“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Friday, August 30, 2013

American school children and Russian cows

If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
When Allison Benedikt says "worth it," she is insisting that you consider all other children more important than your own child. Those of a totalitarian disposition might consider this idea worthy of debate, but, short of government forcing it, no one could consider it practical. Even president Obama has rejected Benedikt's dictum.

One wonders how Progressives like Ms Benedikt reconcile their relentless public school focus on self-esteem training with their opinion that the collective is more important than you are. You're special because your parents decided to sacrifice your education to the common good? You're just as important as everyone else who can't read or write?

It reminds me of an old Russian joke about a peasant with one cow who hates his neighbor because the neighbor has two cows. A genie offers to grant the envious farmer a single wish. "Kill one of my neighbor's cows!" he demands.

Ms Benedikt is not arguing on behalf of children, or the "common good." She's arguing on behalf of public employee unions and big government, so ignore this report from Harvard: Students Learn Less in States with Stronger Teachers' Unions

For Ms Benedikt that's not a bug. It's a feature. Of course, she would probably object that that's an example what she wants to change. However, she also probably would object to education system reforms like those in Wisconsin and Michigan.

And, by the way, somebody should tell Ms Benedikt that calling president Obama a "bad person" is racist.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Racing for votes

For those of you unfamiliar with the damage Coleman Young (Mayor 1972-1994) did to Detroit, this Powerline post will be of interest: How Coleman Young Ruined Detroit

I also present it in support of my contention that Coleman Young's race-baiting can be connected directly to the social milieu in which Trayvon Martin was immersed. Martin grew up in a culture Coleman Young promulgated.

And now the New York Times has a hint that the president is dipping his toes in the waters prepared for him by Young:
If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise...

Racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot. If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested.
President Obama does not want us to believe that his economic policies are the problem, and he feels compelled to hint that failure to solve them on his terms may have racial consequences. Standing alone, this comment would not be "playing the race card," but it gives one pause when combined with his need to insert himself in the cases of Professor Henry Gates and Trayvon Martin, and his (like Young's) war on the suburbs.