Rosh Hashanah Sign

God! I just realized!

RBG died on Rosh Hashanah!

My knowledge of the faith of my ancestors is extremely poor but isn’t that really meaningful? Like a sign?

When our observant Jewish readers rejoin us, maybe they will explain.

שנה טובה‎


I’m sure it’s all completely accidental but every conservative in my Twitter feed is posting beautiful RIPs for RBG while every liberal is being a total ghoul and busily discussing who will fill her still warm seat on the SCOTUS.

A nationally important figure is dead. Can’t people stay off their stupid partisan crap for two seconds? Or at least until tomorrow?

She was a truly indomitable, kick-ass person. And also a gracious, generous human being. This is a great loss.

Learning Hubs

Chicago is starting to provide “learning hubs.” Those “hubs” used to be called schools but we have accepted that there shouldn’t be any, so this is what we are being given instead:

Instead of qualified teachers, children will be “hubbed” with adults who aren’t qualified to teach. Why this is a good alternative to having teachers teach since that’s what they are paid to do isn’t explained.

Congratulations, people! We have successfully pressured the state governments into depriving our kids if public schooling.

What Kind of Education?

There are people who are saying that if Trump can institute a federally mandated patriotic education – which, once again, is something that has existed for 200 years everywhere – then Biden, if elected, should be able to mandate the 1619 project to be taught everywhere.

This statement is so ignorant that I cringe in vicarious embarrassment.

What makes a nation possible is a sincere belief that one’s nation is the best one ever and that it has extraordinary achievements that give a sense of pride to every citizen. The comprehensive free education of a nation-state exists to teach this sense of pride and accomplishment. It exists to create a sense of “we,” a shared identity that fills “us” with pride. Without this, it’s back to a feudal-type system.

Does anybody claim that the 1619 project creates unity and imbues us all with a sense of pride? Obviously, not. Discussing it in the context of preserving the nation-state model is ludicrous.

This is the mother of false analogies and it’s sad that educated people roll it out as some sort of an argument that anybody should take seriously.

Patriotic Education

I don’t think anybody on this blog needs a reminder because I have talked about this for years but the only reason why comprehensive free state-provided secondary education came into existence was to make the nation-state possible.

“School” as we know it was invented to ensure that all citizens spoke the same language and shared the same understanding of national identity. “Patriotic education” is not a new idea. It’s the only idea that gave us free schooling for everybody and the near-100% literacy that results from it. You can like it or dislike it but this is a fact of objective reality that isn’t in dispute.

Acting like this is something shockingly new is extremely ignorant. The idea is 200 years old and has been successfully implemented everywhere.

The choice isn’t between offering “patriotic education” or not. The choice is whether there’s going to be comprehensive free schooling or not. For years, people scoffed when I said we were on the verge of losing comprehensive free schooling as the nation-state model of governance breaks apart. We are now seeing exactly what I predicted.

“Everybody is an individual and should make up their own mind” – the standard neoliberal blabber – leads, among many other serious consequences, to you paying for private schooling for your kids or quitting your job to homeschool. No matter how we feel about these options as individuals, this is a gigantic change on the level of society. This leads directly to an explosion of illiteracy.

You might be a parent who can pay for private schooling, teach yourself, organize “schooling pods,” whatever. But your children will live in the society filled with people whose parents couldn’t do that and had no capacity to socialize their children in the most basic ways.

The collapse of the free comprehensive state-provided schooling is an absolute disaster for all of us as a society even if as individuals we don’t use it if don’t care about it.

Preparing for a Recount

I play this game on my phone. It’s called house design. You get a list of assignments like “design the living room for an apartment of an ad executive in Lviv Ukraine” and then you have to choose the furniture and decor that you pay for with in-game cash and diamonds. People who want to make really beautiful designs can purchase more cash and diamonds than you are initially given through in-game purchases. If you don’t want to spend actual money (and I obviously don’t), you can get free diamonds by, among other things, answering surveys. I like surveys, so that’s what I do.

Most of the surveys I do are political and they have invariably been from the Biden campaign. I think I’ve now seen and commented on every ad the campaign has made. Recently, a new question appeared in these surveys. It’s this:

“If on election night, the results show that Trump won, are you prepared to accept the result on that day or the next day?”

I didn’t understand the question at first but now I get it. They think they are losing and are preparing for a protracted recount that will last as long as it takes to get the “right” result.