‘The Pinchot Retirement Program’ will have to wait – I got carried away up at Harlem Success Academy, a charter school, watching five-year-olds learn the difference between a mixture and a solution (they take science five days a week) and six-year-olds learn chess (I could still beat them, but by the time they’re eight, who knows?).

I was the only male in the school not wearing a tie – including the five- and six-year-olds.

I got there at the very civilized hour of 1pm. The students had been there since 7am and would be staying, as they do each day, until 5pm. (No naps, either, except for me, when I got home.) No kidding around: these children are going to succeed.

Despite the extraordinary results the school is already showing, New York reimburses charter schools for only 75% of what it pays to educate its public school students. That should actually be enough for Harlem Success Academy, once it’s at its full complement; but with only two grades enrolled so far (a new one is added each year), there is a significant shortfall.

Interestingly, that shortfall is currently made up in large measure by the author of The Little Book That Beats the Market, from which some of you have begun to profit.

GEORGIA RULE

Mike Lynott: ‘As you said, it’s ‘set in Idaho.’ That’s different from being filmed in Idaho. Those were California hills you saw, not the foothills we see from Boise, not the ski slopes of Sun Valley, and certainly not the splendor of the Sawtooths. Jane [Fonda] apparently explained in an interview that it was ‘too expensive’ to actually film it in Idaho. I too will see it soon. I’ll be fascinated to watch the reactions of my fellow Idahoans.’

DAVID ‘D’ITALIANO’ RESPONDS

‘You wrote: ‘It’s not an extra law, really, it’s fixing the one glaring omission in the existing law, to send an important signal: hate crimes against sexual minorities are repugnant, too.’ I’m very curious to whom you think this message is being sent. I doubt someone who would beat up or kill someone, especially someone they hate, is going to suddenly be put off doing so by this law.’

☞ For starters, it sends the message to me. I want to know that my country – which does not tolerate hate crimes against blacks or whites or Jews or Catholics or Poles – also does not tolerate hate crimes against people like me.

There are other reasons for the law (sending the message to tens of thousands of police officers is one; sending it to the nation as a whole is another; providing extra resources to solve hate crimes is a third). But I’m not sure any more reason is needed than the first.

 

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