereft-of-prejudice and, instead, turn the focus to the real racist policies and beliefs.  “By their fruits ye shall know them”.  For those who have eyes to see it is not difficult to watch and see which “seed” produces the good fruit, the universal love among all men.

Only when we identify and rip-out the root of this division (false narratives and racist policies that equate to systemic racism) will there be a chance of healing.  As long as race baiters and perpetual “pot-stirrers” are allowed to maintain their undeserved microphones, truth will be suppressed, and any victory will be fleeting.

Jeff Utsch of Tucson, AZ, is an instructor at the Leadership and Freedom Center in Gettysburg PA and can be heard on iHeart Radio’s Podcast, Constitutional Conversations, with KFYI 550-AM host James T Harris, of The Conservative Circus. Jeff@jeffutsch.com

Holocaust Education, IHRA And Anti-Semitism In Arizona

Holocaust Education, IHRA And Anti-Semitism In Arizona

By Paul Miller |

House Bill 2241 requires Arizona students to be taught about the Holocaust and other genocides twice between seventh and twelfth grades.  Although the bill passed unanimously in February of this year, at issue is a proposed Senate amendment defining anti-Semitism in accordance with the definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The sponsor of HB 2241, State Rep. Alma Hernandez, is a self-declared progressive and staunch Zionist. The Mexican-American Jewish Democrat is a refreshing and important voice in Arizona’s pro-Israel community, especially at a time in American politics when the term “progressive” is often associated with with anti-Israel sentiment. In an interview with the Haym Salomon Center, Hernandez expressed her support for the IHRA definition, but not in the context of this bill.

“I have championed the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in the past and hope to do so in the future with colleagues across the aisle in a separate bill,” said Hernandez, adding, “I worked with Holocaust survivors, families and organizations to create this bill. This is their bill, and I will keep my promise to them and pass their legislation.”

Hernandez is part of a chorus of bill supporters who believe the unanimous passing of the legislation sends an important message to students on the significance of Holocaust education.

Joining that choir is Sheryl Bronkesh, president of the Phoenix Holocaust Association. During our conversation she expressed how critical it is to pass this legislation now, with no amendments.

“We’ve been working on this legislation for three years,” explained Bronkesh. “This past year I lost 10 survivors. I don’t want to see another legislative session end without survivors and their families not witnessing Holocaust education being passed while they are with us.”

Disagreeing with Bronkesh is fellow Phoenix Holocaust Association member Marion Weinzweig. Weinzweig, a Holocaust survivor, believes “we need the IHRA definition in the bill. If we don’t define anti-Semitism – teach students about contemporary anti-Semitism – what stops this bill from being used against Jews and Israel?”

Weinzweig and other supporters of the IHRA amendment fear that without the definition, Holocaust education can be used to foment anti-Semitism.

Sounds absurd to some. But during a period in our history where disdain for Jews is growing, anti-Israel advocates and their anti-Semitic minions in government, culture, and academia intend to use the Holocaust to stir up Jew-hatred.

Holocaust inversion is an actual phenomenon. It’s the portrayal of Jews and Israel as modern-day Nazis. Anti-Semites claim Israel treats the Palestinians as the Nazis treated the Jews during the Holocaust.

This sad reality is one of the driving forces that led Arizona State Sen. Paul Boyer to author and sponsor the IHRA amendment.  The Republican lawmaker believes the purpose of Holocaust education is not only to teach the history; it must also help eradicate anti-Semitism in the future.

Boyer notes that over 550 survivors, family members of survivors and concerned citizens emailed the Arizona legislature in support of the IHRA amendment.

“The IHRA definition must be part of any Holocaust education bill if the legislation is to have any teeth,” Boyer explained. “If educating students about the Holocaust is to be successful in preventing future injustices, we have to include safeguards to prevent Holocaust inversion.”

Boyer is not wrong in his concerns about contemporary anti-Semitism. In fact, it exists in the very legislative body in which he serves.

For example, Arizona State Rep. and Minority Whip Athena Salman took to the floor in April 2019 and claimed the Israel military has a history of abducting children.

An anti-Israel, anti-Semitic diatribe such as that of Democratic lawmaker Salman makes one wonder how this type of behavior is being tolerated in our society. Invectives spewed by Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who receive very limited scrutiny for their rank anti-Semitism, only reaffirm the position of IHRA definition supporters.

All the interested parties, on both sides of the debate, understand the importance of Holocaust education but disagree on how best to implement it. What is not up for debate, however, is that anti-Semitism exists even among publicly elected officials, and that Holocaust inversion is now part of contemporary anti-Semitism. Thwarting the trend necessitates a curriculum that includes a clear definition of anti-Semitism, past and present.

Paul Miller is president and executive director of the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter at @pauliespoint.