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6 in 10 teachers in one state say they might quit

Photo courtesy MTLHS student

The Kansas City Star takes a look at the anxiety many teachers in Missouri are feeling as the coronavirus pandemic continues. And what they might do about it.

Last month the Missouri State Teachers Association surveyed its 33,000 members, and of the 6,000 who responded, 80% said “they feel significantly more stress” than they did a year ago. Nearly 60% said they have considered leaving the profession. 

“I don’t feel safe. This is not safe,” said Blake Hodges, an Olathe special education teacher. “Teachers are wanting to resign but can’t. How unethical is it that I have to choose between my family’s personal safety and my own basic financial survival?”

I anticipate how some (angry and elitist) people will respond to such a question: If you don’t want to teach, there’s the door.

These are the people who insist K-12 schools must be open because — well, you know how it is — teachers work for “us.”

No, they don’t.

Unless you’ve met a really good teacher, you don’t understand the internal motivation that comes with making every kid, no matter the circumstances he or she comes from, better prepared for the future. Of course there are plenty of teachers mailing it in, and they ought to get the hell out of the way. But those marking-time teachers are the minority.

So, when you read about teachers ready to quit, be careful how you react. You’d be wise to rally to their cause instead of ignoring their pleas. Your kid might thank you.

The impeachment trial will be good theater (and accomplish nothing)

I get it. I really do: Democrats (and maybe a couple Republicans) want another opportunity to demonstrate Donald Trump’s lousy character while also fishing for information about whether he incited a group of people to attempt an overthrow of the government. (And what a ragtag group of followers they were, but that’s another story.) As a result, a second impeachment trial will begin in a couple weeks’ time.

An overwhelming number of Republicans are beginning to do what was expected: Reminding their Democratic colleagues that there’s not much point in going after Trump now. They also might be trying to placate Trump, who reportedly is eager to get even with any Republican who votes against him or who endorsed the call for impeachment.

For the Democrats, the end game might not be a guilty verdict in the Senate. It might be generating support to ensure Trump can never run for office again. Forget for a moment that the mechanism to do that is murky and remind yourself there won’t be enough, if any, support from Republicans to make it happen.

Put all of this together and here’s what will happen beginning Feb. 8: Democrats will hammer away that Trump rallied some of his most frenzied supporters to storm the Capitol in the first steps of a coup to keep him in power. They will insist such actions were seditious, and Trump ought never be allowed to hold office again. They might even throw in a “the guy’s lucky he’s not in jail unlike some of the buffoons who invaded the Capitol on January 6th.”

Almost everyone on the political left will tune into their media echo chambers to remind themselves the Democrats are fighting the good fight. Almost everyone on the political right will tune into their media echo chambers to remind themselves that the magnificent, wonderful man who was America’s 45th president of the United States was all but persecuted while he was in office, and that persecution continues now that he’s returned to private life.

The Senate’s vote will be 51-49 (maybe 52-48) to convict, a tally that will be nowhere close to the 67 votes necessary. Any effort after that to invoke a section of the 14th Amendment will end with a similar vote.

America will go on, divided as ever. And Trump will again have shown an uncanny ability to do so much wrong and not pay for it.

Pop some popcorn. With America’s theaters closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the impeachment trial will be the closest thing to good theater that we’re going to get right now.

And we are all the same in the eyes of our Maker. Amen!

We hold these truths to be self evident, so we say

That all men — women, too? — are created equal

And we are all the same in the eyes of our Maker

Amen!

But may I also say Ameen?

Yet, much like Thomas, we persist in unbelief; worse, we do not practice what we preach

For the golden city on the hill is reserved only for some, and you learn that quickly when you are not one of them

The cold, dank cell is home only to certain people; “we” — most definitely — are not one of “them.” we tell our friends with just right amount of inflection

And we will find only “those” people in the cardboard box, warding off the cold in an underpass as majestic motors roar overhead; they carry the smiling — who are often the blind — into the next adventure that others will never know

We scoff when we are called out?

We are the good people who go to a house of worship each week and who write a check every now and then to some or another charity, so we will NOT be condemned!

Amen, we say, and we leave out that other “e.”

We take up flags — flags! — to take down our democratic icons

We take up arms —or sometimes the right chemical concoction — to kill; often the most vulnerable are the ones who die.

We react with a shrug.

We embrace the next distraction with the wonder of a child, blissfully unaware — or arrogantly uncaring — that only the few can enjoy this moment. We do because we deserve it; we earned it, and there will be more and more and more

Alleluia!

Here we go again: U.S. government illegally tracking Americans

The New York Times has the details.

A military arm of the intelligence community buys commercially available databases containing location data from smartphone apps and searches it for Americans’ past movements without a warrant, according to an unclassified memo obtained by The New York Times.

Defense Intelligence Agency analysts have searched for the movements of Americans within a commercial database in five investigations over the past 2½ years, agency officials disclosed in a memo they wrote for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

You can read the memo, too.

This ILLEGAL activity has been going on for roughly 30 months.

Please spare me the “well, if you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about” argument. Extending this “logic,” law enforcement can walk into your home at any time and as often as they like, disrupting whatever it is you are doing at that moment.

At minimum, spying on Americans without a warrant is harassment. And it’s also a violation of our expectation of privacy.

We wouldn’t accept authoritarian governments or corporations in such countries spying on people, right? So, why do we know about it here at home, but shrug our shoulders as if it was no big deal?

A law is a law only if it is enforced.

Protest

A voice screams in protest

A fist rises into the air

Calls for change, a new era

Or a return to the past?