While We Were Watching Other Things…

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about what is currently happening in  Afghanistan. I’m not sure at exactly what point we totally botched our handling of Afghanistan, but we obviously did.

The article reports:

Over two years after the Biden administration abruptly pulled out of Afghanistan, China is sliding in with its eyes on the war-torn country’s natural resources.

China is being welcomed with open arms by the ruling Taliban government, according to a Pentagon audit.

What’s more, the Taliban are moving to warm relations with China, sending their first ambassador to Beijing, according to John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

“On December 1, 2023, the new Taliban ambassador to China, Bilal Karimi, arrived in Beijing, marking the first ambassador the Taliban have sent to another country since seizing power in 2021. While no country formally recognizes the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, China does maintain an embassy in Kabul,” Sopko’s latest audit for Congress and shared with Secrets said.

The audit suggested the Taliban are campaigning for more Chinese investment.

It said the Taliban have “reportedly asked” to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Belt and Road Initiative.

Sopko said the Taliban’s acting commerce minister, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, has been very direct in wooing Chinese investment. He quoted Azizi saying, “China, which invests all over the world, should also invest in Afghanistan. … We have everything they need, such as lithium, copper, and iron.”

In the last year, China and the Taliban have inked a 25-year mining contract at Amu Darya, said to have the world’s third-largest oil and natural gas reserves. A Chinese firm is also investing in Afghan power generation and building a major cement factory.

For a number of years, China has been quietly creating a monopoly on the raw materials needed to support modern technology. This is another step in that direction.

Funding Homeschools


Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

School choice has become an increasingly important issue as parents observe the overall unacceptable academic performance of public schools and the exposure of their children to socialist indoctrination inconsistent with their values. School choice includes public, charter, private, and homeschools. Most clear thinking people applaud school choice and recognize that competition in any endeavor leads to improved performance. It is also important to recognize that parents, like the rest of us, pay the taxes that support public schools that have been a monopoly.

In 2023, the General Assembly expanded the existing Opportunity Scholarship Program that allows parents to apply for funds to support attending private schools. This revision expanded the income eligibility requirement by raising the income limit. That is the good news. The bad news is that they did not include homeschools in the Opportunity Scholarship Program. Having homeschooled my youngest daughter, I am fully aware of the significant personal and financial sacrifice that parents make when homeschooling their children. The General Assembly needs to correct this error by making parents of homeschoolers eligible for this scholarship program. In truth, the solution is simple: the money should follow the student.

It is my understanding that some homeschooling parents are reluctant to accept government taxpayer’s money for fear that the government will impose restrictions and regulations on how they conduct their homeschools. This is a valid concern since that government almost always tries to exert control anytime they issue funds. However, we should not throw out the baby with the bath water. The law adding homeschools to the Opportunity Scholarship Program must be written in a way that preserves the independence of the homeschools In addition, homeschooling parents should always have the right to decline to accept a scholarship.

One final concern is the whole idea of an income limit that is part of the Opportunity Scholarship Program. When I was a senior in high school, I was awarded a N.Y. state four year college scholarship. It was awarded, not on the basis of my parent’s income, but rather based on the results of a standardized test. That was an example of meritocracy, where the scholarship was awarded based on achievement. We have come a long way in the wrong direction. The idea of awarding scholarship funds based on income is the Marxist idea of taking from the higher income people and giving to the lower income people. I truly wish that our conservative Republican legislators would see this for what it is and do away with the lower income requirement. The country would be much better off. We need to stop the slide towards Marxism before it is too late.

The Woke Crowd Is Targeting Monopoly

MRCTV reported yesterday that the woke police have gone after the Monopoly game.

The article quotes a Fox Business article:

Hasbro will change all 16 of Monopoly’s “community chest” cards to remove outdated concepts. The company said the classic versions of the cards, which included prompts referencing beauty contests and holiday funds, were “long overdue for a refresh.”

New community chest cards will focus on topics that emphasize “community.” Hasbro asked the public to vote on potential replacements, with rewards for in-game actions such as rescuing a puppy or shopping local among the options. Other cards would penalize players for forgetting to recycle or blasting music too late at night.

The only good thing I can say about this is that it will make the game more relatable for younger generations who did not grow up playing the game. However, how many of the younger generation still play board games instead of video games?