17 thoughts on “Open Forum!

    • I love that song. It gives me hope that someday cancel culture might get canceled, and not everyone is buying into the virtue signaling nonsense.

  1. I have been concerned for some time about the decline of our public school systems. Most parents have little choice but to send their children to the public schools due to low wages requiring 2 income households, lack of affordable alternatives, etc. The public schools used to be close enough to the private schools that a bright, hardworking child of any background had a shot at competing for all but the most exclusive programs and colleges. As the public schools have declined into indoctrination centers and social experimentation sites, we have split the country in to haves and have-nots.

    Now that we have denied most of the public school children an education for over a year, the damage may be permanent. Talking with public school teachers this year, they lowered the passing standards to ‘turned something in’. Unfortunately, less than half of the students have actually turned anything in. That is how bad this ‘distance learning’ is. They will, of course, be given passing grades and everyone is supposed to pretend these kids learned something. However, how are they going to compete with everyone else? Private and home schooled students have been learning for the last year and a half. Before the COVID panic, I would judge that the average private and homeschooled student was 2 years ahead of the average public school student. That gap is now closer to 4 years. Four years! That is all of high school! There will be no way for public school kids to compete, they are now, and always will be, second class citizens educationally.

    It is only going to get worse. There was a story this week about Boston cancelling/pausing admissions to their advanced placement classes. This seems to be part of a bigger issue with magnet schools/etc and the use of merit to select students for such advanced study. Well, it appears that there is a huge racial gap between the school district as a whole and these advanced classes. The school district is 20% white and Asian, but the advanced classes and schools are 70% white and Asian. So, the want to get rid of testing so they can get racial equity. Then, they will make the program easier so they have racial equity in the grades, then there will be no difference between the advance classes and the regular ones. The story is bigger than that, however. Boston is 25% black, 10% Asian, 20% Hispanic, and 45% white. So, the school system should be about 55% white and Asian, but it is only 20%. Where are the others? Are they in private school? Are over half the white and Asian students in private school, getting an education while the minority kids are not?

    This seems like the point where we get a hereditary elite. If you can’t pony up the money for a good private education or homeschool, your kids will never realistically be able to compete for the colleges and programs that the elite want to monopolize. You will not see poor kids becoming doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, or scientists anymore. We have made sure of that. The inner city poor have no escape. Intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency have now been ensured for them.

    Yes, it is a pjmedia post, but the others are behind a paywall and the AP article seems to be propaganda. This one includes the original PBS report and the quotes from the school district that do indicate this was racially motivated.

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2021/02/27/boston-schools-will-suspend-new-advanced-learning-classes-too-many-whites-and-asians-n1428859

    • “You will not see poor kids becoming doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, or scientists anymore.”

      Are you sure about that? Because I can see scholarships out the wazoo for poor, minority students that, combined with low standards, will result in a large group of professionals too incompetent to practice their trade and wouldn’t last long at any organization that didn’t have diversity quotas of its own to meet.

      The U.S. may have to start honoring medical and scientific degrees from other countries to make up for the poorly-educated professionals here.

      • My child (turning 20 this year) went to public school with NOT one science lab after 6th grade. Can they really become what they want in science with that handicap? Oddly enough she was in the top 90% in the state in science without any science class at all that year. This year they have no music (K-12), no art, their math books are falling apart or math has gone online, they just got chrome books last year, no coding, and no home ec. What would you do with this? The principal has suspended kids for “not parking in the proper Lot”, has yelled at teachers for non mask compliance when they were the only ones in the building, the school has no AP classes. It’s a damn mess.

      • You are half right. There are a lot of scholarships for minority students. However, most of those go to upper-middle class or upper class minority students who were able to go to better schools. All of Michelle Obama’s siblings went to Princeton, for example. Do you think poor, not politically connected kids could do that?

        As for your second point, we already do. We only have enough seats in our medical schools to fill the ‘specialty’ residencies. The spots for GP and internal medicine are made up with people from other countries. The AMA seems to consider it unworthy of US med students to work for less than $400,000/year. That is why they won’t up the number of medical school places to match the number of residency spots. Almost none of our math and physics graduate students are from the US. A large portion of the other science graduate students are as well. It has been like that for 30+ years.

  2. If we have yet another summer of riots, what are ethical ways to deal with them, especially if they come to your neighborhood?

    • Is there an ethical way to deal with violent thugs invading your neighborhood? I’m really not sure what people are expected to do when mobs descend on their homes, shining lasers into their windows, scaring people and tearing things up. The police in most places have refused to do anything about it, so calling the police isn’t an option. They will only respond if the residents try to defend themselves. I’m cannot think of a whole lot of ethical options for dealing with violent mobs.

  3. As a follow up to the meme discussion of “Wet Ass Pussy,” I’ve never been able to understand the admiration of rap and hip hop as an expression of a vibrant culture. It strikes me as nothing but toxic. Don’t rap and hip hop simply broadcast the worst negative stereotypes of blacks in America? Thugs? Misogynists? Prostitues? Pimps? Gangbangers? Massive amounts of gold jewelry? Expensive cars? I just don’t get it. How is any of this empowering? Did my Irish forebears think it was a really good idea in the era of “No Irish Need Apply” to appear on stage drinking whiskey, bar fighting, and speaking in fractured Gaelic, waving Irish flags, living in shanties and acting like leprechauns? Of course there was a criminal element that flourished for a while but I don’t recall Joe Kennedy, Sr. strutting around on stage in full corduroy telling people he’d made his first fortune smuggling booze. Does anybody think rap and hip hop are a good idea? Doesn’t it set a terrible example for young black kids in a very fraught era? Anyone? Beuhler?

    • Not all rap is about committing crimes and drinking to excess. A lot of it, well at least back in the good old days of the 90s, was about the struggles that the rappers went through, the hardships, and how they rose up beyond those challenges.

      But most people don’t listen to the lyrics. Hey Ya, by Outkast is a good example of that. Andre 3000 wrote it as a feel good song, but if you actually listen to the lyrics, it’s about being miserable in a relationship because neither party wants to stay in it. Even brings up that nobody listens to lyrics in the song. There’s good songs in any genre of music, sometimes you just gotta listen a bit harder to find them.

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