Over on cleo's LJ (which IIRC is friends-locked) there was some discussion of "ghosting", which is what you do when you go to a convention to visit friends/help with room parties and don't buy a membership because you're not going to be going into restricted, members-only space like the consuite or the video rooms. Lots of argument in the comments about the morality of it. Personally, I don't believe in ghosting, although I admit to doing it once at Minicon (I was on an APA panel but not actually registered for the convention) and being responsible for it at Arcana, Convergence and Diversicon, where I was either hosting APA collations or running room parties for Detour that involved people who weren't members of the convention in question. I don't encourage it because I think it comes a little too close to crashing, and besides, if the convention wasn't there we wouldn't be doing the room party either, and there goes your justification for showing up. The bottom line is that if you can't afford to pay the membership then you really shouldn't be there. If you have a club or an organization that wants to hold a room party, and you can't get enough of your staff and volunteers (who are already going) to help out, then maybe you need to consider giving them an incentive or paying/reimbursing part of their registration fees. Detour has done this in the past on occasion; we've provided crash space for people in the party room and in separate crash space, and at some conventions have fed the party people, above and beyond what we got in the way of munchies for the party itself. What your crew decides to do is up to you, of course.
Cobb quotes Juan Williams on the recent busing decision and also has an extended meditation on Parents v. Seattle.
As he says, the question really never was about race, even as far back as Brown v. Board of Education. It was about the fact that the "separate but equal" schools mandated under Plessy v. Ferguson were certainly separate but not at all equal. Over time the race issue got separated from the class issue, and now school boards don't even pretend to be helping kids escape from failing schools, it's all about "diversity". Why is class relevant? One of the things that kept coming up as a counter to NCLB and its mandated standardized tests was that kids' performance correlated most strongly with their parents' socio-economic status (!=class, BTW, but close enough, here in America) so that poor kids on average did worse than rich kids regardless of their ethnicity. To the extent that schools and school districts are racially separate -this "de facto segregation" meme needs to die in a fire, BTW; if it's not de jure, it ain't segregation- it's because their parents tend to pick neighborhoods that correspond to their income levels. Not that any of this will change the minds of muddle-headed educrats who are more concerned with making sure their schools look like Benetton ads than with making sure the kids in those schools are actually getting a decent education.
Also, Don Surber brings teh funneh:
THURSDAY: By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided the school a child attends should not be decided by the color of his skin. Justice Breyer said this reverses the Brown vs. Topeka ruling in 1954, which said the school a child attends should not be decided by the color of his skin. And liberals are supposed to be the smart ones.
Finally, Jane Galt talks about adverse selection and the difficult road to single-payer health care.
There's a useful link to an Arthur Kling article that's even more brutally direct, since it's a fisking of an Austan Goolsbee piece that clearly demonstrates Goolsbee doesn't know WTF.