Category Archives: Education

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

As I’ve noted (only yesterday in fact), spring comes late to the Great Land.  But we share a  harbinger of spring with most of the upper tier of the Forty-Eight, that being the return of our robins (Turdus migratorius).

Our robins have only been back for a week or so, and they’ll depart in mid-September, if last year was any gauge.  They’re mostly ground-feeders and depart about the time snow starts to fall.  We had them in our old digs in Colorado, too, but there they were year-round residents.

Here, they are again the sign of spring that they were in the northeast Iowa hills of my youth.  There’s one singing in the top of one of our big birch trees as I write this, and it’s nice to hear him; they have a cheery, pleasant song, and it’s a promise of warm, sunny days ahead.

Now then…

On To the Links!

I live in a free speech zone.  It’s called the United States of America.  Still, good for Georgia.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  The GOP hasn’t exactly been on fire about pursuing corruption.

WH Tacitly Endorses Intimidation of Supreme Court Justices.  I can’t add anything to that.

Biden speaks, a nation groans.  Yeah, with embarrassment.

Well, this wouldn’t be good.

This wouldn’t be good either.

Get woke, go broke.

Oh, rats!

Eleven corrupt speed-trap towns.  What assholes!

Dammit, Bill Maher, stop  making me agree with you!

Human brains were bigger 3,000 years ago.  No television, I’m guessing.

On de-extinction.  Good, I want to go mammoth hunting!

Phrases you never heard before:  “Mouse sperm hook.”

Mob secrets coming to light.

Groomer breakfast cereal?

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Sasha Abramsky is an idiot. 

The Nation’s Joan Walsh (I’m sensing a pattern here) is an idiot.

Vox’s Ian Millhiser is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert)  remains a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

New York Magazine’s David Klion is an idiot.

USA Today’s Richard Wolf is an idiot.

Vox’s Rebecca Leber (I’m sensing another pattern here) is an idiot.

USA Today’s Jill Lawrence is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Ja’han Jones (I’m sensing yet another pattern here) is an idiot.

Salon’s Chris Hedges is an idiot.

OK, that’s all I can take this week.  I actually do read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

In his eponymous 1980 album, Peter Gabriel had a number of good tunes, but one I’ve always found interesting is the song Games Without Frontiers. 

While this song is often described as an ‘anti-war’ song, and it is that, it seems to me to spend more verses poking fun at the whole world of international relations, not only war but also our attempts at diplomacy.

It’s an interesting listen, and the video – well, the video is very Eighties.  Here, check it out:

Animal’s Daily Student Loan News

The Biden(‘s handlers) Administration is like the Energizer Bunny on crack; they just keep getting dumber, and dumber, and dumber.  Now they’re looking for ways to erase student loans – you know, loans defined by loan agreements, contracts, that these students signed knowing the terms and repayment conditions.  Excerpt:

After taking heat from those on the left flank of his party for not embracing their calls for the federal government to “forgive” student debt — that is, reward mostly upper-class Americans who made poor financial decisions while saddling all Americans with more debt — President Biden is dropping hints that he may be looking to begin the process of wiping away at least some student debt.

In a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week, Biden suggested that he would again extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond it’s current August end-date in addition to using executive powers to “cancel” the debt of some borrowers.

As CBS News explains:

President Biden is looking at different options to forgive an unspecified but substantial amount of federal student loan debt — a move that would thrill some of his most loyal supporters and financially strapped students nationwide, but is a departure from campaign pledges to provide limited relief.

The president shared his plans during a 90-minute White House meeting Monday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, participants in the exchange tell CBS News. The move could affect more than 43 million borrowers who hold more than $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt, the second-largest debt held by Americans, behind mortgages.

And in Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Jen Psaki confirmed that President Biden was looking at “other executive authority options” to cancel debt — due to the proposal being unable to make it through the House or Senate where Biden’s party does technically have majorities, albeit small ones.

So, this “workaround” is something that the Executive Branch has no Constitutional authority to do – that is, toss aside centuries of fundamental contract law to appease some whiny brats who borrowed money to obtain useless degrees.  The proper response to these brats is, of course, this:  “No.  You signed the loan agreements.  You pay back the loans.  That’s it.  Why are you still here?”

Here’s the deal:  Even if President Biden(‘s handlers) find a way to do this, one can’t just “cancel” this debt.  It can only be transferred, to the taxpayers.  So now, the money borrowed by upper-middle-class kids to get degrees in Ethnic Underwater Dog-Polishing Studies will be transferred to the nation’s carpenters, electricians, used-car salesmen and everyone else who actually contributes in some meaningful way to our society.

Still, I kind of hope this goes through, somehow.  I can’t think of a better club for the GOP to beat the Dems over the head with this fall, in a mid-term election season that is increasingly looking like a crimson tide.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Normally I would stick this in the “This Week’s Idiots” section, but the recent action of the Washington state legislature and government were so egregiously stupid that I felt the need to comment a little more.  What did they do?  They banned the word “marijuana.”  Why?  Because it’s racist, of course.  Excerpt:

“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” Washington state Rep. Melanie Morgan claimed last year during testimony on the legislation she sponsored. “As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants.”

Uh huh.  Because no white people have ever smoked marijuana.  Honestly, this is Richter-scale stupid, right here.  You just can’t make this shit up.

And so…

On To the Links!

DeSantis punches Mickey in the face. 

Teflon Don.

Nothing will come of this.  Something should – we know it should – but it won’t.

Nothing will come of this, either.

How about “just do your damn job and be proud on your own time”?

Gosh, I wonder why?

Better chocolate through technology!

Who is pulling Joe Biden’s strings?  That’s something plenty of folks would like to know, because someone sure as hell is.

Super Gonorrhea!  Fortunately I’m in the lowest of low-risk groups.

Wait, swearing makes us stronger?  Fuck!

So, work camps?  Know who else set up work camps?

Open season.

French President Macron snubs President Biden(‘s handlers).  Is anyone still taking this guy’s calls?

This Week’s Idiots:

This Milwaukee school district is run by idiots.

USAToday’s Carli Pierson is an idiot.

The Guardian’s David Smith is an idiot.

Fang Fang’s boy-toy Eric Swalwell is a liar, and an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

Slate’s Jim Newell is an idiot.

Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi is an idiot.

The Philly Inquirer’s Will Bunch is an idiot.

CNN’s Dean Obeidallah (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

One of the most liberty-minded songs in rock & roll history is Charlie Daniel’s 1974 tune Long Haired Country Boy.  Consider the refrain:

‘Cause I ain’t askin’ nobody for nothin’,
If I can’t get it on my own.
If you don’t like the way I’m livin’,
You just leave this long haired country boy alone.

 Charlie Daniels had a long and distinguished career, bending away from rock and over to country as he aged.  He’s probably better known for The Devil Went Down to Georgia and Simple Man, as well as for his amazing work with a fiddle.  But Long Haired Country Boy is still my favorite bit of his long discography.  Here, then, is that fine old libertarian tune.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Education Bubble Friday

I’ve been harping on the calamity that is higher education for some time now.  A recent article by Issues & Insights guest contributor Armando Simón posits that this issue is in fact a bubble, and one that is soon to pop.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

In the field of economics, a “bubble” refers to something that is being absurdly increased in value, much more than its true worth. The classic examples are the tulip mania bubble and the South Seas bubble. One could even make the case the 1929 U.S. stock market was a bubble. The results of such bubbles are invariably disastrous.

College degrees are a bubble. Many, if not most, degrees being granted are geared to be circular, that is, they are required for an academic setting. There, college graduates can happily regurgitate what their former professors told them, who in turn, repeated what their professors told them, each academic at each level in the process feeling very intellectual and very original. The problem is that there is a limited number of institutions that employ people to work in those fields or teach in them. Some politicians are proposing to exacerbate the quandary by offering free tuition, with the slogan, “Everybody deserves [?] a college education.”

And this is where the stupidity begins, with the idea that “everybody deserves a college education.”  Not only are plenty of folks not suited for higher education, either for reasons of temperament, intelligence, ambition or a host of other reasons, but there are many, many vital roles in society that are filled by non-college types.  Tradesmen, for example.  You don’t need a college education to be a carpenter, plumber or electrician, and those are stable, solid, respectable jobs that require skill and brains – and pay pretty damn well.  And just look at what wages accomplished welders are bringing down right now!  But of late American education has downplayed or downright ignored the trades in too many places.

Here’s the onion:

The undeniable, harsh, fact of the matter is that there is almost no demand outside of academia for someone who has graduated with a degree in anthropology, literature, philosophy, sociology, history, gender studies, queer studies, art history, black studies, etc., to work specifically in those fields. Each year, thousands of college students graduate in fields for which there is no demand, i.e., no jobs, and are still living in their parents’ homes. In the United States, many of them are saddled with a gargantuan college debt that goes towards paying the universities, which ruthlessly exploit them with high tuitions, hidden fees, and ridiculously priced textbooks. Many such graduates, not having learned their lesson (ironic), stick around to get an advanced degree in those same arid fields, thereby prolonging childhood even longer and avoiding adult responsibilities.

Insert my standard rant about bullshit degrees here.  Too many of these “studies” degrees are pure corral litter, suitable only for enriching lawns, and yet stupid kids keep signing up for them.  It’s fraud, a particularly egregious and cynical fraud, foisted on these stupid kids by the education establishment.

The article concludes:

Because the majority of universities and community colleges have been primarily subsidized by the governments (local state governments spend about $86 billion on higher education every year, and this does not take into account the federal subsidies, totaling $200 billion), there has been for decades a proliferation of those institutions. Even so, some colleges may be closing their doors for financial reasons, a portent of things to come, and on top of that, some conservatives are arguing that, since universities have become indoctrinating centers for totalitarian ideology, they should be defunded altogether by the government (indeed, some departments exist solely for the purpose of indoctrination, Gender Studies being the most obvious).

Get government out of education!  That will pop the bubble right damn now.

Regardless of the reason, it seems that the university bubble will inevitably collapse and some have already even predicted the “crash.” The writing is on the wall. There will be many within academia who will howl about how essential colleges are and how relevant are their particular fields, but the bubble will inevitably collapse.

All bubbles do.

Stein’s Law applies here too:  Something that can’t continue, won’t continue.  I hadn’t thought of the current higher education nonsense as a bubble before.  I find it difficult now to think of it as anything else.

We don’t see here any speculation as to when the education bubble might pop, other than “soon.”  It can’t come soon enough to suit me.  My kids are all educated and working, but I have one grandchild in college (in a pre-med program, so at least learning something useful) and another reaching college age in a year.  I’d like their education to be worth something.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

We’ve had a few new visitors around the bird feeders lately.

First up, a while back some new chickadees started showing up along with our usual chickadees, the black-capped variety.  The newcomers, slightly smaller and with brown caps instead of black, are Boreal Chickadees, a type found only in the north.  I’d never seen one before moving here, so their late-winter presence has been fun.

The second was a Bohemian Waxwing, another bird of the north, and another I’d never seen before.  Back in the Iowa of my youth as well as the Colorado I lived in for so many years, we had Cedar Waxwings as frequent visitors, but this is my first look at the Bohemian Waxwing.  I hope they stick around; waxwings are so beautiful that they don’t look quite real.

As I’ve said so often, I like having our birds around.  They punctuate our days with song and color, and life is better for their presence.  Now then…

On To the Links!

Don’t mess with Texas!

While we’re at it, don’t mess with Florida!

This is cool – a fossil of a dinosaur actually killed in the asteroid strike.

Heels-Up Harris’s vice presidency is like a train wreck ran into a shitshow and pushed it into a dumpster fire.

2 acquitted, jury hung on 2 more in Whitmer kidnap plot.  The FBI stepped on a rake on this one.

How can you tell Barack Obama is lying?  His lips are moving.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is real.  For evidence, just look at Congress.

I love a happy ending.

1981 called, they want their inflation back.

Gas prices get worse.

Mortgage rates are going up, too.

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Thom Hartmann is an idiot.

Vox’s Emily Stewart is an idiot.

Brian Stelter continues to prepare for his second career as an actual potato.

Five times Brian Stelter (still preparing for his career as an actual potato) and CNN shamelessly promoted lies.

Salon’s Kathryn Joyce is an idiot.

American Prospect’s Robert Pollin is an idiot.

Slate’s Oliver Milman is an idiot.

AG Merrick Garland beclowns himself on “ghost guns.”

Watch Peppermint Patty Psaki spew an enormous, steaming pile of horseshit.

The Nation’s Kyle Paoletta is an idiot.

Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll is an idiot.

American Prospect’s Ramenda Cyrus is an idiot.

OK, that’s enough for this week.  I actually do read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Glen Campbell was a man of rare talent, which I have showcased before in these virtual pages.  While he’s best known as a country balladeer, with songs like Wichita Lineman and Southern Nights under his belt, what I find fewer people know about him is his excellent technical guitar work and occasional forays into other genres – like classical music.

Here, from a performance of unknown year but obviously later in his career, is Glen Campbell backed up with a full symphony orchestra, and his take on The William Tell Overture – complete with a bit of commentary on Glen’s youth and the Lone Ranger.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Educational News

RealClearEducation’s Lynn Pasquerella recently did an interesting bit on why higher education should have a career focus.  Excerpt:

Employees and employers alike worry that the traditional college experience is no longer meeting the needs of the labor market. These concerns are legitimate. Broadly speaking, higher education is not doing enough to teach people the kind of 21st-century skills demanded by our rapidly transforming economy. While some schools are doing better in this regard, students at all institutions need access to educational experiences that link curriculum to career. If there is any hope of restoring public trust in our colleges and universities, this challenge must be confronted.  

Career services should be a central component of the college journey, helping students understand how the fullness of their college experience prepares them for long-term success. This solution does not require reducing higher learning to mere job training. Despite their apprehensions about graduates’ lack of preparedness, employers recognize the value of a liberal education, which, with its emphasis on applied learning and engagement with real-world problems, remains vital to our evolving workforce. At the same time, however, both employees and employers are increasingly viewing higher education from a cost-benefit perspective. The investment, they worry, is not paying off quickly or dramatically enough.

What’s really interesting about this article is that nowhere does the author mention or advocate for any role for government.  And that’s good – maybe unintentional, but good – because to my minarchist thinking, government should not have any role in education.  As in, none, beyond local school boards.  The Imperial City certainly should have no role, and the Imperial Department of Education should be defunded and disbanded as it is not authorized by the Constitution.

It’s possible, though, that an emphasis on career planning would have another effect on something I’ve been harping on for quite a few years now, and that is the plethora of bullshit Underwater Gender-Ethnic Dog Polishing degrees that the university systems are cranking out.  Those need to go, since none of these bullshit degrees have any possible career possibilities that don’t include asking “do you want that on your Starbucks card?”  A career-focused curricula would, by definition, preclude those piles of corral litter.  As would – as I’ve also repeatedly stated – getting government out of the role of financing education.

Higher education has one and only one purpose:  To provide young adults with marketable skills and enable them to be productive citizens.  Anything that helps with that is good.  Anything that does not contribute to that should be canned.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

We spent a good part of last week, from Tuesday to Saturday, snowed in.  As in, honest to gosh, snowed in – the driveway was snowed shut, we couldn’t get in or out.  Our snowplow guy, aided by a new pair of tire chains, had a good job of work to do before we could get the truck out to the road.  And then, Monday night and Tuesday morning, we got dumped on again.  This time it wasn’t the usual light, powdery snow, it was that heavy wet stuff, perfect for snowballs but nasty for shoveling.

But then, it’s Alaska.  We expect this kind of thing.

While we keep well-stocked at this time of year (prudent, when you live in rural Alaska) I don’t like depending on other people when something like this happens.  So, in the spring, I think I’ll start looking around for a small utility tractor with a loader, so I can keep my own drive clear in winter.  A small tractor is always useful around a country place, anyway.  The Old Man had a great one, a 1950-something Ford Powermaster, and it served him reliably for over thirty years.  I’ll need something along those lines.

Rural living, eh?  Still wouldn’t go back to living in town, not for all the tea in China.

And so…

On To the Links!

Personally I wish she’d do us all a favor and just wear a bag over her head.

More on that:  Hypocrites gonna hypocrite.

Illinois Governor Pritzker the Hutt is fighting like hell to keep face diapers on kids.

Another “Arkancide?”

I love a happy ending.

Now that is how you shitlord.

I’d buy this guy a beer any time.

Can the Dems dodge doomsday?  Probably not, it’s too late and they’re too clueless.

Canadian Conservatives up ten points in recent poll.  A reaction to the trucker convoy?  Very likely.

The Black Lives Matter scam.

AntiProfa assholes pick fight with biker gang, are surprised when it doesn’t go well for them.

Heels-Up Harris just keeps going from bad to worse.  No wonder her approval ratings are lower than pubic lice.

Elon Musk takes another shot at Fauxcohantas Warren, and places it in the ten-ring.

Lying liars gonna lie.

This Week’s Idiots:

CNN’s Nicole Hemmer is an idiot.

Salon’s Jon Skolnik is an idiot.

Slate’s Abdullah Shihipar is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

TNR’s Michael Tomasky is an idiot.

U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Rachel Gutman is an idiot.

Politico’s John Harris is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Tom Petty was another rocker taken from us too soon.  While his career and top songs are well-known, what isn’t as well-known is the friendships he maintained among his fellow musicians, sometimes for decades.  And while his friendship and off-and-on musical collaboration with Stevie Nicks is no news to anyone who was following rock in the Seventies and Eighties, what is not as well known is that Petty’s hit Don’t Come Around Here No More was based on an argument Petty overheard between Nicks and her former lover Joe Walsh (yes, of The James Gang and the Eagles, that Joe Walsh.)

Now the video of Petty’s Don’t Come Around Here No More is not only entertaining in its use of Alice in Wonderland imagery, it also establishes that Tom Petty was a better Mad Hatter than Johnny Depp ever dreamed of being.  See for yourself:

Rule Five University Sheep News

I found this, from UnHerd’s Arif Ahmed, interesting:  How our universities became sheep factories.  But the author misses a major point.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

My own university, Cambridge, wants academic staff to undergo “race awareness” training. This advises you to “assume racism is everywhere”. Attendees are also reminded that “this is not a space for intellectualising the topic”. You might have thought “intellectualising” — ie thinking about — it is the kind of thing Cambridge academics should do. But don’t feel bad about getting that wrong; or at least, don’t feel bad about feeling bad: we are also told that these sessions aim at “working through” the feelings of shame and guilt that you might have on your journey in “developing an antiracist identity”.

It isn’t just Cambridge and St Andrews. There is anti-racism or “unconscious bias” training being offered to, or more likely thrust upon, staff and/or students at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, KCL, Liverpool, Oxford Medical School, Sheffield, Solent, Sussex and doubtless hundreds of other universities and departments across the country.

Here’s what’s unsaid:  How many members of the academic staff pushed back on this requirement?  How many simply said “No, I will not comply?”  Tenured professors are, sadly, almost impossible to get rid of, but this is a case where that near-invulnerability might be properly exercised.  “No,” is the correct answer.  “This is horseshit, and I will not attend, not now or ever.  I will not comply.”

Now imagine being a clever, white 18-year old, not at all racist and not at all privileged either, away from home for the first time, in a lecture or class in (say) sociology, or politics, or philosophy, where a lecturer asserts, perhaps quite aggressively, that white people are inherently racist. Your own experience screams that this is wrong. But do you challenge it? Of course not – after all, it may have, and could certainly be presented as having, the effect of “marginalising minority groups”; and your own institution has told you, through formal training and via its website, that this is racism and we must all stand up to it.

So you keep quiet. So does everyone else; and the lie spreads. Repeat for white privilege, or immigration, or religion; perhaps also, given similar training and encouragement, for abortion, or the trans debate, or… Repeat for a thousand students a day, every day, for the whole term.

It’s been a long time since I was eighteen – that would have been in 1979 – but I remember myself as being a stubborn, willful, pig-headed little shit.  Sort of like I am now, but with less gray hair.  I was a little older when I attended university, had some military experience under my belt, and would probably have been even more obstreperous had I been pushed to attend such a bullshit class.  Granted, hindsight is always 20-20, but I’ve always known myself pretty damn well.  I think my answer would have been “No.  This is horseshit, and I will not attend, now or ever.  I will not comply.”

But bringing in diversity training because racism still exists is like prescribing leeches because people still get headaches. As hundreds of studies attest, it just doesn’t work. It may even exacerbate existing prejudice. Making this training compulsory is especially likely to be counterproductive. A 2016 study of more than 800 US firms finds that:

five years after instituting required training for managers, companies saw no improvement in the proportion of white women, black men, and Hispanics in management, and the share of black women actually decreased by 9%, on average, while the ranks of Asian-American men and women shrank by 4% to 5%. Trainers tell us that people often respond to compulsory courses with anger and resistance-and many participants actually report more animosity toward other groups afterward.

Paying for something with no proven benefits is bad enough. Compulsory training may actively be making things worse.

Not the point.  The “diversity” and “anti-racism” industry isn’t about education, or tolerance, or opportunity, or anything else of the sort.  It’s about graft.  These people, these purveyors of “anti-racist” twaddle, make big bucks promoting and delivering this “training.”  They not only don’t care if it makes things worse; they want to make things worse.  Making things better would cut off the gravy train.  Mr. Ahmed doesn’t mention that.  But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Follow the incentives, True Believers.  Follow the money.  It works every time.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Like a lot of folks, I’m a bit bemused by all the flap-doodle about “pronouns.”  I’ve only once been asked for my “pronouns.”  The ask was at the beginning of a project planning meeting, where everyone in a Zoom call was asked to give a brief introduction and to “present their pronouns.”

When my turn came, I gave my brief introduction and stopped.  The host asked “would you like to give your preferred pronouns?”

“No.”

There was a brief, somewhat awkward silence, and the meeting went on.

In my experience that’s the best way to handle things like this.  Simply refuse to engage in the virtue-signal.  Nine times out of ten, that ends it.  People move on.  A couple of the people in the Zoom may have thought I was an asshole, but I’ve long since stopped worrying about crap like that.

And so…

On To the Links!

Inflation in 2020 highest since 1982.  Some of us remember 1982.  Things weren’t so hot.

Rick Perry tweaks Stacey Abram’s nose.

This is just embarrassing.

Speaking of embarrassing:  Heels-Up Harris spits out a content-free word salad.

Things inflation-wise may be worse than you think.

Incoming VA Governor Glenn Youngkin has hit the ground running.

No shit, Sherlock.

These critters may be humanity’s first intentional hybrid livestock.  Cool!

Baaaaa.

Welcome to the Hotel California.

I am a big fan of Winsome Sears.  I”m pretty sure she won’t stop at Lieutenant Governor of Virginia..

Speaking of Virginia:  Let them melt down.

This Week’s Idiots:

What a self-absorbed, whiny idiot.  But then, it’s Slate, so…

Barack Obama beclowns himself.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a partisan hack, and an idiot.

The Hill’s Brad Bannon is an idiot.

The New Republic’s Thomas Geoghegan is an idiot.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Kevin Kruse is an idiot.

The LA Times’ Jackie Calmes is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

The LA Times’ Sonja Diaz is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

Thanks to commenter Andrew Robson for the tip to this week’s video.

In the late Seventies and early Eighties, Pat Benatar was kind of a big deal in rock & roll.  Her videos were regulars on MTV back when MTV actually played music.  One of her better-known tunes was 1979’s Heartbreaker, from the album In The Heat Of The Night – and, yeah, Pat was pretty hot.

But on one episode of Country Music Television’s show Crossroads, Pat appeared, still looking pretty damn good.  She shared vocals on Heartbreaker with country songbird Martina McBride.  In addition to the singing, watch the interaction between the two; especially how Pat looks at Martina for the first minute or so.

Here’s that tune, with live video; enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Parent’s Choice News

Yr. obdt. 1991

Before I start, happy and reflective Veteran’s Day to all my brothers and sisters who, like Mrs. Animal and myself, wore Uncle Sam’s colors.

Now then:  John Stossel has another piece on education, and like most of his work, it’s worth reading.  Excerpt:

As Virginia’s gubernatorial election drew to a close last week, Democrat Terry McAuliffe brought in teachers union president Randi Weingarten.

He thought that would help?

I suppose he, like many progressives, believes everyone thinks the way he does.

“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and … make their own decisions,” he’d said. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

That’s the political attitude: Government runs things. We, the experts, know what’s best. Parents as “customers” who make choices? Nonsense.

I hope his defeat means Americans are figuring out that such politicians are enemies of progress.

Years ago, I was surprised to discover that NYC’s failing public schools spent $20,000 per student. Teachers had been holding protests where they shouted: “Fund schools! We don’t have enough money!”

But they spent $20,000 (now nearly $30,000) per student! At 25 students per class, that’s $500,000 per classroom! Think what you could do with that money: hire five good teachers?

Where did the money go? No one in the bureaucracy had a good answer. Governments make money … disappear.

But these guys were hot for teacher.

My preferred answer would be, of course, to get government out of education altogether, but I can’t have that.  So Governor-elect Youngkin’s preference may not be the best of all imaginable solutions, but it may be the best of all possible solutions:  Choice.  Vouchers, or a robust charter school system.  Let a thousand flowers bloom, and yes, let parents have the final say in what their children are and aren’t learning.

Here’s the bit John Stossel misses:

Of course, some parents will make bad choices, and doom their kids to a bad education.  OK.  Explain to my how that’s my problem.  Explain to me why I should shield these people, with my tax dollars, from the consequences of their own bad decisions.

That’s the part I’d like to see John Stossel address.  I love ya, John, but you keep leaving that part out.