LOS ANGELES STORY: As not seen on cable TV!


Part 1—With a New York twist:
As not seen on cable TV, there seems to be room for improvement in the Los Angeles schools.

This topic is "not seen on TV" because the corporate entity called "cable news" is selling you The Chase. The process, a spinoff from Groundhog Day, goes exactly like this:
Groundhog Day cable procedures:
1) Cable stars seize on Donald J. Trump's most recent statement or action. (In a pinch, Giuliani will do. To pretend you're above it all, you get in the weeds about Manafort.)

2) Stars proceed to say that they're shocked, just shocked, at this latest action or statement. Stars fritter away the rest of the day expressing their rank stupefaction.

3) Cable stars speculate about the possible consequences of this latest action or statement. (They may also speculate about the possible consequences of some claim by some visible crackpot. In these instances, they will mumble a phrase: "if true.")

4) Everyone will say the same things for perhaps the next eighteen hours. Viewers will be told that they're hearing from "the great [INSERT NAME]," one of their cable news "friends."

5) As alarm clocks sound, the next day arrives. The process starts over again.
This is the ongoing business model of the corporate entities known as "cable news" channels. These repetition-based, subrational practices have been developed over the past thirty years.

In line with the corporate desire to dumb the human race all the way down, you're likely to see a lot of embellishments in the various things your favorite cable stars say. Of one thing, though, you can be sure:

Your favorite stars will never ask you to move outside the comfortable boundaries of The Chase. It simply isn't done!

You won't be asked to think about anything but The Chase. And The Chase will generally be presented in its dumbest possible form.

More specifically, you'll never encounter a Los Angeles story like the one we'll explore this week. Such stories aren't seen on cable TV, except perhaps on MSNBC's beloved series, Lockup.

Our Los Angeles story involves that well-known city's public schools. The school district in question—the Los Angeles Unified School District—is the nation's second largest.

More than 600,000 kids attend these public schools. Cable stars are devoted to the idea that these kids and their interests must never be mentioned because 1) these kids and their interests are terminally boring, and because 2) their lives and their interests don't count.

Rachel would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she'd ask you you to think about any part of this Los Angeles story. This is part of every cable star's pact with her cable news bosses and "friends."

Alas! The Los Angeles story we're going to tell doesn't involve The Chase. Even more offensively, it doesn't suggest any obvious way to send Donald Trump Jr. to jail!

For these reasons, discussion of this Los Angeles story would depress cable ratings. In time, this would affect the fame and the earning potential of the medium's most popular stars.

In the world of corporate cable, some basic ideas obtain. Regarding our Los Angeles story, our major stars reason like this:

Sure, there are a lot of kids who attend the Los Angeles schools. But they have parents, or possibly guardians, or maybe grandparents or aunts.

On that basis, why should seven- and eight-figure "cable news" stars have to waste their time and their celebrity worrying about those kids?

(Remember—these cable stars can't even bring themselves to discuss the babies, toddlers and other children who got "ripped away from" their parents may never be returned! Cable stars like The Chase straight. Why bring Others in?)

At any rate, that's the thinking to which Lawrence, Rachel, Chris and Chris have sworn corporate allegiance:

The Chase is fun, and it may lead to jail time for Donald Trump Jr. By way of contrast, our Los Angeles story involves tedious data, and it quite plainly won't.

For these reasons, the story we'll briefly explore this week has never been told on TV. On that basis, our story has earned its award-winning hook.

We're discussing this Los Angeles story in response to a recent op-ed column in the New York Times. As such, there's a New York story involved in all this, one we'll include this week. (Also, there's a Washington story, leading back to that puzzling column by Arne Duncan in the Washington Post.)

The New York story is built upon total indifference to the Los Angeles story. It's built around the idea that it's the current column by Frank Bruni whose subject really counts.

Bruni's column involved the best way for young people to spend their time if they're attending an elite, selective college. Under current arrangements, most kids in our Los Angeles story won't be part of that mix!

This New York story is typically pondered on the way to a Hamptons weekend. Tomorrow, we'll start our Los Angeles story, which often plays out with kids on the way to homelessness or to jail.

Warning—some data will be involved in our Los Angeles story! Plus, you won't have stars amusing you with endless mugging and clowning.

Corporate cable isn't going to bore you with this boring Los Angeles story. Neither will the New York Times, which can't stop telling our Los Angeles story in the ludicrous way we'll describe.

Tomorrow: Apparent room for improvement


  1. Right on the button.

  2. It is outrageous that Somerby, trying to make a local story about Los Angeles schools seem important enough for a national cable news show, writes a sentence like this:

    "Tomorrow, we'll start our Los Angeles story, which often plays out with kids on the way to homelessness or to jail."

    Los Angeles has a lot of kids and most of them are NOT on the way to homelessness or jail. They are on the way to jobs and families and lives that are largely, just like those of their parents and most people in the greater LA area.

    There is no reason to believe that LA kids are any more likely to become homeless than anyone else. In LA, most of the homeless are mentally ill, drug or alcohol addicted, or veterans with PTSD and other untreated health problems. LA has a very low crime and homicide rate for a large city and its kids are not on the way to becoming criminals.

    But who likes to portray urban areas as hellholes? Trump. Trump is the guy who likes to pretend that large immigrant populations (like that of LA) has a great deal of crime, when in fact immigrants commit less crime than non-immigrants. Our kids may speak Spanish but they are NOT destined to become rapists and criminals (and some of them may become good people)!

    So, this is an outrageous premise. There is no reason for the NY Times, in its condescending manner, to treat Los Angeles as some sort of special problem requiring national attention because of its kids. So, Somerby, do not use our city to justify your own vendetta against cable news.

    1. You know nothing about life in LA, or how high the rents are.

      Unlike NY, there's no shelter system to speak of.

    2. Unlike NY, there is no snow.

  3. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-california-schools-literacy-lawsuit-20171226-story.html#

    Literacy problems affect both charter and public schools. They arise because of the large immigrant population that has always been part of the Los Angeles student body, the decrease in funding for public education occurring over a long period of time, and the attacks on public education from the right, starting with attacks on bilingual education in our state.

    It will be interesting to see whether Somerby wishes to discuss immigration, or will just focus on those good old NAEP scores once again. Or maybe he will point out that integrating a minority-majority city makes little sense, instead of talking about integrating English-speaking and Spanish-speaking kids?

    Somerby is out of his depth when it comes to discussing Los Angeles's education problems. It is hard to see why the New York Times is discussing them either. I recommend that anyone interested in Los Angeles read the Los Angeles Times, now under new management. New York has enough of its own problems to solve.

    1. Anon 11:10 - Bilingual Education was a failure. W.g., see https://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc0303/article_256.shtml

    2. correction "W.g." should be "E.g."

    3. Correction: should be "This comment has been removed by the author."

    4. *** Public Service Announcement ***

      David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot.
      You may safely ignore anything he posts.

      His source, thesocialcontract.com, is run by a hate group, so classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The website is run by John Tanton and Wayne Lutton, both white nationalists and xenophobes. Lutton is also a dedicated homophobe.

      The SPCL makes an appearance on thesocialcontract.com, which claims the organization has a “poor” rating from the Charity Navigator, which rates charities on their financial practices, accountability, and transparency. In fact, the Navigator gives the SPLC three stars with a score of over 88, less than two points from the highest rating.

      Judging the results of bilingual education is difficult, but researchers at Stanford have concluded that while English immersion gives younger students (2nd grade and below) a slight advantage, dual immersion works better in the long term. By the 5th grade, dual immersion students have reversed the gap.

      The screed given in DAinCA’s link says almost nothing about the efficacy of bilingual education, quoting Faux News commentator Linda Chavez five times. Other “sources” date from the 1980s.

    5. John Tanton's Fear of a Non-White PlanetAugust 20, 2018 at 4:51 PM

      @ 12:43 - a 1993 article by Thomas "slavery gave blacks a leg up" Sowell (in a quasi-white nationalist rag that links to VDARE) and part of an overarching issue theme: "A land of opportunity: crime and immigration".

      You're the failure, asshole.

    6. Thomas Sowell is a black person who's smarter than you are 4:48 and 4:51 (and also smarter than I am). You can't refute him on intellectual grounds, so you call him a racist. That's unconvincing, given his race. Now, is Linda Chavez is bigoted against Hispanics?

    7. It doesn't matter whether someone is bigoted or not if their facts are just plain wrong. The attack on bilingual education in California was demonstrable part of the reason for the decline in education in our state from the top of the list to the bottom (above only Mississippi) to now somewhere in the middle and hopefully on the way back up. It was shameful the way the Republicans dismantled education, including bilingual education, and that is part of the reason why Republicans can no longer get elected in our state.

    8. I have strong personal feelings about this topic. My father came to the US from Poland at age 10. He learned English well and became a reader who educated himself. College was unaffordable.

      My grandmother chose not to learn English. That odd decision limited her life to a small community of people who shared her language.

      Bottom line: Learning English as well as possible is most important for immigrants. Children can easily learn a new language when they're immersed in it. Bilingual education, as actually practiced, hurt immigrant children by reducing their mastery of English. Eventually, many Hispanics realized this and turned against bilingual education.

      BTW in actual practice, there was an effort to get as many children as possible into bilingual education. Some schools put Hispanic children into this program inappropriately.

    9. John Tanton's Fear of a Non-White PlanetAugust 20, 2018 at 8:02 PM

      You're self-refuting. Cynically providing such obvious garbage in support of your conclusion is just icing on the cake.

    10. Bilingual ed doesn't prevent kids from learning English. It keeps them from falling behind in their other subjects while they are learning English. The point is finding the best way to teach children of different ages and English exposure, English. The experts in bilingual language learning know best how to do this for each individual child, not Republicans and not the parents and not your Polish grandpa.

    11. David in Cal, none of the commenters called Thomas Sowell a racist and Linda Chavez a bigot.

      You're incredibly dishonest, but I guess that comes with the territory of being an avid cheerleader for the Trump/GOP lie machine.

    12. Anon 8:56- that's how it was supposed to work, but it didn't work that way in practice. The Atlantic magazine (not conservative) had a long article explaining what actually happened. Here's a key quote
      From this untried experimental idea grew an education industry that expanded far beyond its original mission to teach English and resulted in the extended segregation of non-English-speaking students. In practice, many bilingual programs became more concerned with teaching in the native language and maintaining the ethnic culture of the family than with teaching children English in three years.

    13. John Tanton's Fear of a Non-White PlanetAugust 21, 2018 at 1:41 AM

      As usual, you're full of shit. as demonstrated by your decades-old antiquated notions about bilingual education:


    14. David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot. Everyone may safely ignore any argument he makes. Here's what his own source, The Atlantic said two years ago about bilingual education:


      (Spoiler alert: it's a positive report on the practice.)

  4. Groundhog's Day Somerby Procedures:

    (1) Quote from Wittgenstein, Lady with Lapdog, Harari or Physics trade book.
    (2) Nonsequitur quote from cable atrocity of the day
    (3) Rant about awful liberals and dumbness
    (4) Tease the weeks posts, which will never appear
    (5) Close with sweeping generality about the awfulness of humanity, liberals, and how doomed we all are.
    (6) Repeat the next day.

    Same day posts about NAEP/Desegregation:

    (1) Rant about new reporters with Ivy League educations being assigned to education beat.
    (2) Quote of some misuse of education statistics, often without explanation of what they did wrong.
    (3) Citation of NAEP scores disaggregated by race.
    (4) Complaint that reporter didn't cite the same stats as Somerby.
    (5) Statement that beautiful minority kids deserve better.
    (6) Statement that no one cares about education and that the kids can go hang (tasteless lynching reference).

    These two themes are occasionally interrupted by a defense of the latest pedophile (hebephile), exhortation to love Trump supporters, statement that Nazis are the new Jews, defense of Roseanne Barr, and nostalgic reference to Bob Dylan and Al Gore, in case we forget he is a liberal.

    1. “kids can go hang” (tasteless lynching reference).

      Well, no.

      A trip to an English dictionary of slang finds that the use of the verb hang to mean contemptuous dismissal ( as in “[you can] go hang [yourself]”) goes back to Chaucer. Which means the 14th century.

      The word lynch is attributed to the eponymous Charles Lynch, a Virginia planter, who ran an extra-judicial “court” to imprison loyalists during the Revolutionary War. The word appears in CL’s correspondence in 1782 as “Lynch’s law.”

      Although it seems that CL’s law did not extend to execution and its original application had no racial bias, lynch law became associated with racial violence and hanging during the Golden Age of American Lynching (1872-1942).

      Good thing for you that ignorance isn’t painful, eh?

    2. You don't talk about hanging when discussing racial minorities. Your defense of Somerby by appeal to the details of a definition is closely similar to the way Somerby defends the indefensible.

  5. This "Los Angeles story" that Somerby is hinting at may very well not get reported on cable news. (One suspects Somerby is just going to show us achievement gaps via quoting NAEP data, and then will tell us how neither cable news nor liberals care about the affected students.) Here's my wish: I wish Somerby could report on his "Los Angeles story" without framing it as a critique of cable news or "liberals." Even if the case can be made against cable news, it is not true that "liberals" don't care. I for one am interested in the topic, so that makes his statement untrue. Hundreds of thousands of parents of school kids in LA care, and many of them are liberal.

    At any rate, cable news is what it is. If Somerby cares about the school kids in LA, then he should focus on them, and not a psychoanalysis of TV pundits and a rundown of their salaries.

    1. You do see what his point is don't you? The shallowness of the cable media. Important topics get ignored.

  6. So, leaving aside the more obvious trolls (or bots) that post here, repetitive and shallow by definition and perhaps design, it does seem that there's a "Groundhog's Day" quality to the comments. Especially when TDH addresses the principal subject, namely the ongoing deterioration of public political discourse brought about by profit-hungry cable and web news outlets. Far too often TDH commentators will . . .

    1. Selectively quote from TDH's entry for the day
    2. Express disapproval ranging from mild irritation to outright exasperation to near total rage
    3. "Critique" the day's entry based on (A) complete misreading of the subject, (b) distortion of the argument and evidence, (c) contemptuous denunciation of tone, style, etc., (d) mocking Bob's performance of the [Somerby] figure"(See Malcolm, Janet), all of which in the end comes down to (e) outrageous attacks on motives or perceived personal shortcomings, and accusations that he's a Trump lover (or a Bernie bro) to--as with one example today--the suggestion that Bob's a sex pervert!

    As for Bob's ideas about American schooling, while the comments tend to be sometimes more substantial, too many still descend into vituperation for its own sake, as if Bob not only deserves criticism but also to be taken behind the woodshed and flayed alive.

    So what's up with that? Someone who makes this many people this angry this often must be doing something right, methinks.

    1. @anon 12:11
      1. How many "this many people" do you think we're talking about?
      2. Your statement of his principal subject is not quite correct. TDH deals almost exclusively with a small handful of targeted cable and web (and print) news outlets and almost completely omits other very important ones whose influence in shaping our discourse is undeniable (Fox for example). Also, TDH does not confine himself to the activities of cable and web news outlets. He also spends a good deal of time attacking liberals in general.
      3. As a corollary to 1), Somerby's "angry" commenters perhaps indicate why his readership is small. Even if he's 100% right, his influence is less than it could be, precisely because of things like "tone". Those angry commenters would presumably be the ones most in need of an "education" to win over to Somerby's point of view. And you don't persuade people to your point of view by constantly telling them they or their tribe are uncaring idiots. This bullying tone has a negative effect on readers and adds to the deterioration of our public discourse.
      4. Perhaps his critics have a point.

    2. 1:31

      “He also spends a good deal of time attacking liberals in general.” Hm.

      No, he attacks MSM media that is stamped as liberal, by which means is uncertain, and marvels that, apparently, there are enough rubes to make the shows money-makers. You perceive Bob’s essays as a personal attack against you. Is that true? If it is, don’t be such an egg shell.

      If you would care to name a liberal he’s attacked, Elba, your argument may have weight. I will wait for your response.

      As far as tone, well, you’re actually the real bully. If you don’t like this venue, why don’t you just take a flying f**k at a rolling donut? It might be more fun. This is a blog, for dog’s sake, which several people enjoy. You’re tone is consistently negative. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish here?

      What is wrong with you?


    3. No Leroy, he attacks liberals in general.

      1:31 is not Elba.

      Take your republican lies somewhere else.

    4. Anonymous @August 20, 2018 at 12:11 PM,

      On the mark. Thank you, and not least for using the right “principal.”

    5. By "attacks" do you mean when he calls liberals lazy and stupid?

    6. 8:48

      Well, I’m embarrassed. I thought I was writing to Elba. The great slabs of text, rife with errors, are the usual dead giveaway. Your comment was certainly more nuanced, but at this point, I may consider using the name Elba as a catchall for the miserable.

      I was also feeling a bit embarrassed, afterwards, for the crude terminology I employed in response to 1:31. deadrat and others have no such compunction, an admirable trait. And I thought perhaps to ameliorate my rancor through some further discourse. But you 1.) could not name a liberal he’s attacked “in general,” and 2.) also called me a republican. That is unforgiveable.

      No matter, Elba. At least you inspired me to use a more measured tone.


    7. Name a liberal he's attacked? Start with Hillary.

  7. "discussion of this Los Angeles story would depress cable ratings."

    If that is the case, can you blame cable news for not reporting it?

  8. You are the angel glow that lights a star.


    1. Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ella Fitzgerald -- terrific all!

    2. https://sites.google.com/site/roadnumberingsystems/

  9. Replies
    1. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/cultural-psychiatry/closet-psychological-issues-being-and-coming-out

    2. I didn't mean it in the gay way homo.

    3. So you meant it as bundles of sticks? Go here:


      Now, get help.

    4. Can imagine having to sit through that pathetic performance with all those faggots and dicks?


  10. This is incredible!! I still imagine how Dr Noble brought my husband back to me in just 2days. No one could have ever made me believe that there is a real spell caster that really work. My name is Micheal Taylor from United States, I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr Noble, He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my husband who left me, When i contacted Dr Noble he cast a love spell for me and my husband who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me. he is back now with so much love and caring. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers of bring lovers back.because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Dr Noble can also offer any types of help like Reuniting of marriage and relationship, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot's more. You can contact him Via this email; ( templeofjoyandprosperity1@gmail.com) Or Whats_App number \Call +2348145643630

  11. If you are seeking a Bank Guarantee (BG), SBLC for Lease or Purchase, we are the best financial institution to help you to secure verifiable and easily monetized BG, SBLC and other financial instruments. At SPOT FINANCE, we are a group of experienced bankers, seasoned brokers with years of experience in the financial instrument industry. We deal directly with reliable Providers of BG, SBLC, MT109, MT799, MT760, Loans, Sale and Lease of Financial Instruments issued by Top rated global banks.

    Our procedure is TIME SAVING and transparent. With us, you can secure any denomination of BG / SBLC from 10M to 10B (EURO / USD) in time for use in Heavy / Light project financing anywhere in the world.

    Basically, we are here to help you move your business to the next level.

    Anticipating your interests,
    Email: info.spotfinanceltd@gmail.com
    Skype: spotfinanceltd

    Sincere regards,
    Gary Derek Beckett

  12. Hello,

    I'm Dr Ogudugu, a real and genuine spell caster/Spiritual healer with years of experience in spell casting and an expert in all spells, i specialize exclusively in LOVE SPELL/GET REUNITE WITH EX LOVER, MONEY SPELL, POWERFUL MAGIC RING, ANY COURT CASES, FRUIT OF THE WOMB, HIV CURE, CURE FOR CANCER, HERPES, DIABETE, HERPERTITIS B, PARKINSON’S HERBAL CURE, BECOMING A MERMAID, BECOMING A VAMPIRE, SAVE CHILD BIRTH. They are all %100 Guaranteed QUICK Results, it most work. If you have any problem and you need a real and genuine spell caster to solve your problems, contact me now through my personal Email Address with problem case...Note-you can also Text/Call on WhatsApp.

    Contact me -
    Email: greatogudugu@gmail.com
    WhatsApp No: +27663492930

  13. Thank you Thank You Very much Doctor Otonokpo for making my ex boyfriend come back to me. I am Cordelia Sandra from Brazil and i am putting this testimony here too because i want to share my testimony of how i was helped by Doctor Otonokpo within 48 hours of contacting him. Yes, it was last week my ex boyfriend returned to me after i contacted Doctor Otonokpo. My boyfriend was always going back to meet his ex girlfriend because he never really left her. Her name was Sophie. I didn't know how it happened one day after breakfast that i saw him looking at his ex girlfriend's picture on Facebook and I flared at him that he doesn't care about him and he was with me and still thinking about his ex although we have been dating for 6 months. He stormed at me and left the house and never returned. I was heartbroken and wanted him to come back. I was in a nightclub with friend one evening that I saw him with Sophie there, I was humiliated that night and I regretted going there only to see him there. I went online after some days and found Doctor Otonokpo and read about him and I contacted him to help me get him back. I must say that within 48 hours, my boyfriend came back to me and pleaded for leaving me. Is this how spell works so fast? Please, if you want help, contact Doctor Otonokpo too to help you at otonokpotemple@gmail.com
    Call/WhatsApp +2348114129781