I understand that Matt Taibbi has three (!) little boys now…I bet public education’s “lunacies” has just gotten real personal for him. Good! Sic’em Matt! 😉

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Trump never left. He is a metastasized cancer and will outlast his own lifespan. And the Dems never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The biggest issue that I see with the Democratic party and its base is that they don't realize how serious the culture war insanity is to the right wing. The right views it as society ending and life threatening, and the left seems to think its a joke. Are we really laughing though? The left has to shut up about anything but bread and butter because the brand is too toxic for anything else right now.

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This isn't just bringing back Trump. This is single-handedly breaking the entire Democratic party's electoral map.

According to the most accurate polling before the VA election and the AP exit polls, Youngkin WON HISPANICS.


I work in the business and if you told me a year ago that a Republican would win Hispanics in Virginia by 12 points or more, I'd say you were sharing a crackpipe with the alien love child of Karl Rove and Dick Morris.

Speaking bluntly about the numbers, the only reason Republicans don't win almost every major election - especially these days - is that minority groups (other than Cubans) vote Democrat at a disproportionate rate for reasons that are more about cultural inertia than policy.

If minorities start voting like whites - just AVERAGE, not hardcore right-wing Cuban levels - then that spells nationwide disaster for the Left.

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One of the problems with CRT and other programs spewing from schools of ed is that they are designed to teach kids what to think. Unfortunately with this kind of schooling, kids are discouraged from learning to think.

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It’s unfortunate that the biggest concern with the lunacy in our education system is the chance that it could bring back Trump rather than the affect it’s having on kids.

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Matt, thanks for doing this. However, I would ask that you consider the format for the Callin. I would like this to be more of an AMA with some back and forth rather than hearing your guests speak at length about their experiences and or opinion. Clearly, there are many knowledgeable folks that subscribe to your substak; however, I want to hear more from you than from them, no disrespect to those listeners. After all, this is your substack and again I want to ask questions and hear more from you. What do you think?

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I feel there is one thing I need to speak up about as a youth liberationist, Matt. I understand that standardized testing is favored by many in the Asian-American communities since it has proven itself as a way for their kids to break into good colleges in high numbers, and because it is something that is measurable. What, exactly, however, does it measure in terms of individual level of skill, and what does it fail to do the same with?

Please note that many, many students -- including myself, when I was a student -- do/did poorly at standardized tests. Those latter tests only measure *very specific* skills, specifically the ability to memorize information. They also favor test-taking ability in general, which is not something all students, or people, are good at. So, should individuals like myself have justifiably been left behind? As a published author who has skills that are eminently useful to society despite not in the same areas as students who excelled in standardized testing, were those types of measurable tests fair to kids like me? There is also a good amount of criticism that relying on standardized testing negatively affects how educators must teach, requiring them to "teach to the test" and favoring rote memorization rather than building upon other types of intelligence and skills that are suppressed for largely political reasons -- critical thinking skills, problem resolution, oratory skills, and creative ability. In fact, the rote memorization standard has been favored to the point where a social studies teacher I had in middle school had us waste our time memorizing the nicknames of every state in the U.S. and made that an important point in our tests. Should the fact that I had difficulty memorizing all those nicknames even after hours and hours reading them over and over again mean that I should have been denied entry into a good college?

Standardized, one-size-fits-all education and tests simply prepare us to be cogs in the corporate machine, and lets face it, too much of Asian culture is geared towards favoring this type of conformity-centric success. I am *not* trying to say that this does not result in such students ultimately gaining entry into well-paying jobs which gives them the best chance to rise into the ranks of the middle class, but let's ask ourselves: Would this be as favored in a system that was non-capitalist and thus not focused upon wage-earning and profit-making rather than doing our parts to meet the needs of everyone in society?

I am not saying that standardized testing is bereft of the merits you mentioned. I am simply saying it does not work for everyone, and when it comes to the topic of education, I see no discussion coming from any side -- including your own, Matt -- that alternate methods of education which measure the value of different types of skills is needed. Have you heard of the unschooling movement and the varied forms of education it offers students with different needs, skill sets, and preferences? I think this needs to enter the discussion in a big way, and education needs to stop being defined as a single type of "universal" public schooling method that all students are expected to excel in.

Now, for the record, I concur that all students should learn the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and civics. If they are not doing that in the California system, then I agree that is the problem. However, not all students are going to be able to acquire *advanced* skills in any of the above, and as such, a good and flexible education system that focuses on identifying a student's strengths rather than expecting everyone to excel at the same things, at the same pace and penalizes them for any weaknesses and failure to follow the pace of the crowd is going to fail a multitude of students. That is not so much learning as it is competing with other students in a race to the top, and what does that remind us of, Matt?

I agree with you that students who are taking the same pre-algebra classes for years without moving on to calculus is a waste -- for students who show a good aptitude in math, that is. Those like myself, however, who frankly suck at math are not going to excel in calculus, or even geometry, if we are pushed into it no matter how many hours you keep them after school and force reams of homework and "extra" work down their throats and punishing them when they do not succeed by denying them the right to have a life outside of schooling, while simultaneously wasting their time and the time of the teachers and/or tutors who are trying to get blood out of a stone. These students would be better off, once learning the basics (which all of us can do), in focusing their efforts into the advanced levels of subjects they *do* excel at while letting the math teachers focus on advancing the students who excel at math into calculus et al. The education system should not be morphed into a system that mirrors the capitalist system we oppose: to force everyone to ruthlessly compete in a race to the top, favor some skill sets over others by giving greater rewards to some, and deliberately penalizing and demoralizing those who fail to "make the grade." Some students will excel at some subjects better than others, and learning needs to be a fun and relaxed place that respects students as individuals and offers challenges based on the individual ability of different students to succeed at them. This *does not* mean shirking education in the basics of everything -- as much as I suck at math, I did get B's, C's, C-minuses in general math, pre-algebra, and even standard high school algebra. It was when I was expected to move beyond despite my clear lack of individual ability to handle the more advanced material in that area of academic endeavor that I found my time wasted and my life negatively effected.

Now, this is where input from youth liberationists is most important: the ongoing wars between who should decide what is best for students, parents or bureaucrats? Well, how about letting *students* weigh in on that? Not only as a group, but as individuals. Yes, I know, Matt, that parents love their kids more than anyone, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are going to make the best decisions for them. Parents are human, and thus vulnerable to all sorts of political and social influences that may result in them making decisions that is best for *the parents themselves* and not for their kids. I know you are a parent yourself, Matt, so I ask you to resist being offended by this statement and instead take a hard, critical look at what I'm trying to say here: the fact that parents love their kids so much may also make it impossible for them to be completely objective at times, and to assess their children fairly. There will be times kids need not only their own voices to be heard and *counted*, but also for there to be administrative boards, comprised of people of all vocations and ages -- teachers, parents, kids, students, etc. -- who are capable of providing an objective assessment that is *not* unduly influenced by emotion. Let's be honest here, Matt -- love, like all emotions, can have its dark side, including the desire to control those we love while arguing that it has the best intentions behind it. Even if the best of intentions are truly there, that does not mean the end result will be best for those involved. We also need to recognize the unpleasant fact that love and respect do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.

This was another serious problem I had: the family who raised me certainly loved me a lot, but they had *zero* respect for me as a person, and what my capabilities were. They simply wanted, more than anything else, for me to be able to *conform* as much as any other kid, including within the standardized education system. They didn't want me to learn the way that was best for me, they simply wanted me to get good grades within the established system, and when I proved unable to "fit in," they worked *with* the teachers and school officials to punish me for it, hoping that would get me to improve. Try to take a guess how effective that proved to be, and what it did to my emotional health. I was considered to be learning disabled by the system. Was it truly a "disorder" on my part, or the result of my being forced to participate in a one-size-fits-all system that cannot work for a large number of students? And does this system truly educate us in the all the ways it should? As undeniably important as reading, writing, and arithmetic are, whether in their basic or advanced forms, is this all really there is to learning?

Does this mean I am arguing that the state should be the "winner" in these disputes? No, because I fully agree that bureaucrats are under a huge amount of political influences that likewise intrude upon objective assessment. This is why we need local boards filled with students in addition to adults of every stripe. We also need the inherent competency of young people to be respected and acknowledged and to cease denying them access to information that can help them grow and develop at their own pace. This, I think, would enable parents, educators, and students alike to assess matters not only for education as a whole, but for recognizing that the realm of education to take multiple possible forms to meet both collective and individual needs.

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It is just a matter of time before the Dems start losing women in droves with their "woke" trans religious beliefs that they call "science". Women are socialized to be very tolerant but the push to celebrate trans women and erase women is going to blow up in the face of those who worship at the transwoman alter.

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A good companion piece to Matt's Loudoun series is this article by George Packer in the Atlantic that covered many of the same issues when they were introduced into New York Public schools.

"When the Culture War Comes for the Kids

Caught between a brutal meritocracy and a radical new progressivism, a parent tries to do right by his children while navigating New York City’s schools.

By George Packer

October 2019 Issue"


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I hope she calls in .. . and lets see how she really feels?

Nikole Hannah-Jones has accused Taibbi of misquoting her.


*i'm doing the dishes, you'll have to call back ltr.

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@getcallin have been promising an Android version "soon" for 4 months now.


I'll take it with a pinch of salt until something more concrete or informative is announced

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I think that basketball is inherently racist and should be "restructured" much in the same way math should be according to Deborah Lowenberg Ball by lowering the height of the basket and not keeping score similar to eliminating standardized testing in CA. It has been systematically developed to decrease the potential for whites to advance. As all people are created equal, both physically and mentally, it would stand to reason that had these equality driven standards been implemented when I was learning the game 40 years ago I, as a now overweight 55 y/o 6' white man, would have had a better potential to play in the NBA. I didn't do well with basketball because I am an average 6' white man and also didn't do well in math because I have an average brain not because I didn't try hard at both or had bad teachers or coaches. I'm not a Herbert Spencer social darwinist but do believe in aptitude. BTW I suck at drumming. Guess I should have try to learn it without using the heads or better yet, the sticks.

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To More Freedom:

I agree, and believe Dr. Fauci would agree with you that "the known" comes from RCTs (double-blind trials). When something is not known for sure, such as mask efficacy, we must rely on observations from trusted sources, and even common sense as he says, which certainly can be wrong, but are the best we have until proved right or wrong.

While anyone could be corrupted by self-interest, I have no reason to distrust Dr. F. when it comes to his motives for his recommendations. An overly suspicious person might distrust another when a possible motive for dishonesty can be thought of, but I have found greater accuracy in saying "What does he have to lose by lying" (for Fauci, everything. For Trump, nearly nothing it seems).

By the way, as a primary care doctor who has followed Fauci since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, I have found him wrong on more than one issue. His stance on masks at the beginning of Covid turned out wrong, though understandable, since masks weren't known to be effective at the time, and a run on masks needed to be avoided so the hospitals wouldn't run out. Since then, observational studies-not RCTs but the best we have- have shown a substantial decrease in transmission. I believe we should go with that til disproved.

John Cappadona

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This is nonsense. How about you show us "Democrats' Education" compared to "Republicans' Education". Probably not, because this is a media created pacifier for imbeciles to suck.

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Next week's column will be "Media lunacies will bring back Trump."

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Matt it is so nice to find a site on the internet where the subscribers are sane, sensible and not disturbed or easily upset.

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Hi Matt, Is there an easy way for you to turn these Callin discussions into transcripts? I like to listen to them, but sometimes there is something said that I would like to note, like your comment about propaganda techniques.

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Let me reply to your second point first. "In practice, multiple choice tends to work for those who have good rote memorization skills but not necessarily analytical skills."

Here is a multiple-choice question that takes very little if any memorization skill and whole lot of analytical skills. The question goes like this.

"There are three boxes, A,B,and C of which only one has anything of value in it. Assume you pick box A as your best guess. Before revealing whether you are right or not I, knowing which box contains the something of value, truthfully told you box B does not have anything of value. Which of the following answers would provide the best chance of finding the thing of value?

a. Stay with box A

b. Change to box C

c. Box A and C have the same odds of being right.

Regarding your first premise. Please tell me which socialistic country attracts innovators like Elon Musk or anyone like him. It is hard to refute the fact that he is the product of a meritocracy that is embraced and rewarded by a capitalist system not a socialist one. His genius is how to take his engineering skills and turn it into something that benefits society. His reward is making more money to do the same again and again as long as he works hard and continues to produce USABLE products that society values. The same can be said of Edison and others. Edison had created hundreds of trillions of dollars of value to the human race of which he, even at a billion dollars was only rewarded with a small portion of the wealth he created.

All citizens of this country are treated equally under the law. That doesn't mean that they all should be rewarded the same way. For the most part, in a capitalistic system they are rewarded by how much value they provide society. A good doctor provides more than most brick layers. Normally doctors are paid more than brick layers. They are both treated equally under the law but the law doesn't pay them for what they contribute to society.

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I listened to yesterday's Callin and found it pretty well balanced.

Matt's reporting on the topic seemed very good, much more in-depth than I have heard.

If you don't have a ton of time to devote to exhaustively following this story, I would say his treatment of the issue is comprehensive and pretty fair-minded, even though the case for greater equity in public school education should still always be sought, (if not to the exclusion of high standards)and the notion of racism having infiltrated institutions is pretty undeniable (though reversals have clearly taken place since the 1960s).

I do wish to dispute one caller's charge than Dr. Fauci's reversals on various recommendations show his unreliability. Rather, it's the virus that is unreliable, and unpredictable. Like all scientists should do, he seems to have always based his recommendations on what is known at the time, or at least what could be most reasonably assumed based on prior science.

We must remember that science is the sum of information which has not yet been proved wrong.

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Yeah, another subscriber feature on the app I can't use. You need to lower subscription price for we non-Apple suicide net supporting folks. You not addressing this bullshit pisses me off, yet I still subscribe. Kind of like how both Dems and Republicans expect their supporters to always vote for them no matter how bad their candidate is. See Dementia Joe for reference. I am sure you don't give a shit about low income subscribers like me, plus I am a horrible boomer. Egads.

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I heard the first 20-30 minutes, took a break. When it reloaded I was not able to get it to jump forward to the previous spot, it would only play from the beginning and I'm not willing to listen to the whole thing over again. I'm guessing this is an issue with the callin platform.

May I suggest you also put these out as a podcast, since those platforms will allow jumping around in the times. I usually listen on Podbean

What I did hear was great

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Why do we have to listen to Paul whine on about San Francisco? I live here in the City & it's great! Fu*k Texas with its collapsing grid, no ACA, no abortions, & everyone is armed to the teeth.

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Am I missing something? is there a discussion going on? I cant hear it.

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Is the call accessible via a desktop machine, or is it necessary to use the app on a phone?

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Mr. Taibbi, as a Marine, I'm anything but squeamish about foul language. However, if you think that using '**ssed' entices everyone in your audience to read something you've written, you're dead-**s wrong, sir. IMHO, you're also doing far more damage to the cause of Mr. Trump than you're helping it.

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Look forward to joining as soon as it's available on Android.

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