Thursday, February 28, 2019

Global Warming in Los Angeles

I know, I know, "weather isn't climate", except when it supports the Church of Global Warming/Climate Change/Extreme Weather viewpoint. Which prophets of global warming doom predicted this?
For the first time since forecasters began recording data — at least 132 years — the mercury did not reach 70 degrees in downtown Los Angeles for the entire month of February.
At least snowfalls are a thing of the past in Britain--or are they?  The paper that ran with such an outrageous headline has now disappeared the article, but the Wayback Machine (internet archive) confirms that the article was active for years.  Here's a 2009 screenshot of the 2000 headline:

Lots of Visitors At School Today

It was hard to miss the Good Day Sacramento van in the staff parking lot today, with its antenna raised to maybe 40' or more.  They were doing a story on our digital arts class.

And on the other side of campus, contractors hired by the US Dept of Education were administering the NAEP test (the so-called Nation's Report Card) to 75 randomly-chosen seniors.  The vice principal in charge of testing arranged for a "continental breakfast" (bagels, fruit, juice, water) for those seniors just before the test, and the people administering the test told me that they hadn't been to any other school that had done that.

Other than that, just an ordinary day. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Left Can't Even Get Hating Their Enemy Right

Self-described leftist moral philosopher Jonathan Haidt posits in his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion that there are 6 foundations of morality.  People on the American left lean very strongly on 3 of them, and people on the American right rely on all 6.  Since we on the right share the 3 foundations with our leftie compatriots, we can understand them; however, since those on the left don't rely on the other 3, they can't (and often don't) understand why conservatives think the way they do.  Well, that, and maybe it's just easier to call us racist/sexist/anyotherist than to try to be logical.

Haidt's analysis went through my mind as I read this piece:
Many moons ago, Milo Yiannopoulos told us that the demand for hate crimes far outstrips the supply. This has been obvious to many on the Right for quite a long time now. Jussie Smollett’s hoax certainly wasn’t the first such incident, though it is unusually prominent. In this, we see the Media’s journey into a Pravda-like arm of the DNC reach its final conclusion. Like Alyssa Milano, they desperately want the image of violent MAGA hat loons running around to be true. Their desire finally trumped the last vestiges of integrity they still possessed.

But beyond this, as Tom Kratman once told me, the Left does not understand us. They do not know their enemy, though we know them a bit better than they know us. Jussie’s faked hate crime smelled wrong to us from the beginning, and not just because of the lack of credible evidence, but because the Left’s conception of who and what we are is so out of touch reality. Their image of MAGA hat wearers is completely at odds with reality...

Rather, these fake hate crimes are presented in the manner a Leftist would conduct a hate campaign. Leftists are fond of indirect, symbolic tactics. PETA-tards enjoy throwing paint on people wearing leather or fur. They are fond of weird symbolism like dressing up as bloodied animals up for slaughter. See the parallels with the noose and bleach supposedly dumped on Jussie? It’s basically PETA-behavior, but staged as a Rightist thing.

No. If a Rightist is going to have a problem with you, the odds are he’s going to punch you in the face. Or follow you into a bathroom and beat you down. The Right is much more fond of directness. Does anybody really think, say, a redneck is going to dump bleach on you and run away? Do you think he cares about the symbolism of a noose, or that he’s going to go out of his way to wear a certain hat – so as to make the right fashion statement during the attack? No. If he has a problem, he’s going to get in your face, probably punch it repeatedly, and walk away when he feels his point has been made.

In this the Left betrays how little they understand us. For even their hoaxes seem like bad parodies to us. It’s what a Leftist would do, only reversed in ideological polarity. It’s not what a Rightist would do. They don’t get us.
They don't even hate us for who we are, they hate us for who they think we are.

As If There Isn't Enough Grade Inflation Already

Is this really what state lawmakers should concern themselves with?

Only now do I see the "editor's note":  "This new scale applies to the grades schools receive based on performance. It would not change the scale used to grade students."  Whew.

Here's the subtitle of the article:  "A new bill under consideration would adjust the current grading scale, making a score of 85 an A and a score of 70 a B."  You can see why I as a teacher might be concerned!

Still, why is the state lowering the standards for evaluating its schools?  Were they too high/unrealistic, or were too many schools scoring poorly?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

CTA Affiliate Sizes

EIA has the number of members of each CTA affiliate in the state.  In his brief post there is a link to a PDF file with the affiliates ranked by number of members, as well as a spreadsheet file in case you want the information in some other format (alphabetical or by location, e.g.).

You might be surprised to learn how jealously this information is usually protected by CTA.  In the pre-Janus days, information about (especially) agency fee payers was a very closely guarded secret.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Are We Allowed Not To Like Movies With Women Main Characters?

This author thinks we should be:
I love me some butch female characters.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with more traditionally feminine characters. As a matter of fact, I think our popular culture nowadays needs to get over its fear of girly-girls and wrench its representation of womanhood into more of a My Little Pony-style balance. But since I've always been a bit more masculine in outlook, I've always felt greater affinity for the tomboyish sorts. Thus, when I took up a passion for Star Trek in junior high, for example, I basically ignored Counselor Troi but fell insanely in love with Major Kira.

What I'm trying to say here is that I'm the audience for a female superhero like Captain Marvel. And yet - and yet! - I have no interest in seeing her new movie because her marketing campaign has been a trash fire of epic proportions.

First of all, there's the deeply stupid year-zero mentality. Captain Marvel, you see, is a Very Important MovieTM because it sends the message that Girls Can Be Heroes TooTM! Okay: I was born in 1979 - the deep, dark Stone Ages, I know - and I've been hearing this message my entire life. Ripley appeared in theaters for the first time in my natal year, and Sarah Connor was a bad-ass before I hit my teens. Then there are my best girls on the small screen - the aforementioned Kira, of course, but also Susan Ivanova and Delenn on Babylon 5, Aeryn Sun on Farscape, and etc. - who accompanied me through high school and beyond. The upshot? Female heroes have been around for forty-freakin'-years (at least); they are not ImportantTM, nor are they GroundbreakingTM. Do you want to see more of them? Fair enough, but don't pretend that your generation is the first to come up with this genius idea -- or that, if not for Captain Marvel, rough-and-tumble girls would be bereft of cultural role models...

Captain Marvel is a popcorn flick, but Schoolmarm Larson is making it sound like homework. (Yuck!) Instead of the sourpuss complaining about "white male misogynists" on the internet, why not show some genuine excitement for the movie itself? Tell us - while avoiding spoilers of course - why this movie will be a joy to watch, and try to do so without referencing Captain Marvel's naughty bits. As it stands now, the constant retreat to "you just hate wahmen" makes me suspect that you put scant effort into making Captain Marvel a quality superhero film -- that, like many SJW's before you, you are using identity politics to cover up your deep mediocrity.
She goes on to mention Wonder Woman, which skyrocketed to big bucks.  And while I myself couldn't stand The Last Jedi, I thought Rogue One was excellent.  Did anyone, even women, go see the Ghostbusters or the Ocean's 11 remakes?

There's a long list of strong women characters/heroes in the comments to the post linked above, as well as this comment, "[S]o no I don't have a problem with powerful women. What I have a problem with is performers who feel the need to make watching their work a test of morality."

Don't Believe Anyone Over 30...

...because we've lived through it before, we see through your lies and distortions:
NEW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: People Maybe Shouldn’t Reproduce Due To Climate Change.

AOC was born in 1989, the same year that AP reported that “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000,” and the New York Times published a column by Al Gore headlined, “An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.” Presumably, she’s glad that her parents ignored such apocalyptic scaremongering.
You know why I don't think we're 5, or 10, or 20 years away from a so-called tipping point regarding global warming/climate change/extreme weather?  Because you can only cry wolf so many times.  And yes, in that story, there really was a wolf at the end--but there's no reason for me to believe it's this time.  And besides, only the boy who cried wolf died, not the huntsmen who came to his faux rescue so many times before.

Update, 2/2/19:  Corrected my "mixed stories" mistake as noted in the comments.

It's Not That They're Stupid, They Just Don't Know Anything

Do you think this post is correct?
My students are know-nothings.  They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent.  But their minds are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation.  They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten it origins and aims, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference about itself.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame.  Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them:  they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject), they build superb resumes.   They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though with their peers (as snatches of passing conversation reveal), easygoing if crude.  They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically).  They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting who will run America and the world...

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement.  Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings.  The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school.  It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide.  The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West...

Broadly missing is sufficient appreciation that this ignorance is the intended consequence of our educational system, a sign of its robust health and success. 
Read the whole thing to find out why.  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

10 Things Smart People Never Say

Good list.

Where California Teachers Have The Hardest Times Living

Considering only median housing prices and average teacher pay, 4 Bay Area counties are the most expensive for teachers to live in.  Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin counties require anywhere from 82-115% of the average teacher's pay to pay for housing.  link

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Travel Difficulties

Everywhere I've ever traveled, the most I've ever needed is a passport.  Well, that's not entirely true; when I was on a cruise stop in St. Petersburg over 3 years ago, merely to get off the ship and go on a tour required a visa (that took about 10 minutes to obtain after standing in a long line).  But I've never gone anywhere that I even considered might require a visa.  Then I saw this list.

There are several countries there that are on my "go to eventually" list, including Nepal, Australia, Madagascar, Jordan, and Vietnam, that require visas from American travelers.

Given their proximity to the Emirates, I was surprised about Qatar and Oman.  Brazil and India were also somewhat of a shock.

On What Planet Is This OK?

How could any teacher possibly think it would be ok to cut a student's hair, for any reason, without a parent's permission?  Just goes to show that a college education doesn't necessarily imply intelligence:
A Texas mother claimed a teacher cut her son’s hair without her permission Tuesday after deeming he was in violation of school protocol.

Lane Kiesling, 16, told KXAS-TV he was told his bangs were getting long and were against Hico High School’s dress code...

Kiesling told the station the principal of the school, Shelli Stegall, told him a teacher who had a cosmetology license would cut his hair after class. However, the teenager said he was taken out of class and the teacher cut his hair.

"It looked like if I were to take the kitchen scissors and just pull it out and bluntly over and over cut, because you know it was just very choppy like Jim Carrey on ‘Dumb and Dumber’ but rounder and a little bit shorter. That's exactly what it looked like," Martin said.

Martin said she called the principal about the haircut, who apologized and said she would pay to get it fixed.

However, Martin wrote on Facebook that her son came home upset after the principal “just told him how it was his fault and belittled him the whole time.”
If this student's and parent's stories are true, they deserve more than an just an apology. There's an argument to be made that this is an assault.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Recessions Might Encourage More Competent People To Become Teachers

It makes sense when you think about it:
Between whipsaw stock market closings and grim tidings from the ongoing trade war with China, whispers have spread over the past few months of a possible recession in 2019. This month’s reports of strong hiring and wage growth have quieted Wall Street for now, but some experts warn that America’s epic expansion may be enjoying its last months.

But while no one (including education journalists) welcomes the prospect of shrinking markets, there might be a silver lining for schools: According to a recent study, teachers who begin their careers during recessions are more effective than those hired during sunnier economic times.

The study, conducted by Harvard education professor Martin West and German economists Markus Nagler and Marc Piopiunik, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Labor Economics, with a manuscript circulated online. Though it isn’t scheduled to be published until 2020, the article will offer guidance to education policymakers looking to navigate future downturns that may come sooner than that...

“[E]xisting research indicates that earnings returns are twice as large for numeracy than for literacy skills in the U.S. labor market.” In other words, the high demand for math skills in lucrative fields like engineering or computer science disproportionately draws away job candidates who would have otherwise made exceptional math teachers. In the instance of a recession, when alternative job prospects dry up, the labor market flattens out, and more are attracted to stable careers in teaching.

The True Purpose of Political Correctness

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

― Theodore Dalrymple

I Support This. For The Environment.

I wonder what the probability of seeing these lanes in my lifetime is:
A California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make the state part of an exclusive club: The state would become one of the rare places in the world with highways with no speed limit.

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has introduced Senate Bill 319, which would add two lanes each to the north- and south-bound lanes of I-5 and Highway 99 — those lanes would have no upper speed limit. Moorlach argued in the bill language that “traffic congestion increases the emissions of greenhouse gases as it causes automobiles to idle longer while on roadways.“
A Republican proposed this? Then it will never happen in California.  But but but, it's for the environment!  How will a liberal make up his/her/xis mind?  I know.  He/she/xe will say it won't help the environment, and then he/she/xe can oppose this bill without any cognitive dissonance.  Whew, glad that's all figured out.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

What Does The Taxpayer Get For His/Her Federal Education Dollar?

Not as much as he/she should:
What GAO Found

GAO identified four key challenges the Department of Education (Education) faces in assessing K-12 program performance. Education has taken steps to mitigate these performance assessment challenges, which could improve transparency and understanding about the extent to which Educations K-12 programs are achieving their goals. Ongoing efforts to address challenges may prove particularly important given the changing education landscape under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Key Challenges in Assessing K-12 Program Performance

Oversight and monitoring. Weaknesses in Education's internal controls have hindered its oversight and monitoring of grantees and its assessments of K-12 program performance. In April 2017, GAO reported that Education's oversight of discretionary grants monitoring was limited. Some offices, including the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, did not consistently document required monitoring activities in official grant files. GAO recommended that Education establish and implement written supervisory review procedures for official grant files. In response, Education officials said they are developing a standard operating procedure for maintaining official grant records, which they plan to issue in early 2019.

Data quality. Persistent quality issues with K-12 data that grantees submit to Education have limited Education's ability to use those data to assess performance. In April 2017, GAO reported that Education lacks reasonable assurance that data submitted by grantees for its 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program are accurate, and that these data may not be useful for decision making and reporting. GAO recommended that Education check the accuracy of federal-level data submitted by grantees. In response, Education officials said they modified and improved the agency's data system to perform these types of checks and reduce errors.

Capacity. Education's ability to oversee and monitor grantees, collect and report quality data, and use performance assessment information in decision making is directly related to its capacity and organizational resources. According to Education officials, capacity has been and remains a challenge to assessing K-12 program performance. In its 2016 report on the Rural Education Achievement Program, Education's Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that Education's inadequate monitoring of program grantees was partly due to its limited human capital capacity. In response, Education requested additional staff and implemented a risk-based approach for selecting grantees to monitor, according to Education officials cited in the OIG report.

Methodological limitations. Education has faced methodological limitations assessing program performance, including difficulties assessing the benefits of flexible grant programs, isolating program impact, and measuring long-term outcomes. Education officials told GAO that these types of methodological challenges are difficult to address, although Education has taken steps to mitigate them. For example, GAO reported in May 2014 on the difficulty Education faces in evaluating the effectiveness of the Promise Neighborhoods program in part because the program provides certain flexibilities to grantees. Partly in response to GAO's recommendation that Education develop a plan to conduct a national evaluation of the program, Education awarded a contract in fiscal year 2018 to develop options for evaluating the program's effect on student outcomes. In November 2018, Education officials stated that they intend to award a new contract in late fiscal year 2019 to evaluate the effectiveness of the program nationwide.
I know what let's do. Let's put the feds in charge of health care!

Seen On Social Media

I'm Not An Entrepreneur, But I Sure Support Them

Whatever "it" is that makes entrepreneurs, I lack it.  I was a pretty good manufacturing manager, and if I have a superpower it would be the ability to look at a system and identify where it can be made more efficient.  You'd want me in charge of your plant, and in a military environment, you'd want me as your second-in-command.  But seeing a need in the marketplace and trying to fill it?  Starting a business?  No, that's just not me.  And every internet quiz I've ever taken about being an entrepreneur says the same thing.

But some people make excellent entrepreneurs, and I hope the United States will always remain a country that welcomes and supports them:
Seattle has been suffering through its snowiest February in 70 years, with accumulations of up to 10 inches in some places. But all that white has meant green for one young man with a snowplow, who says he made $35,000 in four days.
What's he going to do with all that money?
Holston said he plans to donate 20% to his church, buy some lawn equipment, and will save the rest to put toward his first house. 
Way to go, kid!

Worst Nazi Ever

Moves our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Leads the Congress and Supreme Court in the singing of Happy Birthday to a Holocaust survivor.

Initiates a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality:
The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

Now let's take a tangent off that last piece.  Blinded by its own hatred, Out Magazine denounces the President for this action:
The Trump administration is set to launch a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of nations where anti-gay laws are still on the books, NBC News reported Monday. While on its surface, the move looks like an atypically benevolent decision by the Trump administration, the details of the campaign belie a different story. Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda.
That last sentence is some true projection, there.  Liberals will squeal over something a conservative does when they fawn over a fellow liberal who did the exact same thing (see: Bill Clinton, et al., regarding southern border security).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Have There Been Any Real Ones?

When you have to fake a so-called hate crime, you reinforce in my mind what a great country we live in--except for lying trash like you.

Let's be sure to add Chris Ball's fake story to the list.

Update, 2/23/19:  It wouldn't be any fun if I didn't post a snarky political picture:
As I saw elsewhere, this is probably the first time an American has scammed Nigerians.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Weather's True Impact

Yesterday I saw something that is notable if for no other reason than it happens so rarely that it's a big deal when it does occur.  We've had lots of rain here in the Valley this past week and severe weather over the Sierra.  Interstate 80 has been closed or highly limited, with a snowplow convoying cars through.  Trucks have been stopped on both sides of the mountains, which means Wal*mart has had difficulty being restocked:
That's the vegetable aisle.  Fresh fruits looked the same.  Even dairy was getting low.  I just wanted bananas.  There were no bananas.

BTW, I'm told that this is what stores in Venezuela look like.  And in the old communist countries.  All the time, not just for a couple days.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Unilateral Presidential Actions

Remember the pen and the phone?  Remember when President Obama changed the Obamacare law in contravention of what the Congress passed?  Liberals cheered when Democratic presidents went rogue, but now that a (Republican) president wants to secure the border, that's a bad thing?  Perhaps I can be forgiven for believing that their goals are somewhat partisan:
Whatever your position is on President Trump's declaration of a national emergency in order get the wall on the southern border built, one thing is clear: Democrats denouncing this decision are absolute hypocrites.

Barack Obama started his presidency with his party controlling both houses of Congress. The moment the GOP took back the House, Obama decided he was unwilling to work on compromise legislation to achieve his agenda, and instead repeatedly threatened to enact his agenda unilaterally. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” he said in January 2014. And he followed through on that threat, even on issues such as immigration. Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs via executive action, essentially giving amnesty to illegal immigrants without the consent of Congress.

Back then, Democrats in Congress loved it when Obama abused his power to alter immigration law without their consent. In May 2014, Sen. Chuck Schumer (R-N.Y.) warned Republicans in Congress that “if they don’t pass immigration reform... the president will have no choice but to act on his own.”
You don't like that a national emergency has been invoked?  There are currently 31 in effect, including some from the last president saying we're not going to be friends with some of the people who are destabilizing Yemen.  Which is more of a national emergency, the stability of Yemen or our own border?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Is This A Church/State Separation Issue?

Several years ago one of our senior classes had its "senior breakfast" in the large meeting hall of a large nearby church.  Crosses were on the walls and everything, and I wondered if anyone was going to complain about having a semi-official school function (paid for by the senior class and not supervised, if I recall correctly, by school administration) at a church.  I did not hear that anyone complained.

That isn't the case with a nearby elementary school that sent students to an outdoor camp that is owned by a religious organization.  According to the short video at the link, the camp hosts over 4000 public school students each year.  One parent complained:
I am essentially being forced to support a religious organization.  While it does not teach Christian teachings, their mission is a Christian one and I really have no choice in the matter."
I disagree.  You could take that stick out of your butt and not be such a bigot--especially when you acknowledge that they're not proselytizing at all.  While you're at it, go enjoy a sandwich at Chick-fil-A.

Camp officials also say they don't teach anything religious, adding that their curriculum (which appears to be environmental) is secular.  When a small number of parents complained to the district, the district's legal counsel "thoroughly reviewed and vetted those concerns and found them to have no legal merit."  And this is the Sac City school district, not known to be even the slightest bit conservative- or Christian-leaning.

National Emergency

Anyone want to argue whether this statement is true or not?
There are currently 31 active national emergencies and 12 emergencies were declared by President Obama. Perhaps a bad precedent on executive power, but weird to blame Trump for it.
I'm curious what those 31 are.  I'm especially curious what the 12 were that were declared by President Obama, and why those screaming now weren't screaming then. 

You can argue that having too powerful an executive isn't a conservative viewpoint, and I agree with that, but you don't get to argue that only when the executive has an (R) after his/her name.

Voter ID Laws

Voter ID laws won't work until the voter rolls are cleaned up, but they're still better than not having voter ID laws.  No, they don't disenfranchise people, especially minorities:
The new Democratic majority is making a major push to outlaw states from asking their voters to show ID at the polls, arguing that such laws push minorities and older people from voting.

According to a major new study, they’re wrong — strict voter ID laws have no significant effect on voter turnout, don’t keep interested voters from being able to vote, and for that matter don’t prevent them from registering.

But at the same time, the laws also don’t appear to boost confidence in the voting system, the study concluded, undercutting the reasons some conservatives are eager to pass such laws.

“The bottom line is that we don’t find much of an effect either on participation or voter fraud,” said Vincent Pons, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, which posted the new study this month.
What a silly thing to say. They're not designed to boost participation, they're designed to help ensure that the only people who vote are those entitled to vote.

Hypocrisy or Stupidity?

Embrace the power of "and":

Bolshevik Barbie’s so-called Green New Deal:  a job for everyone.

Also from Barbie:
Amazon Spox Blames Ocasio-Cortez For Company Scrapping Planned NY HQ: She’s ‘Never Amazon’
Let's face it, when you're a leftie and you've lost Cher...:
Are 25 Thousand New Jobs (Plus Thousands of Ancillary Jobs) Not a Good Idea For The Ppl Of NY⁉️

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Not Fooling Anyone

Who do they think is buying their lie?
After facing scrutiny and concerns, including from some state lawmakers, the University of Iowa has canceled a white privilege workshop scheduled for this month.

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leadership became concerned that the confusion and misinformation surrounding the title of workshops could mar the event for this year’s attendees,” campus spokesperson Jeneane Beck told the Gazette. “As a result, the workshops for this spring were canceled to give the university the necessary time to meet with concerned stakeholders and address any concerns or misperceptions.”
There was no “confusion and misinformation”. The blatant racism was on display for all to see, and some of us don’t like racism in any form.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Diluting the Value of a High School Diploma

When my parents graduated from high school in the early 1960s, a diploma had some value.  By the time I graduated in the early 1980s, the value of a diploma had gone down somewhat but it wasn't worthless.  Today, with grade inflation and "credit recovery" replacing actual learning, there isn't much value left in a diploma.  If everyone earns one, how can one have any worth at all?  There's such a push to increase graduation rates--but no real push to increase learning:
Last month, the Department of Education released data showing that, yet again, American high school graduation rates have increased. This sparked a wave of celebratory press coverage across the country. But US News issued a note of caution: “Graduation Rate Up, But Not Enough.” In it, education reform advocates lament that the graduation rate didn’t rise faster.

But perhaps the bad news is the fact that it’s still rising. There are several compelling reasons to fear that graduation inflation is harming at-risk students of color, even if they rarely feature in the public debate.

First, few who are paying close attention believe that rising graduation rates represent genuine academic progress. Test scores are stagnant or declining, so how are graduation rates up?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Didn't Have To Be Sad For Too Long

Yes, I felt some sadness as my car of 12 years was driven away last night by a new owner.  That sadness was mitigated, somewhat, by the new addition to the family that I brought home a few minutes ago:

There's going to be some camping accomplished this summer.

Update, 2/18/19:  The dealership wanted anywhere from $800-$1500 to install side rails.  I got these for about $150 from Amazon and a friend from work helped me install them on Saturday:

And this afternoon I moved some stuff around in my garage (and got rid of some stuff, too) and now The Battlestar will actually fit in the garage--with a few inches to spare.

Life is good.

Monday, February 11, 2019

I Feel Sad

12 years and 2 months ago, I bought a Toyota Camry.  It was the 4th primary vehicle I've ever owned, and it was a year old when I bought it, having been a Hertz rental.  It had over 25,000 miles on it when I bought it, and a few minutes ago a teenager drove it away with just over 138,000 miles on it.

Yes, I've replaced tires, oil, headlight and taillight bulbs, and maybe a belt--but that car still pretty much runs like it did the day I bought it.

Not many sedans would pull a trailer:

I hope the new owner will get the same enjoyment and reliability out of it that I did.

Maybe I won't feel so sad tomorrow after work, when I go to pick up my new pickup.  It's a 2017 Ram 1500 with under 200 miles on it from the dealer (long story).  It'll tow my new (to me) 20' trailer, and that's what I bought it for.

Teachers Cast Off Saintly Garb To Punish Students For Wrongthink

We teachers, and others who work with children, like to think of ourselves as being wonderful people who would do anything to help "the children".  Not always true, obviously:
Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, a group of public school history teachers in the posh Boston suburb of Newton pledged to reject the “call for objectivity” in the classroom, bully conservative students for their beliefs, and serve as “liberal propagandist[s]” for the cause of social justice.

This informal pact was made in an exchange of emails among history teachers at Newton North High School, part of a very rich but academically mediocre public school district with an annual budget of $200 million, a median home price of almost half a million, and a median household income of more than $120,000. Read the entire email exchange here.

I obtained the emails under a Massachusetts public records law after one of those teachers arranged, earlier this year, for an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization to show Palestinian propaganda films at Newton North. This stunt earned the Newton Public Schools district a rebuke from the New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League and from Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council. But, as the teachers’ emails reveal, Jew-hatred is not the only specter haunting the history department at Newton North...

(Teacher) Ibokette was having none of it. He typed this reply: “I am concerned that the call for ‘objectivity’ may just inadvertently become the most effective destructive weapon against social justice,” and sent it to the members of Newton North’s history department.

Ibokette was responding to an email from another Newton North history teacher, David Bedar. Bedar was same teacher who hosted the anti-Semites at Newton North, and has played a significant role in the years-long controversy over anti-Jewish bias in the public schools of the heavily Jewish suburb.

Earlier that February day, Bedar sent an email to fellow Newton North history faculty, accusing President Trump and his supporters of “nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc.,” and objecting to the following “don’ts” that the Newton North principal had asked teachers to avoid...

Yet, in remarkable language, Bedar demanded that the school allow him to propagandize against it, and to do so without any professional consequences: “I have an obligation to teach civic duty and teach kids right and wrong, and about social justice. . . . This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t actually think we should have the option of not discussing [social justice] issues. I feel responsible for doing so. . . . We can help kids interpret the lessons of the past better than anybody. I feel like a phony when I’m not doing that. . . . But..this is hard. I don’t want to get fired for being a liberal propagandist” (emphasis added).

(The article's author then talks about his schooling in the Soviet Union.)  Undaunted by the failures of their comrades in the Soviet Union and other socialist hell-holes, left-wing activists are dug in at all stages of the American educational process from preschool to graduate school, where they seek to replicate the Soviet Union’s abuse of its children’s minds with lurid lies.
I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Proper Response

I don't usually post foul language on this blog but will make an exception this time:
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk? Proper response: Fuck off, bigot.

But this more nuanced response from the comments is good: “It’s not often that racist and sexist thoughts are married so well on the page, so kudos to the writer for creating this perfect storm of hate. Who will get space next on the editorial pages of The Dickinsonian? A Klansman? A gleeful misogynist?” And I’m happy to say that that’s the general tenor.

Meanwhile, a friend on Facebook observes: “Ever notice that in every discussion of girls vs boys it is: How we can encourage girls. vs How we can correct boys. Or Girls ‘kick ass’ and boys are ‘toxic.’ Notably even in cases where Genderists claim to care about boys it is about fixing their problematic nature. If boys fare poorly it is because their failings, not because of the failings of those to whom their care was entrusted. At this point it is fairly obvious. But the post-mortem analysis of the effects of Genderism will astound in the coming decades. It will make the Catholic Priest child abuse scandals pale in comparison.”

Related: Tell The Social Justice Warrior Mobs To Go Pound Sand.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

This Makes Me Sad

As a teenager in the 70's and 80's, I loved Fleetwood Mac.  It saddens me that Lindsay Buckingham, who has brought so much joy to my life, has to suffer this:
Former Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has undergone emergency open heart surgery that has resulted in vocal cord damage.

His wife, Kristen Buckingham, revealed his hospitalization and progress in a post on social media Friday.

"He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last," she said. "While it is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not."

Thursday, February 07, 2019

I Thought Canadians Were Supposed To Be Calm And Polite

Apparently not all of them, as this teacher is clearly an idiot:
A 9th grade student at a Moosejaw, Saskatchewan high school who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat to class was told that he should be “embarrassed” and “ashamed” for wearing the pro-Trump cap.

According to the boy’s father, who did a phone interview on AM980 with Gormley, his son is a fan of debating ideas, and enjoys conversation about American problems.

Apparently, an art teacher at the school told the boy that the hat was a symbol of racism and sexism, and may have implied that the boy himself was supporting sexism and racism by wearing it.

Later on during class, the teacher allegedly invited his class to boo the boy, publicly shaming him for wearing the hat, and said “that’s a face I’d like to punch,” a line that President Trump infamously stated to a protester at a rally of his, during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The student, though, was unaware of the quote. From his perspective, he was just threatened by his teacher.

The teacher has since come out and admitted that saying this to the student was an error in judgement, and claims that the boy may have misheard the statement, or at the very least misconstrued it, missing the reference and thus the connotation around it.

A Clear Double Standard

If the press didn't have double standards, it would have no standards at all:
Does anyone think that either one of these jokers, Northam or Herring, would be accorded any courtesy by the media if they were Republicans? No. There would be special theme songs on cable and network news, there would be special graphics, there would be people interviewing every person that ever went to school with these blackfacers. The media would be parked outside their residences, following relatives around, going through trash. There would be confrontations by angry activists captured on video. Think of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing as a paradigm. Why aren't we seeing this?

Now Herring is 2nd in line to take over from the blackface governor. So who is the first in line? I'm glad you asked because....

VA Democrat Lt. Gov. accused of sexual assault
"Believe all women" only applies if the accused has an (R) after his name.

So, the top 3 politicians in the state of Virginia have been involved in wearing blackface (or perhaps a KKK costume) or of sexual assault.  I just want to remind you that the Republicans are the bad guys--just in case all evidence to the contrary is confusing you.  Also want to remind you that it was the Democrats who set these crazy standards, and my inner Saul Alinsky wants to hold them to those standards.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Last Night's State of the Union Address

I only watched part of it, as showboating and applause lines just don't impress me. What I saw myself, and heard in snippets on the radio this morning, agrees with this:
SO ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT TRUMP’S SPEECH LAST NIGHT is how it seemed calculated to demolish all the standard anti-Trump tropes from the media and from the left and to do so with compelling imagery. Consider:

Trump’s a Nazi: Praise for Holocaust survivors, and a touching rendition of “Happy Birthday.” (With Trump waving his fingers like a conductor).

Trump hates minorities: Brags about record low black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment — while white-clad Democratic women, overwhelmingly white themselves, sat prune-faced.

Trump’s a Russian tool: Withdrawing from the INF Treaty.

Trump’s a warmonger: Without me, Trump says, we’d be at war on the Korean peninsula. Also, I’m looking at pulling out of Afghanistan.

Trump hates women: Except he got even the prune-faced white-clad Democratic women up dancing (and chanting “USA! USA!”) when he talked about record female employment in and out of Congress.

And his rebuke to socialism was designed to strip the glamour that the media have tried to imbue it with by tying it to the abject misery of Venezuela.

In debate, I think this is called cutting across your opponent’s flow. And I think it’s Trump’s opening shot at 2020, as well as an effort to undercut the “Resistance” in and out of Congress. Plus, as Ann Althouse notes, despite the predictions of lefties like Robert Reich (see below) it was all wrapped in optimism and sunny American exceptionalism. Genuinely Reaganesque.

And, of course, the sour, shallow responses from the lefty apparat just underscore that....
So much more at the link.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

With Judges Like This....

I work with high school students every day.  I don't agree with most of them.  Still, I would never harm them academically over their beliefs.  Mature adults don't punish kids in this way:
A pair of Utah high school seniors lost a debate round because they read quotes from Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro and clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, who were deemed “white supremacists” by the judge...

The other team, during the cross-examination section of the debate, said Moreno and his partner could not talk about fairness because they were “white males"...

The judge ended the round after Moreno’s quotes from Shapiro and Peterson, as the other team continued to affirm that they had no standing as “white males"...

Moreno then spoke to the tournament directors, who both work for Arizona State University (The Daily Wire will not name them as they did not respond to a request for comment). These two affirmed that the team has a “legitimate gripe” over their treatment, but that Moreno and his partner were there to debate for that particular judge, and their arguments failed to persuade him, whether he was impartial or not.
This entire situation makes a mockery of a debate competition (the opposing team did slam poetry instead of presenting arguments), and the judge is a rabid racist.

Were there no adults around to do the right thing?

Monday, February 04, 2019

Snow in The City

Two nearby articles made me sorta laugh.  First:
Will history repeat itself?

More than an inch of snow fell in San Francisco this same week 43 years ago on Feb. 6, 1976, and this week there's an ever-so-slight chance of snow in the city "if the timing is right," says forecaster Jan Null, who runs private forecasting service Golden Gate Weather Services...

As for San Francisco, Null says it's "not impossible" Twin Peaks and Mount Sutro, both at about 900 feet elevation, will see snow, but "the odds are less" because temperatures warm up near the ocean.
Now, think about snow falling in San Francisco as this 737 takes off just across the bay:
Southwest Airlines on Tuesday will start Federal Aviation Administration certification flights between the mainland United States and Hawaii, the airline confirmed to SFGate on Monday.

"We can confirm that Southwest is slated to perform a long range navigation and communication validation flight from Oakland to Honolulu on Tuesday, February 5, barring any unforeseen changes," said Southwest spokesperson Brian Parrish.

The flights are the final phase in the airline's effort to obtain federal approval to launch passenger flights between California and the Hawaiian islands, a process that began in late 2017. Southwest will make no announcements about fares or schedules until it receives certification from the FAA.
You know what? If global warming brings snow to San Francisco, how bad can it be?

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Demonizing The Rich

I don't know anything about Howard Schultz' politics, but I agree with his views on left-wing demonizing of the rich:
Howard Schultz on AOC: "We shouldn't get to a place where there are people yelling from the rafters that because you’ve been successful, you are a bad person and we're going to be punitive to you. That's, to me, the antithesis of the spirit of the country"
I don't subscribe to the left's politics of greed.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Stop Using Children As Pawns For Your Own Political Views

Does anyone really believe that K-8th graders determined on their own that their presence at a Christian school would be dangerous?  Really?
A progressive school in the nation's capital said its students will not be playing sports at the school where Second Lady Karen Pence teaches part-time because of safety concerns.

Jessica Donovan, headmaster of Sheridan School, a K-8 institution located in northwest D.C. that has a tuition of more than $36,000 a year, sent a letter to parents saying Immanuel Christian School's policies were an "obvious challenge" given the school's "fundamental belief in diversity and inclusion."
Has anyone ever been harmed at that school? Are the students at that school menacing in some way?  Of course not.  This is adults, using children to score the tiniest of political points against the vice president's wife.  What small, petty people.