Right Opinion

A Teaching Moment

Burt Prelutsky · May 21, 2018

As atrocious as the public school system — which should more appropriately be called the federal indoctrination system — happens to be, you would think that many more conservative parents would take advantage of such options as private and religious schools. Unfortunately, some of them can be quite expensive, though still a puny expense when weighed against the eventual cost of college.

As reported in the pages of The New American, Duke Pesta has come up with a form of homeschooling that doesn’t rely on parents having to stop working or getting up to speed on various school subjects in order to educate their young sprouts.

The FreedomProject Academy provides a classical education via the home computer.

When Pesta was asked why such classes as Latin, phonics, logic, philosophy and rhetoric, which are all a part of the Academy’s basic curriculum, are important, he explained: “They are the courses that built liberty, freedom, and personal responsibility in Western culture. It’s undeniably true that if you go back to the Old Testament, through the New Testament, through the last 2,000 years, that the JudeoChristian ethic and value system is what gave rise to the Magna Carta. It’s what gave rise to the Declaration of Independence. I ask kids all the time: If the Western world is as bad as all those liberal professors say it is, how come human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, minority rights — how come all those things grew up exclusively in Western culture?

"We want kids to be able to think critically. One of the major problems in American public education right now with all the federal control is that it’s short on critical thinking — letting kids think for themselves — and is long on telling kids what to think and feel.

"The primary objective of a classical education is to create and mold a human being in virtuous actions. What you’ve got now is one great big, government-sponsored cult that is teaching kids the same thing, imposing all sorts of ideologies on kids like transgenderism, global warming, homosexuality and getting these kids sexualized way younger than they should be.”


John McCain, who has always annoyed me far more than a politician with an “R” after his name has any right to do, is continuing to get on my nerves. The egomaniac has not only banned Donald Trump from attending his funeral, he has requested that George W. Bush and Barack Obama deliver eulogies.

Penny Alfonso of Chicago wonders if Sen. McCain has also arranged to have Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis fly in to be pallbearers.

I know that when the New York Times once referred to McCain as a statesman because he was such a sap that he actually coauthored liberal bills with Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy, taking the claptrap to heart might have wound up costing him the 2008 presidential election. Thinking he had to live up to the billing, he decided that a statesman wouldn’t stoop to putting out political ads that tied Barack Obama to Rev. Jeremiah “G—damn America!” Wright

As I observed about McCain even before he scuttled Trump’s attempt to do away with ObamaCare, if you’re the only person calling yourself a maverick, you’re really not a maverick; you’re simply a political hack flying under false colors.


A very wise observation by the late author-critic Edmund Wilson: “No two people ever read the same book.”

Speaking of which, a fan of “MASH” reminded me that in an episode I wrote called “Quo Vadis, Capt. Chandler?” I had the battle-shocked bombardier, who believed himself to be Jesus Christ, reply to the MASH cleric’s question “Does God answer all prayers?” with “Yes … but sometimes the answer is ‘No.’”

Even 44 years later, I’m proud of that line.


One of my subscribers is a lawyer, who has suggested that if churches are going to jump into the hot tub of politics, they should forfeit their tax exemption.

I only partially disagreed. It seems to me that as the liberals have pressed forward on such societal matters as same-sex marriages, transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, abortions on demand and legalizing marijuana, they’re trespassing on matters beyond their purview, and that religious leaders have the right, even the obligation, to push back.

However, black ministers who make a practice during every election cycle of renting out their pulpits to leftist politicians should definitely have to pay the price.


Lincoln famously said that America could not survive being half-slave and half-free. But just because he said it didn’t make it true. By the time of the Civil War, the country had already survived for several decades in that divided condition. In fact, I always thought it odd that people made such a big deal out of Confederate flags. After all, slavery existed for only a few years under the Stars and Bars, but for several decades under the Stars and Stripes.

Frankly, I find the divisions far deeper these days than they were in 1861. Back then, the major disagreement involved slavery and an unfair tax code that favored the industrial North over the agrarian South.

Today, liberals and conservatives don’t agree about anything, including national security; open borders; sanctuary cities; legalizing marijuana; the Constitution; girls joining the Boy Scouts; gun laws; minority rights versus minority responsibilities; freedom of the press versus the responsibilities that accompany that freedom; religious rights; same-sex marriages; the size and power of the federal government; abortions; and whether people like Jimmy Kimmel, Joy Behar, Stephen Colbert, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Wolf are committing fraud when they identify themselves as comedians on their tax returns.


Although there are still those who refuse to give Trump any kudos for the upturn in the nation’s economy, instead wishing to credit Obama who never saw our GDP top 2% during his eight years in the Oval Office, the fact is that Trump’s achievement isn’t just apparent when it comes to the stock market and the corporate bonuses that descended on millions of worker.

Something else that has flown under the radar is the news that a great many small and mid-sized cities, especially in the Midwest, have started offering bonuses if people will only move there and take the jobs that are suddenly available now that mills and factories are being reopened after years of being padlocked.

Some towns are offering to pay off $5,000 worth of student loans. Others are offering up to $20,000 towards the purchase of a home.

This is just one of the reasons that I believe that those who are predicting a blue wave in the midterm elections are betting on the wrong-colored nag. I suspect that Republicans who don’t try to put too much space between themselves and Trump will make out just fine.


The New American, which is fast becoming one of my favorite magazines, features a department of good news that serves to remind us that, unlike the politicians, athletes and entertainers who command the spotlight, there are still sterling examples of Americans who will, more often than not, do the right thing.

It seems a woman was waiting at LAX for a flight back to Hawaii when her 18-month-old toddler decided it was the ideal time and place to have a meltdown. As described by a witness, Beth Dunnington, the little hellion was “running between the seats, kicking and screaming, and then lying on the ground, refusing to budge,” while his very pregnant mother tried to settle him down.

“The woman,” Mrs. Dunnington went on, “finally sat down on the floor next to him, put her head in her hands and started crying.”

It was at that point that six or seven female Good Samaritans approached and formed a circle around the mother and child as if to form a human shield and help minimize the woman’s embarrassment. Then each woman did something different in order to calm them down.

Dunnington said: “I sang ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’ song to the little boy. One woman had an orange that she peeled for him. Another had a toy in her bag she let him play with, while another gave his mother a bottle of water. Someone else got the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and gave it to him.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that “the women did not communicate a single word to one another about how they were going to help. Instead, they each took on a different role, and within minutes, both the mom and toddler were calm and able to board their flight. After they went through the door, we all went back to our separate seats and didn’t talk about it. We were just strangers, gathering to solve a problem.”

Then, like a bunch of modern Lone Rangers, the peacekeepers all flew off, not even leaving a silver bullet behind.

As is usually the case, Hillary Clinton was wrong about its taking a village to raise a child; sometimes, though, it does take half a dozen women to pitch in and lend a hand or a sippy cup during an emergency.


Someone who seems to know me better than I know myself sent along a few items to remind me that I’m closing in on 80:

Item: Morning: Tired. Afternoon: Dying to take a nap. Night: Can’t get to sleep.

Item: A minister is standing before an elderly couple at the altar. To the bridegroom: “And now, Sidney, if you would like to repeat your vows….” “A-e-i-o-u.”

Item: I’m starting to think I’ll never be old enough to know better.

Item: I’m in therapy to learn how to deal with people who should be in therapy.

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