Thursday, March 01, 2018

Teachers Who Insult The Military Are The Lowest Of The Low

Teaching is about as old as civilization itself. Parents start filling this role from day one of a child's birth - supplemented by other adults as the child matures. Teachers help mold a child's thinking and values in life.

The worst thing one can do is undermine that evolving value system, unless a student is embarking upon the wrong moral path.

Enter California's El Rancho High School history teacher Gregory Salcido and one of his senior students, Victor Quinonez.

Recently, as Quinonez walked to the front of the classroom to turn in an assignment, Salcido saw the 17-year old wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt. His teacher immediately queried Quinonez about his decision to enter the Marine Corps after graduation. Quinonez courteously explained why, triggering a rant by his teacher - one Quinonez surreptitiously taped after returning to his desk.

Proud of his family's military tradition - his father and two uncles having served as Marines - Quinonez wanted to serve as well. All three relatives clearly were role models for the young student. They shared with him the challenges faced in the Marines, the esprit de corps encountered as a band of brothers and the pride of serving one's country. Through his family, Quinonez embraced as life values honor, courage and service to country. For six minutes, Salcido demeaned those values.

Salcido, mocking those now serving overseas as failures, said, "Think about the people who you know are over there - your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever - they're dumbs**ts. They're not high-level thinkers. They're not academic people. They're not intellectual people. They're the freaking lowest of our low."

Alluding to the world's oldest profession, Salcido further added: "I don't understand why we let the military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don't let pimps come in the school."

Salcido managed to include racial slurs against Asians during his tirade: "We couldn't beat the Vietnamese, they are a bunch of people this big throwing rice at us, and we couldn't beat them."

He then advised Quinonez not to join the Marines and instructed him never to wear the sweatshirt to class again. Salcido exhibited to the entire class every element of teacher incompetency one in the profession could possibly demonstrate.

Asked about Salcido's comments during an interview, White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine General John Kelly, minced no words. He said the teacher "ought to go to Hell." One can understand Kelly's anger:  one of his two sons who served in the Marine Corps was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, Salcido also never heard a speech Kelly delivered only days after his son's death, entitled "Six Seconds to Live." Kelly spoke about two sons of other parents - young Marines whose last six seconds of life were caught on security camera footage. They were Corporal Jonathan Yale, 22, and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 20.

The two, along with several Iraqi soldiers, were guarding entry to a compound occupied jointly by US Marines and Iraqi soldiers. Suddenly, a truck raced toward the gate, failing to stop despite commands to do so. Realizing this was a suicide bomber trying to detonate the truck inside the compound, the Iraqi guards ran to seek safety. Yale and Haerter, knowing they remained the last line of defense protecting their comrades, held their ground. Putting out a wall of fire, they killed the driver. However, as the truck exploded outside the compound, both Marines were killed. Their unflinching courage in the face of imminent death to protect those depending on them to do so was incredible. Both were posthumously awarded the Nation's third highest combat medal-the Silver Star.

Salcido's unprofessionalism in demeaning a student's desire to serve his country was despicable. And, this is not first time his behavior has been at issue. In 2010, he was temporarily suspended for allegedly making inappropriate racial comments.

What should be most telling about Salcido's perspective on life is the comment he posted after receiving numerous text messages about his comments gaining national attention.

After stating he just "got out of an excellent musical...I turned my phone back on to unexpectedly see a storm. I don't think it's wise for me to make any specific comments, but I want my friends, family, and students to know we are fine and we respect the rights of free expression for all individuals."

There was not a word of apology for his outrageous comments or for attempting to destroy a young student's life dream. No, for Salcido, it was all about him and how he was doing.

While Salcido's comments reach an all-time low for someone with teaching credentials, there does seem to be a lack of understanding by educators for those choosing to serve in the military. One veteran tells the story of his disappointment with a teacher's response after proudly sharing he had been accepted at West Point. The response was, "You're a smart guy. You don't have to join the military. You should go to college, instead." This veteran added, "What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing."

With only 0.45 percent of our population serving today in the war on terrorism, this is not what our prospective young warriors need to be hearing from those they look up to as teachers.

In his speech, Kelly said of those serving in uniform, "All are heroes for simply stepping forward, and we as a people owe a debt we can never fully pay."

Salcido needs to take a step backward and reassess what he can do to contribute to society. It definitely is not teaching.


Why the Left Opposes Arming Teachers
Why does the Left oppose allowing a small number of highly trained teachers and other adults who work at schools to arm themselves?

When asked, its response is consistent: “It’s a crazy idea.” And “We need fewer guns, not more guns.”

A New York Times editorial offered the following argument against having any armed teachers: “Nationwide statistics on police shooting accuracy are not to be found. But if New York is typical, analyses show that its officers hit their targets only one-third of the time. And during gunfights, when the adrenaline is really pumping, that accuracy can drop to as low as 13 percent.”

But if that is an argument against armed teachers, why isn’t it an argument against armed police?

And that argument was Aristotelian compared to this one from a Los Angeles Times editorial: “If a pistol-strapping chemistry teacher had grabbed her .45 and unloaded on today’s gunman after he killed, what, one student? Three? Five? That would be good news?”

Of course, no murder is “good news.” But to most of us, one or three or five as compared with 17 murdered is good news. Only those who think it isn’t good news think permitting some teachers and other school staff to be armed is a bad idea.

Beyond such arguments, the Left rarely, if ever, explains why allowing some teachers and other adults in a school to be armed is a crazy idea. They merely assert it as a self-evident truth.

But, of course, it’s not a self-evident truth. On the contrary, having some adults who work at schools be trained in the responsible use of guns makes so much sense that the Left’s blanket opposition seems puzzling.

It shouldn’t be. On the question of taking up arms against evil, the Left is very consistent.

The Left almost always opposes fighting evil and almost always works to disarm the good who want to fight.

This is as true on the national level as it is on the personal.

Those old enough to remember the Cold War will remember that the Left constantly called for a “nuclear freeze,” including a unilateral freeze by Western countries. Likewise, the European Left mounted huge demonstrations against America bringing Pershing 2 missiles into Western Europe. No matter how violent the Soviet Union was, the Left always opposed a strong Western military. The Left mocked then-President Ronald Reagan’s call for an anti-ballistic missile defense system; it couldn’t understand why Americans would think being able to protect America from incoming ballistic missiles was a good and moral idea. The Left so effectively derided the idea, mockingly dubbing it “Star Wars,” that few knew its real name: the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

So, too, the Left universally condemns Israeli attacks on those who seek not merely to defeat Israel but to exterminate it. The Left around the world condemned Israel’s military responses to Hamas launching missiles at Israeli civilian targets. It declared Israel’s counterattacks “disproportionate” — because more Gazans were killed than Israelis. Never mind which party was the aggressor or which party targeted civilians. Had the Left been as active in the 1940s, it surely would have condemned the Allies for their bombing of Germany and Japan; after all, far more German and Japanese civilians were killed in Allied bombing raids than Allied civilians were killed in German bombing raids. Now that was really “disproportionate.”

Fighting evil is the Left’s Achilles heel. As I have repeatedly noted, the Left fights little evils, or even non-evils, rather than great evils.

With regard to fighting communism in the 20th century and today fighting radical Islamic terror and Islamist treatment of women, the Stalinist North Korean regime, the Holocaust-denying and Holocaust-planning theocracy of Iran, the Syrian mass murderers and the violent crime in America, the Left is either silent or appeasing. And, of course, it works constantly to weaken the American military, the world’s greatest force against evil.

But the Left does direct its fighting spirit against Confederate statues, schools with the name of slave owners (including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson), carbon emissions, income inequality, “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” any limitation on abortion, Columbus Day, “Islamophobia,” Israeli settlements, “Russian collusion” and the like. Against these minimal or nonexistent evils, the Left is ferocious.

That is why the Left opposes enabling some teachers and other adults in schools to carry arms in order to possibly stop a mass murderer: The Left doesn’t fight evil; it fights those who do. Just as the Left hated anti-communists, hates opponents of Islamism and hates Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (far more than the Iranian ayatollahs), it hates those who wish to see teachers and others voluntarily armed take down the murderers of our children.


Canada: The social justice revolution has taken the law schools. This won't end well

What is a law school for? According to the University of Windsor, revolution. Earlier this month, Windsor’s law school released a statement on the jury verdict that acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley of the second-degree murder of Coulton Boushie. According to the statement, the Canadian legal system is oppressive. “Canada has used law to perpetuate violence against Indigenous Peoples,” it states, “a reinvention of our legal system is necessary.”

The statement reveals how legal education has lost its way. One could be forgiven for thinking that the purpose of law schools was to train lawyers to understand legal principles and to think logically and critically. Instead, some law schools portray themselves as political actors working for a cause. At Windsor’s law school, “we strive toward social justice. We take that commitment seriously.” Indeed they do. So do other law schools in Canada, some more explicitly than others. Social justice means defeating oppression and righting historical wrongs — by favouring or blaming people as members of groups, and by undermining Western legal principles such as the rule of law, equal application of the law, presumption of innocence, and freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion.

Numerous criticisms have been levied at the all-white jury verdict in the Stanley case. Some have advocated limiting an accused’s right to peremptory challenges in jury selection. These objections are short-sighted. All accused have a limited right to dismiss potential jurors. As criminal defence lawyer Sean Robichaud explained to Canadian Lawyer magazine after the verdict, Indigenous people are over-represented as accused persons in the criminal justice system, and curbing peremptory challenges to ensure that juries represent victims would prejudice their interests.

There is an old saying that at any trial there are four versions of the truth: what the prosecution says, what the accused says, what the jury finds, and what actually happened. I have no idea what transpired at that farm in Saskatchewan. But Windsor’s law professors seem to know — an impressive feat, since they were neither at the scene nor in the courtroom to hear the evidence. Due process exists, in part, to protect us all from the self-righteousness of mobs.

One might expect Justin Trudeau and his ministers to jump on ideological bandwagons, but it is telling when law schools want to ride along too. Windsor’s says that “the law’s response to Coulton Boushie’s death is tragic, unnecessary and unacceptable.” Boushie’s death was indeed tragic and unnecessary, but the law’s response was not. Even the lawyer for Boushie’s family, Chris Murphy, said that “based on the evidence, the submissions made and the charges that the judge gave to the jury, a route of acquittal was a possibility.”

Human history is rife with oppression. Women were oppressed when only men could own property, slaves when they had no right to liberty, Indigenous people when they were forced to attend residential schools. Oppression results when some people do not have the same legal rights as others. But today’s law schools resist the idea of equal application of the law and openly advocate progressive policies. For instance, when Trinity Western University, an independent religious institution that receives no government funding beyond its charitable status, proposed to open a law school, the established schools urged provincial law societies to ban TWU’s graduates on the grounds that its community covenant did not reflect progressive values. The law societies in Ontario and B.C. obliged. The Supreme Court’s decision on TWU’s challenge of those decisions is pending.

Law schools may not need to preach revolution much longer. If you haven’t noticed, the tipping point is near. Courts and academics are transforming the Charter of Rights and Freedoms from a roster of fundamental liberties into a social-justice charter that justifies curbing individual freedoms instead of protecting them. The words of section 15(1) of the Charter, which guarantee that “every individual is equal before and under the law,” suggest that the same rules should apply to everyone. However, the Supreme Court has held that the law can nevertheless treat people differently if doing so produces equal outcomes, and that treating people the same — for instance, requiring the same qualifications from a minority job applicant as from others — might even violate section 15(1) if it produces unequal results.

Section 35(1) of the Constitution Act 1982 entrenches varying rights for different groups of aboriginal people. Courts may impose more lenient penalties on Indigenous accused pursuant to the Criminal Code and the Gladue principles, under which “the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders” may be taken into account. New rules require those accused of sexual assault to disclose information to the prosecution, such as emails sent by the complainant to the accused, so as to limit the ability of the defence to cross-examine (violating the principle that the burden of disclosure lies upon the Crown rather than the defence). The Law Society of Ontario has begun to compel its members to expressly acknowledge an obligation to promote progressive values. Individual liberties are no longer fundamental. Everyone is not subject to the same rules. The legal ground is shifting.

Not all law professors endorse the path that we are on, and fortunately they can still choose what to teach in their own courses. Not all lawyers or judges agree either. Many have kept their heads. Give them credit for thinking for themselves. After all, they probably went to a Canadian law school.


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