NAVEL GAZING AND TOWN: Holidays and poses are easy!

FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021

Real children are boring and hard: Our elaborate computer systems are behaving very badly today.

For that reason, we're going to type very fast, possibly skipping some links. 

We're going to start with Gene Robinson's column in the Washington Post. Starting right in his headline, his column makes a good point:

Holidays are easy. Real progress is hard.

In print editions, that's what his headline says. As you can surely guess, he refers to the naming of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, an action greeted by Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night with one of the stupidest examples of pseudo-progressive tribal loathing we have ever seen.

(Which part of "yes" don't such stars understand? In our view, Maddow has, or is willing to affect, persistently terrible judgment.)

The desire to loathe The Others is one of the strongest of all human instincts. In his column, Robinson refers to another unfortunate instinct:

Her refers to the instinct to substitute apparent progress for the actual thing. So it has gone in recent years  as Our Town has increasingly focused on events from the past, even while ignoring and disappearing those who need help in the present.

Here in our own country, vast brutality was visited upon the enslaved in the past. Right through the end of the last century, similar atrocities have happened all over the world.

In a new book, Professor Miles helps us focus on an apparent horrific event from the rather distant American past. As everyone has known since forever, there were millions of such horrific actions and events during the brutal era in question. 

Everyone has known that forever. But when the highly-regarded Harvard professor engaged in an interview at Slate, the discussion was framed this way:

We good, moral people here in Our Town should try to perfect our exquisite understanding of the brutalities of the past. We'll never completely "understand," but we should just keep trying to come "closer."

We think that's ugly, uncaring advice. We say that because of the peoplethe living peoplewe ignore, disappear and disregard in the process of perfecting our moral pose.

One day before that interview appeared, the New York Times ran a basically pointless front-page report about an unfortunate local dispute in West Point, Mississippi. 

Before that dispute broke out, two black girls were named as valedictorian and salutatorian of West Point High School's graduating class. At the start of the news report, this was presented as surprising and thrilling newsas cause for pride and elation. 

The news report didn't mention the fact that 81 percent of the students at West Point High are black.

In standard fashion, the Times proceeded to hype the local dispute, which turned on bureaucratic points about who had really had the highest GPAs in this year's senior class.

It was a pleasing "racial" dispute! Left unexplored was an obvious question:

In a school with those student demographics, why would it be surprising to see two very sharp black kids at the top of the senior class?

The New York Times helped us worry about the possibility that those two black kids were maybe not getting their due. The Times didn't spend a minute of time worrying about all the other black kids at West Point Highabout all the other good, decent kids who aren't at the top of that class.

"Achievement gaps" in this country seem to be quite large; the New York Times disappears them. Maddow would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she'd ask you to think about all those good, decent black kids who aren't doing well in school.

Our Town doesn't care about those kids. Nothing could be more obvious.

The day before Slate urged us to refine our precious understanding of the past, the New York Times disappeared that question about all the good, decent kids in favor of the thrill of pointless racial conflict.

One day after that interview appeared in Slate, Slate offered the latest essay alleging unfairness in the way kids get admitted to the nation's most exclusive colleges. Once again, we were asked to worry about the top two percentabout the kids who might get into Yale. All the other loser kids can just go hang in the yard.

Long ago and far away, Jonathan Kozol described an "indescribably mild" little boy who was in his fourth grade class. That boy was having a very hard time. We still don't care about kids like that, and we never will.

In the finer precincts of Our Town, we care about our own refined sensibilities. We care about the precious ways we signal our moral greatness.

Having ignored "racial" issues so long, we're constantly looking for ways to pretend that we deeply care. We offer these performances to separate ourselves from the loathsome Others, but also to convince ourselves of our good intentions.

Many, many people have died in the endless depredations performed by our own human race. One such depredation was this nation's long history with slavery. Other such depredations have happened all over the world:

In the gulags, in the killing fields. In the Balkans, in Rwanda. In the Holocaust.

No, it isn't just us, here in Amerika, where The Others are always at fault. That said, the precious people here in Our Town do like to frame it that way..

It isn't just us in Amerika, and our own lack of caring continues, On cable, we perform our joy about  a holiday which has been declared some 156 years later. By that timetable, Our Town will start discussing those achievement gaps about a hundred years from now, dating from the year when Kozol's book appeared.

It isn't just that good, decent kids don't emerge from public schools with full sets of academic skills. When kids do poorly in school, they tend to have bad experiences there. They're robbed of good experiences, including the experience of feeling happy.

In the spring of 1970, we watched a group of fifth-graders respond to the Steinbeck film, The Forgotten Village. What they saw was this:

Children in a rural Mexican village were dying because the water was bad. But the local healer had never heard of germs, and he managed to drive away the one person who vaguely understood the problem.

In that rural village, the children continued to die. Here in Baltimore, a group of fifth-graders were incredulous, also angry, after watching the film. (We especially recall NAME WITHHELD.)

How could anyone have allowed their kids to die like that? Those Baltimore kids were puzzled, incredulous, angry.

In nine years teaching in Baltimore's schools, we never saw a group of kids react so strongly to any TV show, book or filmno, not even to Roots. The way those kids reacted to that film stuck with us a long time.

It wasn't until some years later that a thought occurred to us, perhaps a bit melodramatically. It occurred to us that those good, decent fifth-grade kids were living in a type of forgotten village themselves, and that they may have secretly sensed that.

Nothing in their school really made much sense, and no help was on the way. The Brood X cicadas arrived that year. Three cycles later, this very year, that vast disinterest remains.

Today, the stars of Our Town invite us to demonstrate our moral greatness as we focus on the past. We're told to focus on an old sack as we perfect our pose.

Forgive us if the Harvard professor seems a bit self-involved. Astoundingly, she throws in some pecan recipes as one last insult aimed as the sacred dead of the dishonored past.

We dishonor the sacred dead of the past. We disappear the kids of today, except for the top two percent. 

We don't care about those kids. Very few things could be more clear. Whether we understand it or not, it's the way Our Village rolls.

How could we improve our low-income schools? How could we improve the experiences of the kids who attend them?

Rachel, a corporate millionaire, is never going to ask. Here in Our Town, you will never be encouraged to wonder, inquire or care.

Holidays and poses are easy. Real children are boring and hard.

This is easy too: Today, Our Town exults in the way Obamacare has survived again. Rachel offered a typically stupid framework last evening.

Meanwhile, this:

We spend massively more on health care, per capita, than any comparable nation. This fact explain why so many people still have no insurance at all, while many people who are insured still receive limited care, or possibly no care at all.

Even after Obamacare, our "system" is a Rube Goldberg scheme. So where is all that "missing money" going? The corporate stars who pocket their millions are never going to ask. We'll never see such questions asked on our favorite shows.

Forget about The Others for once. This is the way it actually works here in the streets of Our Town!


75 comments:

  1. "The desire to loathe The Others is one of the strongest of all human instincts."

    No, dear Bob, there's no such humyn instinct.

    But it's a well-known trait of brain-dead hate-mongering liberal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The idea that your right wing cohorts and yourself included do not suffer from tribal instincts is ridiculous on its face and you just inadvertently and ironically demonstrated it here. You're doing it every time your equate liberalism with Hitler as well. Silly man.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for proving our point, dear dembot.

      Delete
    3. You're projecting. I'm a centrist, "dear" repub-bot.

      Delete
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  2. What a surprise that a mass media owned by an absurdly wealthy and callous class of selfish thugs wants us to focus on the top two percent and the travails of royal parasites. They don't want us to notice that the people who got us through this pandemic are toiling away in places like Jeff Bezos’ cruel Amazon warehouses and that they don't get any of these holidays off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A real media would note that if there are billionaires, it's a sign that tax rates are too low.

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    2. 1) As it happens, the NYT had a huge negative article just 2 days back on AMZN's employment practices. But keep demonstrating your ignorance.
      2) The NYT also extensively covered the AMZN unionization vote in Alabama. Which lost -- so maybe despite your rants, the employees don't think those warehouses are cruel.
      3) In fact, Amazon grants paid federal holidays for it's employees. Anyone who's not a moron would notice that. Now, there will be people working in any 24x7 operation.
      4) Many companies have already said they would start recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, and I suspect Amazon will do so by next year.

      But stick to your word salad rants.

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  3. Ever notice that most people have to work on America's so called holidays.

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    Replies
    1. Especially those in other countries.

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    2. There is no federal or state statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays, and some employers offer no vacation at all.

      In most countries, public holidays are paid and usually not considered part of the annual leave.

      Delete
  4. Somerby insists we ignore people in need during our own time. Somerby may do that, but the rest of us do not. Because we are liberals while Somerby is not.

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  5. ‘Today, Our Town exults in the way Obamacare has survived again.’

    Exults?

    Well, 31,000,000 people are currently benefitting from Obamacare. That’s a lot of currently living people who have health insurance who would not if Obamacare had been repealed after 61,000 GOP attempts and multiple Supreme Court challenges, the latest one farcical.

    So, that kind of contradicts ‘Today, the stars of Our Town invite us to demonstrate our moral greatness as we focus on the past.’

    I have never seen Somerby discuss any other solutions to health care.

    Well, except that one time when he uncritically posted a critique of Elizabeth Warren’s health care plan because ‘it’s going to cost a lot of money; Warren is a virtue-signaling elitist; what are you gonna do, libs?’

    He later had the gall to say she didn’t even have a health care plan, when his buddy Drum said hers was the most detailed of all the Dem candidates.

    It’s unclear what Somerby thinks Our Town could have achieved aside from Obamacare at the time, or how he thinks some ideal solution can get passed in the current political climate, whatever his idea of an ideal solution might be, if he even has one.

    But then, it’s never clear when he says ‘Our Town’ if he means the media, liberals, both, or neither.

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    1. The corrupt medical system -- medical-industrial complex (including politicians on its payroll) -- is the only thing benefitting from Obamacare, dear mh.

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    2. So you must have supported Warren (D) or Sanders in 2020, or else you must feel duped by Trump and his false promises of a better cheaper system that he never even pretended to try to enact.

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    3. MCJ is fumbling a bit to find the right script today. Bot needs to go back to the hub for some re-programming.

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    4. We aren't 'supporting' anything, dear mh, nor do we feel duped by anyone.

      We're just stating the obvious, in regards to 'Obamacare' - a desperate attempt to bail out and revive what may very well be the most corrupt medical system in the whole world.

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    5. 4:49 Would not argue that the US healthcare system is broken. Why don’t you tell us how you would fix it? Or are you just going to prattle on in your ignorance about Obamacare and who you think benefits from it?

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    6. We have no idea how we would "fix it", dear dembot: we don't expect to become The King any time soon.

      All we can do here is to repeat, for alternatively gifted: 'Obamacare', the highest liberal achievement of all times, was a desperate attempt to bail out and revive what may very well be the most corrupt medical system in the whole world.

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    7. "All we can do here is to repeat the same bullshit nonsense to try to make Republicans seem almost human."

      Fixed it for you.

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  6. ‘Which part of "yes" don't such stars understand? ‘

    Maddow usually directs her criticism at the Republican Party, not at voters. And the Republican Party deserves every bit of criticism it gets.

    You don’t hold that in abeyance because they voted for Juneteenth. Whoopee! They have vowed never to vote for infrastructure, voting rights, health care reform, Democratic Supreme Court nominees or any substantive bill, but hey, Juneteenth!

    Somerby seems to equate criticism of a political party and its shitty ideas with hating the people holding those views. It is a dishonest argument.

    It seems correct that Democrats should point out to voters just how shitty the GOP is. I think they don’t do it often enough.

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    1. You don't think they do it often enough?

      Half the political coverage attacks the GOP. They're stupider and more horrible than previously thought!

      The other half is self-congratulating accolades for how great the Democratic party is and how wonderful it's doing.

      How about exploration and discussion of the Left's agenda? Define it and refine it? Some actual meat to chew on.

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    2. 1:47 You conflated two things. I said the Democrats need to point out the shittiness of the GOP. Then you started talking about the media coverage, and then you went back to talking about the ‘Left.’ You’re mixing the different groups.

      And I was indeed talking about the ‘Left’s agenda. Isn’t that who was supposedly ‘exulting’ when Obamacare survived? Why do you think I talked about the passage of Obamacare?and why do you think I mentioned Somerby’s conflation of ‘Our Town’ as liberals + media?

      And it’s Somerby who keeps telling liberals to reach out to the non-liberal voters. Well, I suggested that Democrats, rather than attempting bipartisanship and ‘taking the win’ should tell voters that Republicans want to kill their healthcare and keep them from voting.m among other shitty policies.

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    3. Very good, I concede I was conflating. Your post subtly transitioned from talking about Maddow to talking about what Democrats should do. I actually agree the Democrats should attack the GOP more directly during campaigns.

      When Somerby writes 'Our Town' I presume it to mean the entitled, lazy, upper class press corp who yes, largely are "liberal" but not in the traditional sense of the word.

      My last comment was directed at the media also and not you.

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    4. Why do you write the entitled, lazy, upper class press corp are largely "liberal"?
      Aren't they paid by the corporations they work for to assure taxes aren't raised on their bosses?

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  7. "In standard fashion, the Times proceeded to hype the local dispute, which turned on bureaucratic points about who had really had the highest GPAs in this year's senior class."

    The point wasn't the calculation of GPAs but the favoritism shown to a white family related to the town's scion. The dispute was about how the school handled things when two black students were told they had won, then two white students were given coequal status with them because of parental complaints. That isn't how you run a school.

    Somerby thinks that because the school was mostly black and the girls were top students, there shouldn't have been any surprise when they were the announced valedictorian and salutatorian. But Somerby misses the "optics" of diluting their status by adding two white students after complaints. He doesn't understand the disappointment those girls must have felt. He doesn't understand the privilege involved in getting such a school to set aside its previous decision in favor of another student. Somerby doesn't understand why there are racial overtones to this situation, and Somerby himself ignores and leaves out details to spin the story his way (just as he criticizes others for doing). If there was a deadline for submitting grades, that should have been honored. If names were announced, they too should have been honored.

    The racism here is that it is extremely unlikely that any black family would succeed in having a school recalculate a grade point average just on a black parent's say-so. The white family in this situation is not only white but also related to the wealthy founder of a major business in that town. That privilege is why the girls found themselves together with two white students after thinking they were being recognized for their accomplishments.

    When a school finds itself in such a situation, it is more likely to say "tough luck" and "sucks to be you" to a disappointed teen when that teen is black. When the teen in question is white, it will move mountains to restore that kid to his or her rightful place at the top of the hierarchy.

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    1. So there’s no chance that the school is telling the truth about a new guidance counselor mistakenly ranking the students according to QPA (calculated on scores that include classes weighted by difficulty) rather than GPA, which was the tradition?

      No possibility of it being true that the new guy calculated the scores wrong and had to add some points to the white salutatorian which didn’t effect the result anyway.?

      It could not be that two set of valedictorians and salutatorian s was the best way considering the mistake by the staffer and the unclear policy?

      It has to be that one student being related to someone prominent caused the decision to go with the shared honor?

      That’s why this nonsense makes the front page of the NYT. It’s a story that sets your hearts to singing.

      It does nothing but sow seeds of discord, hatred, ruined careers, all based upon presumptions.

      You’ll never get sick of this sort of thing, but other people do.

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    2. I guess you don't know what the word "optics" means.

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    3. "That’s why this nonsense makes the front page of the NYT. It’s a story that sets your hearts to singing. "

      As opposed to 2016, when the NY Times pretended to care that Republicans were pretending to care about Hilary Clinton' email protocols, which sent your heart to playing a symphony.

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    4. Anonymouse 5:46am, Trump and Clinton were elected politicians. They legitimately Are page one stories in the NYT, Einstein.

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    5. Anonymouse 5:54pm, what are the optics if the new guidance counselor is black?

      He used the wrong grading system in scoring the students. He even failed to give the white salutatorian points she earned which might have mattered with the QPA scoring.

      Is that the sort of thinking that is made better by pointing out “optics” or does it stink to high heaven still?

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    6. It is the pressure exerted by the white parents to change a decision, and the willingness of the school to kowtow to them that is wrong in this situation. I said that above.

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    7. The decision wasn’t wrong if the school went against established policy in determining the scores. The school has said that GPA has always been the policy.

      It’s not kowtowing to correct a mistake.That’s doing the right thing.

      It’s plausible that parents have never previously demanded an official recounting and the school had never done one before because the status had never been in dispute.

      We don’t know. Have the same circumstances presented in the past and had the school refused to do an audit?

      On behalf of the new guidance counselor the school said that there was some murkiness in the written policy (but averred the tradition of using GPA) so they went with two sets of kids.

      That wasn’t the wrong thing either.

      If people demand to look at records and the audit, the school should show them, but to insinuate a lot of things against a lot of people and put it on Page One of the NYT as the latest in racial injustice is terrible.

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    8. Let's face it. Warren's real crime was keeping banks from ripping off their customers.
      The Right has had it out for her since.

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    9. If you add the number of NY Times writers who were concerned about Clinton's email protocols to the number of Republicans concerned about Clinton's email protocols, you get zero.

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  8. "Even after Obamacare, our "system" is a Rube Goldberg scheme. So where is all that "missing money" going? "

    There is no missing money. Things cost different amounts in different countries because they have different economies, different societies, and different needs.

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  9. It's easier to solve problems that are already solved than than real unsolved problems. Widespread systemic racism no doubt exists to some degree, but it's pretty much a solved problem. Black Americans have enormous opportunities today -- more than whites and Asians do in many areas. Blacks are generally given preference in college admissions, in hiring, and in promotions to whites and Asians with comparable abilities.

    OTOH working out improved education for the underclass is a difficult challenge. NO wonder liberals prefer to ignore the latter and work on the former.

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    1. Given your argument, I assume that as of today you would rather be born black than white in our post racist society. Yeah, thought not. How ridiculous.

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    2. Good question, Unamused. My cousin Lizzie, who Bob mentioned a while ago, is half black. She chooses to identify as black, although she's quite fair. As a black, she's often chosen by the NY Times to write book reviews of books by black authors. Sen. Warren, who is approximately 0% Native American chose to identify as Native American.

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    3. This is an exaggeration David. Warren didn't "identify" as Native American. She talked about a Native American ancestor and mistakenly checked off a box on a card. She wasn't Rachel Dolezal.

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    4. DIC :Neither of your examples, which involve appropriating a specific ancestry to their presumptive advantages compares to being born black. “Quite fair” doesn’t count. 2:49: claiming that Elizabeth Warren mistakenly did anything is conjecture.

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    5. She said so. That makes it more than conjecture

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    6. Anonymouse 2:49 am,


      Thirty-five paragraphs into a WP report on the controversy:

      “ Warren first listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty in 1986, the year before she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She continued to list herself as a minority until 1995, the year she accepted a tenured position at Harvard Law School.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-controversy-over-elizabeth-warrens-claimed-native-american-heritage/2012/09/27/d0b7f568-08a5-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_blog.html

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    7. Just out of curiosity, what is Lizzie’ s full name? There is something very fishy here. You are Jewish, and in your 70’s if past self reporting is correct, and therefore your peers very uncommonly married out of both their race and religion. Though possible, my bullshit meter for you cousin “Lizzie” is registering in the red.

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    8. Elizabeth Warren is to Native American as Donald Trump is to disabled from seeing in the army.

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    9. Unamused - you could have found her name using google, since I told you that Bob mentioned her. She's a writer named Lizzie Skurnick. See UC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizzie_Skurnick

      It was indeed unusual for me and my cousin to marry outside our religion and outside our race over 50 years ago. my cousin's wife (Lizzie's mother) was a remarkable person. See https://medium.com/s/story/wedding-schmedding-739fd000cd9d

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  10. If it weren't for bad faith arguments, the Right would have no arguments at all.

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  11. Somerby demanded that the media hound Warren about her American Indian thing and reduce her to that, just as he and the right wing did.

    On the other hand, he was outraged that the media were hounding Bill Clinton about getting blow jobs in the White House and reducing him to that.

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    1. mh, I don’t remember Somerby begging the media to hound Warren. I do remember Bob arguing that if she made it to front-rumnner( and she did), that the media would hound her about it and certainly it would be the case if she became the nominee.

      That she didn’t have a good answer for it and had even capitulated to having the DNA test made him fear that she wouldn’t make the long haul. .

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    2. You have that wrong. He criticized liberals in and out of the media for overlooking or trivializing that. He urged liberals to view it as disqualifying. In the face of her own assertion, that her mother told her about a purported Indian background and the testimonials of officials who asserted that it did not factor into their decision-making , he basically called her and them liars.

      Besides, do you not see the contradiction in the parallel that I drew between his treatment of Clinton and Warren? He basically wanted Warren disqualified because why? The right wing or the media might attack her? Democrats shouldn’t let the media or the right wing pick their candidates, and they shouldn’t allow able public servants to be hounded off the stage for some perceived ‘moral’ failures. He got that right with Clinton.

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    3. No, Somerby thought she’d be a weak candidate, doomed to fail, because the claim would arise- and this should be considered before putting her on the ticket.

      The media had dug up the fact that both Penn State and Harvard billed her as a minority hire. This is important because schools that get federal money must account for hiring minorities.

      Somerby turned out to be right about Warren in a way that I doubt that he imagined. She didn’t merely “not” have a good answer for what she did, she let Trump goad her into taking a freaking DNA test. A test that could be spun a thousand ways by both sides and which got the Native American community mad at her. Not to mention the “high cheekbones” thing.

      You got good advice there. Be thankful the rest of your tribe let her go on her way too.



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    4. BTW- Clinton was in his second term during the Lewinsky scandal. Bob was defending a sitting Democratic president.

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    5. mh never said he wasn't

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    6. Anonymouse 4:15am, mh obviously can’t distinguish the difference between, Warren, who was one of several Democratic candidates running for office, from a Democratic president in the Oval Office

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    7. what is the relevance of that?

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    8. You don’t understand the difference between a process whereby Democrats discuss and cull an array of potential candidates for political office, from defending a politician sitting in office?

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    9. Here is what mh actually said:

      "He basically wanted Warren disqualified because why? The right wing or the media might attack her? Democrats shouldn’t let the media or the right wing pick their candidates, and they shouldn’t allow able public servants to be hounded off the stage for some perceived ‘moral’ failures. "

      Notice that he mentions BOTH Warren and Clinton and clearly understands the difference between the two, talking about Warren being picked as a candidate and Clinton being hounded off the stage. Mh says the Republicans shouldn't be allowed to do either thing, so your criticism makes no sense at all.

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    10. Yes, it is utterly clear that mh offered up a false comparison in his suggestion that the treatment and response as regards a political candidate should be no different from that of an office holder.

      What is a primary but a test to see which candidate can withstand the vicissitudes of the campaign and the rough treatment by the media and his fellow candidates.

      The likelihood of a candidate staying viable thru that gauntlet and winning the election is THE concern. It’s THE test. It’s THE intra-party conversation. Anyone who argues that the party should stick with a weaker candidate, no matter what those mean people say and do, is... “mistaken”.

      The difference between that scenario from an office holder should be apparent to anyone. It’s astounding that it’s not.

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    11. No, he didn't, but if you keep saying so perhaps you can put over your own big lie.

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    12. Yes, he did. The disconnect here is that you think the entirety of people who are open to voting for a Democratic candidate are precisely as political and as devoutly left as you.

      They aren’t. They can be persuaded by critics and the press that a candidate is weak or flawed (especially if they are) and they can vote Republican or decide to stay home.

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  12. "In the spring of 1970, we watched a group of fifth-graders respond to the Steinbeck film, The Forgotten Village."

    Why would Somerby show that film to a group of 5th graders? They won't read Steinbeck until high school. Does it enhance their understanding of what Mexico is like? Can they even find Mexico on a map? Does it advance the agenda of a poorly trained teacher such as Somerby, perhaps hoping to indoctrinate his students according to misguided ideals about poverty and wealth? What was the purpose of that film? I cannot find one that is consistent with any normal 5th grade curriculum. And no wonder the kids reacted as they did!

    Somerby is no doubt trying to draw a parallel between exposing kids to such a film and exposing them to the idea that slavery existed in our nation. They are not the same. However, there might be such a parallel if Mexico showed such a film to their own kids.

    Today Somerby equates the ignorance displayed in that film to liberals lack of caring about school children, but did the film itself exemplify a lack of caring or did it exemplify the negative impact ignorance can have even when wielded by caring people?

    Judging by votes on school bond measures, liberals care more about schools than conservatives do. Also judging by the party preference of most teachers, their (ratty) unions, and the people who are most invested in improving schools. And of course, parents care about both schools and their kids.

    So who exactly is Somerby accusing of not caring about children?

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    1. “ So who exactly is Somerby accusing of not caring about children?”

      You. You for being so clueless as to make an argument that by showing his students a movie in the 70’s, Bob was trying to indoctrinate these kids against a high-dollar and developed program of social indoctrination being pushed for kids of this era.

      A prescience pre-emptive strike.

      Why are you this silly and malevolent about this guy? Because he doesn’t say exactly and precisely what you wish to hear.

      Somerby was accusing you and tyrants like you.

      Delete
    2. Cecelia, I accused Somerby of being a bad teacher by showing that film to 5th graders. And I said that is the reaction he hoped to achieve. I said nothing whatsoever about Somerby indoctrinating those kids against a "high-dollar and developed program of social indoctrination being pushed for kids of this era." Whatever that means.

      Since you ask, one reason I dislike Somerby is that he was an ill-prepared and bad teacher and those Baltimore kids deserved better than him. He offends me whenever he opens his sanctimonious mouth to talk about teaching. There are many fine teachers who took the time to study and train for their jobs, so that they would be of genuine service to children. Not Somerby. He thinks reading John Holt is enough.

      And while we're at it, why can't you accurately summarize what someone else has said, before attacking it?

      But more importantly, I despise Somerby for being a Trumptard when anyone with half a brain can see that the man isn't worth a pound of dirt.

      Delete
    3. You spend a lot of pixels on a guy you think is worthless.

      No, I don’t think you consciously meant to argue that Somerby was attempting to indoctrinate and inure his students to the “correct” indoctrination that liberals have in store for kids now, but that is the gist of your silly argument.

      Somerby didn’t use the “correct”material to convey the “correct” message on what people should think about wealth (privilege) vs poverty (drudgery, slavery) and ignorance vs progress. He doesn’t entirely agree with the approaches that you think are needed.

      Why Somerby hasn’t said the right things about current and historical privilege vs historical peasantry in a cultural battle being waged today!

      You’re absurdly angry about this. What authority did he consult before making such a move, you ask. How dare a teacher expose students to material not approved by...well...you.

      It is a pity the man was even allowed into a school in what must have been a direly needed position in the sort of school where candidates weren’t lining up at the door.

      You’re a tyrant and you’re a fraud.

      Delete
    4. "Somerby didn’t use the “correct”material to convey the “correct” message on what people should think about wealth (privilege) vs poverty (drudgery, slavery) and ignorance vs progress."

      You quite obviously didn't bother to read a summary of what that film is about. Your description of it makes no sense at all.

      I said nothing whatsoever about authority or consulting. I questioned his judgment in showing a film like that to 5th graders. Before you defend Somerby, go read what the plot of the film is.

      Teach for America was an experiment that failed. Somerby continues to demean teachers here and he pretends to be a liberal when he is not one. I'm not the fraud.

      Delete
    5. I read the plot of the film. I use wealth (U.S) and progress (vaccines) as a contrast between poverty (drudgery, slavery) and backwardness.

      The movie wasn’t indoctrination. Current educational programs such as CRT.

      The movie spoke to all these things- wealth, privilege vs poverty, no education, drudgery ( slavery) fear of losing the old ways, in a manner that is compelling, rather than brain-washing.

      Delete
    6. Somerby doesn’t demean teachers. When speaking on this subject. he criticizes the education establishment, politicians, and the media.

      Delete
    7. He runs interference for Right-wingers. Tries, and fails, to make them seem human.

      Delete
    8. Yeah. Yeah. You’re wonderful. Your contrarians are not human.

      Anyone who isn’t this extreme is the enemy too.

      It’s fanaticism.





      Delete
    9. "It’s fanaticism."

      Holy voter suppression of black people's votes, Batman. I didn't realize those who didn't try to overthrow an election were the real fanatics.

      Delete
    10. It’s the same mentality, bro.

      It’s my way or the highway.

      Delete
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