Thursday, August 15, 2013

So You're a Revolutionary?

Mike Adams

Gabriel Lugo is president of the faculty senate at UNC-Wilmington. He's generally a nice fellow with a good sense of humor. But, unfortunately, on August 9th, he sent out a wildly unprofessional memo to the entire university faculty. His memo lends credence to my concern that the UNC system has become little more than a political lobby for the Democratic legislative agenda. Thus I will soon propose that we rename our school DNC-Wilmington to reflect the fact that it is an institution committed to politics rather than honest intellectual inquiry.

In a section of his memo allegedly updating them on "Legal/Political" issues, Lugo informs the faculty of the following: "Gun legislation was approved. Concealed weapons will be allowed on [sic] locked vehicles in [sic] campus, on [sic] your favorite bars, and on your kid’s playgrounds. Here is how Bill Maher sees it:"

You have to wonder what Lugo was thinking, circulating a video suggesting that it should be as easy to kill your baby as it is to sell your pickup truck in North Carolina (please, watch the profanity-laced video in its entirety). Our state abortion laws have nothing to do with any pending matter of university business. Lugo is just abusing his position as Faculty Senate President in order to interject his broader political beliefs into university business. Welcome to DNC-Wilmington.

Furthermore, the Maher video is grossly misleading on the gun issue. Our state law used to ban handguns in all restaurants that serve alcohol -- even if the individual carrier has never had a drop of alcohol in his life. The new law drops the across-the-board ban while maintaining the illegality of carrying a weapon if you have any alcohol in your system. In addition, all restaurant owners still have the right to ban guns from their premises altogether, whether or not they actually serve alcoholic beverages.

In other words, the new law shifts control from the government to the person who actually owns the business. Since they are liable for things that happen on their property, they are in the best position to make the call. The law makes sense when clowning propagandists like Lugo and Maher are not misrepresenting it. But Lugo is a tenured professor, so he can lie with impunity. I’ll have more to say on that later.

Lugo's remarks about guns on playgrounds are particularly strange and misplaced. Previously, there was a ban on handgun possession in all state public parks. The new law lifts the across-the-board ban. As a criminologist, I support that change for two reasons: 1) Personal gun possession has been shown to reduce kidnapping and rape. 2) People are often kidnapped and raped in public parks.

Of course, Lugo's reference to guns in "your kid’s playgrounds" is a childish emotional distortion of the change in the law. And, once again, it has no place in an email dealing with official university business. There are no bars or "kids' playgrounds" on university property. Please, just do your job and teach, Gabriel. Stop sending me emails loaded with irrelevant political commentary.

Lugo continues saying "Students will now be allowed to have legal counsel in all hearings. Honor code violation hearings would have been excepted if the Conduct Board consisted only of students, but that is not the case at UNCW."

I'm actually glad Gabriel brought this up. I helped organize and draft that new legislation. And I think I understand why Gabriel is mad at the Republicans for sponsoring it. This new bill makes it impossible for Democratic college administrators to kick kids out of school after questioning them about minor criminal acts in the absence of counsel. It guarantees the kind of due process Che Guevara would oppose.

Gabriel continues saying "President Ross is under attack by a number of legislators who want to replace him with one who matches their ideology." As Faculty Senate President, Lugo should know that Ross, the university system president, isn't picked by the legislature. He's picked by the board of governors. And guess who picks them? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don't count. Hint: it's the governor. Now, stop for a second and ask yourself this question: is Lugo a) just lying about all this stuff? or b) just grossly incompetent? There is no "c" option.

Lugo continues saying there is "talk that after successfully getting rid of tenure for teachers, we are next." Yes, the Republicans did get rid of tenure for public school teachers. And I pray to God we get rid of tenure for college professors next. It will make professors like Lugo behave more professionally and competently -- perhaps even doing their homework before they send a political email to hundreds of people. I'm just glad Lugo admits he's not a teacher.

Lugo continues with the promise that he is "starting a business selling Che berets." We'll isn't that cute. Che Guevara used to be a prison guard at a concentration camp that incarcerated homosexuals in Cuba. He admitted to shooting prisoners, including women and children, in the head while they were handcuffed and helpless. How does the LGBTQIA Office feel about Lugo's admiration of Guevara? How about the Women’s Resource Center? And how can Comrade Lugo become a revolutionary like Che if he's afraid of handguns in public places?

Finally, Lugo says "Elections for a new senate president will take place in December." That’s good to hear. I hope they bring back Lugo's predecessor as Faculty Senate President -- a feminist who falsely accused a conservative professor of spraying tear gas in her university office. It seems that political paranoia, not competence, is the only qualification for the job.


Janet Napolitano's New Gig

The head of one of the most prestigious state university systems in America should have one chief qualification: She should be ideologically inclined toward openness in education for the benefit of the students. Political bias permeates the higher education system throughout the United States, indoctrinating students into the canon of leftism. A huge number of students emerge with degrees in useless political correctness, an inability to think about the world without an emotional lens, and few job skills. The right person at the head of the University of California could bring some much-needed reform.

So, naturally, the University of California system is handing over the reins to one of the least effective politicians of the last half-century, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Napolitano got her career started as Attorney General of the State of Arizona, where she was able to achieve a ban on the scourge of Christmas decorations. She then became governor of Arizona (2003-2009). In that post, she did little to protect citizens from the drug cartels crossing the southern border, repeatedly stopping bills that would have helped secure the border. She claims that she helped the state keep tuition low for students, build new facilities and increase funding for professors -- but in 2006, the state held a $1.5 billion budget surplus, and by the time she left in 2008, the state had the nation's worst budget deficit at $1.7 billion.

She was even worse as head of the DHS, where her department helped oversee Operation Fast and Furious and presided over the near bombing of a passenger plane in 2009. ("The system worked!" she trumpeted after passengers had to subdue a would-be terrorist). She became famous for her espousal of heavy petting at airports. DHS became a haven for those who would sexually harass male employees. Meanwhile, as a cover for her softness on illegal immigration more broadly, she created an artificial uptick in arrests of illegal immigrants; The New York Times rapped her for assembling "the nation's police officers and sheriff's deputies into an undertrained, poorly supervised army of subcontractors for a nationwide deportation dragnet."

Worst of all, Napolitano has demonstrated a consistent ideological dogmatism that does not allow for dissent. In one of her first moves at DHS, she greenlit a report suggesting that "radicalized rightwing extremists" were the greatest threats to national security. The DHS targeted groups that were "antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority."

The report was released one week before scheduled Tax Day tea party protests. The report stated, "Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures." Meanwhile, the DHS's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties handed out Dos and Don't for local law enforcement, including directions not to use Muslim "trainers who are self-professed reformers" due to the fact that they could "further an interest group agenda instead of generally accepted, unbiased information."

This does not signal an openness to various political viewpoints. It suggests business as usual for a university system already known for its prohibitive leftism. Yet the UC selected Napolitano, despite her lack of experience, because of her "passion for education." Sherry Lansing, committee chair and Hollywood big shot, said Napolitano would bring "fresh eyes and a new sensibility -- not only to UC, but to all of California." For those fresh eyes, the UC will pay Napolitano $750,000 per year.

Those eyes won't be fresh. They'll be jaded. And the students of the UC will suffer when they are spoon fed more Napolitano-style liberalism instead of a variety of ideological viewpoints that should be the hallmark of any great learning experience.


Australia: Underperforming NSW teachers to face dismissal

PRINCIPALS will find it easier to call out bad teacher behaviour and act on it under a NSW government overhaul that will see underperforming teachers get the boot.

From next semester, principals will be given new powers to deal with teachers who fail to attend playground duty, are late for class, don't to turn up to parent teacher interviews or refuse instructions.

"We simply can't accept that kind of recalcitrant behaviour," NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said.

The get-tough measure is part of a $150 million package of reforms to boost the quality of teaching in NSW, announced earlier this year.

The crackdown comes ahead of a fresh round of enterprise bargaining with teachers next month.

Department of Education director-general Michele Bruniges said it was about dealing with a small group of teachers who were repeat offenders. "We need to be able to call it and deal with it," she said.

Mr Piccoli described it as "more like a private sector approach to performance management".

"Parents and teachers have made it very clear to me that they want teachers who are underperforming out of the system," he told reporters.  "It's going to be a fair process but a tougher process than what exists already."

Mr Piccoli said teachers who failed to live up to the standards set out in a new code of conduct could be sacked, demoted, fined or cautioned.

"There are a range of teachers who are underperforming," he said.   "Those teachers need to know there is a process in place and they face dismissal."

Mr Piccoli also announced a raft of scholarships worth up to $30,000, with the first ten teaching cadetships to be offered to high-achieving school leavers by the end of 2013.

"This is about making sure that we have the best teachers, particularly in the schools were we need them most," he said.

Announced earlier this year, teaching students will have to sit mandatory literacy and numeracy tests before being allowed into classrooms.

School leavers wanting to study at university will also need HSC band 5 results in a minimum of three subjects, one of which must be English.

Meanwhile, new pay arrangements mean salaries will be based on meeting standards rather than employment length.


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