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Governor Squid
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...suddenly SHOCKED, SHOCKED I SAY at what has been going on in the schools... This seems to be one of those areas where people just refuse to admit that things could be so bad in their own neighborhood. We see it reflected in survey results all the time. "What do you think of Congress?" "IT SUCKS!" "Well, what do you think of your Congressman?" "Oh, he's not that bad." Same thing with schools. Phi Delta Kappa has been doing annual surveys for 50 years, where they ask people to grade schools A, B, C, D, or Fail. For decades, "public schools" in general get A and B grades from around 20-25% of participants, while "my local public schools" get A and B grades from 45-50%. Those with kids in school give As and Bs at around 70%! When your sense of hometown pride, your kid's future success, and your property values are tied so closely to school quality, you'll overlook a lot to maintain the illusion that everything is great.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2021 on Those Meddling Parents at davidthompson
There are a lot of teachers, teachers' aides, day care workers, school administrative staff, etc., etc. in any district... Man, you ain't lying. In a previous life, I spent too much time looking at municipal bond documents. There's a requirement that most Official Statements include a list of the top employers in the issuing jurisdiction. (It's meant as a way for buyers to see if a town is dependent on a single employer which may be at risk of going under and taking the town with it.) Once you get outside of the metropolitan areas, it's common that the largest employer in any given town is the school district. When turnout for an off-election is under 20%, and 10% of your voters work for the district, and another 5 or 6 percent are married to those workers, it should come as no surprise that success rarely comes to those who promise to make teachers and administrators more accountable.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2021 on Those Meddling Parents at davidthompson
I guess nobody noticed that since resources are things to be exploited that the name "Human Resources" was a big hint on that department's mission. Our HR department recently rebranded itself. Now it's called "People Solutions." We half-joke that we'd like a heads-up when they start developing the "final" one.
“I’ve been trying to educate you.” 'Twould take a heart of stone not to laugh...
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Yawning is a perfectly good reaction to narcissists, WTP. To make a stink just keeps them in the limelight and fluffs up their ego. I'll be at your shoulder when it comes to fighting the bureaucracies that empower these narcissists to ruin the lives of those around them, but as far as the clown himself? A yawn and a dismissive wave seem perfectly appropriate. On another subject -- whichever CBD option you picked appears not to be working.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2021 on Reheated (62) at davidthompson
How many ships does the health service have? I'm confused.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2021 on Reheated (62) at davidthompson
It's reported that the deceased was in foster care. One wonders how well Paula really knew her daughter.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2021 on The Thrill Of Tuesday at davidthompson
I have two friends who own bars (three, if you count our esteemed host). Not sure what that says about my lifestyle choices, but it is what it is. The publican on University Avenue is something else. I helped board up his picture window just ahead of last year's riots, and I asked him over the weekend if he'd like help ahead of this month's rampage. Now, our good pub owner is a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, with a Master's degree in Philosophy and all the attendant baggage. If you're looking for a picture of severe education, this guy's it! Watching the cognitive dissonance at work in this guy's head is truly amazing. The mental contortions he goes through! "Should I board up my windows? Would that appear as though I were taking sides? I know! I'll put up boards but spray paint BLM and ACAB on them! I hope they don't burn down my place and ruin me, but I totally understand why they feel driven to do so!" I suggested that he get three neighborhood guys with rifles to stand outside the place, and I think he peed a little at the horror of it all. Oh, well. It's his livelihood to throw away as he sees fit. The other pub owner is another story altogether. Having learned valuable lessons from last year's events, he and the other businesses on his two-block stretch of East Lake Street have formed an informal cooperative to deter would-be liberators. I truly believe that anyone planning mayhem around that intersection is going to receive an object lesson in what "alternative policing" really looks feels like. Meanwhile, I'm trying in vain to source a heavy pickup with a snowplow rig still attached from the winter. A run up and down University at 50mph could be just the real-life Mad Max thrill I've been looking for! What's the point of living in a lawless hellscape if you can't enjoy yourself a little, amirite?
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2021 on The Thrill Of Tuesday at davidthompson
She could be transported to a magical land where fatness wasn't just accepted, but celebrated as the highest ideal of beauty. And in that magical land, her joints would still be ground to powder, and she wouldn't be able to climb a flight of stairs without her heart threatening to explode, because at the end of the day gravity just doesn't give two shits about what's trendy or popular.
It's so hard to keep track of which acronyms are which. I need more tea.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
3D-printed gummy vitamins My wife makes layered desserts from colored gelatin, and she's never required a 3D printer to accomplish it.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
?? Taiwan is an independent country, not part of the ROC. I'm a little disappointed that the animators didn't manage to superimpose Victoria Island and Baffin Island over top of Victoria Island and Baffin Island. Seems like a missed opportunity.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I occasionally refer to these types as "third against the wall." Useful for helping awful people gain power, but definitely not worth keeping around afterwards.
I was discussing a CNN article with some of my colleagues in the public opinion sphere, and was a bit disappointed with the shallow thinking on display all around. I wound up ranting, "When 90% of pop culture and news media broadcasts relentlessly for four years that Trumpsters are nothing but horrible racist ignorant cousin-humping Russian assets, it shouldn’t be surprising that people would hesitate to tell a stranger on the phone that they like Trump. Doubly so in an era where you can lose your livelihood because some college kid finds an off-color Tweet you wrote seven years previous and shares it with everyone on his podcast." I may also have suggested that my colleagues re-read their Solzhenitsyn if they'd like to understand what's going on and where it's leading. We'll see if I'm invited to the next get-together...
And sometimes that's just enough. Thanks for the giggle. Now I'm reminiscing on how the Lovely Bride and I would amuse ourselves by saying "When you're a spy..." while doing the most mundane errands. fiddlesome My YouTube homepage is dominated by watch restoration (Naked Watchmaker), art restoration (Baumgartner), shoe restoration (Trenton & Heath), power tool teardowns (AvE), and sailing travelogues (myriad). Oh, and Sarah Millican. I regret nothing!
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I was given a Very Naughty Boy badge from HR for the heinous crime of asking a "facilitator" if she could name the leading cause of death for black males aged 15-29. I've come to understand that a "sense of perspective" is not what the company was going for in that particular "conversation."
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2021 on Things That Tell Us Who They Are at davidthompson
Go on, keep infantilizing blacks and denying them agency. In fairness to Bobby, he's hardly the first or only person infantilizing the black community in Minneapolis. We're talking about several generations who've grown up attending Mpls Public Schools and getting their daily bread from the friendly bureaucrats in the Hennepin County government building. Good role models, solid education, and encouragement to succeed? Pretty thin on the ground, I'm afraid. Yes, of course everybody has agency and should be held responsible for their actions. But when you set up an incentive structure that punishes responsible behavior, you can't really express surprise when lawlessness and irresponsibility flourish.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2021 on Dark Comedy at davidthompson
But I don't know that Uncle Hugo's science fiction bookstore was in a "traditional black and Asian business district" Uncle Hugo's was at 29th and Chicago. George Floyd died at 38th and Chicago. I lived for three years at 40th and Chicago. I was born in the hospital at 27th and Chicago, but I don't remember much from that time. When I lived there in the late 90s, my laundromat and liquor store were at Lake (30th Street) and Chicago. It was a very diverse neighborhood in those days. Chi-Lake Liquors was happy to sell me a nice Cabernet if I was cooking a fancy dinner, but they also did a brisk business selling malt liquor to the local panhandlers 40 ounces at a time. At any rate, it should come as little surprise that a guy making a living by selling second-hand science fiction books would choose a location with somewhat depressed property values and rents. But I'd hardly call Chi-Lake a "traditionally black and Asian business district." It's a marginal, transitional neighborhood that bounces between different flavors of entrepreneurs and immigrants with each passing decade. In recent years, it's experienced a bit of an uptick with the redevelopment of the old Sears building into the Midtown Global Market, which is where ethnic cooks and crafters sell overpriced food and products to hipsters. If the city were ever able to sort itself out, they could have a nice little neighborhood there. Too bad there's no political power to be had by helping neighbors get along with one another...
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2021 on Dark Comedy at davidthompson
This is conflating the daylight marches (some whites but probably not 75%+) with the rioting. If you were at Lake and Hiawatha at the time, you'd have noticed that the people burning down the police station were predominantly white Antifans living out their Les Mis fantasies. Across the street, the people clearing out the Target were predominantly blacks from the neighborhood who were taking advantage of the distraction provided by the burning police station. It's a bit of a symbiotic relationship.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2021 on Dark Comedy at davidthompson
I have a My Woke Lady production in my head where Act II consists of a pissed-off Eliza convincing Freddy to "Show Me" his love by breaking out the Antifa drag and throwing bricks and Molotovs at the Higgins house. (All bankrolled by Alfred's newfound riches, of course.) George Bernard Shaw may have been a hoary old socialist, but he wasn't wrong about language and classism. Unsurprisingly I'm not the first to make this connection.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2021 on Doing It For The Kids at davidthompson
Channel-flipping on Sunday, I ran across Blazing Saddles on one of the movie channels. I honestly couldn't believe anyone had the courage to show the thing in this day and age. I suppose 'tis only a matter of time before the whole network is cancelled.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2021 on Anyone’s For A Farthing at davidthompson
We skipped over the TCM front and back bumper wokey-woke put-it-in-perspective-for-you-troglodytes discussion... Always a wise course of action. I'm surprised at how many people can watch the smug condescension coupled with trite mud-puddle deep analysis and think to themselves "this is a perfect example of the attitude I wish to convey to the world!" Did I say surprised? I meant depressed.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2021 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
...AI finding better answers to philosophical questions... Machine learning is entirely dependent on the skill (and honesty) of the programmers who give the machine its raw data and rules for decision-making. If you give the machine a billion pages of Clown Quarter articles and graduate theses, it should come as no surprise when the machine spits out text that makes Clown Quarter graduates feel comfortably smug.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2021 on Anyone’s For A Farthing at davidthompson
Too much love of technocrats and commissars. I'll throw an extra farthing in the jar if anyone can show me a significant difference between a Stone Age high priest promising that the rains will come if we sacrifice enough virgins and a Climate Change technocrat promising the world will be nice to us if we sacrifice enough cars and power plants and factories. Not to suggest that the IFLS crowd is a bunch of superstitious window-lickers looking for a religion that doesn't demand they try to become better people. Perish the thought!
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2021 on Anyone’s For A Farthing at davidthompson
...people's rage when story after story of violent monsters being released (and often committing more violence) show that our "system" is hopelessly broken... As discussed once or twice in the past: the formalized "justice system" in the West was developed as an alternative to the informal systems used by communities since time immemorial. The informal tend to be spontaneous, driven by passion, and extraordinarily sloppy*. And yet we've reached a point where ordinary citizens are contemplating whether the current system represents any kind of improvement at all. I share Daniel's mistrust of the state, and I honestly have no wish to grant it the power to decide who lives and who dies, whether it's in the context of the death penalty for heinous crimes or just deciding which citizens are worthy of receiving health care or food. But the points for and against should always be argued in light of the likely consequences. To wit: if a state system that executes nobody leads to a reversion to local vigilantism that executes hundreds of people later found to be innocent, is that really the best outcome? Unfortunately, philosophical arguments in these gray areas don't lend themselves to social media posts or high ratings for talking heads on cable. * Hang 'Em High is one of my favo(u)rite Westerns.