Time To Fire Up The Blessing Generator
Friday Ephemera

Your Manners And Competence Are Deeply Problematic

Kenin M Spivak on the urge to level down:

During the last 18 months, supercharged by events after George Floyd’s death, the radical Left has… shifted its focus to the abolition of testing and standards, the evisceration of math curricula, and indoctrination in our K-12 schools. The following is a necessarily abridged summary of recent developments…

Under pressure from progressive assertions of test bias, over the last few years, many colleges decided that SAT and ACT testing would be optional. Then, to settle a lawsuit alleging racist disparities, in May 2021, the UC system announced it is ceasing the use of ACT and SAT scores. Other colleges promptly followed the UC’s lead. Without scores, there can be no disparities.

In April 2020, citing “equity” and its goal to restructure and dismantle “systems and institutions that create the dichotomy of beneficiaries and the oppressed and marginalised,” the Oregon Department of Education eliminated grades and proficiency in reading, writing, and math as requirements for graduation…

On September 9, 2020, Education Trust-West, an “advocate for educational justice,” announced its study and toolkit for K-12 math, A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In Pathway, Trust-West characterised expecting the right answer, independent practice, teaching in a linear fashion, requiring procedural fluency, and requesting that students show their work, as “white supremacy.” Instead of offering a path for minority students to learn how to do math and come to the correct answer, Pathway instead advocates that schools use numbers to motivate anti-racist discussions of social justice.

On July 14, 2021, the California Department of Education issued a Mathematics Framework based on True-West’s Pathway. Chapter 1 of Framework rejects “natural gifts and talents” and calls for de-emphasising calculus and eliminating classes for gifted children in grades 6-12 to eliminate “inequity.” Chapter 1 specifies that “equity influences all aspects of this document.” The draft Framework directs teachers to use math for political discussions about “marginalised communities” and to move away from focusing on correct methods or answers.

At a time when, despite increases in school funding, almost 80% of black and Hispanic eighth graders have been deemed “not proficient” in maths or reading, it’s unclear how improvements might be made while simultaneously graduating high-school pupils regardless of their performance, or even their attendance, and while shying from the existence of such terribly oppressive things as correct answers.

But as we’ve been told, more than once, “suspending proficiency requirements” will – in ways that are somewhat unobvious – “benefit” those on whom these things are inflicted. 

And parents will doubtless take comfort in the feats of mental contortion performed by those to whom their children are entrusted – including the self-satisfied insistence, by high-school teacher Josh Thompson, that behaving in class is “white supremacy.” You see, paying attention and not being disruptive, so that things might actually be learned, if only by some of those present, is “passive” and a product of “white culture.” And expecting basic standards of behaviour – say, respecting other pupils who are trying to hear what’s being said - is “the definition of white supremacy,” and therefore very, very bad.

A position, incidentally, that’s more common that one might think. As illustrated by assistant professor Albert Stabler, who confessed his innate wrongness – “I am a white teacher” – before denouncing the “white feelings” of teachers who object to being assaulted in class – as when being punched, for instance, or when a female teacher had her hair forcibly cut by a black student in an attempt to humiliate and dominate her. Objections to such things are, we’re assured, merely “white supremacist violence.”

And then there’s the spectacle of Virginia Tech educator Dr Crystal Duncan Lane apologising to her class for the sin of being white – in itself, we’re told, proof of “innate racism.” A claim that not only constitutes a kind of racial gaslighting, but which, in the name of progressive piety, also manages to insult any students with pale skin, and from whom, a pantomime of pretentious collective guilt is evidently expected.

Such, then, are the ways of the woke.


In the comments, Richard asks, “Who is helped by this arrangement?” Prompting a quote from an earlier post,

Readers will note that the retreat from clear metrics into euphemism and pernicious fuzzwords – chief among which, “equity” - not only makes it difficult to determine pupils’ academic progress and actual competence, but also has a secondary effect of making it more difficult to identify the shortcomings of left-leaning educators and administrators. A coincidence, I’m sure.

A coincidence that doubtless suits over-promoted mediocrities such as Valeria Silva, whose “equity” policies – and their awful, inevitable consequences – are mentioned at some length here. It’s worth bearing in mind that, say, grading papers, while not exactly statusful or exciting, does require a level of attentiveness and diligence. And of course, probity. Qualities that don’t exactly leap to mind when picturing the creatures mentioned above. Including Ms Silva, who, rather than addressing the concerns of parents, or pausing to entertain the possibility that her policies may have downsides, simply doubled down and dismissed her critics, even those with brown skin, as befuddled by “white privilege.”

The woolly, circuitous claims that abandoning academic and behavioural standards will “benefit” children, especially minority children, don’t appear to be load-bearing. The word fatuous comes to mind, and the word perverse. It’s hard to imagine how an inability to string together thoughts and express them comprehensibly can be an advantage in life, or a path to employment. Likewise, being encouraged to expect immunity from normal consequences and proprieties, and being handed endless off-the-peg excuses for one’s own thuggery and spite, doesn’t generally foreshadow functional adulthood.

However, a cynic might note that such measures may be to the advantage of educators and administrators who would prefer not to be held accountable for their own ideological fixations and personal shortcomings. If one can no longer measure success, and no longer measure failure and repeated negligence – if even the idea of such efforts is rendered unfashionable or taboo – then people who should never have been employed in the first place, especially in positions of authority over children, can flourish unmolested. Indeed, they can become ascendant, precisely because of their inadequacies and dogmatic narrowness, now framed as woke piety.

And of course, the abandonment of standards and expectations can be to the advantage of those who wish to create alienated misfits whose resentments can be exploited politically.


Jack Klompus

A former colleague and consummate wokester who teaches Howard Zinn (of course) can't seem to get his AP average scores to a 3, the minimum pass grade. This of course has nothing to do with his inadequacies in the classroom or that he demanded the standard for entrance into his class be eviscerated, for "equity and inclusion." You see, the reason why his students suck at the AP test is that AP is...wait for it...SYSTEMICALLY RACIST!

So for a year he railed against "the system" which had been implemented carefully and effectively by a highly respected predecessor whose students rarely scored below a 4. In the last year of this beloved teacher's life (he died this past month) he'd heard his former colleague was gleefully shitting on the advanced program to which he'd given over 40 years of his career. He was utterly devastated that this mediocre blowhard and former coworker was trashing his life's work to score points and excuse his failings. His health took a turn for the worst knowing someone in his workplace was insinuating that he was a racist.

When the wonderful retired teacher passed away, the woke jerk tried to proclaim he was his "mentor" and he was devastated by the loss. Thankfully another teacher told him what a repulsive two-faced hypocrite he was and to go fuck himself. The woke teacher rather than defending himself ran immediately to human resources and reported that he was "threatened."

These PC woke progressives are tumors on the derriere of humanity. They hide behind this veneer of righteousness and saintly concern for buzzwords like "equity" and "anti-racism" to cloak their envy, misery, disdain for more successful and accomplished people, daddy issues, and every other form of repulsive, juvenile perfidy. They are almost in every single case the most hypocritical, backstabbing, immature, maladjusted mental cases. More of them need to be simply told to go fuck themselves and in many cases given a good old knuckle sandwich.


Such as the many True Conservatives I've known who may quietly deplore the academic left's systematic discrimination against conservatives and transformation of education into ideological indoctrination, but who, being Principled Conservatives, would strongly oppose any policy that excludes those malevolent Marxists from positions of power and influence.

Because those True & Principled Conservatives are just junior partners of The Ruling Class with as much contempt of The Country Class as Marxists and Left Liberals.

Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

These PC woke progressives are tumors on the derriere of humanity.

Tumors. Not human beings. Because they chose to embrace an anti-human ideology.


These PC woke progressives are tumors on the derriere of humanity.

As our kind Host continues to point out: these people have and always will exist, the difference is now they have undue influence on culture, education, politics, etc. Like children, they will continue to push boundaries until encountering sufficient force. If we can muster that force is the era-defining question we face.


It is impossible to perfectly predict which students will succeed, so entrance requirements are set high enough to exclude the clearly unqualified but low enough to include those whose numbers are at the lower end but who might do well.

Well that's a theory anyway. Presuming of course that college is what college was supposed to be. But just like the high school student who for whatever reasons "must" be weeded out from college, college students fail to do as well out in the real world. And the weed out for that quite often seems to be perpetual academia. And thus the problems we have with education.

Weems what we need are weed-out courses for the professors. Here's a thought...A college where the professors are only people with 25+ years experience in the real world. Go out into the real world, test your ideas, discover what really works and what "knowledge" you have is BS. Then teach the new generations what is important.


what we need are weed-out courses for the professors

I have long held the view that the same principle should apply to politicians seeking election; maybe not 25 years but certainly a minimum of 15 years


...college students fail to do as well out in the real world.

True. Sometimes it's because they are good at taking classes and tests but not applying the knowledge in the real world. Sometimes it's because the schools do not counsel them properly on their real world job prospects. One symptom of that is huge numbers of postgrads competing for a tiny number of tenure slots. If the professors had more integrity and compassion they would better advise students on their chances.


I also recall one smart, hard-working individual who aced all high school math classes but struggled, largely futilely, with calculus.

Thanks, pst, it's nice to be remembered.

A matter of interpretation, though, that "largely futile." I believe I learned a lot in struggling to learn the calculus. The time and effort were not wasted. They just didn't result in mastery of the calculus.


I believe I learned a lot in struggling to learn the calculus.

Good point. I probably should have qualified "futile" as "placed a constraint on the STEM fields he could contemplate a career in."


I have long held the view that the same principle should apply to politicians seeking election; maybe not 25 years but certainly a minimum of 15 years

Which is why the Founders put the minimum age for US Congressional representatives at 26. Of course back then a 26 year old man would have been working at something adult-ish for about 10 years and would have been considered mostly a man at 13 or 14, the ages at which most initiations into church or apprenticeships or even pre-military work began.


Not entirely unrelated, I don't think.

The 2016 meltdown was so widespread and of such intensity that even now, five years and one presidency later, it's still possible to come across things like this movie trailer you never even knew had been there.


this movie trailer

Oh dear.

According to one review, it’s “uniquely penetrating.”


Oh dear.

It's quite something, isn't it?

And yet who knew producers and executives at Netflix and elsewhere would choose to make it a model for their original programming just a few short years later?

All must be educated at all times, and severely so.


It’s quite something, isn’t it?

It’s a problem for people whose activities reveal something of their psyche, and that of their peers. Self-styled creatives, for instance.

Sometimes, you really shouldn’t pull at that thread.


In the campaign for equality of the sexes an Australian netball team of under 17 boys has beaten an all girls team for the State title in Queensland 46 points to 12.


The score sounds about right to me given the physiological and structural differences between boys and girls post puberty.


an Australian netball team of under 17 boys has beaten an all girls team for the State title in Queensland 46 points to 12.

I do like the subsequent poll asking, “Should boys be allowed to compete against girls in elite netball competitions?” One answer to which is, “Yes, it promotes gender equality.”


an Australian netball team of under 17 boys has beaten an all girls team

NRL legend Cameron Smith said ... “It’s crazy. How do you put one male team in against all the other females and expect the girls to compete?"

Am I missing something here? Why don't the people who are upset simply identify the boys as girls, and then the competition would seem to have been fair?


Uproar as all-boys netball team...

1. WTF is netball?
2. Why is there an "uproar":
a) was the boy's team supposed to let the girl's team win?
b) were fragile lunatics' psyches assaulted by reality?
c) or was there not actually an "uproar" but the media wants there to be one.



1. Like badminton, but with a ball. And without racquets.
2. When is there never an "uproar"?
a) No. The girl's team was supposed to seem to win naturally.
b) See 2.
c) There was an uproar in the fragile lunatics' psyches


I'm vaguely familiar with netball but isn't it traditionally an all-girls sport? I seem to recall having it taught to us in elementary school.


this movie trailer

Some of the comments, especially those in response to criticism and most especially in response to those criticizing from an overtly stated political perspective are so unhinged they almost read as sarcasm. Or they would if we lived in a remotely sane world.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

1. WTF is netball?

From a video it appears to be basketball for people who can't dribble.

Meanwhile, as education was being discussed, here we have a Biblical scholar who informs us, evidently from studying Episiotomy 10:66 and Fallopians 4:20, that a God who created the entire universe and everything in it, and while making a miracle of a virgin conception, was apparently unable to put a set of XY chromosomes into the baby Jesus thus meaning he she was only presenting as a man and thus non-binary. Or something.


From a video it appears to be basketball for people who can't dribble.

Yeah, I stand corrected - it's nothing like badminton. I was thinking of volleyball.

Sue Sims

I had to play it for seven years at school in England. It's more like basketball than anything else, but there are heavy restrictions about who can use which bits of the court, how you can move the ball around (you're not allowed to run with it, and can only hold it for a maximum of three seconds), and so on. If I were a feminist, I'd say that the game was designed as a patriarchal infliction on girls: the sporting equivalent of corsets.


[ Sounds of ephemera being compiled. ]

anon a mouse

the difference is now they have undue influence on culture, education, politics, etc.

This cannot be overstated. Those of us in the "leave us alone" camp did pretty well for about 200 years. Those who like to lecture others just can't stop, tho...


[ Sounds of ephemera being compiled. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

[ Sounds of ephemera being compiled. ]

That will be good news to the aggrieved Mr. Foo of last week so he now has pretty pictures and videos instead of some dull thread that only covered


A new football cheer

Merit system


London demolition derby

Wypipo in opera

NHS troubles

Chiquita Khrushchev

Behaving in class

Odd glazing

Carrier pigeons and their uses

Roman Legionaires with Soviet submachine guns

George Moonbat

Star Trek (original and brummagem spin offs)

HG Wells


Penny Red

Another apology

BMX bikers

Obscure Russian literature and influences on scifi

Various Scifi

T-Bone Walker and Blind Lemon Jefferson

Willy Ley

Eating insects

Pidgin dialects across the globe and Pidgin grammar texts

Reading books in general

Male model gender pay gaps

The meaning of "faught"

A hospital Tale of Woe™

Medieval babywearing

UK knife crime

Unique laser shows

Missiles sinking the Titanic

...and more...

I mean Booooooooooooooooring.


[ Sounds of ephemera being compiled.]

I'm imagining it sounds like a steam engine crossed with dolphin chatting and air bubble packaging being popped.


Careful there Farnsworth or DT will figure he can take Fridays even more casually. Glad to see one from him this week though. All that heavy lifting last week put a crimp in my shoulder. Sigh...getting old ain't for sissies.


I’m imagining it sounds like a steam engine crossed with dolphin chatting and air bubble packaging being popped.

It’s more sort of,


Punctuated by slurps of coffee and an occasional “bugger,” as I up-bargle some HTML.

It’s all very glamorous.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Yeah, that letter does not look faked at all.

Watcher In The Dark

A world where it doesn't matter if you go to school, or don't. A world where it matters not a fig if you can do something or can't. A world where you will be praised for knowing f*ck all. Indeed, a world where you can expect praise (and reward) for displaying the least amount of knowledge as possible, and better still, being adamant that none of it matters because someone will hand you money anyway.

Our ancestors would be so proud of our achievement in creating this.


That will be good news to the aggrieved Mr. Foo of last week so he now has pretty pictures and videos instead of some dull thread that only covered...

And that, coupled with David's fisking of the multitudinous woke horrors, is why this is my go to blog for my morning coffee, and whenever I pause in the day for a caffeinated beverage. I learn a lot here, and am thoroughly entertained.


Re: the suggestion to have potential professors spend X years in the real world before professing. I actually did toil in the groves of academe for a few decades before hanging it up in disgust, and your suggestion, while valid and worthwhile, doesn't go nearly far enough. In my not-inconsiderable experience, academia is a guild profession now -- should you be one of the rare few who actually spots a tenured professor at any given uni (which is about as frequent as confirmed sasquatch sightings), chances are you're seeing the offspring, and perhaps even the grand-offspring, of other professors. They quite literally grew up on campus; they have never left it, in their entire lives.

As for the rest.... well, having been an at least semi-regular reader of this site for many years, the best description I can give of their career arc is: "Laurie Penny-esque." To the manor born (or at least the bourgeois-bohemian equivalent), private schools (or "good" public schools, meaning, the ones in districts that are 100% White or Asian*), then "good" colleges, Ivy or equivalent, then grad school, then the tenure track. At no point have they ever needed to exchange the work of their hands for money, so they're stuck at the "Weekly allowance" stage of economic understanding. Xzhey might have a PhD, but you could ask xzheym "Why can't we end poverty by just giving everyone a million dollars?" and they'd be stumped for an answer.

Come the Reckoning, if you really want to fix academia, you'll need to do it Mao-style -- send them down to the countryside periodically, to reconnect with the laboring masses.

*I'm American, so do the standard flip flop with "public" and "private" schools... although for these people, there's really no meaningful difference.


should you be one of the rare few who actually spots a tenured professor at any given uni ... chances are you're seeing the offspring, and perhaps even the grand-offspring, of other professors.

Are you mostly talking about humanities professors? I have not noticed such a trend in the STEM fields.


It's not boys vs girls, it's Netball Australia (the media goodies) poking an eye in the sensibilities of the majority of netball players and supporters (the media baddies).

The officials wouldn't have got in trouble for saying that the exclusion of boys from girls' spaces is consistent with the inclusion of girls in boys' spaces, both policies being brave and subversive and essential to equality.

And if they wanted a Woke Sport stunt, they could have chosen an aboriginal team or an MtF team (indeed, some of the quotes are straight from the latter script, for example that being beaten up by boys only encourages truly competitive girls to train harder).

So it's surprising that they chose for their Heroic First a team of white teenage boys, who must be surprised to find that they're not the media baddies in this story (in fact they're not moral agents at all).

As far as I can make out, the officials are following the principle that whoever pretends not to notice sex in an area where there's a conventional sex difference is morally and intellectually superior - their imagination, unlike yours, can accommodate a female rugby player, or rather a rugby player WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE A WOMAN.

Only they're applying this sex flip to the you-go-girl sports script, according to which young women are finally free to live out their mothers' and grandmothers' thwarted dreams of being cauliflower eared tighthead props. If you're committed to flipping the sexes, then there must also be a thwarted yearning among men for netball and synchronized swimming.

The parents of the girl athletes, respectable middle class people, having spent ten thousand hours in chauffeuring and fundraising and advocacy for girls' sports, get it all thrown back in their faces. The media has cast them, with their "ugly abuse" and "angry backlash", as deplorables who'd invade a Capitol if there was one nearby.

“After each game against the boys (where every team was beaten convincingly may I add) I watched girls become suddenly deflated and unenthused. It seemed most girls were initially keen to play the boys only to face the reality that the boys were physically stronger, could move faster and jump higher.

The girls have been brought up on Cinderella sports movies where the boys obligingly say "you throw like a girl" and then get humiliated by the girls who outsmart and outhustle them. But that's not the story they're in. This is a story about an ideology requiring virgins to be sacrificed on its altar.


Donnerblech: "This is a story about an ideology requiring virgins to be sacrificed on its altar."



Whither Canada? "Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s chief pollster recently asked Ontarians a series of questions about COVID-19 measures, including whether or not they would support the Ford government jailing, detaining, fining, and monitoring those dissenting from the mainstream COVID-19 narrative."

Stephen Saintonge

You really shouldn't have any trouble understanding this. This is straight-up white sumpremacy and colonialism.

When whites went out to conquer the world, they succeeded because they outhought the natives. The locals couldn't even conceive of math, logistics, or technological improvements. It was outside their world-view.

But various do-gooders actually educated people in the colonies, and presently a leadership class arose that the tossed the colonialists out.

Now, here at home, the non-whites threaten to get uppity and take power. So, prevent them from learning, prevent them from thinking.

But if you try to just forbid education, they'll pursue it out of perversity. So instead, pretend to teach math, and really spend your time dumbing people down. Keeps your class in control, and bringing in the moolah.

And if you frame it right, you convince the victims you are on THEIR side. Brilliant con job.


Argh. "Whither Canada" was supposed to go in the more recent thread.


I recommend that all advocates of this "standards insenstive education" be required to undergo surgery performed by graduates of medical schools that do not require competence, literacy, numeracy, or even attendance.

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