What's being suggested here -- people casting votes in the name of people they control who don't get a say -- is, to use the language of John Locke, tyranny. I want to talk a bit about how the ideology of parental rights extremists is built on tyranny. 1/
At one level, parental rights makes intuitive sense. Good parents feel a special responsibility to their children. Who could possibly care more about their kids than they do? They assume most parents feel the same way. The few bad apples? CPS can sort them out. 2/
Here's the thing: parents are people. Most parents, and most people, are good. But as James Madison explained, society must be constructed under the assumption that bad people exist and that we need safeguards against them amassing power. Otherwise, we end up with tyranny. 3/
Congratulations to Zaila Avant-garde on a monumental achievement. I have thoughts; but congratulations come first. She did this; nothing can ever take that away from her. nytimes.com/2021/07/09/us/…
Now for the thoughts. I, too, was a homeschooled National Spelling Bee contestant. My experience was mostly negative: in an unbalanced home, bee prep and expectations unbalanced things further. Spelling made me the workaholic I am today, my identity wrapped up in my achievements.
But for some homeschooled spellers, the bee is very empowering. I recently read this post by Rebecca Sealfon, who was mocked on daytime TV for her socially awkward reaction to winning the 1997 bee. I thought she'd be critical of homeschooling; she's not. medium.com/age-of-awarene…
The homeschool reform movement needs to work hard to center the voices of children & alumni of color. That means moving beyond facile assumptions that state oversight helps everyone, and recognizing that homeschooling can be a lifeline for children experiencing racism in school.
@ResponsibleHS's study on homeschooling outcomes in Alaska demonstrated that while white, middle-class kids tended to do worse in homeschool settings than in school, poor children, disabled children, and racial minorities often did better in homeschooling. othereducation.org/index.php/OE/a…
What this means is that homeschooling is a good option for families trying to avoid bad, abusive, or oppressive school environments. But it's a bad option for parents motivated by ideology.
For years, @ResponsibleHS has been mostly a labor of love, staffed by committed volunteers and contract workers. My goal over the next year is to transform it into a lasting and financially sustainable institution.
How can we do that? It's simple: three emails a week.
Every week, I email three people about @ResponsibleHS. Some of them are longtime supporters; some have never heard of us. I also follow up with contacts from previous weeks. My goal with every email is the same: to set up a call and start a conversation. Here's why.
Over the past seven years, @ResponsibleHS has achieved some incredible things in advocating for homeschooled children. Here's just a sample:
This week, I announced that I'm taking over leadership of @ResponsibleHS for a year. I want to explain why homeschooling reform is so crucial, & how you can help.
Simply put: children are dying. And no one is doing anything about it except for us.
(CW: child murder)
In the past 20 years, at least 155 children were murdered by parents or relatives in a homeschool setting - a higher percentage of child murders than in the general population. That's just from press reports; there may be hundreds more we don't know about. hsinvisiblechildren.org/fatalities/
These murders follow a distinctive pattern: children are tortured for months or years, chained in a room, beaten, starved, and eventually killed. You don't see many murders like this of children in school, b/c someone would notice. When the child is homeschooled, no one notices.
No study of this kind, with a large and randomized data sample, demographic weighting and a direct comparison with public-schooled children, has ever been attempted. The results are stunning and don't fit the established narratives either for or against homeschooling.
They find that white, privileged homeschooled children have worse outcomes than their public-schooled peers, while underprivileged, children, disabled children, and children of color have better outcomes than their public-schooled peers.
New poll from @CNN shows Donald Trump losing to Joe Biden by 14 points. How many times has an incumbent president has lost reelection by over 10 points? Only three: John Quincy Adams (by 12), William Howard Taft (by 19), and Herbert Hoover (by 17). cnn.com/2020/06/08/pol…
John Quincy Adams is a weird case because he actually lost the previous election by 12 points too, only to wind up president through a vote of Congress. It's pretty hard to build a winning coalition when 60% of Americans voted against you in the year you took office.
Taft gets an asterisk too. He was unpopular and likely headed to defeat, but it's not his fault the most popular figure in his own party, Teddy Roosevelt, ran against him in the general election. Woodrow Wilson, the winning candidate, only got 42% that year.
Here's my list of the five best non-Disney animated film scores, non-musical edition. List is in chronological order, not ranked. Note that excluding musicals eliminated one entry: Jimmy Webb, The Last Unicorn (1982).
1) James Horner, The Land Before Time (1988): Horner wrote the best score of his prolific career for this Don Bluth animated classic. This is one of my top three scores of all time.
2) Harry Gregson-Williams, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003): A gorgeous set of seafaring themes make this one of Gregson-Williams' best scores.
Here's the playlist you didn't know you needed: the ten best Disney non-musical animated film scores, as determined by yours truly. Ground rules: the score can be from a musical, but can't be written by the composer of the songs. List is chronological. youtube.com/playlist?list=…
1) Elmer Bernstein, The Black Cauldron (1985). What do you get when you ask a legendary film composer to score one of the worst animated films ever? A spectacular, overwrought, and wildly inappropriate horror score featuring an ondes martenot, of course.
2) Bruce Broughton, The Rescuers Down Under (1990). Broughton brought his A game to this lovable B movie, particularly the scenes featuring a soaring eagle named Marahute.
We can now read the Imperial College report on COVID-19 that led to the extreme measures we've seen in the US this week. Read it; it's terrifying. I'll offer a summary in this thread; please correct me if I've gotten it wrong. imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial…
The Imperial College team plugged infection and death rates from China/Korea/Italy into epidemic modeling software and ran a simulation: what happens if the US does absolutely nothing -- if we treat COVID-19 like the flu, go about our business, and let the virus take its course?
Here's what would happen: 80% of Americans would get the disease. 0.9% of them would die. Between 4 and 8 percent of all Americans over the age of 70 would die. 2.2 million Americans would die from the virus itself.
In my review, I argued that @horowitz39 and @TheRightsWriter overestimated the threat of terrorism and underestimated other threats, such as "global climate change, epidemics of infectious disease, volcanic eruptions of massive force, the sudden impact of a large asteroid."
The response from @horowitz39 and @TheRightsWriter mocked my concern about pandemics as something out of Dr. Strangelove. "He advises we replace the War on Terror with the War on Tors. All that his list is missing is concern over 'the purity of our precious bodily fluids.'"
This article from @TheEconomist@EconUS makes the case for the median voter theorem, citing a Stanford study of congressional results from 2006-2014. As an advocate of the competing mobilization theorem, let me lodge three objections here. economist.com/united-states/…
@TheEconomist@EconUS 1) The study looks at the 2006-2014 elections. Given the abundant evidence that we experienced a realignment election in 2016, those results may no longer be relevant. The claim of the mobilization theorem isn't that swing voters have never existed, it's that few exist today.
@TheEconomist@EconUS 2) The study looks at congressional elections only, but the article generalizes these results to presidential races. This is the mistake Nancy Pelosi makes all the time: what works for congressional races is not necessarily what works for presidential races.
King's blistering response to 3), in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail": "The white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice," is a greater "stumbling block" for civil rights than the Ku Klux Klan. africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/L…
A society where oppression exists is by definition not unified. Unity means not having to fight with your friends and neighbors for the rights of people you don't know. It feels good because it decreases conflict. But when you stop fighting oppression, the oppressors win.
@daveweigel@pareene As a US historian: "unity" has historically often been a code word for "not doing anything about racial oppression." Examples:
1) The Constitutional Union Party, 1860 2) The "Reconciliation Movement," 1880s 3) "A Plea for Unity," 1963, denouncing MLK as an "outside agitator"
@daveweigel@pareene King's blistering response to 3), in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail": "the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice," is a greater "stumbling block" for civil rights than the Ku Klux Klan. africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/L…
@daveweigel@pareene A society where oppression exists is by definition not unified. Unity means not having to fight with your friends and neighbors for the rights of people you don't know. It feels good because it decreases conflict. But when you stop fighting oppression, the oppressors win.
It's common wisdom that a VP nomination should be used to provide ideological balance for the ticket: a progressive nominee should choose a moderate running mate, and vice versa. I actually think that approach makes no sense; it doesn't calm fears, but it can depress turnout.
In 1896, Democrats nominated Free Silver backer William Jennings Bryan, but tried to keep Gold Democrats in the fold by picking random banker Arthur Sewall for VP. It didn't work: the Goldbugs left the party anyway, & Sewall was useless at helping Bryan turn out his farmer base.
Even worse was when the Whigs balanced the ticket in 1840 by nominating Northern moderate William Henry Harrison and Southern slaveowner John Tyler as VP. Harrison immediately died, and voters who'd chosen him got President Tyler instead - who was so unpopular he couldn't govern.
According to NYT, Giuliani was shooting his mouth off about Ukrainians being "enemies of the president" and the Ukrainian government was terrified he'd convince Trump to cut off their aid against Russia. So, they asked Kurt Volker to get them a meeting with Giuliani.
Volker did so, and the Ukrainians smoothed things over with him a bit. Giuliani interprets this as Volker bringing him in so that he, Giuliani, with his sheer brilliance and pizazz and chutzpah, could solve a problem the career diplomat Volker couldn't solve.
Let's talk about charisma, which has been thrown about a bit loosely lately in political discussions - including today by @harrispolitico, who sees Beto/Pete/Harris as more charismatic than Biden/Bernie/Warren. As a historian of charisma, I have thoughts. politico.com/magazine/story…
@harrispolitico This fascination with measuring political charisma goes back to George Gallup himself, who created a "Charisma Poll" for the 1968 presidential race. Even before polling, folks in the 1880s ascribed the success of political bosses like Matthew Stanley Quay to "personal magnetism."
@harrispolitico People tend to assume that charisma is some sort of characteristic or skill a politician has. Politicians DO differ in, to borrow a phrase from @ClareMalone, whether they are "good communicators." Jay Inslee isn't a very good communicator, Pete Buttigieg is, and so forth.