Tuesday Open Thread

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

–Orson Welles

56 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
    Due respect to everyone who sees a royal naming as an important big deal. I don’t really get the whole monarchy thing.

    But at least if she ever runs for public office, she can go by her initials: CED.

    • OrangeFree says:

      I seem to remember us fighting a war a long while back so that we wouldn’t have to care about anything royal…

      • BlueCat says:

        Oh well. They seem a nice young family trying to lead the most normal lives any Brit royals ever led.  Most Brits like keeping the monarchy around, admire the queen for her and her family's bravery and service in WWII, staying in London through all the bombing in solidarity with and providing inspiration and comfort to ordinary Londoners. The attention they get is no sillier than the attention our biggest celebrities get and they, unlike our celebs, represent a continuation of the long history of their nation. It's not like they're allowed to chop off people's heads or anything anymore. Brits may complain about how much they cost but most wouldn't want to give them up when push comes to shove. At least not yet. You don't have to pay any attention, just as I don't to David's Euro-trash videos.

        • gertie97 says:

          I'm with you there, BC. What I really don't get are Americans afflicted with royal-worshipping. Any theories there?

          • Duke Cox says:

            See "Klondike and Snow" (ya'll remember them, right?)/ " Paris Hilton" /  anything "Kardashian"…there is a connection…WAY too much time on their hands and a more or less loose association with reality. Why specifically the "Royals".?  search me……


    • FrankUnderwood says:

      She can't run for office. Under their unwritten constitution, members of the aristocracy are limited to sitting as peers in the House of Lords. 

  2. OrangeFree says:

    It’s election day in Denver. Of course, with the lack of coverage this one has received, you wouldn’t know it.

    Bertie the Hippo dying got more coverage last night than the election.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Denver Election coverage seems to hinge on whether there is a real Mayor's race, though we noticed the same drop-off in interest in 2011.

      This is one place where you really see a difference with the loss of the Rocky Mountain News. Without competition from another major newspaper, there’s less coverage overall.

      • Chickenheed says:

        This seems to sum up the interest in the Denver elections Is this what happens when a select few have time time, resources and interest to participate in their local government? This makes me very sad.

        "Voted" in the Denver city elections. Councilman running unopposed. Mayor essentially unopposed. I didn't remember democracy being this lame

        — Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) May 5, 2015

      • OrangeFree says:

        The Rocky being gone doesn't let the four television stations off the hook.

        • gertie97 says:

          In a weird way it does, OF. The dirty secret of TV is newsrooms get most of their story ideas from the newspaper. With only the Post, there's fewer ideas and it really sets the coverage. The AP can help a little, but its focus is on statewide news and the legislature.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        I don't know about that. There are a couple of Council district where everybody and their sister is running, mine (Council 7), included. Also, if Denverites are stupid, lazy and ignorant enough to let Chris Nevitt skate into the Auditor's office without a fight, they, but not I, deserve what they get. 

  3. Colorado Pols says:

    Testing the WYSIWYG comments functionality, should be restored shortly.

  4. Canines says:

    Indicted Colors of Benetton…

    • Duke Cox says:

      Sorry, Canines…I guess I am lost here…who are these people? 

      Der Google doesn't help….

    • exlurker19 says:

      Except the protesters who got arrested in Baltimore were set higher bail limits than the cops who are accused of, ya know, murder.  Seems like it'll all be for show. 

    • BlueCat says:

      It's the culture of the Baltimore force. The important thing isn't what colors the officers in that culture are. It was an African American driver who careened around with the shackled victim helpless and unrestrained in the van, agreed to make multiple stops, including for paperwork, while ignoring first the victim’s pleas for medical attention and later the victim’s total unresponsive state. So Fox is really happy about that. But that misses the point.

      It's the color of the young men who comprise the overwhelming majority of victims of this out of control force, who get stopped and cuffed for offences such as "making eye contact'', then getting scared (they'd have to be idiots not to be considering the 100 or so instances in the past four years for which the force has shelled out almost 6 million in settlements for the dead and injured against whom all charges were dropped) and running that matters. It's the fact that this happens in such huge disproportion to African Americans, guilty or innocent of minor offences, in municipalities and counties all over America that matters.

      It doesn't matter what color the officers are. It matters that every time you turn on the the TV you see video of exactly this kind of thing happening and it's never happening to a white young man even though there are plenty of young white knuckleheads committing (or not committing) minor offences of the same magnitude. That's not something people "playing the race card" are making up.

  5. doremi says:

    Dudley Brown at RMGO and the Colorado Campaign for Life just got fined $8450 each for campaign law violations in the 2014 Republican primary. http://www.coloradoforethics.org/co-legal/entry/rmgo-complies-with-court-order-in-case-filed-by-ethics-watch#.VUePI7U9tqY.twitter

    • BlueCat says:

      Gessler probably would have thrown them a nice fund raiser.

      • Chickenheed says:

        Colorado: "If you break the electioneering rules you're going to have to pay less than $10k eight months later after the majority of Coloradans have already forgotten about it."

        RMGO: "Ha. Ok. Whatever. We spent more than that buying our last representative!"

        Seriously though, are there more severe penalties for repeat offenders? I hope so otherwise fines are nothing but something to add to your budget if you're the RMGO.


  6. Davie says:

    Senate Majority "Leader" Bill Cadman does it again!  Confusion reigns among the GOP as they try to see if they can blame Obama or Benghazi for the failure of their own Colorado Presidential Primary bill:

    An apparent disagreement among Republicans led a Senate panel Monday to reject the party’s own push to create a presidential primary in 2016.

    The surprising move, in the final three days of the Colorado legislative session, left a cloud of confusion and hurts the state’s ability to draw a bigger spotlight in the much-watched contest for the White House.

    Apparently, there were Republicans who feared that it might limit the success of the Insane Clown Candidates from gaining voter recognition and the support they deserve.

    But a more powerful undercurrent came in opposition from conservatives in the party, who believed a primary election would lead to more mainstream Republican candidates with the involvement of unaffiliated voters.


    • mamajama55 says:

      But a more powerful undercurrent came in opposition from conservatives in the party, who believed a primary election would lead to more mainstream Republican candidates with the involvement of unaffiliated voters. – 

      And they think that more mainstream Republican candidates would be a bad thing??

      It would certainly help them to elect more Rs to public office, if they care about that. 

      And I am totally stealing "Insane Clown Posse", even though it may piss off my daughter, a former Juggalette. 

  7. This is nice… From Parker (via Fox31): Group's prom picture with guns and a Confederate flag causes controversy.

    If you have an urge to pose with a Confederate flag and you're not with a re-enactment group, just… don't.

    • BlueCat says:

      Funny how the party of the abolitionist reformers now has become the party of those who glorify the slave owning Confederacy. More and more, it's clear that the south won the war in all the ways that really count, after all. After a blink and you missed it interval, blacks once again could be murdered by whites in the former confederacy with impunity until well after the mid point of the 20th century. Once again they had to be respectful, give up seats, step off curbs and keep their eyes downcast, couldn't vote or use public amenities. It wasn't quite so bad in the union states but still bad enough.  Segregation, restriction and intimidation wasn't the law but was the de facto unwritten law. 

      And I don't know what they teach about history these days but considering that most kids don't even know what the 4th of July celebrates or who we won our independence from much less have a ball park idea of how long ago, I'm betting they just think that guns in conjunction with the confederate flag shows that they're good ol' freedom loving patriots, of all things.

      Education theories come and go but one thing I know. Nobody in my 6th grade, much less High School, class couldn't have told you what the 4th meant, who we won our independence from and when. Or the Civil War.  Nobody couldn't have told you who Washington and Lincoln were, the major events they were connected with and ball park when these major events took place. The list of things you couldn't  fail to know as a Jr. High student in the 50s and 60s included a lot more than that. Sure lots of stuff got shortchanged and white washed, like the history of our government in connection with and important accomplishments of Native and African Americans and women. But it was a lot better than the nothing young people now seem to know about any of it and it could be built on and improved. 

      And it isn't just a matter of silly outdated rote memorization. Look at these kids. It's a matter of knowing something about who the hell we are as a nation and how and why we got to be who we are. These kids don't. Does that represent a step forward? I don't think so, no matter how much they supposedly are now learning about learning and info tech rather than bothering their empty little heads with… horrors… content. Pretty clear that lack of meaningful content about our history and current world events, which we also were required to follow and take quizzes on, is a serious flaw in the education system of a country with a constitutionally mandated form of government that's pretty much a bad joke without an informed citizenry.

      • Duke Cox says:

        You do have a way of putting it all together, BC…well said…

      • mamajama55 says:

        Actually, kids know the civil and Revolutionary war histories pretty well, and they now learn about them from different viewpoints, such as colonist, Native, male, female, Tory, rebel, etc.  They seldom learn about the Mexican-American war, other than that's how we got pretty much the entire American southwest. And I bet you didn't learn about that war, either – I didn't, until I was a college student and took coursework in Chicano history.

        It's because history past World War II is optional – only the first two years, which cover American history up to around 1945 or the great Depression, are required. After that,  a third year, may or may not be required in a particular school district.  So the "lessons" of the Vietnam and Gulf wars are seldom taught.

        The PARCC, the dreaded "Common Core" standards, are pretty strict and detailed on math and language arts,but don't include science or social studies content. Each state  has a different set of standards on history content.  Colorado's are the CMAS standards, and for grade 7, they include history and geographic vocabulary and concepts, but no specific historical period. In practice, as I said, middle school history takes kids up to about WWII. High school history courses take kids up through about the mid-1960s, so they learn about the civil rights movement and at least the beginning of the Vietnam war, and the culture wars and liberation movements of the 60s and 70s, but only if they are on pace.  Advanced or 3rd year courses are available, but not required to graduate. Jeffco Schools, for example, requires 3 credit hours in social studies, which translates to about 3 years unless one of the courses is AP.

        As you said, BC, the "how to learn and what to learn from history" is considered to be more important than memorizing dates and places. I like  looking at history from different viewpoints and evaluating sources standards – I think that they will make better citizens – but people like the conservatives on the Dougco and Jeffco school boards hate these standards with a passion. The victor has always gotten to tell the story his way, and conservatives really like that model. To hell with the loser's POV.

        So yes, there is an emphasis on process rather than content in modern social studies, and the other factor limiting what students learn of modern history is the amount of time dedicated to it.

        Mystery solved?

        • mamajama55 says:

          And maybe the kids took their American history courses up through year two, so they should know at least their Civil War history- although maybe not the Civil Rights movement, which also used the Stars and Bars to symbolize the Good Old Days in Dixie….but they're responsible for being little wannabe racist jerkwads. At this age, they are making their own poor choices, and living with the consequences.

          You can't always blame the teachers, or the school system. Sometimes, it's just the ___ing students.


        • MADCO says:


           I was at the Denver Museum of science and nature once.  And there was a tour group of adolescents who were homeschooled. They were making notes and laughing a lot about how crazy all the dinosaur and geology and geography and etc. etc. were and how so many people just believed it .




          They've been taught all the same geology geography and science But they believe what they were taught elsewhere by others.


           But they believe what they were taught elsewhere by others.


          Republicans were right to defeat the Confederacy.   The Confederacy was a bunch of losers who lost. It would be like waving around a Montreal Expos flag-  losers when existed and they're never coming back . 

        • BlueCat says:

          Sorry, but an alarming number of Americans can't answer the simplest questions about those conflicts or any other important events in US or world history and haven't the foggiest notion of geography. And I have nothing against learning how to do research and studying things from different points of view but during the years my kid attended school there was an attitude that teaching content (teachers could hardly say it without a sneer) was some kind of cardinal sin.  Knowing what years we fought the civil war? Nasty rote memorization. Learning geography? What's the point since borders and names of countries change (though if you could find France on a map in the 19th century it would be in the same place with some border changes right now. It wouldn't be completely different). As long as they know how to look things up, not to worry, all that info is at their fingertips. As if kids are spontaneously going to decide to look up their history or even know where to start.  

          BTW when I went to school we certainly did learn about the Mexican American War, the Spanish American War, the War of 1812, the westward expansion, WWI, WWII, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, more recent then than the Vietnam War is now, and plenty of other major historic movements and events. 

          I also believe that there are some things you really need to know that do require some degree of memorization. I think the all out war on content has been a wrong headed failure and it shows in the results. If you have a general framework of knowledge and timelines in your head you have an advantage over someone who has to start from scratch, looking things up without any internal framework of general knowledge about the world. That framework and those timelines are "content" and that shouldn't be a dirty word.

          If the way it's done today is producing a US population that knows far more about the world we live in, I'm not seeing much evidence of that. I'm not seeing any stats showing us getting progressively more competitive with other countries as time goes on in any subject. Got a link to any stats like that?

          • mamajama55 says:

            I'm not seeing any "war on content" in education. The social studies classes that learn processes of history also study the first two hundred years of American history, including memorizing key dates and places. It just isn't all memorization, anymore. People do need a general framework, as you wrote. And I'm not fighting you either on memorization – there are indeed some vital names and dates that must be solidly planted in the brain. I'm an English teacher, by the way – but my discipline works closely with history (we're considered to be "the humanities"), and I've done a lot of subbing for history classes. We memorize certain things, too, but learning doesn't stop there.

             If you see a "war on content", please provide a link. I agree that Americans as a whole are alarmingly ignorant about basic civic matters and geography –  it's pretty well established that most could not pass the citizenship exam which we ask new citizen applicants to pass – but I would balk at putting this down to any current educational trends, as civic ignorance crosses all demographic lines. People who think that there is a war on content also believe that nobody says the Pledge of Allegiance anymore, contrary to fact, or learns multiplication facts. Most schools and districts say the Pledge; most learn certain basic content, including multiplication tables.

            The Newsweek article I linked to above says that American ignorance is nothing new or recent – we've always been parochial and had an inflated idea of our relative importance in the world. They also attribute American general historical ignorance to our rampant inequality….the elites learn what they need to learn, while the rest get the minimum to graduate. Differing state standards on history create drastically different outcomes – there is NO general agreement on what history is necessary to learn. 

            Common Core is only math and English, and not all states even agree on that much.  Social studies and history are by definition, political, and have a lot to do with winners defining history, losers being erased and their history lost. So it's a huge battleground,- as witnessed by our own battle with conservatives on the Jeffco school board and their war against the AP history curriculum.  It's up to the states to determine which history content standards they allow. Another factor is neglect of history compared to math and English since the advent of NCLB- it's simply not a priority for most states. 

            As far as if Americans know much more about the world we live in, clearly I can't prove that. In math and English, contrary to popular opinion, American kids are not "failing" compared to the rest of the world, when you get down to comparing similar populations. American rich kids do as well as European or Asian rich kids. American poor kids do about as well or better than poor kids in the rest of the world, which by and large does not educate its poor kids, as we do. 

            So income inequality is a big factor – we simply have relatively more poor kids to educate, compared with, say, Finland. This is what the data shows when we're looking at math and science test scores….I would guess that research on knowledge of world history would show similar patterns. The higher class kids will have better educations, worldwide.

            I'm not negating your experience with your child's education – maybe his teachers were really following some anti-content trend.  MADCO ran into some homeschooled yahoos in the Museum.  Those kids from Chapparal were enjoying shocking the grownups and, probably, "the liberals", being outrageous as 17 year olds are wont to do. Only digging deeper into that story would show if the prom pic was really just the kids' idea, or whether some adult put them up to it. But I would not automatically blame their history teachers. Those high school juniors and seniors took the right courses. They just didn't learn much from it, clearly. 

            So I would hope that these individual experiences don't lead you to wider generalizations about all education everywhere in the USA. If it does, you at least have plenty of company – Hordes of parents complain that their little Johnny can't read, so break all teacher's unions and let (the Christian) God back into schools, etc. That'll learn 'em. 

            • BlueCat says:

              Look. All I know is how disparaging the attitude of the educators was toward "content' when my now 32 year old son was in school, especially at the elementary and middle school levels. Also phonics, sounding out words was deeply frowned upon, never mind that it woks pretty well in spite of the mixed up English language's exceptions. And every new 'new math" that has come down the pike over the years has been sillier than the last. Not just in my school or with a particular teacher. This was what was being promoted and parents who questioned any of it were treated like village idiots unable to grasp the concepts.

              I know people with kids in school right now who experience much the same thing. No teacher was ever able to explain to me how it's even possible to use the correct method and employ a calculator to take care of the actual computation and guard against mistakes like not properly carrying a one and still come up with the wrong answer but students were able to get full credit for getting wrong answers by supposedly doing just that with one shiny new math after another.  Apparently understanding the concept and using it to come up with the right answer have little to do with one another. Silly parents, thinking that understanding the concept, using the correct method and a calculator ought to lead to correct answers.

              I'm not blaming teachers so much as the education establishment that teaches them these apparently faith based (they certainly aren't based on any empirical evidence) shiny new and improved theories which are to be accepted as gospel regardless of results. There certainly have been enough of them through the 80s, 90s and 2000s so there should be stats by now to show how great they've been working, how much better over those decades our students have been doing. But that's one thing I really don't recall any teacher providing to back the theories up. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree about the recent and current state of education theory. 

    • MADCO says:

       Does anyone in Douglas County realize how much Douglas County sucks? 

  8. gertie97 says:

    BC, you and I are on the same wave length more and more these days.

    Is this a good thing?

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