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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#20821 User is offline   Czbornik 

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Posted 2023-March-20, 18:25

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-20, 06:50, said:

Btw, I agree with each point.

I know I said I was leaving but, before Elvis leaves the building, I am compelled to thank you for your comment. FWIW, I just read in the last day or so that Wyoming has enacted a law banning Mifepristone. I think that stinks. But I can do nothing about it other than wish I had a vote in the state of Wyoming.
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#20822 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-21, 09:33

 awm, on 2023-March-20, 02:29, said:

The US Congress has the power to pass laws interpreting and enforcing the US Constitution -- despite the modern trend to view the Supreme Court as the arbiter of the Constitution, this power has traditionally belonged to all three branches of government.

So for example, the US Congress could state that despite the inclusion of the word "soldier", the third amendment actually forbids the government (state or federal) from requiring people to quarter anyone in their home. This would forbid the government from requiring people to house police officers, or tax collectors, or Ukrainian refugees, etc. It would also forbid the government from requiring a woman to house an unwanted fetus in her body.

Or the US Congress could state that the fourth amendment protection against "unreasonable search and seizure" applies to any search of a uterus, and that any law requiring government knowledge of the contents of a uterus is thus unenforceable and void.

Or the US Congress could encode the "right to privacy" as implied by numerous amendments (but not explicitly in the text of the Constitution) and pass laws to defend it.

Of course, this particular Supreme Court has shown an inclination to ignore laws and precedents and the Constitution itself in ruling for its desired outcome, so the legal grounding of any law passed by Congress may not matter unless the President decides to start ignoring ridiculous rulings coming out of the Court (leading to a likely crisis).


This could be seen as explaining why I usually steer clear of legal arguments.


The Third Amendment:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

You say:
So for example, the US Congress could state that despite the inclusion of the word "soldier", the third amendment actually forbids the government (state or federal) from requiring people to quarter anyone in their home. This would forbid the government from requiring people to house police officers, or tax collectors, or Ukrainian refugees, etc. It would also forbid the government from requiring a woman to house an unwanted fetus in her body.


My thought: Yep, the US Congress could state that.
I have no trouble at all visualizing a long legal debate over the legitimacy of this interpretation. I never had any interest in becoming a lawyer.

I prefer arguments that are more straightforward. Eg Very few women regard abortion as a casual matter. Late-term abortions are no doubt particularly stressful both physically and psychologically. This means that we should stay out of their business, except perhaps to offer understanding and support. I'm ok with saying "Hey if you are going to abort, get on with it" but even there it seems that the woman's own concern for her own health makes such a statement unnecessary. Her friends could give that advice.

I really hate to see a straightforward defense of abortion get replaced by a complex legal argument but it would not be the first time. And, as things are, maybe it has to be. Too bad. I am not really contesting anything you are saying here, I just find it depressing.
Ken
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#20823 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-21, 10:46

One of the overlooked aspects of the abortion issue IMO is tied closely to our unrealistic communal understanding of the birth of the the constitution, that our initial attempt at self governance, The Articles of Confederation (minuscule federal government and power, totally independent state’s rights) was a complete failure, that the replacement document was based on compromises and no one at the time even dreamed that it was perfect.
And it isn’t.
That their simplicity now requires armies of lawyers to try to deduce the compromises of 1789 and make them fit a 21st century world should be no surprise.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20824 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-21, 14:07

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-21, 10:46, said:

One of the overlooked aspects of the abortion issue IMO is tied closely to our unrealistic communal understanding of the birth of the the constitution, that our initial attempt at self governance, The Articles of Confederation (minuscule federal government and power, totally independent state's rights) was a complete failure, that the replacement document was based on compromises and no one at the time even dreamed that it was perfect.
And it isn't.
That their simplicity now requires armies of lawyers to try to deduce the compromises of 1789 and make them fit a 21st century world should be no surprise.


2023 is not 1789. Got that. That doesn't mean the solution is legalistic contortions. Or if it does mean that, then that is a further reason for pessimism. I doubt long-term good will come from claiming that words mean something that only a lawyer would ever believe, or claim to believe, they mean.
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#20825 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-21, 15:14

 kenberg, on 2023-March-21, 14:07, said:

2023 is not 1789. Got that. That doesn't mean the solution is legalistic contortions. Or if it does mean that, then that is a further reason for pessimism. I doubt long-term good will come from claiming that words mean something that only a lawyer would ever believe, or claim to believe, they mean.


Isn’t that though the claim of the “originalists” on the SCOTUS?
Language changes over time. Punctuation has changed since 1790.

We have all agreed to live under rules established by the constitution. But the constitution is not a holy book. We need a judiciary to cover the gray areas that no one in 1790 could imagine might occur.

The plain language of the second amendment, “the right to bear arms, shsll not be infringed “ is all of a sudden no longer plain when you add “A well regulated militia, being necessary…”

Some things cannot be reduced.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20826 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-21, 20:28

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-21, 15:14, said:

Isn't that though the claim of the "originalists" on the SCOTUS?
Language changes over time. Punctuation has changed since 1790.

We have all agreed to live under rules established by the constitution. But the constitution is not a holy book. We need a judiciary to cover the gray areas that no one in 1790 could imagine might occur.

The plain language of the second amendment, "the right to bear arms, shsll not be infringed " is all of a sudden no longer plain when you add "A well regulated militia, being necessary…"

Some things cannot be reduced.


I am open to discussions of what is meant, and for that matter making some adjustments to take the very different nature of the world into account. It's reasonable to say that the founders were not thinking of assault rifles when they wrote the Second Amendment. My objection is to a claim that a sentence means something that it very clearly does not mean. If we say that the Third Amendment gives women the right to abortion then we are saying that we will now have the words in the Constitution mean whatever we want them to mean. And that would say that the Constitution has no meaning at all.


Short version: When I say that the Third Amendment does not guarantee the right to abortion this does not make me an originalist, it just means that I am sane.
Ken
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#20827 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-22, 08:09

 kenberg, on 2023-March-21, 20:28, said:

I am open to discussions of what is meant, and for that matter making some adjustments to take the very different nature of the world into account. It's reasonable to say that the founders were not thinking of assault rifles when they wrote the Second Amendment. My objection is to a claim that a sentence means something that it very clearly does not mean. If we say that the Third Amendment gives women the right to abortion then we are saying that we will now have the words in the Constitution mean whatever we want them to mean. And that would say that the Constitution has no meaning at all.


Short version: When I say that the Third Amendment does not guarantee the right to abortion this does not make me an originalist, it just means that I am sane.


Is it specific wording that matters or the broader category of type of rights that were intended to be protected that matters?

There is no right to privacy or right to vote specified in the constitution; does that mean the justices were insane when they ruled about these implied rights?

Because the right to abortion was previously ruled to be implied by privacy rights, themselves implied, there is no right spelled out.

The starting point should be that the constitution is an imperfect document and other than broad categories should not be pigeon holed into precise meanings.

Is that not sane?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20828 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-22, 12:50

Ken,

Here is a question and I mean it not as contentious but legitimate discourse: words in the second and third amendments.

The second starts “A well regulated militia”. Can we define today what the militia meant in 1789? You point to the third: is the “soldier” in the third anendment part of the second amendment’s militia or a separate armed force?

Or, are the entire points of both amendments now mute as we have armed standing armies and an understanding that the government cannot force households to acquiesce to its whims, regardless if a soldier or a pregnant woman?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20829 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-23, 09:14

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-22, 12:50, said:

Ken,

Here is a question and I mean it not as contentious but legitimate discourse: words in the second and third amendments.

The second starts "A well regulated militia". Can we define today what the militia meant in 1789? You point to the third: is the "soldier" in the third anendment part of the second amendment's militia or a separate armed force?

Or, are the entire points of both amendments now mute as we have armed standing armies and an understanding that the government cannot force households to acquiesce to its whims, regardless if a soldier or a pregnant woman?


I am neither a historian nor a constitutional lawyer so we are just speaking of how I see things.

Reference to the Third Amendment began with post 20820 by awm where he says:
"So for example, the US Congress could state that despite the inclusion of the word "soldier", the third amendment actually forbids the government (state or federal) from requiring people to quarter anyone in their home. This would forbid the government from requiring people to house police officers, or tax collectors, or Ukrainian refugees, etc. It would also forbid the government from requiring a woman to house an unwanted fetus in her body."
My reaction was "sure, Congress could state that" I could state that I am 26 years old, that I am the best bridge player in the USA, or that dinosaur bones are really the bones of aliens who came here via flying saucers. If scotus ever came to rule on the proposition that the Third Amendment gives women the right to an abortion I would hope the ruling would be 9-0 against it. It is one thing to say that this is no longer 1789. it is another thing to say something like "hey, we want abortion to be constitutionally protected so we will say that the Third Amendment protects it".

There are several problems with such creative interpretations. They are absurd, that's one problem. Another is that when a nomination for a new scotus member goes to Congress, the discussion is no longer about the person's qualifications as a legal scholar. Is the nominee for or against abortion, that's the question. Who cares about their legal reasoning, it's just which way will they vote. Once upon a time, or so I believe, a highly qualified constitutional scholar could expect to receive positive votes from both sides of the aisle supporting the nomination. No more. They can flunk a law exam as long as they vote right.

Maybe the worst part is that this shabby procedure has such permanence. We think of constitutional amendments as complex and lengthy. But Amendment 18 created Prohibition in 1920 and Amendment 21 canceled it in 1933. Roe v Wade lasted for 50 years and the restoration might well take another 50 years. Long ago, after Roe v Wade but only a little after, I was talking with a Catholic woman about abortion A friendly chat, she was not in need of an abortion. She mentioned that her younger sister, as a teen, had become pregnant. She summarized the family approach as "Who cares what the Pope says, who cares what the law says, we had a problem and we addressed it". 84 years of living leads me to conclude that this is very much the majority view. Before Roe v Wade someone was pregnant and then they were not pregnant. No questions were asked.

Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, overturning Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, Everyone is partisan, and no one gives a flying F about legal argument.

This can't be good.
Ken
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#20830 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-23, 10:18

 kenberg, on 2023-March-23, 09:14, said:

I am neither a historian nor a constitutional lawyer so we are just speaking of how I see things.

Reference to the Third Amendment began with post 20820 by awm where he says:
"So for example, the US Congress could state that despite the inclusion of the word "soldier", the third amendment actually forbids the government (state or federal) from requiring people to quarter anyone in their home. This would forbid the government from requiring people to house police officers, or tax collectors, or Ukrainian refugees, etc. It would also forbid the government from requiring a woman to house an unwanted fetus in her body."
My reaction was "sure, Congress could state that" I could state that I am 26 years old, that I am the best bridge player in the USA, or that dinosaur bones are really the bones of aliens who came here via flying saucers. If scotus ever came to rule on the proposition that the Third Amendment gives women the right to an abortion I would hope the ruling would be 9-0 against it. It is one thing to say that this is no longer 1789. it is another thing to say something like "hey, we want abortion to be constitutionally protected so we will say that the Third Amendment protects it".

There are several problems with such creative interpretations. They are absurd, that's one problem. Another is that when a nomination for a new scotus member goes to Congress, the discussion is no longer about the person's qualifications as a legal scholar. Is the nominee for or against abortion, that's the question. Who cares about their legal reasoning, it's just which way will they vote. Once upon a time, or so I believe, a highly qualified constitutional scholar could expect to receive positive votes from both sides of the aisle supporting the nomination. No more. They can flunk a law exam as long as they vote right.

Maybe the worst part is that this shabby procedure has such permanence. We think of constitutional amendments as complex and lengthy. But Amendment 18 created Prohibition in 1920 and Amendment 21 canceled it in 1933. Roe v Wade lasted for 50 years and the restoration might well take another 50 years. Long ago, after Roe v Wade but only a little after, I was talking with a Catholic woman about abortion A friendly chat, she was not in need of an abortion. She mentioned that her younger sister, as a teen, had become pregnant. She summarized the family approach as "Who cares what the Pope says, who cares what the law says, we had a problem and we addressed it". 84 years of living leads me to conclude that this is very much the majority view. Before Roe v Wade someone was pregnant and then they were not pregnant. No questions were asked.

Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, overturning Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, Everyone is partisan, and no one gives a flying F about legal argument.

This can't be good.


We are in total agreement. Something fundamental is broken.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20831 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-March-24, 15:32

 kenberg, on 2023-March-23, 09:14, said:

Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, overturning Roe v Wade was decided by 9 people, Everyone is partisan, and no one gives a flying F about legal argument.

This can't be good.

This is sadly a typical false equivalence and one fears for Americans when even an informed, intelligent person does not see it. Roe was decided 7-2 with roughly 3-4 conservative votes supporting it (depending on how you count these things, which were less defined back then). The following case, Casey, was particularly notable for occurring under a court with 8 Republican nominees that skewed very heavily conservative. Despite this, it reaffirmed the general decision from Roe, albeit with a more precise (and frankly logical) framework, namely viability rather than trimesters. The new ruling on the other hand, Dobbs, is a strict partisan vote with conservatives supporting and liberals dissenting. But that is hardly surprising, given that most of the conservatives were specifically appointed for their ability to re-interpret laws to create more or less any opinion they want. When the leading court of a land has so little credibility as to their legal fundamentals, your justice system has issues. This is unfortunately where the USA stands right now.
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#20832 User is offline   Czbornik 

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Posted 2023-March-24, 18:11

 pilowsky, on 2023-March-12, 18:57, said:

Define "modern-day curricula".

"Gender studies" is much less worthwhile than calculus. For that matter, "gender studies" is much less worthwhile than "agriculture".
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#20833 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-24, 21:08

 Czbornik, on 2023-March-24, 18:11, said:

"Gender studies" is much less worthwhile than calculus. For that matter, "gender studies" is much less worthwhile than "agriculture".


I am 72 years old and I have not used calculus once in my lifetime; I deal with genders daily. And I don’t own a farm.
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#20834 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-25, 06:48

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-24, 21:08, said:

I am 72 years old and I have not used calculus once in my lifetime; I deal with genders daily. And I don't own a farm.


My daughter took Calc I in her first year in college and got an A. I encouraged her to continue but she explained "I wanted to prove to some people I could do this, and now I will take what I want".Bravo.
On her 40th birthday I asked her if she could still state the quadratic formula. She could, more or less. Ok, it's not calculus but I was impressed.


As for gender studies, a baby-sitter that I had when I was 9 or so got into bed with me and taught me a lot of what I needed to know. For some reason my parents never hired that baby-sitter again. Mabe she had not taught me enough about the importance of not saying anything.

Getting back to math and my own interests. At the end of my freshman year in high school my Spanish teacher warned me that "No girl wants to be Mrs. Einstein". She, Mrs K, was and remains one of my favorite teachers. Weird as hell, but very independent in her thinking. A few weeks into the school year she realized that many of the students were not understanding about Spanish grammar because they were weak in English grammar, so she announced that for the next two weeks we would be studying English grammar and we were to learn it and that meant learn it. Ok, no one would hire me as a proofreader but we were ready for Spanish grammar after that. I had had an excellent eight grade teacher so much of what Mrs K said was review but still useful..

And now back to gender studies. By the end of my hs sophomore year I had a car as did some of my friends. Old cars that needed work, and this work, on my car and on theirs, was done in the garage in my backyard. I like to think that if a girl drove up in an old clunker such as I and my friends had and said that she wanted t join in on the car work she would have been welcome. This was around 1954-56, and that might explain why this never happened, but I think she would have been accepted. I very much hope so.

Brief version. Many many people can happily go throug life without calculus. My parents happily went through life without algebra.
Ken
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#20835 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-25, 07:56

 kenberg, on 2023-March-25, 06:48, said:



My daughter took Calc I in her first year in college and got an A. I encouraged her to continue but she explained "I wanted to prove to some people I could do this, and now I will take what I want".Bravo.
On her 40th birthday I asked her if she could still state the quadratic formula. She could, more or less. Ok, it's not calculus but I was impressed.


As for gender studies, a baby-sitter that I had when I was 9 or so got into bed with me and taught me a lot of what I needed to know. For some reason my parents never hired that baby-sitter again. Mabe she had not taught me enough about the importance of not saying anything.

Getting back to math and my own interests. At the end of my freshman year in high school my Spanish teacher warned me that "No girl wants to be Mrs. Einstein". She, Mrs K, was and remains one of my favorite teachers. Weird as hell, but very independent in her thinking. A few weeks into the school year she realized that many of the students were not understanding about Spanish grammar because they were weak in English grammar, so she announced that for the next two weeks we would be studying English grammar and we were to learn it and that meant learn it. Ok, no one would hire me as a proofreader but we were ready for Spanish grammar after that. I had had an excellent eight grade teacher so much of what Mrs K said was review but still useful..

And now back to gender studies. By the end of my hs sophomore year I had a car as did some of my friends. Old cars that needed work, and this work, on my car and on theirs, was done in the garage in my backyard. I like to think that if a girl drove up in an old clunker such as I and my friends had and said that she wanted t join in on the car work she would have been welcome. This was around 1954-56, and that might explain why this never happened, but I think she would have been accepted. I very much hope so.

Brief version. Many many people can happily go throug life without calculus. My parents happily went through life without algebra.


I have profound admiration for those skilled in areas I am not such as calculus and internal combustion engine repair.

I was required to take sociology. I had always avoided it as some type of squishy course unnecessary; turns out I loved it and learned more about things that are genuinely important- human interactions- than in any of the STEM classes.

We have developed to live in groups and depend on each other for expertise, whether collecting and disposing of trash or building houses. Sure, there are people who can do it all for themselves but they are few.
Most of us are in this thing together, and I don’t see anyone more valuable than another. I just try to do my share.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20836 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-March-25, 18:43

It's easy to see how solving a differential equation is helpful in modern day existence.
Most of us (here) live in a highly engineered built environment, drive cars, use computers and aren't in the least bit surprised when doors magically slide out of the way when we walk towards them.
The same is not true for millions of other people.
In some places in Australia and the USA walking on the street is a risky activity.

"Gender studies" is not something ethereal that latte lovers and chardonnay socialists chat about while reclining in their drawing rooms.
People that aren't "white men" live a much riskier existence with less opportunity all over the world.

What's the point of being able to walk over a well-designed bridge that won't collapse because the engineer understood calculus only to be attacked on the other side by a disgruntled misogynist?
Non legit hoc
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#20837 User is offline   Czbornik 

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Posted 2023-March-25, 19:11

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-24, 21:08, said:

I am 72 years old and I have not used calculus once in my lifetime.

I am older than you and neither have I (except for when I had to pass it to graduate from college). Meanwhile the Chinese are teaching calculus to 3rd graders and we (Americans) are teaching 3rd graders that men can have babies. I find it totally illogical.
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#20838 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-March-26, 08:30

Usefulness depends on context. Of course.

Calculus and such:

In the summer of 1961, I worked for Minneapolis-Honeywell. Calculus was useful, as were linear algebra, numerical analysis, and computer programming. Also physics and general knowledge of engineering. There were several math students from various schools working for the summer, we could all do the math but when a problem required a math person to sit down with engineers and discuss what's what, I was the one they usually chose.

In the summer of 1954 I was working on my 1947 Plymouth and mathematics was irrelevant. Books were useful, very useful. At first, I used the public library but I was getting the books greasy and anyway I found out that an ordinary person could buy the same shop manual that the Plymouth mechanics used so I did that. I removed the warped cylinder head and had it shaved, I replaced piston rings and crankshaft bearings, I replaced the clutch and, at some point, I did an engine transplant. I bought another 47 Plymouth for $35 that had a better body than the car I had but a hopeless engine and traded the engines. No calculus but a lot of reading."Useful" depends on context.

Gender identity:

I think one problem with a course in gender identity is that many youngsters would not much care. My guess is that my reaction would have been along the lines of "The guys I hang with do not have a vagina, and the girls I date do not have a penis, so what am I to do with this info?" I was interested in math and physics, no explanation, I just was. I attended talks on such matters at the University of Minnesota and I read unassigned books about it. But for poetry, I could maybe answer questions about iambic tetrameter but don't expect me to be interested. The same reaction might be in play with gender identity.
Another problem, at least it could be a problem, is that I was very resistant to being told what I should think. Unless the course allowed me to form my own opinion I would write off the course as hopeless. I could memorize that so-and-so was a great novelist and I could say so to pass a test but I still had my own opinion. I am fine with making various arrangements to accommodate those who have gender issues, but it is not because a teacher said so. I am not so fine with having one student with a penis being in an open area public high school shower with twenty students who have vaginas, I think the students with vaginas also need some accommodation, but I am up for finding some accommodation. Setting up the showers so that each student has an enclosed area seems reasonable. A big shower room with enclosed areas, so no one sees what other students look like with their clothes off. There would be a cost, but not enormous. If this, and other common sense approaches, would bring the hassle to an end it would be worth it. Go with practical rather than theoretical.
Ken
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#20839 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-March-26, 15:44

Concerning showers, it would be helpful if the USA would grow up about such things as penises and vaginas. But our puritanical influences don’t make me hopeful that will ever happen.
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Posted 2023-March-26, 16:03

 Winstonm, on 2023-March-26, 15:44, said:

Concerning showers, it would be helpful if the USA would grow up about such things as penises and vaginas. But our puritanical influences don’t make me hopeful that will ever happen.

Case in point: Florida parents upset by Michelangelo’s ‘David’ force out principal

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A Florida charter school principal said she was forced to resign this week after some parents complained about their sixth-grade students being shown images of Michelangelo’s “David” statue in class, with one parent believing the art lesson on the Renaissance masterpiece amounted to pornographic material.

Hope Carrasquilla of Tallahassee Classical School in Leon County, Fla., said she offered her resignation during an emergency school board meeting on Monday after she was given an ultimatum by the board to resign or be fired, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The principal said that she was not given a reason she was asked to resign but that she believes complaints the school board received from parents over the lesson on the Michelangelo statue played a role in what happened.

“It is with a sad heart that my time as the principal of Tallahassee Classical School has come to an end,” she wrote in a Thursday letter to the school board that was obtained by The Washington Post.

The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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