Saturday, January 06, 2007


He's a Leftist loony but he's black so that's just fine

The Vanderbilt Register is the "paper of record for Vanderbilt University. An official publication, it appears once every two weeks.

It recently published a profile of one of Vanderbilt's new professors, Houston Baker. The article highlighted Baker's telling of his past achievements in "typically self-effacing fashion," and offered a fawning tone throughout. The chair of the English Department, Jay Clayton, hailed Baker as "one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in Americatoday in any field of the humanities. He is prolific and writes to an audience far broader than academic specialties." [Translation by JR: All he is capable of are ignorant rants]

Here's how the article described Baker's behavior last spring, in a tone and content that suggested admiration for his activities: "He also was the leading dissident voice inside Duke University regarding that administration's handling of rape accusations against members of its lacrosse team."

How did Baker become the "leading dissident"? The paper doesn't actualy tell people at Vanderbilt.

In late March, lamenting the "college and university blind-eying of male athletes, veritably given license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech, and feel proud of themselves in the bargain," Baker issued a public letter denouncing the "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us." To act against "violent, white, male, athletic privilege," he urged the "immediate dismissals" by Duke of "the team itself and its players."

Has Baker adopted a more tolerant attitude between last March and the penning of the Vanderbilt publication? It appears not. A mother of an unindicted lacrosse player recently wrote him, "asking for your help." She noted,

Over the past eight months, much of the evidence has revealed that the three falsely indicted young men have been the victims of rogue DA Nifong. They have been denied due process and are the victims of a possible conspiracy. Whatever you believed in March, I am sure you must be questioning the actions of DA Nifong. Therefore, I respectfully request that you join Pres. Brodhead in asking for a special prosecutor. In addition, I respectfully request you petition Pres. Brodhead to allow Collin and Reade to resume classes this spring.

Our paths may have been different, but I am sure all of us seek the truth and justice. This can only be accomplished with an impartial prosecutor. Collin and Reade, along with Dave, have had to put their lives on hold due to a false accusation. I trust that with the filing of ethics charges by the NC State Bar and the Conference of District Attorneys calling for DA Nifong to recuse himself, we can all agree that justice can best be served with Nifong's removal.

Here is the full text of Baker's reply:

LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males! You know you are in search of sympaathy [sic] for young white guys who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like "a bunch of farm animals" near campus.

I really hope whoever sent this stupid farce of an email rots in .... umhappy [sic] new year to you ... and forgive me if your really are, quite sadly, mother of a "farm animal."

So speaks "one of the most wide-ranging intellectuals in America today in any field of the humanities."


Australia's anatomy courses for doctors given an F by the students

Largely because of trendy bullsh*t teaching methods

Almost three in four medical students say they are taught too little anatomy during their medical degree - and more than a third don't even think they have been taught enough about how the body works to be a competent doctor when they graduate. A survey of more than 600 medical students also found more than half - 53.7 per cent - thought their knowledge of anatomy was inadequately assessed. And nearly 90 per cent of students agreed that the traditional, guided style of anatomy teaching was "more effective" than the alternatives.

In many medical schools, traditional teaching has been increasingly replaced by a self-directed process where students research topics themselves in groups. The findings - which have already been sent to the federal Government as part of a submission for its current review of medical school curriculums - are likely to reignite a controversy revealed in The Australian earlier this year, after senior doctors warned the state of anatomy teaching in Australia's medical schools was so bad that public safety was at stake.

The survey was conducted by the Australian Medical Students Association, partly in response to the revelations. Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop said the findings would be considered as part of the government review, which is due to report later this year. Ms Bishop called on medical school deans to consider the findings carefully. "If 75 per cent of medical students believe the quality of education they are receiving is wanting in some way, that should be taken seriously by our medical schools," Ms Bishop said. "It reinforces the Government's action in setting up this inquiry in the first place."

The survey found more than half the students also cited pharmacology and radiology alongside anatomy as subjects that were given too little time in courses. Many students also criticised selection interviews, with about a quarter saying they were not objective enough, and the trend to tutors who are not medically qualified.

And while most students were in favour of the modern problem-based learning techniques, the report found there was "significant room for improvement as 25 to 30 per cent of students didn't respond positively" to all questions on the topic.

AMSA president Rob Mitchell, a fifth-year medical student at Monash University, said the survey showed medical education was still of high quality. Overall, 71.3 per cent of surveyed students agreed their course would turn them into competent doctors. "There's a perception, and I emphasise it's a perception, that students don't receive enough anatomy teaching," Mr Mitchell said. But students also valued the newer subjects that had squeezed traditional subjects including anatomy - such as ethics, communication skills, and cultural awareness - and did not want them cut back.

Survey respondent Claire Wise, a fifth-year student at Monash, said she could "echo a lot of students' concerns" on anatomy teaching, which she said needed to be more guided and relevant. "When there's 10 students standing around a cadaver and dissecting a muscle, it's not as clinically relevant as when a doctor sits us down and tells us about a patient with a head injury he had last week, and which arteries were damaged, and we can see an MRI scan," she said. "We can relate it to a patient, and more time needs to be devoted to that."

Barry Oakes, a former associate professor at Monash University and a longstanding critic of the cutbacks to anatomy teaching, said universities had "failed miserably" to compile written benchmarks detailing what medical graduates needed to know.

Paul Gatenby, a member of the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools, agreed time for anatomy and some other subjects had been cut back but said this was inevitable given the "explosion of medical knowledge in the past 50 years". "Is there so little anatomy taught that students are dangerous? I don't accept that at all," Professor Gatenby said.


Anatomy of a crisis: Medical students vent spleen at substandard teaching

(Editorial comment from "The Australian" national newspaper)

Eight months ago, The Australian reported that anatomy training was in many cases so poor that students could make it to the last year of medical school and not be able to visually distinguish between a beating heart and a liver, or correctly identify the location of the prostate gland. So it is not surprising to discover that Australians studying to be doctors are increasingly concerned they are not being taught the fundamentals, according to a survey just released by the Australian Medical Students Association. It does not make for happy reading. A majority of students do not feel their training places enough emphasis on vital subjects such as anatomy and pharmacology. About 30 per cent of students are neutral or pessimistic when asked whether they will leave college well-equipped to become competent doctors. And less than four in 10 respondents agreed that when they finished their medical course they would "know enough anatomy to become a competent doctor".

There are many reasons why medical students are not getting the training they want and so vitally need. Among them is a concern expressed by AMSA members that the Howard Government's drive to increase medical school places might ultimately come at a cost to quality. Culturally, too, medical schools have, like so many other institutions, fallen victim to the fashion for dismantling traditional structures without replacing them with anything similarly useful or effective. Thus traditional lectures have been replaced by such supposed innovations as problem-based learning, where instructors (who are often not doctors) are not allowed to tell students what is right and what is wrong, leaving them to work it out for themselves. Hard science must compete with an increasing emphasis on soft topics such as cultural sensitivity. Certainly medicine is about more than just mechanics, and doctors should be trained to deal with patients' minds as well as their bodies. But while humanities courses can be watered down without harming anyone beyond those paying for the degrees, medicine is a serious business. To go down the same soft road in medical faculties is to write a prescription for disaster.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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