Tag: rural

In Banter’s seventh installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Morgridge Fellow in Education Studies Andy Smarick joins the show to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural education in America. In addition to his role at AEI, Smarick also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. With AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi and Resident Scholar Nat Malkus, Smarick hosted an event at AEI with authors of a forthcoming edited volume on rural education in America. The volume includes pieces on topics such as rural poverty, the opioid crisis, and education policy in rural communities. The link below will take you to the full event video including links to selections from the volume.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Totalityville, USA


“You really want to drive that far to see total eclipse? 98 percent isn’t enough?” My husband wanted to go, but I was dubious. I told him, if we went, he’d have to do the planning. I warned him where he wanted to go was already a zoo; that we could expect eclipse traffic; that, with a one-year-old kid, a hike to the kind of perch he had in mind could prove miserable or impossible. Then our kid’s fever came back, not go-straight-to-doctor-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 high, but nearing it. Now we really weren’t going, I said. If he still wanted to go, he should plan to make tomorrow’s trip alone.

But I married a manly man, persuasive when he wants to be, and so we all went. I scrambled to pack kiddie fever supplies, and we hit the road with what looked like hours to spare – hours to spare, that is, when summer construction and astronomical portents don’t collide. By midmorning, the navigator (yours truly) had to bust out several maps to figure out where we could stop to view totality en route if traffic continued to gobble up time so greedily. Finally, time constraints narrowed my choice to Totalityville, USA (not its real name), a town about 20 miles from our initial destination. Totalityville is small, but it boasts a large city park and a friendly Park District website. Several blocks away from the park, the Methodist church would be hosting an eclipse fair, the Chamber of Commerce was pleased to announce. Compared to more widely-advertised eclipse destinations, Totalityville sounded like it would be refreshingly … normal. And so it was. It was good luck we didn’t get to where we first thought we were going, because then we would have missed out on Totalityville.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Modeling the Presidential Vote in the Rural West


Constrasting this nuanced, but anecdotal, LA Times article about changing political loyalties in Western timber country, with Doug Watts’ post showing a dramatic red Trump tidal wave in the rural West got me wondering what each might be missing. As it happens, I have a small database of demographic and socio-economic data for rural Western counties, compiled for another purpose, so I had the means to investigate…

There are 276 rural (non-metro statistical area) counties in the Western states, taken as Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and everything west, excepting Hawaii and Alaska. The average Trump margin in the rural West was 33.425 percentage points, but that hides a lot of variation. Another map shows the margin of victory by county:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Trump’s Victory in Wisconsin: An Analysis

By Ali Zifan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
By Ali ZifanOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

At first glance, it appears that Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin due to Democrats staying home. The numbers I’m looking at (link to politico) show Trump with essentially identical vote totals to Romney in 2012. By contrast, Obama received about 230,000 more votes in 2012 than Clinton did last week.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. No One Remembers “Everything But the Squeal”


shutterstock_169653197Okay, so yesterday world leaders salved their collective consumption consciences by eating a lunch made with garbage. Yes, after wasting thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying in from all over the world with their enormous entourages, they wore their Savile Row suits and Italian leather shoes to an upscale lunch, eating landfill salad with their veggie burgers (made of juicing pulp) and corn-starch French fries. No word on how the consumables were obtained for this groundbreaking luncheon. Surely they came from the kitchen garbage right there at the United Nations.

This dinner was all about addressing food waste by Western cultures. I know, I know, I always throw out my pulp after juicing. Oh, wait, no I don’t. I don’t juice. It’s stupid because you throw out all the parts of the fruits and vegetables that are actually good for you — like half the vitamins and all the fiber — so you can get the sweet, sweet sugars and tell yourself you’ve extracted all the good parts. You’re better off eating an apple from your local farmer’s market with a glass of low-sodium V-8, or just having a colorful salad without all the good parts like bacon and cheese.

But I digress.