Wednesday letters: Parents are right to be angry, why punish vaccine refusers?, cycling is good for health, and two-party system has failed America
Public school toxicity
A recent AP article highlighted how school board meetings are becoming “toxic” and driving board members to resign at record paces. This desperate attempt to paint school administrators and school board members as faultless civic servants is pathetic.
Here’s the reality: Parents are angry, and rightfully so. We are seeing our children be muzzled, indoctrinated and bullied by adults who are paid with taxpayer dollars to do one job: to educate.
For decades, parents have trusted schools to teach fundamentals like math, reading and writing, but 2020 revealed that pushing agendas is the real priority. The “vitriol” the AP is reporting on across the country is a reaction to being pushed too far. The key issues at play:
1. Critical race theory — children are being indoctrinated to focus on color and race. Long gone is Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream, replaced with a message of division around oppressor and oppressed.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
2. Gender identification — rather than focusing on teaching students how to think to better understand the world around them, schools choose to encourage kids to question their sexual identity. Private discussions around gender or sex should be left to parents.
3. Masks and vaccines — while spouting “trust the science,” unelected bureaucrats and school boards are ignoring (or simply don’t care about) the science of what is happening to children’s mental and physical health as they continue to be muzzled for eight hour a day.
Instead of spending time developing better ways to educate on important subjects like math and science, unelected bureaucrats and school boards choose to spend their time trying to manipulate buzzwords to push agendas. When parents question the appropriateness of these topics for school, they are labeled bigots or simply ignored.
Unless school boards and administrators stop treating parents like enemies, the number of angry parents will grow, and these meetings will intensify.
Elitist educators seem to have forgotten Newton’s Third Law, while elitist media like the AP seem to have forgotten the importance of context.
Quashing scientific dissent
It was inevitable that the march toward a universal COVID-19 vaccine mandate would target the employees of health care facilities, overpowering those it can persuade or daunt and casting out the objectors. After all, it’s hard to maintain the fiction of scientific consensus on the safety, efficacy and necessity of the vaccines if nearly one-third of the medically educated and clinically familiar professionals are refusing to get vaccinated.
The “scientific consensus” is an illusion created by eliminating all dissent from the associated professions from respectful consideration and by creating a straw man — the “anti-science dupe” whom it is easy to blame and ridicule.
One would expect controversy among scientists, especially those confronting a new and complex problem. At this early stage of response to a terrible pandemic, a truly scientific approach would welcome all qualified contributions, humbly acknowledging how much remains unknown.
The current health care system in the U.S. is a hybrid of science, a supposedly disinterested pursuit of truths through a particular methodology, with industry – whose mission is always, first, to maximize profits. It has also, having captured the government’s power to compel, become a hegemon, wielding that power to compel compliance and to crush all dissenting opinions, especially from those who speak from within the medical fields and with the authority of professional stature.
The decision to punish vaccine refusers with job loss makes no sense when there is a shortage of personnel in health care. There would certainly be other ways to respect informed refusal of consent while protecting patients. The only purpose of this measure is to crush dissent and silence the knowledgeable who have good reasons for their decision. A vaccine mandate in an environment of scientific openness to all approaches might be justifiable — with provisions for informed dissent.
Instead, the official response is to use raw power to overcome honest and potentially valuable disagreements within science, for the benefit of an industry that has often proven untrustworthy, and should not be the only voice speaking for health sciences.
Share the road with bicyclists
To the man yelling at us on more than one occasion on Cattle Creek Road with speech that brought shock, disturbance to us and made us feel threatened — your language is/was uncalled for.
Remember this is law in Colorado. Colorado Statute 42-4-1412:
Cyclists have just as much right to be on the road as you do.
We abide by the law in: 1. Riding single file to allow passing; 2. Riding two abreast when clear; and 3. Giving 3 feet to pass.
May I suggest that you explore the mental and physical benefits of exercise and release some of your anger.
According to CDC exercise is beneficial for:
Helping you control your weight.
Reducing your risk of heart diseases.
Helping your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
Helping you quit smoking.
Improving your mental health and mood.
Helping keep your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp as you age.
We did nothing to harm you; please leave us alone to enjoy our health and keep it! By law we have the right to the county roads on bicycles, and no we don’t belong just on the bike path much to your chagrin!
Time for progressive policies
As the Labor Day weekend comes and goes, 12 million more Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. The eviction moratorium is on rocky ground. The pandemic is becoming permanent with more variants.
All of this and more is crushing the American people while Congress is on another vacation. Consider the following observation.
The establishment Democrats in Congress are missing the boat on an obvious opportunity to insert the most valuable legislation into the forthcoming budget resolution bill to help the American people — Medicare-for-all and the $15 federal minimum wage. The Democratic Party budget resolution bill will be decided by the end of September.
The progressive Democrats are turning their backs on the American people by not insisting on these two major policies. They would rather avoid another battle with the establishment and centrist Democrats. Since the Democrats already have the budget resolution bill packed with less worthy policies, why would they not try to push Medicare-for-all and the $15 minimum wage at this opportune moment?
Most polls indicate that 70% or more of the American people approve and desire Medicare-for-all. These two policies are the shot in the arm that the American people need right now!
The Democrats are doing a great disservice to the American people with this inaction. Congress has wasted about six months negotiating the infrastructure bill and the budget resolution bill. All of this could blow up at the end of September due to a few selfish conservative centrist Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WVA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and others. The American people will be cheated out of an enormous opportunity due to the party infighting by Democrats.
This would prove once again that Democrats and Republicans in Congress get paid to do absolutely nothing. This also proves that this two-party system has failed the American people again.
This same scenario will happen over and over until the American people choose to claim their independence from the party voter prison.
Co-chair, National Election Reform Committee
Co-founder, Western Colorado Independent Voters
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