DICK BAYNTON: Perception, Conception & Deception

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Dick Baynton

Here’s an explanation of today’s column: A judge in a western state where we lived once upon a time told me this: ‘In court rooms, we develop ‘perceptions’ of truth rather than absolute impeccable truth.’ To some people only natural laws are ‘immutable’ such as birth, death and gender at birth. An example of ‘conception’ is that many Christians believe life begins at conception, not some later date or time. The only exception to this rule is that most Christians also believe that God is (was) the father of Jesus, making the birth of Jesus the ‘Immaculate Conception.’ The word deception is understood to mean subterfuge and deceit; however in our contemporary political discourse deception has become sophistry. Sophistry means reasoning that is clever but fallacious, deceptive and misleading. That’s what we get when we listen to some politicians speaking whose words are the equivalent of meat being processed into bologna (baloney).

Some people’s perception of the origin of life is at an arbitrary time during gestation. In the extreme Dr. Governor Northam of Virginia believes that following birth the infant needs to be kept comfortable as the mother and her doctor determine if the tiny body with a beating heart should live. That is arrogance in conflict with natural law; infanticide, a form of homicide. It is impossible to believe that the laws of nature can or should be superseded.

Recently the NEA (National Teacher’s Association) held their annual convention in Providence, RI., the state capital. One of the topics NOT discussed on the convention agenda was public school performance in Rhode Island’s Capital City with a population and home to Brown University, one of the very exclusive Ivy League institutions. The Rhode Island education commissioner invited the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy to review the Providence public schools. A 93-page report submitted in May of this year listed peeling paint, leaky sewer pipes, rodents, broken floor tiles, chaos in the classrooms and student failures.

For example only 5% of eighth graders were proficient in math and 8.5% in English.  One teacher was choked by a student and others urinated on her desk; one cause of these abuses is the law passed by the RI Legislature in 2016 that limited suspensions, all backed by the ACLU on grounds of racial discrimination. Teachers who fall asleep in school, lie about grades and skip school suffer virtually no consequences due to union rules. New teacher’s contracts apply even after retirement. Funding for Providence public schools amounted to $18,000 per student in 2017 or about 50% above the national average. Liberal Mayor Jorge Elorza mentioned to the Johns Hopkins reviewers that he would give the schools a ‘C’ grade. Deception; it should have been an ‘F’ for flunk!

If you think that government control is a good idea, read these reports about what is happening on our ‘Indian’ Reservations. A 47-year-old maintenance man was observed following a 16-year-old girl into a restroom at an Indian Health Service facility in Cherokee, NC. After questioning, the girl returned to the bathroom and tried to hang herself on the shower rod. The maintenance man was fired but rehired a few days later to work in the ‘Unity Healing Center’, a teen’s-only substance-abuse treatment center.  At the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Indian Reservation’s Indian Health Services (IHS) Hospital, the CEO was indicted for accepting $5,000 from a former IHS pediatrician who was federally indicted on 10 counts of ‘child sexual assault and rape.’ The CEO was a Native American Lady who had won performance achievement awards at other ‘American Indian’ medical facilities.

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at ‘The Manhattan Institute’ and author of the book entitled   “A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations” recently published a report that featured comparison of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. One point of interest is that in the past five years gas production has outpaced solar production by a factor of 13 and four times the output of every wind turbine in the nation. For years we have subsidized wind and solar and we are told that it will be more expensive and we have less than 10 years to get rid of fossil fuels.

If someone tells you an ‘absolute truth,’ check elsewhere before swallowing.

Dick Baynton