Bruce Lear

Laughing at a bully

Bruce Lear: “In this election cycle, I’d offer a different approach to dealing with the Bully in Chief. I’d laugh at him.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Remember when First Lady Michelle Obama told Democrats, “When they go low, we go high?” I’d like to revise that just a bit, to say, “When they go low, we laugh at them.”

As school begins, the message has to be, “Bullying is never OK.” Well, President Donald Trump and his ilk has made bullying in politics the norm, and that’s also not OK.

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An open letter to Iowa Republican educators

Bruce Lear urges GOP-leaning educators to “look for the tells” and reject candidates who are not genuine friends to public schools. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Republican educators:

I know it’s almost time for the first school bell, and probably the last thing you want to think about is politics, but you as a group can be the super heroes for the education profession. Not an endgame, but a new beginning.

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A teacher supply list

Bruce Lear suggests a “shopping list” that could “help save a precious Iowa resource.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Less than a month after the final day of school, I saw a big glossy newspaper ad announcing “Back to School Supplies.” That’s the kind of thing that makes a teacher’s heart skip a couple of beats. Like a terrible joke made after a tragedy. It’s just too soon.

Yes, kids need pencils, paper, and crayons, but I started to think about essential supplies for teachers, which are sorely lacking in Iowa. My list may not be something to shop for at Target or the Dollar Store, but these are some things that teachers desperately need to start a fresh school year.

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Come on, progressives

Bruce Lear challenges Joe Biden’s critics on the left: “For me, Biden’s record shows he understood tactics could be compromised as long as core principles remained untouched.” -promoted by Laura Belin

When I bargained educator contracts and became exasperated, I often resorted to the tried and true, “COME ON.” Until now, I really haven’t felt a need to use it.

So here goes: COME ON, progressives. Do you really think the way to separate yourselves from Vice President Joe Biden is to criticize him for getting stuff done in the 1970s by working with some pretty despicable, but elected senators? COME ON.

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They turned back time

Bruce Lear floats ideas on how to start repairing the damage from Iowa’s 2017 collective bargaining law, a “devastating step back in time” for public sector employees. -promoted by Laura Belin

It was a time of bell bottoms, shiny shirts, and men with shoulder-length hair. Disco was born, and Vietnam escalated. Nixon visited China; Americans loved the tv shows All in the Family, M*A*S*H, and Sanford and Son. It was America prior to 1974.

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Learning from baseball

Bruce Lear: “Swinging for the bleacher seats every time will often leave a player sitting in the dugout with a sore back. The same is true for candidates.” -promoted by Laura Belin

I love baseball. It’s a game of chess with four bases on a field instead of knights and rooks on a board. The object is to defend against runs and advance your runners around the bases. An easy game? No!

It has no clock, so the game isn’t lost until the final out at the plate or in the field. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s a game of statistics. The season is 162 games, so there are times of utter despair and utter joy.

James Earl Jones sums it up best in the now 30-year-old Iowa epic Field of Dreams:

“The one constant throughout the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.”

For me, baseball is a lot like politics. Winning is based on a strategy about finding that sweet spot in a very long season. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s based on statistics we call polls.

This year’s crop of Democratic candidates could perhaps learn from baseball hitters through the ages. Remember, Babe Ruth led the league in home runs but also in strike outs. In politics when there is a binary choice between candidates, too many times waving or watching a fast ball or curve might get you a gig on CNN or Fox instead of the Presidency.

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