Good Morning! 

“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries,” wrote George Orwell. “But between authoritarians and libertarians.” 

We begin with allegations of increasing hostility from government towards parents: 

  1. Parents respond to DOJ, school boards’ statements: ‘I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?’ 

From Fox News: 

The Justice Department (DOJ) is facing a wave of backlash as parents criticize its recent decision to investigate potential acts of violence against school boards across the country. 

It came after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asked the Biden administration for assistance, suggesting that the threats and acts of violence were similar to domestic terrorism.  

“I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?” asked Asra Nomani, vice president of investigations and strategy at Parents Defending Education. “You owe parents an apology!” Nomani’s group has been conducting deep research into how school boards across the country are implementing so-called “woke” ideas in their curricula. 

Nomani’s group has launched a form on their website that purportedly sends emails to DOJ. The draft email reads: “I urge you to reconsider mobilizing the U.S. Department of Justice against concerned parents who are exercising their First Amendment rights at school board meetings across the country.”

2.   Larry Kudlow: If parents don’t object to woke education, who will? 

From Fox Business: 

Tonight, I’m thinking about why parents don’t have rights when it comes to bringing up their kids. There’s this whole new controversy, started by the National School Board Association, asking the Department of Justice that parent protests at school board meetings be treated as possible acts of domestic terrorism. That’s right. Parents are domestic terrorists. 

So let me get this right. Parent protests, at this enormous leftward swing in our culture and particularly what the left-wing teacher’s unions are teaching their kids in school, is a bad thing? I’m not buying it. And this business about threats is also nonsense. For one thing, any physical threats to teachers or school board members, or anybody else involved in public schooling is already against the law.  

Now, actual violence in schools is minuscule, certainly, nothing compared to the violent protests we’ve seen over the last couple of years in our nation’s cities, organized by left-wing groups — and we know who they are and they never seem to get prosecuted, do they? The vast, overwhelming majority of parents are law-abiding folks who just don’t like the direction public schools are going.  

Now today, unfortunately, Attorney General Merrick Garland at a Senate hearing announced that the Justice Department will be holding strategy sessions in the next 30 days on how to deal with these alleged threats to school boards and teachers and others. Garland is bringing in US attorneys and the FBI, among others.  

3.   Former FDA commissioner said summer spike is likely last COVID-19 wave to hit US 

From the Washington Examiner: 

The summer spike in COVID-19 cases, due primarily to the delta variant, was the final significant wave of the pandemic to hit the United States, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner said Monday. 

Cases are increasing in some states, but they are decreasing across the southern states, and this wave of the pandemic has run its course throughout most of the country, he said. 

“I think this Delta wave is probably the last major surge of SARS-CoV-2 infection that we have in the U.S., barring something unexpected happening,” said Scott Gottlieb, author of Uncontrolled Spread, in a book on the U.S. response to the pandemic. 

“It’s largely coursed its way through the U.S., and so maybe by Thanksgiving , on the back-end of that, we’ll start to see prevalence levels nationally decline in a more uniform scale,” Gottlieb said 

4.   American liberty must not become coronavirus casualty 

Former Vice President Mike Pence writes for the Christian Post: 

Aggressive measures made sense in early 2020, when I served as chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Back then, scientists understood precious little about the virus and hospitals were rightly concerned about the possibility of running out of bed space for COVID-19 patients. 

But 18 months later, we have three safe and effective vaccines thanks to the Trump-Pence administration’s Operation Warp Speed, and over 77% of American adults are at least partially vaccinated. I chose to get vaccinated, and so did my family. But that’s a choice that every American should be free to make for themselves. 

The good news is, today we know a great deal about the coronavirus and the threat—or lack thereof—that it poses to American citizens. 

For the radical left, this is not even about the virus, or about public health. It’s about power, control, and forcing the American people to submit.  

But the American people never have submitted to tyranny, and never will. Vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans, Republicans, and Democrats, young and old, should stand together against Biden’s unlawful mandate and state-sponsored discrimination against those who choose to make their own health care decisions. 

When Americans speak with one voice and demand the restoration of liberty, then and only then will the pandemic panic truly be over. 

5.   How Seinfeld exposed the creepy authoritarianism of aggressive do-gooders 

From Mercatornet: 

Like a good Samaritan, Kramer shows up to walk to support the cause: AIDS awareness. Things take a turn, however, when he declines to wear an AIDS ribbon. 

VOLUNTEER: You’re checked in. Here’s your AIDS ribbon.
KRAMER: Ah, no thanks. 
VOLUNTEER: You don’t want to wear an AIDS ribbon? 
KRAMER: No, no.  
VOLUNTEER: But you have to wear an AIDS ribbon.  
KRAMER: I have to?  
KRAMER: Yeah, see, that’s why I don’t want to.  
VOLUNTEER: But everyone wears the ribbon. You must wear the ribbon!   
KRAMER: You know what you are? You’re a ribbon bully (walks away). 
VOLUNTEER: Hey! Hey you! Come back here! Come back here and put this on!

Watching Kramer get beaten up in an alley for not wearing a ribbon is funny because it’s Seinfeld. But the writers of the show are also revealing a dark side of human nature that is very real. 

The great American individualist Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed how humanity treats those who don’t conform to the collective. 

“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure,” Emerson wrote. 

Emerson may have been echoing Voltaire, who saw “our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.” 

This is true even in the best of times, but in the worst of times the behavior gets even uglier. 

Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that the pandemic has unleashed a level of anger and hostility against those who choose to follow his or her own conscience instead of the decrees of the collective. 

The healthy person who declines to wear a mask in a grocery store is treated much like Cosmo Kramer. 

  1. Corporate America reaches ‘limits’ on implementing CRT in the workplace 

From the Post Millennial: 

Despite the diversity hustle companies embraced during the summer of “largely peaceful protests,” there are limits to how far left they will veer to gain progressive brownie points. 

Following the tragic murder of George Floyd, some firms thought it wise to indoctrinate office workers with Critical Race Theory. 

“CRT is an amalgam of left-wing talking points spewed out by the growing diversity-consulting business. The stated purpose by its practitioners sounds noble enough: Use CRT to root out racism and make the world a better place,” wrote Fox Business Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino in a NY Post op-ed. 

But Gasparino said CRT had faced obstacles. Across the country, he said parents are objecting to teaching kids they are “evil little racists” as mounting evidence showed CRT is under review in ­corporate America. 

  1. The Social Cost of Dating Online 

From First Things: 

College students are used to opening up to each other on an astonishingly intimate level online—but in person, they lack the skills to become vulnerable to each other, to speak honestly with each other, and to negotiate conflict. Their romantic interactions are almost completely mediated through online encounters, whether dating apps, Snapchat, or texting. These online encounters occur on predatory platforms that monetize their loneliness, their exhaustion, their desires, and their desperation. 

What have these dating apps done to young people like my students?  

It has left them feeling empty, feeling worthless, feeling like they don’t deserve a real relationship that is as demanding as it is rewarding. They settle for a quick fix, a temporary satiation of a deep, human desire to love and be loved, to know and be known. The social cost to this embedded practice is novel. It is severe. It’s not just that there is no connection between how young people are negotiating romantic relationships these days and a flourishing married and family life. They’re in incommensurable universes.  

It is time for adults who care about young people to stop pretending that we wish things were otherwise, and to start listening very closely to them, to sit patiently beside them with compassion and care, and to open them up to an alternative and attainable vision. 

8.   Virtual funerals become new norm as families adapt during COVID 

From Study Finds: 

A funeral is normally a time to properly honor and say goodbye to a loved one or close friend. The fact that the viral aspect of this pandemic has prevented countless people from holding a traditional funeral for a close family member is nothing short of tragic. Many now opt for a virtual funeral in lieu of an in-person gathering due to public gathering restrictions. The team at UT analyzed 62 academic and grey literature articles examining the use of virtual funeral practices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“COVID-19 is greatly impacting the ways in which we grieve,” says lead study author and recent graduate Andie MacNeil in a media release. “Rituals and other mourning practices are such an integral component of the dying process, and they are being interrupted at a time when we are experiencing tremendous loss of life due to COVID-19.”  

  1. What College Rankings Don’t Tell You 

From the Wall Street Journal: 

College rankings are little more than an attempt to quantify prestige. Accordingly, they often lead students to overvalue prestigious names. For students trying to learn about realistic options for their situations—where they can get in and what they can afford—rankings are less helpful than visiting campuses, meeting professors, talking to financial-aid offices and evaluating debt-to-income outcomes for prospective majors. 

At my high school, we all wanted acceptance letters from the University of Michigan, lately ranked 23rd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. My letter came, but I turned down the offer. Instead, I chose to attend Hillsdale College, ranked 46th among national liberal-arts colleges and boasting a student body smaller than my high school’s. 

Going by the rankings, Michigan should provide better education and job prospects than tiny Hillsdale ever could. But Hillsdale’s small size is its hidden strength. Everyone knows each other, and strong personal connections extend into a community of alumni. Meeting a Hillsdale alumnus at a dinner led to a job managing his successful campaign for state representative. Through my faculty adviser, I met another alumnus, who connected me with an internship in the White House Office of Management and Budget. You wouldn’t have guessed that from Hillsdale’s ranking, and it would have been far less likely at a larger school—even one preferred by U.S. News & World Report. 

10.      On World Teacher’s Day, Remembering the Women and Men Who Shaped Our Lives 

From The Daily Citizen: 

Good teachers put us at ease, make us feel we matter – and in the end, matter to us in ways large and small. 

Teachers sow seeds in all sorts of weather. Some blow far away or settle on rocky soil, seemingly gone forever. But sometimes the seeds stick and take root. Germination rates vary – many teachers never live long enough to see the growth or taste the fruit of their labors. 

Women and men who step into the classroom don’t do it for the money. They do it because they want to do something that matters. They want to make a difference. Standing up in front of a group of students isn’t for the faint or frail of heart. There are days when it’s emotional or mental combat. On tragic days in some districts, it’s been fatal. 

Memorable teachers share with us what they love and even lift the curtain on their own lives. They talk about their hopes and dreams – and in doing so, give wings to ours. 

Our favorites are tough – but tender. They’re a little sassy but still straightforward. They complement but don’t compete with parent’s values and convictions. They also don’t apologize for making us work hard or accept excuses when we won’t or don’t. 

A terrific teacher recognizes they’re not just trying to educate kids – but teach kids who will eventually grow up to be responsible adults. 

Teachers who are curious themselves tend to produce students who ask questions and actually listen to the answers. They follow the clues. They teach them how to think critically and resist the sheep mentality that permeates popular culture. 

The very best of teachers also recognize that despite a litany of advanced academic degrees, they don’t know everything. They admit there are many questions and mysteries that all the science and other studies of this world will likely never answer.  

Our favorites teachers taught us how to be successful in this world – but also remind us that ultimate success will come in the next.