There are things I don’t like about Pennsylvania. Alcohol laws are a big one.
I once started a blog post called “How to criticize the President” which warned of epistemic closure. I trashed it because it kept coming across as condescending. Saletan’s slate article, however, is a good substitute. The points he makes could be applied to any bandwidth in our political spectrum.
There’s currently a scandal over a Harvard law student’s e-mail discussing whether there are genetic differences between the races in intelligence. The e-mail bothers me less than the reaction, which has been to act as though to even entertain the question is to embrace eugenics and racism. Sullivan’s reader get to the heart of the matter. Our colleges and universities tell us to question all conventional wisdom … until it comes to their conventional wisdom. School is the time to explore ideas, even bad ones. Personally, I think the concepts of “race” and “intelligence” are far too slippery for any firm conclusions to be drawn. And whatever racial differences may or may not exist are dwarfed by differences between individuals and difference in circumstance. But why have a fit because someone asks the question?
And while we’re on the subject of race, the moral equivalence Norquist is trying to draw between the “tea bagger” epithet and the N-word is, indeed, stupid.
Another voucher bill goes down. But the telling this is that inner city Democrats are changing sides. It’s only a matter of time until the education monopoly is broken.