DeSantis' self-reported felon School Board member says "Chinese cooties" crashed his computer
Rick "T.I.T.S." Nolte is America's most unworthy and impotent local elected official. He provides a valuable object lesson in what GOP/MAGA grossly chooses to inflict on everyone, especially itself.
You are looking at Regina Register, a 36-year veteran teacher of basically all things music in the Polk County public school system. That’s her on the left, with her hands out about to to speak. Today, she works at Lakeland High School. I know she’s worked at Kathleen High in the past, too. There may be others. All of them are very fortunate.
School officials should be worthy of these kids and this woman
In this picture, she is leading the Lakeland High School Chamber Singers, who performed at my Kiwanis Club’s annual Honors Scholarship luncheon Friday. If you want to feel good about young people and the adults who care for them and work to develop them under great official hostility from power, I’d urge you to watch our awards ceremony.
I am the chair of this event committee; and this year’s event was gratifyingly awesome, thanks to the young people who took part. (I may or may not have a little speech I’d like you to watch starting about 23:45.)
But I really want you to pay attention to what Regina Register says about her singers, starting at about the 11:30 mark. They spent much of the year working in the community to raise the money to send themselves to Carnegie Hall. (They also sprung into action to give a dying little girl a final experience of Christmas cheer. )
Then pay attention to how well and beautifully they sing.
And pay attention to our five winners, each of whom have fascinating and compelling individual stories — and each of whom crafted lovely expressions of gratitude for the club. They put in great, unexpected effort to thank and gratify the Club that was honoring them for their effort.
Then take a close look at all of these young people — at their variety of genders, races, colors, shapes, sizes, hair-styles, nationalities of descent, etc. Only public school at its best has the power to create such a harmonized sound from so many different voices and backgrounds.
Ongoing GOP/MAGA political efforts to destroy that power for good, rather than harness and strengthen it, are gross and foolish and self-defeating.
“Talking about Chinese Cooties”
And that brings us, tragicomically, to Rick “T.I.T.S.” Nolte — the only gross MAGA guy who snuck onto the Polk School Board in the most recent election cycle. Full explanation of that here. I blame myself.
He’s the only “success” MAGA has had at the local level in Polk County in a very long time. Gov. Ron DeSantis did not put him there; but he certainly wanted him there and wants him there still.
Well, congrats Ron.
Congrats, MAGA voters. Congrats Big Money GOP dudes who sneer at Nolte and MAGA in private, but beg the libs to take care of your business for you if any risk of discomfort is involved.
The following is an actual quote from Nolte from the most recent Polk School Board work session during a discussion about the district’s health care plan. For context: Nolte has just demonstrated that he does not know that Polk County has a “self-insured” health plan. He’s gone on-and-on about Hillsborough County, which buys conventional group insurance from a provider. He’s just been corrected by district staff when he says this:
I know you’re doing a great job, you know, you gotta work with numbers now and unfortunately with that Chinese Cooties that hit us a couple years ago, it did a good thing. Talking about Chinese cooties, my computer lost its signal. So I just want you to know.
Seriously, watch it yourself. It’s even more incoherent than it is racist and gross.
I would say at least 20 Polk School district employees died from the so-called “Chinese cooties” that apparently crashed Nolte’s computer. The previous superintendent lost at least one parent to COVID.
One wishes Nolte’s fellow school board members could have reacted in the moment. (Board Member Lisa Miller put up a statement addressing it the next day.) But speaking from personal experience, it’s often difficult to process and react in real time to something outlandish and unexpected said at the dais. One does wonder, however, if Nolte said “Nigerian cooties” or “Venezuelan cooties” if it would have passed unaddressed in the same way.
Board members will have a chance at the next meeting to simply read Nolte’s quote back to him and tell him to his face how despicable and unacceptable it is. Don’t ask for an apology. Just define and denounce him. Let him decide how to bumble through that in response.
“I wish I coulda wrote faster”
Barely 10 minutes after his cooties smack, Nolte suggested pulling an item from the consent agenda because he didn’t pay attention at the previous meeting when it was discussed in great depth.
Here’s how Nolte, who does golf club repair for a business, starts his monologue:
I too had some questions about that since I’m limited as far as being a number guy, or working with numbers, I work basically with par birdie and par and eagle and things like that, little numbers …
Then it goes on for a while. You should listen to it and then compare it to what you hear in the Scholarship luncheon video. The juxtaposition is something.
*On top of* the self-reported felony cash contribution and “T.I.T.S.” manifesto
I’m not one to pick on somebody for a lack of articulation. I am a stutterer myself.
Many bright and dedicated people struggle with public speaking. And as I’ve said a billion times in a billion ways, refinement in presentation has very little to do with what’s at a person’s core.
However, in Nolte’s case, the incompetence, professional laziness, and bumbling, incoherently gross speech frames what he’s revealed publicly of his character perfectly.
Here’s a reminder of why I call him “T.I.T.S.” Nolte — because I want everybody to shudder like I do at the thought of this guy wandering a middle school without a chaperone.
A buddy of mine, after I sent him the Nolte “cooties” clip, texted me back:
Makes you think he might have had some help producing the TITS manifesto.
And then, of course, there is the still unresolved case of Nolte’s self-reported $5,200 felony cash contribution/loan to himself. The Florida Elections Commission still hasn’t figured out how to get Nolte off; but “T.I.T.S.” DeSantis can’t let them hand Trump this headline: DeSantis removes school board member he endorsed.
So we’re left with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Meanwhile, our local State Attorney’s Office continues to coddle and protect DeSantis’ guy Nolte, who publicly declared his crime, while actively torturing wrongfully convicted Leo Schofield for a crime someone else confessed to.
And then the SAO says “Fuck you” to anybody who asks about it. See two articles below for detail. It basically boils down to “unworthy gonna protect unworthy.”
A potent weapon in the war for decency
However, Nolte’s unworthiness and State Attorney Brian Haas’ weakness also make potent weapons in the war for basic decency that will continue to rage in Polk, Florida, and America in the years to come.
That’s why, although I want a governing and oversight system that isn’t laughably corrupt — and built to protect the T.I.T.S. Noltes of the world — I really hope Nolte stays on the board until the 2024 election.
Why? He has no power whatsoever. He demonstrates perfectly the MAGA/GOP’s weakness. He reminds us all that bigotry is a very dumb grift. We are in a war for basic decency, which means a weak, stupid, prejudiced attack on a nationality offers us — the decent people — a chance to counterattack forcefully. We have to start thinking, as a group, with moral aggression, not moral lamentation.
And I promise you this, MAGA/GOPers, for me, this next two years won’t be like it was in 2016 and 2020.
I understood your instinct to stick it to the establishment. I did it myself — although without storming the capital or grabbing anyone by the pussy or trying to eradicate anyone’s existence. I tried to understand and explain where you were coming from and how you could make the bloody and corrupt choices you made.
That’s done now. Expect no moral mercy in this space. Expect no argument or debate or effort to explain your behavior. I’m just gonna tap this sign over and over again:
In the end, we are all nothing more than what we do, no matter what our reasons or excuses. And you did T.I.T.S. Nolte. You gave Kelli Stargel a fake job at Florida Poly. You lied about imposing brutal forced birth on women and girls. You have done whatever you can to weaken and destroy your own local communities from the distance of Tallahassee.
And when the outcomes suck, you beg the decent people, the libs you think you hate, to clean up your mess for you, while you go right on cursing and slandering and looting them/us.
You have done whatever you can to destroy Regina Register’s mission and harm the human development of those diverse kids — including your kids — she leads and enriches.
But guess what, despite all your moral violence, she’s still there, those kids are still there, still proving you wrong. Still making a moral mockery of your T.I.T.S. Nolte. Still demanding a community worthy of Register’s work and the majestic performance of her kids.