Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Monday, November 29, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
|That moment has passed. Nearly two decades later, I would now cross the street to avoid some of the people who were at my New Year’s Eve party. They, in turn, would not only refuse to enter my house, they would be embarrassed to admit they had ever been there. In fact, about half the people who were at that party would no longer speak to the other half. The estrangements are political, not personal. Poland is now one of the most polarized societies in Europe, and we have found ourselves on opposite sides of a profound divide, one that runs through not only what used to be the Polish right but also the old Hungarian right, the Spanish right, the French right, the Italian right, and, with some differences, the British right and the American right, too."|
This is Anne Applebaum's personal account of the decline of Western liberal democracy and the rise of authoritarianism.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Friday, November 19, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
At the November 15, 2021, Richardson ISD school board meeting, roughly thirty people spoke during the public comment section of the meeting. By my rough estimate, the speakers were evenly divided. Call it what you will. Left vs Right. Liberal vs Conservative. Masked vs Unmasked. Vaxed vs Unvaxed. Pro-DEI vs Anti-CRT. I became increasingly annoyed at something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then it struck me. It was like watching improv at a comedy club when the actors don't know the first rule of improv.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
"June 10, 2019, is a big day," Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. "It's a big, big day." It was the day that the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees adopted the RISD Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Policy in a unanimous 7-0 vote. "Once approved, trustees and members of the public delivered a standing ovation."
That was 2019. It was the same year that RISD adopted a 5-2 single-member district voting system, putting to rest a lawsuit against the district for violating voting rights of minorities. It was the same year the Texas PTA named Dr. Jeannie Stone "Superintendent of the Year." All of that was just two years ago, but somehow it now seems like so long ago.
Monday, November 15, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021
|"Indians," like Jews, Gypsies, slaves, and "free negroes," wrote the Georgia Journal in 1825, were "a kind of citizens of an inferior order." What was to be done with them? By the 1830s, the expression "the Indian question" was circulating widely in the United States."|
The answer to the question posed by Georgia whites in 1825, was voluntary self-deportation, forced expulsion, or not necessarily as a last resort, extermination.
Thursday, November 11, 2021
"RISD’s diversity is a community strength, and as educators we have an obligation to curate an inclusive academic and social culture rooted in equitable practices and opportunities."
So states the Richardson ISD. The policy was developed by the RISD community. Apparently not everyone is on board.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
The Richardson ISD is performing its first-ever redistricting exercise, having just adopted single member districts in 2019. Monday night, at the meeting of the RISD Board of Trustees, the three maps that the district is considering were shown to the public for feedback.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Monday, November 8, 2021
The City Council of Richardson held three secret meetings to set their Council Goals for the 2021-2023 term. I say secret because there were no videos. There were no minutes. The only way for you to know what was said, and by whom, was if one of the three members of the public who managed to find their way upstairs to the chamber of secrets told you what happened. Your faithful correspondent was one of them. You can read about that part of the story using the links at the bottom of this post.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the exhibit "Van Gogh and the Olive Groves" at the Dallas Museum of Art. It includes a series of paintings made between June and December, 1889, while Van Gogh was a patient at the asylum of Saint-Rémy. The man was clearly on a roll in the last year of his life. One Van Gogh painting (not in this exhibit) sold at auction in 2017 for $81 million dollars. Going by that, this one small room in the DMA contains perhaps a billion dollars worth of art. The exhibit has a letter from Van Gogh to his brother on display in which Van Gogh said he was working on a series of of paintings of olive groves with a hope of selling them for "ornamentation for bourgeoisie homes." That's some decoration!
Click for a bonus photo.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021
The trustees of the Richardson ISD school board held a three hour training session Tuesday night on team-building. You might think this was well-timed, given recent events, but it's been on the board calendar all year. Texas State law requires team-building training every year. This week was RISD's turn. The trainer was Kay Douglas from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). She was excellent. She is knowledgeable, experienced, and generous with sharing her learned wisdom.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Monday, November 1, 2021
- 2021-10-01: A look at redistricting...102 Ana Marie Ramos is safely D. (Richardson south of Belt Line). 112 Angie Chen Button leans R. (Richardson Dallas Co. north of Belt Line). 33 Justin Holland is safely R. (east Richardson Collin Co).
- 2021-10-02: An overtime thriller, Berkner over Pearce 34-32. Three, four, five overtimes, any way you count it, a thriller.
- 2021-10-02: Technically, I guess it was five overtimes. Whew! Tell the kids that's what all the August conditioning is for.
- 2021-10-02: Headline: "An American tragedy: US COVID death toll tops 700,000." I can't work up any sympathy for anti-vaxers and anti-maskers. I'm all out.
- 2021-10-02: Recent Covid-19 deaths. There's a vaccine that saves lives. Get it.
After the jump, more random thoughts.
There's a gaping divide in politics today, and nowhere is it on show more than in schools across the country. Richardson ISD is no exception, where the school board president abruptly resigned, in part no doubt because of public invective hurled at her and in part perhaps because of a split on the school board on how to deal with a pandemic.