On Tuesday and again yesterday, I postedstories about my experience at Holyoke High School in Holyoke, MA, where I came in as a substitute teacher and found myself confronting a classroom environment which was almost too toxic to be described. The school, which has been under state supervision for the last seven years, has a complete and total absence of even the slightest degree of order, discipline or anything which would allow even the most rudimentary teaching activities to occur.
The result is that the school has a graduating class each year in which more than half the students cannot read or write at a 10th-grade level, which means that at best they will be consigned to the lowest-paying, crummiest jobs for the remainder of their working lives. That is, if they ever get a job.
The City of Holyoke has an average annual household income which is 60% lower than the average household of the state of Massachusetts, and this school isn’t doing anything to help things change. At least not for a change to the better.
But the problems with public schooling in Holyoke shouldn’t alter the fact that as a society we must be wholly and completely committed to increasing literacy and learning skills across the board. I don’t understand how the government doesn’t classify lack of reading and writing skills to be as much or more of a handicap than the ability to see.
Earlier this week, another one of the Trump 2024 wannabees, in this case Mike Pompeo, was asked to name the most dangerous person in the world. Everyone assumes that when a GOP fumfer like Mike Pompeo is asked that question, the response will be Biden, or Putin, or the North Korean guy, or maybe that Bolsonaro character down in Brazil.
But Pompeo came up with a new one, a real doozy in the name of Randi Weingarten, who happens to be the head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which has been a rock-solid financial and ideological supporter for the Democrat(ic) Party, having given more than $50 million to the blue team over the last forty years.
Why is Weingarten Pompeo’s Enemy Number One? Because the teachers, according to Pompeo, are teaching ‘filth’ primarily by promoting trans-gender programs which various alt-right groups cite as a reason to vote for the GOP. The fact that Weingarten is herself openly gay, only enhances the trans-gender garbage being used to promote the GOP brand.
The other reason that teachers are being attacked is because they were early and non-compromising supporters of public health mandates to control Covid-19. Did they get it completely right? Nobody did. But unlike Trump and the MAGA gang, they didn’t get it all wrong.
I’m not at all upset that Pompeo is now engaged in a sh*t-fight to try and capture what’s left of the MAGA vote. In fact, the best thing that could happen to the Democrat(ic) Party would be a fight among all the possible 2024 GOP Presidential candidates to see who can be the most MAGA-ish of them all.
Because if we’ve learned one thing from 2020 and 2022, it’s that the more the GOP coddles and promotes the MAGA message as well as various MAGA messengers, the more they push that middle five percent of the electorate to vote the other way. Or at least to stay right in the ideological center, which becomes the Left whenever some MAGA loudmouth tries to push the GOP to the Right.
There are certain states, particularly in the Midwest and the South, which will always be GOP strongholds, no matter how much stupid noise a MAGA candidate makes. Marjorie Taylor Green was outspent by her Democrat(ic) opponent in Georgia’s 14th CD, but she still retained her House seat by a two-to-one vote.
On the other hand, if you had asked me twenty years ago whether the Supreme Court would find gay marriage to be just as protected by the Constitution as a legal union between a man and a wife, I would have told you that there really were Martians setting up a nice Levittown in Area 51.
I have a subscription to DirecTV because I somehow ordered it when I switched my cell from Nynex to AT&T. Don’t ask how and why I agreed to pay for a bunch of movie channels and cable news that I can also stream through my Hughes Wi-Fi, but I do. Okay. Fine. Piss away a little more money each month. So what?
But I can’t tell you how many advertisements I see every night which show mixed racial couples or gay couples hugging and kissing each other just like Ozzie and Harriet hugged in the olden days.
The world has changed, it will continue to change, and guys like Mike Pompeo and the other MAGA wannabees are at most a generation away from talking to themselves and nobody else.
STAY SAFE TOMORROW!