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First gear is tricky: So suck it up, Buttercup!



First gear is tricky So suck it up Buttercup

It was early June of 2001. I had just graduated high school. I met my dad at the used car lot about 20 miles from my house. He had purchased a cheap and fantastically adorable, little mermaid green Honda Civic coup, stick-shift (manual transmission) so that I could drive to and from college that upcoming fall. I felt like I had hit the lottery! Even though my cute lil’ decade old, cheap car had a non-functioning air conditioning (and we were in the midst of a typical, blazing and humid Memphis summer) I didn’t care!  I had literally been given a CAR!

I got a car!

I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole – wide – world! For all intents and purposes, I was! I really was!

Well… But… Except…. I did have just one tiny, itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem: I had absolutely no idea how to drive a car with a manual transmission. No Clue! None! Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I sat there beside my daddy, bubbling with excitement inside as he signed all of the paperwork. I was waiting and anticipating for that little, mermaid green car to finally be mine. It felt like FOR-E-VAH!


It was at this point that, due to the unfortunately fact that I was incapable of driving a stick-shift, I looked at my father and pragmatically suggested, “Dad, I’ll drive your truck home and you drive my car. Then, once we get home, you can teach me how to drive my car.” That seemed pretty reasonable, right? WRONG! So…………..WRONG!

I had unwittingly made a fatal flaw some number months before the actual purchasing of my little coup. “The Fast and the Furious” movie was “all the rage” in my high school days with its cool, fast cars (all with manual transmissions) and the sexy Paul Walker behind the wheel.  So, at one point – at some point – in that particular time period, I had mentioned to my father that I desired to have a car with a stick-shift.

THAT…. That was my mistake.

There is a reason we are told to be careful about what we wish for…

Back to my story: I had just proposed to my father that he drive my new (manual transmission) Honda Civic home so that he could, once home, teach me how to drive it. What did he say? What was his answer? Did he accept my seemingly pragmatic and certainly not unreasonable offer?

Did he?
Well, did he?
NO! He did not!

“You asked for it and you got it. —- I’ll see you at home.”

Those were the last words my father said to me as I stood, staring out of the dealership window in a moment of complete terror…. watching him drive away… watching him leave me at a car dealership miles from my home… with a car that I had no clue how to operate. (This might also be a good time to note that the car dealership wasn’t exactly in a good part of town.)

But, guess what???
Guess who made it all the way back home???
ME! ME! ME!!! Let me says it just one more time, ME!!!!!

Okay, sure, the first gear is kind of tricky. And, yes, I may have peeled-out at every single stoplight that I encountered on my journey home, but I did it! Dog-gone-it, I did it! ME! It was so awesome!

So, let’s jump forward to 2017. We have Berkeley – which, for a reason that only God knows, still carries some vague aftertaste of honor, prestige and legitimacy – offering counseling to its poor, poor, POOOOOOOOOR student body who may or may not be traumatized by WORDS.  Words!

Let me say it again: words. (AH! Run away!)

It is as if the “adults” at this “institution of higher learning” have actually chosen to inflict a twisted kind of emotional, philosophical, and intellectual handicap upon their own student body. Or are the faculty themselves unable – incapable – of making it past the first gear.

There are times and situations in life in which the why is completely irrelevant. This is one of those times. This is the kind of defining moment when the true adults in the room must walk away, forcing young people into adulthood (even if unpleasantly).

Those with the responsibility of leading and shaping the next generations must simply say, “Suck it up, Buttercup! It is time for you to GROW UP!” Or, in the words of Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

After all, at some point, won’t these people will have to drive themselves home???


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Culture and Religion

The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids



The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids

The Covington Catholic School story has taken on a life of its own. What started as an attack against MAGA hat-wearing teens who supposedly went after a Native American Vietnam War veteran has turned into a witch hunt by leftist mainstream media to prove their righteous indignation towards the kids was justified.

But at the core of the story is something that most seem to be missing. Nathan Phillips isn’t a random activist. He’s an outspoken radical who intentionally inserts himself into situations to draw attention to his cause. We saw this clearly the day after the viral video was shot (but before it went viral) when he tried to storm a Catholic church to disrupt worship services. Those are not the actions of a peace-seeking, mild-mannered activist for Native American rights. They’re the actions of someone seeking trouble for the sake of attention.

Then, there’s the question of claims that he was a combat veteran who fought during the Vietnam War. To be fair, these are not necessarily his assertions, though I haven’t read everything he’s said about that period in his life. But mainstream media has painted him on multiple occasions as essentially a war hero. His claims have been that he was a “Vietnam times veteran,” which is obviously meant to insinuate he participated.

Thankfully, many of the publications that painted this picture of Phillips have since started editing their stories. Nevertheless, the damage is done. His reputation as a Vietnam War hero is still prominent in the eyes of those who read the initial stories and haven’t gone back to reread them since the corrections were made. We can assume that means nearly none of them have learned of the correction. That’s why he’s still being widely labeled as such on social media.

One of his claims to fame is that he starred in a Skrillex video that depicted armed opposition against law enforcement as a potential solution for those who are being forced from their homes by a land developer.

The sum of the parts of this story paint a very strange picture of Phillips. There is absolutely nothing wrong with activism for the sake of Native American rights. The cause is a righteous one and most activists are doing their part to properly bring awareness to the American people while working with governments in their plight.

Phillips doesn’t fall into that category. His stories keep changing, but the truth is still a mystery.

As our EIC noted yesterday, he claims to be a hero but he’s not.

Nathan Phillips claims to be a hero, but he’s the reason “MAGA kids” are now being demonized have been multiple shifts of the narrative being pushed by mainstream media about the Covington Catholic School “MAGA kids” since it first went viral. Each shift further demonstrates the far-left’s unhinged nature and mainstream media’s desire to attack conservative Christians no matter what the facts of the matter say.

All of this goes back to Nathan Phillips, the Native American who sparked the incident by trying to march through the group of kids. It wasn’t necessarily his actions that should be condemned, but how he portrayed the whole situation and his role in it have perpetuated the falsehoods that are being reported by mainstream media even today.

This all brings us back to his “opposition,” or at least the people he apparently opposes. By no means do I believe these kids are innocent. They’re kids. They were thrown into a situation they didn’t know how to handle, but even in those circumstances they handled it fairly well. Nick Sandmann, the “smirking MAGA kid” who was literally at the center of the initial controversy, is having to go on air to defend himself, his school, and to try to prevent the threats that have hit their community.

It’s a disgrace that these kids couldn’t just go to the March for Life unscathed. The trashy people who continue to dig into their pasts, shame them, and threaten their lives are being driven by the progressive worldview that is intolerant of the hats they wore.

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Tentative deal reached to end Los Angeles teachers strike



Tentative deal reached to end Los Angeles teachers strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A crowd of teachers roared its approval after a tentative deal was announced Tuesday between Los Angeles school officials and the union that will allow educators to return to classrooms after a six-day strike in the nation’s second-largest district.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, accompanied by leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced the agreement at City Hall a few hours after a 21-hour bargaining session ended before dawn.

“I’m proud to announce that, pending approval by the teachers represented by UTLA and educational professionals and this Board of Education, we have an agreement that will allow our teachers to go back to work on their campuses tomorrow,” Garcetti said.

Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the 30,000 members would vote later Tuesday, and he expected approval. A union summary of the agreement called it “historic” and urged teachers to vote yes to ratify. Educators met with UTLA representatives to familiarize themselves with the details before casting ballots.

It wasn’t clear when the vote results would be known, but teachers were expected to be back at work on Wednesday.

The deal was broadly described by officials at the news conference as including a 6 percent pay hike and a commitment to reduce class sizes over four years.

Specifics provided later by the district and the union included the addition of more than 600 nursing positions over the next three school years. Additional counselors and librarians were also part of the increase in support staff.

Marianne O’Brien said the need for additional support staff was one of the main reasons she walked picket lines. “This is not just for teachers. It’s also for counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers,” said O’Brien, who teaches 10th grade English.

The new contract also eliminates a longstanding clause that gave the district authority over class sizes, officials said. Grades 4 through 12 would be reduced by one student during each of the next two school years and two pupils in 2021-2022.

District Superintendent Austin Beutner said he was delighted the deal was reached. But he hinted that financial challenges remained.

“The issue has always been how do we pay for it?” Beutner said. “That issue does not go away now that we have a contract. We can’t solve 40 years of underinvestment in public education in just one week or just one contract.”

Under the tentative agreement, the district, the union and the mayor’s office will work jointly to “advocate for increasedcounty and state funding” for Los Angeles schools, according to the UTLA summary.

The Board of Education met in closed session on Tuesday and was expected to move quickly to ratify the deal, which would expire at the end of June 2022.

The deal came as teachers in Denver were finishing up a vote on whether to go on strike as soon as next Monday. The main sticking point is increasing base pay and lessening teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses for having students with high test scores or working in a high-poverty school.

In Oakland, California, some teachers called in sick last week as part of an unofficial rally over their contract negotiations, which also hinge partly on a demand for smaller class sizes.

Thousands of boisterous educators, many wearing red, and their supporters gathered on the steps outside City Hall.

The crowd began cheering, blowing horns and chanting the initials of Caputo-Pearl as the smiling union leader emerged from the building and walked through the throng.

Joaquin Flores, a special education teacher, said he believed he would support the deal unless it weakened health care or didn’t go far enough to reduce class size.

“It’s almost like metaphoric,” Flores said. “The sun’s out. When we started, it was all rainy and cold. I feel like it’s a new day.”

Teacher Sharon Maloney said she was reluctant to support the deal without seeing the details. She was skeptical that the district had made enough concessions on class size, health care benefits for new teachers or that the superintendent would spend enough of about $2 billion in reserves.

“I suspect the motives of Beutner,” Maloney said. “If he doesn’t release some of that $2 billion and there’s no understanding for moving forward how he’s going to cut out this crap that we’re running at a deficit and yet our reserves are going up every year.”

Talks resumed Thursday at Garcetti’s urging. The mayor does not have authority over LAUSD, but he sought to help both sides reach an agreement after nearly two years of fruitless talks.

Clashes over pay, class sizes and support-staff levels in the district with 640,000 students led to its first strike in 30 years and prompted the staffing of classrooms with substitute teachers and administrators.

The district maintained that the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Teachers hoped to build on the “Red4Ed” movement that began last year in West Virginia and moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state. It spread from conservative states with “right to work” laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.


Associated Press writers John Antczak and John Rogers contributed to this report.


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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Do college students support abortion or life?



PragerU Do college students support abortion or life

Progressive indoctrination centers, better known as American universities, have been pushing students towards a leftist worldview for decades. One might start believing the mainstream media narrative that college students are overwhelmingly pro-abortion based solely on other things we’ve seen coming out of college campuses.

PragerU tackled the issue. While nothing in this video will shock anyone, it’s a good cross-section of perspectives that likely reflects what’s actually going on at universities like UCLA. Will Witt went there and found the standard answers on both sides of the board. While the majority were pro-abortion, two pro-life students were found. Their responses were clearly more thought through than the answers given by their pro-abortion counterparts.

This leads to my next article. I’m starting to believe that if people are given all the information about abortion, and more importantly about the life attributes of preborn babies, they’d be more willing to accept a pro-life perspective.

Of all the challenges facing America today, the abortion issue is the most directly tied to life and death, literally. A world without abortion can only be achieved when we’re willing to have the conversations with everyone regardless of their current stance.

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