BBO Discussion Forums: Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 965 Pages +
  • « First
  • 924
  • 925
  • 926
  • 927
  • 928
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18501 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,521
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2021-July-12, 17:02

A libertarian is only a liberal who has yet to mature.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#18502 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-13, 05:38

From Noah Smith's conversation with Matt Yglesias:

Quote

https://noahpinion.s...sias-author-and

N.S.: I really do hope Substack figures out the bundling thing soon. Economies of scale!

Anyway, I also feel like I'm perceived as much more of a centrist than I used to be, especially on economic issues. Which is odd, because I feel like I've actually moved to the *left* on things over the years, just not as fast as my peer group of educated professionals has moved left. I guess that's fine. I'm just not used to being the one to say stuff like "OK guys, we can't actually ban cars", or "maybe there is some point where deficits do matter".

You've been taking on a bunch of cultural and social issues -- corporate diversity training, policing, the media reaction to the "lab leak" theory, and so on. Is that because you think those issues have become more important? Or did you just get fed up with the way "woke" attitudes on culture were heading in general? Or are these things you've been wanting to get off your chest for a while?

M.Y.: Yes to bundles!

Some of the change in emphasis of my writing is that I think economic policy has gotten to a much better place than it's been for most of my career. Biden has a really excellent team, congress is a lot less austerity-addled than the group Obama needed to deal with in 2009, and I think the conventional wisdom in Democratic Party circles on big economic issues is basically right. So you can find me doing some white knight stuff, or urging the extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit and I expect to keep on doing that but I don't actually see a huge controversy that I feel the need to wade into. Even Republicans have, I think, mostly gotten more reasonable on economics than they used to be even as they are much more maniacal on some other issues.

But I think the youngish, city-dwelling, college-educated professionals who dominate the media (this is me too, by the way) have gotten a bit off course on some cultural issues. In particular, I think we do need to see more boundary-policing of some of the more extreme ideas coming out of this set.

"Defund the police" in my view was a very irresponsible slogan that was always badly at odds with empirical social science on policing and crime. But the atmosphere last summer was such that people who knew the research — at times even people who had done the research — didn't want to speak up forcefully and try to channel the passion for a more just, more humane approach to criminal justice into something workable. I don't know as much about math education as you do, but I'm concerned that something similar is happening in that space where frustration with persistent gaps in different groups' math performance is leading to derogation of the idea of advanced math coursework as racist. And there's a trend toward doing lots anti-racism education and bias training that hasn't really been evaluated at all. To sort of tie this all together, I think economics has gotten more empirical in a way that I feel really good about but that a lot of progressive thinking on issues that touch questions of racial justice has gotten less empirical in ways that create big risks of error.

N.S.: If I recall correctly, you've declared yourself a "popularist" -- basically, the idea being that educated young liberal types are out of the mainstream on cultural issues, and so if they're too gung-ho about "defund the police" etc., they'll alienate voters, Democrats will lose, and that will be bad. That reminds me a bit of David Shor's outlook. But in addition to that, do you see intrinsic problems with the way liberals have started to approach issues around race, policing, education, and so on? As in, some sort of unified shortcomings to the collection of ideas and attitudes that often get called "wokeness"?

I've been writing a series of posts thinking out loud about this, and my general conclusion is that while wokeness was something that needed to happen in some way, shape, or form -- and also something that recurs throughout American history and is an intrinsic part of our deep culture -- it has also begun to get a bit over its skis. It has a quasi-religious zeal that makes it difficult to interface with as a social movement, and some of its expressions conflict with my own secular humanist values. E.g. telling people that hard work is intrinsically White just really strikes me as not just politically inadvisable, but morally wrong.

Do you feel that way too? And if so, is that one reason you've been critiquing wokeness more lately? And is there a moral framework that stands as a better alternative to what some of these more zealous folks are applying to these issues?

M.Y.: One thing I would say is that I somewhat reject the idea of drawing a sharp distinction between political considerations and substantive considerations in this regard. My blog takes its name from a Max Weber essay that deals, in part, with the need for political actors to adopt an ethic of responsibility that focuses on the likely outcome of their activities not just their righteousness.

So if you crusade against mandatory single-family zoning (which you absolutely should) and you do so with rhetoric that heavily emphasizes zoning's origins in the white supremacist politics of the early twentieth century and that *helps you win the argument and improving zoning* then that's great. But if it just prompts a backlash that alienates center-right free market allies and persuades white people that they need to fight to the death to preserve exclusionary zoning, then that's bad. The point of politics, including antiracist politics, is to help people which means you need strategies that are calibrated to success.

That being said, the recent surge in interest (mostly among white liberals) in anti-racist politics has accomplished a bunch of important things. I think it has been a spur to land use reform in blue states, which is very important. We are paying more attention to marginalized people's experiences with law enforcement, which is important. And we're making big strides in areas where questions of representation are very important — more respect and acclaim for Black cultural figures, more opportunities for Black writers and politicians, more recognition of the value of the unique perspective Black scholars can offer, and other things like that.

But I think there are two related substantive problems with the newer political style. One is a tendency toward the erasure of class. I live in DC where essentially all the white people are college-educated professionals who, even though we find ourselves on different points of the income scale, are basically all fairly privileged people. But right now, I'm in Hancock County, Maine which is only one percent Black. Nonetheless, two thirds of the people here don't have college degrees. There's an eleven percent poverty rate. Seventeen percent of households don't have broadband at home. There's a reason that Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, and Bayard Rustin converged on the Freedom Budget for All Americans, the Poor People's Campaign, and a politics of interracial class solidarity rather than demands for better corporate diversity trainings.

The other problem, as I think you were getting into, is that I'm wary of certain strands of anti-racist politics that seem to me to reify racial categories even while decrying them as social constructs. I don't want white people to spend more time reflecting on their whiteness. I also think aspects of this program are at odds with the lived experience of Americans with Latin American or Asian backgrounds, especially in light of high intermarriage rates. I'm not someone from the school of thought who thinks that if we just stopped talking about race it would go away. But a big current of American political history is of various big projects being undermined by the use of racism as a wedge to divide people and get a large segment of the white community to accept Du Bois' psychological wages of whiteness in lieu of real material gains. You want to defeat and disrupt that strategy, and convince people that we'll mostly all be better off with a more expansive national identity.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18503 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,579
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2021-July-13, 08:58

View Posty66, on 2021-July-13, 05:38, said:

From Noah Smith's conversation with Matt Yglesias:




It's good to see something that makes me hope I am not totally crazy. I will comment on

Quote

I don't know as much about math education as you do, but I'm concerned that something similar is happening in that space where frustration with persistent gaps in different groups' math performance is leading to derogation of the idea of advanced math coursework as racist.


I have not heard of math being criticized as racist, but I think we could go a little easy on comparing performance.

My first wife was (and is, although she is also in her 80s) an artist. I can't draw, she can't prove theorems, but that disparity was not one of the problems leading to our divorce. In fact we got a kick out of it. People are different from one another, that's the main thing. Becky, like me, is a mathematician but she is far better at crosswords than I am. So what? I want my grandkids to pursue careers that interest them and that pay adequately. Fame and riches? No big deal. They seem to have figured this out for themselves.

Math needs to be presented as what it is. When I took Euclidean geometry in high school we started by learning that Euclid laid out some basic axioms and then all further results were to be deduced from these axioms. I thought "That's brilliant". It was a road to Damascus experience. As with the road to Damascus, not everyone agreed. That's fine. There are many ways to earn a living.

Yes, I believe that sometimes, maybe even often, cultural norms discourse young people from following paths that they would like. I have mentioned before that at the end of my freshman year in high school my Spanish teacher told me that I should not get so involved in my studies (I am not making this up). "No girl wants to be Mrs. Einstein". In the 1950s girls were often given similar advice for attracting boys. This was nuts, and to the extent that it still exists, in racial form or in gender form or in any form, it is still nuts.

Anyway, I am not sure this is exactly what Yglesias was saying. It is what I am saying and I think it is along the same line. Encourage development, go easy on counting how many of which group make which choices.
Ken
1

#18504 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-13, 18:05

Here's the scoop on the AP math controversy in Virginia from Kate Masters at Virginia Mercury:

Short version: In April, a lot of people in Virginia went ballistic over rumored changes to the math curriculum reported by Fox News. The changes were allegedly being contemplated by the Virginia Department of Education to improve equity. According to the Virginia Department of Education, there aren't any changes to AP math classes in the works.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18505 User is offline   Gilithin 

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 359
  • Joined: 2014-November-13
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2021-July-13, 20:11

View Posty66, on 2021-July-13, 18:05, said:

Here's the scoop on the AP math controversy in Virginia from Kate Masters at Virginia Mercury:


For those without access to the Virginia Mercury site: maths story link
0

#18506 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-14, 03:58

Larry Summers said:

These figures and labor market tightness and the behavior of housing markets and asset prices are all rising in a more concerning way than I worried about a few months ago. This raises my degree of concern about an economic overheating scenario. There are huge uncertainties in the outlook, but I do believe the focus of concern right now should be on overheating.

https://www.politico...nflation-499502

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18507 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-14, 04:20

Jason Furman said:

A lot of the inflation we have seen is likely to be transitory. Some prices are even likely to fall (we could get some zero prints for CPI later this year if used car prices fall). So even inflation below 3 percent is still possible. But I would not bet on it.

https://twitter.com/...928096172576770

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18508 User is offline   Gilithin 

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 359
  • Joined: 2014-November-13
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2021-July-14, 06:32

"Economics is not an exact science. It's a combination of an art and elements of science." - Paul Samuelson
0

#18509 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,579
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2021-July-14, 07:20

View Posty66, on 2021-July-13, 18:05, said:

Here's the scoop on the AP math controversy in Virginia from Kate Masters at Virginia Mercury:

Short version: In April, a lot of people in Virginia went ballistic over rumored changes to the math curriculum reported by Fox News. The changes were allegedly being contemplated by the Virginia Department of Education to improve equity. According to the Virginia Department of Education, there aren't any changes to AP math classes in the works.


I hope for the best, fr VA and elsewhere. And I hope there can be a rational discussion.

One part of one sentence in the story: "However, according to VDOE officials, there hasn't been any decision yet" Ok, not yet, but there is a proposal to make some changes so it warrants a look.
The story goes on:
"Much of the original Fox story was based on critical social media posts from a member of the Loudoun County School Board. Those posts, in turn, were based on a statewide proposal called the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative — an effort to modernize math education in public schools."

The plan for the initiative is at
https://www.doe.virg...ndex.shtml#time

Is it a good plan? It's under development and some of it sounds vague. For example:

  • The content from Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 is not being eliminated by VMPI, but rather the content of these courses will be blended into a seamless progression of connected learning. This encourages students to connect mathematical concepts and develop a much deeper and more relevant understanding of each concept within its context and relevance.


What does this mean? For example, might the following appear on a test? "Prove that the angle bisectors of the interior angles of a triangle meet at a common point that is equidistant from the three sides of the triangle". Is that part of the "seamless progression of connected learning"?
In my 1953 geometry course at a public high school in St. Paul we were expected to learn such proofs of standard results, and to create our own proofs of simple results that we had not previously seen.
However, and this is important, not everyone took this course. It is probably not realistic, I am pretty sure it is not realistic, to expect all 14 year olds to do this. In my student days, some students took geometry, some didn't. I think most people can happily go through life without ever learning the above theorem.
I also took metal shop (when I was 15). I believe that most people can happily go through life without learning how to operate a lathe. I enjoyed both metal shop and geometry, but I was better at geometry. So my career is in mathematics rather than metal working.


Here is another line from the proposed reform
  • The implementation of VMPI would still allow for student acceleration in mathematics content according to ability and achievement. It does not dictate how and when students take specific courses. Those decisions remain with students and school divisions based on individualized learning needs.

This is very hopeful. I stress the importance of this idea.

People are very very different both in their innate abilities and in their preferences. Everyone knows this and it should be front and center in any approach to education.

As always, a lot will depend on just how the recommendations are understood and implemented. If everyone can put practicality ahead of ideology this could go well.


On a personal note, I see that https://www.usnews.c...chools/maryland ranks Whitman High as the best high school in Maryland. My two oldest grandkids both went there. That school is incomparably better than the high school that I attended. But there are other schools that are not nearly as good as the one I attended. This vast gap between the good and the not good is a very serious problem. Whitman has good students but that's not the whole story. it has a good program and good teachers. Students will vary, I skipped classes, I spent time in detention,I was not on the honor roll at graduation, in brief, I was an adolescent. But we need to provide good choices even if not everyone always makes the best use of these choices. Sometimes we get something right.

Ken
0

#18510 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,521
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2021-July-14, 09:21

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-14, 07:20, said:

I hope for the best, fr VA and elsewhere. And I hope there can be a rational discussion.


Ken,

A serious question. How can you hope to have any type of rational discussion with these people. (Apologies to those without acces as WaPo has a paywall)


Quote

The church is called Mercy Culture, and it is part of a growing Christian movement that is nondenominational, openly political and has become an engine of former president Donald Trump's Republican Party. It includes some of the largest congregations in the nation, housed in the husks of old Baptist churches, former big-box stores and sprawling multimillion-dollar buildings with private security to direct traffic on Sundays. Its most successful leaders are considered apostles and prophets, including some with followings in the hundreds of thousands, publishing empires, TV shows, vast prayer networks, podcasts, spiritual academies, and branding in the form of T-shirts, bumper stickers and even flags. It is a world in which demons are real, miracles are real, and the ultimate mission is not just transforming individual lives but also turning civilization itself into their version of God's Kingdom: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, Bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.
(my emphasis)

Although not everyone in the Trump universe belongs to this church their are many who adhere to its goals - including some very powerful positions, such as Atttorney-General Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and many others.

I call these people the American Taliban, not to denigrate with snark but because this is the most apt description of their 100% religious-based worldview that only they are right and the rest of the world is wrong and the enemy.

How is there any rationality possible until those faiths are abandoned?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#18511 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,579
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2021-July-14, 11:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-July-14, 09:21, said:

Ken,

A serious question. How can you hope to have any type of rational discussion with these people. (Apologies to those without acces as WaPo has a paywall)


[/size] (my emphasis)

Although not everyone in the Trump universe belongs to this church their are many who adhere to its goals - including some very powerful positions, such as Atttorney-General Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and many others.

I call these people the American Taliban, not to denigrate with snark but because this is the most apt description of their 100% religious-based worldview that only they are right and the rest of the world is wrong and the enemy.

How is there any rationality possible until those faiths are abandoned?


Absolutely there are people that you cannot have a rational discussion with. This does not mean that it is impossible to discuss things rationally, it means we have to distinguish between rational people who see things differently than we, and those who are hopeless.

In the case at hand, education, I think concern over objectives is rational.
I latched onto geometry, partly because I still recall how enthusiastic I was when presented with the idea that the entire body would be based on a small number of assumptions and then developed from logic. Of course, not everyone will share this enthusiasm. But some of us really got something out of it. I would hope that a rational discussion would acknowledge that some kids will benefit greatly from such an introduction, and others will be puzzled and put off by it. It would be a serious mistake to say "Oh, this just confuses kids, let's just skip that and give them a seamless progression of connected learning". Whatever that is.

A rational discussion of such issues could be useful and could set a standard for rational discussion in other areas. It is rational to not want kids in a theorem proving class if it makes no sense to them and clearly never will make any sense to them, it is also rational to worry that replacing theorem proving by some emphasis on a seamless progression might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

How to balance this could elicit rational thought from people of varied thoughtful views.

Short version: Sure, some people who disagree with me are nuts. Not all of them though.
Ken
0

#18512 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,521
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2021-July-14, 12:04

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-14, 11:01, said:

Absolutely there are people that you cannot have a rational discussion with. This does not mean that it is impossible to discuss things rationally, it means we have to distinguish between rational people who see things differently than we, and those who are hopeless.

In the case at hand, education, I think concern over objectives is rational.
I latched onto geometry, partly because I still recall how enthusiastic I was when presented with the idea that the entire body would be based on a small number of assumptions and then developed from logic. Of course, not everyone will share this enthusiasm. But some of us really got something out of it. I would hope that a rational discussion would acknowledge that some kids will benefit greatly from such an introduction, and others will be puzzled and put off by it. It would be a serious mistake to say "Oh, this just confuses kids, let's just skip that and give them a seamless progression of connected learning". Whatever that is.

A rational discussion of such issues could be useful and could set a standard for rational discussion in other areas. It is rational to not want kids in a theorem proving class if it makes no sense to them and clearly never will make any sense to them, it is also rational to worry that replacing theorem proving by some emphasis on a seamless progression might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

How to balance this could elicit rational thought from people of varied thoughtful views.

Short version: Sure, some people who disagree with me are nuts. Not all of them though.


Yes, I agree, but perhaps I should reframe the question - while the rational talk to each other, the crazies are busily trying to take over and force their will on the rest of us. What are we - the rational - to do about that?

If you say it can't or won't happen, I'd refer you to How Democracies Die but I'm confident you know it can happen here. Some people are becoming concerned, and I don't think it is just to sell articles or garner more internet clicks.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#18513 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,327
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2021-July-14, 12:56

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-July-14, 09:21, said:


Although not everyone in the Trump universe belongs to this church their are many who adhere to its goals - including some very powerful positions, such as Atttorney-General Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and many others.

I call these people the American Taliban, not to denigrate with snark but because this is the most apt description of their 100% religious-based worldview that only they are right and the rest of the world is wrong and the enemy.



I think an apology to the Taliban is in order. They may be murderous sociopathic mass murderers and religious wingnuts, but do they really deserve to be compared to twice impeached one term Manchurian President and Grifter in Chief Trump and his acolytes? Compared to Trump they never threatened American democracy.
0

#18514 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,579
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2021-July-14, 13:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-July-14, 12:04, said:

Yes, I agree, but perhaps I should reframe the question - while the rational talk to each other, the crazies are busily trying to take over and force their will on the rest of us. What are we - the rational - to do about that?

If you say it can't or won't happen, I'd refer you to How Democracies Die but I'm confident you know it can happen here. Some people are becoming concerned, and I don't think it is just to sell articles or garner more internet clicks.


There is plenty of reason to be concerned. I recommend focusing on one thing at a time.I don't live in Virginia so I have to largely keep out of their education debate, but I hope people will look over the plan, voice their concerns and listen to others. Who knows, maybe they will come to a broad agreement and maybe other people will look at that and say "What an idea, maybe we should try this approach of reading the material, giving our views, and listening to others" It's a novel approach but maybe it will catch on.
Ken
0

#18515 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,521
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2021-July-14, 14:11

View Postjohnu, on 2021-July-14, 12:56, said:

I think an apology to the Taliban is in order. They may be murderous sociopathic mass murderers and religious wingnuts, but do they really deserve to be compared to twice impeached one term Manchurian President and Grifter in Chief Trump and his acolytes? Compared to Trump they never threatened American democracy.


I refer you to "the book".
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#18516 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,327
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2021-July-15, 01:11

Joint Chiefs chairman feared potential ‘Reichstag moment’ aimed at keeping Trump in power

Quote

In the waning weeks of Donald Trump’s term, the country’s top military leader repeatedly worried about what the president might do to maintain power after losing reelection, comparing his rhetoric to Adolf Hitler’s during the rise of Nazi Germany and asking confidants whether a coup was forthcoming, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.


Quote

Milley described “a stomach-churning” feeling as he listened to Trump’s untrue complaints of election fraud, drawing a comparison to the 1933 attack on Germany’s parliament building that Hitler used as a pretext to establish a Nazi dictatorship.

“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides, according to the book. “The gospel of the Führer.”

0

#18517 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-15, 05:23

Jimmy Fallon said:

Speaking of Trump, a new book just came out that describes ‘anarchy and chaos’ in the final days of his administration. Yeah, the final days were ‘anarchy and chaos,’ as opposed to the early days of Omarosa and Scaramucci that were a well-oiled machine, I guess.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18518 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-15, 05:35

Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Jan 20, 2021) said:

Here's the deal, guys: These guys are Nazis, they're boogaloo boys, they're Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II. We're going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren't getting in.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18519 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,051
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2021-July-15, 06:07

Joanna Perlstein at NYT said:

There’s a moment in every parent’s life when we have to explain to our children, as poet Maggie Smith wrote, that “the world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative estimate.”

Years ago, as I prepared to screen “The Sound of Music” for a group of children that included my then-7-year-old, I ran through the movie’s plot in my mind and realized: Ugh, Nazis. Does he have any idea what that’s all about? Do we really have to talk about this now? (Indeed, we did.)

It’s difficult for any parent to reveal the world’s terribleness to their children. That issue is particularly evident in the nation’s debates about how we teach race and racism in schools. Some argue that frank discussions about prejudice will just make the problem worse.

But parents can’t protect their children from the realities of the world. Nor should they. In her new book “How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes” (surely, a goal of every modern parent), Melinda Wenner Moyer, a science journalist, describes what research shows about how parents should talk to their children about race and racism.

The topic is often taboo in white families, but of course it can’t be avoided for many families of color. As Wenner Moyer writes in a guest essay today, researchers have learned that discussing race with children actually decreases prejudice among white children and increases the self-esteem of children of color. “If states ban the teaching of critical race theory, as conservative lawmakers in many are attempting to do, or if schools don’t provide consistent education about racism and discrimination, it’s imperative that parents pick up the slack,” she writes.

In other words: Don’t ignore the Nazis. Don’t pretend race and racism don’t exist. Let children know the world is at least half terrible, so they have a chance to fix it.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#18520 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,579
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2021-July-15, 07:06

Quote

Joanna Perlstein at NYT said:

There's a moment in every parent's life when we have to explain to our children, as poet Maggie Smith wrote, that "the world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative estimate."

Years ago, as I prepared to screen "The Sound of Music" for a group of children that included my then-7-year-old, I ran through the movie's plot in my mind and realized: Ugh, Nazis. Does he have any idea what that's all about? Do we really have to talk about this now? (Indeed, we did.)

It's difficult for any parent to reveal the world's terribleness to their children. That issue is particularly evident in the nation's debates about how we teach race and racism in schools. Some argue that frank discussions about prejudice will just make the problem worse.

But parents can't protect their children from the realities of the world. Nor should they. In her new book "How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes" (surely, a goal of every modern parent), Melinda Wenner Moyer, a science journalist, describes what research shows about how parents should talk to their children about race and racism.

The topic is often taboo in white families, but of course it can't be avoided for many families of color. As Wenner Moyer writes in a guest essay today, researchers have learned that discussing race with children actually decreases prejudice among white children and increases the self-esteem of children of color. "If states ban the teaching of critical race theory, as conservative lawmakers in many are attempting to do, or if schools don't provide consistent education about racism and discrimination, it's imperative that parents pick up the slack," she writes.

In other words: Don't ignore the Nazis. Don't pretend race and racism don't exist. Let children know the world is at least half terrible, so they have a chance to fix it.



This could lead to an interesting discussion. For now, I will give a few first thoughts.

Absolute first thought: Did my parents succeed in raising me to not be an asshole, as Melinda Moyer thinks of the term? Reviews are mixed.

Competing for first thought: I was 6 when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki. My parents did not tell me of this. If kids who see The Sound of Music should be told of the Nazis at age 7, should I have been told of Hiroshima when I was 6? Note in particular that teaching what happened in pre-war Austria is history, telling me about Hiroshima would have been current events. I learned about it later, but I was not told when I was 6. When I was 11, I followed the Korean War daily on the papers. 6 and 11 are very different ages. I saw the movie Key Largo with my father when I was 9. I don't recall being given any lesson about either the war or about criminal gangs afterward. Did my father fail in his parenting role? He also took me to see Bambi when I was 4 or so and said nothing afterward about the evils of hunting. Oh well, an opportunity lost.

I very much liked The Sound of Music, it is the only Julie Andrews movie I can think of that I did like, but if we are to teach realism I suppose then Joanna Pearlstein's children should also have been told that the von Trapps left Austria by getting on a train to Italy. Or we could just let them enjoy the story. We can also explain later that Cinderella is not actually true. My five year old granddaughter likes Uncle Wiggly, and her 2 year old sister is trying to learn how to play it. That's enough for the moment. Nazi history can come later.

Wenner Moyer is quoted as saying "If states ban the teaching of critical race theory, as conservative lawmakers in many are attempting to do, or if schools don't provide consistent education about racism and discrimination, it's imperative that parents pick up the slack,"
This sounds like she is advocating that CRT should be taught in schools. Often the response to criticism of teaching CRT in the schools has been that, except fr law schools and other settings with older students, CRT is not being taught in the schools and the conservatives, when criticizing the teaching of CRT to youngsters, are griping about something that nobody is doing or is planning on doing.

My parent did not teach me "the world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative estimate." I figured that out for myself, maybe with a little help from reading and such. I saw Moulin Rouge when I was 13, a "woman of the streets" explains about her life to Toulouse-Lautrec "I was 12 before I learned that the whole world doesn't smell like it does where I grew up" Maybe not an exact quote but it's the idea.

All this aside, I might give the book a try. I expect to disagree with a lot of it.

If someone had presented my mother with a book "How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes" , she would have laughed and then thrown it in the trash. Seems right to me.
Ken
0

Share this topic:


  • 965 Pages +
  • « First
  • 924
  • 925
  • 926
  • 927
  • 928
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

16 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 16 guests, 0 anonymous users

  1. Google