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Briefly Noted: Unsung Heroes; Prigozhin Followups
The unsung heroes appear in a Fox News story about Catholic schools. Those heroes are the parents and the teachers. As those familiar with Catholic schools will know, these schools get precious little support from many of the bishops of the Conciliar Church, who no longer see non-government education as a good to be pursued. The non-union teachers accept lower pay and benefits, the parents pay for the government schools that their kids don’t attend as well as tuition at the Catholic schools. Parishes are no longer able to provide as much financial support as before, but try to help those who need the help. They stayed open, by and large, during the Covid Hoax—often despite the clear attempts of some bishops to shut them down and to make life difficult. These are the little people, the unsung heroes. The nation should be grateful for what schools like these do for our troubled society. We need more of these schools and more support for them:
America’s Catholic schools defied the sobering trends regarding learning loss
What follows are excerpts from the longer article, which also contains a video interview of a mother who switched her daughter from the closed government school to a Catholic school:
[government] schools have failed to deliver for disadvantaged students of color for far too long, these alarming numbers represent a significant drop in their performance since before the pandemic.
Is it any surprise? Politicians in America’s bluest urban communities – where most disadvantaged students live – closed their schools for a full academic year to "protect" fewer than 1 in 10 of their employees, usually at the behest of powerful union leaders.
According to the latest NAEP data, current learning losses continue to extend far and wide.
Worse still, today’s kids are also less engaged in and excited about learning. About one-third report that they "never or hardly ever" read for fun, a behavior that the nonpartisan Hunt Institute explains is "positively associated with higher academic performance."
politicians dumped hundreds of billions of dollars in additional federal funding into the [government] school system. Throwing more money at the problem didn’t help.
America’s Catholic schools defied these sobering trends. Students attending parochial schools experienced no meaningful decline in either subject on the latest NAEP.
Although over twice as many private school educators (17%) were in the COVID-vulnerable 60-or-older category, Catholic schools stayed open for their students.
There’s no secret sauce to the Catholic school advantage in mitigating learning loss. The typical parochial school starts its learning day earlier, focuses on the basics, and most of all were much more likely to encourage and provide in-person learning throughout the pandemic.
What’s more, most of the urban Catholic schools that mitigated learning loss were just as likely (if not more likely) to be saddled with older facilities, less money, and disadvantaged students than public schools in poor urban locales and tony upscale Democratic districts.
Little wonder that Catholic school enrollment increased by nearly 4% during the 2021-2022 academic year. On the other hand, public schools lost over a million students during the pandemic.er twice as many private school educators (17%) were in the COVID-vulnerable 60-or-older category, Catholic schools stayed open for their students.
Regarding the Prigozhin/CIA/MI6 farce, I want to clear up some misconceptions that are floating around, and also provide some links. This will be a bit disjointed, but bear with me:
First, from Brian Berletic:
- The Wagner mutiny in Rostov, southern Russia was an ill-conceived gamble by Wagner’s figurehead Yevgeny Prigozhin;
- The crisis resolved itself within 24 hours with Prigozhin’s exile to Belarus and Wagner forces being fully integrated into the Russian military;
This is the most common misconception—that Prigozhin was sent to Belarus at the head of at least a portion of Wagner. This is simply wrong, although it’s been widely propagated. Prigozhin was sent out of Russia in custody and is being held incommunicado. Any communicating he’s doing will be to what Andrei Martyanov describes as “hard faced men.”
Interestingly, both Putin and Prigozhin hail from St. Petersburg. Perhaps sending Prigozhin to Minsk (or perhaps some more obscure location in Belarus) reveals a puckish sense of humor on Putin’s part, directed at Prigozhin’s billionaire lifestyle. Well, there are a lot of historic churches in Minsk. Perhaps Prigozhin’s handlers will allow him to vist them for periods of reflection on his mistakes.
Peter Zeihan makes the same point in the first two of four tweets (I edited 2/ into bullet points):
Lots of folks are tossing around a theory that I find unlikely: that in the aftermath of the #Prighozhin deal, the #Wagner mercs will be transferred to #Belarus in order to launch a fresh (surprise) attack on #Kyiv. 1/
4:18 PM · Jun 25, 2023
The terms of the deal are for PRIGOZHIN to go to Belarus.
All Wagner forces are to sign fresh contracts w the Russian defense ministry and return to the Donbas front in UKRAINE. 2/
I’ve edited this thread from Armchair Warlord because I disagree with the stuff about Putin being about to murder opponents—AW has been reading to many UK media outlets. Nevertheless, his summary is generally excellent (but edited for brevity for my own purposes):
Given what we know now about Prigozhin's rebellion - particularly that some 3/4 of Wagner refused to participate - it's likely Putin knew about the plot well in advance and, ever the judoka, allowed it to go forward for reasons of his own.
AW then counts some of the reasons:
1. Consolidation of power. Most of the Russian political class vocally lined up in support of Putin during the incident.
2. Fully discrediting Prigozhin as a leadership figure.
This last reason probably figured prominently in Putin’s thinking. As I said yesterday, Putin, in essence, contemptuously kicked Prigozhin to the curb, offering no chance for grandstanding or self serving justifications. His legend totally torn down. Putin emerges as a stronger leader who, once again, displays a judicious sense of the uses of power, and declines to overstep.
3. Full integration of Wagner into the regular Russian military. To the extent that the Wagner Group is allowed to continue to exist going forward, it will act as a fully integrated branch of the Russian security services rather than a semi-independent actor.
Allowing Wagner and Prigozhin to attain a certain status in the public mind was Putin’s mistake. But he comes out of it stronger and, no doubt, wiser.
4. Wringing the last bit of tactical usefulness out of Prigozhin's antics, ... The AFU redoubled their efforts in the last two days with huge losses and few gains.
I disagree with this to some degree. AW may be correct, but for the time being I prefer to explain the “redoubled” AFU efforts as preplanned in support of the D-Day that had been set in advance.
I think it's fairly clear at this point that to the extent Prigozhin's various incendiary statements and acts over the last few months have been a "psyop," he wasn't in on the joke.
He WAS the joke. Again, Putin’s sense of humor?
It's also obvious that if the regular Russian military was refusing to give Wagner a blank cheque of support over the last few months, their reasons for doing so were excellent. Prigozhin was as dangerous to Russia as Ukraine and required very close supervision and control.
And how did it all end? Well, Prigozhin wound up and threw his punch - and found himself flat on his back with no idea how he got there.
I’ll repeat in slightly altered form what I wrote in a comment this morning. Far from being weakened by this farcical episode, I believe Putin will emerge strengthened. At home, of course—that goes without saying. But perhaps more importantly Putin will be strengthened in the geopolitical sphere (so to speak). I suspect Putin’s friends abroad will be encouraged by this display of sheer competence, and will contrast it with the display of sheer incompetence of the Neocon schemers. By the same token, vassal states in the collective West will be dismayed—and daunted—for the same reasons. The NATO meeting in Vilnius will likely prove to be a somber affair.
To end, check out this tweet—sorry can’t embed the video, but follow the link for the audience:
Russia has not been happier for years. The war restored their self confidence after years of humiliation.
In this video, teenagers sing “I am Russian” (“Я Русский”) and enjoy every moment.
The song is by Shaman and embodies the new spirit in the country.
That’s the spirit that, over 20 long years, Putin helped to restore. What would be the counterpart in the West? I am diverse? I am genderqueer?
Here’s a full video of the song with English subtitles. I offer it for the glimpse it offers of the spirit that the Neocons are seeking to crush. It’s a glimpse of a self understanding that the collective West is largely ignorant of, but instinctively fears. The Neocon/Globalists don’t want you to know this—thus the propagandistic cartoon versions of the Russian consciousness. It’s also the spirit that is behind the resolve to bring the Neocon war to a military conclusion on Russian terms. Beware the forces you wake, but the Neocon/Globalist ideology is death for the West.
Well, I guess that ended up not being so brief.
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