Charles Blow, teacher hater in disguise

Charles Blow on teaching:

That’s why I have a hard time tolerating people who disproportionately blame teachers for our poor educational outcomes. I understand that not every teacher is a great one. But neither is every plumber, or every banker or every soldier. Why then should teachers be demonized so much?

In what universe are historically high test scores* and graduation rates “poor educational outcomes”?

The take-home message of Blow’s column is “Teachers suck** because we don’t respect them enough.” Which is weird, because he also seems to be saying that his mom was a good teacher, no matter what others were saying about her.

More respect for teachers, yes. That starts with recognizing the good results they’re getting (that doesn’t prevent us from looking for places to improve!) instead of just crapping all over their work without even looking at the numbers.

*Scroll to page 5.

**Unsurprisingly, Blow suggests tying teacher pay to test scores and taking away union power as ways to get better results, even though he doesn’t even know what those results are. You could ban all unions and pay each teacher as a direct function of the number of their students who pass a standardized test, and Blow would have no idea if his ideas worked. But you can’t stop these folks: it’s “unions and workers suck” all day, every day.


Hem and haw like me on Obama and marriage

Dustin Lance Black wrote a murky op-ed about Obama and marriage. Still supports Obama because Obama’s better than Romney but someone’s got to pull support from him if he doesn’t eventually evolve, but who knows when?

Melanie Nathan responded with a column saying that she’s troubled by Obama’s position is better than Romney’s and that he’ll eventually come around. Not STFU but pretty close.

Black responds with how his inchoate opinion was misunderstood, and his stance is actually a lot like Nathan’s wishy-washy position.

The political debate that defined a generation!

The only gay in the Romney campaign

Is now gone after conservatives raised a ruckus over him being hired. 

From what I can tell in the comments and a few sources linked at the link, conservatives mostly object to being called anti-gay for demanding that an openly gay staffer be fired for being gay. They argue that Romney should be allowed to hire whoever he wants, which apparently means that no one is allowed to look at his hiring choices.

I know, I know, someone is wrong on the internet, what else is new. 

Rush Limbaugh crushes anti-gay marriage argument

Rush just can’t wrap his mind around the fact that people think that what’s normal today hasn’t necessarily been normal for the last 100,000 years (a decent approximation of the age of the human race, actually; the planet’s just a little older).

It’s pretty much the opposite of social conservatism, which posits that what’s normal today is normal because it’s the best thing possible so it should never be changed (think Burke). Also, colonialism.

But heck, if he thinks that we should stop using our own lives as a metric of what’s normal or what’s good, I’m not going to disagree. Something tells me, though, that he isn’t thoughtful enough to take this philosophy to its logical conclusion.

Radio DJ: Have your lesbian daughter raped

People don’t really seem to know whether he was joking or not, but how in the world would a joke like this work?

GOProud attacks Dan Savage

If GOProud and their ilk put half the energy into fighting homophobia as they put into being the “Even some gay people agree…” group….

Yes, I’m Madame L

Lots of work this week that’s still not done, but I thought I’d get this anecdote down before I forget it. I just had a phone call that went something like this:

Me: Hello.

Caller: Hello, may I please speak with Monsieur L-?

Me: He’s not here right now.

Caller: Then may I speak with Madame L-?

Me: That’s me.

Caller: I don’t understand.

Me: I’m his partner.

Caller: I didn’t know I was calling a business line.

Me: No, this is a house.

Caller: And who do I have the honor of addressing?

Me: I’m Monsieur B-, Monsieur L-‘s partner.

Caller: Oh! OK. (pause) It’s all the same. I’m with company X and we specialize in buying gold…

Me: No thanks!

Sandra Fluke is a lesbian!

Monica Crowley sucks as a human being, but it’s also just a reminder that women can never win in the mind of a sexist, no matter what they do.

Fluke speaks up so she’s a slut, having so much sex with men that no one should listen to what she has to say. But she’s also a hairy, smelly lesbian! Hahahahaha!

Ooooooohhhhhhh… I guess you just had to have voted for Bush to get the joke.

No one will just be openly racist

Atrios discusses the First Paradox of Conservative Thought: Why do they simultaneously want to disarm everyone and interpret the Second Amendment as saying that anyone can carry a gun everywhere?

Really, you’d think the two contradictory ideas would cause more conflict, until you realize that they both come from the same place: a Manichean worldview. The good guys should all be armed, the bad guys should never be armed.

That’s putting it in the best light. In reality, since you can’t tell if someone is good or bad just by looking at them, it comes down to race. Atrios’s “Take guns away from people” example referred to taking guns away from Middle Eastern (et al.) people, while the “Arm everyone” example, we found out during the Trayvon Martin tragedy, is really “Arm all white people.” (If it means anything else, then the NRA would have said that Trayvon should have been packing heat to protect himself from people like George Zimmerman. That response to any sort of violence is a reflex for those folks and the fact that they wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole means something.)

They think it’s a war. That’s it. They want one side armed and the other side disarmed. It’s that simple.

Romney wants to be Bush’s third term

Liberals couldn’t write this stuff themselves.