Magnum Opus Miscellanea


Courage – few Republicans have had the courage to resist the din beginning to overpower the dog whistles. John McCain was one when he told the woman who did not trust Obama because he was an Arab that Obama was a good American, a family man, with whom he had substantial disagreements. But McCain proves my point: the Republican base despises him and all Republicans who do not back up the narrative that Obama is an alien, alien to America, Sarah Palin’s line. So now when courageous voices are needed against Trump, they cannot be found because over time this din of invective and racist garbage has emerged from the pool halls and beer parlors and now is heard as the standard narrative of who anyone who treats Obama as anything other than subhuman really is. We who support the President are traitors to America because there is only one America and it is White, Christian, conservative though not Conservative, and this narrative has overwhelmed a reasonable Conservative pov to the extent that anyone not on the far right gets no traction – witness John Kasich, extremely Conservative, way beyond my toleration, but rejected by the conservatives.


Did I marry into a Black family or did my wife marry into a White family? A matter of perspective. At the time , due to restrictions on Blacks, there was not much sense in seeing her as marrying into a White family even though that was the fact because none of the benefits of being White would accrue to her while the disadvantages (and advantages) of my marrying into a Black family were apparent. Nowadays, were a White person to marry a Black person, one could certainly say the Black person had married into a White family.

In textbooks for students studying U.S. government and history, what we call civics, the multiethnic makeup of the country is stressed. In the face of that, there is often voiced the notion that the melting pot view of American society is that these ethnics groups lose their culture and are absorbed into a general U.S. culture. That latter culture is often defined as pragmatic, freedom-loving, hard-working, and adventurous. It is the culture I have dubbed Norwegian, a shorthand for the Midwestern culture, primarily Protestant, White, European in origin, with occupation backgrounds in agriculture and industry.

Where did this idea come from that being an American meant being absorbed into this Norwegian culture, what many call Heinz 57 or mutt or general American? The culture labeled Yankeedom by Colin Woodard has always frowned upon non-conformity. If the community is to be successful, then everyone has to be on board in terms of values and behaviors. The community provides for everyone – contrary to the Appalachian attitude that it’s every man for himself – but in turn everyone has to conform to the values and behaviors deemed acceptable by the Yankeedom culture. Foreignness is frowned upon, difference is regarded with suspicion, and every effort is made to absorb the recalcitrant into the dominant paradigm.

Contrary to that is the culture Woodard dubs Midlands, made up primarily of people of German ethnicity, tolerant of individuality without making it into an idol as the Appalachians do. Each person minds his own business and everyone works hard to be successful and helps others to be so. It is hard to find anything out of sorts with this Midlands culture other than it lacks the passion of conversion of the Yankees, the stubborn rejectionist stance of the Appalachian, the haughty superiority of the Southerner and Tidelanders, but it does allow everyone to get along and work together. Or so it seems.


Puritan origin of education – see

The idea of charter schools was proposed by a union founder, Al Shanker! The idea was that a school in the public system would be freed up from the administrative tangles that result from running any large system, freed up to innovate. A good example is my son. He worked in two charters which had problems, basically both were run by a coterie which could not tolerate his way of dealing with things. No one said he was not a good teacher or did not get along with everyone; no, he just did not fit into the tight little group that had started these charters. Two years in a public school got him the experience he needed and now he has gone back to a charter situation because there he can advance using his innovative ideas whereas in a public school he would have to get in line and wait maybe ten years for a principalship. Plus he would have to conform to guidelines set by others. That was the true purpose of charters but the extractors found the mine and skimmed the top off the mountain to grab the gold and run, leaving a mess behind. Arizona is one of the worst states for that because of cronyism among Republicans and their business allies. The people behind my son’ss new situation are all business people who seem to truly want a good school to serve inner-city kids. I’ll be reporting on my blog.

My son remarked that my granddaughter’s school raised in two weeks enough money to pay for I Pads for every student – I call it the Intel school because so many kids’ parents work there. Money.

Fascinating map. Slowly scroll the arrow over the map for various districts. Standfield and A.J., Cartwright, Chandler, Mesa, etc. Surprisingly, Chandler is quite low in funding but does very well. What is the explanation for that?


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