Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 2, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on a hot Chicago Sunday, July 2, 2023, and National Anisette Day.  Anise is an annual herb native to the eastern Mediterranean and SW Asia (Pimpinella anisum, photo below) whose seeds, with a licorice flavor, are used in making drinks, candies, and flavoring other foods. For flavoring, Anise is now being increasingly replaced by star anise (from the fruit of a tree) in drinks like Pernod, my favorite anisette.

Get 150 seeds for only two bucks at Amazon.

It’s also Freedom from Fear of Speaking Day, World Sports Journalists Day, and World UFO Day, which has this explanation:

World UFO Day is dedicated to the existence of unidentified flying objects. First celebrated in 2001, it was created by the World UFO Day Organization. The day is often celebrated on June 24 and July 2, although The World UFO Day Organization declared July 2 to be the official day. June 24 marks the anniversary of one of the first UFO sightings in the United States, when Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine high-speed crescent-shaped objects near Mt. Rainier in Washington, in 1947. July 2 marks the anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident, which also happened in 1947.

At the “Moving Naturalism Forward Conference” in 2012, held in Stockbridge, MA, home of painter Normal Rockwell. Here’s the original of his “Freedom of Speech” painting in the famous “Four Freedoms” series. This guy has clearly overcome his fear of speaking! (not the real human, but the guy in the painting):

The big NASCAR race—the Loop 121 Xfinity race, supposed to go around the streets of downtown Chicago yesterday, was postponed because of rain. It’s supposed to start this morning but it’s still raining. I’m very glad; I don’t want big race cars tooling around the streets at high speeds. It’s a terrible idea meant to draw Chicago-ans into the NASCAR ambit.  All the roads downtown have been blocked for weeks as they set up the course and the walls supposed to keep spectators free from flying cars.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 2 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Trump’s is catching new heat about the last “stolen election”. Several places report that, as he did in Georgia, The Donald pressured officials in Arizona (in this case the governor) to overturn the election results in his state.

In a phone call in late 2020, President Donald Trump tried to pressure Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to overturn the state’s presidential election results, saying that if enough fraudulent votes could be found it would overcome Trump’s narrow loss in Arizona, according to three people familiar with the call.

Trump also repeatedly asked Vice President Mike Pence to call Ducey and prod him to find the evidence to substantiate Trump’s claims of fraud, according to two of these people. Pence called Ducey several times to discuss the election, they said, though he did not follow Trump’s directions to pressure the governor.

The extent of Trump’s efforts to cajole Ducey into helping him stay in power has not before been reported, even as other efforts by Trump’s lawyer and allies to pressure Arizona officials have been made public. Ducey told reporters in December 2020 that he and Trump had spoken, but he declined to disclose the contents of the call then or in the more than two years since. Although he disagreed with Trump about the outcome of the election, Ducey has sought to avoid a public battle with Trump.

. . .Ducey described the “pressure” he was under after Trump’s loss to a prominent Republican donor over a meal in Arizona earlier this year, according to the donor, who like others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. The account was confirmed by others aware of the call. Ducey told the donor he was surprised that special counsel Jack Smith’s team had not inquired about his phone calls with Trump and Pence as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, the donor said.

Ducey did not record the call, people familiar with the matter said.

All there is, then, is simply phone-company records that a call went to Ducey from the White House. Since the call wasn’t recorded and Ducey apparently has no notes (but told other people), all we have is hearsay, so Trump really isn’t in amy more trouble than he was before.

There are two pieces from the NYT on the Supreme Court

*First, the paper theorizes that John Roberts, while still leading the Court’s conservative agenda, has forged some bipartisanship with the liberal justices.

But the entire story of the most recent term is considerably more complicated than that of the previous one, which had seemed to establish an unyielding conservative juggernaut characterized by impatience and ambition — and built to last.

A year later, the court remains deeply conservative but is more in tune with the fitfully incremental approach of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is attentive to his court’s legitimacy, than with the take-no-prisoners approach of Justice Clarence Thomas. The chief justice’s strategy — and votes — produced a fair number of liberal victories.

“Chief Justice Roberts seems to be getting at least some of the conservative majority back into harness on incremental moves,” said Pamela S. Karlan, a law professor at Stanford.

Indeed, the term that just ended was something of a triumph for the chief justice, who just a year ago seemed to be losing power, having failed to persuade a single colleague to join his compromise position in the case that did away with the constitutional right to abortion.

Of all the conservative Justices, it’s always seemed to me that Roberts was the one most concerned with the credibility of the Court.

When the latest term started in October, Justice Thomas appeared to have gained control of the court for the first time in his more than 30-year tenure, said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard.

“Those tables have dramatically turned,” Professor Lazarus said. “Although the chief justice has struggled mightily under rising public expectations to address ethical issues within the court, mostly focused on Justice Thomas, the chief rather than Thomas remains the most influential justice on the court in terms of the outcomes in the court’s opinions.”

Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts was in the majority in divided cases decided by signed opinions 86 percent of the time, second only to Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, at 90 percent. Justice Thomas was last by this measure, at 55 percent.
I have little hope that the Court will render future decisions more to my liking (I’m worried about gun control and especially the teaching of evolution), but he’s proved to be far more of a moderating force than I envisioned.

*Then there’s this article, “Supreme Court Decisions on Education Could Offer Democrats an Opening“, with the subtitle, “The decisions this week on affirmative action and student loans give Democrats a way to make a case on class and appeal to voters who have drifted away from the party,” seems deeply misguided.

Now, in striking down race-conscious college admissions, the Supreme Court has handed the Democrats a way to shift from a race-based discussion of preference to one tied more to class. The court’s decision could fuel broader outreach to the working-class voters who have drifted away from the party because of what they see as its elitism.

The question is, will the party pivot?

Professor Ceiling Cat’s answer is “NO!”. The party is too entangled with race-based identity politics to start messing around with class, even though class is in its roots.


“This is a tremendous opportunity for Democrats to course-correct from identity-based issues,” said Ruy Teixeira, whose upcoming book “Where Have All the Democrats Gone?” looks at the bleeding of working-class voters over the last decade. “As I like to say, class is back in session.”

. . .Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist pressing his party to expand its outreach to the working class, said adding a new emphasis on class consciousness to augment racial and ethnic awareness would fit well with Mr. Biden’s pitch that his legislative achievements have largely accrued to the benefit of workers.

Infrastructure spending, electric vehicles investment, broadband expansion and semiconductor manufacturing have promoted jobs — especially union jobs — all over the country but especially in rural and suburban areas, often in Republican states.

“By next year, Democrats will be able to say we’ve invested in red states, blue states, urban areas, rural areas,” he said. “We’re not like the Republicans. We’re for everybody.”

I suppose it’s possible, but I don’t see it happening. If Uncle Joe (and no, that’s not a slur) starts talking a lot about unions, then we may be seeing a sea change.

*The WSJ’s take on where affirmative action succeeded and where it didn’t argues that the success was in representation and the failures in narrow the income and top-jobs gap.

Decades of affirmative action have increased the racial diversity on some of the most selective college campuses that often serve as the primary pipeline into high-status careers. But there isn’t much conclusive evidence affirmative-action policies have leveled the playing field in the U.S. Even as America overall has become more racially diverse, wealth gaps between whites and many minorities have proved persistent and top jobs remain elusive.

“Affirmative action just means different things in different places,” said Zach Bleemer, an economics professor at the Yale School of Management who studied the impact of California’s 1996 ban on race-conscious admissions. “Because most of society doesn’t enroll at selective universities, the societal effects are necessarily limited.”

And here’s a plot of ethnic diversity in elite colleges. As you see, blacks have done ok, but not as good as Hispanics and international students, and nobody has done even nearly as well as Asians and Pacific Islanders, which means mostly Asians.  Whites have lost the most ground.

The number of Black identifying students enrolled in Ivy League universities increased by 61% between 1980 and 2020, according to federal data. Populations of Hispanic and Asian students each more than quadrupled over the same period.

And the lack of other gains:

Studies have shown that minorities, after graduating, have attained foot-in-the-door positions but leadership roles largely remain out of reach in the legal world, hospitals and corporate boardrooms.

As of 2021, 86% of Fortune 500 chief executives were white men, according to SHRM, a trade organization for HR professionals. Only a handful of Fortune 500 companies have Black CEOs, and people of color remain underrepresented across a host of senior-level positions. A 2021 report by McKinsey & Co. found that under current trajectories, it would take about 95 years for Black employees to reach talent parity across all levels of the private sector.

. . .  white men are disproportionately represented in equity partner ranks, indicating firms are struggling with retention and promotion of the underrepresented attorneys they are getting in the door. In 2022 only 22.6% of women had this top position at firms. For people of color, only 9% held equity partner positions. For nonequity partnerships, women represented 33% and people of color just 13%.

While there may be a tradeoff between equity and merit working here, it may also be explained by sex based differences in preference. Are women less willing to sacrifice “life” in the “work/life balance”?

*How are colleges going to get around the Supreme Court decision and try to keep ethnic diversity up? The Washington Post tells us what some colleges are trying to do. Here are some of the suggestions:

Colleges have potential tools to pursue racial diversity without actually looking at race in admissions. Many of the options are challenging, controversial and maddeningly indirect.

Some steps are straightforward, experts say. Colleges will push harder to obtain diverse applicants from high schools and regions previously overlooked. They will scour an applicant’s essays, recommendations and life experience, often gleaning relevant information about racial and ethnic background. They will fiercely woo underrepresented students who get admission offers.

This implies that there is no “race” box to tick, which I think was made explicit by the Supreme Court. That means they have to guess ethnicity from names, essays, or schools. Doing that, of course, is still adhering to race-based admission that the Supreme Court prohibited, and opens the schools up to statistical monitoring of the type that brought down Harvard.  As I said, expect every elite university in the country to require essays that allow students to freely mention their race. And of course we have to do away with standardized measures of achievement:

Then there are the SAT and the ACT, the standardized tests that most top colleges are likely to continue to make optional, cementing a movement that has reshaped admissions since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. It is harder now, in the ruling’s wake, to envision elite schools reinstating a perceived barrier for those who are disadvantaged and can’t afford pricey tutors to boost their scores. Columbia University and William & Mary are among the schools that have made such test-optional measures permanent.

I favor using tests and grades on top of everything else. What is there to lose? We already now that tutoring doesn’t work very well, and even if you want it there are places to get tutored for free. I do agree with the notion that legacy admissions and athletic admissions should be ditched (getting rid of legacies was Gorsuch’s view in the decision), but that’s not going to happen. Finally, remember that there are nine-states, including California, that already banned race-based affirmative action, and they’ve struggled:

Public universities in nine states with affirmative action bans — including California, Florida and Michigan — have been running for years without race-conscious admissions. Leaders of UC and the University of Michigan warned the Supreme Court that they have tried many race-neutral techniques and still fallen short of their diversity goals. Latino students, state data show, account for about 56 percent of California’s public school enrollment but 19 percent of UC-Berkeley undergraduates.

Admissions leaders at UC-Berkeley, one of the system’s most competitive schools, say they have deepened their efforts to recruit in disadvantaged neighborhoods, expanded Spanish-language outreach and intensified holistic review of applications. U-Michigan has taken similar steps.

In the end, colleges will have to find a way to both obey the law and flout it. This, at least, is what I gather from reading several open letters about the Court’s decision from university presidents. They all read pretty much the same, like the one from the President of Maine’s Bates College:

“We will not allow the Court’s decision to diminish our commitment to our current students or the students we will continue to seek out,” Jenkins and the college’s outgoing president, Clayton Spencer, wrote in a joint statement. “We will take this opportunity to do what we do best: think creatively and experiment with new strategies consistent with the law that will allow us to continue to craft a class with diverse identities, life experiences, interests, and perspectives.”

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili, like Andrzej, doesn’t like litter on the property:

Hili: It doesn’t look good.
A: What doesn’t look good?
Hili: This plastic piece of garbage which the wind blew in.
In Polish:
Hili: To nie wygląda dobrze.
Ja: Co nie wygląda dobrze?
Hili: Ten plastikowy śmieć przyniesiony przez wiatr.

And the lovely Szaron on the outside windowsill, announcing that he wants to come in:


From The Absurd Sign Project 2.0:

A sad cartoon (from Dinos and Comics) sent in by Divy:

From Jesus of the Day:

Here’s Masih being passionate on some Iranian-themed television interview. The Google translation of the caption is this (the 1:24 interview in Farsi has English subtitles):

In these years, I often did not respond to the accusations because my focus is on fighting the monster of the Islamic Republic. Liars have no goal other than to destroy and demonize “outsiders”. In Norway, I never had a meeting with anyone who normalizes the IRGC, Soleimani and the regime. shame on you.

I’m sure you remember this one, which was wonderfully mocked by J. K. Rowling:

Two from Merilee. This guy is very sanguine about sharing his snack with a marmot:

From Simon. What the hell is that cat doing?

From the Auschwitz Memorial; musical talent extinguished in the camp:

Tweets from Matthew. These kids are good, so how come the Brazilian women’s team doesn’t win the women’s World Cup? (They are regularly the best national team in South America.)

This is sort of sad. . . .

Yes, this is terrifying. Look at that leap!

35 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1698 – Thomas Savery patents the first steam engine.

    1723 – Bach’s Magnificat is first performed.

    1776 – American Revolution: The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not adopted until July 4.

    1816 – The French frigate Méduse strikes the Bank of Arguin and 151 people on board have to be evacuated on an improvised raft, a case immortalised by Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa.

    1839 – Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 kidnapped Africans led by Joseph Cinqué mutiny and take over the slave ship Amistad.

    1840 – A Ms  7.4 earthquake strikes present-day Turkey and Armenia; combined with the effects of an eruption on Mount Ararat, kills 10,000 people.

    1853 – The Russian Army crosses the Prut river into the Danubian Principalities (Moldavia and Wallachia), providing the spark that will set off the Crimean War.

    1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds U.S. President James A. Garfield (who will die of complications from his wounds on September 19).

    1897 – British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio in London.

    1900 – An airship designed and constructed by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin of Germany made its first flight on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen.

    1900 – Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia receives its première performance in Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic Society conducted by Robert Kajanus.

    1934 – The Night of the Long Knives ends with the death of Ernst Röhm.

    1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

    1964 – Civil rights movement: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

    1966 – France conducts its first nuclear weapon test in the Pacific, on Moruroa Atoll.

    1986 – Rodrigo Rojas and Carmen Gloria Quintana are burnt alive during a street demonstration against the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

    1990 – In the 1990 Mecca tunnel tragedy, 1,400 Muslim pilgrims are suffocated to death and trampled upon in a pedestrian tunnel leading to the holy city of Mecca.

    1997 – The Bank of Thailand floats the baht, triggering the Asian financial crisis.

    2000 – Vicente Fox Quesada is elected the first President of México from an opposition party, the Partido Acción Nacional, after more than 70 years of continuous rule by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional. [It was also Fox’s birthday – he was born on this day in 1942.]

    2001 – The AbioCor self-contained artificial heart is first implanted.

    2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

    2005 – The Live 8 benefit concerts takes place in the G8 states and in South Africa. More than 1,000 musicians perform and are broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks.

    1489 – Thomas Cranmer, English archbishop, theologian, and saint (d. 1556).

    1714 – Christoph Willibald Gluck, German composer (d. 1787).

    1862 – William Henry Bragg, English physicist, chemist, and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1942).

    1876 – Harriet Brooks, Canadian physicist and academic (d. 1933).

    1877 – Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962).

    1904 – René Lacoste, French tennis player and businessman, created the polo shirt (d. 1996).

    1906 – Hans Bethe, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2005).

    1908 – Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and civil rights activist, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States, and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (d. 1993).

    1925 – Patrice Lumumba, Congolese politician, 1st Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (d. 1961).

    1946 – Richard Axel, American neuroscientist and biologist, Nobel Prize laureate.

    1947 – Larry David, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter.

    1956 – Jerry Hall, American model and actress.

    We all do fade as a leaf:
    1621 – Thomas Harriot, English astronomer, mathematician, and ethnographer (b. 1560).

    1778 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher and composer (b. 1712).

    1850 – Robert Peel, English lieutenant and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1788). [Founded the Metropolitan Police Service and was one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.]

    1961 – Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899).

    1963 – Alicia Patterson, American publisher, co-founded Newsday (b. 1906).

    1973 – Betty Grable, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1916).

    1975 – James Robertson Justice, English actor (b. 1907)

    1977 – Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born novelist and critic (b. 1899).

    1991 – Lee Remick, American actress (b. 1935).

    1993 – Fred Gwynne, American actor (b. 1926).

    1999 – Mario Puzo, American author and screenwriter (b. 1920).

    2010 – Beryl Bainbridge, English screenwriter and author (b. 1932).

    2013 – Douglas Engelbart, American computer scientist, invented the computer mouse (b. 1925).

    2016 – Caroline Aherne, English actress and comedian (b. 1963).

    2016 – Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, activist, and author (b. 1928).

  2. Why is NASCAR attempting to race on the streets of Chicago? It can only be for one reason — looking for fans. Maybe in all the wrong places. If the fan base is reducing and it probably is, they try different things. Understanding car racing is probably as hard as understanding the Supreme Court. Auto racing has always been a struggle between tradition and changing with the technology. NASCAR probably has a harder time of this than nearly all other types of racing. They attempt to continue with a “stock” car idea. Using autos that the average person drives. Not really but maybe kind of use to drive. They refuse to upgrade the technology also a great struggle of some kind. They look more and more out of place in the world today. Maybe the correct question is – why is Chicago letting them do this?

    1. I find the idea that NASCAR uses a “stock car” really quite laughable. The modern NASCAR car uses a steel space frame, a five speed sequential transmission, non standard wheels and tyres and the engines are unlikely to be stock either. The body panels are carbon fibre and kevlar and they all use the same digital dash.

      There are two suppliers for the chassis, neither of which build cars that the average person drives.

      1. Yes, as I said, the struggle to continue with a car that looks like 50 years ago and Richard Petty behind the wheel. The stuff they make the car out of is not the laugh. That they continue with this car is. They even put Chevy, Ford and Toyota on the front of the vehicle. They use carbs that have not been used in many years. They spend lots of time and labor changing tires. The cars are made to go round in circles not thru the city streets. They have changed the rules of how they get to a champion each year until no one can figure it out. Once they produced a play off system like football or baseball, they lost many fans.

    2. Tourism dollars. One of the things the Lightfoot admin did to bring in revenue. On the roads around Chicago, my husband noticed a lot more plates from Texas and Georgia, for instance, than you might expect on a non-Nascar race July 4th weekend.

  3. These kids are good, so how come the Brazilian women’s team doesn’t win the women’s World Cup?

    Because putting together a good football team requires a lot more than eleven people who are really good at keep-uppy.

    It’s likely that this girl is good at football, but it isn’t a given. Furthermore, there are other important factors besides footballing skill. Having a healthy domestic professional game is one. Having the resources to support the national team is another.

      1. Speaking as someone who has played a lot of soccer, and to a decent standard, those tricks are a good indicator of footballing skill. They don’t guarantee competitiveness, athleticism, determination, or tactical awareness (which are probably what’s required to progress above the 95th percentile). However, doing that with a football means you know exactly how to control it, how to keep it near you (and away from others), how to balance, and how to kick/pass/shoot it exactly where you want. These skills are really important.

        Those are necessary skills, and will get you far, but to be a top player you need competitiveness, athleticism, determination and tactical awareness. I have to say though, that the tricks are absolutely incredible. The people in the video are *very* talented, and must have practiced for *thousands of hours*.

        1. Thousands of hours not spent learning calculus and reading the literature of Brazil….or even learning aircraft mechanics for Brazil’s aerospace industry.

          Just wanted to thank you for your comment a few days ago about the bitter pill the young woman has to swallow who trains so hard to be the best only to lose a title to a guy ranked 250th who appears out of nowhere to beat her. You linked to a previous comment you had made, which I remembered reading. I couldn’t reply because the to-and-fro had run out of Reply’s. So I am now. Thanks.

  4. “… students enrolled in Ivy League universities …”

    Why is this important, I ask the WSJ? Anything else matter there?

    That is, isn’t it imperative for the student to match their ability to a university’s teaching pace – ANY university – such that the student “knocks it out of the park”?

    Isn’t that the most meaningful sign of “success”, of any sort? “So what” if it isn’t “Ivy League”.

    1. I’ve always wondered if there was some sort of Ivy League “elite essense” in which one could wallow? Is there a “Harvard-ness” and a “Yale-ness”? To the extent that PhDs are minted at Ivy League schools, when they go to other universities in search of tenure, don’t they bring some of that “Ivy League-ness” with them to rub off on supposedly non-elite undergraduates?

  5. “From Simon. What the hell is that cat doing?”

    I’d guess the cat didn’t like the boat it’s on, wanted to get to something more solid, but didn’t have experience jumping off of fast moving boats to other boats so badly misjudged the distance.

    I thought it was amusing how the woman kept talking to the cat like it could understand her. I do that to some extent, but ultimately knowing that it is useless. If I’m trying to convey something I keep it simple. Yelling “NO!” works maybe half the time to stop whatever it is they’re doing. Instead of saying “Careful please” I would have slowed down and tried to get hold of the cat instead of filming it. Of course, that wouldn’t have made for a funny video.

    By the way, I find it interesting that embedded tweets work even though I can’t see them on Twitter because of the login requirement.

  6. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in college admissions, I have begun to think about what is the purpose of a young person obtaining a college education. I have found a Forbes magazine article from 2019 that states that the purpose of a college has two goals: to get a job and thrive in life. The latter means “to be an engaged and enlightened citizen capable of thinking critically and communicating clearly…” I may be a hopeless idealist, but I’ve always thought that a college education’s primary purpose should be (but clearly isn’t and maybe never was) to imbue the student with wisdom and the tools to acquire it. To learn how to think critically may partially lead the student to the goal of wisdom, but not nearly far enough. So, I need to face reality: colleges are nothing more than vocational schools that train students to get good jobs. In this sense, they are no different than schools that train people that haven’t gone to college for good blue collar jobs, such as those people that fix your air conditioners or car. But, unfortunately in my view, much of society views employment obtained because of possession of a college degree more worthy or prestigious than a skilled job that doesn’t require one.

    Because a college education is primarily vocational training, the kerfuffle about affirmative action in college admissions is over who can get into the relatively few highly selective colleges and by dint of getting degrees from them have the best chance of getting the highest paying jobs and becoming part of society’s elite. There is little discussion whether these schools provide better education than less competitive schools, meaning better teachers. All this adds up for me is that the affirmative action debate bothers me. My view (perhaps a minority one) is that the national debate should not be over who gets into an elite college, but rather how college education in general can be improved to provide the student with more than just vocational training and to honor more those millions of blue collar people that keep society running, literally and figuratively.

    1. I think it has been correctly stated that Thomas attended Yale via affirmative action. That could be a reason to do away with it. Whether we like it or not, the college degree once was worth the effort and at much lower cost because it got you in the door. Without it, many doors were simply closed.

    2. Right on

      ” what is the purpose of a young person obtaining a college education. ”


      There is absolutely no reason a “voc/tech” school cannot require some sort of independent thinking skill. It’s a skill, not a “vessel” to be filled (as pedagogical literature admonishes).

      a _life_ is long – and dynamic….

      [ sigh… in too deep!]…

      Likewise, people need a paying job, or some structure, to live. It is a good thing students just want a job, seek training for that job, and get on with it. Nurses, auto techs, and so on.

  7. Ducey can testify to what was said in the conversation. It is not hearsay as to him. He was a participant and so a percipient witness.

    1. “Ducey can testify to what was said in the conversation.”

      Whatever Trump said to Ducey, we can be pretty sure he didn’t say “if enough fraudulent votes could be found. . . .” (italics mine) as the unidentified source reports. That whole piece is clearly a hatchet job rather than news.

      1. As in Trump’s recorded call with Georgia secretary state Brad Raffensperger, Trump also plainly did not say, “Hey, win or lose, I just want to make sure all the legitimate votes are counted.” What Trump directed Raffensperger and Ducey to do was to “find me enough votes” to beat Joe Biden. These phone calls may not constitute crimes in and off themselves, but they go a long way toward establishing Trump’s criminal state of mind in attempting unlawfully to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 US presidential election.

  8. When will the DEI policies protect the rights of people who identify as plant eaters?

    Because isn’t a diet relevant in the workplace, just like sexual attraction?

    Like when that guy microwaves the day-old fish and harms the vegans. Or when… never mind.

    1. While I am vegan, I would offer up that microwaving fish causes offense to nearly everyone. Common ground can be reached!

      1. [ this is largely for the humor – I am not serious about any moral results that stem from it ]

        Well, what about that burned fake butter popcorn? What’s the more noxious aroma, I’m not sure.

        BTW microwaving a lemon is supposed to help.

        1. Ha, I know you were being facetious, so I was responding in the same vein. You’re dredging up some pretty bad scent memories though, like the time my ex burned microwave popcorn and then tried to cover it up with a floral room spray. Just as a warning to others: that’s the worst thing you can do. Wish he thought of the lemon trick.

  9. The graph of percentages of each ethnic group in college over the years is not the right one to judge this issue. They should have graphed absolute numbers of students, corrected for population growth over those years.

    The conclusion that whites lost ground might be true, but instead maybe the number of white students has stayed stable (or even grown) and there are just more people going to college in more recent years, with the added students mostly belonging to ethnic minorities (as the article implies). If that’s the case, whites haven’t lost ground in any real sense. We can’t know from this graph.

  10. I am inclined to agree with Professor Ceiling Cat’s. The core identity of the modern Democratic party is ‘sex is a spectrum’ and ‘2+2 = white supremacy’. Everything else is just minor league stuff. I vividly remember reading a bitter lament by a liberal/leftist online. He stated ‘we are going to here a lot more about trans than the minimum wage over the next year’. Of course, he was right. Perhaps all of this is wrong (for the Democrats). But it is what the faction that controls the Democratic party really believes.

    The Democratic party of FDR (and JFK) was a blue-collar party and proud of it. That party is dead. For a detailed statistical analysis of this topic, see the work of Piketty (a French Marxist). For better or worse, the takeover of the left by Brahmins (his term) is a global (or at least Western) phenomena. You can find the same trends in the US, UK, France, Germany, etc. Let me use the UK as an example. The coal-mining districts of the UK voted for the Tories.

    It is widely argued that grievance essays will be the new Affirmative Action. That makes a lot of sense. However, these days essays (of all kinds) are suspect. ChatGPT has rendered conventional essay filtering mechanisms obsolete.

  11. About college essays in the post-affirmative action era, this article argues trauma will become an even bigger theme in college essay than it already is.

    “My research showed me that the valorization of trauma narratives is widespread in selective colleges’ admissions departments—and that students from marginalized communities are well aware that their applications have a higher chance of success when they describe the difficulties they’ve faced. …

    This problem could worsen if the Supreme Court disbands affirmative action …

    Race currently shapes students’ essays and how admissions officers read them. The 20 admissions officers I interviewed at competitive private universities for my dissertation (to be completed in 2024) bear this out. … Students from lower-income backgrounds, especially those mentored by college-preparatory nonprofits, write about their trauma. These students typically tell stories about food insecurity, assuming the role of a parent in their households, working at local grocery stores to buy and prepare food for younger siblings, the threat of gun violence on their route to school, and perpetual homelessness.”

  12. For the Democrats to become the party of the working class they will have to first explain why they were insisting that the working class pay the college loans of the elites.

    IMHO, no Biden plan has been more divisive than his plan for taxpayers to pay off student’s college debt.

    College grads mostly voted for Biden, people without a college degree mostly voted for Trump. Only ~30% of American over the age of 24 have a college degree. So those high school grads would have helped pay the loans of the college grads.

    Meanwhile, the lifetime earnings of college grads is about $500k more than those without a college degree.

    Imagine you don’t have a college degree and your college-grad neighbor asks you to pay off her college loan. What is your first question? Where do I send the check? I doubt it.

    1. There must have been some political calculation in the divisive student gift plan. Maybe the Democrats figured that the resenters without college degrees (or debts) weren’t going to vote for them anyway. The group that would benefit—recent grads with useless degrees and huge debts who are disproportionately young, black and female—just needed that extra incentive to get off their butts and come out to vote Democrat. President Biden’s handlers maybe never had any intention of actually paying such a huge sum of free money that would crowd out climate subsidies and aggravate inflation but it sounded good through the mid-term campaign….then ditch it.

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