I have noted stories of high schools dropping honors and AP classes in the name of so-called ‘equity’ like this lately, with a great deal of sadness and sympathy for those kids who would have benefited most from more challenging classes. The intelligent, motivated and intellectually-gifted students are bored beyond all reason by the standard classes – I know that I certainly was, and my high school days were from 1969-1972 in a largely white blue-collar working-class to no-class suburb of Los Angeles. This was when California public schools were still pretty good, and students were ‘tracked’ by abilities as well as interest in higher learning. I’d estimate that only thirty or forty out of a graduating class of 600 or so were tracked towards the Honors/AE classes; Sunland-Tujunga was, as I said before, a blue-collar, working-class community, with a small sprinkling of middle-class. My own mother was about as pushy a tiger-mom as there was, and her collegiate ambitions for us didn’t go much beyond the state university system, never mind any of the west coast Ivies. An east-coast Ivy wasn’t even in the same universe.
Behind the Banking Crisis.
I want to recommend a good piece at Conservative Tree House, which I read every day.
It is this post which connects a few dots.
This is where we need to keep the BRICS -vs- WEF dynamic in mind and consider that ideologically there is a conflict between the current agenda of the ‘western financial system’ (climate change) and the traditional energy developers. This conflict has been playing out not only in the energy sector, but also the dynamic of support for Russia (an OPEC+ member) against the western sanction regime. Ultimately supporting Russia’s battle against NATO encroachments.
The war in Ukraine, which probably would not have begun if Trump was president, led to a war of economic interests. The western democracies have invested their future in “climate change,” which used to be “global warming” before the failure to warm made that slogan obsolete. Climate change has evolved into a war on energy production. The Biden regime now has even gone after gas stoves. Since I just bought one, I have an interest. Now, they seem to be going after washing machines. Ours has failed recently so I had better be quick to replace it.
The recent Credit Suisse bank crisis is complicated by the refusal of its largest shareholder, the Saudis, to help with a bail out. Why would this be ? This brings up the topic of BRICS. This is a new financial combination made up of Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa.
The Calculated Infliction of Misery
The sudden recent fatwa declared by the great and good in the Biden Administration against the less-expensive gas ranges was … really rather curious – and for what purpose? Cooking (and heating) with gas is (or was) relatively cheap, energy-efficient, beloved of cooks for generations. It has the advantage that if you have an older stove, you can still cook with gas in a power outage. I lived for six years in Spain, where both the stove and the flash hot water heater were powered by propane bottles, and a power outage (which occurred regularly) was only a relatively mild inconvenience. I could cook a hot meal, and we could take hot showers. An all-electric home, such as the one I live in now is miserable, to the point of being unlivable, without consistent electric power, as my neighbors and I were swiftly reminded during the Great Texas Snowmagedden, two years ago. And from this story, linked on Instapundit, one can’t help wondering if the geniuses in Biden’s government are demonstrating trying again, with the so-called safety benefits of locking hot-water heater thermostats at 110-120. The ostensible reason given for these two quasi-campaigns is a tender concern for the ‘health and safety’ of the general public and the best of intentions, but the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
It’s A Little Late to Develop A Conscience.
Some of my earliest lessons in ethical behavior, as a child, came in the form of a question: “How would you feel if someone did that to you?” It was reasonably effective because it was simple. I could guess how I would feel, and I didn’t want to make anyone else feel that way. Although I couldn’t have spelled the word at the time, the theory underlying that lesson was reciprocity.There’s a lot going on in those two paragraphs. In that “How would you feel” is the basis for the first rule of interaction in the three Faiths of the Book. There’s an important corollary, as well: the precocious child might ask Mom or Dad “How would you like being put in time-out?” Kids don’t like being put in time-out, and the wise parent will note something to the effect that the grown-up version of time-out lasts for days, not minutes, in a place called “jail”. The concept of reciprocity, though, is a straightforward elaboration of the things that matter that are learned in kindergarten.
Reciprocity relies on an underlying sense of relevant equality. You and I may be different people in any number of ways, but we’re both fully human, and that entails some basic respect. There’s an implicit politics within the ethical norm of reciprocity, too. I’m no better than anyone else, but I’m no worse, either. Taken seriously, that ethical position tends to lead to a rough egalitarianism. There may be hierarchical roles for various reasons, but the people occupying those roles are just people. They have the same human flaws as everybody else. And the power they’re granted is both a grant—that is, removable—and for a limited purpose. It is not license. Nobody is entitled to abuse anyone else, and nobody deserves abuse.
The March of Folly
That’s the title of a four-pronged historical examination by Barbara Tuchman: an examination of four specific episodes in history (or in the case of Troy and their gift horse, possibly mythical history) where the leadership of a political entity decided – against all good advice and reasoned opposition – to go full out in idiocy counter to their best interests, the pursuit of which left them very much in a worse situation than before. Pride, stubbornness, stupid devotion to a set of principles which wound up biting them in the nether regions and supposedly serving a warning and example to the rest of us. Yet – as MS Tuchman notes – political bodies kept on doing it, over and over again. (Although I and others do have some serious beefs about how she categorized the saga of US in Vietnam.) It’s a readable overview, a quick skim of what happen in four separate eras when four different entities decide against all good advice, interests and viable alternatives, to go ahead and pee on that electric fence; a reminder – as if we really do need another one, that self-interested stupidity is a human constant.