Re: A Dee Doo Dah

1

Fascinating. A comparison of my zip code with my mom's is quite illuminating.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:22 PM
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Wow. The difference in median income between my old neighborhood and my current one is about 40K.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:23 PM
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Gaaaaaah I will kill you, Comcast, if you don't put on the Texas game!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:29 PM
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In my zip the median household income is $19,337 and 33 percent of the population are below the poverty line. That's what you get for living downtown, I guess.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:35 PM
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Becks has been called in to search for the mayor?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:36 PM
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Mine's a poorer neighborhood, with everything that goes with it, than I would have guessed.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:36 PM
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Zips don't really map onto neighborhoods, though.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:36 PM
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I suppose this is what you'd expect a college campus to look like. Also.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:41 PM
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I looked up my parents' neighborhood. Nearly 98% of adults there finished high school, but only 40% finished college. Where I live now, only 80% finish high school, but over 55% finish college, and more than half of them go to grad school. This is a very east coast problem, as far as I can tell. There are people who get 24 years of education, and then others who get 8. Where I grew up, most people got 12-16 years. It's a much more intellectually homogenous population.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:41 PM
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10

Interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:45 PM
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This is a very east coast problem, as far as I can tell.

Seems like it. Most of the zips around here are more like your parents'.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:46 PM
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That's what you get for living downtown, I guess.

Yup.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:48 PM
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rich


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:49 PM
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It's a much more intellectually homogenous population

Maybe it is, but if we can question whether zips map to neighborhoods, we can ask if education always maps to intellectuality. It wasn't always so, and I wonder how much divergence in these two qualities persists.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:50 PM
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When my mom was in grad school at Stanford she once housesat for some people in Atherton. The house was apparently incredible.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:50 PM
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16

This is the federal poverty line, right? In my zip code, the median income is $38,674, while the percentage of those living below the poverty line is 16.2%. But my zip is in NYC, where the cost of living is much higher than the national average.

Which is relevant to some of the highly misleading arguments the GOP has put forth in support of Bush's veto of the Child Health Care Bill.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:50 PM
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17

Uh, that should be my aunt in 15, not my mom.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:51 PM
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18

I was thinking the same thing -- my zip's median income is $29K, and the percent below the poverty line is coincidentally 29%. But in NYC, that's a tougher row to hoe than in North Dakota.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:52 PM
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19

A South Dakota zip.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:55 PM
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20

The rural poor

Back when I was contemplating what would happen if I couldn't go away to college or my family all died and I had to work to support my sister, I noticed that there were 1-bedroom apartments in Glen Lyon renting for about $110 per month. It's on the Wilkes-Barre-Nanticoke bus line that runs about 12 times a day. I could get by.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:56 PM
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21

It would be awesome if you could see how the data corresponds with topographic maps of the zips. My parents' old neighborhood was in a hill residential area, and I wouldn't be surprised if the richest were higher on the hill, the median near where the hill became steeper - it sort of flattened out here - and below the median further down the hill.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:57 PM
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22

What I always wonder about NYC is how much the life there is different—car much less necessary, for instance—and how much people somehow getting by despite incomes way below poverty implies some participation in the underground economy, or at least the grey. There's a great deal of that in Chicago, and NYC would seem to require more to get by.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:58 PM
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How come 57577 has 23.5% unemployment and 57716 has 4.5% unemployment, but the former has twice the median income of the latter?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:58 PM
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21: My zip has that in spades. I'm on a steep hill -- one of the streets going up it does that 'giving up on being a road and turning into a flight of stairs' thing. And the median income on the top of the hill has got to be double that at the bottom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 2:59 PM
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22 is correct. I was way below the poverty line for at least a year, but it's extremely easy to score free food, especially if you have one nice outfit for going to gallery openings in. (I couldn't afford fruit, which is always plentiful at those things.) It's a lot harder, of course, if you don't have a place to sleep and get clean, or a nice outfit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:02 PM
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These really differ a lot in the small towns. This place is very similar to the one I linked in 20, but it says there's no poverty instead of 25% poverty. Even with 0% of the population having gone to college.

Maybe it's all unionized nuclear power plant workers, I have no idea.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:02 PM
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27

Looking at statistics like this tells you one thing that's more surprising than anything else -- the education statistics.

75% of the parents of my elementary-school and middle-school classmates didn't have college degrees? Really? They seemed pretty similar to my parents.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:05 PM
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23: Probably because the people in the former who have jobs have much better jobs than the people in the latter have.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:05 PM
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29

In New York, like in a lot of cities, people gather food outside of stores.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:05 PM
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30

29: The toxins in the fish seem to have finally caught up with Miguel Tejada's stats this year.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:07 PM
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31

I have mixed feelings about bringing it up: On the one hand, I want to acknowledge and respect people's resourcefulness, on the other hand, it can play into the right's hands, implying that poverty isn't what it seems.

Saying they can always go to emergency rooms is an example of what use the right makes of the facts.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:19 PM
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Only 4% of the people in my home zipcode (where my parents still live) have a bachelors degree. I guess that seems about right if you look at my H.S. graduating class - it's a bit over 4%, but you'd expect there to be more in the younger generation - but I still was surprised.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:19 PM
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33

Amazingly it says that 5ish per cent of Greenwich Connecticut live below poverty level.


Posted by: billyfrombelfast | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:42 PM
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34

Someone's got to mow the lawns.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:43 PM
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35

The poverty level is tied to income, right? You could be at the tail end of your pile of money, elderly, and doing just fine, but still be below the poverty level. Or do I have that wrong?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:45 PM
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36

My hometown, with a 'stability' of... Same home 5+ years: 72.5%


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 3:47 PM
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37

35: That's right, it's income, not wealth. Wealth is a bitch and a half to measure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:04 PM
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38

Damn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:07 PM
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39

Rural zips in scenic areas are fucked up. The income distribution is basically a donut; a bunch of people on the low end, and a bunch on the high end, and absolutely nothing in the middle.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:15 PM
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40

I think this is the zip code of the ranch where Dick Cheney shot that man in the face. Note the distribution of incomes. And the population density.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:16 PM
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41

The zip code in #39 has 27 people in it, and the one in #40 has 86 people in it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:17 PM
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42

Huh. Probably not anymore, but I bet the Hamptons used to look like that. The real locals who worked on clam boats or farms, and then a top layer of rich people with beach houses.

By now I think the fisherman and farmers are pretty much gone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:17 PM
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43

Now here's what you call a fucking outlier.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:25 PM
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44

That one's got to be sampling error.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:29 PM
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45

No one in Esopus has a college degree, but they all make more than 200K/year?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:29 PM
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46

51 people and 100% are married, with none being divorced, separated, or widowed. I can say with absolute certainty that someone is committing bigamy there.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:30 PM
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47

And they've got a couple of married couples under 9?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:31 PM
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48

Yeah, Magpie and I were trying to figure out what the hell the deal with Esopus was.

Looking at the top zip codes by population density is entertaining. You have to go down to #4 before you get outside of NYC (and then you hit Trenton), and all the way down to #31 before you find anything outside of the New York metropolitan area.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:32 PM
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49

The Kiryas Joel data is surprisingly normal. Except for all the young people.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:32 PM
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50

scenic areas and downtowns of real cities: eat your donuts.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:33 PM
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51

And there are a lot of women in their 50's and 80's, and a lot of guys in their 30's, but they're all married? It is kind of funny to imagine this as an actual community of extraordinarily high-earning sales reps with high-school educations who are all married to one another. Maybe it is a social experiment?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:33 PM
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48: That would be down to 31 before you find another zip code outside the NYC city limits. The zips that don't say NYC are Queens or Bronx.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:35 PM
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53

Don't forget Unfogged's benchmark zipcode.

3: Pity you can't watch it. It's a good one, and is on TV here in 94122, where the stupid Blue Angels have been buzzing the 'hood for the last couple hours.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:36 PM
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Interesting, #48.

For Pennsylvania the top 22 are in Philadelphia. Then
#23 is right next to Philadelphia. Then one in Allentown, then the zip code in which I currently live (surprising-- we don't have any high rise buildings). 42 of the top 50 are in Philadelphia.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:37 PM
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51: I'm picturing some kind of freaked-out group marriage funded by an incredibly lucrative mine of some sort, or other natural feature. Like, the $200K incomes come from gathering some special breed of mushrooms that only grow in Esopus, and selling them to Japanese gourmets, or mining an incredibly rich but very small vein of gemstones.

Or sampling error. One or the other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:37 PM
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56

The zips that don't say NYC are Queens or Bronx.

11226 is gonna kick your ass for that remark.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:38 PM
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57

Look at the percentage of 0-9 yo kids in KCMO. This has to be an error, right?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:39 PM
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58

A median age of 11? Sounds normal to me. KCMO is in Burkina Faso, right?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:41 PM
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59

53: Too bad you don't live in 94111, where you might at least get to see some of their tricks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:41 PM
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56: Whoops.

You know, if you count it up, NYC has 84 of the top hundred population density zips. I'm really kind of surprised -- Manhattan, sure, but that other big cities don't have more parts that are as dense as Brooklyn or Queens or the Bronx? I wouldn't have guessed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:42 PM
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57: It's a pretty small population. Could there be some sort of institution with a couple of hundred kids in it?

Nah, doesn't sound likely. Sampling error again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:44 PM
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I'm really kind of surprised -- Manhattan, sure, but that other big cities don't have more parts that are as dense as Brooklyn or Queens or the Bronx? I wouldn't have guessed.

I would have figured more neighborhoods in San Francisco would be on that list, but then again SF proper is so small that there just aren't enough zip codes to make up for the sheer size of NYC.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:44 PM
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63

2 Los Angeles zipcodes on that list.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:47 PM
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57: It's a pretty small population. Could there be some sort of institution with a couple of hundred kids in it?

We've discovered a secret child labor camp! Quick, figure out how to use data mining to uncover other crimes, like bigamy and violations of the Mann Act!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:47 PM
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But Chicago. It's got only one or two zips on the list? That's a big urban city, and big chunks of it look as dense as Queens.

If the list is accurate, NYC is even weirder than I'd realized.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:49 PM
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66

It's even more striking if you look at the density of doormen per square mile.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:49 PM
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67

All the towns with median ages in the mid-80s is interesting. I'm guessing the people who work in retirement communities must live in other ZIP codes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:52 PM
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68

Looking at the zip codes sorted by lowest median age certainly gives you an odd list. I'm guessing a bunch of Indian reservations?

And creepy too. #2 on the list, Colorado City AZ, is where this sort of thing goes on. I wonder what's happening now that Warren Jeffs is in prison.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:54 PM
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69

68 -- Some Indian reservations...a bunch of college campuses...and 16 zip codes in Alaska?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:56 PM
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70

Speaking of plural marriage, Colorado City, AZ is not as short on men in the 20-40 range as you might expect, but it sure has a lot of children.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:56 PM
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If the list is accurate, NYC is even weirder than I'd realized.

According to Wikipedia, ~7% of the country's population lives in the NY metropolitan area alone. Yeah, NYC is out there.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 4:57 PM
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72

This place certainly has a, um, sparse map for a zip code containing 1,800 people.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:00 PM
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73

In rural areas, zip codes can be misleading. They often include areas that are not particularly close to the primary community.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:04 PM
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74

Oddly enough, while riding just now and thinking of this thread, I was thinking Chicago is different from NYC in that the part corresponding to Manhattan, while not small, is relatively smaller, and the part corresponding to Queens is relatively much larger.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:07 PM
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75

The area mentioned in 72, btw, is extremely rural.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:08 PM
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76

Compare this one, which contains 13,000 people.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:14 PM
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77

Is apo around? I'm sitting in a bar in Raleigh right now. I don't know why I didn't think to call for a NC meetup.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:25 PM
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78

Our ZIP code recently changed. We went from an area with 38.9% people married and a median household income of $42,110 to an area with 77.1% people married and a household income of $124,434 -- without moving house.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:29 PM
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79

78: Based on that, your house appears to be neither on the right nor the wrong side of the tracks, but located on the tracks themselves. I'd move.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:34 PM
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80

I used to hate all our poor, single neighbors for making noise and trashing the neighborhood. Now I hate all our rich, married neighbors for their fancy cars and private schools.

Everywhere's a misanthrope's paradise.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:37 PM
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81

Or just wait for the train.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:37 PM
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82

My eyeballing tells me that my neighborhood has seen a significant influx of young people just over the past year. I conclude that Boom 2.0 is going strong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:40 PM
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83

My eyeballing... young people

Somebody needs a date.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:47 PM
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84

It's all geekhead dudes, this influx.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:48 PM
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85

Mine confirms my belief that everyone in this town who owns a house is leveraged to their eyeballs (unless they're old and bought it twenty years ago, in which case the wealth/income gap comes into play)>


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:51 PM
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86

Ooh, yeah, that does sound as if it'd be a brute for someone with a typical income in your zip to actually buy a house there. Why do people do the crazy leveraging things?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:56 PM
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87

I guess because there's no other way? And this is a lot more "affordable" than LA.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 5:58 PM
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88

Well, there's renting, there's living in a cheaper area -- I know people get sold a bill of goods about how you have to buy a house or you're not a real person, but it just surprises me how house-poor they're willing to make themselves.

But I'm way, way on the financially cautious side, so I'm largely just reacting to "Why isn't everyone exactly like me?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:01 PM
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89

Let's see: USA Today says the median housing price in the county is 567,000. It's going to be a little higher in Ventura proper; a lot of the county is rural,ish, and Oxnard (to the south) is bigger and browner and supposedly has "gang problems." So factor that into the question of how the heck people with those incomes and that number of kids buy their low-density housing; I have no clue.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:02 PM
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88: Well yeah, me too, obviously. In my case financial caution's combined with resentment.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:03 PM
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91

The ZIP code I grew up in: median income 20,800; 15% bachelors or higher; below poverty line 19%.

I think there are some issues associated with the sample size, because the census data say 0% are employed in farming/fishery/forestry, in a community where the only economic base is agriculture.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:45 PM
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Feel the honkiness of Sandy, UT that's a mere 90 percent white. The blacks are coming on strong though, all the way up to .5 percent.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:49 PM
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93

Well, there's renting, there's living in a cheaper area

In quite a lot of the cheaper areas of L.A. the schools are kind of shitty. Where I grew up, Arcadia and San Marino both have really good high schools, and wealthy east Asians have moved in in droves so their kids can go to those high schools.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:52 PM
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94

But we've talked about 'kind of shitty' schools -- they get that way because of middle-class flight. If middleclass people were staying in neighborhoods they could afford, the schools wouldn't be that terrible (and I'd guess that they're mostly not that bad now).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:54 PM
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Bicknell has Sandy beat for honkiness, I'm afraid.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:54 PM
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Feel the honkiness of Sandy, UT that's a mere 90 percent white

So your white power act is compensating for the brownness of your surroundings: the town I grew up in is 94% white (but obviously zipskinny is counting the heebs as white). My current zip is 69% white, but I'm pretty sure the town as a whole is minority white.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:56 PM
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You West Coast people don't know what honky really means. "Hispanic" you say? Never heard the term.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 6:59 PM
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98

Luckily, there are other parts of Utah that make up for the honkiness somewhat.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:00 PM
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74% Latino, 7% black in my zip. Buck comes downtown occasionally and gets weirded out by being surrounded by honkies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:01 PM
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100

My cousins who went to high school with CLAY AIKEN were astonished by the dearth of minorities at our HS graduation ceremonies.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:03 PM
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101

Exercise: Compare 15213 to 15219.

Right next to each other geographically and right next to each other in the PA rankings for income and "poverty". You should be able to figure out which one is a ghetto and which one is a college campus.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:04 PM
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102

If middleclass people were staying in neighborhoods they could afford, the schools wouldn't be that terrible (and I'd guess that they're mostly not that bad now).

You're not wrong, but entrance into the middle class is getting harder all the time, and when people compare say, Oxnard to Arcadia (scroll down to see percentage of students scoring "proficient or above" in english and math), I can see why they would spend the extra money. 30 percentage points is a big deal.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:05 PM
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103

Yeah, it's a classic collective action problem. If we could get meaningfully standardizing the quality of public schools under control, it would fix so many things about this country.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:07 PM
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So your white power act is compensating for the brownness of your surroundings: the town I grew up in is 94% white (but obviously zipskinny is counting the heebs as white). My current zip is 69% white, but I'm pretty sure the town as a whole is minority white.

I pretty much did the opposite. Grew up somwhere about 40 percent white, and only as an adult have lived where white people are the majority. Took a bit of getting used to when I first moved up here.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:07 PM
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105

As you can see from the links in 1, my current zipcode is 68.8% Hispanic, while my mom's (where I grew up) is 56.6% white. My high school had kids from both areas, however.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:15 PM
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106

UPDATE: the surprising preponderance of Alaskan zip codes among the youngest median ages may be caused by influx of adolescent walruses.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:31 PM
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107

The post title is funny.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 7:43 PM
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103

"Yeah, it's a classic collective action problem. If we could get meaningfully standardizing the quality of public schools under control, it would fix so many things about this country."

It is only a collective action problem if everybody would prefer to live in economically diverse neighborhoods. In fact many rich people prefer to live in rich neighborhoods.

As for standardizing the quality of puiblic schools, what does that even mean? As you say in 94 the schools are not actually that bad except for the fact that they have lots of poor kids attending.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:20 PM
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109

As for standardizing the quality of puiblic schools, what does that even mean? As you say in 94 the schools are not actually that bad except for the fact that they have lots of poor kids attending.

This is a good point, actually. Many of the reasons for poor kids' poor academic performance have little to do with the schools they attend, and more to do with other things in their lives that can't be fixed by tinkering with the schools.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:33 PM
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110

Well-off parents have the time and money to put in their own effort to improve the schools. If we had a similar number of well-off, motivated parents in every school district...well, we wouldn't have any of the type of school districts that people compete to get into, probably.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:35 PM
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111

110 is true too, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:37 PM
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112

110 was sort of intended to be a rephrasing of the same point, in a way that doesn't superficially sound prejudiced.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:38 PM
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113

Yeah, they're two ways of phrasing the same sentiment. Yours is probably better.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 8:39 PM
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Grew up somwhere about 40 percent white, and only as an adult have lived where white people are the majority. Took a bit of getting used to when I first moved up here.

Me too.

The school thing is frustrating, because the hyperinvolved parents in the well off schools and districts could be so valuable if they'd expand their efforts beyond their own backyards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 6-07 10:19 PM
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In hindsight, that bar I mentioned in #77 was not the ideal place for an unfogged meetup. Unless having a drunk lady tell me I'm a pussy for not playing loud enough (I switched to larger sticks; thanks!) is the kind of thing we're going for. Woo! Cackalacky!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:22 AM
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Fargo celebrity sighting: Kristin Rudrud.

Who is she? The kidnapped wife in the movie "Fargo" -- who else? Not related to Redrum in "The Shining". There were no Jonny Lang sightings this time. Bobby Vee keeps a low profile. Roger Maris is dead.

My sister-in-law says Kristin has a drinking problem, and my sister-in-law is completely on top of alcoholism. Alcoholic sightings are not rare in this part of the world, and our standards are high -- your average drunk doesn't make the cut.

On the other hand, my sister-in-law is one of the masters of malicious gossip.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 7:29 AM
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Shearer's point confuses two things. There's the average academic achievement in a school, which doesn't necessarily affect the achievement of any specific kid, and then there are the conditions: teacher turnover, teacher competence, what classes are offered, safety, physical plant, and so forth. What can be equalized is the latter, and to the extent the latter is equalized, sending your kid to a non-rich school gets less frightening. Now, schools with only poor parents, with no clout, get screwed on the latter. (And equalizing the latter is going to have at least some effect on equalizing the former -- everyone's right that family environment has a large effect, but it's not the only effect.)

My kids' school, which I think highly of, doesn't have great average third-grade reading scores. Half the class is English language learners, and if you give them an English reading test, they're going to do kind of rotten on it. (It gets better in the higher grades.) But the fact that Sally's sitting next to someone having trouble reading in English doesn't hold her back. What would hold her back would be a lousy teacher or an unsafe school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 7:34 AM
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your average drunk doesn't make the cut.

Mean or median? 'Cause that makes a big difference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 7:54 AM
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It's interesting to look at the move my parents made -- from mostly-single family, urban, middle-to-upper middle to semi-rural college-town regional hub. The most important difference statistically, it would seem, is all of the poor people in their current huge zip code who could never afford to live in their tiny old one. Otherwise, it's strange how many correspondences there are.

The weirdest thing though is that there are 109 people/households with incomes above $200,000 in my largely working-class or lower middle-class innercity hood. I'm sure most of it must be our largely-dilapidated, rapidly-rehabbing mansion districts (bisected by a freeway), and the new condo developments.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 8:07 AM
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Drinking a six pack every day isn't alcoholism. Two sixpacks, maybe. In general, if you go to work, pay your bills, and stay out of jail and the hospital, you're not an alcoholic.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 8:08 AM
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Lake Wobegon: 97.7% white, 80% h.h. grad, 10% college grad, 8.8% below poverty line, 1.9% unemployed, 7.5% older than 80, water area 12 sq. mi.

Coots 5000+ in season.

Farm towns show low agricultural employment because neighboring farmers aren't included, and agriculture related jobs are not classified as agricultural.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 8:17 AM
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The boring suburb I grew up in is a LOT more ethnically diverse than my neighborhood in Chicago.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 8:35 AM
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NYC vs. DC- Taking the average income of DC Dupont Circle of 65,000, does anyone familiar with both cities know how much income increase is required for similar standard of living in NYC? I realize this question leaves a lot of questions, but I'm just curious for educated guesses.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 9:22 AM
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"Two sixpacks maybe" -- that's inspiring rural accounting.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 9:45 AM
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The town I grew up in is within 3 percentage points of honkitude of Sandy, UT. Awesome.

I think the info -- especially the income data -- for our zip code has probably changed drastically in the past 7 years as housing prices went through the roof and first-time homebuyers were driven out of higher-status cities nearby.

94964: at 91.9% married, a textbook case for Emerson's no-relationship policy.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 9:51 AM
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Well-off parents have the time and money to put in their own effort to improve the schools. If we had a similar number of well-off, motivated parents in every school district...

And "well-off" is not just a matter of accounting, but also time, passion and cultural self-confidence. Ten years ago, we were not particularly well-off, a mid-level editor and a visible adjunct, with a combined income probably less than 70k, but through the Chicago system of Local School Councils, were very involved in curriculum, hiring, and defending an outstanding principal against the jealousy and pettiness of the central office. There was a front page article in the Reader, Chicago's alternative weekly featuring my wife. We even took the board to court to enforce election results. Many a well-off parent wouldn't have the time or self-confidence for that.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 9:57 AM
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125: A very peculiar demographic. There must be some fudging.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:07 AM
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The zip code I grew up in, just outside the city limits, is 80% white, 15% black, 1.3% Hispanic, with 69% above 50K/yr. The one I live in now in town is 48% black, 38% white, and 9% Hispanic, with 58.4% under 50K/yr.

But I'm in the better school district now. This would not have been true when I was a kid before the city and county schools systems were merged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:11 AM
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I've lived a number of different places, and so I ran a comparison, in chron order. On preview it looks all orderly: apologies in advance if it comes up an unholy mess.

9-12th: 3.6% 10.5% 1.7% 1.7% 2.0% 8.4% 3.4% 5.8% 9.9% 16.2% 1.4%
H.S. grad: 12.0% 26.4% 5.5% 9.8% 4.6% 22.5% 15.6% 27.2% 18.1% 26.6% 5.3%
Some coll.: 14.0% 26.7% 12.3% 15.9% 13.0% 28.5% 23.0% 26.4% 17.5% 21.9% 10.2%
2 yr deg.: 6.8% 4.8% 5.6% 5.2% 2.6% 6.7% 4.7% 4.7% 4.5% 3.0% 2.1%
4 yr deg.: 35.5% 17.0% 39.9% 37.8% 31.1% 22.7% 33.5% 23.3% 20.7% 12.8% 29.3%
Grad/prof: 26.0% 8.7% 34.6% 28.8% 45.3% 9.4% 18.1% 9.6% 19.0% 9.6% 50.6%
H.S.+: 94.2% 83.6% 98.0% 97.5% 96.6% 89.7% 94.9% 91.3% 79.7% 73.8% 97.6%
4 yr+: 61.5% 25.7% 74.5% 66.6% 76.4% 32.1% 51.5% 32.9% 39.7% 22.4% 79.9%

Hispanic/Latino: 1.6% 18.6% 3.1% 4.2% 5.4% 1.5% 1.4% 2.3% 24.1% 13.6% 5.0%
White*: 94.2% 67.0% 84.7% 84.3% 74.7% 95.6% 94.6% 93.7% 44.7% 4.3% 88.0%
Black*: 1.3% 10.2% 0.5% 0.7% 4.9% 0.1% 0.3% 0.3% 18.2% 79.1% 1.3%
Native American*: [neg for first 5 places] 1.0% 1.0% 2.0%
Asian*: 2.0% 1.8% 8.9% 7.7% 9.7% 0.6% 1.4% 0.6% 9.6% 0.7% 4.0%
HI/Pac. Isl.*: 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1%
Other*: 0.1% 0.3% 0.1% 0.6% 0.1% 0.1% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2%
Multi*: 0.8% 1.8% 2.5% 2.8% 4.4% 1.1% 1.1% 1.2% 2.8% 1.9% 1.3%


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:12 AM
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And "well-off" is not just a matter of accounting, but also time, passion and cultural self-confidence.

Right. Money isn't the same thing as clout. Part of the reason my kids' school is as good as it is is that while even the better-off parents still run pretty broke on average, they're heavily drawn from the underpaid-academic/public-interest-professional/civil-servant class, and that's the next best thing to lots of money for kicking up a fuss when, say, the city tries to break up your very successful program and reassign your excellent principal, as happened to us a couple years back.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:15 AM
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123: Talk to me about the standard of living before I can give you an answer. What's the housing like?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:16 AM
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Allowing for sampling error, the place where I spent my adolescence is as honkeriffic as Lake Woebegone. .2% black &mdash I've mentioned that family before. The multimillionaires who live along Lake Champlain have always skewed the income stats, and the farms on the lower end are getting bought out and developed.

A function on that site allowing for comparison with previous years would be illuminating.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:17 AM
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123: Yeah, it's similar, from what I can tell. Rent a little higher, space a little smaller, but there are lots of huge, beautiful parks throughout NYC, and transit's cheaper (trains and cabs). I think it's roughly even. I live in the choicest neighborhood in Brooklyn, where the median income is 53K. It's similar to DuPont, except for way more restaurants and bars, park access, and fewer large streets.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:21 AM
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(but obviously zipskinny is counting the heebs as white).

Ya know, I come here because I find the conversation stimulating. This is simply offensive.


Posted by: Not this time, Buckwheat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:29 AM
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134: No kidding. Jews aren't white.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:30 AM
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As my old housemate used to say, "I'm not an alcoholic -- alcoholics go to meetings."


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:31 AM
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"I'm not an alcoholic &mdash I only drink when I can't handle my emotions."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:33 AM
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Zipskinny needs to also show stats on bar and coffee shop density. The comparison between my 94043 hometown and my 94110 current residence is so one-sided without them.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:37 AM
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Ya know, I come here because I find the conversation stimulating. This is simply offensive.

Boy I hope you've never laughed when someone called ogged Mexican.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:39 AM
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136: Obligatory.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:39 AM
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134, 135: Buckwheat -- that's a perfectly reasonable reaction. If you're interested in how it was meant here's the comment thread that ensued the last time Ogged said something similar. There's certainly no reason for it to compel you to react one way or another, but it may explain why most of the other commenters weren't bothered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:41 AM
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Man, I can't imagine how different the Williamsburg stats are going to look after the 2010 census.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 10:42 AM
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"well-off" is not just a matter of accounting, but also time, passion and cultural self-confidence.

Which doesn't limit itself to affluent white parents. There are plenty of Latino and black parents who bust their asses fighting for better schools.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:06 AM
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131- OK
133- Thanks.

I love Brooklyn. I have very close friends there and I love the lifestyle. But I do put a premium on convenience, in this case transportation. I also love the Park.

So let's say in comparing Dupont (I live in DC further south, but don't worry about that), let's say I work in Mid-Town and want to be able to take the subway within 5 or 6 stops without transferring; safety that is comparable to Dupont; but could be less a destination than Dupont. Let's say renting a 1 Bedroom condo with a front desk.

I've spent time in Upper West side around 103rd and Broadway and have liked it. Without being a NYC expert, I think of the West Side in general. As such, other suggestions are welcomed as well. Again, I like the Brooklyn one in terms of lifestyle.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:09 AM
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Right --the underpaid-academic/public-interest-professional/civil-servant class isn't white only. I'd say that 'passion and cultural self-confidence' isn't a great way of putting it though, because while it's not all about money, it's largely about strings, and knowing where they are and being in a position to pull them. You can have all the passion and cultural self-confidence you want, and if you aren't in a position to make people do what you want, you're not likely to be terribly effective protecting your school.

The thing is, passionately committed parents shouldn't be necessary to keep public schools from getting screwed over -- it doesn't appear to be the case in other countries, who get by with having them run by competent civil servants. The public school system in the US has a very corrupt-developing-country aspect to it, where school systems not patronized by powerful people get looted, and that's horrific and a stop should be put to it. It's not an inevitable fact of human nature.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:13 AM
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144: Not terribly rich young people who really want to live in Manhattan and don't mind a dullish neighborhood seem to end up on the east side Upper East Side these days, don't they? It's still expensive, but not ludicrous. Also, Long Island City and other Queens neighborhoods are closer to midtown on the 7 than you think they are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:15 AM
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If you moved to my neighborhood, terp, you'd take a train for less than half an hour, plus any walking time, to get to 34th St. My area is at least as safe as Dupont (I walk home at 3-4am regularly, have only had problems in other neighborhoods), and is a block from Prospect Park, arguably one of the loveliest parks anywhere. Renting a one-bedroom in my building is $1400, and you could conceivably pay about that to rent a floor-through apartment in a brownstone. You can hit about fifteen restaurants and two convenience stores with a rock from the front door.

Anything in Manhattan, except the northernmost reaches of Inwood, is going to be more expensive. I happen to think that quality-of-life-per-dollar is much higher in many areas of Brooklyn, but I really like the weird small-town vibe you get from many of the tightly-knit neighborhoods here. I rag on Park Slopers quite a lot, but it's a luxury to do so.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:19 AM
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All I know is I have to go to my kid's school festival today, which has eaten my life this last week.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:23 AM
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The public school system in the US has a very corrupt-developing-country aspect to it, where school systems not patronized by powerful people get looted, and that's horrific and a stop should be put to it.

In addition to relatively low levels of funding, the main problem here is local control, which would be a bitch to overcome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:26 AM
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Also, in Brooklyn you get real sunshine in most areas, because of the lower buildings, most of which are four stories. My roommate from Nerd U was in town last week and kept noticing how "late" it always seemed when we were in Manhattan.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:26 AM
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LB
AWB

Thanks, Guys. Interesting, I've always thought of East Side as more expensive than West Side. I like AWB's suggestion. What's your zip there? Also, did you guys have your Brooklyn meet up? How was it?


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:28 AM
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Yeah. I want that dead. People defend it on the explicit basis that they want their schools to be better than the schools in other areas: screw that. Everyone gets the same schools, and if you want them better improve the whole goddamn system.

(I'm not claiming that this is politically likely at all, but I think it would be a very good thing if school systems were at the least controlled at the state, rather than the local, level.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:28 AM
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127: Most of that zip code's married residents physically but not legally separated from their wives.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:29 AM
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Yeah, state control would allow for whatever local adjustments need to be made (and I think there are some valuable ones) without leading to the extreme disparities we see now. There would need to be a lot of federal money, though, which might complicate things.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:30 AM
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151: The western East Side, near the park, is crazy expensive and classy -- multiple-million dollar apartments. East of Lex or so it drops off into where young people with professional jobs overpay to live. It's not particularly exciting or fun, though -- if it were the same money, and not an onerous commute, I'd want to live in AWB's neighborhood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:31 AM
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151: I'm in 11215, Ground Zero Slope.

The Brooklyn meetup was a gigantic success, timed as it was alongside another Brooklyn Unfogger's party, so we folded them together. Since so many of us were close to home, I think we threw caution to the wind w/r/t happy hour. There was dancing. (I am a bad dancer and do not like to dance, but I got briefly involved.) Several fascinating discoveries were made. I pwned a wicked game of hearts. (It was sort of a game night.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:33 AM
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Williamsburg and Long Island City are closer to Midtown than many parts of Manhattan are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:34 AM
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Speaking of which, I just remembered that I drunkenly texted 'Smasher with "i hate sorry" which may have been mysterious. We were playing Sorry. It was difficult.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:34 AM
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terp, also take a look at 11217, Prospect Heights. That's where my ex Max lives, and it tends to be a lot cheaper than PS, but with most of the same amenities (restaurants, brownstones, close to the park, even closer to the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cinematheque, the Botanic Gardens, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:36 AM
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153: The reported incomes are the weird part.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:37 AM
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153: The reported incomes are the weird part.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:37 AM
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155 to 157

Thanks. BTW, welcome back Teo. I'll have to compare Park Slope to Brooklyn Chinatown. That's where my friends live and from there it seems to take forever to get to Mid-Town. I'll look into the other areas as well.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:39 AM
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You may know about what happened when Vermont tried o equalize school funding. It's still an incendiary subject 10 years later.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:40 AM
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Americans want three things from education: fairness, equality and advantages for their own kids. Hilarity ensues.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:42 AM
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New Mexico actually has a very equitable school-funding system, but there's so little money to start with that it doesn't make much difference.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:43 AM
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BTW, welcome back Teo.

Thanks. I've actually been popping in and out for a few days now, but avoiding most of the long threads.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:45 AM
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163: I vaguely knew about it, although not in much detail. But this:

Stowe now has a responsibility to educate kids in poorer towns, an obligation that sticks in its craw. Stowe residents have led an angry charge against Act 60, viewing opposition to the law as a matter of gospel. At least three anti-Act 60 groups are based here. The weekly Stowe Reporter runs a steady diet of furious editorials and letters that rail against the unfairness of the law. The place has taken on the aura of a town under siege from an envious and hostile outside world. Like most of my neighbors in Waterbury, I avoid discussing Act 60 when I'm in Stowe. Coming from the receiving town next door, it's an uncomfortable topic.

is disgusting. You don't have any right to have your tax dollars go preferentially to your children and your neighbors. Schooling is a public service that should be available equally to all, and the opponents of Act 60 in the article should be publicly humilated as pathetic excuses for human beings. (Oh, I'm sure more people in their position would feel that way than not -- it's not an uncommon attitude. But it is a revolting one.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:46 AM
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It is my father's attitude. He feels like he chose to move his family to an area where the schools were good, and his kids deserve the very best from public education. I have tried to point out that, like, other people exist, but this escapes him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:50 AM
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It's funny, whenever people talk about school funding, or the differences between schools in richer and poorer areas, someone makes Shearer's point that really academic success all comes from the home environment. And you know, there's something to that -- home environment certainly has some, and by that I mean a very strong, effect. But when you look at how people behave, it's absolutely clear that no one actually believes that school funding doesn't make a difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:53 AM
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But when you look at how people behave, it's absolutely clear that no one actually believes that school funding doesn't make a difference.

Yes, but it's not clear that they're right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:56 AM
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"well-off" is not just a matter of accounting, but also time, passion and cultural self-confidence.

True, but even so it's hard to overestimate the importance of accounting. My wife teaches in an affluent suburb; people there have more time to give because they can afford it (in many cases, the moms don't need to have jobs outside the home), and a hundred bucks here and there for extra supplies and whatnot is pocket change. The difference that makes is huge.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:58 AM
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169: Totally. The people of Stowe clearly believe that funding makes a big difference.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:02 PM
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141: Appreciated. Still, I recall a list some time ago in which Sir O stated his female "dating" preferences and the no Eastern European comment was duly noted.

The thread you linked was interesting and telling. Call it anyway you want, I saw a lot of intellectualization covering emotional truth. No shame in that, things are what they are. My cringe comes with the slur, "heeb". It is syntonic with other comments, thinly veiled or not. That's all I'm saying.

Again, thanks.


Posted by: Buckwheat lives | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:04 PM
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170: This hooks back around to the other thread, on the philosophy of science and the intellectual status of social science. It's certainly not clear that they're right, but given the incredible difficulty of doing anything like a properly controlled study, I have a hard time disregarding common sense, when it's such a universal perception.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:09 PM
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I have a hard time disregarding common sense, when it's such a universal perception

How are you defining "common sense" here, LB? As you probably know, this is a huge, huge issue for me. Do you mean "Things everyone describes as a part of their personal lived experience" or "Things everyone agrees are a part of popular perception"? IME, very few people really mean the former, or find the difference meaningful enough to distinguish.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:14 PM
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173: Did you also see where ogged explained the no-Russian thing?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:14 PM
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Buckwheat, you stupid slimefucker, "Heeb" isn't a slur, even taken out of the context of the discussion LB links.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:14 PM
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177: I've got your back on this one, but let's not go overboard, huh?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:16 PM
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177: Don't be an idiot, ogged, of course it's a slur. The sites you link are people reclaiming it, along the lines of Dan Savage's requested saluation of "Hey Faggot". It's an oldfashioned slur, and probably one you wouldn't be likely to hear from an actual anti-Semite for that reason, and of course you were just kidding, but saying it's not a slur is ridiculous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:17 PM
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My understanding is that, in writing, "hebe" is the spelling of the slur, and "heeb" is the reclamation.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:20 PM
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Yes, but the thing about reclaiming slurs is that you only get to do it if you're a member of the group in question.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:21 PM
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175: What I meant was that the revealed preferences of an overwhelming majority of people (that they'll fight like hell to preserve inequities in school funding in their favor) indicates that the belief that school funding matters is held with great intensity by a great many people.

I'm not sure which of your categories that fits into -- I don't know if most people have enough direct comparative experience of well and poorly funded school systems to say that their beliefs are formed from first hand experience as in your first category, but on the other hand it's a personally held belief, I think, not a belief about what other people believe, which seems to describe your second category.

I don't think that clarified anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:21 PM
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My understanding is that, in writing, "hebe" is the spelling of the slur, and "heeb" is the reclamation.

You're defending yourself on the basis of spelling... on the Internet?

Some people can't be helped.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:23 PM
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181: Up to a point -- after a while something's dead enough that anyone can use it. I can't imagine my mother being offended by being called a mick, while my grandfather would probably have called himself one but bristled at it from an Italian. But I don't think hebe/heeb is anywhere near that level.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:24 PM
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181: You tell him, Yid!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:24 PM
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you only get to do it if you're a member of the group in question

Yes, and I'm not reclaiming, obviously, but playing. The alternate spelling should be a clue to dumb fucks like Buckwheat that that's what's going on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:24 PM
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When I see "hebe" I always think "hebephreniac." Philip K. Dick gettin' all up in my knowledge of racial slurs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:25 PM
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LB, however, denies being a nice Catholic girl.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:25 PM
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Oggedmadinejad has a point.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:26 PM
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Terp, if you can wait about a year for the housing market to complete the crapping of its pants, and if you can hold your breath for the duration of the L train ride, Williamsburg has much to recommend it.

The problem with public education is one of those subjects that makes me glad that I can occasionally recognize what I don't know and keep my mouth shut. I have no idea what's wrong with public education, or how wrong it is, or what will fix it. I have a feeling vouchers aren't the answer, but that's only because Republicans favor them. But I wouldn't be willing to argue even that.

The Act 60 stuff in Vermont really was awful. In addition to Stowe's effort to secede, there was also the spectacle of the Act 60 opponents using the civil unions law to rally the poor, and I think one of the tax revolt groups was behind an effort to impeach a VT supreme court justice, although my memory on that is hazy.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:26 PM
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Maybe ogged meant to call the jews "neighbor?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:27 PM
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189 wins.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:27 PM
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189: hee


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:29 PM
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186: Sure, but you're playing with a slur. I don't particularly think you're doing anything wrong, but I also don't think that bridling at it, as Buckwheat did, is anything like out of line. Playing with racist terms is going to piss people off sometimes, and while the play doesn't make you a jerk, getting huffy about it when they get pissed off does.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:31 PM
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I can't imagine my mother being offended by being called a mick

I dunno. I habitually refer to the SF Giants' Irish Night (part of Ethnic Pandering^W^WHeritage Week, along with Jewish Heritage Night and Italian Heritage Night) as "Mick Night", and I've gotten some uncomfortable looks from people when I've said it where non-friends could hear.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:33 PM
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I don't care that Buckwheat the pig-fucking moron bristles at "heeb," but this drive-by "thinly veiled or not" shit I will not let go. If he wants to get off the pig long enough to lay out a case that I've been anti-semitic, then he should do it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:34 PM
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Yeah, come to think of it Mom's touchy about a lot of things. Huh, I really can't think of a slur that's dead enough that it could really be tossed around freely that's still used at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:35 PM
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What do you have against pig fuckers? They're intelligent, caring animals.

Speciesist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:36 PM
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169 is an example of "thinking like an economist" in a good way.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:36 PM
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197: lobsterback.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:36 PM
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194: but I do kind of wish people would be more sensitive to the context before they do their bridling. I hate it that we give these stupid words the power to derail a conversation when no real hatin's going on.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:38 PM
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197: Pommie bastard?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:38 PM
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197: pinko?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:39 PM
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Honky is still used, even in a derogatory fashion, but mostly against a group of people who can socially afford the irony of self-deprecation. Plus, it's non-specific enough that not even a honky's white ethnic roots are offended. It doesn't have the class associations of, for example, "redneck," which makes my father livid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:40 PM
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Teahead?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:41 PM
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Okie?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:41 PM
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206: Still extremely offensive.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:42 PM
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207: just trying to bait B, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:43 PM
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184; I have an Italian Jersey-girl friend who gets herself and me both snorting with laughter referring to her own family as the "buncha fuckin' guineas." Now I live in a mostly Italian neighborhood and I gotta watch myself around street-festival time.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:43 PM
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It's going depend almost entirely on who is saying it to whom and with what intent; any word for a group can be offensive (or inoffensive) if you say it the right way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:44 PM
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My neighborhood has 3.9% unemployment, and 23.3% below the poverty line.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:47 PM
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197 -- Swamp Yankee?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:48 PM
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Wow, I didn't know "Okie" was ever offensive, let alone now.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:49 PM
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When I was in high school, there were only a handful of Jewish kids, who were all pretty outgoing and well-liked. They seemed to promote a pretty constant stream of anti-semitic jesting around themselves, which I think was a sort of defense mechanism about feeling culturally different and wanting to be acknowledged as such. At the time, I always wondered why they put up with it, except that it came from friends and was often a sign of affection. But in the long run, I think it was really bad for everyone. I've heard one of my non-Jewish friends go on to make anti-semitic jokes, as if it always means something endearing, even among strangers.

One of the hardest things about this community, actually, is judging to what degree it is an intimate environment full of trustworthy surely-he's-kidding jokes and to what degree it's a meeting place for strangers. I feel both, in turns. When there's a lot of ragging on women, I say "ha ha" for a few rounds, and then I realize it's an intimate community that doesn't include or welcome me or my responses, so I usually just absent myself and wait for it to open up again.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:51 PM
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I'd be surprised if someone could be found who was ever actually offended to be called "honky." A white person, anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:51 PM
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I suppose "wegro" is offensive, but boy I do love to use it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:51 PM
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Is Okie still offensive? I've never heard anyone say it ever. Is it offensive in Oklahoma?

I just glanced at Ogged's post about Jewish versus white gentile parenting styles, and weirdly, I had almost the same thought the other day. It's the flip side of the stereotypical Jewish mother: if you try to treat your children like little people, you end up arguing with them, which from a certain point of view resembles manipulation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:51 PM
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213 -- If I might make a suggestion: go rent Grapes of Wrath. Then read up on the drama around its filming.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:53 PM
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213: Yeah, it's not funny. You'd be surprised how angry people get.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:53 PM
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BTW this is probably the most amateurish thing I've ever seen at wikipedia.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:53 PM
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Yeah, it's not funny. You'd be surprised how angry people get.

Which people? Where? Why?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:54 PM
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194, 196: The thing is, it doesn't derail the conversation unless you get pissed off at the bridling. Having someone think you meant something racist when you said something racist as a joke is the risk you take, and if you can't take it in good humor without having your feelings hurt, you should probably watch your mouth more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:56 PM
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I'd forgotten about "mackerel snapper"; hard to imagine that would offend too many people these days, but you never know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:56 PM
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"Okie" basically has the connotation of subhuman illiterate insensate drone. It is offensive to Oklahomans, Kansans, Texans, Arkansans, maybe even Nebraskans. It's like "redneck" without the personality or energy, and I don't think it's limited to whites.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 12:59 PM
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LB, maybe I'm not being clear. If Buckwheat the chicken-sodomizing halfwit had simply bridled at "heeb," I wouldn't have cared; it was the further insinuation that it was of a piece with the other emanations of my black heart that he had sensitively intuited that I didn't like.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:00 PM
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I thought it was an objective term used for the people who were forced to migrate as a result of the Dust Bowl calamities of the 1930s. I'm pretty sure it was in history books, although I may just be thinking of books about Woody Guthrie. OK, I believe you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:01 PM
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illiterate insensate

Can't read if you can't see (or touch, pedants).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:02 PM
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226: That's how it came to be, yes, but those people were so loathed that it came to be a much broader term of disparagement.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:03 PM
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"Okie" means you blow your nose using the "farmer's wipe" method.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:04 PM
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What if it's followed by "dokie"? Still offensive>?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:04 PM
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Okie has offensive and non-offensive uses. It's definitely commonly a slur. But some people self-identify, and not even necessarily in an ironic or defensive way (like some have tried to reclaim "bitch"). I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:06 PM
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Wikipedia argues that Okie is no longer offensive, and is used jocularly by Oklahomans, but it doesn't fit the Oklahomans I know. Possibly it's seen as cute in more urban areas? If you're out in the trailer parks, "okie" will get your ass whupped.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:06 PM
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225: Eh, I don't know Buckwheat, and don't care what s/he thinks. But once you're fooling around with racial slurs, you're pretty much in the wrong no matter how much of a twerp the person who calls you on it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:07 PM
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"Tequila-drinking Okie with an IQ of 64" = best political site on the net


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:07 PM
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222: doesn't this get kind of circular, though? Is it any less natural to resent being called racist than to be sensitive to racist language? Having to watch your mouth more, so as to avoid that resentment, is exactly the kind of conversation-closing that I was regretting.

To be clear, I'm not advocating that everybody should quit their whining about racist language, just that if you don't go in expecting the worst motives, that expectation will often be gratified.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:08 PM
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235 seems to also be to 233.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:09 PM
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214:

One of the hardest things about this community, actually, is judging to what degree it is an intimate environment full of trustworthy surely-he's-kidding jokes and to what degree it's a meeting place for strangers. I feel both, in turns.

This is well-said.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:12 PM
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Is it any less natural to resent being called racist than to be sensitive to racist language?

I would like it to be much less acceptable. The 'just kidding' stuff can get genuinely offensive and hurtful, and a huge taboo around saying 'Don't say that shit, it makes me unhappy' because how dare you imply the speaker might be racist is, I think, a very bad thing. If you want to play with racist terminology, the onus is all on you to keep from pissing people off.

(Was Buckwheat's second comment kind of bullshit? Yes. But getting bent out of shape about it is way disproportionate.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:12 PM
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Why couldn't it be a not-particularly-trustworthy environment full of constantly kidding strangers? May I recommend the Sifu brand "assume everyone is joking all the time" method? I find it works swimmingly to head off misunderstandings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:13 PM
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239: Because of the uncomfortable sinking feeling when you find out you've been giggling along with someone who really means something you're unhappy to have agreed with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:17 PM
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Perhaps it's time to return to the coot migration one more time.

Ogged is a Nazi, but what they hey? None of us is perfect.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:18 PM
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Me, on my brother's defective Fargo computer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:20 PM
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240: best never to find that out then!

Somewhat topical, but fully half an hour long.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:21 PM
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Aiee. Obviously I don't think Ogged's an antisemite (really, not even a little do I think that) nor do I think Buckwheat's second comment represented reality at all. I just think that the onus for staying lightheartedly goodhumored is always on the person who made the offensive joke, and that it should be a powerful one; while there is, in practice, a lot of social pressure on people offended by slurs used as comedy to have a sense of humor about it, I'd like to see all the pressure going the other way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:23 PM
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With good humor comes great responsibility.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:24 PM
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I'm off to drown some Jewish children swim, but one more time: I'm not bent out of shape that someone got upset at the use of "heeb;" you makes your jokes and you takes your chances--but the further assertion that it was of a piece with unspecified other comments and beliefs is something that I will get angry about.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:24 PM
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Come to think of it, I've never seen the word 'syntonic' before. I must go look it up now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:26 PM
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the further assertion that it was of a piece with unspecified other comments and beliefs

The blood label, as it were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:27 PM
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syn·ton·ic (sn-tnk)
adj.
Characterized by a normal emotional responsiveness to the environment.


Hm. I don't think Buckwheat knows what it means either -- at least I can't make that meaning work in a sentence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:29 PM
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I found the electrical definition more relevant, LB; ogged's comment harmonized with his generally antisemitic tune.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:31 PM
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Okay, so there's a crucial postseason Sox game happening right now, and of four local channels broadcasting 'sports,' one is showing fucking NASCAR (for which I blame the crackers/rednecks/Okies); one is showing fucking golf (for which I blame the WASPs); and two are showing fucking football &mdash and I don't know what to call the barbarians responsible for this outrage! My kingdom for a slur!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:32 PM
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Hrm. "Normal"? Red flags. Among friends, because I don't take offense as often, I am not reacting normally. In the city, because I need to get from place to place, I am not reacting normally. Does "normal," as usual, mean the way a white middle-class person in a suburban area with zero sense of irony would react? There's a very wide gap between social reaction, given community and location.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:33 PM
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251: New Yorkers?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:33 PM
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Isn't there something offensive we can call Americans in general? Don't we hate them?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:35 PM
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Yankees?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:36 PM
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254: Cuntwigs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:36 PM
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251: Do you remember that guy who owned a bunch of TV stations, one of which was a Fox channel, who wanted to show an hour-long documentary on the SWIFT boats or something.

I knew a guy, who was voting for Bush, who thought taht this was a travesty, because it meant that they were pre-empting baseball games.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:36 PM
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If Buckwheat the chicken-sodomizing halfwit had simply bridled at "heeb," I wouldn't have cared;

I continue to be amused by a guy complaining about anti-jewish slurs posting under the name Buckwheat.

In other news, I'm not particularly offended by being referred to as a honk[e]y, an Okie, or a redneck, depending on how it is used. Redneck could mean inbred, moronic motherfucker, which is ridiculous, or it could just mean 'working class' which is sadly (?) true. In any event, I've also been called a 'nigger lover' (true!) and I'm part Injun, so I'm not sure it matters all that much. I could certainly see how some people could be painfully bothered by it. On the other hand, this country needs a fuckin' enema anyways.

Buck comes downtown occasionally and gets weirded out by being surrounded by honkies.

The maximum white people count in any zipcode I've ever lived up to now in was 75%. Now I am near the East Coast and I have to say there are way too many fuckin' white people.

max
['Totally weird, man.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:38 PM
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Tweety in 255: Yankees?

On my mother's side, I'm a Yankee and damn proud of it. (I'm a total snob.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:38 PM
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259: If you were really proud, you'd spell it "Ianqui."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:40 PM
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BG is right. 'Yankee' really just offends the southerners, and we have perfectly serviceable slurs for them. Cuntwigs, however, is promising.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:42 PM
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161: The zip code includes housing for prison employees. Depending on how they're defining "household," not so weird, necesarily.

188: Not everyone who's Irish is Catlholic, you racist.

101/160/161/188 etc.: Who are you and why hasn't LizardBreath ripped on you for commenting anonymously? LB, you're getting soft.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:42 PM
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Is there a reason for avoiding the technical term, 'merkin'?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:43 PM
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There is no generic insult for all Americans. Fact.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:43 PM
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262: At least 188, from internal evidence, and probably the rest are Emerson -- he said somewhere he was having trouble with his brother's computer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:44 PM
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There is no generic insult for all Americans. Fact.

"The Great Satan"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:44 PM
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Jesus, you're listening on the radio, right? Your mlb subscription lets you do that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:46 PM
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267: I am. It'll have to do.

Double play! Fuckin' A!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:48 PM
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My name doesn't default in when I use the North Dakota computer.

It seems thhat all those convicts were earning more than I ever did, more than $35,000.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:50 PM
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generic insult for all Americans

I always thought it was American.

BTW, nice dp by the Sox. It is on TBS/TNT.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:51 PM
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With good humor comes great responsibility.

This is true: you should see the licensing exam to drive one of those trucks.

Also, was Mr. Wheat implying that "Eastern European" means "Jewish"?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:52 PM
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271: Yes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 1:58 PM
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I'm sick of neocons being insulted with slurs like "Eastern European". Sadly, Buckwheat is the very face of the left today.


Posted by: Jonah Goldberg | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:00 PM
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268, 270 -- It won't matter if the offense can't get going a little better.

If you listen on the radio, you can watch Gameday, and you get a funny feeling: the radio has a 20 second delay, so you always know what's going to happen.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:00 PM
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Well. That's silly. Everyone knows "New Yorker" means "Jewish." "Eastern European" means "anti-Semite."


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:04 PM
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274: Yeah, that's a little disorienting. As in just now, listening to the announcers plug the Dodge Ram while Papi pounds one into the stands.

And again! Manny!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:19 PM
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Back-to-back, baby!

I like the announcer's comment that if Weaver doesn't like the way Ortiz and Manny stroll down to first base on their homers, he ought to stop giving up home runs.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 2:25 PM
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School funding in this day and age means things like libraries, arts education, music teachers, etc.--the "non essential" parts of education. The PTO at the rich public school PK went to last year paid the salary of a school librarian and a music teacher, and funded the acquisition of library books.

The PTO of PK's current, much less affluent school, is currently holding a harvest festival to afford things like art supplies, field trips, gardening supplies, and classroom supplies.

One thing that would make a difference is if PTOs raised money for the district as a whole, rather than for their own individual schools--a PTO made up of parents who make a lot of money can raise a lot more money than a PTO made up of parents who are barely scraping by.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:11 PM
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Yep. Or if those things were funded out of taxes rather than by local fundraising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:17 PM
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Advice sought (helpful or otherwise):
A student (I'm a TA) just friended me on facebook. On one hand, I think it would be rude (and possibly embarrassing to the student) to reject it. On the other hand, I worry about crossing the line between "friendly" and "friends."
On balance, avoiding embarrassing the student takes the cake (or something), but then there's the can of worms that this could release (and, thus, ruin the cake). Comments?


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:25 PM
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Say you like to wait until after the semester. Most students know that anyway, but you can avoid some embarrassment.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:27 PM
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That's a good solution. I was making this into too big of a deal.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:32 PM
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Profgrrl's blog (on our blogroll if you don't read it) talked about this recently. I think the suggested solution was to do nothing -- just leave the friend request hanging.

Other than that, reject with a followup email implying that Facebook-friending your students is viewed as inappropriate by the department, so you really can't?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:33 PM
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There is no generic insult for all Americans.

In French, a sneering slur is "amérloque." I'm not sure any Americans have ever actually been offended when referred to thus, but since French people get acutely embarrassed when Americans refers to themselves so, it's got to be considered a nasty slur.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 4:52 PM
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I'm not a hardcore Facebook person, but I'm pretty sure that if you reject someone's friend request the result is exactly the same (from their point of view) as leaving them hanging--they don't become your 'friend', but they don't receive a rejection notification.

I'd recommend rejecting it. If you would like to be their 'friend', just not when you're their TA, then leaving it hanging until the semester's over would work fine too.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 5:00 PM
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(I'm not claiming that this is politically likely at all, but I think it would be a very good thing if school systems were at the least controlled at the state, rather than the local, level.)

Hawaii does that. The results are pretty disfunctional, but there are a lot of confounding factors.

A thought that I haven't really worked out yet but think there's something to: one thing that makes public schools hard to manage effectively is that there are a whole lot of things that we wouldn't necessarily mind having teachers doing with our kids but don't want the government doing with our kids. The schools end up spending a lot of faculty and administrative time and energy on compliance-type stuff that's often pretty trivial, but that we demand of them because they're public.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 5:12 PM
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we wouldn't necessarily mind having teachers doing with our kids but don't want the government doing with our kids.

Not following.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 5:24 PM
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Easiest example would be religion: lots of non-religious parents are OK with mandatory religious exercise in private school; anything vaguely in that direction in public school becomes a federal lawsuit. Similarly various sorts of discipline issues, search and seizure, etc., and generally too much emphasis on policies and procedures and not enough on the appropriate exercise of professional discretion. It's far from the only thing going on, but it's one of the things going on.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 5:42 PM
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In the interests of Caucasian solidarity, I'm going to have to side with Ogged here.

Seriously though, Ogged's right. Either make the case or don't. Fuck this insinuation drive by.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 7:11 PM
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I suppose "wegro" is offensive, but boy I do love to use it.

"Wegro" is fucking awesome.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 7:30 PM
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"Yeah. I want that dead. People defend it on the explicit basis that they want their schools to be better than the schools in other areas: screw that. Everyone gets the same schools, and if you want them better improve the whole goddamn system."

Local control in rich districts is not a problem. Aren't the main defenders of local control in poor districts the local politicians who like the opportunities for patronage and graft?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:35 PM
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"It's funny, whenever people talk about school funding, or the differences between schools in richer and poorer areas, someone makes Shearer's point that really academic success all comes from the home environment. And you know, there's something to that -- home environment certainly has some, and by that I mean a very strong, effect. But when you look at how people behave, it's absolutely clear that no one actually believes that school funding doesn't make a difference. "

It's not clear to me. People want their children going to "good" schools and don't want their children going to "bad" schools. But good means lots of rich white kids and bad means lots of poor black kids. Currently the "good" schools also have more money but that is not what is driving the behavior, give a poor black school lots of money and it still won't be attractive in general to rich white parents.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:43 PM
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"170: This hooks back around to the other thread, on the philosophy of science and the intellectual status of social science. It's certainly not clear that they're right, but given the incredible difficulty of doing anything like a properly controlled study, I have a hard time disregarding common sense, when it's such a universal perception."

It's also widely believed that black kids are undesirable classmates. Is that just common sense also?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:49 PM
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I hereby revoke James' right to use Econ 101 in any argument ever again.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-07 11:55 PM
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There is no generic insult for all Americans.
In the non-CA commonwealth, it used to be septic (tank=yank). I'm sure the last few years have fueled a linguistic boom.

re:the great school debate: Money helps. A lot. My mom is an ESL teacher, and while there's a shitload more racism here (MA) than back home (CA), the education kids can get here (if they choose to) is immeasurably better.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:06 AM
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maybe we should all try to get behind "incompetent imperialist fuckwits?" nah, cuntwigs is better. I had to have a "sorry bout my nation's foreign policy" with my muslim taxi driver the other day, and he was super-nice about it, like you would try and reassure a new guest to your home who had just spilled red wine all over your new white sofa. "no really, please don't worry about it. it's no trouble. really."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:30 AM
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um, ?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:33 AM
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I was closing a tag. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:34 AM
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Dear Alameida,

So sorry that you've fallen off the wagon. We love you anyway.

Indifferently,

Your Co-bloggers


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:37 AM
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