* Israel is the second-most densely populated country in the developed world and has the highest per capita rate of population growth.
* Israel successfully socially engineered higher Jewish birth rates and ignored bitter opposition. If Europe has the political willpower, they can do exactly the same thing. It takes more than a simple family tax cut, with genuine deep motivation, you can raise birth rates.
* Like everywhere else, Israel is doomed in the long run. Not at the moment. The overcrowding of Israel is not something new. Young Israelis, like everyone else, have to decide whether to try to hack it where they grew up in Israel or try their luck elsewhere. Just think of it as a sociological petri dish. Historically it seems to be a garrison state with a limited shelf-life of perhaps 150-300 years. Like Sparta’s centuries long domination in ancient Greece.
* OT: speaking of Jews and their children, CNN’s “Town Hall”/two minutes hate against guns tonight had some interesting moments. Money shot: Marco Rubio got ambushed out of the gate by a supposed bereaved father, Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter in the shooting. You really have to see the video to get it, but this guy is smiling, mugging, and wiggling his eyebrows while he has Rubio tied up in knots. I assume maybe he didn’t know how the image would play on camera, but he didn’t do very well keeping the grieving father act up.
* An iStevey article about where the blame lays for the Florida school shooting:
Apparently the Broward County school district and the Obama admin were concerned about the disparate impact of various zero tolerance policies, so they worked hard to make sure that kids who committed serious crimes were protected from the police and consequences.
This policy kept Travon Martin out of jail and the recent shooter’s past violent behavior away from the eyes of the police.
* Madison high schools are erupting in chaos. Three high schools in one day, Monday, February 19, over the noon hour.
Worth reading all of this to get a taste of how Kafkaesque modern reporting is. This story is not reported in the major media, but even the right-wing bloggers are afraid to mention race. You have to dig deep into the comments to get an idea of what is happening.
This blogger (ex-reporter and ex-local politician) has to contact the cops himself to get information:
In reading through this stuff I stumbled across something else that baffles me. Exactly what is special education? I had thought that it was for, uh, retarded students. But so much written on it seems to make it seem like that is not what it really is now.
* I believe (not completely sure) that many to most kids in ‘Special Ed’ these days are there because they are behavioral problems. It is an administrative way of getting badly behaved kids out of the classroom–instead of just saying they are jerks they are given a ‘diagnosis’; in my town one common one is “ED” for “Emotionally Disturbed.” Then they get put in special ed where 1.) they don’t bother the other students, and 2.) their test scores don’t count towards the school’s average on various reporting measures.
It’s a win for the regular teachers and students because they don’t have to put up with these kids anymore, and a win for the school administrators because their test scores go up; however it is a loss for the taxpayer as once a child is in special ed they have all sorts of legal protections which result in lots of expensive paperwork, extra teacher attention, etc. Also a loss for truly retarded kids, for example down’s syndrome, fragile X, etc.; because now they end up stuck in class with dimwitted psychopaths, and the resources normally dedicated to them are diluted. However I think they usually try to separate these groups.