Open Mic for the week of 5/22/2023

Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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418 Responses

  1. Jaybird
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    Uber’s Diversity Chief Put on Leave After Complaints of Insensitivity.

    Subhed: The executive hosted sessions about race and being a white woman that were titled “Don’t Call Me Karen,” prompting an employee uproar.

    From the article:

    Employees’ concerns centered on a pair of events, one last month and another last Wednesday, that were billed as “diving into the spectrum of the American white woman’s experience” and hearing from white women who work at Uber, with a focus on “the ‘Karen’ persona.” They were intended to be an “open and honest conversation about race,” according to the invitation.

    But workers instead felt that they were being lectured on the difficulties experienced by white women and why “Karen” was a derogatory term and that Ms. Lee was dismissive of their concerns, according to messages sent on Slack, a workplace messaging tool, that were viewed by The Times.

    The number one mistake that I see here is that the DEI meetings felt like lectures instead of open dialogs.

    Bo Young Lee should have known better.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
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      The difference between good racism and bad racism is something you should learn in the first week of DEI 101.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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      The real answer is to eliminate these positions and gatherings altogether and return to the anodyne recitation of what the law is, preferably by a piece of software without a mouth into which it will inevitably insert its foot.Report

      • Philip H in reply to InMD
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        I’ve been in training like for the federal government – no one pays attention, much less learns anything.Report

        • InMD in reply to Philip H
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          Me too. They’re perfect. No one ever learns anything at these things anyway, no matter what form, but this way you get to check the compliance box without causing some major issue in the ranks or worst case scenario creating the exact kind of complaints and litigation you are hoping to avoid.Report

          • Philip H in reply to InMD
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            The ones I’ve been in that are highly interactive have taught me a great deal. Since they are usually populated by a wide cross section of my co-workers. Guess I have been lucky compared to you heathens.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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              Ours were given by a short youngish woman with red hair.

              Her examples of historical discrimination used Irish people disproportionately.

              I ate the donut. I signed the form.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H
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              “No one pays attention, much less learns anything.” “The ones I’ve been in that are highly interactive have taught me a great deal.”Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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                No one in a rote recitation class pays any attention and learns anything.

                The interactive ones have allowed me to learn stings.

                I was referencing two separate things.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
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                “The interactive ones have allowed me to learn stings.[sic]”

                That makes sense; it’s a lot easier to win the victory over yourself when they convince you that “two plus two equals five” was actually your own idea.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
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                Keep in mind that the actual purpose of these things is to be able to cite them as evidence in the company’s favor in the event of an investigation or lawsuit. To the extent any learning happens that prevents someone from doing something that sparks a lawsuit or investigation that is all well and good but there isn’t a lot of evidence that they do that in any measurable (much less scalable) way. The worst case scenario is where the training itself is provocative and becomes the source of investigations and lawsuits. That’s why boring is always better.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
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                This is why I’m an expert with the Export Laws as they pertain to selling software to terrorists.

                Rule #1… if you have a question ask the Export Desk.
                Rule #2… all deals are reviewed by the Export Desk.
                Rules 3-10 were basically, have you sent that email and is there any reason your deal can’t be reviewed by the Export Desk?

                I have never anywhere sold to anyone or anything anywhere near this Compliance Risk. Ever… in 25-years.

                This ‘training’ takes approx 45min EVERY year – on top of the other 4-hrs. Used to be one or two little 15-min clips. The list is now approx 8-10 and avg. 30-min… some prevent me from skipping ahead or doing anything to answer the questions without the ‘content’ droning on first. It takes more or less a day in January to Cover Corporate’s Ass.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
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                Reading comprehension.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
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      Richard Hanania has some screenshots of the Karens who demanded to speak to Lee’s manager:

      https://twitter.com/RichardHanania/status/1660295715791446016Report

      • ChiP Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
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        That would be Richard “We Need To Brutalize Black People” Hanania?

        He is the white man’s Ibram X Kendi.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to ChiP Daniels
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          Does this formula have a commutative property?Report

          • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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            I don’t know that I’d characterize him quite the way Chip does but even where I find his writing to be convincing he tends to destroy it and his own credibility by suggesting it would be totally fine to, for example, let the police engage in racial profiling in its interactions with the public.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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              It almost makes you question whether the screenshots are real.Report

            • KenB in reply to InMD
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              He says a number of things that get into the DMZ around racism, without going over the border. I think he’s also said that tweeting controversial takes has been part of his rise to relative prominence as a professional opinion-haver.Report

              • InMD in reply to KenB
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                Yea, I mean I’m sure the professional incentives on this weigh in the wrong direction. I’m just saying if you want your thing to be skewerer of obvious non-sense you need to guard well against your own proclivities for obvious nonsense.

                For example, he says over and over again that black Americans as a constituency would never actually tolerate the disparate impact caused by increased policing in urban areas and aggressive prosecution of defendants arrested in those jurisdictions. He also says it in a way that strongly suggests what he really believes would work is a return to something like NYPD’s ‘stop and frisk.’ That’s the kind of position only someone whose memory of politics goes no further back than 2016 would hold, even as it also assumes the effectiveness of a policy that has been pretty significantly discredited as a means of actually lowering crime. The result is that many of his more incisive takes are padded with shallower, question begging analysis that seem designed for no reason other than approval by the more troglodyte corners of his readership. Maybe he will outgrow the tendency but for now I think it’s fair to say it does real damage to him as a serious writer.Report

              • KenB in reply to InMD
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                He definitely makes bolder statements than I would be comfortable with, but at the same time i don’t agree that these things have been discredited — mainly because I just don’t think our ability to separate and measure causes and effects is sensitive enough to do that. My POV is more that there are inevitable trade-offs between crime reduction and other goals such as personal liberty and racial non-discrimination — profiling (racial or otherwise) and spot checks absent probable cause likely do reduce crime some non-negligible amount, the question is more whether the downsides outweigh the upsides. But even to begin a discussion along these lines is to invite charges of racism — perhaps besides professional interest, Hanania is just trying to nudge the Overton Window a bit.Report

              • InMD in reply to KenB
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                That may be the intent and I don’t totally disagree that there is some hypothetical point at which you’ve got trade offs between civil liberties and law and order. However it’s well established on the record that up until the advent of BLM black Democrats were generally part of law and order coalitions (maybe more vocally in the 80s and 90s than the 2000s) but this isn’t hidden information. Many of their voters still seem to be, and I think it is fair to call black voters among the most moderate parts of the D coalition. It also isn’t hidden that the preventative effectiveness of stop and frisk type racial profiling is, at best, disputed in addition to of course being constitutionality suspect in very straightforward ways. I think he would be harder to dismiss if he would wrestle with that instead of cutting to lamenting our lack of stomach for arresting and/or profiling black people based on nothing more than aggregate crime statistics.Report

              • KenB in reply to InMD
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                Yeah that’s fair — there are voices on the Left to call out in this regard but it’s not Black Democrats as a group, that seemed misdirected to me too. And nuance doesn’t seem to be his Twitter style.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
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                We’re on the verge of moving from “racial profiling” to “face recognition”.

                Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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                The calls for “Git Tuff On Crime” are almost always postures of convenience, premised in the Wilhoit Principle.

                They almost never involve any sort of measures which would inconvenience the speaker, and most often are directed at some hated outgroup.

                For example, we have now, well documented cases of hundreds or thousands of priests and ministers across all major denominations who have for years abused children and vulnerable congregants, with the active and knowing abetting of the church organization.

                So…what sorts of profiling should law enforcement be doing, of religious people? How could no-knock raids and warrantless searches be effective in combatting this wave of crime? Maybe asset seizure upon accusation, with the burden of proof on the accused, y’know, like we do with low level drug arrests?

                Ha ha, of course not. As Hanania might put it, few people, especially of the Git Tuff persuasion have the stomach for this, and the religious congregants probably wouldn’t be grateful anyway.

                But yeah, lets Git Tuff and bring down the iron fist of the state, on those people, yeah, those folks way over there, no no not here in my neighborhood, but over there, across the tracks yonder.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Why do “profiling”?

                For the religious, those things didn’t happen in a vacuum, their leadership mostly knew and mostly covered it up.

                The 10th time a leader covers up the same pedo and moves him to a place where he can continue doing his thing seems a lot like “criminal conspiracy to commit [whatever]”.

                If we decide to put a lot of cops and other resources in a high crime zip code and arrest the people causing problems, odds are very good the racial make up of the people arrested will match the zip as a whole.

                Again, you can do that, and even should do that, without “profiling” but still have the expectation that the results will look a lot like that if someone wants to see it that way.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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                Right which is why a Get Tuff policy on child abuse will inevitably look like religious persecution, if only because that’s where the criminals are.

                And too many people just don’t have the stomach for what needs to be done.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
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                I think it would be wrong to deny the existence of those sentiments but I’m not convinced the broad swathe of it is nearly that sophisticated or conspiratorial.Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to ChiP Daniels
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          No, it would not, and the fact that you remembered it as such indicates that it went right over your head.

          What you want Hanania to be saying is that the police should just go round up random black people and throw them in jail. This allows you to dismiss it as racist, and avoid grappling with the actual substance of the point.

          What Hanania was actually saying is that in order to reduce crime, we need more cops on the beat in high-crime areas, and we need to arrest and incarcerate the people committing those crimes. Because of racial gaps in criminal offending, this will necessarily mean policing predominantly black areas more heavily and disproportionately incarcerating black people. He’s being blunt—maybe even a bit trollish—but this is a fact that needs to be confronted. We can’t solve the crime problem if we can’t accept the disparate impact (weirdly, lefties much more sanguine about the disparate impact of crime on black people; I guess those aren’t the #BlackLives that #Matter).

          No, as much as you might like it to be, the disparate impact is not the pointReport

    • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
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      Jaybird: The number one mistake that I see here is that the DEI meetings felt like lectures instead of open dialogs.

      HR is not your friend and they have the ability to fire you. The purpose of these “meetings” is to get HR a chance to virtue signal to the stockholders and claim they’re “doing something”.

      The underlying teachings require redefining “truth” and “evidence” to make their point, so they’re indoctrination.

      The last thing anyone wants is an “open dialog”.Report

  2. Jaybird
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    Welp, the Wall Street Journal has started talking about the Mulvaney thing.

    There’s an interesting “weekly sales volume” chart that compares sales from a year earlier for Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Bud Light.

    They’re going to lean into the Veteran’s thing pretty heavily, I guess.

    They showed the distributors new special-edition Budweiser and Bud Light bottles highlighting the company’s 13-year sponsorship of Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for family members of military veterans and first responders who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. Previously, the brewer had featured Folds of Honor only on Budweiser packaging.

    I doubt that that will turn it around but… maybe?

    Coors Light marketing staff needs to ask for a raise.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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      We’re just entering Pride Month, so we can expect a lot more of this sort of thing, a general freakout over being asked to accept LGBTQ people.

      https://twitter.com/ImMeme0/status/1659020870692532224Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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      I’m sure I’ve said similar things before, but this wasn’t a conventional boycott, with leaders and demands. This was people getting angry. It’s been many years since I’ve had a business class, but they used to describe three categories of concern: small concerns, small things that connect to big concerns, and big concerns. The dream is to get a small thing like choosing Ragu versus Prego to represent a big thing. I don’t remember them even discussing what would happen if you get a small decision to represent something this negative.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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        Yes, and this is the message that liberals are going to be pounding relentlessly until Nov. 2024, reminding everyone about how angry conservatives got when a company featured a trans person as a spokesman, along with how angry they got when trucks had rainbow colors.Report

      • InMD in reply to Pinky
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        One of the odder aspects of those advocating er…intersectional(?) marketing is how seemingly oblivious they can be to their own stated ideology. You have not just an obsession with representation, but a belief that lack of the most radical possible visions of it in the most banal of places must he interpreted as deep, powerful, and fanatical hatred of those omitted. And yet, no one ever stops to say ‘Hey, assuming these things we say we believe are true (lol no really, let’s try), what sort of way is this going to be interpreted by the great majority of people we ourselves think are so wrong and menacing?’

        Now, obviously the real answer to all of this is just capitalism and if you make a big show of advertising your product as being for a small select group of people a significant chunk of other people might interpret that as ‘oh this is not for me, they said so’ and take their money elsewhere. This is bad strategy for any mass market product but it isn’t like you couldn’t get to the right answer through the wrong equation. To me that means the only possible conclusion is that the decision makers weren’t just wrong, they were stupid. Really, really stupid.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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          I think it has to do with the question “What is the goal?”

          If the goal is to “Sell Beer!”, then the ad campaign, in the short term, failed. The long term is still yet to be determined. Stock prices go up and down all the time. There’s no rhyme nor reason. It’s a random walk.

          If, however, the goal is something else, then the question becomes “did the ad campaign actually succeed?”

          What’s the goal?Report

          • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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            This is the Kathleen Kennedy question. Bud Light is like Star Wars, you don’t get into it to make it niche, or at least your investors think you shouldn’t.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
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            The goal may be to get people to talk about our beer.
            In six months no one will remember this ad but the beer may be higher on their radar.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
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              Bud Light has been the most popular beer in the US, with sales about equal to the second and third most popular beers combined. I have trouble believing that, as a result of this marketing move, people will be more likely to think about Bud Light in six months without a negative connotation.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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                Occasionally there is a poll that opens with “Are you familiar with (brand)?” and then goes on to ask you questions about stuff like Taco Bell’s menu.

                There’s always a small handful of people who have said that they are unaware of Taco Bell.

                While I have no doubt that this is true for a number of folks, it doesn’t strike me as likely that these folks overlap with the folks who take these polls.

                I assume that they are lying.

                But maybe 1 out of 25 people honestly have never heard of Taco Bell.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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                What percent of fast food fans don’t know Taco Bell? What percent of beer drinkers haven’t heard of Bud Light?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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                I imagine that they must be happy.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to InMD
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          Now, obviously the real answer to all of this is just capitalism and if you make a big show of advertising your product as being for a small select group of people a significant chunk of other people might interpret that as ‘oh this is not for me, they said so’ and take their money elsewhere.

          Yes, how dare a company *checks note* get a celebrity with a public audience to promote the company’s product to her audience. They shouldn’t have ‘made a big show’ by *checks note* printing a can for her to hold up on to her audience, and only her audience. Why, it’s practically the same as running a Super Bowl ad!Report

          • InMD in reply to DavidTC
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            A few weeks ago when we started talking about this at OT I said most guys want to get chicks, not be chicks. If your beer is the beer of guys who want to be chicks you may well define yourself out of being the beer of (at least some of) the guys who want to get chicks. I understand you see this as a great moral failing. The reality is it’s just branding 101.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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            I don’t drink beer. Ergo this issue does nothing to increase or decrease my odds of drinking beer.

            In this case the model’s entire source of fame is she’s a transgender activist. Ergo the entire reason she’s on the beer is because she’s a trans activist. Picking a hot model who happens to be trans would be treating her as a normal person, however that’s not what happened here.

            At best we’re in “celerity endorsement” territory where the beer thinks she’s on the way up and a linkage would help them long term. At worse we in either “trans is hip so we need to join that cause” or “all right thinking people believe this”.Report

  3. Chip Daniels
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    Uh-oh folks. A major scandal is brewing:

    FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Fox News employees are allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex, and permitted to dress in alignment with their preferred gender. They must also be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns in the workplace.

    These are just a few of the policies outlined in the company handbook, dated January 2021, a copy of which was shared with The Daily Signal. Fox also offers to help employees come up with a “Workplace Transition Plan” to ease their gender transition at work.
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/05/22/exclusive-leaked-policy-exposes-fox-news-stances-on-woke-ideology/

    My God. FOX has fallen. Repeat, FOX has fallen.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
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      yeah well . . . you can’t publicly shame the shameless . . .Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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      Does this mean that we can quote Fox stories in the future without getting a “WHY ARE YOU QUOTING FOX?” reponse?

      Because, if not, I’d say that this is a minor scandal.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        Refer to my response to Lee about bigoted minorities.

        But if conservatives want to give Fox the Bud Lite treatment, I won’t stand in their way.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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          After all, the core of the liberal outlook is that the human experience is universal, so why should we be surprised to discover that oppressed minority groups are themselves spread out all along the political axes?

          This doesn’t answer my question about whether quoting Fox stories in the future will result in you ignoring the story and, instead, talking about how Fox is bad.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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            I don’t ignore Fox stories now – and they are full of other easily findable hypocrisy. I do ignore their opinion shows, which are not and have never been “fair and balanced.”Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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            Why do you connect their employee policies to their veracity?

            Maybe they are liars who use proper pronouns.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              I don’t.

              I was asking you if this major scandal is going to result in a change of behavior on your part.

              If the answer is “no”, then I’ll go back to seeing this as little more than a minor scandal.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                I’m not expecting you to see it as a scandal.

                The Daily Wire guys- now, THEY’RE the ones who are freaking out.

                I mean, c’mon- trans people are being treated with dignity and respect- Scandals don’t get much bigger than that. They took down an entire global brand over stuff like this.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                I’ll note that I still don’t have an answer to my question.

                You know the phenomenon where someone gives a source for this or that story and the response has nothing to do with the story but, instead, with the source?

                “Oh, is that the same onlinewebsite.com that has opinions that are unfashionable?!?” and, suddenly, the discussion is about onlinewebsite.com instead of whether or not the things being pointed to actually exist?

                Well, what I’m asking is whether this scandal will result in you responding to this particular source being provided for a phenomenon that will result in you looking at the moon rather than looking at the finger.

                Will it?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                FOX news is still an unreliable source of liars who use proper pronouns.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Okay.

                This major scandal is just a minor scandal then.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Tell that to Matt Walsh:

                Pay attention to the conservatives who rightly called Bud Light out but remain silent on Fox’s radical pro-trans policies. Many of these people are terrified of losing their Fox segments. Three and a half minutes of face time on cable news is more alluring than you may think.

                https://twitter.com/MattWalshBlog/status/1660637380368375808Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                He’s not here.

                Just the guy who is calling it a major scandal is here.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
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      This was inevitably going to happen after Rupert let them get vaccinated.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Burt Likko
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        Which was fated years and years ago, when Rupert decided he was going to base a giant media company in New York City. He knew then that the company would have to conform to NYC workplace attitudes.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
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          From American Greatness:
          Report: Fox News Issued Trans-Friendly Handbook to Employees, Ordered Hosts Not To Bash Dylan Mulvaney

          People aren’t even free to bash Dylan Mulvaney? What is this, Communist Russia??

          Man. I bet they drink Bud Light in the corporate breakroom.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
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            Apparently Tucker had to get special permission to misgender her.

            Which is just hilariously funny. Not the fact he had to do that, but the fact that _no one_ at Fox ever complains about that sort of control, even via non-Fox channels.

            Either Fox is _really_ good at censoring them, or they’re very obvious hypocrites.Report

  4. Jaybird
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    Occasionally we discuss the schools in Baltimore. The whole issue of “schools that have *ZERO* proficient students” thing.

    Well, Wesley Yang guest posted a first-person account from someone who was a Teach For America teacher who went there. You can read it here. Content Warning: It’s harrowing.

    It seems to me that the best attacks on this piece would be something like “why did the guy not use his real name?” and “what he is saying is not true, does he have a citation, why didn’t he use his real name?” and “I shouldn’t have to engage with what he says if he doesn’t use his real name”.

    Because if what he says is true, then we can’t fix the problem with increasing funding.

    I mean, beyond the whole “they’re already in the top quartile” issue that I keep harping on.Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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      I read that the other day. I had a class mate in law school (also in Baltimore) who had similarly washed out of Teach for America. His stories about it weren’t quite as bad as this person’s account but they were in the same ballpark.

      Of course I think it reinforces the point that you could send the best teachers with the best curriculums in the world (God knows the state already subsidizes it so that the per student is well above the per student spend in the good jurisdictions) and it wouldn’t matter. The problems at intake are too profound.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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      So, it seems clear that funding is not the cause of the problems in schools such as these.

      I’m curious… what is your hypothesis on why these schools have zero or near-zero proficiency rates?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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        The first finger I’d point is a the fact that a lot of kids were harmed by some of the changes several years back from stuff like “phonics” to “whole word” theories of reading. I’m pleased to say that they switched back to Phonics in Mississippi and reading scores are, apparently, “soaring”.

        So that’s one thing that could be used to move from *ZERO* to “at least one”.

        Sadly, that’s not going to fix everything.

        But, at this point, I mostly want to move from “multiple schools with zero proficient students no not even one” to “some of the worst scores in the country but much better than they were in 2023”.Report

        • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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          No one gets a dissertation out of phonics. So we see schools going phonics, then some sort of whole word stuff, then phonics, then another sort of whole word stuff, then phonics… Ditto for math, for that matter. Eventually, all the assorted math-concept programs get to the point where they have to teach here’s the long multiplication form that works, here’s the long division form that works…Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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          That doesn’t even come close to answering my question.

          Why do you think these schools have zero or near-zero proficiency rates? The closest you came to was “whole word theories of reading.”Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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            Oh, well, I’d say that the schools are managed by people who are using faulty teaching methods for students that are tough cases in the first place.

            I’m not saying that there is a silver bullet that could get them to, oh, the levels found in Madison, Wisconsin overnight… but if I wanted to go from being a city that had single-digits of schools without a single student being proficient to being a city with double-digits of schools without a single student being proficient, I’d probably switch teaching philosophies across the city without having a control group and scream about the need for more funding if the numbers went down.

            Why do you think these schools have zero or near-zero proficiency rates?

            Zero or near-zero proficiency rates of what? Of reading?

            I’d say because they switched from something that has been demonstrated to kinda work to something faddish.

            The closest you came to was “whole word theories of reading.”

            That’s the faddish thing, yes.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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              “Zero or near-zero proficiency rates of what? Of reading?”

              I dunno man… you’re the one who started talking about “schools that have *ZERO* proficient students.”

              Anyway…

              I’d agree that we’d want to look at both what is being taught and how it is being taught. And it’d be impossible to do so without considering leadership at all levels. Full concurrence there.

              Of course, probably the trickiest knot to untangle in education is answering: “What works?” I mean… what is the goal? Who are we evaluating? Etc, etc, etc.

              Ideally we’d have good studies not just on *what* works for *for whom* it works.

              “Well, just look at test scores!” Sadly, it is not so simple, for the reasons I describe below as regards Mississippi.

              And, again, to be super annoying, I come back to “What is the goal?”

              The “science of reading” crowd isn’t offering anything particularly knew. I learned back in undergrad (early 2000s) that most data suggested a more phonics-heavy approach generally resulted in high reading scores on tests but much more negative attitudes about reading while a more whole-language-heavy approach yielded the inverse. As my teacher summarized it, “Phonics makes good readers who hate reading and whole-language makes worse readers who love reading.”

              Which of those is preferable? Which of those is better? I’m not sure we can answer that objectively. It doesn’t mean it can’t be answered… only that the answer is going to have lots of subjectivity in it. And if you drill down to thinking about this in colloquial terms, you could just as easily say both approaches produce ‘good’ readers (“Look at test scores!” “He’s a voracious reader!”) and both produce ‘bad’ readers (“She hates reading!” “Look at test scores!”).

              Now, if you value test scores over attitudes (a perfectly legitimate position), you’re going to look at the whole language approach as weak. But there is a big difference between saying, “This produces lower test scores and I want higher test scores,” and calling the approach objectively “faulty.” It’s not a matter of good or bad… it’s a matter of values.

              What do I think, I’ll pretend you asked? I’d prefer to see a blended, multi-modal approach. I’d prefer to see class sizes small enough and teachers skilled enough to understand kids’ individual learning styles and needs and to adjust the balance as needed for each learner. I reject the notion that teaching reading must be either phonics-based OR whole language… there is no reason it can’t be both. I don’t think we have limit ourselves to the two outcomes my teacher described but rather I think — for most kids at least in a general ed setting — we can give them the skills to be proficient in decoding and comprehending age-appropriate texts while also instilling in them a love of reading.

              But, of course, that is based on my *subjective* belief that both goals (test scores and attitudes) are equally worthwhile and important.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I think this is all probably true in normal situations.

                My response to Jaybird would be in a place like Baltimore none of it really matters. The critical parts of the piece are the descriptions of absenteeism, living off nothing but snacks from corner stores, minimal parental involvement and chaotic home lives, constant exposure to street violence that the children then imitate etc. I think that’s the real take away. Phonics isn’t going to fix any of that stuff.

                One of the anecdotes I recall the guy I knew in law school telling was about how a big deal was made of getting some grant that the school he was at used for all brand new text books. According to him none were left by the end of the year because the students (or their families) sold them and most were gone within a week.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                “My response to Jaybird would be in a place like Baltimore none of it really matters. The critical parts of the piece are the descriptions of absenteeism, living off nothing but snacks from corner stores, minimal parental involvement and chaotic home lives, constant exposure to street violence that the children then imitate etc. I think that’s the real take away.”

                Now THERE is an answer. What we ascribe those things to might differ but I would certainly agree those are all contributing factors to how children do in school.

                Me darethinks Jaybird would also agree but for some reason decided to talk only about phonics…Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I don’t think it has any single cause. In the case of Baltimore it almost certainly starts with a big dose of the legacy of slavery and segregation, both of which are part of Maryland’s history. It also has a really tough combination of flight by anyone who could get out after the 1968 riots and rust belt type problems due to loss of industry. Then throw on top of that addiction and the drug war stuff and the people left in significant chunks of the city live in a mess and are themselves a mess, up to the point it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.Report

              • Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                My response to Jaybird would be in a place like Baltimore none of it really matters. The critical parts of the piece are the descriptions of absenteeism, living off nothing but snacks from corner stores, minimal parental involvement and chaotic home lives, constant exposure to street violence that the children then imitate etc. I think that’s the real take away. Phonics isn’t going to fix any of that stuff.

                And yet we not only expect schools to overcome all this, we expect them to do it on shoe string budgets – at least as compared to the scope of the problem.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                shoe string budgets

                Baltimore’s schools are in the top quintile of funding for the country.

                They’re pretty close to being in the top sextile.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                That doesn’t mean they have the money to overcome the far large socio-economic issues they are challenged with by the communities they serve. Figure out how much the thing InMD described above cost – and he knows better then you do since he lives in Maryland – and compare that to the schools budget. THEN you can make cogent statements about adequate funding. Until that point its all arm flapping . . . . which many of us are growing weary of.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                If the answer to “how much money would be enough” is something like “there is no amount of money that would be enough!”, then just let me say, again, that I could get you zero proficient students for a lot less outlay.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                If the voters of Baltimore have decided to outlay these funds, then its not your fight man. And if that doesn’t lead to proficiency you think is acceptable, then move to Baltimore and get to work.

                I also didn’t say no amount of money. I said look at the funding for schools set against the costs of the socio-economic conditions the students are drawn from and THEN decide if its “enough or not.”

                Again – anything else is useless arm flapping which I am sure makes you feel good and may even troll the libs around here, but isn’t advancing the conversation.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                On paper they get more per student funding than even the high performing jurisdictions in the state. To the extent money matters I think it is more the money (that isn’t) in the students’ parents’ checking accounts. However there is so much dysfunction I’m not sure even cutting them all checks would fix it and I could envision situations where it could make things worse. My guess is that if you did anyone with any sense would use it to get out of Baltimore, not stay and try to be a pillar of success.Report

              • Philip H in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Having spent a decade in PG County I get it. I just think that your analysis has a far bigger bearing on the outcome then Jaybird’s. And he’s refusing to take any of the externalities into account. Which is maddening.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                To be perfectly honest, the people screaming about how there’s a shoe string budget for schools that get more funding than 80ish percent of the other schools in the country are doing more to refuse to take any of the externalities into account than I am.

                For the record, I’m the guy saying “we should, at least, change things because more budget won’t help”.

                Because, again, we’re talking *ZERO* proficiency.

                This is representative of a policy failure that is so large that it’s difficult to quantify.

                It’s not going to be fixed by more money.

                Even if we pretend that the budget is on a shoe string.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                At no point have I or InMD or Chip said Baltimore has a shoe string budget. We have said and will continue to say that with all the things the schools are expected to overcome – which InMD laid out nicely and I endorse – Baltimore’s schools may not be funded adequately, and those funds may not be apportioned in the best fashion. I’d ad that given the lack of proficiency seems to be limited to a few schools – and is not district wide – those schools may well be underfunded compared to need.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I remember when you said:

                And yet we not only expect schools to overcome all this, we expect them to do it on shoe string budgets – at least as compared to the scope of the problem.

                And I keep hammering on how the schools we are talking about are in the top quintile of funding for the country.

                “It’s still underfunded *COMPARED TO THE PROBLEM*, you say. Sure. But I don’t know that there is *ANY* amount of money that will fix this.

                And I can give you *ZERO* for a lot less than what you’re paying.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                Yea, I actually grew up mostly in PG county though my parents were able to send us to Catholic school so I was more or less shielded from the issues there. Ultimately as I approached high school the economics weighed in favor of just moving to another county.

                I would never say PG’s wrap is exactly undeserved but at least there you still have a functioning black middle class and a bunch of opportunities tied to proximity to DC. So the place has its problems but there are life lines and oasis for those who are able to take advantage of them. Not sure if it’s the best metric but when I was at UMD I would meet people there that went to PG county public schools (typically one of the 2 or 3 magnet programs) and of course know people from when I was a kid that did and have done fine. However I don’t think I’ve ever actually known anyone who went to a Baltimore public school, and certainly didn’t meet any in college.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Prince George’s County borders one of the wealthiest counties in the US on one side, and some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in DC on another.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Indeed. I spent my baby lawyer days at a small firm out there dealing with mostly criminal matters. I wasn’t there very long but I picked up a few war stories from it.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
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                says:

                There are parts of the county that are mostly criminal matters, so that makes sense.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
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                says:

                InMD: On paper they get more per student funding than even the high performing jurisdictions in the state.

                Baltimore City currentlys get $21,606 per student. They’re the 4th best school system in the nation by that metric.

                For all the talk on how it’s a massive increase, that’s a 16% increase over where they used to be.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Far as I can tell, that’s not adjusted for cost of living. Baltimore is close to the average, New York is seriously more expensive.

                …Good Grief. Adjusted for cost of living, Baltimore might have the best funded schools in the nation. All of the other schools on that “best funded” list are significantly more expensive to live.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                There’s no budget that can overcome these things. If that one mom was a Crip, how much money does the school need to overcome that? When the administrators have poor grammar, and people are getting killed in the streets, there’s nothing that can happen on school grounds that can offset it.

                Humans love to learn. We naturally develop languages. Learning to read can be tough for some people, but likewise there are always going to be people who will absorb every written thing they can get their hands on. If zero students are like that, it’s not the school, it’s the culture.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                As my teacher summarized it, “Phonics makes good readers who hate reading and whole-language makes worse readers who love reading.”

                Gotta say, if you’re dealing with schools that have zero proficient students, I’m not sure that you’re making readers at all.

                Which of those is preferable? Which of those is better? I’m not sure we can answer that objectively.

                In the case of schools without a single proficient child?

                I think we can. I honestly think we can.

                Now, if you value test scores over attitudes (a perfectly legitimate position), you’re going to look at the whole language approach as weak. But there is a big difference between saying, “This produces lower test scores and I want higher test scores,” and calling the approach objectively “faulty.” It’s not a matter of good or bad… it’s a matter of values.

                There isn’t a single proficient student in these schools.

                What, exactly, are we getting from this particular trade-off?

                But, of course, that is based on my *subjective* belief that both goals (test scores and attitudes) are equally worthwhile and important.

                They seem to be equally worthless and unimportant here.

                We’re not talking about schools that have a Gold Reading Group, a Silver Reading Group, and a special Bronze Reading Group that meets in the basement and discussing how to make more of the Silver Reading Group children actively want to read books like The Unicorn Rescue Society instead of Harry Potter.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not weighing in on what Baltimore ought to do.

                I’m pointing out that oversimplifying the conversation by listening to folks who don’t have a real understanding of this isn’t particularly helpful.

                I agree that Baltimore schools are doing a bad job. I agree that Baltimore schools need to make changes in order to do a better job. I agree that more phonics would likely improve Baltimore schools’ reading scores.

                I’m not sure what changes Baltimore SHOULD make because I am not well-versed in what they are doing. But I am fairly confident that adding more phonics isn’t going to take that 0% proficiency up to 75% or whathaveyou because there are lots more things at play.

                Tl;dr: The “MORE PHONICS” crowd has dramatically oversimplified the conversation in ways that make it hard to make thoughtful change. Even if they are right that more phonics would improve test scores as tests are currently constructed (and I would agree that they are!).Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                My take from that horror stories link to a Baltimore class is what’s needed is MUCH smaller classes, like one teacher per 5 students.

                So in a class with 25 students you’d have 5 adults, one to teach and four to maintain discipline and tutor the problem children.

                Or just micro classes.

                Budget for this would be crazy high. Something else they could do which would be a lot cheaper is to toss out the disruptive students, say the bottom 20%.

                Of course this breaks all sorts of ethical rules but we might be in lifeboat ethics.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll need to look for the research but I believe the correlation between school/student success and (small) class size is high. Lots of noise in that data but that also jives with my anecdotal experience.

                Of course a question becomes where do you find quality teachers? If a district needs 2-3x teachers for its population given the needs relative to the ‘norm’, those teachers have to come from somewhere. It may mean even more funds going into salaries to make teaching a more desirable profession on the ground level.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                My weighing in on what Baltimore ought to do comes from a starting place of how they are among the most funded in the country and how they have dozens of schools *WITHOUT A SINGLE* proficient student.

                Whatever it is that they are doing, they need to be doing something else.

                The “MORE PHONICS” crowd has dramatically oversimplified the conversation in ways that make it hard to make thoughtful change. Even if they are right that more phonics would improve test scores as tests are currently constructed (and I would agree that they are!).

                The thoughtful changes were not being made before I got here. They appear to not be on any track to be made after I am gone.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I don’t understand how you could read that Teach For America article and still think that the problem is in the school. Honestly, that’s just an absurd position. If someone teaches phonics and the kids have trouble learning it, maybe phonics is the wrong approach. If the kids flip the desk then run around the halls pantomiming a shootout they witnessed the night before, you can’t blame phonics.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It has to be in the school.

                If it’s not in the school, there isn’t a solution.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You state that like it’s your choice between “it’s in the school” and “there’s no solution”.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I have to add that I think there’s a solution outside the school, in the culture.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at the school level, there isn’t.

                No matter what policies that you incorporate or whatever funding you wring out, you won’t move from zero to twenty percent.

                Change this in the school, change that… it just doesn’t matter.

                But after you reach that particular conclusion, you then have to ask about what to do in that situation.

                Nobody wants to talk about that, least of all me.

                Phonics.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                This where the conversation connects to my conversation with Dark about societal dysfunction..

                How do we get low performing poor families in rural Kentucky to be more like high performing affluent families in San Francisco?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Would it be worthwhile to look at funding levels?

                Are they in the same decile?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                How do we get low performing poor families in rural Kentucky to be more like high performing affluent families in San Francisco?

                Start by getting more granularity on what you want to do.

                An average that covers all of Kentucky, or maybe even an entire zip, is too large. That’s why we should talk about marriage rates, it’s a great predictor of problems/success and it passes some sort of smell test for being causal.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Is marriage a leading or a lagging indicator?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Acknowledgement that you also don’t want to talk about the actual problem doesn’t constitute a solution.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                No one really wants to talk about it.

                The closest thing we have to a workable solution is my suggestion that we simply write off about 20% of the population in those schools.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                I think the alternative is something more like forced assimilation. That is alien to the way our government functions and our way of life, to say nothing of having its own set of serious moral quandaries.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Let’s start here: what would encourage a culture of delayed gratification?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Arresting all the murderers would be one heck of a start.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Yes, that’s one place to start.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                I think it’s actually a harder question, and would phrase it more like ‘what can the state do to encourage a culture of delayed gratification in an environment where virtually all private authorities and role models are ill equipped to instill it and have no prospect of becoming equipped to instill it?’

                I think we can fairly say that compelling 6 or 7 hours a day with public school teachers and administrators doesn’t move the needle. I also think it’s fair to observe that the people in these situations are unlikely to one day reinvent themselves. So… do we break up families? Take the children to institutionalized settings to try to reset them? Force people to relocate in hopes we can dilute the problems away? All of it is pretty ugly.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The state is only incidental to what I’m thinking of. How about a legitimate anti-drug, anti-alcohol culture? What if we treat each reparations advocate the same as we would a Holocaust denier? Dark Matter says we should arrest all murderers: what if we shame them as well? How about boycotts of stores that sell slutty clothes in young adults or younger sizes?Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe. But given the hyper localized nature of the problems we’re talking about I think we will be waiting a very long time for things like that to arise sua sponte. That’s almost what we’re doing now, waiting for a self correction that may or may not ever come, and where a lot of bad stuff is passed to children before they even know it.

                I actually thought that was the most disturbing part of the TFA post, watching children imitate destructive behaviors and attitudes the teacher knows will lead to disaster, even as the children themselves are totally unaware of that reality.Report

              • Pinky in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Let me tell you why I’m frustrated with this comment. I don’t see how you can advocate for the law of Jante when you know it can’t be instituted officially, and won’t try to institute it in the realm of voluntary associations. This is like Flanders’s dad: “we’ve tried nothing and we’re out of ideas”. You could get most of what you advocate for if you’re willing to push it over a generation and demand that the affected communities do so as well, but you won’t and I don’t know why.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                To clarify I’m not actually advocating for the Law of Jante, just observing its robustness in other places. One of my brothers is living in Germany but his last residence in the US was in Baltimore city. He continues to send me humorous observations about the day to day, totally unforced order of the Germans compared to the regular low key anarchy of his neighborhood in Baltimore.

                My opinion is that the Law of Jante is probably incompatible with core components of the American ethos. To some degree our whole country from the Declaration of Independence to Bill of Rights is a hard break with all of that and I doubt our ability to reverse it. That said I am certainly not against people going out and using their freedom of association and influence in an effort to positive sum outcomes. What I think we’re dealing with though, at least in part, is an acute breakdown of that capability in some places and I don’t think any amount of scolding or leading by example by itself is going to kick start the process. Even now there are people in Baltimore or wherever else living their lives in a proper and productive way and being completely ignored by those who don’t. Which is why I think if we hope to have positive change we need at least some theory of how we would use public policy to effectuate it. I view many of my intra-left debates here as pushing back against what I think are destructive, counter productive use of policy, but not against any intervention at all.

                The other option of course is to chock it up to freedom and understand there are just going to be some places where it results in total breakdowns.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
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                says:

                If I were living there I’d find an enclave of culturally like minded people with functional schools.

                Unfortunately, the big problem that school in the link has is it’s children and their families.

                Good teachers matter… but families matter more.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                My observation when I was going to school up there was that people that are like that mostly have, either by being in one of the few wealthy corners and using private schools or by virtue of being in ethnic enclaves.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky: What if we treat each reparations advocate the same as we would a Holocaust denier?

                What does this mean?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                I mean that anyone who goes around advocating for slavery reparations or any other destructive idea that promotes racism should be treated with the same contempt we treat someone who denies the Holocaust.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Reparations promotion of racism is abstract or second hand while denying the Holocaust is a direct attack on facts.

                As for the rest, those cultural habits aren’t destructive in and of themselves. Destructive habits we should oppose are…

                1) Murder (i.e. the concept that young men duel if their respect is damaged).
                2) Out of wedlock child rearing.
                3) Lack of education. And by this I mean they seem to be actively resisting becoming educated.

                I’m sure I’m missing a ton but whatever. Women’s fashion doesn’t come close to rating.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “How about boycotts of stores that sell slutty clothes in young adults or younger sizes?”

                Or outlawing creepy Purity balls, or those freakish little girl beauty pageants or any parochial school which doesn’t offer free birth control?

                See, this is my point, and why I referenced Kentucky instead of Baltimore.

                Any attempt to improve culture inevitably becomes contaminated with our own biases and blind spots, and becomes a form of cultural eugenics.

                What rural white America has in common with urban black America is that both communities are marked by poverty, violence, dysfunction, and a high degree of religious observance. Travel through the hollers and ghettos, and you will see a storefront church every 50 feet or so.

                Travel through the well manicured suburbs of Palo Alto or Connecticut and and you will be hard pressed to find a single traditional church.

                Cause or effect? I can’t say. But all around the world, the transformation from poverty to wealth, backward dysfunction to modernity almost always involves a shedding of religion.

                So if, through some process, rural Kentucky did actually become as high functioning as San Francisco, there will almost certainly be a lot fewer churches, and a lot more drag shows.

                Or, is this just Chip using other people’s misery as a pretext for bigotry?Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                There is honestly something to the secularization thesis. It has to be the right type of secularization though. That is generally gradual and organic rather than imposed from above like the Communist countries. America is secularizing in the way that other developed democracies have and the Evangeliban doesn’t like it.

                Another thing that I’d note is that Continental
                European countries and the East Asian developed democracies were willing to impose a standard of behavior on the citizenry in a way that most Anglophone countries, with maybe the exception of Canada and New Zealand are not able to. Lots of people miss that including liberals who really admire the Nordic countries. There are different levels of draconianism in the social engineering but they do exist.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                Communism works very well as a religion trying to pretend it’s a social/economic theory.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Religion is the opiate of the masses.

                Educated/Functional people do less magical thinking. They also need it less.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD
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                says:

                The taking away children and putting them in institutionalized settings as a very terrible track record and results in a lot of death. See the Indian Boarding Schools. The problem is that we have no agreement on what carrot and stick incentives to use and how to combat negative outside influence or even define what that is.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
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                says:

                I agree, it has its own problems and not so great history. And to be clear I am not proposing we actually do something like that, and strongly doubt any appetite exists for it for a host of reasons. I am just throwing it out as an example of heavy handed intervention versus the light footprint interventions we do now but which have a different set of not so great results and trade offs. It’s a very hard, maybe impossible needle to thread perfectly and there will always be a pick your poison aspect to it.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                For the record, almost all talk about ‘culture of delayed gratification’ is nonsense.

                There’s a reason that poor people ‘do not learn that’, and that reason is simply that it is not true for them. In poor family, gratification gets ‘delayed’ into nothingness. It never actually happens. Some unexpected expense will always come up.

                And there are two different ways of dealing with this: a) either the kid is constantly lied by adults and made promises that adults do not keep, or b) the kid is never made those promises by adults and thus is never introduced to that idea.

                THIS IS NOT A CULTURAL THING. It’s simply basic learned behavior, each generation.

                Promises are constantly broke or never made, and that is because the person who is in charge of keeping the promises literally cannot keep them, because they don’t have enough money (Or time, which is because they don’t have enough money so have to work constantly.)

                And it can be solved by fixing their financial status enough that they aren’t living on a knife’s edge.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                I know the value of replying to you, and I await an angry multipage reply that’s packed with factual errors and misses the point.

                You’re right that the poor can have short horizons, and that thinking is not unreasonable based on the evidence around them. But it’s possible to have a longer horizon, and that attitude can (but isn’t guaranteed to) have a payoff. So what we have is an intergenerational habit of response, and that’s a culture. It’s pretty common for immigrants to arrive poor and work their way out of it, with community help, in a generation or two. That’s cultural as well.

                Anyone who’s been poor can tell you that you don’t get out of it with money. You keep going with money, but you get out of it with time, effort, and luck. Going back to the Teach For America story, those kids could have taken advantage of the opportunity they had, but they didn’t think to do so. If more than one path is viable, and no one follows a different path even by accident, then it’s a cultural matter.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Anyone who’s been poor can tell you that you don’t get out of it with money. You keep going with money, but you get out of it with time, effort,

                Money buys time and allows for effort.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                Agreed. Money is valuable. But it’s not the whole formula, and on its own it maybe doesn’t even buy time.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                if you start out working 12-16 hours a day to make ends meet, and you can get down to the “regular” 8 hour work day by increasing salary or other funding you definitely buy time. If your costs go down due to free childcare or food assistance, your hours can drop and the same salary buys time.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think we’re disagreeing here.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “[I]t’s possible to have a longer horizon, and that attitude can (but isn’t guaranteed to) have a payoff.”

                This is a statement of American class morality.

                And DavidTC accurately points out that there are other classes, with their own notions of morality, and one of those classes has the idea that money is given, never earned, and thus “I should get to keep the money I worked for” is in fact an immoral concept for them. Because even if you got the money from a “job”, it still was a mark of fortune that you got money, and it’s only moral to share that money around your family, who would certainly do the same for you with any money that they were given.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                So what we have is an intergenerational habit of response, and that’s a culture.

                If you want to call that culture, I can’t stop you, any more than I can stop you from calling people in North Dakota wearing heavy coats a cultural thing.

                Both those are going to go away in the first generation that doesn’t grow up in that environment, and there’s no abstract belief you can remove that these are based on, it’s practical experience.

                It’s pretty common for immigrants to arrive poor and work their way out of it, with community help, in a generation or two.

                For example, there could be Scottish and Irish immigrants who came to Appalachia over hundreds of years and kept a culture of extreme governmental distrust and thus were unable to ever get out of poverty.

                Wait, I think that’s a different discussion that’s happening elsewhere.

                Here, we’re condemning people who were not allowed to build generational wealth until very very recently, and most of them have… Well, I was going to say they had very little, but technically speaking they generally tend to have negative wealth.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not merely a distrust of government that makes Appalachia poor. These days, in fact, they’re being hurt by too much reliance on government. What has hurt them is that old Scottish / Irish / northern English culture that looks down on education and savings and looks up to strength and emotion. The same kind of culture you find in poor black communities.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Aaand this is why we bristle at all the “Culture” arguments.

                Friedrich Engels (Yes that one) described the residents of Little Ireland as “a horde of ragged women and children…as filthy as the swine that thrive upon the garbage heaps”, suggesting that this ‘race’ had “reached the lowest stage of humanity” in ‘The Condition of the Working Classes in England’.

                Not to be outdone:

                A poem written James Michie and published in The Spectator magazine in 2004 [ed. note: TWO THOUSAND FECKING FOUR!] by Johnson, who was the editor of the magazine at the time. The poem reads:

                The Scotch – what a verminous race!

                Canny, pushy, chippy, they’re all over the place,

                Battening off us with false bonhomie,

                Polluting our stock, undermining our economy.

                Down with sandy hair and knobbly knees!

                Suppress the tartan dwarves and the Wee Frees!

                Ban the kilt, the skean-dhu and the sporran and on and on.

                Oh, I see. Did you wypipo think that all this Bell Curve crap was always only going to be aimed at colored folk?

                The boundaries of whiteness are always ever shifting, depending on the political needs of the moment.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Aaand this is why we bristle at all the “Culture” arguments.

                It’s easily misused. It also seems to be where the data points.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Culture is something we choose, not something permanently etched onto our psyche.

                Why do members of the same group, or clan or neighborhood or family unit, choose to join and belong to a culture of failure instead of a culture of success?

                No one knows the answer to this. But we do know that it is a choice.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This is like saying religion is a choice. There’s a element of truth to it, but only an element.

                Children are indoctrinated into how their culture behaves from day one. It’s HARD to give it up. It’s what you know, it makes sense, and all your friends are in it.

                Worse, when people do give it up they’re the exception, not the rule, and we don’t hear much about them.

                The part that gets me is how much push back there is to even having this conversation. Not just on this blog, Ben Shapiro suggested something like this and the black activists he was talking to burst out laughing because the concept is so unthinkable.

                The only acceptable answer is the root cause is racism and the root solution must be to oppose racism.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You really don’t think that black people, or rural white people don’t talk about a toxic culture of guns and lawlessness? Of misogyny and homophobia?

                Maybe Ben Shapiro isn’t your best window into these cultures.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think just suggesting it’s culture “makes hackles rise” (as you put it). Suggesting aspects should be condemned invites accusations of racism. Not because anyone is in favor of arming elementary students but because condemning someone’s culture is “racist” by definition.

                And I was referring to Shapiro’s opponents reactions.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If you ignore the culture arguments, it must be exceptionally confusing to look at Baltimore.

                “But they’re well-funded! Maybe… maybe… maybe they’re not well-funded enough. Yes. That must be it.”Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not merely a distrust of government that makes Appalachia poor.

                Not nitpick, but to be clear, a distrust did not _make_ Appalachian poor, Appalachia is poor because everyone lives in the middle of nowhere and are often very inaccessible and the only real industry that has it ever had is a few places where there is coal mine or other resource extraction that then dried up. The default status is poor, and it didn’t help the people who immigrated there were almost uniformly poor to start with.

                It is the distrust of the government that has made of Appalachia unable to _fix_ that, unable to build any industry beyond that, except in a few rare places, usually blue cities where progressives were able to actually have some sort of influence.

                These days, in fact, they’re being hurt by too much reliance on government.

                As opposed to where they should be getting money from…um…stealing underpants?

                I mean, I guess they could nationalize (or whatever you call it when you do at the state level) all the coal resources that they have sold off to companies that are now extracting the coal without almost no employees. That would help a few areas, I guess, but not anywhere else. Also I suspect you would not go for that solution.

                Hey, is failing to expand Medicaid government over-reliance?

                What has hurt them is that old Scottish / Irish / northern English culture that looks down on education and savings and looks up to strength and emotion. The same kind of culture you find in poor black communities.

                … it really is amazing how bigotted people will just kind of make up whatever cultural rules they want in any particular moment, because the actual bigotry is supposed to be that Scottish people are very tightfisted and spendthrift, not that they _don’t_ save too much.

                For the record, none of those are traits of any of those particular cultures. In fact, asserting that poor areas have some sort of culture against saving is an incredibly common and pretty well disproven idea, idiotic morality nonsense the demands that they save an extra $10 a month or something, like that’s actually going to pull them out of poverty.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Do me a favor and read “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Or, rather, we didn’t attempt to solve it until the pandemic, where we discovered that pretty small payments could make a _huge_ difference in childhood poverty

                That’s because poverty is defined by having income over a specific threshold for your family size. Apparently many families with children and incomes below the poverty line had incomes that were just barely below the poverty line. With the additional handouts, they were then just barely above the poverty line. It’s not like it moved families from deep poverty to the middle class. There was no transformative effect here—it was just the mechanical effect in which giving people money causes their incomes to be higher when you count the money you gave them.

                there’s almost no evidence the problem has anything to do with ‘culture’ instead of just ‘literally not having any money or a hope for a future in which they might have money’.

                The idea that racial gaps in outcomes are entirely mediated by poverty is a dogma with no basis in fact. It just isn’t true. Look at the research instead of just assuming whatever facts are most convenient for your ideology. On crime and test scores in particular, white people from families with poverty-level incomes perform about as well as black people from families with low six-figure incomes.

                Controlling for income does narrow the gaps significantly, but that doesn’t demonstrate that income is a major causal factor. Income is to at least some extent acting as a proxy for heritable and culturally transmissible traits.

                Furthermore, the intergenerational elasticity of income just isn’t high enough to support the poverty hypothesis. Rank-rank intergenerational elasticity of permanent earning income is about 0.4, which means that parents with earnings at the 10th percentile (40 percentiles below the median) have, on average, children with earnings at the 34th percentile, only 16 (40 * 0.4) points below the median.

                And this includes the influence of hereditary and cultural factors. The true causal effect of parental income is even smaller.

                What this means is that when poverty is purely exogenous, attributable entirely to external causes like discrimination, we should see aggressive regression towards the mean once the exogenous factors are alleviated, with convergence occurring within a generation or two. We saw this with Asians. We saw it with Jews. We don’t see it with black Americans.

                The evidence strongly points to endogenous causes for the persistence of black-white achievement gaps. The only

                Wealth, by the way, has even lower intergenerational elasticity, net of wealth attributable to children’s earnings. “Generational wealth” is a meme, not a serious hypothesis. Inheritance explains at most about 10-15% of the black-white gap in median net worth; in fact, the gap barely shrinks at all when comparing white households with no inheritance to black households that have already received one. In reality, it’s almost entirely attributable to current-generation earnings, marriage rates, and age (the median black American is several years younger than the median white American).Report

              • Pinky in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Good pickup. I didn’t even notice the claim that we’d never tried to fix childhood poverty before.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Also worth noting, if the program did work as well as (checks link) NPR says it did, the the pandemic was a crisis, which is where government aid can be of the most help. It has less positive impact in chronic situations. And why is that? Because their impact is already baked in. Or to put it a different way: culture.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Where this sort of “endogenous” theory fails is that it ends up being a euphemism for race, which is itself an artificial construction.

                For example, the white Jews of Manhattan perform very differently than the white rednecks of rural Alabama.
                They score differently on tests, have different rates of violence and dysfunction.
                The black Buppies of Atlanta perform very differently than the black families of Chicago. These groups are all white, or all black, yet perform very differently.

                In China, there is no such ethnicity as “Chinese”- There are only Han, or Mongolian or half a dozen other distinct ethnic groups all with different cultures and degrees of achievement. And in within the Han people of China, they have their own version of high-performing Manhattanites and low performing rural rednecks.

                But when they all get on a boat and set foot on American soil, they are all transformed in to “Asian” alongside the Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, or Cambodian.

                Yet people are constantly trying to take these arbitrary definitions of people and discern some “endogenous” trait that explains the difference in how they perform here in America of 2023.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We don’t use the term “Asian” by itself anymore. We’ve moved to “AAPI”. We’re at the tail end of AAPI Heritage Month, as a matter of fact.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, look, it’s time to argue with ‘slight-off-topic pre-canned conservative reply that implies a bunch of racist things but carefully doesn’t say them’.

                Furthermore, the intergenerational elasticity of income just isn’t high enough to support the poverty hypothesis. Rank-rank intergenerational elasticity of permanent earning income is about 0.4, which means that parents with earnings at the 10th percentile (40 percentiles below the median) have, on average, children with earnings at the 34th percentile, only 16 (40 * 0.4) points below the median.

                Hey, what’s the intergenerational elasticity of income for _Black families_?

                Actually, let’s back up a second and ask what the hell this has to do with anything? If we’re comparing the effects of poverty on education, the thing we should be looking at is _actual poverty_. The thing that currently exists? Not some hypothetical way that you claim Black families should have already raised themselves out of poverty.

                But, sure, let’s pretend this is relevant.

                What this means is that when poverty is purely exogenous, attributable entirely to external causes like discrimination, we should see aggressive regression towards the mean once the exogenous factors are alleviated, with convergence occurring within a generation or two. We saw this with Asians. We saw it with Jews. We don’t see it with black Americans.

                If you assume all racism is gone, you can then ask, ‘Why haven’t Black people started getting non-poor sinc eall racism is gone?’. Gee, it’s ALMOST AS IF the exogenous factors have not been alleviated. It’s almost as if the thing you are citing is, in fact, _evidence_ of that.

                And unlike you and your lack of evidence, I do have some evidence:

                We’ve had many ‘sting’ operations that prove Black homebuyers are asked to pay more for identical houses. To the point that Black people _literally have resorted to asking white friends to pose as them to get a tour and quoted price_ (Using the Black person’s information), and only after having a price, shown up as themselves.

                Black borrowers also find it much harder to get loans. Remember how that’s something that is supposed to be decided mostly by computer? Even accounting for _literally every possible data point_ that is used by computers, bank official officials often just…say no for no apparent reason to Black borrowers: https://revealnews.org/article/for-people-of-color-banks-are-shutting-the-door-to-homeownership/

                I picked things that you can’t argue with, because it’s just…math. There’s a whiole bunch of other stuff, which I typed out here but I’ve deleted, because you would pick those things to argue. But you can’t justify selling homes to Black people for more than white people, or giving them worse loans, and that is a thing that very clearly impacts both their wealth and, since this was actually the topic, the schools their kids go to.

                In reality, it’s almost entirely attributable to current-generation earnings, marriage rates, and age (the median black American is several years younger than the median white American).

                …did you just argue that poverty is due to the amount of money that someone is currently earning and how long they’ve been earning that amount?

                Yes, we all agree with that, assuming that they didn’t start with an inheritence. That’s literally how money works…you take the starting amount, add in money gained over time, and remove money lost, and then then you have the amount of money left over.

                But, I should point out, because we are _talking about test scores_, we are not, in fact, talking about the ‘current-generation earnings’, which would be the students. We are talking about their parents, the people who are supposed to be earning money. I guess this is what happens when the ‘canned racist answer’ doesn’t really match the topic under discussion.

                As for age…assuming, of course, we’re talking about parents…first time Black mothers tend to be, on average, about 3 years younger than white mothers…which interestingly has gone up by about three years for all groups in the last decade or so, to the point the average has now hit 30. So if Black women _were_ having children too young a decade ago, they aren’t now!

                So are you trying to argue that a difference of three years average age of parents is important here, or was this just part of the canned-racist conservative talking points about how wealth-dispartities are the fault of Black people?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                And there you go. All cultures are equal, there are no cultural problems. Racism is the only acceptable answer.

                So scary levels of violence in the 16th century in the white noble class, “dueling”, although we’d call it “respect” or “honor” killings now days, was the result of… something we dare not call culture.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                And there you go. All cultures are equal, there are no cultural problems. Racism is the only acceptable answer.

                I started out by listing _actual_ cultural problem. The ones that are observable and have been polled on, like distrust of government.

                This is opposed to randomly ascribing traits like ‘culture of delayed gratification’ as ‘cultural’ when, indeed, all poor people act that way (At least in America. It’s possible to argue this is an American cultural problem, but that’s not what’s being argued.), but it’s only a problem when _Black_ people do it, where it suddenly is claimed to be part of their ‘culture’ despite wealthy Black people not doing it.

                There are plenty of things I’ve said are part of Black culture. Some of those things are not particularly great. (The food, for example, is often horrifically unhealthy.) Then again, some of things of a _lot_ of cultures are not particularly great. (Um…like food. Hmm. As Americans, we all eat badly, just in different ways.)

                But you can’t just handwave and say ‘a lot of those people do that, it must be cultural’, without checking a bunch of things like ‘Is that due to their situation?’, and ‘Do other people in similar circumstances do that?’ and ‘If we remove those circumstances do they keep doing that?’

                Or…hey, you can _call_ things that fail those checks cultural if you want. Maybe that’s the wrong distinction. Intuit clothing is pretty much the clothing that _any_ group would come up in their situation, with their resources and needs, and yet is cultural, passed down from generation to generation as part of being Intuit.

                So maybe a better way to say this is: You do not get to blame people for their cultures developing in rational response to their environment, and you’d don’t get assert they must change that aspect of their culture _without_ a change in their environment.

                I think we already had this discussion about Black people and calling the police. It doesn’t really matter if you call that ‘cultural’ or not…it’s a rational response to an environment where interactions with the police generally are not good ones. It will go away when they are no longer that.

                Or it won’t, maybe it will last well part it was true, and _then_ a valid complaint can be made. For example, my complaint that the Appalachian Irish and Scottish people’s bad experience with an _entirely different_ government, hundreds of years ago still echos today, long past the point they should have gotten over it. I fully understand their past problems with the English government, but…I’m pretty sure that’s not relevant anymore.

                The problem is you (And Brandon Berg, and almost everyone arguing on your side.) think the various situations in the Black environment have gone away (Because that is a major fiction that conservatives tell themselves.), whereas the people who live in them and actually experience them are pretty sure they have not.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                DavidTC: You do not get to blame people for their cultures developing in rational response to their environment, and you’d don’t get assert they must change that aspect of their culture _without_ a change in their environment.

                The bulk of the murders are males demanding they be respected. When it was rich white nobles doing this we called it “dueling”. That means it’s not “poverty” fueling this. That’s even ignoring that we measure “poverty” before gov transfers rather than after because it’d be inconvenient to admit it’s mostly gone.

                DavidTC: The problem is you think the various situations in the Black environment have gone away, whereas the people who live in them and actually experience them are pretty sure they have not.

                The argument isn’t that “various situations” are gone, the argument is the current problems are largely self inflicted (i.e. cultural). That in order to find racism is a serious influence you need to measure outputs and not inputs.

                Your link on modern day racism for bank’s making housing loans explicitly does that. If we ignore credit ratings and debt ratios and just look at skin color, then we have a real problem. If that’s the argument you need to make then the data doesn’t say what the researchers want.

                Similarly the stories from that Baltimore teacher aren’t of racist whites inflicting violence on Blacks. The source of the problems have changed.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                “all poor people act that way…but it’s only a problem when _Black_ people do it, where it suddenly is claimed to be part of their ‘culture’ despite wealthy Black people not doing it.”

                There are elements of a poor urban culture – “urban” not being a euphemism for anything – that are present among urban poor whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Those who pull themselves out of those environments often do so by rebelling against that culture. Middle-class blacks may have more connection with that culture than middle-class whites, but that culture’s values have typically been abandoned. So there’s no contradiction in our saying that poor black people make a kind of mistake that richer black people don’t. You’re arguing as if you’re assuming our argument is a mask for racism, but in fact we believe what we’re arguing.

                ETA: If we focus on the poor black culture so much, it’s because the whole conversation started from Baltimore schools. Also, I’ve been maintaining that the problems in the poor urban culture can be traced back to the poor Southern culture, which can be traced back to the northern UK region.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I notice how the definition of culture changes, from a set of behaviors which people choose, to general patterns common to people from Scotland.

                Which results in a very arbitrary and selective application.

                Those successful Scottish and black people over there? They pulled themselves out of a dysfunctional culture of failure!

                My (WASP) cousin the drunk who is in jail for theft? A specific individual who made bad choices despite coming from a culture of success.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, and…???

                Young men killing other young men over respect is a big enough problem that it’s driving numbers for the nation even if it’s concentrated in a few very specific sub-groups.

                Pretending it’s a long series of one off exceptions is avoiding the problem.

                We used to do that for drunk driving. Eventually we decided we had a cultural problem and got serious about doing something about it.

                None of this suggests we shouldn’t treat people as individuals. No matter what your culture says about alcohol, if you get behind the wheel while you’re drunk and the cops find you, you’re going to have problems.

                After you’re caught you don’t get to claim you’re a Mormon and as a culture they don’t drink.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Who’s saying otherwise?

                It sure isn’t Team Blue who is suggesting that we just learn to accept the level of gun violence as the price of freedom.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “We have to increase policing if we want to crack down on guns.”

                “No we don’t! We can defund the police and lower gun violence by increasing the taxes on guns that aren’t typically used in gun violence!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I imagine that The Left will get behind him on this.

                Wait, someone just passed me a note…Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                …for daring to investigate him. But he only wants to defund them “until they come to their senses”.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, that’s better.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I guess “obviously unfit for office” is a binary thing.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It sure isn’t Team Blue who is suggesting that we just learn to accept the level of gun violence as the price of freedom.

                Team Blue wants to think it’s the guns that are the problem, not young men killing each other over respect.

                So if we just slap on some more gun restrictions on the entire nation, the problem will go away.

                Of course back in the 16th century they used swords.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I suspect the words we’re trying not to use here are: “Cultural Genocide”.Report

              • InMD in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t really like euphemisms and think they obscure more than they help. The question is are we willing to use force to change behavior we don’t like but that probably doesn’t meet traditional definitions of criminality (or at least not serious criminality) and what trade offs would we accept to do that.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                DavidTC: THIS IS NOT A CULTURAL THING. It’s simply basic learned behavior, each generation.

                Your second statement disagrees with your first.

                DavidTC: we’re condemning people who were not allowed to build generational wealth until very very recently,

                We have a 4th(?) grade classroom where you can reasonably expect a parent to send their kid to school with a gun. The problem isn’t a lack of “generational wealth”.

                Yes, we’re condemning them, but we should. That’s why “how to destroy this culture” is a topic that keeps coming up.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Your second statement disagrees with your first.

                Dark, is it cultural if everyone in North Dakota is wearing heavy coats? Or is that just a response to the extremely cold environment they live in? And more importantly, if you take them out of that environment, do they continue doing it?

                Because studies have actually shown that the very first generation with money will cause any differences in ‘delayed gratification’ to disappear.

                And I’m actually very much hedging my bets by asserting that it is based on when people grow up. ‘Learned delayed gratification’ is not really a thing to start with. People come into situations with default expectations, and those defaults do vary based on their experience, but there’s not really any evidence they maintain _wrong_ expectations for any notable amount of time. Even if they grew up with different expectations, they will still adjust expectations eventually.

                But let me just say that, even if people get set in their ways, and keep figuratively wearing a heavy coat even after they move somewhere warmer, the _next_ generation certainly will operate differently.

                We have a 4th(?) grade classroom where you can reasonably expect a parent to send their kid to school with a gun. The problem isn’t a lack of “generational wealth”.

                I mean, I wasn’t really talking about Appalachia, but we can if…oh, wait, you’re talking about inner cities still. Sorry, I get confused about where massive amounts of gun ownership is a bad thing vs. a good thing.

                I feel it should be pointed out you said ‘reasonable expect’, not ‘actually happen’. In fact,I bet you don’t have any examples of this in any real sense, you’re just sorta operating off of a feeling here.

                Yes, we’re condemning them, but we should. That’s why “how to destroy this culture” is a topic that keeps coming up.

                The reason it keeps coming up is racism, and the fact that ‘cultural’ became code of ‘Black people’ back in the 90s or so, despite the fact there’s almost no evidence the problem has anything to do with ‘culture’ instead of just ‘literally not having any money or a hope for a future in which they might have money’.

                It was invented because we desperately needed something to blame besides the incredibly simply fact we will not even attempt to solve poverty in certain areas, because of the skin color of people living there.

                Or, rather, we didn’t attempt to solve it until the pandemic, where we discovered that pretty small payments could make a _huge_ difference in childhood poverty: https://www.npr.org/2022/01/27/1075299510/the-expanded-child-tax-credit-briefly-slashed-child-poverty-heres-what-else-it-d

                And then we didn’t do anything with that information. Instead, Republicans are there demanding _more_ work requirements.

                Yo know, the thing that stops parents from being able to be with their kids and help their kids in schools.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                I feel it should be pointed out you said ‘reasonable expect’, not ‘actually happen’.

                Clearly you didn’t read the link of a Baltimore teacher’s actual experiences. Armed elementary students wasn’t a hypothetical.

                And without reading that link you have no clue what I’m talking about.

                Effectively you’re claiming it’s racist to condemn parents sending their children armed to elementary school.

                I’m just going to say I disagree, and that I still condemn it.Report

              • CHip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Armed elementary students wasn’t a hypothetical.

                Serious question:
                Is allowing students to carry firearms in school a good thing or bad thing?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CHip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends. Can the children read?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Not in Texas they can’t:
                Texas high school forced to postpone graduation ceremony after just FIVE of 33 students were eligible: Teachers blame poor attendance and grades
                https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12125563/Texas-high-school-postpones-graduation-ceremony-just-FIVE-33-students-eligible.html

                Maybe they should study high schools in Maryland for guidance.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, if they were more like Maryland, they could have made sure that those five weren’t eligible either.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Where do Texas high schools rank, compared to Maryland?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sadly, Our Nation’s Report Card only seems to have numbers for 4th grade and 8th grade.

                But when it comes to reading for 8th grade, Texas has a score of 259 NEAP Proficient, 255 NEAP Basic and Maryland has a score of 269 NEAP Proficient and 259 Basic.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Good thing I asked about high schools.

                Then you might understand why Texas would benefit from learning from Maryland, or maybe Massachusetts.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you have the funding numbers for Texas versus the 23 schools in Baltimore that don’t have a single proficient student?

                Maybe the numbers for Texas could be nudged a little if the funding is significantly lower than found in those 23 schools.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Would it surprise you to learn that Maryland regularly places in the top ten for public schools overall, and most often ahead of places like Alabama and Texas, even in reading scores?

                Its OK to say “I didn’t know that”. I didn’t either.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That certainly would explain why their averages are higher than Texas’s despite having entire schools that don’t have a single proficient student.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Maryland actually does quite badly when adjusting for student demographics, or at least did in 2015. It looks like the Urban Institute hasn’t updated this for more recent years:

                https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/how-do-states-really-stack-2015-naepReport

              • InMD in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Every system does quite badly when adjusting for student demographics, which is exactly why there is an endless debate about it.

                As a basic matter of public policy Maryland is far superior to red states in that it actually invests heavily in its public education. It’s also of course blessed by being among the wealthiest in the country that allow it to do that. But it hasn’t solved any problems other places haven’t. If the student has a stable family life and good support network then in Maryland the sky is the limit in terms of potential (and as long as it can avoid getting too up its ass with regressive DEI initiatives and Kendi-ism it can remain that way). If not then it doesn’t really matter where they are. And if the student is in Baltimore the apples to apples is probably New Orleans or Detroit, not an entire state.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Every state does quite well, or badly, when adjusted for this or that, which is my point.

                Every state has public schools which are very good, and also public schools which are abysmal.

                No one has ever shown me a satisfactory explanation of which variable accounts for the difference except, as I mentioned, parental involvement.

                So to be blunt, this entire snarking about Baltimore schools is just stupid. Its an obvious proxy battle against whatever you think Baltimore stands for, which can either be “black people”, “liberals” or whatever.

                Which is why I diverted the discussion to Texas or Kentucky because for every poorly performing black school, I’ll find a white one, for every terrible public school I’ll show you are private one, for every urban school there is a rural one.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                For every school in the top quintile of funding, I will show you a school in the bottom quintile.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Is there a point where we can entertain the possibility that what public schools can achieve is inherently limited by numerous factors, probably most by the students themselves? It would of course be nice if we had the ingredients to be able to take any student from anywhere under any circumstances and with nothing but the right teachers and curriculum turn that person proficient. It’s obvious to me that is not true and yet we debate education policy as if it is.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                If we are open to the possibility that what we are doing could not possibly work the way that we are doing it, I’d be open to exploring alternatives to what we are doing.

                As it is, however, the usual counter-argument to “we need to change” is some variant of “Yeah… WE NEED MORE FUNDING!”

                And it doesn’t matter when it’s pointed out what quintile of funding the schools have. “Well, it certainly wouldn’t be made any better by reducing funding!”, despite the fact that it is not possible to do worse than zero students proficient. Like, there is no way to go negative. Zero is the floor.

                Good lord, you should see what happens when someone suggests switching to Phonics.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’d agree that ‘throw money at it’ is a solution with diminishing returns, and maybe one that only brings any returns at all with some minimal set of threshold conditions already in place. So the question becomes what can we do, or at least what are we willing to do, to alter conditions? It seems to me that’s a way bigger conversation than just schools but it’s the one we need to be having if we want to change outcomes in Baltimore (or Appalachia, or wherever).Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                what can we do, or at least what are we willing to do, to alter conditions?

                If the kid with the problematic culture is the only kid in the class with that, then we’ll probably see huge social pressure do some heavy lifting.

                This isn’t workable in rural [whatever] because the distances will be too high.

                This might work in the inner city… but the racial issues will be pretty stark (and lend themselves to racism) and we’ll get a lot of local push back.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to CHip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No, that is not a serious question.

                No one has suggested arming elementary school children is a good thing. You’re strawmanning.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Other developed democracies have seem to done a lot to impose middle class standards on the population. I’m not sure if the American government is up for the task, especially with the Republican Party devolving into pure trolldom at this point.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                Since I referenced Kentucky, are there any OT commenters from Appalachia who might offer their opinions on how we might help them change their culture?

                Y’know, to help them become more like people in San Francisco?

                Or is this going to be a Hanania type thing where we conclude that no one has the stomach to do what needs to be done and the residents of Appalachia wouldn’t be grateful for our leadership anyway?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Same set of social incentives I suggested for dealing with the inner cities. Zip codes aren’t really important, culture is extremely important.

                Structure social benefits to reward good cultural habits and punish (or at least not reward) bad ones.

                So you need to be married to get various ‘help raise children” benefits, we’ll limit trying to replace an absent dad with the state.

                Moving/relocation benefits to help you move from a poorly resourced area to one that will give you a job.

                Of course if we want to help people from Appalachia move to San Fran, then we should outlaw San Fran’s prevention of the creation of housing.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                That all sounds very heavy handed and government intensive. Almost dictatorial.

                So no, Hard pass at making any of it required.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                We are already offering benefits based on marriage status, we’re just incentivizing the wrong behavior.

                If it’s not heavy handed to pay people to not get married, then it’s not heavy handed to pay people to get married.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Since I referenced Kentucky, are there any OT commenters from Appalachia who might offer their opinions on how we might help them change their culture?

                Okay, sure. I don’t actually live there anymore, and when I did, I lived at a pretty successful tourist town that was barely in Appalachia, but I do know the culture.

                People there need the same thing that everyone else need…what is euphemistically referred to as ‘jobs’, but is actually just money.

                Not given to schools, but to actual human beings, which in turn allows them to spend less time working, which in turn allows them to actually support their children. Since we’re talking about schools. But the lack of money impacts everything…like I said, I lived in a town that _did_ have money, it had Atlanta tourist dollars flooding in, so was perfectly workable and had moderately good schools.

                the residents of Appalachia wouldn’t be grateful for our leadership anyway?

                The actual problem is that the residents of Appalachia have a culture that does not allow them to openly take money from the government or admit they need the money. They’ll take the money, if you just give it to them, but they will elect people who _refuse_ the money.

                Pretty much everything has to just be _done_ for them with no input at all…if they’d been allowed to vote on rural electrification the place probably wouldn’t have electricity.

                For example, Appalachia has some of the worst medical care _in the county_, right up there with tribal lands and the Deep South. (At least inner cities tend to have _nearby hospitals_.) They also, as a whole, rejected Medicaid expansion, which resulted in _even more_ hospitals shutting down. It’s that sort of complete nonsense that makes it impossible to help them.

                And the thing is, they had the least ‘excuse’ for it. Native American lack of medical care is something done to them, and the Deep South’s lack is…well, concentrated racism. Appalachia just does it to itself for no reason.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                I expect the same contribution from the GOP on this as I do virtually any other social problem, which is to say basically nothing.

                I do think it’s worth recalling though that most European social democracies are operating on some variation of the Law of Jante.

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante

                We of course, are not.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The Law of Jante may apply to the Nordic countries, although I have my doubts on whether the Law of Jante is applicable in 21st century Nordic countries, but I don’t think that it was that way in France, Germany, Austria, or Italy.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                My experience and understanding is that there is a level of pressure towards conformity in certain basic things that Americans would chafe at. Usually I think American tourists for example perceive it as rudeness when the reality is they’re receiving the pressure, especially when they’re violating some norm. All of those places are also willing to be assimilationist with their own people in ways that are harder for us.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It is not like America didn’t have intense social conformity in the past or even doesn’t have it now. Look at all the films from the 1950s, instructing teens on what good all-American teens or the pressure to conform to middle class White Protestant values in the past.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                I hear you, but I also think we’re on a long vector of those kinds of things being broken down, that we have been riding it for nearly 250 years now, and that there is no way back. Even if there were I don’t think there is any appetite for it.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Whatever it is that they are doing, they need to be doing something else.”

                Agreed. But saying, “You guys are woefully failing so do something different,” doesn’t get us very far.

                “The thoughtful changes were not being made before I got here. They appear to not be on any track to be made after I am gone.”

                That is because you are following this in the media. I mean, you yourself pointed to states that HAVE made changes and HAVE seen results. So… changes are indeed afoot. But it is harder to make good changes when you have the conversation being obfuscated in the media.

                Also… avoid putting too much weight into per pupil spending comparisons between districts, especially those that serve very different demographics.

                Per pupil spending can be misleading because it fails to account for special education. To give a VERY simplified example, imagine two classrooms of 20 kids. Mr. Jones’ classroom has 20 regular ed students and Mrs. Smith’s classroom has 19 regular ed students and 1 sped student who requires a full-time SEIT at the district’s expense who earns $50K per year plus $20K in benefits.

                Imagine the district on average spends $10K per kid.

                Mr. Jones’s room would have a per pupil spending average of $10K.

                Mr. Smith’s room would have a per pupil spending average of $14.5K.

                It would seem like Mr. Smith’s room is getting much more funding but, in reality, they aren’t. 19 kids are getting the room $10K in funding and 1 kid is having $100K spent on them alone.

                Now, that is a very simplified example. But SPED students are not evenly distributed among the population and how their needs are met can vary widely based on demographic factors.

                I don’t know the specifics of Baltimore’s SPED population (it may not even be publicly available in a reliable way) but for various reasons you are going to see higher SPED spending in lower-income areas.

                So, there is value in looking at per pupil spending but only so much because, again, it is much more complicated than just looking at the total budget and the number of students to actually understand how the funds are allocated.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          By the way, the devil is in the details.

          From your link:
          “Mississippi, for one, holds students back in third grade if they cannot pass a reading test but also gives them multiple chances to pass after intensive tutoring and summer literacy camps.”

          And the chart that shows soaring scores is… about 4th grade reading.

          How do you improve 4th grade reading scores? Well, only let good readers go to 4th grade. Test them in 3rd grade and then tutor the crap out of them before sending them on or hold them in 3rd grade.

          Old friend Hanley used to always share a quote about how when a metric becomes a target, the target becomes the goal or something? I’m butchering it.

          But what is the goal here? Is it 4th grade reading scores? Well then, woo boy, Mississippi sure is soaring! But is it because of how they’re teaching… or how they’re defining what a “4th grader” is?

          And this is before I ask the annoying question I asked last time this came up: “What do we mean by reading?”

          But I digress.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            The goal in Mississippi is to mask how badly the mostly black public schools in the Delta do compared to the rest of the state so that white parents in more affluent districts like ours don’t feel guilty about their kids being educate. Or some such.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Kazzy: How do you improve 4th grade reading scores? Well, only let good readers go to 4th grade. Test them in 3rd grade and then tutor the crap out of them before sending them on or hold them in 3rd grade.

            Don’t say this like it’s a bad thing.

            Ideally you test them every year and do the same thing. When you’re done a high school education may mean something.

            Full disclosure: I had my #3 daughter repeat 2nd grade.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Goodhart’s Law states that “when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

            Now, you say:

            How do you improve 4th grade reading scores? Well, only let good readers go to 4th grade. Test them in 3rd grade and then tutor the crap out of them before sending them on or hold them in 3rd grade.

            You seem to be saying this sarcastically but this does seem to be a way to improve 4th grade reading scores.

            I’m not certain what the criticism is supposed to be.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              To Jaybird and Dark Matter:

              I’m not saying that it is a bad thing. But it does make their 4th grade reading scores hard to compare to those of other states’ if they are the only ones doing so: it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Further, it does not help us understand if their underlying method (e.g., more phonics) is the reason for the change or if their approach to advancement is or some combination (and, if so, how much of each).

              The problem isn’t their practice… it is ignoring their practice when evaluating their 4th grade reading scores compared against other states. Hence my reference to Goodhart’s Law (thanks!): Miss’s 4th grade reading scores as presented in the article is not a useful stat given how Miss approaches advancement in 3rd grade and a lack of knowledge of how other states do the same.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Put more simply, we aren’t comparing like populations. Based ONLY on the information provided here, which of these two groups do you think is going to score better on a 4th grade reading test:

                A) A cohort including ALL 4th grade students in a given state
                B) A cohort including ONLY 4th grade students in a given state who passed the 3rd grade reading test

                B is a subset of A and has been filtered for students more likely to pass.

                We can discuss the methods but ultimately the data is not very helpful and, for me at least, not worth discussing.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                If they’d been doing this for a while then I’d disagree, as it is we should probably wait.

                The real question is whether this is a one year goosing of the numbers or whether it’s an actual fix.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Another possibility is they have a way within the rules to exclude failed students entirely.

                At 4th grade you’re supposed to test everyone… but do you test kids who are 3 years older for their grade? Seriously mentally handicapped?

                If not, then holding them back for a few years means they don’t show up on the stats.

                Now having said that, phonics, tutors, and even repeating a grade are all upper middle class techniques to uplift their children so this might be an actual thing.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Now having said that, phonics, tutors, and even repeating a grade are all upper middle class techniques to uplift their children so this might be an actual thing.

                Only in Districts that can afford it. Which isn’t many districts. because Mississippi’s legislature INTENTIONALLY and VOLITIONALLY Underfunds schools at the state level, so local districts have to close sometimes enormous gaps.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Philip: Only in Districts that can afford it.

                It’s not a “district” thing, it’s a “parents” thing.

                I tutored my kids in math. My parents got a tutor for me for reading at about that age.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The only variable that I have ever seen which correlates closely with student achievement is parental involvement and commitment.

                All the other variables people like to argue about like liberal or conservative pedagogy, whether schools are public or private, unionized or not, from red or blue districts- none of those have anywhere near the explanatory value of parental involvement.

                People here are using Baltimore as some sort of avatar of liberal/urban district but you can just as easily find miserable schools in any rural, red state.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                +100Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “which of these two groups do you think is going to score better on a 4th grade reading test:

                A) A cohort including ALL 4th grade students in a given state
                B) A cohort including ONLY 4th grade students in a given state who passed the 3rd grade reading test”

                i have been trying for several minutes now but cannot come up with a response to the assertion that schools holding students at grade level until they display the expected proficiency is being done as a way to cheat statistical measures of student abilityReport

              • Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                “i have been trying for several minutes now but cannot come up with a response to the assertion that schools holding students at grade level until they display the expected proficiency is being done as a way to cheat statistical measures of student ability.”

                Where did I make such an assertion?

                I’m not saying they’re doing something wrong with regards to their reading instruction, promotion standards, or data collection. I’m saying that if they have one way of collecting data and other states have other ways of collecting data, state-to-state comparisons are not helpful. And that article cited state-to-state comparisons.

                We need a lot more information to determine how well their reading instruction is going than what is provided in that article.

                As an educator and a parent who have dealt with this first hand, I do have real issues with promoting students despite them not being ready or meeting certain standards. My issue is not with the practice. My issue is with how it impacts that data and how we use that data.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The apples-to-apples comparison seems to be “children in 4th grade with children in 4th grade”.

                If the goal is to make sure that all 4th graders are 9-10 and all 5th graders are 10-11 and all 6th graders are 11-12, then that is a conflicting goal with the whole “being able to read” thing, true.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you compare 4th grade reading proficiency in Fort Collins to Aspen? To Colorado Springs? to Fort Carson? Are they the same student bodies? Do they have the same economic demographics?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure that we can compare 4th grade reading proficiency in Fort Collins to Aspen, Colorado Springs, and Fort Carson.

                They are not the same student bodies.

                They do not have the same economic demographics.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “Can you compare 4th grade reading proficiency in Fort Collins to Aspen? To Colorado Springs? to Fort Carson? Are they the same student bodies? Do they have the same economic demographics?”

                Phil, are you suggesting there’s some special characteristic of students in Baltimore that makes it impossible to teach them how to read in the way that Mississippi teaches its students how to read?Report

              • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I am outright stating that its ridiculous to compare Baltimore to anywhere but Baltimore, especially if you make that comparison devoid of consideration for externalities like socio-economic issues affecting students. Clearly students in Baltimore can be taught to read – lake of proficiency is a thing in only a couple of schools is a large urban system.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                lake of proficiency is a thing in only a couple of schools is a large urban system.

                More than 20.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Lack of proficiency is found all across America, not just Baltimore.

                In Harlan County Kentucky, only about 35% of fourth graders are proficient; In Texas, only about 30% of fourth graders read at level, and in Fort Worth the figure drops to 20%. Oklahoma’s reading proficiency is barely above DC.

                The same is true in rural and poor districts all over the country.

                Lack of proficency isn’t just a Baltimore thing, or even just an urban thing or a red state/ blue state thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Moving where Baltimore is to where Harlan County is would be evidence of an enormous leap forward.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “The apples-to-apples comparison seems to be “children in 4th grade with children in 4th grade”.”

                It’s not apples to apples if different states have different definitions of “4th grader.”

                If one state says “A 4th grader is anyone more 9 years ago” and another state says “A 4th grader is anyone who met proficiency standards for 3rd grade” then we are not making apples-to-apples comparison despite calling both groups “4th graders.”

                FUN FACT! Not all states and not even all districts within a state have the same age cutoffs. NYC uses the calendar year and makes NO exceptions. Many suburban schools use 9/1 or 10/1, meaning NYC students are — on the whole — 3-4 months younger †han their suburban counterparts. Is that factored into the data? WHO KNOWS! Many people don’t even realize such differences exist. And those differences matter quite a bit with younger kids (e.g, 4th graders are generally 9-10 years old… or 108-120 months-ish. A 4 month difference is almost 4% of their life, growth, and development to date).Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps we could make education easier if we restricted coitus to two months out of the year.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Or we could just acknowledge this is more complicated than most outsiders (and even some insiders) realize and maybe take time to listen to folks who are trying to make it better understood.

                You linked to an article that did shoddy work and posted a not-very-helpful graph. No harm there! We all make mistakes. But for some reason when the flaws with the article/graph/conclusions were pointed out, you chose to argue rather than listen.

                Weird.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure how easy it will be to contextualize “zero proficient students” with the context of the importance of funding.

                the flaws with the article/graph/conclusions

                You mean the ones that said “when students weren’t proficient, they were tutored extra hard or held back and that helps the numbers go up”?

                Yeah, that didn’t make me say “ooh, context that I was missing” as much as “ooh, maybe this will work in other places”.

                Might not work in Baltimore, though.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m going to explain this as simply as I can.

                You shared a link and said: “I’m pleased to say that they switched back to Phonics in Mississippi and reading scores are, apparently, “soaring”.”

                I pointed out that we can’t necessarily determine that the phonics alone is why Mississippi’s scores are soaring. It could be the tutoring. It could be because they only advanced students to 4th grade who were already proficient.

                THAT is the context you are missing. THAT is the complicating factors you are choosing to ignore.

                Are Mississippi’s 4th grade reading scores higher? YES!
                Do we know why?
                NO!

                Because they changed *multiple* parts of their reading program, including:
                – more phonics
                – tutoring for struggling students in 3rd grade
                – retention of struggling students in 3rd grade

                Any one who does any work in the sciences knows that if you change multiple variables you make it damn near impossible to determine which variable is the one making a difference.

                Mississippi changed multiple variables.

                Is that bad? NO!

                Did their overall reading reform efforts improve 4th grade reading scores? YES!

                Are their overall reading reform efforts successful? Well, it depends. Is your goal merely to raise 4th grade reading scores? If so, then, yea, they are wildly successful.

                But that isn’t the only goal.

                And all of their reform efforts come with associated costs that will not be borne out in 4th grade reading scores. Are those costs worth the gains in 4th grade reading scores? TBD.

                So, again, do you want to try to tell me why your overly-simplistic and incorrect analysis of your own link is actually right? Or do you want to listen for a minute and learn something?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                But that isn’t the only goal.

                What are the other goals?

                Because I went into this with saying “Baltimore has several districts with *ZERO* proficient students!” and the response came “why don’t you say what they should do different, huh?” and I pointed out that Mississippi did something that changed scores from “crappy” to “less crappy”.

                That isn’t enough, apparently.

                For what it’s worth, I am willing to run with “doing what they did in Mississippi won’t work in Baltimore”.

                I am 100% willing to run with that.

                I am willing to accept that premise, if you want to say that it’s preferable to “they should do what they did in Mississippi in Baltimore”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Heck, thinking about it, the argument that the students in Mississippi aren’t educatable either is one that I am also willing to run with.

                “They’re masking their success! They aren’t *REALLY* succeeding!” is something that we could take on as a premise as well, if you’d like.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Schools… have goals other than reading scores.

                That shouldn’t be something I have to say… right?

                Oh wait… then you ascribe to me a bunch of arguments I never made.

                Nevermind. Enjoy your blissful ignorance or performative stupidity or whatever it is you’re doing here.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “That isn’t enough, apparently.”

                Never said that. I said it is hard to tease out what about Mississippi’s reforms did what exactly.

                I would not object if Baltimore wanted to mirror Mississippi’s efforts. It’s a good place to start, I reckon.

                Just be conservative with expectations since the takeaway that “PHONICS EQUALS SOARING TEST SCORES” isn’t really the right take away. I’d argue that a better takeaway is, “An aggressive approach to remediating 3rd grade readers lifts 4th grade reading scores” is a better takeaway. Remains to be seen what that means for grades 5-12 or math scores or other measures.

                But ya take Ws where you can in the public ed world.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure.

                Which makes me ask the question: What are the other goals?

                Because if you write them down, maybe they’ll strike me as being obviously better than “having kids learn to read”.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Learning to read is about station 4. To get to that you need to have stations 0 through 3 work as well.

                Being willing/able to learn anything at all comes before that. Maybe not being insanely anti-social is in there too.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure.

                But I still haven’t seen what the goals are and whether they’re incompatible with getting kids to read.

                “They’re not incompatible. They’re pre-reqs!”

                That’s great! I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Little things like not attacking the teacher or fellow students. Being able to sit in groups of about 20 without one of them constantly disrupting things. Not being hungry. There’s a few physical/mental/social/learning illnesses which can prevent learning.

                If a puppy is present than all learning with cease. Ditto if one of the elementary students pulls out a gun.

                I’m sure other people could put together better lists. Often there’s the temptation to lard it with other social goals but it really should be limited to things which preventing learning to read in this context.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Okay, I just pulled up my son’s report card. It included the following sections:
                Reading
                Writing
                Mathematics
                Science
                Social Studies
                Personal and Social Behaviors
                Learning Behaviors
                Music
                Art
                Phys Ed
                Library

                And within each section there were multiple areas assessed.

                I would say all of those are goals the school has. Many of them are connected to reading, directly or indirectly.

                Not all of them.

                Did you seriously think all schools focus on is teaching reading…?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Did you seriously think all schools focus on is teaching reading…?

                No, let me say what I asked for again:

                What are the other goals?

                and

                Which makes me ask the question: What are the other goals? Because if you write them down, maybe they’ll strike me as being obviously better than “having kids learn to read”.

                and

                But I still haven’t seen what the goals are and whether they’re incompatible with getting kids to read.

                So let’s go through each of these:
                Reading
                (Okay.)

                Writing
                (Reading adjacent. Exceptionally adjacent.)

                Mathematics
                (Not reading, but there will eventually be light reading in the form of word problems. “Johnny has a board that he wants to cut into three pieces. It takes him 10 minutes to cut a board into two. How long will it take him to cut a board into three?”)

                Science
                (Sorry, there’s reading involved here.)

                Social Studies
                (Sorry, there’s reading involved here.)

                Personal and Social Behaviors
                (Okay. Maybe this is primarily lecture and youtubes.)

                Learning Behaviors
                (Okay. Maybe this is primarily lecture and youtubes.)

                Music
                (Okay. Maybe this is primarily lecture and youtubes. Maybe even hands-on.)

                Art
                (Okay. Maybe this is primarily lecture and youtubes. Maybe even hands-on.)

                Phys Ed
                (DODGEBALL!!!)

                Library
                (Running around in the stacks but I could see how someone might say that reading is involved here too.)

                I’ve gotta say, there’s a lot of reading involved in all of this and not being proficient in reading would be a *MAJOR* setback for pretty much everything except gym, art, and music.

                And I wouldn’t have a whole lot of hope for the non-proficient kids when it comes to art and music (though there are exceptions).Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The skill “reading” comes after the skill “not getting in a physical fight with your class mates every day”.

                I’m sure there’s a better name for that but whatever.

                A zero proficiency reading school isn’t terrible at teaching reading. They’re not getting that far because they’re still teaching the basics which come before reading.

                Ergo Phonics can’t help because a lack of reading skills is a symptom.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Do schools have the ability to prevent getting in a physical fight every day?

                If they don’t, then we’re back to “these kids cannot be taught”.

                And there is a buncha stuff that follows from that.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Tell me you don’t know what you’re talking about without telling me you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                I could spend pages on how facile and incomplete and how wrong your understanding is and you’d find a clause to argue with.

                Not worth it.

                You’re wrong.

                You could learn. But you choose not to.

                That’s worse than being wrong.

                YOU are the one not proficient.

                Fucking christ.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy, it doesn’t strike me as particularly likely that the schools in question are failing to teach reading because of how much they’re leaning into Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Personal and Social Behaviors, Learning Behaviors, Music, Art, Phys Ed, and Library.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                That wasn’t my argument.

                Again, you’re talking out of your ass.

                Yes, those schools are very likely underperforming in all those areas, probably as much if not moreso as they are underperforming in reading.

                Which means we need a reform effort aimed at something more than *just* reading. Mississippi raised its 4th grade reading scores through a comprehensive reform effort focused on raising its 4th grade reading scores. To the extent their goal was raising 4th grade reading scores, they were wildly successful.

                But what happened in those other areas? Did they improve? Stay the same? Get worse?

                And before you say, “How can you get worse than 0% proficiency?”… you can get worse than 0% proficiency because learning, growth, and development is not a binary. You could have 0% proficiency this year and 0% proficiency next year and still have one of those years go better than the other.

                So… if we only want to talk about reading we’re only going to talk about reading but it is a very narrow perspective on the conversation.

                Something you’d instantly recognize if you knew what the fish you were talking about.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “Schools…have goals other than reading scores.”

                lol

                accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way…Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “Mississippi changed multiple variables.”

                I’ve seen exactly zero people anywhere ever suggest that a kid being held back was negative for their academic performance.

                Oh, it’s bad for them socially? Yeah, just throw another log on that “modern school is daycare with homework” fire, that’ll go great for you.

                Oh, it shouldn’t just be about test scores, it should be about student experience? Then it should be no trouble for you to find stories of students who can’t read a Dr Seuss book all the way through without skipping words but are nonetheless having an absolute blast in school and enjoying themselves wonderfully and are definitely learning all sorts of stuff.

                (The other funny axis of this conversation is that when you say that “school’s not just about GRADES” and “there are any number of non-measured factors that go into pedagogical performance” and “the thing you need to do is understand what the students need“, that’s all the same things that homeschoolers say, but somehow it’s wrong or insufficient when they say them?)Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I did a deep dive on “should we hold girl #3 back” back in the day. It looked pretty split.

                First, if you’re holding the kid back then you really need to move them to another school so they’re not stigmatized.

                The push back we got from the Principle was because she’s seen this dance before. We hold the kid back, we change schools, funding follows the kid and ergo leaves the school. Last step is the Principle’s budget is reduced.

                So good luck getting an unbiased evaluation on what should be done.

                For my kid, she was born in the month before the cut off so she was very young for her grade and just not ready. Holding her back was one of my better parenting decisions.

                Having said that, there are negatives to doing this. She’s going to graduate a year later. If the kid’s lack of progress is due to anything other than age, then holding her back may not help and might even hurt (especially if you’re just leaving her there).Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I do love how the non-parents always seem to have figured this stuff out and we parents are somehow too dumb to see it clearly . . . .Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “So good luck getting an unbiased evaluation on what should be done.”
                Absolutely true that the school’s interests (financial and otherwise) do not always align with an individual child/family’s interests, despite lots of talk to the contrary. Kudos to you for recognizing this and how it impacted the feedback you were provided.

                “For my kid, she was born in the month before the cut off so she was very young for her grade and just not ready. Holding her back was one of my better parenting decisions.”
                Good on you. I mean that sincerely. Parenting is hard as fish and harder still when you have to do anything that even remotely feels against the current. But if it is right for your kid, you gotta do it.

                “Having said that, there are negatives to doing this. She’s going to graduate a year later.”
                Every decision has pros and cons. And everyone will do that calculus differently.

                “If the kid’s lack of progress is due to anything other than age, then holding her back may not help and might even hurt (especially if you’re just leaving her there).”
                Indeed. As I did some work with special ed schools, I was interested to learn of the debate within the SpEd world of remediation vs accommodation and rather than seeing these as two approaches existing along a spectrum which can be complimentary of each other, unfortunately they are seen as mutual exclusive.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                ““Mississippi changed multiple variables.”

                I’ve seen exactly zero people anywhere ever suggest that a kid being held back was negative for their academic performance.”

                Honestly, I’m baffled. What does my quote have to do with your response?

                I’m *NOT* arguing against retention when justified. I’m pointing out that if the policy around retention changed, that is going to impact test scores. That’s not good, that’s not bad, that simply IS.

                The argument was that “Mississippi did more phonics and their test scores are soaring.”

                My counter is that, “Yes, Mississippi did more phonics and yes their test scores are soaring but they ALSO did some other things so we can’t necessarily say that the latter happened because of the former.”

                That’s it. That’s all.

                I wish my stepdaughter’s school would STOP advancing her grades despite her clearly not learning anything year after year. This is a fight we can’t even figure out how to fight. So, believe me, I am not opposed to retention in the abstract or in reality. I’m simply pointing out that it can impact test scores in a way that can make the data a little murkier to wade through.Report

  5. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    Occasionally we discuss the schools in Baltimore. The whole issue of “schools that have *ZERO* proficient students” thing.

    Whether it’s germane to the general discussion into which it is introduced or not. See also police unions, Dr. Seuss, ………..Report

  6. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Democrats in Array! With the tiniest of margins (6 votes in the MN House, 1 vote in the MN Senate), The MN DFL had a very productive and progressive year: https://twitter.com/whstancil/status/1660846689450688514?s=20Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      That is an interesting thread.

      Here are the things that he says got accomplished (and he has links to each):

      They created a huge new statewide paid family and medical leave program, raising the number of workers receiving paid leave from 25% to 100%.

      They fully legalized marijuana.

      They made school lunches free for all students, leading to Governor Tim Walz being adorably mobbed by elementary schoolers.

      They created new protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, leading to State Senator Omar Fateh being adorably mobbed by Uber and Lyft drivers.

      They codified Roe v. Wade, ensuring that Republicans can’t endanger abortion rights in Minnesota simply by controlling the courts.

      They funded the replacement of all lead pipes in the state (another @SydneyJordanMN law).

      They banned noncompete agreements and created statewide paid sick leave.

      Minnesota Dems enacted a raft of laws to make the state a trans refuge, and ensure people receiving trans care here can’t be reached by far-right governments in places like Florida and Texas.

      Minnesota Dems ensured that everyone, including undocumented immigrants, can get drivers’ licenses.

      They made public college free for the majority of Minnesota families.

      Minnesota Dems dropped a billion dollars into a bevy of affordable housing programs, including by creating a new state housing voucher program.

      Minnesota Dems massively increased funding for the state’s perpetually-underfunded public defenders, which lets more public defenders be hired and existing public defenders get a salary increase.

      Dems raised Minnesota education spending by 10%, or about 2.3 billion.

      Minnesota Dems created an energy standard for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

      Minnesota already has some of the strongest election infrastructure (and highest voter participation) in the country, but the legislature just made it stronger, with automatic registration, preregistration for minors, and easier access to absentee ballots.

      There is some unalloyed good stuff in there, there is some alloyed good stuff in there, there’s some stuff in there that I think won’t work in the long term but, hey, it looks good in the short term, and some stuff that I suspect will be quietly walked back in the dead of night.

      But I think it’s great that they passed the laws (even the ones that I don’t think will work out the way they want) and wonder how the state will look in 2, 5, 10 years.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Can you point to a Republican-controlled state that you think is doing more good things? Or a better overall job?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Eh, I admit that much has to do with stuff like “is this an appropriate function of government?” and “are these guys prepared for unintended consequences?”

          Stuff like getting rid of noncompete clauses is an unalloyed good. The lead pipes thing as well.

          Stuff like making school lunches free is going to have some weird side effects but one thing that the pandemic taught us is that one of the primary benefits of schooling is the fact that it’s day care and feeding the kids for free is going to result in higher quality day care for a significant number of lower-income kids.

          The protections for Uber and Lyft drivers is going to result in some serious “they can’t do that!” responses on the part of the Uber and Lyft companies.

          Public college being free is going to result in some weird unintended consequences as well but, hey, there are some who might benefit from 16th grade and others who will seriously benefit from free college for the freshman/sophomore generic courses and then transfer to a state school for their bachelor’s. I don’t know how many, but I’m not going to pretend that there won’t be any.

          The affordable housing would be better served by housing creation than by the creation of coupons for the housing that exists now.

          The license thing is going to create a non-zero number of problems.

          But to answer your question, there are a handful of red states that are doing better on housing for stuff like “building it” and when it comes to education I’d want to compare before vs. after for proficiency (because that’s where you can really start pointing to stuff like 70% vs 75%) but, for the most part, I see that there is some unalloyed good stuff in there, there is some alloyed good stuff in there, there’s some stuff in there that I think won’t work in the long term but, hey, it looks good in the short term, and some stuff that I suspect will be quietly walked back in the dead of night.

          But I think it’s great that they passed the laws (even the ones that I don’t think will work out the way they want) and wonder how the state will look in 2, 5, 10 years.Report

          • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            The laboratory of democracy, indeed.

            It is kind of amazing that people are actually willing to take a stand against feeding poor people.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Slade the Leveller
              Ignored
              says:

              Not really. Most conservatives view poverty as a moral failing not a structural problem. No sense rewarding bad morals.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Slade the Leveller
              Ignored
              says:

              Slade: It is kind of amazing that people are actually willing to take a stand against feeding poor people.

              Poor people got free lunches (and sometimes breakfasts) before. This is feeding the middle/upper classes. My rich zip code did that too a year ago.

              It’s a hand out to voters.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Tl:Dr
            No, no one can really point to any Republican-led states doing more good things or a better overall job.

            But hey, they are making women bleed out in parking lots while doctors stand by watching.

            And drag queens and librarians are hiding in terror.

            Who knew the omelet of Christian Nationalism would require so many broken eggs?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Minnesota’s congressional district map was unchanged in 2020.

              Do you think that they’ll pick up people immigrating from all of the red states in 2030? Or from the blue states that, for whatever reason, can’t do what Minnesota proved was possible?Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Minnesota may be well governed but with those winters you’d have to be crazy (or from Canada) to move there.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                If you can hack the winters, MN is an awesome place. It’s about as regular midwestern as it gets.Report

              • North in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Most of the midwest wishes it could be as awesome as MN is.Report

              • North in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Ironically I moved to Minnesota and I am from Canada originally. I do not understand why people kvetch about the winters. They are cold, sure, but they are pretty uniform and they are generally DRY. Compared to Nova Scotia or any other eastern seaboard state where the damp winters rot your car right out from underneath you and the damp cold also crawls into your body and lives there for five months Minnesota winters are cute floofy arctic foxes by comparison.

                And it is a really well run state and getting better in a lot of ways. They do have a strong streak of nanny-ism though, see pot and alchohol controls. And the larger cities have a major police union problem of course.Report

              • InMD in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I was being tongue and cheek and I actually mentioned Canada specifically for your benefit!

                I have never traveled to or through the Midwest (other than going over some of it by airplane) so truthfully have no sense of what it is like. One of these days I will check it out.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe they will pick up this guy:

                After 23 years in Texas, Sravan Krishna plans to move his family out of the state before his two young children start school in the fall. A practicing Hindu who attended Christian schools as a boy, Krishna said the departure will bring a “lot of pain” in the short term. But an accumulation of things — from growing opposition to diversity and anti-racism education, as well as book bans and what he calls “Christian nationalism” — forced his hand, he said.

                “In the beginning, I thought: ‘How can a place like this, one of the wealthiest Zip codes in the state, be so backward?’” Krishna said. “I thought: ‘Oh, they’re just misinformed,’ but from there it never changed. There isn’t much of an uproar, and it’s even welcomed, this forcing of a particular religious view.”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                After the 2010 Census, Texas gained 4 seats.

                After the 2020 Census, Texas only gained 2 seats.

                Maybe they’ll only gain 1 seat in 2030.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It is unclear whether most vaguely liberal but not that political people are thinking this way yet. Women might be but most humans don’t think that deeply about politics. Blue state NIMBYism and the lack of winter is going to keep people moving to Texas and Florida for a few more years at least.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                I wonder how many other people like him exist in red states, religious or ethnic minorities, secular people, mushy moderate middling people, people who never used to think much of politics but are now, very much thinking about politics.

                Maybe not to the extent of packing up and moving, but how any of these people will be willing to vote Republican in the next election?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                My daughter’s dance teacher – an 82 year old former NYC prima ballerina – is now actively worried about her social security being cut by Congress. Which is gratifying in a way since she’s related to Steve Scalise. But a LOT more folks like her need to feel real danger before much of this changes.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Pot legalization, ironically, is gonna be a big one in MN. Not, necessarily, because pot legalization being a good idea (though it is*) but also because it eliminates the raison d’etre for not one but two sock puppet pot legalization parties the GOP has been maintaining in MN. That’s gonna add a few percentage points onto Democratic margins going forward.

      *Now if MN had only done it five years earlier.Report

  7. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.timesunion.com/hudsonvalley/news/article/homeless-men-recruited-veterans-scam-18108478.php

    Once again, a major isn’t that shocking story from the Murdoch’s NY Post turns out not to be true.Report

  8. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.vox.com/culture/23733213/fandom-purity-culture-what-is-proship-antiship-antifandom

    Vox tries to come to grips with the growing prudery of the very online. This is somewhat rich since they often were cheerleaders for the things leading up to this moment in the past whether the admit it or not. My own opinion is the decrease in meat space and hang out culture among teens is leading to this moment. From a more political angle, these seem to be petty fights that are ignoring some real serious issues in the world.Report

    • Ordinary Times Pitchbot in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      This article just sounds like any one of those “Here’s A Hot New Trend Everyone Is Doing” which turns out to be the author and a few people in her social circle.

      Or maybe I’m just up to here with “Outrage Story About Teens Having [Too Much/ Too Little/The Wrong Kind] Of Sex”

      Like, since my first exposure to Time and Newsweek in the early 70s, every couple years a new article comes along about every two years telling parents to freak out over the sex lives of their young people.Report

  9. Deranged Lunatic Or Republican Thought Leader?
    Ignored
    says:

    Let me tell you all an uncomfortable truth:

    This country needs a dictator. As the great John Adams said, a free country only works for a “moral people”.

    We are not worthy of freedom. A dictator is coming

    [Readers added content they thought people might want to know]
    This dictator-loving choad was whining nonstop about the cruel tyranny of mask mandates.Report

  10. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    On Housing:

    Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Japan handles land use at the national level and is unique among developed democracies or really any country as not having many old buildings. You don’t have groups of people that want to live in an old Japanese house from the Meiji Era like houses built in the 19th century are still popular in the West. Even in the grand buildings, Japan has a lot less than other countries.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s the “five times as much as California per capita” that I think keeps housing low.

        Housing can either be cheap or a great investment.

        It can’t be both.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        “You don’t have groups of people that want to live in an old Japanese house from the Meiji Era…”

        And when you look at the degree of remodeling and renovation that people who Really Want To Live In A Colonial American House do to the properties they buy, it turns out that Americans don’t want to live in a house that old either; they want to live in a new house with an oldey-timey look to the outside.Report

  11. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    From NBC: NYC Mayor Eric Adams Asks Court to Suspend Long-Standing ‘Right to Shelter’ Policy

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams asked a judge on Tuesday to let the city suspend its long-standing “right to shelter” obligation, saying officials are no longer able to house every homeless person because of the arrival of tens of thousands of international migrants.

    The right to shelter has been in place for more than four decades in New York, after a court in 1981 required the city to provide temporary housing for every homeless person who asks for it. Other big U.S. cities don’t have such a rule.

    But with the arrival of 70,000 asylum seekers since last spring, many of whom crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, the city has been challenged to find room for everyone in need of a temporary roof and bed.

    I have lifted
    the lamp
    beside
    the golden door

    to which
    you were probably
    hoping
    to send your homeless tempest-tost

    forgive me
    being dishonest about this
    will only result
    in our system collapsingReport

  12. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Conservatives: “We’re definitely not bigots!”

    News Item:
    “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday. ”Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
    Target said that customers knocked down Pride displays at some stores, angrily approached workers and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores.

    https://apnews.com/article/target-pride-lgbtq-4bc9de6339f86748bcb8a453d7b9acf0

    Something something shoplifting.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Cowards.
      Snowflakes.

      Ad that goes for Target too.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Acceeding to the vandal’s veto.

      And it seems to me that at least some of the time, Target employees were handling the self-owning a-holes, angry that Target was offering products that were appealing to people different than themselves, quite professionally and appropriately. See:
      https://twitter.com/alex_abads/status/1661370324137435137Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      So far the only actual video of this happening involves a guy who spends an awful lot of time on gay dating sites, doing the video wearing pro-Trump gear so fresh it’s very nearly still got the price tags on.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        So far the only actual video of this happening involves a guy who spends an awful lot of time on gay dating sites, doing the video wearing pro-Trump gear so fresh it’s very nearly still got the price tags on.

        Sure is weird how you’ve seen video of this, considering there isn’t any.

        Yeah, it’s all pretend. Giant corporations and their employees often particular in hoaxes like that. And bomb threats, of course, are not often prosecuted.

        Why, just look at all the fake posting happening at the employee’s unofficial reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/Target/ and all the examples of harassment they keep making up.Report

  13. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Tina Turner has died. Another great has passed.Report

  14. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/23/us/illinois-catholic-church-sex-abuse.html

    But let’s make sure that kids never see a person in drag and that teachers never tell kids it’s okay that Sally has two dads.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      The Right’s problem is it needs an enemy. If it can’t find one then it will create one.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      At last we agree. The Archdiocese of Chicago is notoriously liberal. These are the kinds of priests that would encourage drag and gay marriages, and the Church should have thrown them out a long time ago.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        There are no words. You are a true monster.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          You wanted to talk about the connection between Church liberals and child sexual abuse in Chicago, let’s talk about it. Why would you bring it up on an open forum otherwise?Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            NO – he wanted to talk about how the GOP refuses to ever acknowledge real dangers to kids like this – real evil – and instead prefers to go after people who aren’t actually harming kids. “Church liberals” aren’t the reason so many pedophiles wore and still wear robes and hassocks.

            I mean if you want to assail the church over its promotion of humanity for the LGBTQ+ community you have to start all the way at the Pope. Good luck with that.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              The rates of child sexual abuse are about the same in public schools as in the Church. And if you want to talk about Chicago child sexual abuse cases, you’re talking about gay priests who promote gay causes. I mean, if you want to talk about another city, the story might be different, but that’s been life on the ground in the Archdiocese of Chicago.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                What percent of pedophile priests are gay men? What percent of pedophiles overall are gay? And since the Pope promotes the human dignity of gay and lesbian catholics is he promoting gay causes?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The percentage is probably rather high because for decades the priesthood was a convenient way for young Irish and Italian men to avoid awkward conversations about why they weren’t married or dating. By the late ’60’s, there was a countervailing fashion for hetero-predator priests, (I’m told by adherents of other sects that there was always a similar problem in sects where clergy could marry) but that seems to have peaked.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2002 to conduct a comprehensive study based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The product of the study, titled the John Jay Report indicated that some 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA. This number constituted approximately 4% of the priests who had served during the period covered by the survey (1950–2002).Of the abused, 81% were male, and 19% were female, 22% were younger than age 11, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages of 15 and 17 years when first abused. Within the youngest age group, 64% of abused children were male, while within the older age groups, 85% were male. 2,411 of the priests had a single allegation made against them, while 149 priests had 10 or more allegations made against them.

                The John Jay report identified that the reported sexual abuse cases had a sharp increase in the 1960s and continued to do so until the decrease of reported sexual abuse cases in the 1980s. The decrease in allegations has continued until today. There does not appear to be a single primary cause of the abuse patterns within the Catholic clergy; however, the John Jay report suggests that many of the abusing priests were inclined to abuse victims because they themselves have experienced childhood sexual abuse first hand.

                A further analysis by the John Jay College found that, among clerics with a single accusation of abuse, the victims were more evenly divided between male and female and were more likely to be older. Abusers with greater numbers of victims abused a higher proportion of boys. The report also identified some subsets of abusive behaviour: pedophilia (96 priests) and homosexual ephebophilia (474 priests).

                In spite of the importance of this study, the John Jay studies have been heavily criticized. Some critics deemed the studies as inaccurate and consider the researchers ignorant on the subject.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sex_abuse_cases_in_the_United_StatesReport

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                That was a bigger cut-and-paste than I like to do, but I didn’t want to be accused of omitting anything important. To your second question, I don’t know the stats of the general population. As for your last question, I promote the human dignity of gay and lesbian Catholics, but I don’t promote gay causes.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Have you looked into TANF work participation rates?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                So 4% of priest committed sexual abuse. And the cut and paste you cited showed none of them were out gay men. But you continue to associate drag show story hour with pedophilia by gay men – which isn’t a thing apparently.

                Got it.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I thought if I gave the full story you would tell the truth about it. Lesson learned.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                That citation says 4% of priests committed sexual abuse, and that the vast majority were abused themselves. Its in your quote. Even if we assume that those priests committing homosexual ephebophilia are closeted gay men, that makes 10% of reported abuse cases and 1% of priests. Which the GOP has been remarkably silent about while going full bore against drag performers.

                Again, you are deflecting form Kazzy’s point that there are real threats to children in the world; drag Show Story hour ain’t it; The GOP is intentionally avoiding the real threats because it wants to oppress members of the LGBTQ+ community.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Conservatives: “Public schools are full of PEDOPHILES who are GROOMING YOUR CHILDREN FOR SEX!”

                Also conservatives:”Y’know, the amount of abuse in the church is about the same as public schools”.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “The rates of child sexual abuse are about the same in public schools as in the Church.”

                Okay. So… do we need to fear schools and all the grooming teachers lying within? If so, we should fear the Church equally.

                OR… is the Church a safe place for children? If so, we should stop fretting about what’s happening in schools vis a vis child sexual abuse.

                You can’t have it both ways… pointing at schools at satanic hell holes full of predators and the Church as a positive social institution.

                If they’re the same, let’s treat them the same.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I already said to throw out the perverts and you were shocked.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                [slow clap]Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Right, because we don’t equate pedophile priests who are preying on children and drag performers reading to kids fully clothed. Since there’s, ya know, nothing perverted about people in costumes reading to kids in a public space.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not equating pedophile priests and teachers, nor am I saying that all schools are full of predators, or pretty much anything else you two are trying to claim I said. What I believe is really straightforward, and since you object to it, you don’t have to try to play games to make it sound like something you object to. And you’re playing on home field, so most people are going to agree with you.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “What I believe is really straightforward…”

                Which is?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Really? You never picked up on it? Then again, I guess you haven’t, if you accused me of “pointing at schools at satanic hell holes full of predators”. I don’t have time to write a manifesto, although my beliefs are pretty thoroughly documented on this site. On the topic we’ve been discussing, my beliefs correspond with Catholic teaching and the American tradition. And how many comments have we exchanged? Have I ever said anything like the words you put in my mouth?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Sorry… how silly of me to link you with broader right wing talking points when all you do is spout right wing talking points.

                Again, in a conversation about child sexual abuse and child sexual abuse cover ups within the Catholic Church, you felt like the obvious villains in the story were liberals and gays.

                Bravo, man.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                That means that you don’t talk to the person, you talk to the label you’ve put on the person’s beliefs. That guarantees you’ll never learn more about the person and his thinking.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Give us a good reason that we should learn about you rather than deal with what you say.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, you were the one who wanted to compare and contrast sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the promotion of LGBT stuff with kids. I wouldn’t have gone there, but you opened the door.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I wanted to compare what the right wing tells us we should fear what reality tells us we should fear:

                Rightwing: Gays, trans folks, teachers, and drag queens scary! Religion good!

                Facts: The opposite.

                Pinky’s take: Religion is only bad when it involves gays and liberals.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I know what you wanted to do; the problem was that you didn’t understand the situation. You wanted to say these liberals pushing the gay agenda on children are good, and those priests are bad. You didn’t know the Chicagoland area.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “pushing the gay agenda”.

                It’s amazing, and by amazing I mean completely expected and not surprising in any way, how the right wing has morphed from just last year “Just Asking Question” about Lia Thomas, to now full throated Anita Bryant 1974 style shrieking about the “gay agenda”.

                Like, wasn’t it only a couple years ago we all here were marveling at how the right had surrendered on same sex marriage and now they are all like, “If you sell a tee shirt with a rainbow, we will destroy you!”

                So far the alarmists are batting 1000.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                OK so you wouldn’t take issue with us saying that Chris Rufo and the others who told us that teachers were grooming students are mendacious liars and abject morons and should never be listened to about anything, because as you yourself have pointed out, public schools are just as safe for kids as a Catholic church.*

                *Readers added information they thought people might want to know:
                The equating of public schools to Catholic churches wrt pedophilia is not intended to be a punchline, although many readers may guffaw involuntarily.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Comrade Father O’Brien was never a true Party member Catholic!”Report

  15. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    As a Swiftie, I’m sure you already know that Taylor is dating Matty Healy.

    What you might not have known is that Matty Healy is problematic.

    I can help get you up to speed with this thread:

    Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      As a metal head it pains me to do this but… *ahem*… ‘haters gonna hate hate hate hate.’Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I think what I struggle with most while reading that is that she takes it as a given that Healy is all the things she says he is while not actually offering any evidence of such. I’ve never heard of him but having skimmed his Wiki, it seems like maybe he’s been involved in some mildly cringey moments but otherwise is someone who would align with this woman’s ideologies more than not? Happy to be wrong if someone can show that this guy justifies such a self-indulgent round of navel gazing.Report

  16. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling!

    Neal Katyal was arguing on behalf of Hennepin.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Holy cow, Sackett v EPA was unanimous too!

      Chevron appears to be in the process of being walked back.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Holy cow, Sackett v EPA was unanimous too!

        Chevron appears to be in the process of being walked back.

        Its actually 5-4 (https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/25/politics/supreme-court-wetlands-authority-epa/index.html)

        Which means the 40 year project by the GOP to roll back regulations is now gaining steam. Which will have all sorts of negative societal consequences.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Unanimous in the sense that all nine agreed that the Ninth Circuit overreached in some fashion, so the Appeals Court decision is reversed and the case remanded. Four held that the wetlands in the case were neither adjoining nor adjacent to the lake (under the statute’s definition), so were not within the EPA’s purview. Five held that the EPA’s reach extends only to adjoining wetlands. That is, there has to be a relatively permanent surface water connection (to my reading, ignoring the actual language of the statute). Two of the five said basically that regulating these wetlands, and the nearby lake, was outside of Congress’s authority.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          Most of the MSM are nowhere near reporting it this way. Not that it matters – Jay’s conclusions that Chevron is being undone are on point – and a major goal for the GOP’s federal court packing strategies over the last 4 decades.Report

          • CJColucci in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            If the Supremes officially kill Chevron, it will be another case of the dog catching the car.
            I took Administrative Law when Chevron was still bubbling in near-anonymity in the lower courts.* (Of course back then I also had to study Hammurabi’s Laws as current, not historical.) Even pre-Chevron, courts were giving deference to reasonable agency determinations of the laws under which they operate. In practice, it was a bit wild and woolly, with deference depending on the whims of individual judges (Byron White was pretty consistently Chevron-like avant la lettre, others not so much.), the respect in which courts generally held the particular agency (the SEC got more deference than the NLRB), and a flexible sense of whether the agency was merely stretching the statute or putting it on the rack. Very few people at the time thought Chevron was that big a deal. It merely rationalized and put into a neat verbal formula a rough approximation of judicial practice.
            To be sure, some courts slough off their responsibilities and hide behind Chevron deference when they shouldn’t, and it would be useful to see practice tightened up a bit around the margins. (Sort of like QI.) But something more or less like a restrained version of Chevron deference is unavoidable in practical terms, and formally overruling Chevron will probably change what courts say much more than it will change what they do.

            *Several years ago, I was involved in a case in which one of the other side’s experts was an Administrative Law professor who was a friend of my former Administrative Law professor. On a break, I told him, half in jest, that I had trouble remembering what Administrative Law was about pre-Chevron. We both had a chuckle over that.Report

            • Philip H in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              But something more or less like a restrained version of Chevron deference is unavoidable in practical terms, and formally overruling Chevron will probably change what courts say much more than it will change what they do.

              I think you are missing the point. if Chevron is even partially overturned – and this decision clearly does that, it fuels the fire that Congress, not Agencies, is the federal responsible party for determining what Congress said in a given law – which has to be made to work in regulations. Once we loose the discretion to determine how laws are enacted, we loose the ability to penalize. And that means either laws have to become clear and direct, or the government can no longer protect people. That may not be tomorrow’s outcome, or next month’s outcome, but its an outcome that will exist.

              And it will be horrible.Report

              • Damon in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The horror of congress actually stating what the new law is supposed to do. The horror.

                That’s their damn job.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                The job is impossible without delegating considerable, but not unbounded, discretion to agencies. For some, of course, that’s not a bug; it’s a feature. But the world’s work has to get done and, by hook or by crook, it will.Report

              • Damon in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Then congress should, you know, pass a clear delegation to various agencies. It’s been pretty clear that this has been a problem…..congress not doing their job. I have no sympathy.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                A great many federal laws start off with “The Secretary of {insert Department} shall, in conjunction with blah blah blah . . . ” Seems clear enough to the agencies at that point.

                Take the Clean Water Act – the statute underlying this litigation. It’s most recent version (from 2018) very clearly says the Administrator of the EPA SHALL administer the law in question. Immediately after that it say sthe public shall be permitted to participate in developing implementing regulations – which is why it takes 2-3 years for the EPA to do rule making. Nearly all federal law is written this way.Report

              • Damon in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, you’re just making my case for me.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                The case he’s making is that delegation is routinely clear. It can be done with boilerplate. And is done all the time. So it’s no big deal, and no real constraint on the administrative state if it can be satisfied so easily.Report

              • Damon in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Fine. I’m cool with limited delegation, but the subject in question apparently was NOT clearly delegated, at least in the view of the court. I’m not a fan of administrative agencies interpreting the intent of congress. It should be clearly stated.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s funny. Congress passes a law and says “you, agency over there, this is your mission go make it happen inside the constraints of all the other laws we passed.” Which is what federal agencies do daily. Like the Clean Water act Says the EPA shall administer the law. Which they did.

                And that’s not enough for you? Wow.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                The delegation was as clearly delegated as one could reasonably expect it to be. Congress can’t fill in all the details on legislation like this. When it can fill in all the details, it does so, and doesn’t delegate.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                My fear from this decision is that Alito simply struck absolutely clear pieces of the statute without explanation. At least Thomas and Gorsuch had the decency to advance a hypothesis as to why the last 50 years of precedent was all wrongly decided.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                As with all such conservative principles, Alito’s are entirely principles of convenience, picked up and discard the moment they obstruct anything he want to do.

                Are the anti-abortion laws precise in delineating exactly which medical cases are prohibited and which are not? Do book banning laws give wide discretion to litigants who want to sue a teacher or school board for giving the wrong books out?

                In those cases, the ambiguity is a feature. Here its a bug.Report

  17. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    The MSM commentariat is turning on Democrats. And I mostly agree – negotiating with terrorists is just making them bolder.

    Unless Democrats take tougher steps in the future, such as pushing for legislation that eliminates the debt ceiling once and for all, they will keep finding themselves in this bind, struggling to keep their footing in a world where one party still plays by the rules and the other is willing to do whatever is necessary — and at whatever cost — to achieve its objectives and retain power.

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/25/opinions/gop-already-won-the-debt-ceiling-standoff-zelizer/index.htmlReport

  18. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    https://damagemag.com/2023/03/22/anti-social-socialism-club/

    This interesting essay about anti-social Leftists. One of the things I’ve noticed that many people who broadly define themselves as Left don’t seem to be very social and can be positively contemptuous of the little communal rituals that people find meaningful. Like they suggest colleges should abolish graduation ceremonies and just send everybody packing at the end of the school year and mail degrees to people even though most people don’t seem to mind or even love college graduation ceremonies.Report

  19. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers is sentence to 18 years in the federal penitentiary for his part in the Video Games Freikorps.

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/07/politics/oath-keepers-leader-stewart-rhodes-testifies/index.htmlReport

    • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      Hopefully it serves as a lesson for all that would LARP with such nonsense.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      Much like we’ve come to regret not hanging Confederates, I suspect not letting a few people dangle for this is going to come back to haunt us.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        From what I remember, many Radical Republicans wanted to put the Confederate leadership on trial but were deeply afraid or not being able to get a conviction or even and indictment. With 20/20 hindsight that was a mistake and the Confederate leadership needed to face trial and the penalties for treason. At least the Video Games Freikorps is facing trial.Report

  20. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Lee Fang has a great piece that has two very interesting sentences:

    Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, is one of the most generous patrons of activist groups seeking to defund, or in some cases, even abolish police.

    Meanwhile, in his personal capacity, Omidyar has invested in start-ups that specialize in monetizing the growing demand for private security.

    You’re never going to abolish the police. You can only privatize it.Report

  21. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    You’ve heard the distinction “Free as in speech vs. free as in beer”?

    WE HAVE FREE AS IN BEER FOR SOME BEER!!!

    Anheuser-Busch offering free beer after recent Bud Light backlash

    Get up to $15 bucks back on your purchase of a 15-or-greater pack of Budweiser, Bud Light, Budweiser Select, or Budweiser Select 55!

    IT’S EVEN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!!!!!!Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Awesome! I can put the money I save on my weekend beer purchase (which would have been Bud anyway!) towards groups that support and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. WIN!Report

    • InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Instead of panicking I think they should have just quietly gone back to an updated version of the pitch below, which I thought was more of the right attitude and fighting spirit towards their spot in the marketplace.

      https://vimeo.com/118512602Report

      • Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        A decade or so ago, I got on a bomber kick and bought one I’d never tried before every couple of weeks for a few months.

        The guy behind the counter told me about a fishing trip he’d been on a few months before and his buddy told him “Please just bring beer. Don’t bring something with hints or notes or that I have to think about. I just want normal, regular beer.”

        We both laughed.

        But there is an audience out there who just doesn’t want to think about beer. And they are being made to think about it. And, goodness, it seems they resent it.

        Those gentlemen will be pleased to know that Coors (“The Banquet Beer”) is fresh and crisp and made from water from the Rocky Mountains. And you don’t need to spend a whole lot of time on that.

        Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          My dad was a Coors man for many years before certain doctors recommended certain changes in drinking habits. What dorks. But yes, Coors must be respected for never wavering from their core message and customer base.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m a beer drinker and dabble in craft beers. Bud Heavy has been my mainstay ever since I was routinely buying beer just for myself (e.g., post college, post roommates). Like most guys in my demo, I got into IPAs but quickly grew overwhelmed by the craft boom explosion. I have a few gotos (Founder All Day, particularly in the summer) and will experiment from time to time, but I can’t get caught up in all the fuss. If it’s good, I’ll drink it. If not, I won’t.

        Sometimes I do need a change of pace and I’ll venture out a bit. Then a bit more. Then a bit more. Then suddenly I come home with something that cost $18 for a 4 pack and it’s awful and I have to boomerang all the way back to the Bud Heavies for a while.

        We all have our habits and preferences. People should drink what they like for whatever reason they like.Report

        • InMD in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Yea, I dabble here and there as well, especially if I’m feeling nostalgic for my time in Germany, but my go to is and always has been Yeungling. I usually have that and some Millers on hand then slowly go through whatever more avant-garde stuff my wife’s friends leave here, some of which is ok, some I find undrinkable.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            For a while Yeungling had a pretty limited delivery range… were you able to get it reliably in MD?

            Yards is a Philly-based brewery that I find pretty reliable.

            I just can’t get into the beers that seem to be interesting for interesting-sake. Like, just because you CAN make a peanut-butter-and-marshamallow flavored triple stout with 12.5%ABV doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

            Also, stop making beer cans look like sugar cereal boxes. Just stop.Report

            • InMD in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              I am not sure when it was introduced but as best as I can tell Yeungling has been reliably around DC-Baltimore for a pretty long time, or at least since the 90s. Many places have had it on tap since I could legally drink and I know it was available in stores, etc. before.

              I’m also with you that a lot of beers seem like they are brewed for pure novelty sake, up to the point that they almost aren’t even beer. Around here these things they call sours seem to have gotten popular and for the life of me I cannot understand why. Even many of the better microbrews often taste to me like they never quite congeal passed the sum of their ingredients, and the weird cans are just insult to injury.Report

  22. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, now we have to wonder what rational the House GOP leadership will use to keep him off his committees:

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/23/politics/swalwell-house-ethics-investigation-closed/?dicbo=v2-i8RGhyV&hpt=ob_blogfooteroldReport

    • Pinky in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Swalwell is on the Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        House Republicans had seized on the allegations and used them as motivation to kick Swalwell off of the House Intelligence Committee at the start of the current Congress.

        Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Is there reason to believe that he was compromised?Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            It does not appear so, per the link.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Not whether he was accused of wrongdoing.

              Whether he was compromised.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There is all kinds of reason to think he was compromised.

                So far though Republicans have kept all the reasons carefully hidden because they, um, they, well, uh OK this is where I got nuthin’

                Which, apparently, is what they got as well.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This is in the story before they point out that he was not accused of wrongdoing:

                CNN previously reported that Swalwell was named in an Axios report detailing what US officials believed to be a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015. The woman at the center of the operation, Fang Fang or Christine Fang, took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign and helped place an intern in the California Democrat’s office

                The Axios report has some salacious details as well, Should I bother quoting them? Here’s the argument that I would imagine you’d use in response: “no evidence to date has been presented that demonstrates that Fang and Swalwell were ever in a romantic or sexual relationship”.

                But then I’d probably ask you to imagine similar claims being made about Eric Trump and whether “there has been no evidence saying that he had an affair with Fang Fang” would strike you as being remotely satisfactory when something as IMPORTANT and ESSENTIAL as National Security was on the line.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Whoa, hold on.

                I didn’t know you had salacious rumors.

                Why didn’t anyone tell me you had salacious rumors?? Not just rumors, but salacious rumors!!

                Seriously.
                Come back when you got something.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t have something. Axios did.

                Snopes even talked about it and mentioned that the parts that they could verify were “True“.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So, according to your link they concluded there was no evidence he was compromised.

                Next.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess the fundamental question is whether this kind of clearance is a right or whether it is a privilege extended to people who have demonstrated that they have the ability to keep Chinese intelligence agents out of their own offices.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Kicked off the Intelligence Committee and added to the Homeland Security Committee, while remaining on the Judiciary Committee.Report

  23. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Remember the Citibike Karen thing?

    Well, unfortunately, the kids who took the video are now having their identities posted all over the internet and people who aren’t even involved in the story at all are injecting themselves into it and now the news media is talking about them as if they did something wrong.

    Report

    • Damon in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Good. Seems they were in the wrong…

      “There was just one problem with the story: It went viral not for its accuracy, but because it fit many people’s preconceived notions about race in America. It turns out that Comrie was the victim – and the person with the right to the bike – and her attorney has the receipts to prove it.”

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2023/05/23/citi-bike-karen-danger-confirmation-bias/70242982007/

      Here’s words to live by…don’t be a doucheReport

      • Jaybird in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        This tweeter points out that the youths were intending to rent the bikes, though.Report

      • InMD in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        Misunderstandings will happen. Doesn’t necessarily excuse the teens for being obnoxious to a pregnant lady but in the greater scheme of things it in itself is very small potatoes. Every one of us has been in the wrong at some time or embarrassed ourselves by doubling down on our own errors and poor judgment. The people we should be mad at are the insane busy bodies causing these things to go viral and screw up peoples lives for their own sick amusement.Report

        • Damon in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Agreed, but that falls into my comment about being a douche 🙂Report

        • Kazzy in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          As I explained to my 16-year-old when she described an altercation between a teacher and student at school…

          “Sometimes someone can be both right and wrong. Sometimes both sides can be both right and wrong.”

          This seems like a genuine misunderstanding that quickly snowballed because all involved made poor choices.

          As I understand, no one was hurt during the incident. Hopefully it stays that way (though some damage may have already occurred to involve parties that can’t be undone).Report

          • InMD in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            I think certain rough interactions are an inevitable part of human life, and agree generally, that people can be right and wrong to varying degrees within the context of those incidents in meat space. What I think has become wrong-er is the perpetual Greek chorus of strangers on the internet projecting their own insanity on to innocuous events to the point of real world consequences. From what I understand, it sounds like the initial reaction was to unfairly malign this woman. However setting the record straight on that shouldn’t involve some counter projection on the teenagers involved. All and all it’s just some dumb, inconsequential sh*t that happened and prior to everyone carrying around cameras and instant communication devices no one would have cared about it.

            My hope is that eventually institutions just become numb to it. The only right answer is to not react. If something seemingly really disturbing is caught on camera then quietly investigate. Instead too many places act as though they have no choice to respond to people on social media whose views and chattering really do not matter. We will truly be in a better place when members of online mobs internalize that no one cares about them or what they say.Report