This Christian kids video is …they are like children of the corn, but scary. I sincerely hope that some of these kids are someday horrified that they did this.
Great response to people who claim sex work entrenches gender inequality.
A pediatrician with a child porn collection. Ok. That’s creepy.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually want Central American journalists trained by the U.S. government.
Wounded Knee (aftermath of massacre pictured) is privately owned and the guy wants to sell it. He offered it to the Oglala Sioux, who did not come up with the $1 Million +++ he wanted. So this jackass says,
If they would just have taken $250,000 to 1 million, they could have bought that property and owned it today. But, for some reason, they cannot see economic development and they cannot see tourism and they cannot relate. They want everything for free is what it amounts to I guess.
Can you imagine them not coming up with that kind of money to buy the colonized land that their ancestors were murdered on?! The nerve, wanting “everything for free.” And how can they not see the giftshop possibilities?
If, like me, you are a Sherman Alexie fan, you might want to check out this interview on Bill Moyers.
One of the things Alexie talks about is the quality of communication on the internet. I agree that you are missing a lot when you aren’t face to face with someone. But I use the internet to keep in touch with people that I can’t be face to face with. And I have met in person a lot of people that I first came in contact with on here. Some guy decided to try living without the internet for a year. It didn’t go exactly as expected.
And finally – Kittens having sex! The horror! Better call the cops!
I’ve been catching up on some of my blog reading and came across this report about how Latino children are underrepresented in New York City public school gifted programs.
Data obtained by The Wall Street Journal shows that Latino children are dramatically underrepresented in the program, making up just 12% of the city’s 14,266 gifted elementary school students this school year. Yet Latino children make up about 41% of the 489,911 elementary students.
This controversy, about the homogeneity of gifted programs, has been going on since I was a kid. I distinctly remember a report (60 minutes maybe) where parents tried to get their children of color tested and the school system would not even test them. I’m fairly certain it was this controversy that was responsible for me being put in the gifted program in my elementary school.
I need to put a small caveat here. This is all my memory from more than 30 years ago. So I am not going to guarantee 100% detail.
When I was in first or second grade, and around the time our principal changed from a white dude to a black woman, the administration started asking teachers to submit students for gifted testing – particularly students who were not white boys. Because ALL of the students in the gifted program were white boys. That’s when I got IQ tested.
Here I could go into the controversies about IQ – the historic racism, the cultural bias…all that jazz. Perhaps someday I will. But even if you think that IQ measures more than privilege and socialization (I don’t), it doesn’t really impact my criticism of the gifted program.
I spent one day a week in gifted classes. While my other classmates were sitting in rows doing busy work, I was wandering around a trailer doing creative stuff. As a gifted student, I had access to the only two computers in my school. I got to make cool graphics using Apple computers that had pixels the size of your head. I made stop motion animated films and ceramic animals. There were plays and, if memory serves, a kooky report about the Bermuda Triangle.
In other words, I had the freedom to be creative and access to the tools that would let me do it. The gifted program was just a way to met out privileges to the already privileged.
As I got older, I dropped out of gifted and even honors classes. In part, I really wanted to coast through and smoke weed and be lazy. But I was also sick to death of seeing the same people in every class that I had. I went to a diverse middle and high school. But my classes were filled with the same disproportionately white, disproportionately Jewish, and disproportionately well-off people.
Once I started going to “regular” classes, the horrors of school really hit me. No matter how creative or curious you are. No matter how much potential you have. If you sit in a box doing mind-numbing worksheets while some babysitter socializes you to be a Walmart cashier, it is going to make you stupid. At least I felt like I got stupider every minute that I was in school.
My point, after all of that, is this. We do not need to make gifted classes more diverse. It does not, in the end, really help us to have a more gender balanced and multicolored group of privileged people. It is true that a person in a position of power may change the rules a little for a few people – like the new principal of my school. And it is true that there is value in diversity – particularly in having relationships that cross all the barriers of gender, race, class…
But in the end, all kids need the freedom and resources to pursue their interests and to do the kinds of creative and mind-expanding things that gifted kids are allowed to do. Asking for more Latinos in gifted is the same as asking for more Latino CEOs or black generals or women senators. We don’t need a more diverse hierarchy or a less obviously racist and sexist way to met out privileges. We need to get rid of the hierarchy and the privileges.
Well, hello there. I took a lovely break from reading the news (see pic). But I suppose it is time to start figuring out what is going on in the world and whatnot. Feel free to share any interesting things in the comments.
Did you know that The World Is Marching Towards Anarchy? Of course, this guy thinks that is a horrible thing. He does, however, get quite a bit right – like democracy as we know it being domination. I’m always amazed when people can be right and sooooooo wrong at the same time.
Oh. My. God. Some girls wore strapless dresses and tight pants and stuff that showed that they have…ummm…what are those called again….bodies. Will this ever stop?
While it is lovely that this shitbag is not going to get away with it, how often do judges get called out for anything that they do? Sorry, we don’t really mind you getting paid to lock up kids. You just got paid a little too much and a little too directly.
Let’s not forget that Guantánamo Is Not an Anomaly — Prisoners in the US Are Force-Fed Every Day
I haven’t read Graeber’s new book yet, but I enjoyed this excerpt on The Baffler.
And as long as we are on Graeber, not a horrible piece in The New Yorker (despite the snark).
Any of you planning on going to the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy this year?
As today I am forty years old. How the fuck did that happen? To distract myself from thinking about careening down that hill, I decided I should try to come up with a list of good things about being forty. Feel free to chime in with more – but only if you are over forty. I don’t want any bullshit from sprightly 25 year olds right now. Forty isn’t that old. So and so asshat celebrity is 43 and she looks great. Think of how much wiser you are…blah….blah….blah
Fuck you! When you are going through this shit, I am goint to be 55 years old. The only way I’ll be getting carded then is for senior discounts.
Ah shit. This positive thing isn’t going well. Ok. Here goes.
1. I still have all my teeth
2. I have not yet broken a hip
3. My gray hairs appear to be growing in a streak like Bonnie Raitt or Cruellla De Vil
4. People have mostly stopped asking me about marriage and children
5. When I meet youngsters who like old school music, I get to say shit like “Yeah. I saw Nina at the Paramount before she died.” or “That Ramones show at the Cameo was great”
6. 80s music is back. So, when I go to the Depeche Mode dance party at Black Cat on Sat, I will not be surounded by people who I look at and think – Hmmmm. Aren’t they a little old for this. And then realize they are my age.
7. I am now completely aware of the fact that I don’t know shit and I’m o.k. with it.
8. I pretty much get to do whatever the fuck I want – when Im not working – I need to work on that one.
9. I’m posting this from an island in Belize, a luxury only my 40 year old credit brings me
That’s all I got so far. But that last one is leaving me feeling pretty good.
I don’t know about you, but I know nothing about pastoralism. A few days ago, I had a chance to listen to Lalji Desai, a pastoralist from India. The whole time I was listening I kept thinking how much pastoralist ideology and culture reflects the kinds of values and goals that anarchists are working towards.
Interdependence, customary leadership, knowledge sharing, egalitarian community relationships, sustainability, commons, solidarity, direct action, art/culture as transformative…All the things that anarchists talk about are part of the pastoralist tradition. Of course, a lot of that tradition was lost with colonialism. Interdependence became dependence. Customary leadership became hierarchical/political leadership. Knowledge sharing became intellectual property. Community relationships and units were replaced by the nuclear family model. According to Desai, patriarchy, exploitation, disempowerment, the loss of social status…it all came with colonialism and capitalism. And, unlike many of our theorists, the pastoralists are close enough to their history to remember what things were like before.
I haven’t had time to process everything, but I have a few thoughts to throw out here.
Mutual Aid – How can we better help each other. We could learn a lot from people that aren’t so far away from living by the values that we would like to see spread. And many of those communities are in constant struggle over rights and resources. If nothing else, they could use some more attention, especially during moments of crisis. Clearly, there has been a lot of anarchist solidarity with people in Chiapas. But there are so many more communities in the world.
Property – Many of us have a big blind spot when it comes to property. No matter what side of the debate someone is on (and here I am going beyond anarchists), the focus is almost always urban or agricultural. Too rarely do we talk about access to resources that are necessarily contradictory to the kind of private property model we have in the US. In other words, talking about land that can be fenced in is ridiculous when you are talking about fishing communities that need to manage ocean areas as commons or pastoralists who rely on the kinds of animals that can’t (and shouldn’t) be confined to a box.
Animal Rights – Undoubtedly, a big reason why most of us don’t know anything about pastoralists is that there aren’t many in or near our communities. But I wonder if another reason for our blindness is that there are too many people in the animal rights/vegan fundamentalist worlds who ignore cultural issues. In India, some pastoralists were kicked off of their land in order to provide a reserve for lions. They had been living with lions for generations, but suddenly the government made them out to be a danger to them. Now only lions and tourists get access to the land that pastoralists used to use and manage sustainably. How many animal rights folks would have fallen squarely on the side of the government story?
Environmentalism – Lefties in the US love our national parks. Rarely do I hear anyone on the left being critical when other countries start delineating territory as national parks for reserves. Yet those lands are almost always somebodies territory. Environmentalist movements have a horrible record with indigenous communities on those kinds of issues.
Feminism – The person before Desai spoke about indigenous rights, sadly leaving out any mention of North America. But worse than that, she mentioned the double oppression of indigenous women. She said that “traditional” beliefs sometimes negatively affected indigenous women’s rights. What she did not mention, and Desai did, was how many indigenous communities had much more egalitarian relationships before colonialism. That is definitely true with many North American indigenous communities. The belief that “western” women have more rights and that rural communities are backwards is so pervasive and so incredibly inaccurate. We need to get over that.
Taxes – One of the things he mentioned in his talk was how the government wanted them to give up their pastoral lifestyle in order to collect taxes. It is difficult to tax people whose territory is so large that it can take five years to get back to where they started. Of course, that got me thinking about libertarians and conservatives who hate taxes and love a certain conception of private property. I would love to hear an anti-tax debate between them and a pastoralist who would point out that their belief system is in opposition to itself.
That’s it for now, I think. Forgive any spelling or grammar errors. I’m typing this on a kindle with a shit wireless connection and very limited functionality.
P.S. That photo is of a worldwide women pastoralist gathering that I also spoke to Desai about briefly. The photo is linked from here. Haven’t read through the site yet, but it looks interesting.