Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Occupy Activists‘ ’Mic Check’ Prompts Physical Altercation at Pro-Israel College Event

The efforts of pro-Palestinian “Occupy” protesters to stifle the free speech of pro-Israel speakers nationwide continued at the University of New Mexico on Thursday night when a small group tried to shout down a speech by author Nonie Darwish. This time, their pre-planned disruption led to a physical altercation.

Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel and director of Former Muslims United, was speaking at an event titled, “Why the Arab Spring is Failing” organized by the University of New Mexico Israel Alliance and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Activists from “(un)Occupy Albuquerque” – a group allied with the Occupy Wall Street movement – started a “people’s mic” seen frequently during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

As seen on a video posted to YouTube, the pro-Palestinian activists yelled: “Mic check! Nonie Darwish speaks for Israeli apartheid! And genocide at the hands of the IDF!”

Shortly after the “mic check” begins, the audience is heard shouting at those disrupting the speech, and chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” Then, a scuffle begins. Though the camera angle is tight – which complicates providing an objective description — it appears an older audience member tried to grab the paper (presumably the script of anti-Israel slogans) out of one of the Occupy protester’s hands, which lead to pushing and shoving.

This as other audience members further away shouted profanities, urging them to “Get out!”

It’s unclear from the tape if an older male audience member lunged at the protesters or tripped on a chair and fell forward on then. Watch the two videos here posted by the protesters:

The activists and their supporters claimed three of them were “were assaulted on UNM campus for simply trying to make their voices heard and it is a shock that a non-violent action was met with such aggression.”

If you were wondering what “(un)Occupy” is, it’s part of the “Occupy” movement, but protests the movement’s use of the word “occupy,” because, according to its website: "The word “occupy” in general is offensive to most Native Americans and indigenous people and people of color in general – again in general. Occupations have displaced us for generations by Europeans."

After the protesters left and she was able to resume her speech, Darwish told the audience, “They could have waited to prove me wrong but they can’t unfortunately and I feel sad for them because our children are being poisoned mentally.”

Nonie Darwish tells The Blaze what she saw happen:

A few people from the audience went to escort them out of the hall, but they refused to leave in defiance. As I was watching from the stage where I had an elevated view, I saw an older gentlemen was trying to escort a female student as she refused to move and was reading her chants from a paper, as he tried to take the paper I saw her elbow move towards the older man and he pushed her away and no one fell or was hurt.

The occupiers did everything to intimidate my sponsors to dis-invite me, then protested outside the hall and when that did not work, they screamed and yelled to silence me in the middle of my lecture. Pro-Israel and critics of Islam and Sharia practically no longer exist on US college campuses who only allow anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American activities throughout the school year…

If the ‘occupiers’ were truly serious about challenging my opinion, they could have waited for the Q and A after my presentation and proved me wrong. Welcome to the West Bank and Gaza culture on our University campuses.

In the description accompanying a YouTube video, one of those who came to hear Darwish speak wrote:

The Nonie Darwish talk had a big turnout and most of the attendees were glad they were there, in spite of SJP and the Occupy people getting together to disrupt the talk and prevent the speaker from speaking in the name of free speech and tolerance. Several people in the audience went to chase them out of the lecture hall, in defense of their own free speech rights. The protesters took choice videos, lied about many things and plastered it all around so it would become news. Strange that these protesters were willing to serve as an object lesson and proof of what Nonie Darwish was telling the audience: Criticism of Islam is not tolerated, and following Sharia, others have no rights or freedoms.


British teachers deserting a chaotic system

Soaring numbers of teachers are taking early retirement amid threats to their pensions, figures revealed yesterday. Almost 9,000 teachers left before the statutory retirement age last year – the highest figure since 1997.

Teachers’ leaders blamed the demands of dealing with unruly pupils as well as pressure from targets and Ofsted inspections. They also cited pay freezes and changes requiring teachers to pay more into pension funds.

The figures – from the Department for Education – also show more than 230,000 qualified teachers aged under 60 are no longer working in schools. A further 80,700 trained as teachers but never entered the classroom. Vast numbers of teachers are ‘out of service’ even though school rolls will rise after a surge in births.

The teachers’ pension age is 65 but those joining prior to 2007 can get their pension at 60.

Some 8,880 state school teachers took early retirement in 2010/11 – 1,570 more than the year before. There were only 2,370 early retirements in 1998/99. Most retiring teachers were aged 55 to 59 but a small number were in their early fifties. The average pension for those retiring early was £15,000 a year – excluding lump sums.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: ‘Excessive workload, a restrictive curriculum and the intense worry and fear regarding Ofsted inspections would certainly lead to many teachers wanting to take early retirement.'

She added: 'The teaching profession comes under almost daily attack and criticism from Government and Ofsted.

‘In too many schools, planning and assessment requirements have become formulaic burdens which have become the bane of teachers’ lives – add to that pay freezes and threats to pensions.’

Teaching unions are battling the Government over pensions, which are becoming less generous due to the squeeze on public finances. The clash has already led to strikes.

Chris McGovern, a former head teacher and chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘It is a tough job and it’s not surprising teachers are being ground down by teaching disaffected children and relying on a curriculum that is not relevant.’

A Department for Education spokesman said: ‘It’s no surprise that teachers who joined the profession in the 1970s might choose to draw their pensions early – as is their right.’ He said reforms, including giving teachers more freedom to do their jobs, should help attract and retain staff.


Parents can forget about teaching, kids call the shots

This is true. Twin studies show that IQ is overwhelmingly genetic, with NO influence from the family environment

PARENTS fretting about brain-training their babies have been told to relax - children are like "dandelions" that will flourish almost regardless of what you do.

Brain experts say mums and dads worry unnecessarily about their children's development, because the impact of parenting is limited.

New book Welcome To Your Child's Brain, written by neuroscientists, concludes most children can reach their potential with "good enough" parenting because they are born hard-wired for learning.

"Many modern parents believe that children's personality and adult behaviour are shaped mainly by parenting, but research paints a very different picture," according to the book, due for release in May.

"For many brain functions, from temperament to language to intelligence, the vast majority of children are dandelions ... they flourish in any reasonable circumstances."

But while force-feeding babies and toddlers with learning is not the answer, spending quality time with them is important, say authors Sandra Assmodt and Professor Sam Wang.

"Parents are well suited to teach them, just by interacting with their children in everyday life," they said.

Clinical psychologist Dr Simon Crisp said parents should take cues from their children "because they will learn at a pace that suits them".

"The important thing is to develop a culture at home that values learning," he said. "Make learning fun and enjoyable. Happy and relaxed parents will bring up a happy and relaxed child."


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