Coming to a School Near You? Critical Race Theory Aims at America’s Foundations

An emphasis on defining America’s history in terms of “social justice,” and Critical Race Theory (CRT) in particular, is popping up in our local public schools. For instance, the capstone assignment in a current ninth-grade English course at Newbury Park High School is aimed squarely at “an in-depth exploration of a topic that has something to do with prejudice, intolerance, and injustice (just like the majority of the literature in this course).” The assignment, which requires a parent’s signature of approval, guides students to explore a variety of “wrongdoing, attitudes…

What Could Possibly Go Wrong With “Immunity Passports”

The so-called “immunity passport,” being proposed by some as a type of identification and documentation of immunity to a disease, presents numerous problems, both scientific and civic. The very idea violates long-treasured notions of privacy and freedom and is based on shaky scientific evidence. According to The Lancet, immunity to diseases such as COVID-19 could be “proven” through a laboratory test which shows that a person has developed an immune response through an “immunizing event,” meaning infection or vaccination. But, as The Lancet points out, there are important immunological problems…

‘COVID Mania’ Eclipses Rational Problem-Solving

In March 2020, the citizens of this country were told that a two-week lockdown was necessary to “slow the spread” of a then-unknown virus coming out of China. Americans complied, many of them begrudgingly — yet months later, many of these same Americans hardly blinked when political leaders insisted that lockdowns should continue with no timeline or real-time scientific data to support them. What on earth happened? Dr. Lapado, an associate professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on April…

No Gun Control for Criminals

Over the past 10 years, the California Legislature, in cooperation with the governor’s office, has implemented a series of criminal justice statutes that treat criminals as if they are somehow not responsible for their actions while completely ignoring the rights and privileges of crime victims. These statutes have served no other purpose than to give greater assistance to those who intentionally harm people while simultaneously ignoring the pain, humiliation and vulnerability that crime victims often feel after having had their person and property violated, many times violently. The most unsettling…

Perils of Cancel Culture

The effects of “cancel culture” are all around us. A popular conservative social media site with more than 10 million users is suddenly shut down. It essentially disappears from the Internet. A particular pillow brand is not to be found at stores that previously carried and advertised the product. Even a can of beans is eliminated from grocery store shelves due to a different or “unacceptable” philosophy or political idea held by company leadership.  The practice of cancel culture is threatening the very foundation of America and further polarizing our…

Park Planning

Parks make life better, providing greenspace and relief from the developed areas around town, shade trees and open spaces for those seeking solace, and amenities for recreation and activities. Many parks are the focal point or primary gathering place for a neighborhood. Many happy memories are made at parks. But parks don’t just happen. They have to be planned for, designed and built. How many parks does a community need? Where should they be located? What amenities should they include? Park planners and landscape architects often assume the creative and…

Commentary: Democrats and Republicans Want to Know

Can you remember when you visited your first polling station and filled out your first ballot to vote?   Though it was new to me, I could sense this was something important and significant. After casting my vote, I felt strangely fulfilled, proud, and invigorated. I trusted the system and felt a new reverence for my country. Voting was something that I could do that actually mattered. I was confident in the process and was excited to learn the results.   This “confidence” in the election system is the engine that drives our…

California Senate Bills Leave Children Unprotected

Since Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996, new legislation related to California’s sex offender registry has been limited. California Senate Bill 384 and Senate Bill 145 represent new legislation affecting which sex offenders are placed on the Sex Offender Registry and for how long they must remain on that list.  Current law requires sex offenders to register for life, but SB 384, which was signed into legislation in October 2017 and takes effect on January 1, 2021, amends that requirement. The bill changes the registry so that a majority of…

When Parents are not Informed

Many things remain up in the air about what the 2020-2021 school year will look like for students in Conejo Valley schools. Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) is publicly calling for a “Reopen & Redesign,” and safety is cited as its number one stated concern: “Safety is our top priority. CVUSD will follow state and local SAFETY public health guidelines with the safety of our students, staff, families and broader community at the forefront of everything we do.” Let’s look at safety in light of a major change CVUSD…