Fall of Berlin Wall anniversary offers lessons for misguided millennials

Blogger next to Berlin Wall slab at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in 2018

By John Ruberry

Saturday was the thirtieth anniversary of one of the most profound events of the 20th century, the fall of the Berlin Wall. What began as a bureaucratic slip became a people power moment as oppressed East Germans stormed the wall checkpoints and with the help of West Berliners, literally began hacking away on what Winston Churchill called “the wall of shame.”

It was also a wall of failure. The smartest and most gifted people of communist East Germany were more likely to seek freedom and prosperity in the West. The brain drain threatened the stability of East Germany, so after receiving permission from his fellow dictator, the USSR’s Nikita Krushchev, Walter Ulbricht ordered construction of the wall in the summer of 1961.

Just a few days ago Dennis Prager explained on his show that there is a difference between a dictatorship and a totalitarian state. Augosto Pinochet’s Chile was a brutal nation in the 1970s, but if you didn’t like it, you could leave Chile. Not so in the USSR, until its final days, where my wife was born, or in the absurdly-named German Democratic Republic. East Germans who tried to escape to West Berlin would have to conquer not just the wall, but also beds of nails, attack dogs, and barbed wire, as well as avoid sharpshooters in watch towers. The number of people killed attempting to escape in the 28-year existence of the wall is disputed–about 200 is a common estimate.

Of growing up in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mrs. Marathon Pundit told me this morning when I was discussing this post, “We were slaves, really.”

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll released last week shows that over one-third of millennials approve of communism, which betrays the failure of our schools and universities that seem much more interested promoting the 56 genders and waving their fingers at guys like me over “white privilege.” Oh, the founders of the communist movement, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were white dudes. As were the earliest communists in power, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky. All five of them came from middle class or wealthy backgrounds. They had white privilege.

OK, millennials!

The lessons of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the evils of Nazism obviously should never be forgotten. But what is overlooked by schools and society are the murderous regimes of Stalin (20 million killed, maybe more), Mao Zedong (65 million killed, maybe more). and Cambodia’s Pol Pot (1.5 million killed and perhaps more, roughly 20 percent of that nation’s population).

Another 30th anniversary involving a repressive communist regime passed this summer–the Tianammen Square protests in China that ended in the slaughter of pro-democracy activists. For 24 straight weeks there have been pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. The more things change…

Ulbricht and his successors’ East Germany didn’t have the high death count, but it excelled in mental torture. Its KGB was the Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, whose goal was to “know everything about everyone.” Two movies are essential viewing for millennials–actually for everyone–to learn more about East Germany. Both of them are available on Netflix, Karl Marx City, a documentary, and The Lives of Others, an Academy Award winner for Best International Feature Film. Fittingly, The Lives of Others is set in the year 1984.

Apologists for communism regularly point out that the reason these Marxist regimes failed is that the wrong people were in charge and “real communism” has never been tried. It is they who are wrong. People in power, for the most part, have one thing in common. They want even more power.

There are exceptions of course. King George III asked an American what George Washington would do now that he had defeated the British Empire. When told that the general would return to his farm, the king replied, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Is that lesson being taught in many American schools? I doubt it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Chicago teachers demand smaller class size by striking, but enrollment is already declining

Chicago Teachers Union member at a 2012 Occupy Chicago rally–classes were in session that day

By John Ruberry

Chicago Teachers Union members are on strike again, 300,000 students and their parents have to reshuffle their weekday routines. 

In Chicago and many other big-cities, school is more than being an educational institution. Three quarters of Chicago Public Schools students qualify for government paid-for or subsidized lunches, many also qualify for breakfasts under similar circumstances. 

Or maybe schools in Chicago are less than being an educational institution as barely one-in-four students read at grade level, despite most schools having “College Predatory” and “Excellence” in their names. But CPS schools serve, even when there isn’t a strike, sadly as day center centers.

While meals are still being provided at CPS schools since the strike began last week, the walkout is hurting those that the Chicago Teachers Union purports to represent, the kids and their families. Parents are taking time off work to watch their children. Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has offered teachers a 16 percent pay raise, but union leaders say that they are striking for, wait for it, the kids and their hard-pressed parents.

On the other hand, the CTU is advocating for a financial program for teachers and support staff so they can purchase a home in Chicago. Wait, aren’t Chicago taxpayers paying teachers and other CPS employees so they can buy a home? There is plenty of affordable housing in Chicago, just not so much in the fashionable neighborhoods on the lakefront.

The quick reaction to the strike is that Chicago has no more money, as the city is essentially bankrupt due to unfunded public worker pension obligations, including those for teachers. But somehow the cash to end the strike will be “found,” although it will likely involve borrowing from Judas so the city can rob Peter to pay Paul. If that last sentence doesn’t make sense then you are not from Chicago

One of the CTU’s key demands is a familiar one, smaller class size. But that issue should be taking care of itself as for three straight years CPS enrollment has dropped by 10,000. Twenty-six CPS high schools have fewer than 270 students and two of them fewer than 100. These schools were built to accommodate much larger enrollments. But that didn’t stop CPS from opening a new high school in Englewood, a neighborhood whose population has dropped by two-thirds since 1960.

And Chicago’s overall population is declining, leading the charge of the Illinois Exodus that has been going on for five years now

Incompetent and corrupt government reaps a poor harvest. And the money that Lightfoot will need to “find” to end the Chicago teachers strike will hasten the Exodus. And fewer taxpayers means less money.

John Ruberry blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Why doesn’t the left cheer when they’re wrong about bad things too?

A few days ago I lead with a post about some apparent insanity in a school district in NH that I had seen at a site I frequent. Turns out the info in question was incorrect & I missed an email warning me of same so the post in question went up as scheduled.

When I saw the email I added an update as follows:

Update: Got a heads up that suggests there might be less to this than meets the eye, While that might be embarrassing for me it would be delightful as it would indicate that insanity does not reign at the school in question and that’s more important that a post getting hits. I don’t believe in pulling posts as it changes the record so for now I’m going to put the base post under a “more” tag until I get more data. For now we’ll wait and see and if a correction is warranted I’ll update the post with it.

Long story short the info was incorrect the author apologized to the people in question. I provided a 2nd update joining in said apology and rejoicing that the school in question was not in fact insane. As it’s likely who saw the 1st post but might never check it again a fresh post linking to the mea culpa was the proper and honorable thing to do which was the primary reason for this post.

Then it hit me. The reason why I wrote the base post was I don’t want public schools to be acting insane and the purpose of said post was to hold up a light to such behavior to stop this school & others from acting that way.

Thus when it turned out this school wasn’t doing so I was very happy regardless of any embarrassment from an erroneous post because my primary goal is schools not acting insane.

This is not the case with the Democrat/left media. Think about it for a second

  • The media/left went all in on the idea of a Supreme Court Nominee being a sexual predator, then the evidence showed the accusations were not credible
  • The media/left went all in on the idea that the President of the United State was colluding with Russia to steal an election, and even with an independent council, a staff full of partisans, the assistant AG working against the president it turned out their suspicions were unfounded.
  • The media/left went all in as various colleges being bastions of “rape culture with claims that as many as 25% of the women attending were assaulted but it turned out that the methodology of the studies and the definitions of assault were so stretched as to be meaningless.
  • The media/left went all in on various race hoaxes being furious that various individuals, some involving celebs, particularly at colleges were a bunch of racists and white supremacists, yet over and over these turned out to be hoaxes.

Now supposedly the left and media and the guests they brought in did this because they didn’t want a serial sexual predator on the supreme courts or a President conspiring with Russia, colleges being bastions of rape, gay black TV starts threatened with nooses or racist acts being committed all over the nation. That being the case all of these things turning out to be false should be cause for celebration for the left who can breathe a sigh of relief that none of these things that they considered beyond the pale had happened.

Yet instead their reaction has been at best been too ignore when such hoaxes are exposed as such or at worst to continue to insist they are true despite evidence to the contrary.

Now if you work under the assumption that the goal of the media/left is to prevent such behavior then you might be utterly confused at this reaction as it makes no logical sense.

However if you work from the assumption that the primary goal of the left/media is POWER and or WEALTH and that in search of said power & wealth the events and actions that they supposedly deplore are used to generate both the funds to gain them and the means to retain them, well it makes perfect sense.

To them the the only “crisis” in government is when they don’t control it and the only “abuse” of power is if it not in their hands. Work under that assumption and all the left/media does and you will never be shocked or surprised by anything they do ever again.

If Only she wore a “Little Drag Queen” shirt to school instead: Update (or not?) Update NOT

Update: Well I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is apparently the school in question and the district in particular has not in fact lost their minds and that the initial information concerning this story was misrepresented to the author in question.

We do a lot of writing and when one of the Groksters gets it wrong, an apology is required.  Tonite, it is my turn and I apologize to Superintended Steve Tucker, Principal Eric Johnson, and Teacher Lindsey Packer.  I publicized bad information – information for which I fell for. 

Skip, being an honorable man is, unlike ABC is not running away from the difficult task of correcting the record nor the embarrassment of admiting the source of the misinformation which will leave a much larger personal mark than any reporting error.

 Subsequent to my asking my question in her FB post, her post was deleted. She won’t return my calls.
I am left to apologize to all concerned and all of the GraniteGrok readers – 
I got the story wrong. I also apologize to the other Groksters as the credibility of GraniteGrok as been besmirched which does affect them.  It’s all on me – this whole thing has turned out to be a fraud when I truly believed it was true.

The bad news is of course since I picked up the story I am left to apologize as well, I’ve deleted all of the quotes from the base post and put “strikethrough” on any information that is incorrect. I know I could have simply re-written the post but that would distort the record and if I’m admitting to a mistake it’s important to know the mistake I’m admitting to.

So I must join Skip in his apology while remaining pleased that for once the story of a school being a bad actor is wrong.

Closing thought: There have been a large spat of “hate crime hoaxes” over the years, have you ever noticed that those who sounded the trumpet of outrage on them the loudest never rejoice that the crimes did not take place?


Update: Got a heads up that suggests there might be less to this than meets the eye, While that might be embarrassing for me it would be delightful as it would indicate that insanity does not reign at the school in question and that’s more important that a post getting hits. I don’t believe in pulling posts as it changes the record so for now I’m going to put the base post under a “more” tag until I get more data. For now we’ll wait and see and if a correction is warranted I’ll update the post with it.

Continue reading “If Only she wore a “Little Drag Queen” shirt to school instead: Update (or not?) Update NOT”

What If it was a LGBTQ Banner? Running from Beto, Chick Fil A does Matt 6:33, Skipping school and Nevertrump for Biden under the Fedora

You might remember the cheerleaders who were in trouble for unfurling a Trump banner at a game. That caused some fuss and with word that parents were planning to attend with American flags, what does the district do cancel the next game:

Ask yourself one question.  If the banner had been a global warming banner, or a LGBTQ banner or an Obama banner how would the media have reacted?  Would there be any other story in the news?


Beto O’Rourke’s “we’re going to take your guns” comments are causing a lot of fear and grief, among Democrats who privately would love to say what he said but knows that it would destroy them. In fact I would wager that there are several house seats and senate seats that are going to go GOP this year thanks to that statement.

Oh and while we’re on the subject, how can you buy back what you don’t own? This is Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce


Many years ago I covered a protest against Chick-Fil-A back in the days when there was only one location in the state. Ten years after the left decided to make them public enemy number one they are now the #3 restaurant chain in the US and have more than doubled sales.

I guess their foes didn’t realize that when Christ said… ” But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. ” he meant it


Just for the record if I was in school and it was made clear that the school, the news media and the whole world would celebrate me if I skipped for a day, I’d jump on that bandwagon laughing my ass off…until my parents found out and then I’d get off in a hurry.

So let’s not pretend that this climate protest was anything but a stunt


The latest verse in the “I’m the MSM I am song” is apparently bad news for Never Trump republicans as it has the potential to hurt Joe Biden by opening him up to scrutiny that he can’t handle and put them in the position of having to either support a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or stay home.

I don’t see the confusion for them, while there are a few Nevertrumpers like Allahpundit for whom any democrat is beyond the pale apparently for the other “true conservatives” Obamacare, abortion and open borders are all fine as long as it comes from old Joe.

That tells me all I needed to know about how conservative they ever were.

#rephrased Joel Gilbert Will Tell the world what we Bloggers already know about Travon Martin

Via Instapundit I read with some interest this story of an impending documentary that will infuriate the left:

Gilbert did some serious shoe leather reporting as well. He visited all the relevant Miami-area high schools, the neighborhoods where Martin and his friends hung out, the streets of Miami’s Little Haiti, and the town community where Martin died.
At the end of his research, Gilbert knew Trayvon Martin better than his parents did, literally. As their deposition revealed, they had no idea how Martin’s life had descended into a violent mix of street fighting, guns, drugs, burglary, and sex. Although both parents made good incomes, their separate lives created an abyss where a home should have been, and their once promising son fell straight to the bottom of it.
Unwilling to accept their own responsibility for his demise, they took the bait promised by the family attorneys and sweetened by the media and projected their guilt on to George Zimmerman. Although an Obama supporter and civil rights activist, the half-Hispanic Zimmerman proved to be just white enough to play the “racist” killer role in the unholy melodrama that followed.

He’s talking about the Travon Martin case which was before the Michael Brown case the biggest race card fraud that was played by the left in that it wasn’t at all about race but it was about .

It’s an interesting story, it’s a tragic story but most interestingly it’s a story that we bloggers told you years ago.

Stacy McCain told you about it at the American Spectator blog which we access via the wayback machine:

Either of those incidents could have put Trayvon Martin into the custody of the juvenile justice system. However, because of Chief Hurley’s attempt to reduce the school crime statistics — according to sworn testimony, officers were “basically told to lie and falsify” reports — Martin was never arrested. And if he had been arrested, he might never have been in Sanford the night of his fatal encounter with Zimmerman.

Pam Geller wrote about it:

Not only did the media and law enforcement cover up Trayvon Martin’s criminal record — the attack on Zimmerman and subsequent show trial brought systemic corruption to light and led to the takedown of senior officials.
Much thanks to 
Andrea Shea KingPat Dollard and The Last Refuge (who has done yeoman’s work on this case):

the afore mentioned Pat Dollard wrote about it

This new SOP was outlined by a communications directive in 2010 forbidding the sharing of Miami-Dade School Police reports to outside agencies without redaction. Officers had to send any and all requests through the public information officer.
Hence, 
the furor of Chief Hurley when the Robles article hit the press and cited police reports – Hurley smelled a leaker and launched an investigation.
Ultimately the internal affairs investigation initiated by Hurley led to his own firing, because the officers questioned
 told the internal affairs investigators the truth of what was going on and outed the scheme.
One of the examples of this in action was the jewelry incident and Trayvon Martin – as accidentally outlined in the Herald report. But the Herald never knew their reporting had launched an internal affairs investigation which led to the collapse of the scheme.

Stacy McCain again (this time at his blog instead of the Spectator)

Part of the reason it was difficult to get that story across was that it wasn’t easy to explain. It’s a complex story and boiling it down to less than 700 words took me several hours, because I had to sort through a lot of stuff and double-check basic background facts. And here is the most important fact of the whole story:
TRAYVON MARTIN WAS NOT FROM SANFORD
The liberal media keep leaving that out, don’t they? And why do you think that is? Because if they told you he was from Miami Gardens, more than 240 miles from Sanford, then the media would have to explain why Trayvon was in Sanford the night of Feb. 26, 2012.
Sometimes, if you pull one thread of a story, the whole narrative unravels and this question — “Why was Trayvon in Sanford?” — is one that the liberal media don’t want to talk about.
This is how you know it’s probably the most important question of all.

Sundance at the Last Refuse did the heavy lifting for most of us:

The connections between the Police Burglary report and the School Report of “found items” were never made because the regular police detective in charge of the Burglary case had no idea the School Police Dept. had filed a “found items” report.
Two differing police departments, and the School Officer, Dunn, intentionally took the criminal element out of the equation – instead preferring “school discipline” and not “criminal adjudication”.
It was only when the M-DSPD Internal Affairs investigation kicked in, and six officers gave sworn affidavits, the manipulative scheme to improve criminal statistics within the School System were identified openly.
School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho gave his hire, Police Chief Hurley, instructions to reduce the criminal behavior of young black males. The chosen strategy between them, to insure optical success, was to stop using the Criminal Justice System to punish black student behavior. Instead they instructed the School Resource Officers to use school discipline in place of criminal justice.

This made a big enough splash that Rush Limbaugh talked about it:

So real crimes would be committed by students, not just Trayvon, and rather than being categorized as such they were just pushed over here into another column on the spreadsheet that said “disciplinary actions.”  So, at the end of the day, these reports made it look like that the school district and superintendent had really started kicking butt on crimes in the schools and had really reduced it, when they hadn’t whatsoever. 
The upshot is that criminal activity wasn’t punished.
It was barely even disciplined.
And so the perpetrators were never held to account, nor did they ever have to come to grips with the severity of their actions. 
BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH:  So think about it.  In some schools you get thrown out for a long time for just drawing a picture of a gun.  But in Miami-Dade, you can commit real crimes and the school will cover-up for you to make their stats look better. 

And finally there was my own small contribution to the discussion:

I’m sure the city figured it was just easier to just let things go and I’m sure assuming his parents knew about it, they would have agreed.  A lot less trouble all around.
What could possibly go wrong?
If they did this, and Trayvon Martin still found himself on that fateful night watched by George Zimmerman I’m wondering how different might things have been.  If he had,  say, some kind of probation over his head might Trayvon Martin have   thought: “I don’t like that ass following me but I don’t want to risk any trouble right now.” and instead of turning back to confront George Zimmerman used the more than ample time he had to just go home?
We don’t know any of this but we do know this. If you have a school and police department 
gaming the system to improve the stats they are selling out the community who they work for, the schools and the kids, both those who got into trouble and those who don’t all for the sake of bragging rights.
How many more kids seeing the system being gained in this way by the authorities for their own gain will look at that, and decide they can do the same? How many will end up someday in trouble, in jail or dead because of it?

In short the facts that this film is going to discuss are already well known to to conservative writers, conservative thinkers and conservative bloggers as we discussed them half a decade ago.

But to media types who worry that the TV show Friends is too white to be discussed today these were facts to be suppressed and ignored and if you live in the left’s media bubble or only escaped it a few years ago these facts are completely unknown to you.

Why? because the left’s primary strategy in the Obama years was to weaponize race and that took precedence over the good of black youth like Travon Martin or the life of an Obama supporter who was completely expendable for that purpose.

That’s why I think this film the Trayvon Hoax is going to be important and that’s why the media will do all it can to suppress it or if they can’t destroy it.

Report from Louisiana: Locking Up Cell Phones

The new school year is now underway and with it come all of the typical classroom management issues that frustrate many teachers, especially at the middle and high school level.

One of those problems is cell phones. Since the cell phone has become as common as the Number 2 pencil teachers have been struggling to either incorporate the technology into the lesson or ban the devices altogether. There seems to be no middle ground as most teenagers simply can not deny the lure of social media or games on the phone.
It’s so much more entertaining to participate in an ongoing game of pool on the phone with a friend than listen to that history lecture.

In Bossier Parish, Louisiana, one high school English teacher used the first day of school to conduct an experiment: “Students measured how often they received notifications on their cell phones, from text messages, to phone calls, to news alerts, to Snapchat pings,” and by the end of the day there had been 868 distractions, or notifications, from student devices.

How can teachers compete against this?

Benton High School in Bossier City, Louisiana has found a way. The school purchased Yondr pouches, such as those used at some concerts. At the beginning of the school day students are required to put their phones in the pouch and there it stays until the end of the day when the pouches are unlocked as students leave the building. Students rent the pouches for the year and retain possession of the pouch/phone all day.

While teachers celebrate this development, students are nonplussed. Many feel like they are being punished for the sins of others.

As of now, two Bossier Parish schools are participating in this experiment, but teachers across the parish are hoping it catches on. The cell phone has moved beyond a classroom management problem. Many students pull out the phone and check messages simply as an automatic reflex these days and hey, while there, let’s take a cute selfie, and check that email, and check that new YouTube video real quick.

I’m curious to see how this pilot program works. I’m not clear on what happens if a student is caught with a second phone; many students have more than one phone and routinely carry a “throwdown phone” in case a teacher tries to take their device up.

It would all be much more ideal if students just had the willpower to keep the devices put away, but we are talking about teenagers and when many adults can’t even do this, how can we expect kids to?