Yes, the census is still an issue. Here’s what to do about it.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 09.49.27

I’ve posted about this issue before, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised to discover this administration has not prioritized fixing it.

The decennial census, that once-every-ten-years count of the American population, is drastically underfunded. And what happens if it’s underfunded? A lot of people don’t get counted, so they don’t get what they need in terms of hospitals, schools, roads, emergency services, healthcare, social services—the census numbers are the starting point for allocating more than $600 billion of federal funding every year.

Advertisements

Lesson plans and suggestions for teachers in this era of overt bigotry and violence

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 09.47.02

While such discussions are often seen as politically charged and teachers like to steer clear of politics, these conversations are about fundamental American values, and age-appropriate ways of discussing hatred and tolerance in a diverse and vibrant democracy are as important as anything young people can learn in school. Civics education has taken a back seat to reading and math in recent years in “the era of accountability,” but it is past time for it to take center stage again in America’s schools.

pub. 08/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

Suggestions for progressives to counter the idea that supporting Trump is supporting the US

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 15.11.45

“Leaks.” The “leak” frame is about national security leaks: truths that could harm national security is revealed to the public or enemies of the nation. Under the metaphor, “leaks” become truths that could harm the security of the President. Since national security leaks are crimes against the nation — unpatriotic and un-American, so under the metaphor, “leaks” threatening Presidential security become crimes against the nation that are unpatriotic and un-American, matters for the Justice Department and the FBI to look into and for the Justice Department to prosecute.

pub. 07/2017

In turning the ship around, a challenge to progressives

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 15.33.18

For Rorty, a Left that neglects victims of economic selfishness will not only fail; its neglect of class will trigger a terrible backlash that ultimately ill-serve the very groups that Leftist identity politics are intended to help. “The gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will very likely be wiped out,” he worried. “Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.”

pub. 07/2017

What you can do to encourage opportunity for all

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 15.17.39

ORGANIZE A TAKE SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD TO WORK DAY

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is intended to get children thinking about their future careers, but by having parents take their own kids to work, we perpetuate class divides. If your mother is a lawyer, you spend the day in a law firm. If your dad stocks shelves in a grocery store, then—if he is even allowed to bring you along—that’s what you will see. If your parents are unemployed, you don’t have a chance to go anywhere at all. And so the wheel turns.

pub. 06/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

When does “alarmism” simply become “reality”?

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 19.54.07

The last lesson in “On Tyranny” is to be as courageous as you can. Do you actually care enough about freedom that you would take risks? Do individuals actually care about freedom? Think that through. I think if enough of us take the little risks at the beginning, which aren’t really that significant, this will prevent us from having to take bigger risks down the line.

pub. 05/2017

Opinion: “Free speech” isn’t that simple

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 14.41.12

Lyotard shifted attention away from the content of free speech to the way certain topics restrict speech as a public good. Some things are unmentionable and undebatable, but not because they offend the sensibilities of the sheltered young. Some topics, such as claims that some human beings are by definition inferior to others, or illegal or unworthy of legal standing, are not open to debate because such people cannot debate them on the same terms.

When one person’s “free speech” is a dismissal of others’ humanity or a demand that others justify their humanity, the latter are either treated as non-participants in the debate or have their participation limited to defending their right to be there–which means they don’t truly have free speech themselves. Thus:

It has been regrettably easy for commentators to create a simple dichotomy between a younger generation’s oversensitivity and free speech as an absolute good that leads to the truth. We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding, such as the one provided by Lyotard, of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.

pub. 04/2017