Jason Wallestad

Exploring the worlds where parenting, teaching, advising, and coding coincide.

Why I’m voting for Biden: I believe in public education

September 12, 2020

Actions taken by Republican administrations over the last 20 years have consistently undermined schools and defunded education. Republicans give their education proposals and programs clever labels that are the opposite of what they actually do, from the Bush era “No Child Left Behind Act” to the Trump era “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme heiress now in charge of public education in the United States, has enacted policies that are shortsighted at best and immoral at worst, as they have deliberately undermined the work being done by public school educators and diverted funding from struggling schools into voucher and charter school programs.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: I want a President who will be honest and forthright in a time of crisis

September 9, 2020

We learned today that Trump knew in early February that the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu, that it was airborne, and that it posed a danger to young people.  Weeks after making these taped comments, he repeatedly assured the general public that the exact opposite was true. On February 28 at one of his rallies, he even called the coronavirus a Democrat hoax.

In a public health crisis, we need accurate information from the person in charge, and we need someone to tell us the truth. If there is public health information that could impact us, we need it to be shared with us.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: He’ll be a better steward of the environment than Trump

September 8, 2020

Trump claimed today that he was the “number one environmental president since Teddy Roosevelt” in a press conference where he signed a proclamation that put a moratorium on drilling off the coast of Florida.

This one was a real head spinner.

For context, Obama banned drilling off the coast of Florida in 2016 and Trump lifted that ban in 2018. So now he’s the greatest environmental President because he re-enacted a ban that he lifted?

Let’s be clear on why he lifted the ban: Trump wants to win Florida, and most Florida residents don’t like dealing with potential oil spills or their beautiful views being ruined. It’s not a dumb political calculation, but it most certainly does not make the man who pretends that climate change is a hoax the second coming of Teddy Roosevelt.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: Trump’s administration has endangered Minnesota’s BWCA

September 7, 2020

Here’s a personal reason I’m choosing to cast my ballot this fall for Biden: actions taken by the Trump administration have placed the future of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in danger.

Chilean-owned mining company Antofagasta PLC (under their subsidiary Twin Metals Minnesota) is trying to gain approval from the U.S. government to open sulfide-ore copper and nickel mines as close as three miles to the southwestern edge of the BWCA.

The mantra of the BWCA is “leave no trace” –– when you camp there, as my daughter and I just did, you take that mantra seriously. You pack out everything you pack in, you don’t burn garbage, you don’t use soap in or near the lakes, you discard any dishwater at least 100 feet from shore, and you collect firewood only from trees or branches that have already fallen.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: A vote for Biden is a vote for normalcy

September 1, 2020

Conservative television host Laura Ingraham interviewed the President on FOX yesterday, or in other words, the President was on his home turf with a home crowd cheering him on, and he, let’s see, what’s an apt way to finish my sports metaphor…missed a three-foot putt.

In an interview that wasn’t much more than a grab bag of repetition, vague phrases, and innuendo with a little anti-vaxxer sentiment thrown in, Ingraham continually tried to keep Trump on his talking points, repeatedly prompting him, and changing the subject when he was about to say something stupid. And by stupid, I mean something like this: Trump compared the police officer who shot Jacob Blake to a golfer about to “miss a three-foot…”

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Why I’m voting for Joe Biden: Trump’s America has become a violent America

August 31, 2020

I write with a heavy heart, and I start by condemning last night’s shooting in Portland as equally as I condemn the shootings last week in Kenosha.

When Trump was asked today if he would condemn the Kenosha shooter, he failed to do so and said: “We’re looking at all of it. That was an interesting situation” and then hinted that it was self defense. All he had to say about a 17-year-old militia member who traveled from another state and carried a semi-automatic rifle through the streets of a city on edge and then shot three people, killing two of them, is that it is “interesting.”

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Why I’m voting for Joe Biden: he won’t retweet conspiracy theorists and white nationalists

August 30, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden this fall because he won’t retweet conspiracy theorists and white nationalists.

I’m setting a low bar here, but it’s an important one. And I’m not being glib. The President of the United States should not foment hatred or division, should not promote lies and half-truths, and should never promote violence in America.

Whether his tweets are personal attacks on other politicians (Ted Cruz’s dad, Marco Rubio’s citizenship, Obama’s birth certificate), demonstrable lies (largest ever inauguration audience in history, charges that mail-in voting causes fraud), or just plain idiocy (vaccines cause autism or windmill noise causes cancer), his words are not acceptable for someone holding our highest office.

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Why I’m voting for Joe Biden: He takes the coronavirus crisis seriously

August 29, 2020

Sadly, many on the right have decided that the coronavirus crisis is exaggerated at best or a hoax at worst.

I understand where this perspective comes from –– it’s hard to comprehend things we haven’t personally seen.  And if we don’t know someone who has died or been seriously ill or been in an ICU, then it might look as if the world has gone mad.

We hear the daily numbers: the United States has had 5,916,401 documented cases of Covid-19 and 181,363 coronavirus related deaths at the time of this writing.

But it’s hard to make that number feel real. And then we hear stories that come from either Facebook trolls or well-meaning friends about how they heard those death numbers are inflated, that a friend of a friend heard about someone who died in a motorcycle accident and had his death counted as a Covid death.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: The Democrats have a platform

August 27, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden this fall because the Democrats have a platform.

I admit that’s a pretty low bar –– just having a platform. But it’s a bar the Republicans didn’t meet this year.

Instead, the RNC created a single page of resolutions that reads as part excuse for not doing their homework, part love letter to their leader, and part assault on free speech that reveals a frightening lack of direction and accountability.

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Why I’m voting for Biden: Black lives matter

August 26, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden this fall because Black lives matter, and I believe that Joe Biden will help us be better and do better as a nation as we try to become more just.

This morning, I watched the video of a 17-year-old Trump supporter with an assault rifle shoot and kill innocent protesters in Kenosha. The toxic culture of the right created this killer. The inflammatory rhetoric of the right created this killer. Right wing media outlets and social media silos that amplify hate and divisiveness created this killer. America’s obsession with guns created this killer. Memes that joke about driving or plowing through protesters and the people who spread them on social media created this killer.

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