Reason to homeschool #5,642

I know, I know, this NRO reader’s supposedly good suburban school is nothing like the good suburban school that your kids attend. Because your kid’s school is, like, really good. All the teachers who work there tell you so.

So, we are in a reasonably affluent suburban school district with a good reputation. This year, the elementary school has decided that it is going to provide breakfasts for the students every day. In the classroom, before they start actually doing anything else. When questioned about this, the school principal regurgitated statistics explaining how kids who eat breakfast do better in schools. I have no doubt this is true, but let’s face it, the kids who don’t eat breakfast are almost certainly the same ones whose parents don’t try to read with or to them every day, don’t make sure they are doing their homework etc etc etc . I also really doubt whether many kids in our elementary school miss breakfast in the morning.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but the teacher also tells us he won’t have time to make his third graders do multiplication tables this year.

And, this is in a “good” school district. I don’t want to imagine what they are doing in DC and similar places.

In fairness, one can’t seriously expect an education major to distinguish between correlation and causation. If anyone bothers to do a study demonstrating that there is a strong correlation between children eating a healthy dinner and doing better in school too, there will probably be a Department of Education-funded program extending the afterschool programs until 8 PM and supplying steak dinners in the classrooms within five years.

And here’s an interesting fact. Every single person I have ever met whose children attends a public school happens to live in a district where the schools are “really good” and the teachers are uniformly “excellent”. What are the odds? It is always very, very hard for me to resist the urge to ask these fortunate parents what particular metric they are using to make these determinations.

NRO clings to sanity

Apparently they haven’t gotten completely blitzed on the Neocon-spiked Kool-aid:

The Awlaki case speaks to something even more fundamental than law: Decent nations do not permit their governments to assassinate their own citizens. I am willing to give the intelligence community, the covert-operations guys, and the military proper a pretty free hand when it comes to dealing with dispersed terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But citizenship, even when applied to a Grade-A certified rat like Awlaki, presents an important demarcation, a bright-line distinction in our politics.

If Awlaki were to be killed on a battlefield, I’d shed no tears. But ordering the premeditated, extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in Yemen or Pakistan is no different from ordering the premeditated, extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in New York or Washington or Topeka — American citizens are American citizens, wherever they go. I’m an old-fashioned limited-government guy, and I am not willing to grant Washington the power to assassinate U.S. citizens, even rotten ones. The three most powerful people in government at this moment are Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, a fact that should give pause even to the most hawkish conservative. I would hope that other conservatives see this at least as a matter of prudence, if not a burning moral question.

We’ve reached a very problematic state of affairs when the so-called “liberals” have endorsed a policy of the federal government intentionally murdering American citizens and most of the so-called “conservative” media is kind of maybe okay with it.

Dynamic reality

Static revenue models work about as well as NFL plays that depend upon the 11 defenders remaining exactly where they’re lined up at the moment of the snap.

Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tells me, “Those who have more should pay more. The rich have always cried wolf like that.”

But the wolf is here. Maryland created a special tax on rich people that was supposed to bring in $106 million. Instead, the state lost $257 million. Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who is running again for his old job, says: “It reminds me of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was always surprised when Lucy pulled the football away. And they’re always surprised in Washington and state capitals when the dollars never come in.”

Some of Maryland’s rich left the state.

“They’re out of here. These people aren’t stupid,” Ehrlich says.

This Maryland supertax on millionaires was the example I used in RGD in explaining how I first began to notice the mainstream media’s inability to comprehend basic economic behavior. The precise figures weren’t available at the time, though, so it’s fascinating to see that the state government lost more than twice as much tax revenue as they were calculating they would gain.

Need moar gayz!

Because there are too many straight men watching television these days:

“The Good Wife” is getting a gay brother; new teen TV show “Hellcats” features a lesbian cheerleader; and as for “True Blood” — TV watchers now need two hands to count the vampires who will suck the blood of either gender. The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on prime time U.S. television is growing, with 58 regular LGBT roles on network and cable shows this season, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said in a report on Wednesday.

GLAAD said that 23 LGBT characters account for 3.9 percent of regular characters in scripted network shows like Emmy-winning comedies “Modern Family” and “Glee” in the 2010-2011 TV season, which started last week.

In other words, there are twice as many LBGT regular characters on television as there should be if they were to be accurately represented according to their percentage of the population. Of course, there are at least 10x more Jews than make statistical sense and blacks are overrepresented too. Hispanics and Christians, on the other hand, are ludicrously underrepresented. This is but one example of what happens when minorities are permitted to impose their agendas on the majority population. Television is largely irrelevant since it’s so easily replaced with other forms of entertainment, but what has happened there is a microcosm of what can be expected in the long term from the third world migration.

Personally, I’d quite like for every character on television to be black, Jewish, and gay. The medium is a creative and intellectual wasteland anyhow, so why not kill it off entirely.