Friday, March 31, 2023

What Should I Major In?

None of this should be shocking:

EDsmart used data for the 2020-21 school year from the Department of Education to rank degree majors in California by median earnings three years after graduation for those with bachelor's degrees. Some degree programs listed are only offered at one college in the state. When a major is offered at multiple colleges, the analysis lists the median earnings between them.

Most lucrative college majors in California:

#1. Mathematics and Computer Science ($166,134)
#2. Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians ($102,821)
#3. Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology ($98,074)
#4. Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing ($94,750)
#5. Construction Engineering ($91,338)

Least lucrative college majors in California:

#1. Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language ($17,472)
#2. Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology ($19,275)
#3. Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Medical Systems ($23,563)
#4. Dance ($24,119)
#5. Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management ($25,317)

Notice anything, uh, interesting about the first list?

You can add Aggrieved Victims Studies to the latter list.


Leftists have such a strange view of responsibility.  For example, an adult can't be responsible for a student loan contract he/she signed, but a child can make choices about getting body parts cut off.  I'm all for personal responsibility, which is why I think this sets such a bad example:

Contraceptive access throughout California high schools was on the docket for Wednesday’s Senate Education Committee meeting, where people in support and opposition took the stand.

If it the bill progresses — and eventually passes in the Senate — free condoms would be available to all students starting the 2024-2025 school year...

Contraceptives would be free to students. Schools would also be required to post at least one notice with information specifying how to use the condoms.

Wednesday’s discussion revolved around high school students, but the language in the bill specifies it would apply to grades 7 through 12, which includes two years of middle school for some.

If passed and signed by the governor, the bill would create a state-mandated local program. It would also require schools to provide sexual health information with students and make them aware of the availability of free contraceptives.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, coauthored the bill...

Teens who are sexually active face significant barriers accessing contraceptives, including stigma, judgmental providers, limited transportation and cost, said Maura Decker, associate professor at the Institute for Health and Policy Studies School of Medicine, at the UC San Francisco, said during the public comment Wednesday.

I call B.S. on that last part.

In December an Instagram poll was conducted by the Teen Source, a sex education site for California teens, where 55% of teens voted that they would agree to use condoms if they were easier to obtain, Menijivar said.

If you're a big enough boy to have sex, you can buy your own condoms.  "I'd use them more if they were free" is such a childish cop-out.

Just another California leftie proposal to bypass parents and sexualize teenagers.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The End Result of "Equity"

There's no moral or educational justification for keeping students from accelerating in math and achieving.  SF's  shibboleth of "equity" is nothing more than kneecapping high achieving students rather than raising up the bottom students, and at least the authors of this column recognize that:

All parents want opportunities for their children to excel academically. However, reaching the top in math at San Francisco Unified School District, is like climbing a cactus tree. It’s going to hurt.

At SFUSD, a math curriculum limiting student advancement currently exists; especially hindering socio-economically disadvantaged students from advancing in math. This is counter to what parents expect from a school district.

In 2014, SFUSD denied access to algebra 1 for all eighth graders, regardless of their preparation and motivation, justifying this with the word “equity.” SFUSD subsequently claimed success, but inquiring community members were denied access to supporting data. Obtaining data through public records requests, the district’s success claims were exposed to be grossly misrepresented.

SFUSD claimed algebra 1 repeat rates were reduced, but this occurred by removing a post-course test requirement. SFUSD claimed an increased enrollment in advanced classes, but this occurred by calling a class “advanced” that was not. A lack of transparency, and manipulating data to justify policies, demonstrates how SFUSD operates.

The benefits of eighth-grade algebra 1 are clearly explained in an open letter signed by nearly 1,800 science, technology, engineering and math professionals. This course initiates a five-year pathway to STEM readiness culminating in AP calculus in 12th grade.

In practice, SFUSD’s delay of algebra 1 has created a nightmare of workarounds...

When parents have to "work around" the roadblocks put up by the school district, something is wrong.   Read the whole thing.

Newsollini's Hissy Fit

It doesn't matter that it was a stupid policy in the first place, so that Governor Newsollini could like like he was striking a blow for dingbat-left causes.  It's nothing but virtue signalling, and maybe someday it will be overturned:

A lawmaker in California is hoping to overturn the state's ban on government funding for travel to states with laws they find discriminatory.

Since 2016, California has been steadily adding to its list of U.S. destinations barred from state-funded travel. The practice began in retaliation to North Carolina enacting a law requiring people to use the bathrooms that corresponded with their biological sex.

State Sen. Toni Atkins is seeking to overturn the prohibition, saying that the cumbersome regulations should be replaced with a marketing campaign promoting inclusion.

The San Diego State men's basketball team, for example, made the Final Four for the first time in its history, but is banned from paying for travel to Texas to compete. The NCAA is footing the bill, according to San Diego State...

Currently, Californians are prohibited from government-expensed travel to a total of 23 states. 

The ban has caused major issues outside of politics, such as sports teams at public universities that are unable to use state funds for many travel games.

However, many California officials are against repealing the ban on the grounds that it would be a tacit approval of laws they feel are discriminatory.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023



Good talk.

The 2nd Amendment doesn't exist to protect hunting or to keep bad people out of your house, either.

Just clearing up a couple fallacies.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Racist Tools (a double entendre)

This person, and those who think like she does, are fools:

A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites.

Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, made the claim in a new anthology for math teachers, arguing that teachers must be aware of the “politics that mathematics brings” in society.

Same fool I referred to in these three posts

Just so her stupidity doesn't go unchallenged:  math isn't "racist" and it doesn't perpetuate unearned privilege.  Math has no more power to do that than a hammer does; both are tools, tools which can be wielded for good or evil.  In that way they're like a word processor, which Gutierrez uses for evil.

Monday, March 27, 2023

A Re-Declaration of Independence

This piece by Jeff Goldstein is so awesome, so absolutely correct, that I'm going to post it here in its entirety:

Tyranny is already upon us. To defeat it, we must first learn to reject its premises. And to say so aloud.

Be it so understood:

I refuse to “unpack white violence.” I reject the idea that my existence “perpetuates white power structures.” I will not — and in fact cannot — “examine my implicit biases.” I’m an individual. I refuse to grant determined interpretive communities authority over my being. My meaning is mine. It is what makes me me.

I’m not taking any “journey” to “discover” the impact of my “privilege” on “black and brown peoples.” I will not become “anti-racist” or “anti-fascist” to satisfy your demands. I reject Cultural Marxism. I am an individual. I’m not defined by my color, my religion, my sex. I’m Jeff.

I will not “respect your pronouns” or “celebrate” your “queerness.” I am hostile to your sexualizing of children. I reject your neologisms, your “triggers,” and your desire to control my speech. I know who and what you are: you are my presumptive master, or else the Useful Idiot who empowers him. But I will grant you and your ideology no power over me.

I reject “equity” because it is collectivism disguised as virtue. I reject “inclusivity” because it is inorganic, superficial, and contrived. I reject mandated “diversity”: I will not surrender to the Crayon Box Mafia, nor to the gender changelings who pretend I am a construct answerable to their whims.

“Cultural appropriation” is merely culture: it expands to include, and it makes up the very fabric of a pluralist society. There’s no such thing as “digital blackface.” My whiteness is not “violent”; my sex is not “oppressive”; my religion doesn’t concern you; and my children are not yours to mold. Your beliefs will not be imposed on me. The State will not parent my sons.

“Queer theory” is “critical race theory” is “critical consciousness” is the Marxist rejection of the individual as individual. Cultural Marxism is determined to raze norms, sow chaos, tear families asunder, and reduce being to collective conformity. I reject its premises as fully as I reject its adherents. I will not comply. 

I will not mouth your slogans. I will not denounce on command. I am not your tool, and you are not my minder. I reject your social hectoring. I find abhorrent your authoritarian urges. I laugh at your disingenuous outrage. From me you will receive no apologies. I reject your premises entirely, and I hereby reclaim my time.

My speech is my own. I reject each of your excuses to silence me. I don’t ask for your protections. I can filter information without your interference, and I despise your presumption to protect me from myself.

I am your sworn enemy, as you are mine. I will not perform for you. I will not read from your script or dance in your follies. I utterly reject your revisionism, your ahistorical impertinence, your presentism, your self-appointed expertise. I will not bow before your theorists, nor admire your social prophets.

I am not a disease. My existence doesn’t “warm the planet.” I’m not interested in your “sustainability” concerns. I am not yours to manage.

I won’t eat your bugs, live in your pods, surrender my cars, or without consent be packed into your cities. I reject your charity. I unmask your intentions. I know what a woman is; I know that any member of any racial group can practice racism; I know that 2+2=4, regardless of how contingent you wish to make reality. I despise your ideology. I refuse your relativism. You are not the Elect, and I am not answerable to the various neuroses you wear as badges of honor.

I know you better than you know yourselves. You are conditioned. Programmed. Automotons who believe themselves sentient beings. Your intolerance of “hate” is not a virtue. It’s a ruse. An excuse to practice your own intolerance and luxuriate in your own hatreds. You are a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are that which you claim to despise, and I am that which you claim to be.

I see you. Clearly. And I aim to misbehave.

I strive to be self-sufficient. I honor the founding ideals of my country, and I work to live up to their measure. I recognize the great fortune of my birth. History does not frighten me. I reject your blood libels: I am not responsible for that which I didn’t do, nor are you victims of what was never done to you. I will not proclaim your goodness while knowing your evil.

I am a free man. You wish to take me from me. You will fail. I will win. And God willing, I will live to spit on your graves.


Hear hear.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Worthy of Statuary Hall

Eight years ago I wrote about visiting Statuary Hall in the Capitol.  Each state is allowed two statues there, and there was talk then of replacing (now-Saint) Junipero Serra's statue from California because of his mistreatment of the local natives.  As I wrote then:

I was the first person my tour guide had ever encountered who know who Starr-King was, which explains why every once in awhile there's talk of replacing his statue with Ronald Reagan.  As long as California remains a dystopian "paradise", though, that will never happen.  But it's still interesting to see two men noted for their religions memorialized by California.

Here we are, all these years later, and there's still talk of replacing Serra.  (I note in this article that such statues are supposed to represent the individual's "full length", but you can see at the link above that Dr. King's does not.)  Who do the authors of that article think merits a statue in the Capitol?  Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Cesar Chavez, Anna May Wong, and Snowshoe Thompson.  Sure, those people each accomplished something worthwhile in their lives, but I don't think any of them holds a candle to Ronald Reagan.  

You may as well put Mark Zuckerberg or Willie Mays on that list.  Or Elon Musk.  (Yes, I know you have to be dead to have a statue in Statuary Hall, but hopefully you get my point.)

The Science of Math

I like what I've seen so far:  The Science of Math

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Democrats Are More Interested In Unions Than In Workers

In theory, I have nothing against unions.  When I had to give money to unions I was absolutely against forced unionism and I was against bad unions (unions that don't help their members), both of which were the case with me, but in most cases I think Americans should be allowed to join unions if they want to.  And bless Mark Janus for helping ensure that government workers, at least, no longer have to pay unions.

Under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, states can still compel private employees to pay unions.  Over half the states in the union have passed right-to-work laws, which allowed workers to have jobs without having to pay money to a union.  Michigan, now run by leftie Democrats, is undoing what was done:

In a major victory for labor unions, Michigan on Friday became the first state in more than half a century to repeal a right-to-work law.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, overturning a 2012 GOP law that allowed workers to choose not to join unions or pay union dues as a condition of employment, even if the union represents them in negotiations.

Michigan had been making some progress.  Now, back to the Rust Belt with them!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

What Is Pornography And What Is Not?

Back in the olden days, when I was in high school, Larry Flint and pornography were in the news.  What's pornography?  "I know it when I see it" was a common saying.  I have no idea where the line is between pornography and art, but as with so many things, I know when we're far on one side or the other of the line:

A Florida principal was forced out of her job after parents complained about a Renaissance art lesson that featured a historic sculpture by Michelangelo — with one parent even calling it pornographic.

School leader Hope Carrasquilla resigned from Tallahassee Classical School this week after she was told to either step down or face termination, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Carrasquilla, who was at the charter school for less than a year, told the newspaper the school board’s chair, Barney Bishop, offered the ultimatum, and she believes it was tied to the art lesson that included Michelangelo’s “David” and his “Creation of Adam” fresco painting. 

I saw a replica of "David" in Florence in 1976, and if I visit Florence in June 2024 (as is my current plan), I'll see the actual work by Michelangelo.

I can't find the story now, but I remember reading about a Texas teacher who was fired because students saw some naked art while going from one room in a museum to another--and all their parents had signed permission slips for them to attend!  I don't support that kind of foolishness at all, or the "David" foolishness, any more than I support this kind of foolishness.

Update, 3/26/23News made it to Italy:

A Florence museum on Sunday invited parents and students from a Florida charter school to view Michelangelo’s “David” in person after the school principal was forced to resign following parental complaints that an image of the nude Renaissance masterpiece was shown to a sixth-grade art class.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella also tweeted an invitation for the principal to visit so he can personally honor her. Confusing art with pornography was “ridiculous,” Nardella said.

The incredulous Italian response highlights how the U.S. culture wars are often perceived in Europe, where despite a rise in right-wing sentiment and governance, the Renaissance and its masterpieces, even its naked ones, are generally free of controversy...

Carrasquilla has said two parents complained because they weren’t notified in advance that a nude would be shown, while a third called the iconic statue pornographic.

Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Galleria dell’Accademia, where the “David” is housed, expressed astonishment at the controversy.

“To think that ‘David’ could be pornographic means truly not understanding the contents of the Bible, not understanding Western culture and not understanding Renaissance art,” Hollberg said in a telephone interview.

She invited the principal, school board, parents and student body to view the “purity” of the statue.

Tallahassee Classical is a charter school. While it is taxpayer-funded and tuition-free, it operates almost entirely independently of the local school district and is sought out by parents seeking an alternative to the public school curriculum...

Barney Bishop, chairman of Tallahassee Classical’s school board, has told reporters that while the photo of the statue played a part in Carrasquilla’s ouster, it wasn’t the only factor. He has declined to elaborate while defending the decision.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

There Seem To Be A Lot of Sickos In Education

I have no desire to know what my students do sexually, or with whom they do it.  I can see no benefit to possessing that information, it's not my place to know it, and it's nothing I can impact, so why would I need to know it?  Worse than knowing it, it would be wildly inappropriate for me to ask about it.

Similarly, there seem to be teachers (just watch Libs of TikTok if you want to see them!) who have plenty of interest in ensuring their students know about their sexuality or antics.  Why do kids need to know that, especially about someone who's essentially a stranger?  

I can understand these parents' concerns regarding their middle schoolers:

Parents in Boston are outraged after a middle school issued a survey to students asking explicit questions about sexual activity and gender identity, according to reports.

Boston’s Eliot K-8 Innovation School principal Traci Griffith told parents in an email last Thursday that she had received “many concerns” regarding the “Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” which was given to students in sixth and seventh grade, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The 54-question survey —  which was voluntary and anonymous — was administered by Boston Public Schools and included questions about sex and transgenderism as well as suicide, drug use, bullying, weight and exercise.

I wonder what possible value the district would get from giving a survey about sexuality.  I understand that Massachusetts students generally do better than the average US student on standardized tests, how are Boston's students doing?  Is the district teaching them readin', writin', and 'rithmetic?

Outside of health class, the education business needs to quit spending so much time on teenagers' genitalia and focus on the task at hand.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

"Land Acknowledgements"

Is there any piece of land, anywhere on earth, that hasn't been conquered by someone?  Morally, should we all live in Africa, from whence the human race emerged?

Land acknowledgements are a silly performance and a waste of time:

"If it becomes routine, or worse yet, is strictly performative, then it has no meaning at all," said Kevin Gover, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and undersecretary for museums and culture at the Smithsonian Institution. "It goes in one ear and out the other." (Gover said only one or two Smithsonian museums have land acknowledgments; the National Museum of the American Indian is among those that do, and its acknowledgment is only one sentence long.)

Gover said the statements — which first appeared in Australia back in the 1970s in the push for Aboriginal peoples' rights and more recently blossomed in Canada with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, which brought to light how generations of Indigenous schoolchildren had been stripped of their native languages and cultural traditions — can also feel disempowering to the very people they're supposed to uplift.

"If I hear a land acknowledgment, part of what I'm hearing is, 'There used to be Indians here. But now they're gone. Isn't that a shame?' And I don't wish to be made to feel that way," Gover said.

But other Indigenous experts say land acknowledgments do have value. If people are thinking about how they go about crafting and using these statements, they can provide a first step toward action.

They're also a slap in the face.  Essentially what they say is, "Someone else used to live here but we own this land now, and we're not giving it back."  If you're not going to give the land back, your so-called land acknowledgement is hollow as well as insulting.  Lefties love these kinds of do-nothing performances, these backhanded shows of support, that have the effect of keeping minorities in their place.

They Won't Stop Passing Unconstitutional Laws

California keeps trying, but they keep getting shot down (pun intended):

A federal judge is blocking a California law that would mandate certain safety features for semiautomatic handguns.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney on Monday ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) and four individuals who had said the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms since no new guns being manufactured complied with it, Reuters reported ...

Since California is a one-party state, there's no political cost to be borne by repeatedly passing unconstitutional laws.

Good Law, Or No?

My initial response was to support this law, but now I'm not so sure.  I still support the intent, but I question whether this is a federal responsibility.  Yes, they can certainly tie the objectives to getting school funding, but just because they can do that doesn't mean that it's right to do so; either it's a federal responsibility or it's not, and I'm leaning towards not.

A U.S. lawmaker introduced legislation to Congress on Wednesday that would require schools to receive parental permission before a student changes their pronouns, a response to a lawsuit by a parent whose daughter allegedly began to secretly transition genders at a California school.

The “Prohibiting Parental Secrecy Policies in Schools Act,” sponsored by Republican California Rep. Doug LaMalfa, would withhold federal funding from schools if they do not implement policies which require parental permission before a student can change their name or pronouns at school. The legislation was drafted as a response lawsuit from Aurora Regino, who is suing Chico Unified School District after a counselor allegedly helped her daughter secretly transition genders, LaMalfa told the Daily Caller News Foundation...

The Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf of Regino in January after she found out that a school counselor had allegedly been helping her 10-year-old daughter transition genders, convincing the girl to use he/him pronouns and a male name at school. The counselor, whom Regino never met, had allegedly advised Regino’s daughter that she was a boy and to “come out” to other people before telling her mother, Regino told the DCNF.

Shame on California for having a policy that requires educators to keep information from parents: 

The California Department of Education guidance prohibits school districts from telling parents if their child has changed their name or pronouns at school, a policy which Chico Unified School District has adopted, Regino told the DCNF.

We Need More Diversity Directors Like This One

If we have to have such positions at colleges, I'd prefer they be filled with people like Dr. Lee:

A faculty director of the Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, says her contract was not renewed after she questioned the school’s so-called “anti-racism” policies. The diversity director, a black woman, added that she experienced “hostility, harassment, and bullying” after speaking out. 

Dr. Tabia Lee told Inside Higher Ed that her contract is being terminated after she questioned antiracist “orthodoxy,” objected to the college’s land acknowledgments for an Indigenous tribe, and tried to bring a “Jewish inclusion” event to campus. 

Lee added that additional reasons for her contract not being renewed by the college included her declining to join a “socialist network,” refusing to use the terms “Latinx” and “Filipinx,” and inquiring why the word “black” was capitalized but not “white.” 

The former diversity director, who is black, added that an employee in her diversity office accused her of “white speaking,” “whitesplaining,” and supporting white supremacy.

So-called land acknowledgements are my favorite:  those people used to live here, but it's ours now, and no, we're not going to give it back.  That's essentially what every so-called land acknowledgement says!  But back to Dr. Lee:

“People have literally attacked me just for doing what I always taught my students to do, which is to think critically, to respect diverse opinions and viewpoints, and to exercise their own freedom of expression,” she added.

I respect her opinion. 

Anyone want to place bets on whether she gets her job back eventually?

Monday, March 20, 2023

What A Whiner

The problem in this story lies not with her fellow students nor with the locals, but with the woman in the mirror:

While NYU is famed for its foreign offerings in places like Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Berlin, Paris, and Shanghai, I opted for Florence, Italy, in the fall...

I imagined fun potluck dinners with my roommates, summer flings with people who called me "bella," gelato that dripped down my fingers in the heat, and natural wine that paired effortlessly with good conversation and better prosciutto.

But when my semester in Florence came to an end, I grew to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn't wait to get back home to my campus in New York...

My routine looked drastically different from that of my roommates. I had a GPA to upkeep and an online internship. I wasn't out partying; I was home working most of the time, and it became difficult to concentrate on my assignments...

The roommate schedule is the only complaint that I find valid.  How horrible for her, though, that everyone else had different fantasies--and lived them!--depriving her of "fun potluck dinners with my roommates".  Aww, and she couldn't find anyone who would call her pretty.  Self-centered much, lady?

Let's continue:

Since three-day weekends are the standard for NYU's study-abroad programs, almost everyone chose to take $20 Ryanair flights to places like Croatia and Munich for Oktoberfest. To me, this seemed like an exhausting form of escapism. I was convinced my peers were doing it only to freshen up their social-media profiles and make their friends back home jealous...

But most weekends, I stayed at home in Florence, while my classmates burned themselves out with travel. During those lonely weekends, I ran along the Arno river, popped into free gallery exhibits, and cooked with ingredients I found at local vegetable markets. I was left in the apartment completely alone. This lack of human interaction didn't help me feel optimistic.

I was disillusioned by the fact that no one in my study-abroad program seemed to have my values.

I'm not quite sure whom I resented more during my stay in Italy: my American classmates or the locals. The latter is often described as soulful, charming, and overflowing with hospitality, but I could provide concrete examples of them being hostile, inconsiderate, and preposterous. For example, one time, two women were talking about me on the bus, looking at me up and down and scoffing. There were a couple of incidents of verbal confrontations. 

I started to protest by presenting myself to the public in a way I knew they'd hate. I started wearing American-brand athleisure, Nike Air Max 97s, and oversize hoodies. The Italians rolled their eyes as I passed them on the street.

I know it's only one example, but two women talk about her and the world comes to an end?   And in response, she chooses to intentionally antagonize the locals?

In Europe in general, and in Italy in particular, how you dress is important.  Any European can pick out an American from 100 meters; we stand out, we don't dress as snazzy as they do.  Heck, I've been known to wear cargo shorts whilst walking around Rome!  She had to know the locals wouldn't like the way she dressed, assuming she dressed as an American--and she also didn't have to care what they said!  Granted, the locals didn't need to participate in "verbal confrontations", either, but that's an American viewpoint, I don't know if that's an Italian viewpoint.  And when in Rome...

Let's get back to the cry-fest:

I was consistently frustrated by the fact that my life back in New York was not put on hold. Fellow NYU students who stayed in New York were actively pursuing in-person internships, networking with zeal, and making moves to advance their futures. I felt like I was wasting precious time in Florence.

Are you kidding?  She's frustrated that everyone else's life didn't stop while she was in freakin' Florence?  Said in best Darth Vader voice:  the entitlement is strong with this one.

Send me to Florence for a year.  I volunteer for the suffering.

Arrogance and Double Standards

My last post was about UCLA, let's move north a little bit to Stanford.

Recently an invited Trump-appointed federal judge was shouted down by law students, who were supported by a member of the Stanford administration.  No, shouting down a speaker is not legitimate protest or an exercise of the First Amendment, and Stanford Law students should be old enough and smart enough to know better.  Their previous and subsequent behavior verifies that they don't know better:

The Stanford students who shouted down Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan last week have found something new to be outraged about. They don’t want their names or photos to appear in any news reports about the incident.

Isn’t it a little late for that...

The names and photos of these students should be made available to the public for future reference. You know, if one of them decides to run for office or gets nominated to sit on a bench someday.  link

Let's get to a few facts

Stanford Law School protesters faced criticism after heckling Trump-appointed U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kyle Duncan during an event on campus and for plastering the names and faces of campus Federalist Society members all over the school last week.

Now they are demanding their names be redacted from a Washington Free Beacon report covering the incident, arguing that keeping their names public could invite "abuse and harassment."

Aaron Sibarium, a reporter for the Free Beacon, said not so fast...

"The other thing too is that they didn't just shout down a sitting federal judge, they also posted the names and faces of every member of the Stanford Federalist Society, every board member who helped invite him," he said. "They posted those names and faces around the school in a concerted effort to shame their peers and pressure them out of hosting the event."

I'm reminded of what I quoted in a previous post about the Red Guards: 

Using students to pressure other students into “group-think” is right out of the Commie playbook.

Too many previously-respected institutions of higher learning are taking the respect it took them decades to earn and are flushing it down the drain in a few short years.  And I agree with the author at the first link above:  the students should pay a price for their unconscionable actions, later if not now.

It's Hard To Feel Sorry For These Students

They choose to pay for crap like this--don't they vote on it?  Or does their student government make such decisions unilaterally?

A “green initiative” at the University of California Los Angeles continues to stockpile student fee funds ostensibly intended to make improvements to the campus environment.

However, even when the money is spent, it goes to projects with questionable “sustainability” benefits, such as “cultural graduation ceremonies"...

“Student fees collected by TGIF (The Green Initiative Fund) have been used to help fund [student government’s] iClicker rental program, biodegradable diningware for volunteer dinners, a vegan cookbook promotional event, the creation of poetry booklets, and multiple student music festivals and fashion shows,” the paper reported.

“I am not saying music festivals and fashion events should not be funded, but those would not be the first things that come to mind for the Green Fund,” Professor Deepak Rajagopal, an academic at the university’s Institute of the Environment told the student newspaper.

Meanwhile, a Bruin analysis from 2022 concluded that UCLA was set to miss its carbon neutrality goal by 43 years, though a campus official denied the paper’s claim.

If these college students still can't figure out the grift and graft in their own little microcosm of the so-called green movement, they aren't smart enough to be in college.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

"Designated Experts" on "Climate Crisis" Proven Wrong Again

If I made such extreme "predictions", and were wrong 100% of the time, no one would listen to a word I say.  But people like Grumpy Greta can be wrong all day long, day in and day out, and the media would still grant them credibility.  This a a serious problem with the press.



We Should Be Learning From History, Not Repeating It

I remember stories of the Red Guards from when I was younger, it's hard to believe this country is importing such a disastrous policy:

Using students to pressure other students into “group-think” is right out of the Commie playbook. It is not only disturbing that the Attorney General of Maine is complicit in doing this, but it should be a shocking wake-up call to parents nationwide. This threat of Communism is real. It is happening right now in this country. The question is, what are you going to do about it? If left unchecked this only ends one way: the same way it ended in China. NPR reported the sad reality in China as a result of the cultural revolution.

Students beating up their teachers was a shocking reversal in the Confucian society, where educators were once held in the highest esteem.

Now, the teachers who were victimized in the Cultural Revolution are mostly in their 70s and 80s, and the Red Guards have said they wanted to apologize while they still have the chance.

Last October, Chen met with his former classmates and teachers and apologized for the violence he presided over.

 “Looking back on it, I believe their human rights and dignity were trampled upon,” says Chen, shown here in the courtyard of his Beijing residence.

“Teachers were made to stand onstage, bow their heads and confess their crimes,” he says. “Looking back on it, I believe their human rights and dignity were trampled upon.”

In fact, Chen says, the entire Cultural Revolution was illegal because it violated China’s Constitution — though he acknowledges that criticizing the movement as unconstitutional is a way to make his point without being silenced by the authorities.

I liked this part:

Maine schools are playing with fire and should disband the Civil Rights Teams immediately. Students should be in charge of nothing. They’re too young, too impressionable, and too immature to be given any power over their peers or teachers. Yet the trans ideology gives a massive amount of power to untrained, emotionally stunted children who are bound to wield it unfairly as history shows.

Children are not adults and should not be treated as such or given that responsibility. They don’t know what’s best for them or anyone else around them. They need our help and guidance. It is the sickest philosophy that demands that we follow the lead of our children. Children will brutalize one another if not properly supervised and guided. Anyone who has read Lord of the Flies (or has more than one child) knows this to be true.

And giving such power to 20-yr-olds isn't much better.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Was it last night, or two nights ago?  I can't even remember anymore, as the effects of little and bad sleep add up, but I woke up not once but twice from nightmares, and in both of them I was being kidnapped!  Different dreams, same theme.

What is my subconscious trying to tell me?  And will it let me get a good night's sleep tonight?  Ugh!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Lefties Gotta Leftie

And that means violence, graffiti, destruction, and lies:

About 100 protesters at the University of California, Davis, surrounded a venue attempting to disrupt an event Tuesday evening headlined by conservative personality and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. The event was organized by the school’s Turning Point chapter.

The protesters, who were mostly wearing black, clashed with law enforcement officers and other students, including attendees of the event, as they smashed windows, hurled eggs, used pepper spray and blocked people from entering the University Credit Union Center, where the event was held.

There were at least two arrests.

"Not a peaceful protest at all," Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted after photos and videos of the protest surfaced on social media.

The major Sacramento rag repeated some blood libel that they eventually had to retract:

An op-ed with the Sacramento Bee posted ahead of the event called for its cancelation (sic), alleging Kirk to have called for the "lynching" of trans people.

"Charlie Kirk has called for the lynching of trans people, a comment that should warrant the cancelation of his speaking engagement at UC Davis," the outlet said in a since-deleted tweet.

The op-ed also called Kirk a "fascist speaker."

Kirk denied ever calling for such action and threatened to sue the outlet, which deleted the op-ed. 

UC Davis, which I've long referred to as Berkeley-lite, clearly sided with the rioters while pretending to support the First Amendment:

As a public university, we must uphold the right to free speech, as guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, even when that speech may be hateful, offensive or abusive," the school said.

How do you descend into totalitarianism and tyranny?  Slowly at first, and then suddenly.

Update, 3/16/23This doesn't surprise me at all:

Hours before a Turning Point USA event that turned violent thanks to Antifa agitators who smashed windows and tried to storm into the event, the chancellor of University of California Davis condemned Charlie Kirk as a purveyor of “hate” and “misinformation.”

While he accused Kirk of spreading “misinformation,” the chancellor himself made false claims about the conservative group leader....

Lefties couldn't tell the truth if they tried.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Bessie Coleman

So many years ago now that it seems like a different lifetime, I volunteered as a docent at the Western Aerospace Museum at the Oakland Airport.  In 1995 we had an event for the release of a new stamp, and that's how I learned about Bessie Coleman.

Bessie is my kinda person--smart, hardworking, driven, moral, steadfast.  It's interesting enough that she went to France to become the first black American woman to earn a pilot's license, it's even better that in the early-to-mid-1920s she worked as both a lecturer and a barnstormer.  On at least one occasion, well, you've got to admire someone who's this sure of herself:

Coleman received immense support from her community. She was an inspiration to her fellow Black Americans, showing them that the sky wasn’t the limit, even in the face of a segregated world. While planning to perform in Texas, managers in charge of setting up the stadium had planned to create two separate entrances, one for Blacks and the other for whites. After hearing about this, Coleman refused to perform unless there was only one gate for everyone to use. After much back-and-forth, the managers agreed but said that the seating would still have to be segregated. Coleman agreed and gained fame for publicly standing up for her beliefs.  (link below)

She ended up dying in a flying accident: 

On April 30, 1926, Coleman and her mechanic took off for a practice flight in Jacksonville, Fla. Preparing for an upcoming performance, Coleman had not buckled her seat belt in order to be able to look over the side of the plane to scope out a good landing spot for a parachuting stunt. Cruising at 3,500 feet, the biplane accelerated and began to nosedive. It went into a tailspin and Coleman was thrown from the craft when it flipped. Her mechanic, William Wills, crashed the plane. Neither survived. Investigations revealed a loose wrench had gotten stuck in the control gears, preventing Wills from being able to right the plane. Rumors of sabotage spread, but the cause was ultimately ruled as accidental. At the same time, Congress was working with the Air Commerce Act of 1926 to help regulate pilots and their aircraft.

Her light shone bright, but only for a short time. Twenty-eight years after appearing on a US postage stamp, she will now appear on the quarter:

In 2022, the United States Mint launched its American Women Quarter program, releasing five different quarters with reverse designs depicting influential women from American history. The year 2023 continues the program, starting with the release of a quarter honoring Bessie Coleman.

The common obverse of the series depicts a portrait of George Washington, which was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark Washington’s 200th birthday. “LIBERTY” is inscribed above Washington’s head and “IN GOD WE TRUST” sits behind his head. The date “2023” can also be seen under his chin.

The reverse shows Coleman suiting up for flight, looking towards the skies. A plane flies above the clouds in the background. At the bottom of the coin sits “BESSIE COLEMAN 6.15.1921,” referencing the date in which she received her international pilot’s license.

The article mentions that Dr. Mae Jamison, on her only shuttle flight, carried a picture of Bessie Coleman with her.  Class all the way.

Who Could've Known?

It's funny how I see these types of stories more and more often, as if the results weren't predictable (or predicted):

The battle against the single-use plastic bag may not be won but it's definitely under way.

Restrictions on their use are in place in almost a dozen US states and in many other countries around the world. And in many cases, these efforts have been successful at eliminating new sales of thin, wispy plastic bags that float up into trees, clog waterways, leech microplastics into soil and water and harm marine life. (Of course, these restrictions don't address the plastic bags already out there that will take centuries to decompose.)

But this environmental success story of sorts masks another problem.

Many of us are drowning in reusable bags - cloth totes or thicker, more durable plastic bags - that retailers sell cheaply or give away to customers as an ostensibly greener alternative to single-use plastic.

Campaigners say these bag hoards are creating fresh environmental problems, with reusable bags having a much higher carbon footprint than thin plastic bags. According to one eye-popping estimate, a cotton bag should be used at least 7,100 times to make it a truly environmentally friendly alternative to a conventional plastic bag.

The answer to what's the greenest replacement for a single-use plastic bag isn't straightforward, but the advice boils down to this: Reuse whatever bags you have at home, as many times as you can. 

Their intentions were good, that's all that matters.  The results shouldn't matter.  Being a leftie never means having to say you're wrong.

Monday, March 13, 2023

A Win For Freedom of Choice

Newsom and the dim Dems of the legislature can continue their losing streak with these types of laws they pass, I just wish there were some penalty for them to pay for wasting taxpayer time and money on such laws:

Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and other companies scored a victory with a California court ruling that preserves their independent-contractor model in the state and could boost their efforts to maintain that model elsewhere.

A state appeals court reversed a lower-court ruling that found a California ballot measure known as Proposition 22 illegal. Proposition 22, which passed in November 2020, allowed these companies to continue to treat their drivers as independent contractors...

California sued Uber and Lyft in 2020, saying they were in violation of a new state law that sought to reclassify their drivers as employees. A legal battle ensued, culminating in Proposition 22, in which Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Inc. and Instacart Inc. asked state voters to exempt them from the law. The companies spent a record amount of money for a California ballot measure, about $200 million...

A group of ride-share drivers and labor unions challenged the constitutionality of Proposition 22. In August 2021, a California judge ruled that it was unconstitutional because it limited the state legislature’s authority and its ability to pass future legislation. The companies appealed that decision, which led to the latest ruling in the California First District Court of Appeal.

I drove for Uber in the summer of 2017.  They were not my employer.  They were a side gig, nothing more. 

Sly Park

A sort of rite of passage here in the Sacramento area is for 6th grade classes to go to camp for either a weekend or a week, and often that camp is Sly Park.

The Sly Park center is run by the Sacramento County Office of Education, and is located in the Sierra foothills in Pollock Pines.  The boys stay in one of 4 cabins named after animals, the girls stay in one of 4 cabins named after trees.  There's also a gym, a cafeteria, and a "crafts" building, as well as a building for the on-site staff.  Students participate in many activities, including hikes through the hills.

I was fortunate to go to Sly Park for an entire week in 6th grade, staying in the Porcupine cabin.  We moved in February of 6th grade, and at my new school I got to go to camp for a week in Foresthill!  When I was in 12th grade, some friends from school and I went to Sly Park as counselors for the 6th graders, going with my former elementary school.  Again, I stayed in Porcupine.

The Office of Education also runs "themed" camps over the summer, and after graduating from West Point I applied to be a counselor while on "graduation leave".  I was hired ($50 for the week!) and for the third time spent a week in Porcupine, this time for Space Camp.  There were Civil Air Patrol cadets, JROTC cadets, and others at this camp.  One night some rather large telescopes were brought out and, for the first time in my life, I saw the rings of Saturn.  So cool!

It's been almost 36 years since I've been to Sly Park, but each time I went it was such a valuable experience for me.  It's disappointing, then, that for the foreseeable future, many students will not be able to yell "Pork Power!" in competition:

But just a couple of weeks before the scheduled trip, Sly Park officials called her school, Folsom Educational Academy, to cancel the trip. The Pollock Pines campground was short on staff...

In fact, Sly Park, had canceled trips for 21 schools since November 2022, affecting more than 1,200 students from several districts...

The campground typically serves about 7,500 students a year, according to the Sacramento Office of Education, and is nestled in between tall pine trees and along Jenkinson Lake. For more than 50 years, the staff has been offering educational field trips to Sacramento-area students...

But teacher and staffing shortages across the country and thousands of retirements affected programs like Sly Park, which is already facing competition from nearby campgrounds that can serve school districts in similar week-long trips...

About 40 schools are waitlisted for upcoming weeks at the park. That amounts to about 2,300 students are waiting anxiously to hear if they can visit the park with their classes.

Truly disappointing.

Will The Swedish Scold Learn From This?

Adherents of the Church of Global Warming are no different from the kooks who predict Christ's return on such-and-such a date:
Being the international spokesperson for a fake crisis can be tough, as the child actor who acts as the mouthpiece for the climate change industry has just been reminded. On Saturday, Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec tweeted at pint-sized climate scold Greta Thunberg, “Hi @GretaThunberg! Why did you delete this?” The deleted tweet in question had Greta quoting this: “A climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.” The date on Greta’s tweet? June 21, 2018. Either we have just over three months to live, or Greta’s tweet was juuuuust a trifle hysterical. Her deletion of the tweet suggests that even Greta knows that the sun is likely to rise on June 22, 2023.
How many times do they have to be wrong before they figure out their religion is bunk?  Being wrong so often would deter normal people. These are not normal people.
My guess is that if Grumpy Greta learned anything from this, it's that you either don't put a firm date on your climate predictions, or else you put a date much farther into the future.  Let's see how she performs next time.
Oh, and we'll also see if she goes to China.  Just sayin'. 

Three Years Ago Today...

...was my last day at school that year.  I really expected decent people, adults, to make good decisions, and I expected to be back at work in 3 weeks.

Temporarily shutting down schools in the early days of the 'rona, when no one knew anything, seemed reasonable.  Keeping them shut for a year was disastrous.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Preparing For Daylight Savings Time

I've always been one who needs a sleep schedule.  Getting an extra hour of sleep when switching from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time is no problem, but losing that hour of sleep can really mess me up.  I'd be the happiest person around if we would just stay on one time; I don't care what time zone we pick, just pick one and stick with it.

Losing an hour of sleep affects me for several days, so for the last several years I've tried to mitigate the effects of that time change.  Starting about a week before, I set my alarm clock 10 minutes earlier each day.  I don't get up any earlier, and I may just turn off the alarm and continue resting, but I'm slowly trying to acclimate to the alarm going off an hour earlier than my circadian rhythms are used to--and it turns out this might not be a bad idea:

For folks who are adjusting their clocks, the body isn’t going to like getting up a whole hour earlier, so it’s best if you and your kids start adapting by going to bed and waking up 15 to 20 minutes earlier each day for four or more days before the change, experts say.

“Planning for the change can be key to lessening the impact of this change on your body’s circadian rhythms,” said sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

I said pretty much the same thing three years ago.

Saturday, March 11, 2023


When I studied Cantor and infinity in my master's program it was only in a history of mathematics course.  Thus, I followed the first three explanations in this video quite easily.  Once we got to the PhD student, though, a lot of the discussion was new to me and I really had to pay attention to understand even parts of it.

In Defense of a Broad Liberal Arts Education

Too many people today consider universities to be employment training grounds (in addition to 4-year resorts, of course), but I'm still of the belief that a university education should open your mind, broaden the scope of your thoughts:

The ideas you encounter, consider, and adopt shape the kind of person you become. Liberal education is not about helping you sound impressive at snooty parties. It’s about you becoming a particular kind of person: reflective, analytical, and capable of sound evaluation and sound judgment. To this end, college means a few years marinating in the best that has ever been thought and written by the greatest minds our species has produced...

As Russell Roberts points out in his excellent book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, the story’s endurance suggests that it addresses transcendent questions about what it means to live well. That we’re still reading it suggests we don’t have a perfect answer. Furthermore, reading the classics helps us see how our original questions, new insights, and unique issues … aren’t. The existential questions that seem so unique to our day and age are questions people have wrestled with for millennia. There is nothing new under the sun...

It is said that you are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time, so we need to choose wisely. In the English Standard Version, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” The New International Version says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” The King James Version puts it this way: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” You’re reading Plutarch, Dostoevsky, Eliot, and Shakespeare not because they will teach you specific technical skills useful for the job someday, but because they’re good company—the kind of company that will come to your aid and offer wise counsel every time you have an important decision to make.

It's not just the reading, either, although in required classes at West Point we read Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Kant, Mill, and even Marx.

It was a lot of work, up to 21 units per semester, but I'm very grateful for the broad education I received at West Point.  Not just math, history, and literature, but engineering, philosophy, sociology, and sciences.  Our education was designed to give us a wide view so that we would better be able to adapt to different environments.  I have found it useful more times than I can remember.

Thursday, March 09, 2023


My sister and I are tentatively planning a trip to Italy in the summer of 2024.  I don't want to go too many places I've been before, and since she doesn't seem to mind skipping out on Rome, it looks like we'll go from Naples to Florence (where I haven't been since 1976) to Milan and Lake Como.

I've read, and heard firsthand, that Naples is "dirty", but given everything that's there, and given that I've never been there, and given its proximity to the Amalfi Coast and Capri, should I really cross that one off the list?

My sister wants to, in her words, eat her way across Tuscany.  I'm ok with that!  I spent the summer of 1976 just north of Livorno; Pisa was a half hour away and Florence was at most a day trip.  I don't really need to go back to Livorno to see the old digs, but basing in Florence and taking day trips to Pisa and Siena seems reasonable.  My sister wants to take at least one cooking class there; that's no problem, as I can occupy myself quite nicely, thankyouverymuch, while she's cooking.

Perhaps I passed through Milan while on the train from Livorno to Germany in '76, but that doesn't count as a visit.  I'd like to use Milan as a base for day trips, especially to the Lake Como area--maybe even get an AirBnB at the lake.

Anyway, that's my plan.  The order of the stops doesn't really matter to me.  Just for smiles and giggles I'm planning on flying to Naples and then taking the train to Florence and Milan, spending maybe 5 days in each place.  If flights out of Florence are cheaper, maybe we could take an overnight sleeper train from Naples to Milan and end the trip in Florence.  That can all be worked out over the next year.

Have you been to any of these areas, or within a day trip of any of them?  I'd love to read your recommendations!

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Unlawful Trespass

I never considered the January 6, 2021 incursion into the Capitol to be an "insurrection".  (Usually when people intend to overthrow their government, they do so when armed.)  To me, rather than an "insurrection", at most the people were guilty of unlawful trespass.  That so many have been sentenced to years in prison, well, I never thought I'd live to see the day that we'd have political prisoners in the United States.

I have nothing to add to this:

ROGER KIMBALL: Tucker Carlson bulldozes the January 6 ‘insurrection’ narrative.

Tucker Carlson showed how the anti-Trump battalions had lied about January 6. Liz Cheney and her Kangaroo Court lied about what happened. So did Nancy Pelosi and the regime media.

Jacob Chansley, the behorned and painted veteran who became the face of the protest because of his outlandish getup, was not a violent insurrectionist. He was a mannerly protestor who prayed publicly in the Capitol and was politely escorted through its halls by several Capitol police officers. Why, many people will wonder, has he been sentenced to five years in jail? Schumer and the media charged that Carlson “sanitized” what happened that day by “cherry-picking” the video. But it was clear to anyone who watched Carlson’s presentation that it was the J6 Committee that did the cherry-picking.

Back in September 2021, I gave a talk on what I called “the January 6 insurrection hoax.” The anti-Trump lobby did not like what I had to say. It is delicious to be vindicated so publicly.

A hurt dog barks. I expect to be surrounded by a lot of howling as the public digests what Carlson aired. It’s going to be an effervescent election season.

As a result of Chuck Schumer’s meltdown, last night, “Fox News had more total and 25 to 54 year old demo viewers than MSNBC, CNN, Newsmax & NewsNation combined.”

Yeah, what he said.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

A Grown-up Conversation

After school today my department chair came to ask me if I'd be interested in teaching AP Calculus next year.  You might think that after what I wrote here that I wouldn't be interested, and you'd be correct.  However, I'm a team player, and told him that if the department needed me to teach that class, of course I would.

The real problem, though, is that I will retire in 4 1/2 years, at which time we'd need someone else to teach that class.  It would make much more sense, and be a better solution for our school, if someone else, someone who plans to be at the school for a lot longer than I do, were to take that class.

It turns out that both of our AP Calculus teachers are considering retiring in the near future, and they're looking to reduce their workloads a bit (AP courses take a significant amount of preparation and grading time).  Over the course of our discussion we came to the conclusion that it might be better for them to give up those classes now while they're still available to train and mentor newer teachers on how to successfully teach them.

As for me, I should probably finish out my career teaching the 3 courses I currently do--financial math, statistics, and pre-calculus.

I've long talked about retirement, but this was the first time it became a practical matter as opposed to something I get to fantasize about.

Monday, March 06, 2023


For those of you who are math teachers, do you use Desmos?  Do you know its capabilities?

In an effort for this old dog to learn some new tricks, I attended a conference today to learn how to use more of Desmos than just the graphing calculator.  A Zoom conference.

Teachers from across the country were at this conference, and thus it started at 9am.  Eastern Time.  6am here on the left coast.  I'd brought my work laptop home, and by 5:50 I was trying to get into the Zoom conference.

And I couldn't.

Never did figure out what the problem was, and neither could the conference tech people I called.  Instead, I used my personal Chromebook to access the conference.  A Chromebook, that doesn't have the Zoom software installed, worked fine, but my school laptop, new this school year, couldn't get it to run.  Later I emailed our district techies to see what the issue might be.

It's been a long time since I was the "slow person" in a training, the one asking a lot of questions, but there I was.  I didn't realize how much I didn't know!  I sure learned a lot, though, including that it would take several more detailed trainings even to get a handle on some of the higher power capabilities of that web site.

It was nice being done at noon Pacific Time :-)

Saturday, March 04, 2023

My Exact Thoughts On The Student Loan Issue

They Claim To Do This In the Name of "Compassion"

This makes me both angry and sad, but I can't tell which emotion is stronger.  It just hurts my heart:

A California law meant to lift disabled workers could end up hurting them.

The premise of Senate Bill 639, which by 2025 will phase out so-called sheltered workshops, is noble: All people have a right to minimum wage and must not be exploited.

It’s a worthwhile aim in theory. But it’s a lot more complicated in practice.

This isn’t a grimy sweat shop with underage workers, or undocumented laborers paying off debts to coyotes. This is a thriving community of people building skills, friendships and respect under the practiced eye of job coaches who know a task might take two or four or eight times longer than someone without mental or physical limitations.

“All these happy, busy people are going to be challenged to no end” in January 2025, said Carla Strong, Howard Prep’s executive director. That’s when SB 639 takes effect, outlawing the compensation structure currently paying 6,087 disabled people working for 80 entities throughout California.

Proponents framed the bill as a civil rights issue. Why would a progressive state like California allow employers with no scruples to take advantage of workers without the acumen to stand up for themselves? Doesn’t everyone deserve to be treated as equals? And what screams inequity louder than the same work for less pay?

Yes. But.

What might happen to these people you’re trying to help if their employers cannot afford to pay them a higher wage? What if they end up without a job and lose all the side benefits: socialization, learning new skills, pride?

SB 639 was hotly debated a couple of years ago by legislators, many of whom had personal experience with disabled family members and did not agree on the best pay approach. Experts also were divided; Disability Rights California lobbied for the bill, while the National Council on Severe Autism fought against it.

In the end, a majority opted for change and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill in 2021 along with 17 others in a worker protection package. 

More than 25 years ago, in my previous job,  I was a manufacturing manager for a small startup custom cable assembly company.  Customers (Digital Equipment, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, etc) would design cables they needed, provide us with the specifications, and place orders with us.  We'd buy all the necessary parts (raw cable, connectors, etc) and build the cables for them.

Sometimes, a connector would come packaged most inconveniently.  It might have many different parts (shells, pins, screws, other hardware), and each part would come individually packaged in tiny plastic bags, and all the baggies with parts for one connector would be sealed in a somewhat larger plastic baggie.  We had to open and separate all those parts before we could begin working with the connectors.

In the business park in which we were located was a facility for adults with severe intellectual or physical disabilities of the types mentioned in the linked article above.  It was somewhat of an adult day care, but they tried to do things with their charges that would add some value to their lives.

Our company didn't have too many employees, and it seemed silly to have a fully trained and capable employee assigned to cutting open plastic baggies and separating components.  Yes, they could do it quickly, but that work didn't add any value as part of our manufacturing process.  One of the owners of our company knew the person in charge of the facility for the disabled, and they came up with what everyone thought was a great idea.

We determined how long it took for one of our employees to open and separate all the parts of a common connector we used.  At our current per-hour labor rate, that gave us a dollar cost.  The idea was that we'd take large numbers of these packaged connectors across the parking lot to the other facility, and we'd pay them to open and separate the parts.  We paid them what it would cost us to have one of our own employees do the work, so there was no financial cost to us for doing this, and it gave the disabled adults a "real world job", so to speak.  Sure, it might take them 4x as long, or longer, to do the task than it would take one of our own employees, but as long as we got the parts when we needed them, there was no issue.  Each week we calculated what it would have cost us to do that work, and wrote a check to that facility for having done it for us.  Each other Friday or so, the adults in that facility would take a "field trip", a short walk down to McDonalds, and the money we paid for their work would pay for their lunches.

Those adults, rather than being in day care all day every day, got to do a "job" that was important, and they got a sense of accomplishment and reward.  Everyone needs to feel like they can contribute.

Fast forward to the summer of 1997.  I was unemployed and looking for work.  I had two interviews scheduled one day, one at a junior high school in the morning, and one with a snowshoe manufacturer in the afternoon.  After meeting with the junior high principal I canceled the other interview (and the rest is history!), but that snowshoe manufacturer employed mostly adults with disabilities.  Much like those at Howard Prep in the linked article above, those employees were paid a sub-minimum wage.  They were not independent, could not live alone, and the jobs were as much for social connection and that feeling of contributing as they were for turning a small profit for the company.

Before she died, one of my aunts had a step-daughter with Down Syndrome.  This cousin worked at Pride Industries, whose mission is to "create employment for people with disabilities".  Again, the work was like that at Howard Prep.

California's minimum wage is now $15.50/hr.  Economically-speaking, some people's labor isn't worth $15.50/hr.  The National Council on Severe Autism, fought SB 639 precisely for this reason.  All SB 639 will do is put disabled people out of work, taking away the dignity that they strive to earn.  As I said, this just hurts my heart.

Friday, March 03, 2023

We Don't Want Bigots In Positions Of Authority, Do We?

Apparently some do as long as the bigot is an anti-Christian leftie:

An Arizona school board member wearing cat ears during a meeting said she would oppose having a contract with a Christian university over the religious and Biblical beliefs they espouse, Fox News Digital found. 

The Washington Elementary School District, which serves students in the Phoenix and Glendale areas, had an ongoing contract with Arizona Christian University for five years, enabling their student teachers to be placed in its schools for field experience. The contract opened up opportunities for recruitment and hiring. 

On Feb. 23, the board agreed on a motion to dissolve the partnership with the Christian university

Fox News Digital asked the shool board whether they had a bias against Christian beliefs, and they said, "The board’s decision to discontinue its partnership with Arizona Christian University was based on the board’s commitment to create a safe place for our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community. This includes not knowingly entering into partnerships with any organization that explicitly discriminates against protected classes covered by our nondiscrimination policies."

During the meeting, school board member Tamillia Valenzuela blasted the university over its Christian beliefs and said she was "disheartened" to learn about the contract that had been ongoing for five years.  

Valenzuela describes herself as "a bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina… who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle."

Definitely the kind of person I want in charge....

Thursday, March 02, 2023

The Teacher With The Big Boobs

Just two weeks ago I wrote about the teacher in Canada who wears z-cup fake boobs to school.  It turns out, though, that he doesn't wear his bazongas all the time, and because of this his school district has put him on paid leave:

Canada’s fake Z-cup boobs-wearing trans teacher has been put on leave for not wearing his fake boobs enough. This is a real news story. It also might be the most 21st Century scam of … well, of the 21st Century. Bear with me here as we plunge deep into the details of this stand-out story.

Shop teacher Kerry “Kayla” Lemieux, according to the Daily Mail, has “finally been suspended from her Canadian school after pictures showed her in men’s clothing, proving she does not wear the provocative attire all the time.” He gained infamy last year for wearing tight clothes and comically — some would say offensively — large fake breasts, complete with protruding nipples.

There's a pic at the link. 

Here's how I see it.  You can't on one breast hand say it's ok for a guy to wear prosthetics and dress as a woman, and yet on the other hand say he doesn't do it enough so that it's no longer ok.  Is there a requirement for how many hours a day a man has to dress as a woman before he's considered a woman?  And who are you to say that 10 hours isn't enough but 12 hours is?

This is the problem lefties always get into.  Their silliness requires twisting logic into pretzels when someone goes "too far", however that's defined.  Can't a non-binary person be a guy today and a gal tomorrow?  And if so, why can't someone be one "gender" at work and another at home?

This weird dude who wants to wear watermelon-boobs isn't the problem, he's just a symptom.  The problem is all the soft-headed lefties who will say this relatively abnormal behavior is and should be perfectly fine--until they determine that it isn't. And then they can't give a rational explanation for why their new line is the one that must not be crossed, rather than the line that the vast majority of the people on the planet all pretty much agreed with just a few years ago, before people started confusing their personalities with their gender.

When Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, the song that was supposedly played was The World Turned Upside Down.  It's time again to break out the sheet music for that tune.