Wednesday AM ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~ 
 Portland Maine Students Vote With Their Feet
Tom McLaughlin  
Will Democrats Get the Impeachment 
Recession They Want?
by Mark Alexander } ~ Three months ago when stock prices were at record highs, The Washington Post’s Beltway elitists declared, “A record-breaking market doesn’t matter to most Americans.”... Really? More than half of Americans own stocks and other types of investments, including their homes, the values of which are dependent on a strong economy. More than one-third of corporate stock value is held in lower- and middle-income Americans’ retirement plans, such as IRAs and 401(k) accounts, and the value of their equities is down significantly this year. Of course, the WaPo was lamenting the fact that most of the value of equities held by Americans is in the hands of 20% of investors. Ironically, a sizable chunk of that is held by Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest individual in the world. Ironic because Bezos, who owns the WaPo, is a charter member of the mega-rich Archenemies of Liberty Club — leftists who use their wealth to fund Democrats and socialists and their free-enterprise wrecking-ball policies. For the record, Bezos has an estimated worth in the $130 BILLION range. Or, to put it another way, Bezos makes more money in 10 seconds than his average Amazon employee makes in a year. Additionally, much of his newspaper’s elite Beltway readership lives in five of the nation’s richest counties. The Bezos/WaPo hypocrisy notwithstanding, the wealth created in equity ownership is reinvested in companies and creates jobs for all Americans — which is to say, all Americans have an interest in a strong economy reflected in stable equity prices. But that report was from August. Now, according to financial analysts: “Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are on pace for their worst December performance since 1931, when stocks were battered during the Great Depression. The Dow and S&P 500 are down 7.8 percent and 7.6 percent this month, respectively. December is typically a very positive month for markets.”...   
 Businesswoman forced to close shop over 
rampant homelessness, demands answers 
from Gov. scumbag-Newsom
By Joshua Nelson } ~ A Sacramento, Calif., business owner was forced to pack up her salon and move out of the state capital because of a growing wave of homelessness... And she’s not happy with the Democrats who run the Golden State. Elizabeth Novak appeared Monday on “Fox & Friends” to say the matter is entirely “disheartening.” “I am angry about it as well,” Novak said. “I wouldn’t be relocating if it wasn’t for this issue.” In a video that went viral, the beauty salon owner blasted Gov. scumbag-Gavin Newsom for his inaction on a growing problem in the state. In Los Angeles’ Skid Row, tents line entire city blocks and while the media largely ignores this failure of Democratic policy, videos of this are commonplace on social media. But Novak’s business was in the seat of the state government — a Democrat-led state government. “When I come into work, I’m never sure what I am going to walk into,” she told the Fox News early crew. “I’ve been broken into, I have had my glass broken, I clean up human excrement off of my doorstep every week, cups of urine, things like that.” And it’s not like she doesn’t feel for those living on the street...
How slavery doomed limited 
government in America
by Philip Klein } ~ The New York Times' “1619 Project,” which aims to chronicle the history, legacy, and modern ramifications of slavery on the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves being brought to the colonies... has generated a ton of controversy this week. But I wanted to approach the topic from another angle: How slavery doomed the possibility of achieving limited government in the United States. I will say at the outset that the Times project has triggered a predictable mix of overheated as well as fair criticism. The initial articles in the series were published right after the executive editor Dean Baquet signaled that the Times was going to pivot from Russia coverage to focusing on race in the run up to the 2020 election. The Times also declared it “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.” A number of conservatives reacted to the project by branding it as anti-American. But I don’t think that’s fair, at least based on the lead essay I read from Nikole Hannah-Jones. In fact, her piece is quite the opposite. Sure, it chronicles the brutality of the institution of slavery and the century of oppression, institutionalized discrimination, and racist terrorism that followed. Yet the piece is ultimately about how she reconciles that history with her patriotism and comes to understand her own father’s love of a country that treated him so poorly. In her telling, black patriotism is rooted in appreciation for the contributions that their ancestors made to the nation even through exploitation and pain, especially in their valiant fights to make America more faithfully live up to its founding principles of liberty. This is something that can be seen in Frederick Douglass’ iconic The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro address, in which he shamed whites to confront the horrid contradiction between a celebration of the liberation of one segment of the population from tyranny even as millions of Americans were in bondage. Nearly a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. would famously convey his dream “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. "It’s important to acknowledge that the experience of American descendants of slaves is unique. That is, even when other immigrant groups have faced prejudice, at the end of the day, they all came here of their own volition. For descendants of slaves, knowing that your ancestors were stolen, sold, and transported here in chains and forced to perform hard labor in captivity is totally different. And of course, the persecution did not magically end at Appomattox. As I noted on Twitter, I did take issue with Hannah-Jones for making this bold claim without adequately presenting supporting evidence: “One of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” You can follow the replies to my Twitter thread on the subject for a bit more on this. Also, a number of people have raised objections to another contribution to the series, which I have not yet read, about the connection between slavery and modern capitalism, which is based on historical studies that have been challenged by academics. Whatever one’s sentiments about the Times project, however, I do think it is important to examine the implications of slavery that live with us until this day. One implication that I think of constantly is the extent to which the legacy of slavery effectively made it impossible to limit the size and scope of the federal government...   
How Can We Safeguard Our Election Process?
By Hans von Spakovsky } ~ In the freest nation in the world, our system of government and our very liberty depend on free and fair elections... Whether they’re selecting a mayor or the president of the United States, every American must be able to trust the process, or the democratic system itself breaks down. When someone commits voter fraud, the process is no longer fair, everyone’s vote gets diluted, and in some cases, election results are changed. Contrary to the claims of many on the left, voter fraud is a very real problem. As the Supreme Court noted when it upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, flagrant examples of voter fraud have been documented throughout this nation’s history. The National Commission on Federal Election Reform has said that in many close elections, fraud can absolutely change the outcome. Cases of local elections getting overturned because of fraud have occurred in New Jersey, Indiana, and other states. Although hundreds of people have been convicted in recent years, voter fraud often goes undetected. And even when it’s discovered, overburdened prosecutors rarely prioritize these cases. Fraudsters can steal votes and change election outcomes in several ways, including: voting in someone else’s name, registering in multiple locations to vote multiple times in the same election, voting even though they’re not eligible because they’re felons or noncitizens, or paying or intimidating people to vote for certain candidates. Unfortunately, many on the left are attempting to make election fraud easier by fighting laws that require an ID to vote. They’ve pushed to get noncitizens and jailed inmates to vote. And they’ve sued states that have tried to purge their voter rolls of people registered in multiple states...
‘We’re in distress’: NYPD union boss blasts 
decision to fire Daniel Pantaleo over 
Eric Garner’s death
by ~ In the shadow of an upside down department flag, the head of the city’s largest police union blasted the city’s top cop Monday for firing the officer whose chokehold resulted in the death of Eric Garner... A fiery Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said the department was “frozen” and “rudderless” in the wake of Police Commissioner James O’Neill’s decision to kick Officer Daniel Pantaleo off the force — and used the upside down flag to emphasize his point. “We’re in distress,” Lynch said during a lower Manhattan news conference that followed O’Neill’s long-awaited announcement. “Our police officers are in distress — not because they have a difficult job, not because they put themselves in danger, but because they realize they are abandoned. The captain has jumped ship. The mayor has told him to do it, and the streets are falling into chaos.”The angry union boss even hinted at a work slowdown, urging his rank-and-file to use the “utmost caution” when executing arrests, especially if a suspect resists. He said cops should back each other up, call for a supervisor when making an arrest and request an ambulance when touching a member of the public. “The people of New York City will not accept any work slowdowns by any public servants,” said Mayor scumbag-de Blasio. “I want to believe that there are some limits that even a union leader who often has been willing to be divisive, understands. It’s not legal to suggest a work slowdown. And I believe the men and women of the NYPD do not think that way. They’re here to do their job.” During an appearance on NY1 on Monday night, scumbag-de Blasio called Lynch’s denunciation of O’Neill “reprehensible.”...  http://www.  /were-in-distress-nypd-union-boss-blasts-decision-to-fire-daniel-pantaleo-over-eric-garners-death/?omhide=true  
Portland Maine Students Vote With Their Feet
Tom McLaughlin } ~ School choice is a good thing, and it is highlighting problems in Portland, Maine. The city has two large high schools and students can attend whichever one they choose. The Portland Press Herald ran a series of articles over the summer indicating why so many students and their parents are choosing Portland High School over rival Deering High School. Most cited student discipline, or lack thereof.  
They like Portland High School because, as Meg Baltes — president of the rising junior class at Portland High School — put it to Press Herald reporter Rachel Ohm: "I think things are handled very swiftly and very aggressively at Portland. Any kids who get into trouble are dealt with pretty immediately. It’s a very no-nonsense policy. I know students see that and that helps a lot with problems being diverted.”  
It’s a different story at Deering. As former math teacher Tim Eisenhart put it in the same article, “There’s a weird lack of discipline inside the building. The administration is too soft and what ends up happening is kids do whatever they want.” Eisenhart resigned mid-year and went back to his engineering career. “I think you will find there’s a lot of shoveling it under the carpet, because administrators didn’t do anything. They send kids back to class less than 15 minutes later with a cupcake without doing anything.”  
As a retired teacher with two years teaching delinquent high school students in Lowell, Massachusetts and thirty-three years in Maine public schools, those two quotes sum it up. If teachers aren’t backed up by building administrators when disciplining a students, everything breaks down. If I sent a student to the office which I rarely did and a principal sent him back with no consequence, I’d send him out again and inform the principal that he was not allowed in my classroom until an appropriate consequence was enforced, and I would not continue teaching otherwise.  
Projected enrollment for the freshman class in Portland next month is 272, while at Deering, it’s only 127. Nine years ago the numbers were roughly equal with Deering at 245 and Portland at 232. Clearly things have changed at Deering. As Meg Baltes went on to say: “A lot of students at Deering feel the administration is chill and relaxed. They feel they can talk to them and have a more honest relationship, but it also means there’s less discipline and a feeling they can get away with stuff.” 
Neither Deering Principal Gregg Palmer nor Assistant Principal Abdullahi Ahmed would answer specific questions from the Press Herald. Principal Palmer did, however, perform in Deering’s Gender Sexuality Alliance 2nd Annual Drag Show dressed as a woman. “This is all about them [the students],” Palmer said. "They are brave and they encourage the rest of us to be brave,” as he told the Press Herald. Too bad that bravery didn’t enable Palmer to back up teachers dealing with his problem students. One parent said to the Press Herald: “I think they’re too scared to discipline students in a way that would have an impact, so they just let things go a lot of the time without even a slap on the wrist.”  
Deering administrators referred all the Press Herald’s discipline questions to Superintendent Xavier Botana who tried explaining it away as a lack of communication regarding violent incidents at Deering last year. Then he indicated that, “He plans to start a conversation with the school board about capping the number of students that can attend each school.” In other words, Superintendent Botana wants to limit school choice. He doesn’t want students voting with their feet because that’s making his job difficult.  
Even if Superintendent Botana were to pressure his administrative team at Deering to toughen up, he may not be backed up by his school board. Board Chairman Roberto Rodriguez told the Press Herald: “It’s difficult to change the expectations of what discipline truly means. If we have an old-school expectation of what discipline is, something like zero-tolerance, then yes, you’re not going to see that today. That’s not how we want to discipline our students.”

Really Mr. Rodriguez? How would you do it? It looks like Deering is in for another tough year.
Complicating all this are changing demographics. Though it used to enroll the poorest kids in the city a generation ago, Portland High School is located on Portland’s peninsula where real estate values have skyrocketed. The Deering neighborhood used to be more prosperous but has lately absorbed a high concentration of so-called “refugees” and “asylum seekers,” many of whom speak no English. The Press Herald reports: “In 2018-2019, minority students accounted for about 47 percent of the Deering student body. Twenty percent were English language learners and 57 percent were economically disadvantaged, according to school district data.”   
Big city problems have arrived in once-placid Portland, Maine.  
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