Mercedes Schneider: Authoritarians Impose Their Views and Call It “Choice”

Since when is taking away the freedom to make a choice, a choice?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider takes issue with the new authoritarians who are imposing book bans in the name of “freedom” and limiting free expressions of views they disagree with in the name of of “choice.”

She writes:

We are certainly in an age in which the term, “free speech,” is indeed not free because of increasing conservative pressure to shape speech into that which a minority of extreme, right-wing conservatives would agree with.

Of course, that is not “free speech” at all.

In my school district, the St. Tammany Library Alliance is combating the right-wing conservative push to ban library books not to its liking. In its campaign declaring “Libraries Are for Everyone,” the Alliance is circulating a petition that states the following:

St Tammany Parish is a welcoming community to all and we stand firmly against banning books. As such we endorse the following statements:

  • We believe that all young people…

View original post 318 more words

6 responses to “Mercedes Schneider: Authoritarians Impose Their Views and Call It “Choice””

  1. Since dedicated Trolls seldom stop pestering one of their targets easily, here’s another example of this trolls attempt to trigger me. Revealing his real name, manicmikey sent me an email proving he could find my email, that is no secret. Having my real name out there means trolls can also find my snail mail address.

    Mike said, “no wonder you love Ravitch…

    Mike Pulcifer
    7:23 PM (1 hour ago)
    to me

    “…you’re just another overpaid teacher, now retired with a fat 64k/yr pension
    >> VOUCHERS NOW…break the teachers unions stranglehold on education <<"

    Lloyd Lofthouse
    7:56 PM (27 minutes ago)
    to Mike

    Ahh, you must be manicmikey pissed off for having your trollish voice cut off. This email just proves my allegations that you are a TROLL!

    For your info, I paid 8.5% of my earnings into the CalSTRS retirement system for thirty years. The school district where I worked for those 30 years, contributed another 8.5 percent into my CalSTRS retirement account. The year I retired, I transferred more than $100k from the sales of some stocks I had in a tax free account (I don’t remember what those things are called) into my CalSTRS account. Teachers are allowed to buy an additional 5 years that’s added to the formula that decides what a teacher earns after retirement.

    Last time I checked, CalSTRS has more than $300 billion dollars being managed by the state to fund teacher retirements. CalSTRS was established in 1913 and has never run out of money or missed a payment.

    In most non-recession years, the federal share of money that goes to California’s public schools is only 6% to 9% of the total. California’s funds the rest through property taxes and other sources from California’s businesses and working class. I’ve owned my own homes since 1973 when I bought my first house through a VA loan. My property tax is always several thousand a year on top of the income tax and sales tax i also pay.

    That translates into about 90% or more of the public money that ends up in CalSTRS was state public funds and not from the federal government. California ranks 25th out of 50 states for how much the state spends on K-12 education, spending less than 1% of the public’s money to fund public education in the state.

    Public money from Californai’s citizens fund 90% of k-12 public education and teachers have thier pay reduced 8.5% every month because of each teacher’s contributions into the CalSTRS program, the 2nd largest public retirement program in the US.

    Most public school teachers do not pay into Social Security and only collect Social Security if they worked long enough in the private sector to qualify. Since I worked 12 years in the private sector and also paid in during the three years I was a US Marine, I qualified. Still, because of that less than 10% of federal funds that California gets to help a little bit in funding its public schools, the SS I was qualified to get was cut in half from $600 to $300 a month and when I joined medicare it was cut in half again to $150.

    Public school teachers are punished for being teachers. Most teachers across the country retire without medical care and have to wait until they qualify for Medicare.

    I was fortunate and because of my service in the US Marines, I qualified for medical care through the VA and was accepted by the VA a year or two after I retired.

    When I retired at 60 in 2005, my pay was cut 40% and I left teaching with no medical coverage.

    UPDATE about a half hour later:

    I forgot to mention that being a public school teacher was harder than being a US Marine. Often working 60 to 100 hours a week is exhausting. Even the Marines didn’t work us that hard. Teachers do more than teach a few hours a day. They take work home, working nights and weekends because there’s never enough time at school to correct all the student work, do grades, plan lessons and contact parents when needed. Teacher also do not get paid overtime. Teacher pay is a monthly salary, no matter how many hours we work. The average teachers also spends their own money for classroom supplies.

    “What do teachers spend the most money on? Teachers spend the most on items like books and software for their classrooms. While teachers certainly are spending money on items some may consider non-essential, such as decor and prizes, they’re dedicating most money to non-consumable items.”,money%20to%20non%2Dconsumable%20items.

    Lloyd Lofthouse

    Lloyd Lofthouse

  2. Hey Lloyd I was over on Ravitch’s site and tried to reply to you, but of course Ravitch is “moderating” me, which means censorship of course. What I tried to say to you is why in the world would you want to “get Harry’s IP address”…wow, you libs cannot handle free speech, can you? Harry wasn’t using profanity or threatening violence…if you don’t like his comments, jus scroll past them and read someone else’s.

    1. Interesting, I took a few minutes to reply to your worthless comment and my reply didn’t appear. I wonder how that happened. Oh, yea, I’ve read about WordPress having apps that block comments sending them to some invisible SPAM folder us bloggers have no power over.

      Maybe that was why my first reply to your comment didn’t make it. That irritates me since I had something I wanted to say about freedom of expression and censorship.

      This time I’ll keep out the profanity, what I’m really thinking.

      Freedom of expression means being free to disagree with what someone else thinks or write, and that is what I did. I will continue to do that, too.

      The difference most of the time is that I quote reputable sources, with links, to support my rebuttals to what I think are ignorant and dangerous comments, something I have never seen a Tea Party Person or MAGA RINO moron do. One of my former friends tried once and provided a link to an anonymous blogger named Rabbit that he agreed with, while disagreeing with every primary source I quoted. I’d spend long periods of time doing research and writing long rebuttals and he’d trash them in seconds with one or two sentences rejecting all of my cited sources and provide no evidence, no facts and no links to reliable sources to support what he thought. That is why I decided to stop being his friend.

      Darn, there I go again, spouting off like an angry former US Marine and combat vet telling an idiot what I really think about them. Still, I did leave out the profanity. Marines often lace everything they say with profanity. It is so tempting to be that honest with my opinions! Sigh. I hate censoring myself that much.


      SInce I did not respond to this CRAP ( using CRAP mean I’m exercising my freedom to express myself — that is not censorship )

      Here’s the CRAP: “get Harry’s IP address”…wow, you libs cannot handle free speech, can you?”

      Explain how an IP address is linked to censorship and freedom of speech as the 1st Amendment defines that freedom. An IP address often allows us to know where the email originated from but not the exact location or address but usually within 20 to 30 miles of the sender who could be at home, walking down the street or in a coffee shop miles rom home. Trolls that know what they are doing can mask their IP address so we cannot come even close to where they live. Still, knowing the locating of an IP address that isn’t cloaked might tell us that person was in Russia or China or North Korea or Iran.

      Now, back to the 1st Amendment and an attempt to teach an apparently ignorant idiot what it says and means.

      “The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.”,the%20right%20to%20bear%20arms.

      I’m not Congress. I don’t create the laws in the United States. I’m as free as every other private citizen and private business to censor anything I think is misleading ignorant CRAP on my own blog, or not censoir it and point out why I think it is CRAP! Even someone accusing me of censoring their free speech that I’m free to censor if I want to. WTF!!!!!

      Telling anyone what you think of what they think is not censorship. Again WTF!!!!

    2. Publishing this comment in reply to toxic troll manicmikey is me notifying that troll and readers that I’m not censoring the troll as much as not feeding the troll. If we ignore them and leave their comments up, they feed themselves with their own words and often keep taunting and insulting us.


      Traitor Trump is a troll.

      Dangerously Deranged De Santis in Florida is a troll.

      Trolls say and do outrageous and insulting things to get attention.

      If we pay attention to them by attempting to futilely counter their trolling with reason, we are feeding the trolls.

      If you do not know what a troll is, manicmikey is an example. Learn what a proper debate is. Learn what the topic of a post is that trolls haunt in a post’s comment thread. Once you know that, then you will be able to identify trolls in action.

      “How to tell if you’re dealing with a social media troll
      You feel agitated. This may not always happen, but something might feel a little off in your interactions with a troll. …
      They don’t make sense. …
      They are not staying on topic. …
      They’re calling you names. …
      They’re condescending. …
      They’re relentless. …”

      Trolls ignore formal debate rules.

      “A formal debate involves two sides: one supporting a resolution and one opposing it. Such a debate is bound by rules previously agreed upon. Debates may be judged in order to declare a winning side. Debates, in one form or another, are commonly used in democratic societies to explore and resolve issues and problems.”

      Click to access tn-13.pdf

      There are many reputable resources to learn about Trollish behavior vs a proper formal debate. If the two sources I have provided aren’t enough, don’t give up. Try and try again to learn what each of those terms means, and please, DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

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