Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s audience sees Betsy DeVos as a stronger champion of improved public education than her predecessors in the Obama administration, judging by reaction to our recent interviews. We begin with that topic. Don’t forget to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Rob Bluey’s interview with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (“Betsy DeVos Says Federal Government Has Failed to Improve Education”). I am very encouraged that she is looking at returning control of school funding to the states.
Personally, I believe the monies currently in the Education Department should be block-granted to the states, the department shut down, and no more money sent by the states to the feds for education. Public colleges, same thing. They don’t need federal funding.
It is a waste of taxpayer dollars and, as Mrs. DeVos said, removes power from parents and the state and local governments. She is definitely headed in the right direction.
The truly evil and undermining thing about federal education funding is the strings that come with that money. Federal funding has literally turned universities across the nation into breeding facilities for socialism. We were getting dangerously close to that happening in K-12 schools as well.—Glynnda White
Betsy DeVos doesn’t come right out and say it, but it’s obvious that there’s no need for the feds, the executive branch, and Congress to be involved in education, period. Two trillion dollars spent for no return.—Stephen Fitzmaurice, Buffalo, N.Y.
Yes, Betsy, government has messed up public education. The best thing for it is to get government out of the education business (which it was not chartered to do in the first place) and privatize education via charter schools. Of course, the end of public education means the end of government brainwashing of our children.—Jurgis Meister
Sounds like another failed government department filled with inept programs. I agree that too many parents depend on schools to raise their children.—Robert Basye, The Villages, Florida
Once again, history shows us that the federal government is terrible dealing with social matters such as education. Education needs to be controlled at the state and local levels so that teachers and administrators can work with students within their geographical and cultural areas.—Robin Boyd
— Jim Polk ?? (@JimPolk) April 13, 2018
Where is it written in the U.S. Constitution’s enumerated powers (Article I, Section 8) that education was delegated to the federal government? Answer: It ain’t there.—Hank Naizer
Education is not a federal issue, it belongs to the states. The more we can keep Congress out of the picture (both Democrat and Republican), the better.—Jack Roth, Niota, Tenn.
Regarding Rob Bluey’s interview with Betsy DeVos: The harsh reality that society fails to understand is that not everyone’s brain is wired to be educated in a formal classroom environment.
Look at the number of incarcerated people. You can’t expect to blend career criminals with students who are there to educate themselves. The results speak for themselves.
By contrast former Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks, in Bluey’s interview with him, like a true liberal politician who has no grasp of reality when it comes to education (“Obama’s Education Secretary: ‘Our Nation Values Our Guns More Than We Value Our Kids’”). Nor should he ever have risen to an appointed position to spew his warped thinking in a position of power.—Matt Matherne, Florida
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 15, 2018
Arne Duncan, a pseudosocialist and former education secretary, lectures law-abiding American citizens on gun control when Chicago, his city of residence, has some of the most strict gun control laws and is one of the worst examples of what happens when laws are ignored. Preposterous and most certainly disingenuous.
Rob Bluey really let Duncan off the hook with his answers, as the Obama administration had right full years to improve educational performance and did zero. Yet all Duncan can offer is to blame President Trump for undoing bad policy? A typical progressive leftist.—Peter Koteas, Prescott, Ariz.
Arne Duncan makes the stereotypical mistake right out of the box, advocating college preparation for everyone. Our teachers do the same thing: “I have a master’s in education. Look at me. Wheeee!”
Well, I have a master’s in aeronautical engineering, and one need only look at lots of Europe. These fools in education fail to recognize not only the need for skilled craftsmen, but the desperate need for our system to honor those occupations and honor the kids that need that type of education and would be more suited to it, beginning in the ninth grade.
I have had the experience of meeting and working with some very intelligent “techs” who have only high school or perhaps two years in a tech collage program, and then off to the real world of d-o-i-n-g and doing, and they become experts at what they do. They also make more money than teachers (but that’s another story).
So tell Mr. Duncan to go hang out in a Toyota dealer’s repair garage or watch an electrician wire a large, complex house in a week.—Jon Addison
While I value The Daily Signal highly, I confess that I have a low tolerance for bureaucrats like Arne Duncan. He’s as blind as most politicians and bureaucrats to the largest drawback to educating our young people: the politically correct bureaucracy and big government.
We have federal bureaucrats assigned to pick items for school kids’ food, for heaven’s sake. Government makes life complicated, which means government expands and taxpayers pick up the tab. As a rule, states should be totally responsible for educational decisions, and vouchers would be a way to aid parents in decisions that benefit their children.
Duncan is a typical liberal who believes throwing taxpayer money and writing legislation at issues is a resolution that works. Both fail. But it does make liberals feel good all over.
Weapons are a moral issue that government can’t fix. It divides metropolitan areas and rural America because metro areas have a false sense of security and rural areas use guns as a tool for sport and protection.—Brannen Edwards, Savannah, Ga.
— ?Ophidian Pilot? (@ophidianpilot) April 11, 2018
This College Graduate Carries
Dear Daily Signal: If I had to hire someone and if she met the requirements for the position, I would hire Brenna Spencer (“College Student Poses With Gun for Graduation Photo, Firing Up Twitter”). Kudos to her. Wishing her success in whatever she does.—David A. Davenport
You go, girl(s)!—Susan McCon
Brenna Spencer, you are a good role model for girls and young women in America. Do not allow anyone to condemn you.—Wendell Schloneger
Way to go, Brenna. And there will be many real American employers in America wishing to employ you.—Tom Schwander
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) April 13, 2018
Defending the Second Amendment at City Hall
Dear Daily Signal: Mark Robinson presented his argument in such an amazing way, as Rachel del Guidice reports (“Meet the Man Whose Hometown Defense of the Second Amendment Went Viral”). I’m so glad his video went viral. Everyone in America needs to see it. So well said.—Kathy Klumpe, Sacramento, Calif.
I absolutely love Mark Robinson. His speech was great. Hope it encourages more people to take a stand.—Kathy Casey
I wish every person in America had the courage to stand up and fight for their freedoms like Mark Robinson. If you don’t, that is how you lose your freedoms.—Jim Lakes, Hamilton, Ohio
This man is truly amazing and intelligent. I agree with all he stands for.—Marilyn Hladek, Winnemucca, Nev.
You did North Carolina proud, Mark Robinson. Thank you.—Diane Pisano
— Tim Gradous (@tgradous) April 14, 2018
The FBI Raid on the President’s Lawyer
Dear Daily Signal: I am an attorney and troubled by the FBI search of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s documents, computers, phones, etc., as reported by Fred Lucas (“5 Questions Emerging From the FBI Raid on Trump Lawyer”). As an attorney, I have a duty of confidentiality to my clients. I have several files that are over 10 years old; so I don’t regularly purge, but I do retain some records for malpractice claims and to help clients if they have questions.
I see that Cohen in 2008 voted for Obama and around the time Trump ran for office, became a spokesman for Trump. He also was executive vice president for the Trump Organization and co-president of Trump Entertainment and a member of the board of the Eric Trump Foundation. He also was deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. Prior to this he was a partner at Phillips Nizer.
So Cohen’s document exposure is great—his own records and contacts, donors to the GOP, Eric Trump’s organization, and other past or current clients. All of those people can be investigated.
They say that there is a firewall and investigators return documents. But someone has to read them to get them returned. What if one was a divorce case, and the person reviewing it got the inside scoop?
I fear this action will cause people to be reticent to fully communicate with attorneys, priests, and other clergy.—Caroline Zoes, Brooksville, Fla.
The two big questions: Why hasn’t Trump fired Rob Rosenstein and replaced him with a nonpartisan deputy attorney general? And why hasn’t Trump gone to the American people and said: “The House, which has the power to impeach me, found no proof of Russian collusion during my campaign. Therefore, I am firing special counsel Robert Mueller and Rob Rosenstein. It is a continued waste of money and pays Democratic lawyers who have accomplished nothing but gossip and innuendo.”—Frank Verderber, Russell, Mass.
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin sketched out special counsel Robert Mueller’s record of prosecution with Whitey Bulger, Arthur Andersen, and other cases and botched investigations resulting in great harm to folks caught up in his prosecutorial deep dives. Some wrongly sent to jail were ultimately awarded by the courts millions of dollars for false prosecution. Some died in prison.
I have to admit to not being surprised with the resume, but why on earth is this behavior allowed? The man who should be in jail is Mueller and others whom Levin identified and profiled. Most of us could not cover the costs of a trial.
Those in employ to and working for the government have a blank check, and there is little to show that any supervision of them and their cost to us and our freedom is considered when they are reviewed or hired for the next job.
If The Heritage Foundation wants a mission, the Mueller story is it. He’s got to go, but the reasons aren’t what’s playing in the news. The reason is that the guy is a bad cop. And so are others around him.—Ken Larson, Gloucester, Va.
Fire Mueller and anyone else who cannot operate within constitutional limits.—Sharon Krotts, Grand Haven, Mich.
It is time to put an end to this.—Larry Sommers
Enough is enough. It is well past time to end this witch hunt. Mueller has found no evidence of Russian interference in the election & has gone well beyond the scope of the purpose for the special counsel.—Marion Daniels-Price, Manahawkin, N.J.
What we are witnessing here is an attempted coup. The threat to our elections is not from the Russians, it is from within.—Larry Klassen
Liberal felons 6, U.S. Constitution 0.—Marilyn Thomas
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) March 5, 2018
A Pediatrician’s View of Transgenderism
Dear Daily Signal: Although I believe the Kansas Republican Party has gone overboard in promoting religion, its stance on transgenderism is appropriate, as described in Eric Teetsel’s commentary (“Kansas Republicans Are Standing Up to Transgender Lies, Protecting Kids From Harm”).
I have many friends in the LGBT community, true enough, but gender dysphoria was snatched up as a civil rights issue by the Obama administration. It led to implementation of policies imposed on public schools and other facilities that receive some measure of governmental support.
These edicts clearly were overreaching and in the long run will turn out to be self-defeating. They will result in more negative attention directed at the already-beleaguered public school system and also create more hostility toward the LGBT rights movement.
The simple fact of the matter is that gender is gender, determined by genetics, not arbitrarily assigned at birth. All children will experience some degree of confusion or conflict with gender at some point in their lives, but there are usually very usual reasons for those feelings. The confusion generally can be resolved by exploring the underlying cause, and the solution will not require intensive pharmacological intervention or radical surgery.
As was effectively pointed out by The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson in prior commentaries, the treatments do not effect a complete transformation from male to female or vice versa; they are extraordinary means to enable an individual to live as a representative of the opposite sex.
As a pediatrician, I take extreme issue with those colleagues of mine who aggressively push implementation of puberty blockers and reassignment surgery on children and parents, even going so far as to question the parenting skills of those families who would opt to decline such therapies for their children.
A more commonsense and realistic approach, free of proselytizing or preaching, should be undertaken in cases of gender identity conflicts so that the root cause can be identified and addressed.—Nicholas A. Tsambassis, M.D., Franklin, Tenn.
— Genevieve Wood (@genevievewood) April 10, 2018
How About Scrutinizing Twitter Too?
Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Hans von Spakovsky’s commentary (“10 Questions Mark Zuckerberg Should Answer When He Testifies Before Congress”): Congress grills Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s political bias, but I’ve heard nothing about Twitter, which is far worse in my opinion.
I follow a number of folks on Twitter, including President Trump. Within the last couple of months, getting and viewing Trump’s tweets has become much harder. Initially, I’d get a notice and could be directly taken to his tweet. Now, I still get notifications but I have to hunt for Trump’s tweets.
Additionally, when I get a notification and I go to the tweet within seconds, there are already a dozen nasty responses from mostly the same cast of characters. I’ve purposely replied to some of these nasty replies in a provocative fashion and not gotten a response. I suspect that these are bots making these replies.
Twitter should root out the bots and shut down those accounts. I do not think anything will change here without outside pressure. This is where I think you can help. First off, see if you agree with me. If you do, get it out there where others can check it out and raise Cain.—Mike Spangler
The million-dollar question for Facebook’s Zuckerberg is this: “Why do you continue to censor conservative and libertarian websites, independent journalists, and all those who do not support your opinions or agendas?”—Giuseppe Di Biagio, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Consider just how much money Facebook takes in, and as a result just how much power that gives to a single person. Scary.—Ken Clark, East Dundee, Ill.
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) April 6, 2018
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: The headline “US Must Be Wary as It Pursues Engagement With North Korea” is difficult to read. Does it say “us” or “United States”?
Request: Since Russia and China are not abbreviated in headlines, could you please use USA instead of “US/us”? Better yet, why not use United States of America? Too long? OK, “United States.”
Be the first to start a major change in how the United States of America is represented in the headlines. Make America Great Again!—Diana Stephens, Macomb, Ill.
About David Harsanyi’s commentary, “Liberals Finally Find Some Media Bias They Dislike,” the media that censors all the news and only reports what fits its biased political agenda is worthless.
True, honest journalism is becoming a lost art in our generation, where biased opinions are replacing it with fake news. Who can you trust, what media channel, and what results will come from only putting out a flawed view of reality?—Wes Potts
I enjoyed Fred Lucas’ article on his interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Ben Carson (“Ben Carson Says He’s Not ‘Going Anywhere’“). Good job. Keep up the positive publishing, nicely balanced.—Steve Harwood, Grand Rapids, Mich.
It is not a good idea for teachers to carry guns in school. First, a teacher needs to be concentrated on the subject matter he is teaching, rather than on whether the gun is hidden or not at any given moment.
Second, if the gun is locked up, that defeats the purpose of having it to defend against a sudden attack, since one can’t get to it immediately. A school resource officer who can give full attention to this matter is a much better option.—Terry Stone
The only thing I have against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is this: He refuses to stand with the populace and outlaw Monsanto and genetically modified organisms. He refuses to make labeling mandatory, and I’m tired of not being represented where it is most important.
Insecticides are killing people, honey bees, and the food that is grown in saturated soil. It’s being conveniently ignored, and yet it is one of the deadliest issues today.—Sharon Fletcher, Erda, Utah
I am so happy that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney is going back to Congress for more cuts from the massive overspending in the omnibus spending bill (“Budget Director Says He Will Ask Congress to Cut Spending“).—Pat Ellis
I wish he asked before the #Omnibus bill. —->> Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Says He Will Ask Congress to Cut Spending in ‘Coming Weeks’ by @LRacheldG via @DailySignal https://t.co/OTGsjWAUzI pic.twitter.com/ljiYo7EGg8
— Shane Vander Hart (@shanevanderhart) April 20, 2018
How Are We Doing?
Dear Daily Signal: I feel I am reading well-defined facts rather than hype phrases intended to pull a reader toward a pre-affirmed opinion.
This may not appear as an important issue, but to my thinking it is the basic building block of all journalism. I appreciate your trustworthiness. Keep up the good work and I will continue to follow your reporting.—Jeni Mael
The Daily Signal asks for monetary support with the phrase: “Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low.”
The “mainstream media” is not mainstream, and I refuse to give money to anyone who uses this phrase or allows this phrase to be used. The media to which you refer is left-wing propaganda and must be called that, or at least something like “liberal media,” which better describes their actual content.
Make this change and enforce it in the columns written and I will contribute.—Niio Lithic
I love The Daily Signal’s site, but you need to put an “About” button on your landing page or front page banner, not hidden at the bottom among all the other links. Don’t make people have to search for your “About” page to find out about you.
We need you to stand out from the lamestream, so I suggest you make it easier for those of us looking for more credible news to quickly learn what your goal, objectives, and ethics are so their trust in you is quicker and more lasting.—Jim Young Sr.
I strongly prefer reading to Twitter or videos, and wish you would make that an available option for your articles. Otherwise, I discard them.—Frank Luisi
Cars and trucks kill far more than guns. Should we ban cars?—Phil Boren
Good stories that confirm the entertainment industry’s definite lack of sanity. Keep those stories coming.—Jerry Pooboo
Occasionally you fall off the fine line of objectivity, but even then one may reach the verity.—George Verrilli
Chrissy Clark helped to compile this column.