Hot Air: Kids Stuff


Happy Pi Day. And here it is, in much of its glorious detail:


Mathematicians have determined pi to the 22 trillionth digit so far. In fact, the latest calculation took 105 straight days — 24 hours a day on an extremely powerful computer — to figure.


I’m pleased to report a huge percentage of schools and school districts in and around my beloved hometown of Chi. are supporting students who will walk out today in recognition of all the kids who’ve been slaughtered in school shootings of late. One school, as an example, is scheduled to administer PARCC tests this AM, so the principal made a deal with the kids — take the test, then go out and protest, with no repercussions.

The Catholic school system in the city and suburbs — the archdiocese runs hundreds of elementary, middle, junior, and high schools throughout the metropolitan area — is uniformly supporting the student protests. The Sun-Times‘ Neil Steinberg commented on social media yesterday:

Catholic schools citywide are on top of the issue. It’s almost as if they had some kind of overarching… oh, I don’t know… faith guiding them.

I know, too, our Bloomington schools are on the right side of this issue. If they weren’t, that’d be the headline of the year.

We’re Smarter — We Think

A line from Bill Bryson’s At Home:

It was accepted wisdom almost everywhere in the nineteenth century that the poor were poor because they were born to be.

Of course, we don’t buy that kind of crazy talk in these enlightened times. Back then, heritage and bloodlines were everything. Leaders of empires attained their exalted status not because they were popular or they inspired the masses or they were recognized great souls or brilliant policy wonks. They became kings and queens, emperors, kaisers, tsars, sultans, or other dynasts by dint of dumb luck. Conventional logic held that innate circumstances governed one’s position at the opposite end of the spectrum. You were poor, a slave, or otherwise unworthy of the very air you breathed because you were meant to be. The benighted souls coming to those conclusions didn’t know about DNA and genetics so they posited that the Big Daddy-o in the Sky dictated every human’s stature.

Again, we don’t buy into that nonsense. We believe people who’ve made a lot of money are the most-qualified to be our leaders and the poor, well, they got that way because they’re lazy.

It’s great to be enlightened. Isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?

Just Desserts

The state has stopped dumping parolees in Bloomington of late. Or at least curtailed the practice. So says a report in today’s Herald Times.

It’s been a matter of common knowledge around these parts that the Indiana Department of Corrections has, at the very least, made it easy for cons getting sprung from state pens to settle in this town. One of the reasons is a regional parole office is located here, over on Packing House Rd., hard by Vernal Pike and SR 37. Parolees need to live somewhat near the parole office for obvious reasons, not the least of which is a good number of them either have suspended drivers licenses or simply can’t afford wheels.

In any case, the dumping of parolees seems to have been executed almost hand in hand with surrounding counties’ sheriffs dumping their homeless and other “undesirables” hereabouts because we have swell social services, and well.., Fuck ’em, they’re liberals, let ’em have the dregs. Tehee.

Golly gee, I’d hate to think the state, in all its glory and grandeur, would dump its parolees here for that same latter reasoning.

Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff, acc’d’g to the H-T, said not long ago that the state has assured him it’ll stop shipping its parolees here. The state, for its part, says, by gosh, no such promise ever has been made because it’s been doing business the same way for years — this despite the numbers of parolees dumped here dropping from 195 in 2013 to 86 last year.

No matter. What does matter is the very strong possibility that Bloomington has been and in some cases still is being punished for being full of nice, compassionate progressives.

Say what you will about Republicans and the Right, the fact of the matter is meanness is always lurking just below the surface.

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