Thursday, October 19, 2017



A Boise State professor was besieged after publishing articles and research that challenged campus transgender orthodoxy

A Boise State University professor recently learned what happens when you challenge left-wing social narratives on college campuses.

Scott Yenor, a tenured professor, has been under siege on campus after publishing articles with The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal about feminism and the transgender movement.

In those articles, Yenor explained the similarity in philosophy between the early feminists and modern transgender movement and how they aim at undermining traditional family values.

He wrote in a Daily Signal article on Aug. 2:

"Transgender rights activists are seeking to abridge parental rights by elevating the independent choices of young children. Respecting the sexual and gender “choices” of ever-younger children erodes parental rights and compromises the integrity of the family as an independent unit"

In response, students, activists, and even staff members at Boise State are now waging a relentless campaign to get Yenor fired or shut down.

A petition to have Yenor fired—which has now gained thousands of signatures—has been passed around on campus. Activists have posted flyers attacking him, and some have called for other faculty to come out and officially condemn him.

Despite these calls, Boise State has said it will not fire Yenor, according to The College Fix.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy sailing for Yenor, who continues to be lambasted and isolated.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Yenor explained how the crusade against his work and others that challenge left-wing orthodoxy on campus is undercutting free speech at our colleges and universities.

The result of the reaction to his work, Yenor said, is that “there has been a very chilling effect on not only my speech, but those who would speak in defense of me both on the substance, and on the principle of academic freedom.”

The blowback came in earnest, according to Yenor, when the School of Public Service posted his article on its Facebook page. The dean received immediate negative reactions and anger from students and LGBT activists.

The dean, Corey Cook, then posted a statement on Facebook saying that while Yenor had a right to publish, his work violated the university’s aspirations of diversity and civility.

This didn’t stop the waves of attacks that would soon come upon Yenor.

The campaign against him became a “cause célèbre” for the new student diversity and inclusion hire, Francisco Salinas, according to Yenor.

In August, Salinas wrote an article condemning Yenor and tying his work to the recent events in Charlottesville and to Nazism.

And at an Aug. 29 faculty senate meeting, Boise State professor Lynn Lubamersky said that while she believes in free expression, she thinks that because of the opinions expressed in The Daily Signal article, Yenor “violated clear policies that govern our institution, our statement of shared values, and the State Board of Education policy regarding academic freedom and most important, our concern for our students.”

“The majority of our university is made up of women and transgendered people,” Lubamersky continued. “[Yenor’s] public statements published with the byline: Boise State University (BSU) professor of political science, a real violation of the rights of women and transgendered students.”

Lubamersky said:

When someone expresses bigoted, homophobic, and misogynistic views as a representative of a university, I think that we do have the right and responsibility to at least make a statement that we do not share these values and they are not represented of our university.

Since Yenor published the Daily Signal article in August, he received a constant stream of criticism and calls for his work to be shut down.

“The position seems to be that anyone who would do research in areas that don’t affirm the contemporary views, should be shut down,” Yenor said.

Boise State student Ryan Orlando called for his school to “part ways” with Yenor in an article he penned for The Odyssey.

“There are a multitude of morally reprehensible notions in Yenor’s writing which constitute a dangerous ideology that warrants separation from the university,” Orlando wrote.

“In our belief, this is hate speech, and it’s alienating a lot of folks in this Boise State community,” said Joe Goode, a member of the Boise State Young Democrats, according to KTVB.

“We want to show that our university stands for more than hate, we are a community of equality and inclusivity.”

While he has received withering personal attacks over his research, Yenor said that few have engaged with the ideas or have seriously attempted to refute his arguments.

Yenor said the personal attacks don’t bother him, but he worries about the long-term impact on people worried that their views will not be argued with, but simply attacked on campus.

“That’s been one of the most disappointing things,” Yenor said. “Everyone in academia could live with having a debate about ideas, but a debate has to start with an understanding what the other person is arguing.”

“It strikes me that there has really been, first of all, no effort to first understand what I’m arguing, and second of all, to get anywhere beyond name-calling and labeling,” Yenor said.

Yenor said only a handful of students have come out to publicly defend him or even make the simple argument that he should be allowed to speak on his views without getting fired, though he has received a lot of private support.

Yenor said he’s made new friendships, especially among those who privately share his views or actually want to understand what he has to say.

Nevertheless, he said he now feels like an “alien” on campus.   “There’s a kind of feeling that there’s a mob,” Yenor said. “And you don’t run across a mob.”

What’s been worst about all the flak he’s received on campus, according to Yenor, is this larger impact on speech.

While Yenor said he will not back down about writing about gender and other areas that he studies, he is worried about what the attacks mean for free speech and others who are afraid to have their careers derailed.

“The problem with what is happening is that the idea that I’m in violation of the campus civility policies is intended to have a chilling effect on my speech and the speech of anyone who would agree with me,” Yenor said. “That is the bottom line with how I’m being injured.”

This, according to Yenor, will damage institutions of higher learning.

“What is primarily at stake in my case, I think, is the development of a culture of victimization on campus or a social justice framework for understanding education,” Yenor said in a follow-up email.

SOURCE 






Toronto School District to Remove "Chief" from Job Titles because It's a microaggression against indigenous peoples                         

KATHERINE TIMPF   

I’m all for sensitivity, but this? This is stupid.

The Toronto District School Board has announced that it will remove “chief” from all job titles out of concern that the word is a microaggression against indigenous peoples.

    Now, if you were thinking, “Wait . . . ‘chief’? That word didn’t even originate as an indigenous word!” then you’d be correct. “Chief” is actually an Old French word meaning “highest in rank or power; most important or prominent; supreme, best,” originating from the Latin word “caput.” In other words: Not only is “chief” not an indigenous word, but also, none of its original meanings even had anything to do with indigenous peoples or their leaders.

    “[‘Chief’] may not have originated as an Indigenous word, but the fact is that it is used as a slur in some cases, or in a negative way to describe Indigenous people,” school spokesman Ryan Bird said, according to an article in the College Fix. “With that in mind, as it has become a slur in some cases, that’s the decision the administration has made to be proactive on that.”

    If a word is being used offensively, then of course you should be against that usage. No good person wants to hurt anyone else. But honestly, I just have to ask: What in the hell is the point of stopping people from using a word in a way that is not offensive — seeing as it is, you know, not offensive?

    “Chief” can mean all kinds of things; it can mean “most important.” (As in: “Will and Grace reruns are the chief reason I stayed home all weekend.”) Is “most important” offensive? No. Oh, I also call my dad “chief” sometimes. Is that offensive? No, he thinks it’s funny, and the only potentially offensive thing about what I just wrote is that I sort of took credit for that nickname when really my little brother came up with it.

    It’s all pretty ridiculous, but what might bother me most about this whole debacle is the district spokesman’s idea that we need to be “proactive” about these sorts of things. As in, no one needs to actually be offended by a word to ban it, we need to just figure out what words might be offensive ahead of time, and then ban them preemptively. It may sound nice, but it’s actually an incredibly dangerous idea that threatens to eradicate all sorts of language from our vocabulary.

    Think about it: Pretty much every word in history has probably been used in an offensive way at one time or another. For example, I’ve been called “princess” in a derogatory, sexist way many times — should I be phoning up the royal family in England and trying to force them to change the way they refer to any daughter of the queen? Hey, it may just be that it’s being used as a title and not as a slur in that case, but it could potentially offend people like me who have heard it other ways, so I should probably call them up and try to convince them to change it, right?

    But no. I’m not going to do that. Not only because I don’t have any of their numbers, but also because I’m not an insane person. Unfortunately, however, some people seem to have become so insane that I’m a little concerned I may just have given someone an idea.

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UK: Muslim schools must not segregate boys and girls, says Court of Appeal in landmark ruling

Religious schools that segregate girls and boys have been told that they are breaking the law, but a landmark court judgment has given them time to change their regime.

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled unanimously that the mixed al-Hijrah school in Birmingham was unlawfully discriminating on the ground of gender with its rigid segregation policy. Girls and boys have separate classes, are banned from mixing at lunchtime or during any activities and use separate corridors.

Ofsted said that this failed to prepare pupils properly for modern British life and it placed the school in special measures last June.

SOURCE 




Wednesday, October 18, 2017






Why cheating has become the norm

The rise of ‘essay mills’ reflects the commodification of university.

Here we go again. The UK government has once more discovered that cheating is flourishing in the university system. Earlier this year, the Department for Education warned that it was considering implementing a crackdown on students buying essays online. Not only would it fine students who submitted commercially produced essays as their own work — it was also considering giving them criminal records, too. Nothing happened. Now, this week, universities minister Jo Johnson is demanding new guidelines to prevent ‘unacceptable and pernicious’ cheating.

As usual, Johnson and other policymakers are focusing their energy on the most trivial dimension of the problem of cheating in universities. In this case, the professional essay mills. Essay-mill websites, which market ‘original’, professionally produced essays, allow students to circumvent their university’s plagiarism-detection system. In effect, these businesses help well-off students to purchase a degree. However, they play a minor role in the culture of cheating in higher education.

Plagiarism was growing long before the invention of essay-mill websites. Instead of acknowledging the corrosive impact of cheating, university administrators, academics and the National Union of Students have always found an excuse to diminish the scale of the problem. According to the NUS, students cheat because they are facing unprecedented economic pressures. Amatey Doku, NUS vice-president for higher education, has claimed that some students are turning to essay mills because the pressure to get the highest grades is often ‘overwhelming’ now that students face debts of £50,000 or more.

But why should economic pressure turn students into cheats? In any case, it is not the poor but the affluent who can afford to fork out hundreds of pounds to pay for an essay.

From time to time academic experts point the finger at overseas students, who, it is said, have no inhibitions about copying other people’s work. They claim that international students come from a different educational culture where reproducing other people’s work is considered the norm. Another frequently cited excuse is the internet: the practice of copying and pasting that students adopt in school is used to explain its continuation in higher education.

However, none of these excuses explains why cheating has become an increasingly acceptable practice in higher education.

The source of the problem is to be found within the university system itself. The academy does little to promote norms that affirm the intrinsic integrity and value of education. When the pursuit of knowledge and the importance of ideas are not taken seriously, students adopt a pragmatic and instrumental approach to their work. What is really disturbing is not that students cheat, but that they do not believe they have done something that is fundamentally wrong. As far as they are concerned, they are playing the system. They are acting in accordance with the instrumental values they have internalised in school and in higher education. The idea that the goal of education is to get a good grade and get on in life has helped lift the stigma attached to cheating.

Universities have taken to treating their students as customers. They should not be surprised that, as a result, values associated with academic integrity have lost their influence over undergraduates. Students today tend to regard their relationship with academics as a commercial transaction, rather than as an intellectual relationship. Like all customers, many students are looking for a good deal. But don’t blame them. They’ve merely adopted the role assigned to them by successive governments. If universities continue to treat education like a financial transaction, cheating will become even more normal.

SOURCE 





Mississippi school district removes To Kill a Mockingbird from middle school lesson plan because it 'makes people uncomfortable'

The N-word again

A school district in Mississippi is removing To Kill a Mockingbird from a middle school reading list. 

The Sun Herald reports that Biloxi administrators pulled the novel from the eighth-grade curriculum this week. School board vice president Kenny Holloway says the district received complaints that some of the book's language 'makes people uncomfortable.'

'There were complaints about it,' she said. However, the school board did not vote on the decision

Published in 1960, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Truman Capote
Harper Lee deals with racial inequality in a small Alabama town.

A message on the school's website says  To Kill A Mockingbird teaches students that compassion and empathy don't depend upon race or education. Holloway says other books can teach the same lessons.

The Sun Herald received a email that said the decision was made 'mid-lesson plan, the students will not be allowed to finish the reading of To Kill A Mockingbird .... due to the use of the 'N' word.'

The reader said: 'I think it is one of the most disturbing examples of censorship I have ever heard, in that the themes in the story humanize all people regardless of their social status, education level, intellect, and of course, race. It would be difficult to find a time when it was more relevant than in days like these.'

The book remains in Biloxi school libraries.

The decision to remove the book from the curriculum set the internet ablaze in anger. 'To Kill a Mockingbird should be required reading. This is insane' one user wrote.

'Until I saw To Kill a Mockingbird I couldn't visualize how someone's lie could get a person killed. This should be required reading' another said.

'You know what makes me uncomfortable? Censorship. That's what makes me uncomfortable. Say NO to book banning!' A Twitter user posted.

'If To Kill a Mockingbird makes you uncomfortable you should probably be reading To Kill a Mockingbird' one person pointed out.

SOURCE 





White nationalist Richard Spencer gets the go-ahead for a speech at the University of Cincinnati sparking fears of violence

The University of Cincinnati says it will allow white nationalist leader Richard Spencer to speak on campus, while Ohio State University says it can't accommodate a rental request for a Nov. 15 speech but is considering alternatives.

UC president Neville Pinto said in an email that the university is finalizing details of Spencer's visit and promises to make safety a priority.

Pinto said in the university-wide email on Friday that Spencer's 'ideology of hate and exclusion is antithetical' to the university's core values but that as a public institution it had to allow Spencer to speak because of his constitutional right to free speech.

'It is the power and promise of (our) diversity to change the world for the better that has the hate-filled so unsettled,' Pinto said. 'We ask for your patience, support, and understanding as we prepare for a trying time for our community.'

The director of Ohio State's legal office, Christopher Culley, said in a letter that it couldn't accommodate a request for Spencer to speak on Nov. 15 'without substantial risk to public safety' but expects to decide if there are 'viable' alternatives by the end of next week.

An attorney for Spencer's associates, Kyle Bristow, said in a press release that he would hold off on suing the schools after earlier writing emails saying they had until Friday to agree to make campus space available for Spencer or face a lawsuit.

Both universities were contacted last month about allowing Spencer to visit but had delayed making final decisions.

'I imagine similar reviews are not required of politically left-wing events on campus, and your 'review' is therefore unconstitutionally discriminatory in and of itself,' Bristow wrote to the universities at the time.

Bristow is the founder of a law firm dedicated to legal advocacy on behalf of a loose collection of white nationalists, white supremacists and anti-immigration populists called the alt-right.

The Ohio universities are the latest targeted for appearances by Spencer since he participated in an August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence.

The Charlottesville rally left universities across the U.S. bracing for more clashes between right-wing extremists and those who oppose them.

It also left schools struggling to ensure campus safety in the face of recruiting efforts by white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups while balancing concerns over freedom of speech.

Spencer is scheduled to speak Oct. 19 at the University of Florida. That university's president is urging students to stay away from Spencer's appearance and to speak out against 'hate and racism.'

UF says it expects to spend $500,000 on security for the event. It said as a public institution it is legally obligated to allow the expression of many viewpoints by external groups, such as Spencer's National Policy Institute.

SOURCE 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017



UK: Peace campaigners accused of 'indoctrinating' children, as teaching union promotes white poppy scheme

Peace campaigners have been accused of “indoctrinating” children, after Britain’s largest teaching union promoted a scheme to sell white poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), a pacifist organisation, will this week formally launch a new campaign for schools across the country to endorse white poppies.

It comes after the PPU exhibited for the first time at this year’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference, where it signed up over 100 teachers to its inaugural teacher network.

The PPU, which grew out of the conscientious objectors movement in the First World War, aims to challenge what they see as the “glamorisation” of war through the sale of red poppies.

But Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, criticised the sale of white poppies in schools as “misguided”.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “I think it is perfectly reasonably for schools to discuss different political perspectives, but they should not be indoctrinating children with a left wing political agenda.”

The PPU has sold around 100,000 poppies each year for the past three years - peaking at 110,000 in 2015 - and it is now looking to step up its activity in schools through its newly established teacher network.

They have developed a white poppy school pack, which costs £60 and contains 100 poppies as well as leaflets, educational resources and posters.

“The white poppy aims to foster an understanding that there are alternatives to armed force, and rallies support for resistance to the growing militarisation of society”, explains the leaflet.

Ahead of the formal launch on Monday, teachers have already started ordering the packs directly from the PPU, and peace activist groups have also purchased packs to distribute at local schools.

“Some parents don’t understand and think it is an insult,” Symon Hill, co-ordinator at the PPU said.

“The key thing we get across is that white poppies represent all victims of all wars, civilians, ambulance drivers, and those who fought for a different country.

“We are a pacifist organisation, we make no apology for that. We share a commitment for working for peace, rejecting militarism and attempts to glamorise war.”

He said: “The last thing we want to do is indoctrinate children or impose our views on them. We want young people to have the chance to consider a range of views.”

Mr Hill said that generally schools which sell white poppies also sell red ones so that pupils have a choice, adding “we don't have a problem with that”.

However, Col Richard Kemp said that state schools should not be spending taxpayer money on promoting white poppies to pupils.

“If teachers are getting involved in school time or using their professional position, paid for by our taxes, to indoctrinate children in this movement, that is wrong,” the ex-army chief said.

“It is right to share and discuss but wrong to encourage children to sign up to this or any other political agenda.”

Col Kemp, who previously led a campaign to recognise the sacrifice of British troops killed and wounded in action, added: “The red poppy, Remembrance Sunday and everything around it - these are institutions of the state and that is our tradition. It is right that schools should sell red poppies and take part in this.

“The poppy is not a political hobby horse; it is a means of raising money for the welfare of soldiers and for the families of soldiers who have been  killed, it has a specific purpose which is not political.

The red poppy should be respected as opposed to another fringe political movement.”

The PPU, which formed in the 1930s, also produces teaching resources for schools aimed at challenging army recruitment aimed at young people.

Mr Hill said: “Increasingly armed forces are going into schools - we are not saying children shouldn’t hear from them. But they should hear an alternative point of view.

“If they present life in army as glamorous and fun, and having to obey orders without questioning them when they go against your own conscious – that is very one-sided.

“We have resources that will encourage young people to think through the nature of the armed forces and the nature of war. We are also campaigning on a political level about armed forces recruitment.”

The NUT - which has now merged with the Association of Teachers Teachers and Lecturers - said that they do not have a former partnership with the PPU, but added that they only allow stalls to exhibit at their conference if they agree with their objectives.

SOURCE 





Expensive St. Louis School Teaching Students and Staff to 'Witness Whiteness'

Once upon a time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said that he looked forward to the day when people would be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. When he said that, we were a long way from that ideal. Now, almost 55 years later, we're probably even further away from it than we were then.

That's largely because of the number of people trying to push racial identity as being something people should be constantly aware of. One of the latest examples is an expensive private school in St. Louis for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade. From The College Fix:

Thanks to the “Witnessing Whiteness” program, the $17,500 per year College School actually starts the racial consciousness in  pre-kindergarten, with teachers pointing out to students, for example, how “few specific shades [of crayons], ranging from beige to brown” can be used as “the skin colors of figures in their drawings.”

According to The St. Louis American, the program is part of the “school’s approach to addressing race at every educational level.” For teachers and staff, they get to participate in discussions designed to get them to “rethink” how they view race.

The approach is based on the book by Shelly Tochluk described on Amazon.com as “invit[ing] readers to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations.”

Here's the problem that I don't think anyone in favor of this is thinking about. If we continue to teach kids about "whiteness" and make it an issue, some of them are going to take that teaching in a completely different direction than intended. If you want someone to consider what it means to be white, that consideration may yield an individual who embraces white-identity ideology or similar white-supremacist nonsense.

You cannot tell people to consider their skin color at all times, then act surprised that people are doing just that. You can't control what that consideration yields, after all. People have minds of their own, and unless you have complete control over the indoctrination process--something impossible in this day and age--those minds will reach their own conclusions.

Of course, the fact that people are paying $17,500 for this kind of racist indoctrination--and even if it's not teaching white supremacy, it's still racist, let me assure you--for their kids is even more mind-boggling. However, if that's what parents want to waste their money on, so be it. The market provides what people will pay for.

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Australia: Inquiring about the elephant in the classroom

It is easy to understand why people find the idea of inquiry learning so appealing. It’s a lovely notion that children can and will learn important concepts and knowledge simply by being given an opportunity to discover them for themselves.

This is allegedly the education of the future — a future in which children need only to learn how to find what they need at the time they need it.

But is it true that children learn best by inquiry? You would think so if you listened to Andreas Schleicher, the Director of the OECD Education Directorate, which runs the Program for International Assessment (PISA).  Professor Schleicher was in Australia recently, giving interviews and speaking at events and forums. Disappointingly, he did not mention the pedagogical elephant in the room — that OECD reports show that inquiry learning is strongly negatively associated with PISA scores.

A deeper analysis of the PISA scores by McKinsey and Co found that the ideal balance is for almost all lessons to be teacher-directed with a small number of inquiry-based lessons. This fits well with the cognitive science-informed framework in which novice learners need more highly structured, explicit teaching, with a gradual shift to independent inquiry as they consolidate their knowledge and develop expertise.

The PISA data is supported by numerous other studies showing that explicit, teacher-directed instruction is more effective than inquiry learning.

Strangely, however, the more evidence stacks up against inquiry learning, the more it seems to take on a mythical status of being unassailably superior.

This week the long line of heavy weights endorsing inquiry learning included the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, and a German maths professor who happily acknowledged that her version of inquiry learning is not based on cutting edge research but on a centuries-old theory that was refined in the 1920s and popularised in the 1960s.

Inquiry learning can be useful when administered in the right doses at the right time in the learning process. It is not a miracle cure for a new age.

SOURCE


Monday, October 16, 2017




New College Student Survey: Yes, Speech Can Be Violence

Results like these are just as troubling as the high-profile incidents dominating the news

If you follow free-speech controversies for any length of time, you’ll understand two things about public opinion. First, an overwhelming percentage of Americans will declare their support for free speech. Second, a shocking percentage of Americans also support censoring speech they don’t like. How is this possible? It’s simple. “Free speech” is good speech, you see. That’s the speech that corrects injustices and speaks truth to power. That other speech? The speech that hurts my feelings or hurts my friends’ feelings? That’s “hate speech.” It might even be violence.

    A new survey of college students demonstrates this reality perfectly. Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for Yale’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, the survey queried 800 college students attending four-year private or public colleges, and the results were depressingly predictable.

    First, the “good” news. Students claim to love free speech and intellectual diversity. For example, 83 percent agree that the First Amendment needs to be “followed and respected.” A whopping 84 percent agree that their school should “always do its best to promote intellectual diversity,” including by protecting free speech and inviting controversial speakers to campus. Similarly, 93 percent agree that there’s value in listening to and understanding “views and opinions that I may disagree with.”

    But that’s not good news at all. It’s simply evidence that in the abstract students will claim to be open-minded. They’ll claim to value different views — right until the moment they really get offended. For example, 81 percent agree with the statement that “words can be a form of violence.” A full 58 percent of students believe that colleges should “forbid” speakers who have a “history of engaging in hate speech.”

    And what is hate speech? The definition the students liked was staggeringly broad. Two-thirds agreed that hate speech is “anything that one particular person believes is harmful, racist, or bigoted.” They further agreed that hate speech “means something different to everyone.”

    Given these realities, it should come as no surprise that large numbers of students believe that interruptions or even violence are appropriate to stop offensive speech. Almost 40 percent believe that it’s “sometimes appropriate” to “shout down or disrupt” a speaker. A sobering 30 percent believe that physical violence can be used to stop someone from “using hate speech or engaging in racially charged comments.”

    It’s a small consolation that a slight majority of students say that they have not felt intimidated out of expressing their views — but this means that, in institutions allegedly dedicated to critical thinking and open inquiry, almost half the student respondents indicated they were indeed intimidated.

    Survey findings like this should serve as an alarm bell every bit as important as the shout-downs and attacks that dominate the headlines. Naysayers and defenders of the status quo on campus will argue that the censors represent a mere fringe, that our campuses are still more free than critics suggest. That may be true on some campuses, but these poll numbers indicate that the so-called radicals are perhaps more mainstream than we’d like to admit.

    Just at the moment when we need a concerted, bipartisan effort to defend a culture of free speech, our national polarization stands in the way. It becomes more important to win news cycles or to defeat a hated opponent than it is to defend an enduring civilizational value. We care only when our friends suffer censorship, and we sometimes even take a measure of glee when our opponents twist in the wind. Last week leftist protesters blocked an ACLU representative from speaking at William & Mary. Conservatives should find that every bit as outrageous as an effort to censor my friend Ben Shapiro. We should treat the president’s calls to punish kneeling football players with the exact contempt that we’d treat progressive calls for reprisals against a praying athlete.

    In other words, it’s time to remember that we can strongly disagree with expression — as I disagree with the decision to kneel — while still protecting the right to dissent. Even more, it’s time to remember that the impulse to censor is often more offensive than the content of the targeted speech. After all, a kneeling football player doesn’t threaten our constitutional order. Campus speeches don’t threaten our individual liberty. But when presidents forget their constitutional role — or when campus administrators capitulate to the demands of the angry mob — we incrementally lose respect for the values that truly make America great.

    Long after even the memories of modern feuds fade, the First Amendment should still stand. We should still fight for the rights of others that we’d like to exercise ourselves. But if we lose the culture, we’ll eventually lose the Constitution, and when that happens America will fundamentally and perhaps irrevocably change. When it comes to the fight for free speech, the stakes are exactly that high.

SOURCE 






‘Feminist Economics’: Coming to a College Campus Near You

Just another call for socialism

If you haven’t yet heard of “feminist economics,” get ready, because liberal economists, policy organizations, and activist groups are pushing the concept as the next battleground for women’s rights.

Because condemning catcalling and “toxic masculinity” in cultural terms isn’t enough, they’re now targeting government policies and institutions they contend are oppressive and discriminatory toward women.

In order to level the playing field, feminist economists are calling for a massive expansion in government benefits, from universal child care to universal health care plans that cover abortion, birth control, sterilization, fertility, and surrogacy.

What Is ‘Feminist Economics’?

In order to understand “feminist economics,” you must first understand what those on the left side of the aisle call the “economics of misogyny.”

The economics of misogyny describes “how these anti-woman beliefs are deeply ingrained in economic theory and policy in such a way that devalues women’s contributions and limits women’s capabilities and opportunities,” explained Kate Bahn in an article for the liberal Center for American Progress. “[D]espite the central role of women in the economy throughout history, our economic policy and government institutions often treat women’s diverse needs and capabilities as an afterthought to ‘real issues’ in the ‘real economy.’”

The topic was discussed at length last month at a Center for American Progress event, “The Economics of Misogyny.” Scholars and economists gathered from a handful of top colleges and universities from around the nation for panel discussions on “The Intersection of the Family and the Labor Market” and “The Economics of Bodily Autonomy.”

One of the goals behind feminist economics is to put a monetary dollar to the cost of the work women traditionally do for free, such as child, elderly, or sickness care. By ignoring the monetary value of this work, they suggest, women themselves are being undervalued and held back.

How It’s Happening and What to Do About It

Discrimination against women in the labor market has a long history, explained Nina Banks, an associate professor of economics at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. And central to it is the concept of intersectionality—the idea that categories such as race, class, immigration status, and gender are all connected. An African-American woman, for example, is more disadvantaged than a white woman.

Intersectionality explains the “grand narrative about work that is framed around the labor market experiences of white women, primarily white, married women,” she said. “It’s a white-centered bias when we look at these experiences. That’s a problem.”

Building on this idea, Michelle Holder, an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College of the City University of New York, suggested that government policies that encourage marriage should be abolished, because the black community has significantly lower marriage rates than white Americans. (According to a study on marriage patterns performed by the National Institutes of Health, black women, compared with white and Hispanic women, “marry later in life, are less likely to marry at all, and have higher rates of marital instability.”)

“Most African-American women aren’t a part of a couple, [so] I think it’s problematic to privilege couples, whether they are same-sex or different-sex couples,” Holder said. “I think we need to redefine unpaid work around these different kinds of family structures.”

Conservatives generally disagree and have long supported government policies that encourage—or “privilege”—marriage, because couples who get married prior to having children are far more likely to flourish financially.

Panelists didn’t just want to remove policies that encourage marriage, however. They also proposed subsidizing “care labor”; meaning, instead of working with your husband, wife, or the surrounding community to raise children and take care of sick or elderly family members, the state does it for you.

“Women doing unpaid care work creates particularly difficulties for women in the economy,” said Randy Albelda, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and director of the College of Liberal Arts.

In order to address this “discrimination and occupational segregation,” Albelda proposed helping families “by providing the care work through a collectivized way that most countries do.” For example, she said:

Universal education and care, which I actually think would probably be the most important policy for all women, particularly low-income women in this country … It’s sort of a no-brainer … . If economists were really concerned about efficiency … they would be on top of this in a flash, because it is such a waste of all sorts of things. It increases our poverty rate. It reduces women’s labor force participation. It generates more inequality. Early education and care is one of the biggest engines of inequality in the United States.

Judith Warner, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, floated the idea that the hours a mother spends caring for her children or family could be factored “into someone’s Social Security payments down the line.”

“That’s a great point. It’s not just symbolic value; it’s actual production,” responded Joyce Jacobsen, an economics professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. “We used to talk about strikes of household workers—that you would actually lose a huge amount of production if … people just refused to take care of their children, refused to take care of their sick parents, refused to do housework. It would be chaos. It’s not even just symbolic.

“We can come up with actual dollar amounts for the loss of productivity, and I think that’s, again, where economists can be of great help in pointing out that there are methods to do those calculations.”

‘The Economics of Bodily Autonomy’

It’s not just care work that feminist economics strives to monetize. They contend that “bodily autonomy” also plays a crucial role in women’s ability to fully engage in the economy.

“Targeted regulation for abortion providers, mandatory waiting periods, limitations on late-term abortions, all these things are happening in a much bigger group of states,” said Adriana Kugler, a professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. “And actually, we find, really limit labor market opportunities and economic opportunities for women.”

Until the government provides universal health care plans that cover unrestricted access to abortion, birth control, sterilization, fertility, and surrogacy, women will never truly be equal, she contends.

Conservatives—and conservative women, in particular—say the abortion industry itself undermines women’s rights.

“The abortion industry not interested in abortion clinic regulations that are crafted to protect women’s health and safety, or informed consent requirements that include scientifically accurate information about the unborn child and information about the risks and alternatives to abortion,” said Melanie Israel, a research associate at The Heritage Foundation focused on the issue of life. “And the abortion industry is certainly not interested in a health care system that empowers women to obtain a plan that both meets their needs and reflects their religious and moral values.”

Furthermore, Israel said, “Telling women that the path to success requires destroying the life inside them presents a false ‘choice.’”

The reality is, ensuring that both mom and baby are able to thrive is not an either/or endeavor. That’s why across the country, the pro-life community, and life-affirming pregnancy resource centers strive so hard to offer women services, education, supplies, counseling, and compassionate options to women experiencing a tough pregnancy.

Another area where economics plays into bodily autonomy, the panelists argued, is the national debate over transgender individuals and public restrooms.

Lee Badgett, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, cited the so-called “bathroom bill” in North Carolina, which mandated people use bathrooms and locker rooms in schools, public universities, and other government buildings based on the gender listed on their birth certificates, as an example of a government policy regulating bodily autonomy.

These regulations, she argued, can hold women—and all people, for that matter—back.

“There was an exodus of businesses who were thinking of investing in Charlotte, and the other areas of North Carolina … so who’s hurt the most? It was actually, probably … hereosexual people. They’re the ones who would mainly have had those jobs, and they’re not having them. So I think it’s a way … we all have an incentive to have an inclusive society for everybody.”

An “inclusive society,” according to liberal groups such as the Center for American Progress, takes the form of government mandating society to use certain pronouns, teach transgender ideology to children, and open public restrooms to people based on their gender identity. But if transgender-friendly bathrooms made good economic sense, one might think there’d be no need for a law forcing businesses—public or private—to adopt these policies.

In North Carolina, however, it wasn’t just the government that got involved. Big businesses and special-interest groups stepped in, attempting to use their influence and economic power to impose their liberal values via bullying and boycotts.

Ryan T. Anderson, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow and author of “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” calls this “textbook cultural cronyism” at “the expense of the common good.”

The Future of ‘Feminist Economics’

The role of “feminist economics” in our political conversation is still young. And with Democrats arguing Ivanka Trump’s paid family leave proposal doesn’t go far enough, it’s likely to continue. As the Center for American Progress put it: “Feminist economics provides a starting point to developing a broader understanding of how women’s varied lives and complex needs interact with the economy.”

At its heart is one idea: Women are better off with government as our husbands, fathers, caretakers, and moral arbiters. Anything short is discriminatory against women.

SOURCE 




Radicalised Muslim students will be BANNED from Australian classrooms

Radicalised and violent students could soon be banned from the classroom in a major overhaul of school safety laws.

Legislation is expected to be introduced into the New South Wales parliament this week which will force students who pose a 'significant risk' to enrol in distance education.

Under current laws, principals are unable to take action against any pupil who commits a crime away from school grounds and outside school hours.

A student at a Sydney high school who was recently stopped from flying to Syria where he planned to fight for ISIS was allowed to continue attending classes because his actions weren't related to the school, The Daily Telegraph reported. 

The proposed changes will see principals given the power to ban violent or radicalised pupils from attending class - whether the student's criminal behaviour took place in or outside school.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the major shake-up is designed to bring the three-decade-old Education Act in line with modern-day threats.

'These are common sense changes to the Education Act that bring us into line with other jurisdictions,' Mr Stokes said, according to the paper.

'It's a sensible solution to dealing with modern-day problems that were not anticipated when the Education Act was drafted almost 30 years ago.

'The measures in this Bill are being put in place to uphold the public's ­expectation that schools remain safe, secure and collegial environments for both students and staff.'

The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction on social media, with many suggesting the proposed changes are well overdue. 'It's about time,' one wrote, while another said: '30 years too late'.

Others argued the proposal will only serve to further alienate students prone to radicalisation. 

SOURCE


Sunday, October 15, 2017



83% Of America’s Top High School Science Students Are The Children Of Immigrants

Mostly Indians.  Were any of them Muslims or Hispanics?  They  would have said if there were

What would we lose if immigrants could no longer come to America? Surprisingly, one of the most important things America would lose is the contributions made by their children.

A new study from the National Foundation for American Policy found a remarkable 83% (33 of 40) of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants. The competition organized each year by the Society for Science & the Public is the leading science competition for U.S. high school students. In 2017, the talent search competition was renamed the Regeneron Science Talent Search,  after its new sponsor Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,and a new group of 40 finalists – America’s next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians – are competing in Washington, D.C., from March 9 to 15, 2017.

Both family-based and employment-based immigrants were parents of finalists in 2016. In fact, 75% – 30 out of 40 – of the finalists had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas and later became green card holders and U.S. citizens. That compares to seven children who had both parents born in the United States.

To put that in perspective, even though former H-1B visa holders represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, they were four times more likely to have a child as a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search than were parents who were both born in the United States.

Parents who were international students were more likely to have a child as a finalist than native-born parents. A total of 27 of the 40 children – 68% – had a parent who came to America as an international student. That means if international students cannot remain in America after graduation (through Optional Practical Training and improved visa policies) it will also deprive America of the potentially substantial contributions of their children.

Three of the finalists, or 7.5%, had parents who came to America as family-sponsored immigrants (although the number is four parents, or 10%, if one counts the family-sponsored immigrant who married an H-1B visa holder).

Among the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 14 had parents both born in India, 11 had parents both born in China, and seven had parents both born in the United States. People of Indian and Chinese birth represent only about 1% of the U.S. population each, according to the Pew Research Center.

SOURCE 






Anti-white racists drive out anyone who questions them

Meet the Reed student driven out of college for questioning a protest

The photograph on the college website shows a confident, happy, young African-American woman using a bullhorn to address more than a hundred overwhelmingly white students holding protest signs. It was taken at a Black Lives Matter protest at Reed College, my alma mater, in September 2016. It was a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon, and the students were parading through campus, accompanied by drums and anything else that could make a sound. One of the cardboard signs in the crowd behind her said: ‘Brown People for Black Power.’ Another said: ‘1 out of 2 black students at Reed do not graduate.’

The demonstration marked the beginning of a year-long series of confrontations that turned the historically leftist college inside out. The young woman in the photo was responsible for organising most of them. I’ll call her Amanda, not her real name, because I don’t want her to be hounded by right-wing trolls.

At most schools, demonstrations tend to flare up once or twice a year during a visit from a controversial right-wing speaker. At Reed, Amanda managed to create protests that occurred three days a week for most of the academic year.

Before Amanda, the Black Lives Matter movement hadn’t gained much traction at Reed. Although its students have been ranked as the most liberal in the Princeton Review’s survey of the top 382 liberal-arts colleges, only about three per cent of the student population is black. The school has had a hard time attracting them, in spite of a ‘fly-in’ programme that distributes free airline tickets to prospective black students.

But in September 2016, on the heels of a national debate on race, the school got behind the movement, letting demonstrators set up an afternoon rally in the quad and allowing sympathetic professors to cancel classes, hold extra sessions and adjust assignment deadlines.

Hunter Dillman agreed to meet me on campus before we went to lunch in a barbeque joint a few blocks away. He was 6’2”, drove a beat-up black pickup and had pale blue eyes and blond hair parted in the centre. He was eager to talk to somebody who wanted to hear his story in detail, somebody who didn’t believe he had simply fucked up his freshman year. He told me his father was a construction worker who owned a farm and raised cows and chickens on the side. Hunter had taken four advanced placement (AP) science courses his senior year, getting all fives, and planned to get a degree in chemistry.

At the beginning of the first semester, as he was going to dinner with a friend, he read a Facebook post from the leader of a Latina group who wrote that her group planned to ‘Stop Trump’ and asked fellow students for support in a school funding survey. He was curious and considered getting involved. After he asked her a couple of times to be more specific about how the group planned to stop Trump, she accused him of being a racist for challenging a Latina student support group. He responded that if her group called people racist just for asking questions, he had no intention of voting to fund it.

A few minutes later, when the Latina activist happened to meet him waiting in line at the dining hall, she continued her accusations and called him a ‘little white boy’. Shaken, he took his food back to his room and tried to eat as he watched in horror as comment after comment about him appeared on Facebook, denouncing him as a bigot.

The next day, as he was walking across campus, a student screamed ‘Racist!’ at him. The accusers never came up to talk to him, but the online abuse kept coming. Many of the people he thought were friends dropped him. And although a few said they sympathised, no one was willing to stand up for him. The fact that he was 25 per cent Native American only made things worse. ‘How dare you use your Native American identity to justify your racism?’, his Native American peer counsellor asked him.

When Bruce Smith, the dean of students, called him into his office to get his side of the story, Dillman assumed the Latina student had filed a formal complaint against him under the school’s Honor Principle. Later, when the head of the peer-mentoring programme suggested he face his accusers in a meeting of fellow minority students, he declined. ‘It would have been me versus everybody else in the same room. Hell no!’

While Dillman managed to do well the first semester, the second semester, he said, he went into ‘a dark place’. He slept all day. His grades slipped. He wanted students to see him as a human being, a student just like them, but ‘People wouldn’t let me. I knew what happened to me wasn’t justified. I thought, “How shameful”.’ But in the end the shame was too great.

After he filled out the forms to drop out mid-semester, the dean of students met with him again. At the end of the hour-long meeting, when the dean failed to mention the outcome of the Honor Principle case, Dillman finally inquired about the outcome. Only then did the dean tell him that nothing had come of it. (Reed College officials declined to be interviewed.)

Hunter went back home to Oregon City and moved into a trailer on the edge of his parents’ farm. Gradually, he got back on his feet. Today he’s making $20 an hour as a carpenter, framing houses. ‘I was the first person in my family to go to college’, he said. ‘My father told me that when I got accepted to Reed, it was the proudest moment in his life. That was my best shot. I could have been someone who got an awesome education. Now I’m a construction worker.’

Looking back, he was still trying to make sense of what happened to him. His accusers, he said, ‘seem to be angry at the world and each other and wanted to focus on that. They have a lot of misplaced indignation and they need some source to take it out on.’

Dillman had moved into his own apartment and planned to take some community college classes while working full-time. He told me he’s trying to stay upbeat but he’s no longer interested in pursuing a career in science. ‘I’ve changed’, he said. ‘I’m more into randomness.’

Hunter Dillman plans to take a class in welding this fall to boost his pay.

SOURCE 






Florida School District That Blamed Third-Grade Girls for Being Molested by Teacher to Pay $3.6 Million Settlement

On Wednesday, the Sun Sentinel reported that the Palm Beach County School District is expected to approve a $3.6 million settlement of a 12-year-old lawsuit in which a group of girls (adults at this point) accused elementary school teacher Blake Sinrod of fondling them in their classroom in 2005.

The Sentinel cited court documents filed in response to a 2006 civil suit brought by the girls’ parents (the students were in third grade, around nine years old at the time of the attacks), that infuriatingly claim the victims were “old enough to appreciate the consequences of their actions” and “conducted themselves in a careless and negligent manner.” Now that is fucking horrifying.

Dale Friedman, an attorney who has worked for the defense since 2006, told the Sentinel that the district’s outrageous claim was used in an effort to reduce potential damages the district might have to pay out, a tactic she referred to as “comparative negligence.” Friedman insists, “We have never blamed the girls or given them the appearance of holding the girls responsible for what their teacher did.”

However Jeffrey Herman, a lawyer who represents clients with sexual abuse claims, told the Sentinel he’d never before witnessed the use of such a defense and cautioned that, “The real problem with this [defense] is it revictimizes victims…. There’s meaning and impact when you file things. It’s forever part of the permanent record that the School Board is blaming these third-graders.”

According to the Sentinel, when the parents of the four students filed a civil suit in 2006, their lawyer at the time, Charles Bechert, said that the parents believed their children were preyed upon in part because they were immigrants—perhaps the teacher thought their parents would not know how to report the crimes, or feel comfortable doing so.

Sinrod (that really, really is his name) was fired from that job at Coral Sunset Elementary in 2006, and his teaching license was revoked in 2008.

SOURCE 


Friday, October 13, 2017




Welcome To The New Age Of Academic Fascism & Mob Rule

A controversial essay that offered a defense of colonialism and led to a revolt at Third World Quarterly has been withdrawn due to “serious and credible threats of personal violence” to the journal’s editor, according to a notice posted by the journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis.

The essay, “The Case for Colonialism,” was withdrawn at the request of the journal’s editor, Shahid Qadir, and in agreement with the essay’s author, Bruce Gilley, an associate professor of political science at Portland State University, the notice said.

The publisher said that it had conducted a thorough investigation after receiving complaints about the essay and found that it had undergone double-blind peer review, in line with the journal’s editorial policy.

However, the publisher’s notice continued, the journal’s editor received “serious and credible threats of personal violence” linked to the publication of the essay. “As the publisher, we must take this seriously,” the withdrawal notice reads. “Taylor & Francis has a strong and supportive duty of care to all our academic editorial teams, and this is why we are withdrawing this essay.”

Backlash against Third World Quarterly  was swift after it published the colonialism essay last month. Fifteen people on the journal’s 34-member board resigned, and a petition seeking a retraction drew more than 10,000 signatures.

In the wake of the controversy, the author, Mr. Gilley, had asked that his essay be withdrawn. “I regret the pain and anger that it has caused for many people,” Mr. Gilley wrote last month on his website.

SOURCE 






Georgetown University Stumps for the Muslim Brotherhood

Another campus buries its head in the desert sand

The Muslim "Brotherhood [MB] is traditionally a reformist, gradualist movement [which] is working on social change," stated the Egyptian MB member Amr Darrag at a Georgetown University panel last month. With that, Darrag and his fellow speaker, the British-Iraqi MB operative Anas Altikriti, added to Georgetown's longstanding history of enabling the MB's deceitful use of liberal language to mask totalitarian goals.

Georgetown's Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) hosted the event, which was titled: "Post-Arab Spring Middle East: Political Islam and Democracy." A pro-Islamist bent was inevitable given that the moderator was ACMCU director Jonathan Brown. This professor has his own professional links to MB groups and is the son-in-law of convicted terrorist Sami Al Arian. In February, Brown was widely criticized after he gave a speech at a MB think tank justifying the practice of slavery within Islam.

Before the event, MB expert Eric Trager warned against Darrag's visit to America: "The Muslim Brotherhood is an international hate group that seeks" to establish a "global Islamic state or neo-caliphate." Speaking at the event, Altikriti, whom the Hudson Institute describes as "one of the shrewdest UK-based Brotherhood activists and the son of the leader of Iraq's Muslim Brotherhood," dismissed Trager's article as "hilarious."

Despite Altikriti's insistence elsewhere that he has no connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, he describes the movement as "the most important democratic voice that espouses multiculturalism, human rights and basic freedoms." He also maintains that, while indeed part of the "spectrum" of "political Islam", groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are "abnormal phenomena" and not ideologically related to the Brotherhood. By contrast, Lebanese-American Middle East expert Walid Phares has identified the MB as the "mothership for the jihadi ideologies."

Notwithstanding Altikriti's support and apologetics for Hamas, an MB affiliate and the totalitarian ruler of the Gaza Strip, he expressed a desire for "far more political players and actors throughout society than political Islam." He added that if the "only alternative to authoritarian regimes is political Islam, that's a choice that I would loathe."

Altikriti's suspect celebration of pluralism echoes his previous descriptions of his own organization, the UK-based Cordoba Foundation. Altikriti has told Al Jazeera that his foundation "rehashes positive memories" of an ostensible period of multicultural coexistence in medieval Islamic Spain. Prime Minister David Cameron, however, describes the Cordoba Foundation as a "political front for the Muslim Brotherhood," while the United Arab Emirates has designated the foundation a terrorist organization.

Darrag, meanwhile, was a former minister in Egypt's MB-led government under Mohamed Morsi, until its 2013 overthrow. Darrag argued that under Morsi the MB wanted "to go back quickly to stability, to establish institutions, elections, get a parliament, constitution, a president, all the institutions that would be perfectly fit for an established democratic system." He denied Islamist involvement in the "Arab Spring," arguing that protestors "didn't go out to ask for the application of sharia." Trager has noted in fact that Darrag played a central role in creating under Morsi a new, sharia-focused Egyptian constitution.

Darrag also claimed that the MB rejects violence in its pursuit of political reform. He described the work of his Istanbul-based Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (EIPSS) as the promotion of liberal, democratic issues, such as "transitional justice" and "civil-military relations." Once again, however, Trager has noted that EIPSS "presents itself as a scholarly think tank, but it often promotes violent interpretations of Islamic texts" in Arabic-language articles - yet another example of the MB feigning nonviolence.

The Georgetown panel reflected the Hudson Institute's previous analysis of Altikriti: his longstanding strategy is "to persuade Western governments that they should fund Brotherhood groups as moderate alternatives to al-Qaeda." A 2015 review of the MB by the British government itself judged treating the MB as a moderate alternative to Salafi-jihadism as counterproductive and contrary to security interests.

Altikriti, who has joined with senior Hamas leaders to found the British Muslim Initiative, is certainly not a moderate. His Cordoba Foundation once co-hosted an event featuring the Al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. No wonder a British bank decided, in 2014, to close the accounts of Altikriti, his family members, and the foundation.

The Georgetown hosts made no notice of their panelists' extremist connections. Altikriti and Darrag were presented as no different to technocrats running for city council in a Western country. Yet the facts of the speakers' ideology leave no illusions that smooth-talking, suit-wearing Islamists have any real interest in good governance and liberty under law. Critical observers should not fall for this farce.

SOURCE 






The False Ideas Intellectuals Peddle at College Campuses

Walter E. Williams

As George Orwell said, “some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

Many stupid ideas originate with academics on college campuses. If they remained there and didn’t infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment, much in the way a circus is.

Let’s look at a few stupid ideas peddled by intellectuals.

During the Cold War, academic leftists made a moral equivalency between communist totalitarianism and democracy.

Worse is the fact that they exempted communist leaders from the type of harsh criticism directed toward Adolf Hitler, even though communist crimes against humanity made Hitler’s slaughter of 11 million noncombatants appear almost amateurish.

According to Professor R.J. Rummel’s research in “Death by Government,” from 1917 until its collapse, the Soviet Union murdered or caused the death of 61 million people, mostly its own citizens.

From 1949 to 1976, Communist China’s Mao Zedong regime was responsible for the death of as many as 78 million of its own citizens.

On college campuses, the same sort of equivalency is made between capitalism and communism, but if one looks at the real world, there’s a stark difference.

Just ask yourself: In which societies is the average citizen richer—societies toward the capitalist end of the economic spectrum or those toward the communist end?

In which societies do ordinary citizens have their human rights protected the most—those toward the capitalist end or those toward the communist end?

Finally, which societies do people around the world flee from—capitalist or communist? And where do they flee to—capitalist or communist societies?

More recent nonsense taught on college campuses, under the name of multiculturalism, is that one culture is as good as another. Identity worship, diversity, and multiculturalism are currency and cause for celebration at just about any college.

If one is black, brown, yellow, or white, the prevailing thought is that he should take pride and celebrate that fact even though he had nothing to do with it.

The multiculturalist and diversity crowd seems to suggest that race or sex is an achievement. That’s just plain nonsense.

In my book, race or sex might be an achievement, worthy of considerable celebration, if a person were born a white male and through his effort and diligence became a black female.

Then there’s white privilege. Colleges have courses and seminars on “whiteness.” One college even has a course titled “Abolition of Whiteness.”

According to academic intellectuals, whites enjoy advantages that nonwhites do not. They earn higher income and reside in better housing, and their children go to better schools and achieve more. Based upon those socio-economic statistics, Japanese-Americans have more white privilege than white people.

And, on a personal note, my daughter has experienced more white privilege than probably 95 percent of white Americans. She’s attended private schools, had ballet and music lessons, traveled the world, and lived in upper-income communities.

Leftists should get rid of the concept of white privilege and just call it achievement.

Then there’s the issue of campus rape and sexual assault.

Before addressing that, let me ask you a question. Do I have a right to place my wallet on the roof of my car, go into my house, have lunch, take a nap, and return to my car and find my wallet just where I placed it?

I think I have every right to do so, but the real question is whether it would be a wise decision.

Some college women get stoned, use foul language, and dance suggestively. I think they have a right to behave that way and not be raped or sexually assaulted. But just as in the example of my placing my wallet on the roof of my car, I’d ask whether it is wise behavior.

Many of our problems, both at our institutions of higher learning and in the nation at large, stem from the fact that we’ve lost our moral compasses and there’s not a lot of interest in reclaiming them.

As a matter of fact, most people don’t see our major problems as having anything to do with morality.

SOURCE 




Thursday, October 12, 2017



Do more to admit poorer students, universities told by Scottish government

Scotland's universities have a deserved reputation for quality.  The more students they admit on non-academic grounds, the more that reputation will be threatened.  Ironic that a Scottish Nationalist government should be intent on destroying a great Scottish asset

The SNP’s higher education minister has accused some universities of dragging their feet over demands to admit more poor students.

Shirley-Anne Somerville also said that parts of the higher education sector were sending a damaging message to young women by letting men dominate many of the most senior positions.

Speaking at a fringe event at the SNP conference, Ms Somerville said that despite a high-profile drive to increase social diversity at campuses and the imposition of tough new targets, progress was sporadic and not systemic. She openly questioned whether some universities were “living up to the challenge” set by government.

Although she did not mention any university by name, the comments will be interpreted as a thinly-veiled warning to some of Scotland’s elite institutions

SOURCE 





Oxford college bans 'harmful' Christian Union from freshers' fair

An Oxford College has banned the Christian Union from its freshers’ fair on the grounds that it would be “alienating” for students of other religions, and constitute a “micro-aggression”.

The organiser of Balliol’s fair argued Christianity’s historic use as “an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism” meant that students might feel “unwelcome” in their new college if the Christian Union had a stall.

Freddy Potts, vice-president of Balliol’s Junior Common Room (JCR) committee, said that if a representative from the Christian Union (CU) attended the fair, it could cause "potential harm" to freshers.

Mr Potts, writing on behalf of the JCR's welfare committee, told the CU representative at Balliol, that their "sole concern is that the presence of the CU alone may alienate incoming students”.

In email correspondence, seen by The Daily Telegraph, he went on: “This sort of alienation or micro-aggression is regularly dismissed as not important enough to report, especially when there is little to no indication that other students or committee members may empathise, and inevitably leads to further harm of the already most vulnerable and marginalised groups.

“Historically, Christianity’s influence on many marginalised communities has been damaging in its methods of conversion and rules of practice, and is still used in many places as an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism."

He said that barring the Christian Union from the fair “may be a way of helping to avoid making any students feel initially unwelcome within Balliol”.

Initially he said the JCR committee wanted the fair to be a “secular space”, explaining that since he "couldn't guarantee every major belief system" would have stalls at the the fair, students from other religions may "suffer" if their faith is not represented.

“Many students, especially students of colour and of other faiths, may already feel alienated and vulnerable in Oxford, a university with a reputation for racism and lack of diversity, and a city with barely any appropriate places of worship for non-Christians," he said.

“Hopefully, as people of faith, you may be able to empathise with this, and we ask you to consider from a place of compassion the potential harm to those freshers who are already severely and harmfully disadvantaged.”

However, Mr Potts - who was part of Balliol’s winning University Challenge team -  later conceded that he would allow a “multi-faith” stall at the fair, with information about various university religious societies. Student representatives of the CU were barred from attending in person and distributing leaflets.

The move sparked a backlash among students, with others within the College criticising it as a “violation of free speech”.

The JCR passed a motion on Sunday evening condemning the JCR committees for “barring the participation of specific faith-based organizations”.

The motion said the ban was a "violation of free speech, a violation of religious freedom, and sets dangerous precedents regarding the relationship between specific faiths and religious freedom".

Dr Joanna Williams, a university lecturer and author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, said the decision to ban the Christian Union was “completely bizarre”.

“It is intolerance being exercised in the name of inclusion,” she said. “They are saying: ‘Your religious society is not welcome here’. Essentially they are saying that the Christian Union is not allowed to recruit new members.”

Dr Williams added: “I would argue that a university would be an ideal place for students to explore their religious beliefs. The idea that some religions are not allowed to be represented really prevents students being able to do that. It seems completely bizarre, I am lost for words.”

Paul Diamond, a barrister who specialises in religious liberty laws, said: "Student Christian Unions have the right not to be discriminated against. 

"Student Unions and Universities are required by the Education Act 1994 to observe fairness and democracy; and students have a right to hear different worldviews.  The ‘snowflake’ generation of students needs safe places and freedom of speech zones."

The Revd Nigel Genders, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, said that freedom of religion and belief is a "fundamental principle that underpins our country and its great institutions and universities".

He added: “Christian Unions represent some of the largest student led organisations in many universities across the country and to exclude them in this way is to misunderstand the nature of debate and dialogue and at odds with the kind of society we are all seeking to promote.”

A Balliol College spokesperson said: "We are pleased to see that the students themselves have now resolved this matter. Following last night's JCR motion, the Christian Union will be offered a stall at future freshers' fairs.

"Balliol is a tolerant, friendly college where students of all faiths and none are free to worship and express their beliefs openly."

Balliol College was founded in 1263, and its alumni include three former Prime Ministers: Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan and Sir Edward Heath.

SOURCE 





Australia: Up to 46 university students are vying for the one graduate job

Raife Watson, the CEO of Adzuna - a job search engine - told Lifestyle Overnight there were 'a lot of jobs out there, but not a lot of jobs for graduates'.

Mr Watson said Sydney was a great place for a graduate to find a job, as a lot of companies started up in the capital city, and a lot of infrastructure projects underway.

But for the best chances of finding a graduate job, Mr Watson said the Northern Territory was the place to go.

South Australia was the worst place to find a graduate position according to the company's research, with 46 graduates competing for each job on average.

NSW has odds of 20 to one, but the Northern Territory has only an average of ten people applying for each job.

Mr Watson said that unsurprisingly, the top end often struggled to attract graduates, meaning the jobs were more plentiful.

'Go somewhere where your skills are really needed for a couple of years and develop those skills,' he advised new graduates.

Nationally, the average was 22 new graduates for each relevant position.

Mr Watson said universities had 'a lot to answer for' in terms of course admission far outweighing job availability.

'Universities are now profit making machines, and a lot of them are offering huge amounts of students these courses that there are no jobs for,' he said.

'You come out of uni with a $40,000 debt and no hope of finding a job in your chosen profession.'

Mr Watson told the Sydney Morning Herald new graduates were now often taking up jobs completely unrelated to their expensive qualifications in order to pay the bills.

'You end up behind a bar, or in some other job that's unrelated to what you studied. You see a lot of law graduates going into sales or call centres,' he said.

And while Adzuna's research showed there were about 90 law graduates for every graduate law position, there were only nine graduates with engineering degrees for each related position.

Mr Watson said there needed to be a bigger push from the government to ensure fields that need skilled workers have enough people, and students aren't left out of pocket and out of a job.

'We need to think about what's really needed in education, the courses that we really need in the country,' he said. 'Why aren't we pushing more people into STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] degrees?'

SOURCE