Editor’s note: The powers that be at WND.com have told Michael Ackley he may submit an occasional column. As Golden State madness has accelerated, he has succumbed to the urge to get back in the game. Hence, the items below. Remember that Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
“Education is under assault!” exclaimed Amy Handleman, opening her press conference by emphasizing California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s complaint about outbreaks of parental concern.
Handleman, director of the governor’s Office of Protected Classes, continued, “The governor pointed out there are book bannings, the suppression of speech and ‘the othering of our students, teachers, parents,’ and it is, as he said, alarming.”
Howard Bashford, a reporter for a Sacramento online newspaper, noted, “Some think he was concerned about California being designated the least literate of the 50 states, or about its system of public education ranking around the bottom 10 states nationally in reading and math.”
“Those rankings are based on standardized tests,” Handleman sneered. “In California, we’re getting rid of standardized testing, because standards represent meritocracy. We’ve already begun at the university level, but don’t worry. We’ll work our way down to K-12, too.”
“OK, then,” Bashford pressed. “What did the governor mean when he referred to banning books and suppressing speech?”
“Well, you must have seen video of parents trying to read selected literature – literature they wanted banned – at school board meetings,” she said.
“Didn’t the school boards suppress those parents’ speech?” asked the reporter, “and didn’t the parents think the books in question were pornographic?”
Handleman sighed, “We certainly think the literature in school libraries should be age-appropriate. My heavens! Governor Newsom believes even some classics, like ‘Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure,’ shouldn’t be available in school libraries until the junior high level.
“Besides, we can’t have parents deciding what is or isn’t pornographic. That’s a matter for experts, like the governor.”
“What about this term, ‘othering’?” Bashford asked. “What was the governor getting at?”
Handleman smiled confidently, “That’s excluding persons from your definition of ‘normal,’ based on their race, gender, religion, sexuality, sexual identity, sexual behavior, gender expression, or sex. The governor regards all persons and behaviors as normal.”
“Explains a lot,” Bashford muttered.
Bashford, it should be noted, is old, bent and gray-headed. Thus, he might be forgiven for asking a Democrat like Handleman about “election integrity laws.”
“You mean ‘voter suppression laws,’ don’t you?” asked Handleman archly. “You know, like in Georgia?”
The somewhat befuddled reporter asked, “Didn’t Georgia just have the greatest level of voter participation ever? And today, you don’t even have to go to the polls on election day. You can pretty much vote by rolling over in bed.”
“It isn’t that easy,” huffed the governor’s aide, “but that is a good idea. I’ll bring it to Governor Newsom’s attention.”
Seeking to close off the news conference, Handleman said, “One last thing: I want to remind everybody that Donald Trump isn’t beyond redemption.
“Sure, he incited the riot of January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol and waited more than three hours before asking the rioters to desist.
“And, sure, President Biden – right up until he secured the Democratic nomination – was universally regarded as a duplicitous political hack, liar, plagiarist, self-dealer and a general creep around women and girls.
“But let us not forget Trump compiled a record of signal accomplishments, both foreign and domestic. If he were a member of my party, his achievements in easing tensions between Israel and the Arab states would have netted him the Nobel Peace Prize.
“And we should forget that at election time in 2024, he will be as old as President Biden is now. I and the governor really would like to see him run again, because a strong opponent will make us stronger.”
Bashford, who almost had dozed off, was wide awake after Handleman’s unexpected statement.
“Are you kidding?” he said. “Why would you want Trump to have another shot at the White House?”
“Honestly,” Handleman chuckled, “It’s because Trump is the only candidate who can unite the Democratic Party.”
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