Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Crisis Horizon

Rocky Mountain storm
Albert Bierstadt

How strange life is today when you look into the eyes of the people who surround you and see that vague sense of unease. Change has begun; the truth is seeping out. By electing Trump, Americans defied all the propaganda, the lies, the half-truths, and the influencers in every media, and acknowledged and made public our shared truth: things must change. The election of Trump was our shared perception of something terrible on the horizon that we had to face or perish.

We know the Crisis is coming at us fast. We all know it because it is coming from every direction, and because no American is unscathed. No matter what anyone does, there is no redress for our woes and grievances. It’s the gigantic federal debt and future obligations that mount into unimaginable trillions. We all know that it can never be repaid. That’s an indisputable fact.
It’s the millions of young people mired in hopeless college debt they can never pay off, trying to live life with heads forever bowed in submission to the state. It’s the millions who didn’t go to college who languish in menial jobs.
It’s our healthcare system which seems designed to enrich pharmaceutical companies, not help patients.
It’s our once glorious landscape dotted with cookie cutter malls that are empty, malls no one wanted in the first place, but which are coveted by the corporations who write our tax laws. It’s embedded in our tax laws, which are so onerous and complex that they foil every spark of initiative and honest effort at self-improvement and entrepreneurship.
It’s our public schools, which educate few and whose primary function is to provide union jobs to fund the Democrat party.
It’s our state governments, who have promised many services to get elected and created many state jobs in response, but the salaries, healthcare and pensions for those jobs are so lavish they weren’t affordable to begin with, and most of the promised services amount to little more than fantastically expensive piles of paperwork.
It’s a tsunami of misery from our fatally flawed justice system, which has become a means of plunder to support the unsustainable state budgets. It all stinks to high heaven.

Oh yes, no one who can see lighting and hear thunder is unaware of the titanic crisis moving quickly toward us on the horizon. I hear they are building survival bunkers around DC, as well they should, because they are the worst and grossest offenders. Our government is being held hostage by globalist leeches who are sucking the bones of our rich country dry, before they move on. Our population has become the prey of the jackals of greed and power. They write the laws, they call the shots, and there is nothing any of us can do about it. We are trapped, our only choice is Frick or Frack, the Democrats or the Republicans.

I’ve got a feeling that no one was more surprised than Trump at the staggering, almost unbelievable crowds he drew wherever he went, no matter the place or the time. A tidal wave of dissatisfaction swelled in response to the one man speaking the truth. Who knew the truth had such power? No one in DC, that’s for sure. The jackals were caught off guard. But the fight is on, now. The only question is will there be bloodshed? Will there be war? Or will things shake out with less violence?

Everyone knows, and everyone is holding their breath, hanging on. We’ve faced the fact that we have huge problems. What will happen next? Will the country survive? Or will it self-destruct? We are a hopeful people and confident. That is what Trump represents. We believe that no matter how bad it is, America and the dream it represents will prevail, one way or another. That is what’s best about Trump, that and jobs. People who are working are people you can trust to get you through a crisis.

Trump’s policies may be wrong or right. I don’t know and economists, like global warmists, predict many contradictory things. There are too many unknowns in both cases and too many variables.

This is the quiet before the storm, and we all know it. Enjoy what you can. Whatever the storm may be, if God still loves us, something better will be reborn. Of that, you can be sure.

Friday, March 16, 2018


A QUOTE FROM THE WONDERFUL BOOK "A Little Daily Wisdom, Christian Women Mystics"

Translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher

I read parts of this wonderful book almost daily. I cannot recommend it highly enough for spiritual guidance of the simple kind that we need every day. Ms. Butcher has created a book that is nothing short of a classic and should be on everyone's desk or bedside table.

A Little Daily Wisdom: Christian Women Mystics

This is an excerpt from Hadewijch, Poems in Stanzas. She was a 13th Century Flemish mystic writer.

"The beautiful season of flowers is finally here again!
Those with beautiful hearts 
who are chosen to bear Love's chains
also know this season of growing
spiritually as their steady trust-in-God
Blossoms in their hands
into flowers and fruits of kindness.

They experience the Word of God
through their blooming spiritual trust.
They're always friends with Love, and
that's why they're intimate with Tenderness."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Red State Slave Revolt


What crystalized my understanding of the enslavement of the Red States by the Blue States, was a speech by Hillary in India where she cited that the people in the Blue states who had voted for her created two thirds of the GDP and were the most productive Americans, while the Red states were useless money sucking bumpkins. Think about that. What she said is the bare faced truth, which she is too stupid to realize is a confession of the overwhelming extent of thievery that has become the norm in our country. The people in the Blue States she is referring to actually produce nothing. They get cheap goods from slave labor abroad to sell it to Americans, whose entire wealth they have stolen, leaving them only a pittance of their earnings, after they pay the ridiculous taxes that support the Blue States blood sucking government overseers.

How did they do this? The Blue state people don’t work, they govern. This means they sit in offices or go to places where people are trying to work and tell them what they can and can’t do. They are the overseers we all are now familiar with from the recent slave movies. They can take anything you have, ruin your business, ruin your financial life, tell you how to live, destroy your family, and impoverish you. They do this under the pretense of regulatory authority to protect some hypothetical person or cause. In fact, these are make work jobs at fantastic salaries with scandalous benefits that require nothing but specialized training in obscure and voluminous rules and regulations. They manipulate these rules in order to make it look like they are performing a useful service, but in fact the rules are just an excuse to create a hurricane of paperwork to justify their gigantic salaries. Our government has become a huge blood sucking leach on the ordinary citizen.

Politicians, Lawyers, court battles, government inspectors, regulators, teachers, college professors, administrators, state and local prosecutors, judges, social workers, teachers, school administrators, school bus drivers, all of these and many, many more are considered to be ‘producing’ wealth and are added up as part of the GDP, gross domestic product. Yeah, right. What do they produce but paperwork? The game is that the more regulations they write, the more the government workers they can hire, the more they can featherbed into their budget, then the more of the GDP they can suck out of the hard work, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of the ordinary citizen/slave.

The election of Trump was the Red State Slave rebellion. That Twitter, Facebook and all social media shadowban and censor free speech is irrefutable proof that this theft from the populace is coordinated and deliberate. Why would they fear the populace’s opinions if they weren’t trying to hide their criminal enterprise? They are guilty, they know it and are trying to hide it so they don’t get caught.

This is far more pervasive and evil than anything Alinsky ever thought of. Our government at every level is larded with those who are greedy, slothful, deceitful, cruel and corrupt. The election of Trump is the Red state slaves revolting against their cruel and greedy masters.

Finally, Hillary told us half the truth. The other half of the truth is that the Blue States have stolen two thirds of GDP simply by writing paperwork to enslave us and using our government to steal from us.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Zookeeper's Wife - Another Failure to Commit Story

So Close to Being a Movie, You Can Taste it

Zookeeper’s Wife, like Dunkirk, also shies away from committing itself to a story. Although the movie is based on a true story, what they present are the bare facts of the story wrapped in gauzy pictures. This inability or fear of story is on display in almost all liberal movies of recent vintage. It’s as if they have lost the sense that there might be any meaning in life; but ultimately, I think it’s a much more profound failure of which they are unaware, as I was until I really thought about it.

The only thing this movie has going for it is the lead actress Jessica Chastain, who really has it all: interesting beauty, intelligence, talent, emotional vibrancy and she is a highly skilled actress. She could carry this movie over the finish line, but for some reason, either the script or the director or her own choices, the movie doesn’t go for it. She is the Zookeepers wife. The Zookeeper is a man of science, and she acts as his assistant. When the zoo’s elephant mother, having just delivered its baby who can’t draw breath and is dying, is frantically roaring and pacing in alarm, the terrified zoo staff can only stand by helplessly. But Chastain’s character, Antonina, the uneducated assistant, risking being crushed by the distraught mother, leaps into the cage to save the little creature, in spite of the danger. We are astounded by her incredible courage and the almost magical power her love has to calm the animals.

As her dinner party crowd of mixed Europeans watches, she saves the baby. Her zookeeper husband admires her skill with the animals and how much they trust her. He comments ‘you are Eve in her garden.’ This is the central theme. The Nazi’s, in the person of another zookeeper who is their friend from Berlin, are the snakes in that garden.

When the Nazi’s Blitzkrieg rolls over Poland, the zoo is partially destroyed. Their Berlin Zookeeper friend is now a full-fledged Nazi. Acquiescing to Nazi conquest, the Polish zookeeper devises a way to use his former friend as a means to help Jews escape from Warsaw. He entices the Nazi with the idea that they will run a pig farm in the zoo, and the Nazi can also perform his animal genetic experiments there. We have seen the signs that their Nazi friend has hots for Antonina and is eager to have an excuse to pursue her. In the movie, our Polish Zookeeper and his very sexy and attractive wife are curiously naïve about the dangerous sex game they are playing with their Nazi benefactor. This is definitely Adam and Eve before they ate the apple.

The movie is based on a true story, so the fact that their religion is never mentioned seems to imply they were not Catholic, as would be expected of a Polish couple. But the zookeeper is a scientist, so perhaps he has lost his faith. And perhaps, like so many scientists, he really is very naïve about human nature and sexuality. He seems quite surprised that the German soldiers rape a young girl. He and his wife save this young girl, along with many other Jews through heroic efforts and with astounding courage and resourcefulness. And this is accomplished with the help of the cunning sex tease game Antonina plays with her old friend, now a Nazi, the zookeeper from Berlin. He’s a fairly timid Nazi, as Nazi snakes go. He cops a few feels, hardly even rising to the level of Hollywood style sexual harassment.

In Zookeeper’s Wife, the horror of the Warsaw occupation is very distant. The peril of Antonina, from the occupying forces is not seen. The weak, sort of vaguely scientific, Nazi friend is used to keep the dangerous Nazi’s at bay. Antonina’s femininity in wartime and how vulnerable she was because she was attractive is never dealt with. Why does she not accompany her husband to the ghetto? No one ever brings that up. Only the little girl who is raped gives some idea of what was going on. Antonina herself recounts her terrible experiences with men and war in her past to the little girl and gives her a baby bunny. The little live baby rabbit that they share is a lovely moment and another symbolic animal. It’s touching when the child accepts the adorable rabbit, but you don’t have to have been raped as a child to know that rabbits are helpless and irresistibly cute and raping children is heinous.

The moral repugnance of having to hide unarmed women and even children from the murderous Nazi’s is shown, but never fully dramatized. It happens, it compels the zookeeper to save children and adults, which is an important moral point, but all we really experience in the movie is the fear everyone faces. We never see any angry outrage or any passion behind the zookeeper and his wife’s courage. In a horrible way, it gives the impression that the zookeeper and his nature girl wife might be the kind of people who are always trying to save all the dogs in animal shelters. Were the Jews nothing more than animals scheduled to be gassed who were saved by animal lovers? Somehow, I doubt that’s the whole story or even the real story.

This movie comes so close to being a movie, because it is a true story of what two extraordinarily courageous people did to save innocent lives, but, as my son observed, it lacks beauty, the beauty of human experience, human nobility, courage, moral fiber, and sacrifice, which would be thrown into sharp relief when contrasted to the dehumanized Nazis, who have lost all feeling for humanity. But the Nazi’s are once again just a bunch of inconvenient goose-stepping guys in gray uniforms with guns. The movie seems more outraged when the Nazi’s shoot an eagle, than that hundreds of innocent humans are being murdered.

What we have here is another failure to commit story, similar, though not as egregious, as Dunkirk, because there is a true story here which is a terrific story, even if the filmmakers don’t know what that story is.

We are never shown exactly what motivated the zookeeper and his wife, beyond a sort of vague good heartedness. Sorry, Hollywood, it takes more than that to have a story. Newspaper writers, many of whom became Hollywood screenwriters of the Golden Age of Hollywood, used to know that and got to the heart of the story in the first paragraph. Nobody in Hollywood today seems to remember how to tell a good story. Post-modernist Hollywood is in love with the not-story. Soon movies with be like those modern paintings of large canvases covered in one color, we will go to the movies and see blank screens that commit their creators to nothing.

These modern movies have deepened my understanding of the intrinsic value of culture to society. What comes out of Hollywood these days are strangely hollow movies. As I look back at old black and white movies for comparison, it’s obvious that their creators took humanity and its struggles for granted. Nobody in those days was afraid of a story with tears, struggle, fierce arguments and passions. While I am not necessarily saying they were morally superior to people today, they understood and accepted the conventions of storytelling: protagonist, antagonist, plot, theme, character, and moral.

Perhaps in the past, the fact that they accepted storytelling so naturally was at least partly due to the strong Judeo-Christian traditions in American culture. Of course, every culture has its stories and those stories inform, reform and reinforce the moral beauty of that culture. In Judeo-Christian culture, the story imperative can be seen to arise from the words in the Lord’s prayer “hallowed be thy name.” Everything in western Judeo-Christian culture is aimed to hallow the name of God, because it is a humanist culture and only a human being can hallow God.

If you don’t address human emotions, like sexual violation, murderous hatred, love of a man and woman, the cost of courage and the passion of compassion, you have no story, because you have not hallowed the Godlike in the actions of the characters or in the characters themselves. What you have done, if you leave out human emotions, is dehumanize yourself and cut yourself off from God.

Yes, there is a Passover celebrated by the Jews, but it has the feel of a ritual that they are allowed to indulge in to remind them of a happier time, almost like letting them have a quiet birthday party. The sacred courage that the Jewish Passover tradition fortifies isn’t dramatized. As in Dunkirk, all the characters seem to be victims of appalling circumstances far beyond their control. The zookeepers and the Jews are portrayed in scenes of unbelievable suffering humanity, strength of purpose, courage, love and resourcefulness as they attempt to elude the Nazi’s, yet we never see them express their feelings.

It’s my sense that there aren’t nearly enough of close-ups of any of the characters at key moments. It is in the eyes that you see human feelings and the eyes which communicate what a person feels. Without closeups, we don’t get to see into those windows to the soul. In film, this is more important than on stage, because film is not as concerned with what is spoken as much as it is with what we can see that the characters feel.

I don’t believe art cannot exist without acknowledging God. The very act of creating art is an imitation of God and a sacred or profane gesture to some God. Hollywood does neither. It has neutralized profanity with gross out comedy and pornography. It refuses to accept story which is sacred to humanity itself, and so Hollywood is left with lots of unconnected pictures devoid of emotional impact, poignancy and nothing in them to compel a human heart or mind. No wonder they fail at the box office.
In spite of everything, I think this movie is worth seeing. It is a true historical story, and if not brilliantly told, nevertheless it is a moving story.

Friday, March 9, 2018

It Comes At Night - Another Failure to Commit Story

This is a much lauded horror movie. The critics loved it, the audience didn’t. In an effort to keep current with what’s happening in film these days, the son and I rented it at Redbox. Save your money and skip it. But it was fascinating as a cultural artifact, because even my son who has a more modern sensibility than I do, was puzzled and disgusted by this movie. It’s another glaring example of Hollywood’s fear of committing to a story. Lack of story is a curious new trend in Hollywood, but it’s not catching on with the audience.
The title is a total misnomer, because it doesn’t come at night. In fact, it, whatever it is, never comes at all, morning, noon or night. 
Spoiler Alert- Nothing comes at night. Nothing comes at all in this really stupid movie which demonstrates that liberal movie critics are the type of people who are scared of their own shadows. Alternate title: Ignorant people afraid of a plague panic. Sad. No one in this movie seems to have a brain, a plan, a clue or a scintilla of moral character. I imagine Neanderthals were far more morally sophisticated than this bunch. Druids worshipped oak trees and garroted their best sons to placate their gods, and they were millennia ahead in their understanding of life than of the people who made this movie. I don’t like horror movies, but even if I did, this movie is not in the least bit scary. It’s a nothingburger. My son the horror film fan want’s his money back. We’re still laughing. It didn’t come at night or ever. It’s all just weirdly paranoid atmosphere and let’s be honest, atmosphere does not a movie make. Sorry. 
The third movie, which I rented recently, The Zookeepers Wife, is also curiously unwilling or unable to tell a story. In that movie, the deep problem that is destroying Hollywood becomes more apparent. Will post that discussion later this weekend.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dunkirk -( Failure to Commit Story) vs Darkest Hour

Dunkirk - the movie
First, the biggest laugh about Dunkirk is that it got an Academy Award for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. The soundtrack is hilariously incongruous. It’s a horror movie type sound track with lots of ominous overtones. The tension, excitement and drama of war is completely missing. The sound is probably the worst thing about this movie, and that’s saying something.
In fairness, I know nothing about the director, Chris Nolan, but my son loves his work, so when he says he’s stunned and disappointed by the movie, he was inclined to forgive a lot, but we ended up laughing our heads off, especially when the sound would kick in.
Dunkirk is a kind of Samuel Beckett version of the battle of Dunkirk, without Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and boy do we miss those two actual characters, because this movie has none.
Dunkirk is a war movie that turns war into a natural disaster slash horror film: It Came From Above. The soldiers stand in line, waiting on the makeshift piers, staring at the sky in wordless terror. But the amazing courage and grace under pressure of the Brits, as they queue up in orderly fashion, maintaining discipline and élan in the face of imminent death, is never noted, commented upon or praised. The soldiers in this movie have no claim to be called heroes; they’re simply fish in a barrel waiting to be shot. (Snide aside: Liberals hate all heroes except the #Fake heroes in comic books. Their weak little egos cannot stand the idea that someone might be better than they are. Sad.) The one time they respond with cheering is when they spot the armada of civilian yachts come to rescue them. For that brief moment, the movie seems to come alive.
The dialogue is so slight and meaningless, it makes ordering a ham sandwich seem profound. The men on the beach are purposeless victims, pure and simple, without personal pasts, without honor, and without courage. It’s as if they went to the beach one day and bullets started raining down from the sky. There is never any discussion of the war or why any of the men are on the beach with guns. Believe it or not, they have made a movie about the Battle of Dunkirk without showing any actual fighting; the Brits never fire back at anyone. The Germans are unseen, faceless, bodiless killers. There is no acknowledgment that had the tables been turned, the Brits would have happily killed the Germans.
The truth is Dunkirk is a cowardly movie that does not confront any moral questions, lacks all sense of history and is totally devoid of human character. Perhaps without meaning to, since they did hire well respected actors, it is nevertheless an insult to all actors and the art of acting. Acting is about portraying human beings; the men who populate Dunkirk are ciphers. Recognizing the talented actors in cameo's in this film is like a game, because their talents are totally wasted. None has any real scenes or interesting lines. Things simply happen. The dialogue is vapid, unconnected, and never enlightens us about who they are, why they are fighting, their hopes, their lives or even their immediate situation. Their parts could have been just as effectively played by anonymous men grabbed off any street corner. In fact, had my son not told me that some of the men were well-known actors, I would never have guessed it.
There is a Brit guy who shoots down some enemy planes, but we never see his opposing pilots. This Brit, evidently another very good actor, is mainly seen behind an oxygen mask, but he lands safely on the Dunkirk beach and goes home. Yeah right. That happened all the time.
In Dunkirk, war is nothing personal. There is a man who captains his son on his own yacht, we see he is dedicated and stubborn, find out he has lost another son in this war, but why he is eager to risk his and his younger son’s life never is even alluded to. Is he simply out for revenge? I guess if you’re a liberal trying to make a war movie about a guy who obliterated borders with tanks like Herr Hitler did, it’s hard to figure out what the Brits were fighting for.
Any normal human being must wonder what it was in the British national character that got them through all alone against Nazi tyranny, when the rest of the world just looked the other way. Christopher Nolan is British, so the question becomes why is it so difficult for the Brits to admit that their moral character was superior to the Nazi’s? Even if their country made many ignorant and misguided mistakes after WWI that led to WWII, they still prevailed when it counted.
As an American looking back, I still wonder how did Britain, with its fish and chips, its slickers, its pints, its 'time gentleman, please', its wool sweaters, and romance with the sea find the pluck to take on the German war machine that had rolled over all of Europe? How? Why? Who were these extraordinary people who stood alone? How did they find the courage to do it? Why did they not surrender? All we get is a recording of Churchill’s speech at the very end. We’ve all heard it before, and this movie shamelessly uses that speech to exploit one of the most momentous events in the history of the world, which these filmmakers have turned into a cheap thrills horror film, with the Nazi’s standing in as Freddy Kruger. Disgusting.
As the movie closes, we get no sense that this is the beginning of a long and terrible conflict, not the end. The visual implication is that, once the soldiers cross the channel, it’s all over, they’re safe, as if the Germans were allergic to water. Laughable.
And today, how convenient the Nazi’s are as movie villains. You don’t have to explain them, understand anything about the complex situation in Europe and the world that preceded the war, just call your bad guys Nazi’s and you’re home free. These days, in so many movies, all you need is a gray clad, goose-stepping Nazi and you’ve got your antagonist. In Dunkirk, you don’t even have to see the Nazi’s, they are just the natural calamity that blights the helpless soldiers. But, as we all should know, there was nothing natural about what the Nazi’s did. But all you need in the new vapid Hollywood is a slew of Nazi bullets flying, and you’ve got action, no explanation or justification needed.
Movies today play it very safe, they’re not putting us in any danger of having to think, examine or analyze. There is no moral turpitude on the part of any of the nameless bodies who inhabit the screen. Hollywood has not only lost its moral compass, they want to make us believe there never was such a thing.
Dunkirk is a war movie without bad guys or good guys, in fact, without any characters at all. It’s the epitome of the collectivist mentality: men at war die, cue the statistics. It’s a war movie that refuses to take a point of view. It’s as if the movie makers aren’t sure what causes war, maybe global warming caused it, so we won’t show the face of the enemy because it’s not important. It could be anything or nothing, but war is a real horror show, and that’s its value at the box office today. Sad. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern really are dead.
Darkest Hour
You can’t discuss Dunkirk without comparing it to Darkest Hour, a much, much better movie about the same historical event from the point of view of those in power. It’s a great movie. You won’t be disappointed.
Now here is what I find most curious. Even though Gary Oldman was terrific and certainly deserved his Best Actor Academy Award, we all know Hollywood hands out it’s Awards based solely on political correctness. So, how did Gary Oldman, a white guy playing a dead white patriarchal power guy manage to win? Okay. He’s a Brit and in Hollywood that counts for a lot. In the dark and confused minds of those who run Hollywood, all Brits are direct descendants of Shakespeare and possibly also have royal blood. So there’s that. But, is it possible that having so often accused Trump of being a Nazi and Hitler, they see themselves and their #Resist movement as the same as Churchill? Hum. What do you think?
While this movie was probably very close to the truth about why Churchill stuck to his decision not to sue for peace, and its observations on the British character, unlike Dunkirk, still, there did seem to be a veiled implication that Churchill had more whisky courage than sense. Hollywood is more than familiar with various forms of whiskey and drug induced courage.
But, Darkest Hour is an inspiring film and fascinating. Gary Oldman certainly deserved the Academy Award, no matter why they gave it to him. I didn’t spot Cinderella, but Lily James gives a terrific, subtle and moving performance as Churchill’s spunky secretary, and Stephan Dillane, who played Jefferson in the excellent HBO series John Adams, is wonderfully effective and very convincing as ‘peace at any price’ Halifax.
 Don't miss this movie. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

School Shootings in Our American Shitholes

Whose Fault? The NRA or the NEA?

I don’t have facts and figures. As my grandmother used to say: figures can’t lie, but liars can sure figure. It is my own experience with public schools that leads me to believe school shootings are a response to the atrocious conditions in public schools. I attended public schools growing up, as had my father and mother, so I had confidence in the public school system when I sent my son to a public school, even though it was in a lower middle-class town. I believed that he would get a good education and a healthy social life. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am so angry at what he was subjected to in those schools and at what I read about in other public schools that I must struggle to speak calmly. Frankly, his experiences in a public school which is fairly highly rated were so dreadful that I am honestly surprised that a public school massacre doesn’t happen daily. I do not exaggerate.
It was that bad and worse than you can imagine, and worse than I even imagined.

My son is old enough now to tell me more of what happened at school. He didn’t tell me before because young people in a certain milieu tend to accept the norms of that milieu. His school was entirely diverse. Long time Americans were a minority. The rest of the student body were first generation immigrants. My son referred to it as a salad, not a melting pot, because it was mixture of backgrounds so various that the kids didn’t mix, they stuck with those who shared their heritage. Each warring ethnic group had its own table in the cafeteria.

 Here’s a partial list of recent nationalities of the students: Colombian, Dominican Republic, Mexican, Puerto Rican, many different types of India Indians who did not speak the same language, Israeli, Iranian, Scot, Irish, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Filipino, Syrian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Japanese and many more. Difficult as it was for the kids to get along with so little in common, they managed and formed lasting friendships. The parents were usually hardworking, although some left much to be desired, but that happens in homogenous communities, too.

No, the problem with recent immigrants is that they are unfamiliar with what to expect from a public school. They have no basis for comparison, consequently they are not inclined to question what they are getting. And even if they are so inclined, their language skills and background make it difficult to know how to accomplish anything. Like most of us in lower middle-class towns, parents are struggling to pay bills with little time to get involved in trying to fight a top heavy bureaucratic system that is fraught with a spider’s web of powerful laws to frustrate change.

I won’t bore you with a laundry list of the unbelievably egregious practices of my son’s school system. There are two examples which I will cite below. But the conclusion I drew was that the sole and only function of public schools is to employ as many teachers and staff as possible in union jobs; to pay those employees as much as possible; and to make those jobs basically jobs for life with no job performance requirements at all. Even the smallest attention to or consideration of the students’ education or their basic physical needs was nonexistent. Students were the body count to justify as many government jobs and as big a school budget as they could get away with.

The enormous fleet of brand new, well maintained school vehicles that remained parked in the school parking lot, rarely, if ever used, was a mute testimony to the imaginary necessities contrived by school personnel to featherbed the school budget. They never bought computers for the students, of course. Computers don’t require union drivers and might replace teachers. The greed and graft in public schools should be a national scandal. Of course the Democrats want to blame guns for school shootings. Hah! Democrat party conventions could be easily renamed teacher’s conventions and the delegates would be the same people.

If there is relentless bullying by students of each other in public schools, it is because the school system is a bullying system of relentless student abuse by public school bureacracy. The insanity and cruelty that the students endure at the hands of teachers and administrators is so egregious and so thorough that it’s a wonder the students survived, let alone learned anything.

Here are a couple of examples:

1.     From age 11 to 13, peak growing years, my son was due at school at 8 am and did not get a break, a snack or any food till lunch hour at 1:30. Six hours without food if you remember he had to leave home at 7:30 to get to school on time. Prisons take better care of their prisoners. Who can learn anything when they are falling asleep from hunger? No sane system does this to human beings. This is a disgusting form of child abuse, pure and simple. This schedule was put in place entirely for the convenience of the teaching staff.

2.     They stuck the middle school in a building that was way too small for the number of kids attending it, but it continued in use because the state owned it. Each student had nine classes a day: more classes, more teachers, more salaries, more union dues. Rather than letting each class of students remain in one classroom and have the teachers migrate, they made all the kids go from one end of the building to the other, nine times a day, (on empty stomachs, don’t forget). Now, this was bad enough, but the school was so small and the students so numerous that they had to literally elbow their way through the halls, up and down stairs from one end to the other. I witnessed the commotion once; it was a disgrace. It made the New York Subway system at rush hour look orderly and roomy. No one but 11year-olds would put up with this for two seconds. They arrived at their next classes, out of breath and it took precious minutes to find desks and settle back down before the next mass herding movement. With nine classes a day, each class was very short to begin with. Recovering from the chaos in the halls took up about a third of the class time.

I often wonder what the punishment should be for the adults profiting from this system and my thoughts become medieval. But, trying to take the high road, let’s just admit that many of our public schools are shitholes which rival the worst shitholes in the world. It is a miracle that there isn’t a violent outburst at a school every single day.

Conservatives must begin to change the conversations we have about these problems. Perhaps we need to advocate for schools that young people and their parents love and respect as the best remedy to stop school shootings. I believe school choice would be a beginning.