That Damned Gap Again

28 02 2015


An elementary school in the Ritenour district serves as the backdrop for a P-D feature on the tally of non-white first graders surpassing white first-graders in St. Louis County’s public school districts.

Of course, the really big driver is North County getting more and more black by the year.  However, smaller drivers include the fact that the relatively small Hispanic population in and around St. Ann means that the Ritenour district is now 16% Hispanic, and also that the Parkway and Rockwood districts in West County have a significant but nowhere near big percentage of Asian students, Orientals and Subcontinentals.

Predictably, any discussion of race demographics in schools inevitably leads to discussion of:


Closing the gap.

Prosecutorial Discretion

28 02 2015


One of my two favorite judges on the 22nd uses Amendment 5 to throw out a state felon-in-possession case.

There’s still the matter of the Feds, and it makes me wonder why they haven’t swooped in.

As I’m reading all this, then thinking about the Feds, I wonder to myself:  Isn’t the concept of prosecutorial discretion supposed to be the in thing these days?

Leonard Nimoy

28 02 2015

Your Blogmeister’s Desk

I don’t know why Leonard Nimoy’s passing shook me up.  I’m not a Trekkie; yes, I have watched my fair share of Star Trek episodes and a few of the movies in my life, but I’m not a junkie.  And Nimoy was 83 years old; men of that age are living on borrowed time statistically speaking, and men of that age die all the time, I know.

Leave it up to Eric Raymond, who made Ferguson a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt closed case affair on August 18, to answer my question.  Leonard Nimoy was the first real popular culture nerd.

Mohammed Misses Downtown

28 02 2015

Los Angeles

Another episode in “As the Stadium Toast Burns.”


A report commissioned by the developer of a downtown Los Angeles football stadium warns that a rival project nearby could be a potential terrorist target because of its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport.

The report was released Friday at a time when several potential stadium projects are competing to bring an NFL team to Southern California, two decades after the Rams and Raiders exited.

The 14-page report was commissioned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which wants to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles. A development venture linked to St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed a stadium in Inglewood, about 10 miles from downtown.

The report by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge finds that constructing an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood — as close as 2.5 miles from an airport runway — “materially increases the risk of a terrorist event.”

Ridge concluded that in a world in which terrorism is a recognized threat, “the peril of placing a National Football League stadium in the direct flight path of (the airport)” … outweighs whatever benefits it would bring over its lifespan.

The Hollywood Park Land Co., which is developing the Inglewood site, declined comment.

I would decline comment too, if I didn’t want my comments to be in the form of snark, ridicule and insults.

Probably the most publicly digestible thing I could think to say if I was asked to react to this:

“As if Mohammed al-Terroristiqua wouldn’t notice Downtown Los Angeles.”

I guess lobbying-whoring for the Albanian government doesn’t pay as well as it used to, Tom Ridge?

Fifty-Eight Isn’t Enough

27 02 2015

Menlo Park, California

Funny, I always thought two covered ‘em all. With my cisheteronormative self.

So Much to Digest

27 02 2015



Luol Deng’s path of righteousness

On good days, the worst hurled at Luol Deng in grade school were the racist slurs a Sudanese refugee child was far too young to comprehend yet never quite able to forget.

Samara, meaning black.

Hunga bunga, mockery for ape.

Shakshuka, epithet from a cheap north African meal.

On bad days, those classroom slurs escalated to slinging fists in the schoolyard.

“It was just constant,” Deng, a Miami Heat forward, says 25 years later. “I had this one teacher, and as I got older and translated things he used to say, it was racist and hatred stuff he was saying toward me and my brother. A lot of times, we fought because of that stuff.”

Yet this was the better life.

This was the safe haven — the relative oasis — during the early 1990s in Alexandria, Egypt, where Deng and eight siblings fled without their parents to escape a decades-long civil war in their native Sudan between the Muslim north and Christian south. Luol’s father, Aldo Deng, was a Sudanese government official who, according to British media reports, was jailed in 1989 during a violent coup by Muslim rebels who imposed Sharia law.

Racism?  They found some not in an American state that didn’t secede in the 1860s?

Sharia law?  I thought Sharia law was all nice and peaceful, and the only people who worried about it were tinfoil hat Islamophobes.

Of course, we all know that the Sudanese Muslims aren’t for real.  The Mossad created them out of thin air.

The Color of Law

27 02 2015

Buffalo, New York

Bloomberg Business:

The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning

Some schools are eliminating the standard exam requirement in order to make it easier for top students to get into their programs

Two law schools said this month that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country. The State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law said they would admit students from their respective undergraduate colleges based on their grade point average and scores on standardized tests other than the LSAT.

“Taking the LSAT is a pain, and it is expensive,” says James Gardner, dean of SUNY Buffalo’s law school. The test comes with a $170 fee, often in addition to months-long prep courses and tutoring that can cost thousands of dollars. “This is just a way to identify strong-performing students based on perfectly rational criteria that don’t involve the LSAT,” Gardner says.

If the LSAT is g-loaded, then the real reason for this is very similar for the reason why a lot of undergrad schools are making the SAT/ACT optional for admissions. Because diversity. High scorers will self-report to impress the admissions committee, NAMs won’t because they’re NAMs. Therefore, you’ll have a Freshman class that has both a very high SAT/ACT average and high NAM diversity. The dirty little secret is that you’re supposed to walk away thinking the NAMs contributed to the high SAT/ACT average, but they didn’t. Likewise, I think making the LSAT optional for law school is a means to be able to slip more NAMs in.

Currier says doing away with the test might draw people to a career in law who would otherwise go to business or medical school.

Because we’re really suffering for a lack of lawyers.


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