Matt Damon’s “Racial Reckoning”

Dennis Prager discusses Matt Damon’s comments on race relations and “racism” in America. Prager plays the comment (I add the video), and then dissects what the hell Damon is talking about — (I think in the end, it is just an actor liking the sound of his own voice). Let me say I think when Matt Damon says “there needs to be a reckoning,” he really means that conservative/libertarian view of the state and it’s influence on freedom to associate should be forcefully ripped from America. He would view there to be MORE of a problem than there really is, and want the state to come in and “fix it.”

Hollywood Hypocrites At Their Most Embarrassing Lowes

Moonbattery has this update on Hollywood’s hypocrites — Matt Damon is at the top of that list!

Damon Pool

Zillionaire leftist Matt Damon is in a position to do many things others can only dream of doing. High among them: dump a bucket of toilet water on Matt Damon’s head.

Matt Damon was conflicted when friends Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck called on him to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge. The award-winning actor wanted to help a good cause, but didn’t want to waste clean water in the process.

So, he did what any good humanitarian would do: He used toilet water instead.

I feel for the actresses who have to get near Damon. If a bucket of water to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis would be a waste, taking a shower must constitute a felony against Gaia. He probably hasn’t bathed in weeks, given his apparent belief that once water has been used it disappears forever, leaving the earth depleted.

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Matt Damon Steps In It

NewsBusters busts another celeb:

…Heck with Billy Bush.

The Miami Herald reported in 2002 that Jeb Bush initially attended the public Grady Elementary School in Houston before mother Barbara enrolled him in the private Kincaid School closer to where they lived.

Brother George W. attended public schools in Midland, Texas – Sam Houston Elementary and San Jacinto Junior High – before being enrolled at Kincaid when the family moved to Houston.

As such, would you like some salt for that shoe, Mr. Damon?

Update: Tweep @bzaz points out that George W’s kids Jenna and Barbara both attended public schools – Preston Hollow Elementary in Dallas and Austin High School in Austin – and Jenna a few years after graduating college worked as a teacher’s aide at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington D.C.

…read it all…

Zo on Matt Damon (take note I also take apart a mantra Matt Damon memes from the left)

Just a quick note on Matt Damon’s mantra about rich people not sending their kids to war. The first excerpt is a breakdown of racial diversity of death in Iraq:

The latest census, of Americans, shows the following distribution of American citizens, by Race:

1. European descent (White) ….. 69.12%
2. Hispanic ……………………..​…… 12.5%3.
3. Black…………………​……………. 12.3%
4. Asian ……………………..​………… 3.7%
5. Native American ……………….. 1.0%
6. Other ……………………..​………. 2.6%

Now… here are the fatalities by Race; over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom:

1. European descent (white) …74.31%
2. Hispanic ……………………..​… 10.74%
3. Black ……………………..​……… 9.67%
4. Asian ……………………..​……. . 1.81%
5. Native American ……………… 1.09%
6. Other ……………………..​……… .33%

You do the Math! These figures don’t lie… but, Media-liars figure then distort these numbers to try and sway public opinion!

(From: 4,000 Combat Deaths)

This is an also from my old blog (also a response to a liberal friend) responding to a Charilie Rangel video (Video Link) about him wanting a draft so more rich kids would be drafted and thusly, the war in Iraq wouldn’t happen (a non-sequitur by the way):

Another piece O’ information Rangel cannot see through the political forest is that most of the volunteers are from affluent neighborhoods, as the following Washington Times (November 8, 2005) article points out:

◆ The Heritage Foundation research paper found that a higher percentage of middle-class and upper-middle-class families have been providing enlistees for the war on Islamic militants since the September 11 attacks on the United States. Researchers matched the ZIP codes of recruits over the past five years with federal government estimates of household incomes in those neighborhoods. Contrary to complaints from some liberal lawmakers and pundits, the data show that the poor are not shouldering the bulk of the military’s need for new soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines. The poorest neighborhoods provided 18 percent of recruits in prewar 1999 and 14.6 percent in 2003. By contrast, areas where household incomes ranged from $30,000 to $200,000 provided more than 85 percent…. About 98 percent of all enlistees from 1999 to 2003 had a high school diploma, compared with 75 percent of nonrecruits nationwide.

Sorry Charlie, your “Bumper-Sticker Slogans” aren’t working out for you to well, at least those who can type into Google the words, “military record number middle-class”, which apparently your staff cannot.

(From: Democrats Calling for the Draft… AGAIN!)

This from the Heritage Foundation:

  1. U.S. military service disproportionately attracts enlisted personnel and officerswho do not come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Previous Heritage Foundation research demonstrated that the quality of enlisted troops has increased since the start of the Iraq war. This report demonstrates that the same is true of the officer corps.
  2. Members of the all-volunteer military are significantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods. Only 11 percent of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25 percent came from the wealthiest quintile. These trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40 percent of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods-a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.
  3. American soldiers are more educated than their peers. A little more than 1 percent of enlisted personnel lack a high school degree, compared to 21 percent of men 18-24 years old, and 95 percent of officer accessions have at least a bachelor’s degree.
  4. Contrary to conventional wisdom, minorities are not overrepresented in military service. Enlisted troops are somewhat more likely to be white or black than their non-military peers. Whites are proportionately represented in the officer corps, and blacks are overrepresented, but their rate of overrepresentation has declined each year from 2004 to 2007. New recruits are also disproportionately likely to come from the South, which is in line with the history of Southern military tradition.

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And from the American Forces Press Service,

…. On the socioeconomic side, the military is strongly middle class, Gilroy said. More recruits are drawn from the middle class and fewer are coming from poorer and wealthier families. Recruits from poorer families are actually underrepresented in the military, Gilroy said.

Other trends are that the number of recruits from wealthier families is increasing, and the number of recruits from suburban areas has increased. This also tracks that young men and women from the middle class are serving in the military.

Young men and women from urban areas are not volunteering, Gilroy said. In fact, urban areas provide far fewer recruits as a percentage of the total population than small towns and rural areas.

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Did Matt Damon “School” This Reporter?

Two quick responses ~ Firstly, teachers ARE well paid:

$34.06 an Hour ~ That’s how much the average public school teachers makes. Is that “underpaid”?

Who, on average, is better paid–public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists? You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty or technical worker.

In the popular imagination, however, public school teachers are underpaid. “Salaries are too low. We all know that,” noted First Lady Laura Bush, expressing the consensus view. “We need to figure out a way to pay teachers more.” Indeed, our efforts to hire more teachers and raise their salaries account for the bulk of public school spending increases over the last four decades. During that time per-pupil spending, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled; overall we now annually spend more than $500 billion on public education.

The perception that we underpay teachers is likely to play a significant role in the debate to reauthorize No Child Left Behind. The new Democratic majority intends to push for greater education funding, much of which would likely to go toward increasing teacher compensation. It would be beneficial if the debate focused on the actual salaries teachers are already paid.

It would also be beneficial if the debate touched on the correlation between teacher pay and actual results. To wit, higher teacher pay seems to have no effect on raising student achievement. Metropolitan areas with higher teacher pay do not graduate a higher percentage of their students than areas with lower teacher pay.

In fact, the urban areas with the highest teacher pay are famous for their abysmal outcomes. Metro Detroit leads the nation, paying its public school teachers, on average, $47.28 per hour. That’s 61% more than the average white-collar worker in the Detroit area and 36% more than the average professional worker. In metro New York, public school teachers make $45.79 per hour, 20% more than the average professional worker in that area. And in Los Angeles teachers earn $44.03 per hour, 23% higher than other professionals in the area.

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Mr. Damon is simply passing on talking points probably heard from “memes.” A second point is that tenure is a huge part of the problem. A teacher reaches tenure after just two years of doing what, working. This should be based on how well they perform and have a go at tenure after say, 5 years with a two-year interim to try again.This will weed out bad teachers or teachers that may be predators of younger persons. You see, is a teacher is tenured after only two-years, when it comes to light that they may have some indecent relationships with students it is almost impossibly to fire them and they get moved from district to district before they are finally canned. Having a longer period of tenurship often times allows some committee that would tenure teachers more insight into the teachers character.

Here is the video from the people that asked the question of Matt:

And from ReasonTVs blog on the topic:

At last Saturday’s “Save Our Schools” rally, a fairly livid actor Matt Damon told that teachers make a “shitty” salary. Is the Oscar winner right about that?

The short answer is no. The longer answer? Also no.

According to Department of Education statistics for 2007-2008 (the most recent year listed), the average public school teacher brought in a bit over $53,000 in “total school-year and summer earned income.” That figure, which is about $13,000 more than what the average private-school teacher gets in straight salary, does not include health and retirement benefits, places where teachers almost always get better deals and bigger employer contributions than the typical private-sector worker. For more on teacher compensation, go here.

An average salary of $53,000 may not be much for a movie star such as Damon, but it’s a pretty good wage when compared to U.S. averages. Indeed, the Census Bureau reports that median household income in 2008 was $52,000. Teaching in most public schools requires a bachelor’s degree and here teachers fare less well on first glance, though still not awful. The median income for a man with a B.A. was $82,000; for a woman, it was $54,000. About three-quarters of teachers are women, so the average salaries when gender comes into play hew closely to one another.

More to the point, Bureau of Labor Statistics and other surveys that take into account the reported number of hours worked in a year consistently show that on a per-hour basis, teacher income (again, not including fringe benefits, which are typically far more robust than those offered other workers, including college-educated professionals) is extremely strong.

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One should remember that this pay rate to teachers varies from state to state, for instance:

High Paying State and Low Paying State

  • Teacher pay, as mentioned earlier, varies a lot depending on which state you teach in. California ranks number 1 in teacher pay with an average pay of $63,640. South Dakota ranks number 50 in average teacher pay with an abysmal $35,378.

The reality is that unions are a big part of the problem, not the teachers individually, but corporately.

The problem is not money!

Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region.

To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more


The Washington metro area comes in second highest in spending for our study at an average $22,400 per pupil (Figure 3). Only New York tops that figure.28 This real perpupil spending figure is 34 percent higher than the average of $16,700 stated by the school districts. Real public school spending is also more than double the estimated median private school spending of $11,000. The District of Columbia, at over $28,000 per student, has the highest spending of the three DC–area districts we examined. This real spending figure is 61 percent higher than the official one—the largest gap of any district in the area. Arlington comes in second place, spending just under $24,000 per student. And Prince George’s spends the least of the three, at just over $15,000 per pupil


The New York metro area has the highest average real per-pupil spending among the metro areas in this study, and the average real per-pupil spending figure of more than $26,900 is 44 percent higher than the average of $18,700 that the districts claim to spend (Figure 5).36 Real public school spending is almost 155 percent higher than the estimated…


For a longer, more in-depth discussion on this topic, see C-SPAN’S video, but here is a snippet from JOHN STOSSLE:

For a more updated look at the numbers, see AEI’S report: Debunking The Myth Of The ‘Teacher Pay Gap,’ Again

A Newsbusters Update:

But as conservative Boston-area talk show host Michael Graham argued in today’s Boston Herald, Damon’s wrong both about the quality of teacher pay and the importance of economic incentives:

Sorry, Matt, but if I were your math teacher back at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, I’d have to give you an F. Wrong on theory and fact.

First the data — starting with Matt’s myth that teachers work for a shi— . . .  er, “less-than-adequate” salary.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the average Boston teacher earned around $80,000 last year. That was the average. And that doesn’t include the generous health care or pension benefits, which would equal $100,000 in the private sector. All for just 180 days of work.

Nationally, the average teacher salary is significantly lower — $53,000. But a teacher still earns more by herself (and about 75 percent of K-12 teachers are women) than the household income of the average American family. Once again, with summers and holidays off.

That fact is important because when you break down what teachers earn per hour, the average teacher is better paid ($30.52) than the average computer programmer ($21.27) or architect ($27.71).

So Damon is wrong on the numbers. And his theory is even worse. Modern economic theory is based on the premise of incentives. Damon’s position that incentives don’t affect behavior puts him in the fiscal Flat Earth Society. He’s the equivalent of an economic creationist.

Of course people work harder if they believe it will pay off. Naturally people slack off otherwise.

Nobody denies this is true of cabbies, car salesmen or newspaper columnists — why wouldn’t it be true of teachers?

Oh, that’s right: “Teachers want to teach.” They’re above worldly concerns like pay and job security. Which some teachers are.

But isn’t it likely that others have more materialistic motivations? Like the fact that it’s a great way for underachievers to prosper?

“Slackers wanting to earn the country’s easiest college major, should major in education,” reports Lynn O’Shaughnessy of CBS’s Moneywatch. “It’s easy to get ‘A’s’ if you’re an education major.”

Which is good news for education majors who, according to O’Shaughnessy, “enter college with the lowest average SAT scores.”

Damon wants us to believe this all-but-guaranteed lifetime employment has no impact on performance? Nobody’s a good enough actor to sell that.

So if you’re a “slacker” who wants to earn more than your brother the accountant, the public schools have got a deal for you!

And once you’re in, you’re in. If you’ve seen “Waiting for Superman,” you know that while one of every 57 doctors loses his license and one out of 97 lawyers gets disbarred, just one out of 1,000 teachers gets fired from big-city school systems for performance issues.

Damon wants us to believe this all-but-guaranteed lifetime employment has no impact on performance? Nobody’s a good enough actor to sell that.

Now that, Ms. Gibson, is how you school someone.

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Part of the issue as well is that unions merely want to hire more and protect existing jobs of teachers and administrators… not take care of students learning ability. As an example of this we see the hiring practices of these unionized organizations:

Which brings to mind these two great short videos:

Who poses the biggest threat to America’s economy by striking deals with crooked politicians? Big Oil, Big Pharma, or Big Unions? Daniel DiSalvo, political science professor at the City College of New York, gives the answer.