Equity is mediocrity

Virginia Department of Education this week announced the “Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative” (VMPI), a plan to reorient Virginia’s mathematics curriculum that will rid their public schools of all advanced math classes for students prior to the 11th grade. No longer will those students who excel be given the opportunity to challenge themselves until they are almost in college. As the VMPI’s “Essential Concepts” Committee member Ian Shenk admits in their webinar, the new program means removing algebra, geometry, and algebra II from the curriculum for anyone before their junior year in high school.

Advanced math students typically take algebra by 8th grade, and in the webinar the committee even noted students that were taking geometry in 8th grade.

The new program means those kids would be denied those challenges for three years, in which they will be forced to wallow in “learning” concepts they had likely mastered years before.

Why would the Department of Education purposefully hobble the education of its students?

“Equity.” The VMPI even spells it on in PowerPoint: the project’s number one goal is “improving equity in mathematics learning opportunities.”

It’s the Left’s obsession, and like every Leftist obsession, it’s destructive to anything it touches.

Instead of letting advanced students advance, for Virginia’s educrats, “equity” means bringing everyone down to a lower level. It means limiting the opportunities for hard-working, excellent students.

That’s one way to decrease any racial, class, or sex discrepancies in academic excellence. If you don’t allow anyone to excel, everyone will be limited to mediocrity.

That’s generally been the Left’s way, anyway, so it should come as no surprise. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

It’s similar to how the Left speaks of billionaires. Bernie Sanders can bleat about how “billionaires should not exist.” He doesn’t explain why billionaires should not exist, of course.

Whatever else they are, billionaires are often people who excelled at business. But the real problem is that billionaires are powerful, and for the Left, all power must be held by the Left.

Billionaires might have visions that their billions allow them to accomplish, like eliminating malaria or becoming a multi-planet species. Sorry, Bernie, but we should have more billionaires, not fewer. Wouldn’t mind being one myself, truth be told (though to be fair, Bernie’s got a significant head start on me, if this is a race).

It’s better than he Left’s alternative vision: “equity” in mediocrity.

The Post Office again shows why you should not be on Facebook

Well, no surprise, instead of actually delivering mail, the Postal Inspection Service is now worried about scanning for “inflammatory” content. Not actual crimes mind you, but people trying to protest or organize rallies. And not just any protests, like the “peaceful” protests last summer, but any that would be considered “right wing.”

I predict that not only will the USPIS (yup, that’s an acronym only the government can get behind) not find a whole lot, but it will simply drive people underground. It’s too easy to simply not use social media to organize, and if you’re really smart, you’ll organize using something like Signal, which actively makes fun of government organizations trying to break its code and encryption. Anyone using Facebook to organize is a fool and won’t last long.

I’m not a fan of government abusing authority to monitor for non-crimes, so here are a ton of resources you should use to keep the Postal Service’s “elite” force from spying on your non-COVID friendly BBQ:

  • Identity and Privacy Guide. Yup, its a government site. For SEALs. Because lots of foreign governments want to use social media to identify and influence Special Operators. So you can use the same guide they do for keeping their information safe.
  • NCIS Social Media Handbook. Not as cool as the TV show, but this guide helps you secure most of the privacy settings on popular social media.
  • Identity Force Blog. A good read for actual outlines of how bad things happen online.

Ironically, none of these cover Parler or Gab, both of which are considered bad places to be, or so Wikipedia told me, and I would trust Wikipedia to never, ever lie to me.

Here’s the reality. While stupid people will use social media to organize and commit crimes, those are easy to find. I’m more worried about the people with real skills organizing off social media. Those people could plot high end crimes that we’ll never see coming. Those are people like the Unabomber, who unlike the fools on Facebook actually killed people and was difficult to track down. These people will require actual focus, time and effort to track down and stop, and that’s exactly what we aren’t doing when we waste time scanning social media.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

A Few Photos and Videos from the Tender Bar Shoot in my neighborhood earlier this month with Ben Affleck and George Clooney

There are the people in my neighborhood

One of the interesting things about having part of a movie shot in your neighborhood is the number of people who turn up, both your neighbors who you end up talking to and people from around the area. While I went outside a couple of times my wife spent most of the day outside getting up very early and taking photos and videos with the camera I usually use for interviews (which have been few and far between due to work and COVID although I had a pair of Catholic ones this week, more on that tomorrow). She pretty much shot a bunch of one minute clips and a fair amount of photos till she came home tired around 2 and crashed. The biggest take away I got from them was that despite the better pay a lot of acting, at least in movies which aren’t on the same deadline as a weekly TV show, is that like any other job there is a fair amount of tedious repetition.

Because she took so many shots I’m only uploading a few plus three videos. Be aware that the date on the Camera was set wrong. While the shoot had been scheduled for the 7th it was actually done on the 8th.

There are plenty more but I think this gives the gist of what is going on with the police controlling the crowd and traffic and the guys in charge letting people know when to be quiet etc.

I figured the Diner would have done pretty well with these folks but alas for Ed because there were three different days when the shooting might have taken place his regulars stayed away those days and he only got a quick burst of business when they called lunch the day of the shooting which didn’t make up for it.

Anyways here are the three videos here is one with a shot of their car pulling out

My wife shot a lot of those, didn’t upload the others since they were pretty much the same. DaWife says they did it about five times. Each time they pull out, when Clooney calls cut Affleck backs up and they get ready to do it again.

Here is another shot of Clooney joking with the kid and Affleck before another shot. This would be just visible from my front yard.

And finally here is a 3rd shot of him directing the kid before another shot and then the shot itself. The antique cars were parked in the neighborhood for about a week before the shoot but then again I’m old enough that to me they don’t seem like antiques they’re just the cars I remember from the 70’s. In fact my 1st two cars were a 67 Barracuda and a 75 Buick LeSabre both convertables.

My chief interest in all of these is how the work is actually done as I’m not experienced in it. Granted it’s not work in the sense that my dad worked or that I or my sons or my wife do but it’s work and it takes them away from their homes for long periods of time. Granted it would have been cool to get Clooney to sign the season 1 of ER that I bought my wife 20+ years ago and my son had hoped to get a Batman comic signed by both as they each (Clooney meh, Affleck actually very good) played the role but there was none of that.

And frankly in an age of cancel culture where people are looking to bring down folks for saying or doing the wrong thing the last thing you really want to do is mix with a bunch of strangers with cameras any one of whom might hold a grudge and be looking to get their 15 min of fame by giving you grief. That realization precludes Jimmy Stewart’s old advice to Raquel Welch about fans and autographs these days and must be a pain in the neck, particularly if someone happens to be affable by nature who previously enjoyed meeting the fans.

At least the pay is good.

As I said there are a lot more pictures and a lot more video but they seem too repetitive to upload to youtube and given how close to the vest things have been around here I can’t justify the extra bandwidth charges to put them all up. Feel free to hit DaTipJar to offset those costs.