Friday, November 20, 2015

Arizona State Offering Course Exploring 'Problem of Whiteness'

Could you imagine the uproar if a university thought that it could make money offering a course titled “The Problem of Blackness”? For the second time, Arizona State University will offer a course exploring the problem of whiteness. The course, titled U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness, seeks to explore institutionalized racism. Equality, so often espoused on liberal college campuses, would call for Arizona State to offer a few more courses that, let’s just say, would be politically incorrect in this day and age of “safe spaces” and the unrest that toppled the president of University of Missouri earlier this month. As Mark Alexander explained last year when the course was initially offered:

I would argue that there are to varying degrees undeniable societal biases based on all those human traits and attributes we are supposed to ignore — race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, etc.

Do I think those biases are so pronounced that some groups experience more privilege under some circumstances than others? Yes. Is it worth discussing? Yes, but only if that discussion includes the whole color spectrum of privilege. …

Beyond all the benefits that clearly fit under the category of “black privilege” (if anyone dared label them as such), perhaps the most obvious would be the across-the-board institutionalization of affirmative action and a wide range of other preferential treatment standards based on the sole attribute of being anything but white.


Vanderbilt Professor Facing Protests Tells Students to ‘Grow Up’

A black conservative professor who found herself the latest target of student protests nationwide has one thing to say to those calling for her to be suspended from the university where she teachers: “Grow up.”

Among other allegations, students accused Carol Swain, a professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University for nearly 27 years, of “unprofessional intimidation on social media” and “discriminatory practices in the classroom.”

Swain actively posts her Christian conservative view points on her public Facebook page and website called BeThePeopleTV. She has authored numerous award-winning books and has been cited by the Supreme Court, according to her résumé.

But recently, her conservative values left her at odds with students on campus who started a petition demanding she be removed from the university.

Swain told The Daily Signal in a phone interview on Friday the petition, posted on, originally demanded that she be fired but has since been amended to read in part:

    "We are petitioning that Carol Swain be temporarily suspended from her position as professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University pending an investigation into student allegations of unprofessional intimidation on social media, discriminatory practices in the classroom, and unclear representation as a Public Figure with invocations of the Vanderbilt name on her Facebook page....

    Over the past few years, Professor Carol Swain has become synonymous with bigotry, intolerance, and unprofessionalism. While Swain first and foremost has a right to her personal beliefs and the right to freedom of speech within and outside of the classroom, it recently came to the attention of the Vanderbilt community that Carol Swain has let her hate-filled prejudices negatively impact her work, our student body, and Vanderbilt’s reputation."

Swain said the students behind the protests never took any of her classes, all of which are elective.

“My classes are elective, so no one has to take any of my classes, and no one has to go to my blog page or go to my Facebook,” she said. “I feel that I have been defamed by the students and the petition has been filled with lies, and they ought to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”

Those students, she said, “don’t get to decide whose speech is more valuable than someone else’s.”

Since its release, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures. A petition in support of Swain has gained more than 1,000 signatures.

In response to the protests, Nicholas S. Zeppos, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University, released a statement that in part read:

    "Professor Swain’s opinions are her own. They do not reflect the opinions of the university in any way. They are not my opinions, the opinions of the provost, or the opinions of university leadership.....

    Vanderbilt University is committed to diversity, inclusion, and freedom from discrimination.  Ensuring that our campus is a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment for every member of the Vanderbilt community has been, and will always be, our top priority."

Zeppos did not address whether or not the university planned to investigate allegations of discrimination made against Swain. According to the petition, those allegations include:

    "Firstly, Professor Carol Swain has failed to clearly separate her role on her Facebook page as a “Public Figure” from the Vanderbilt name, creating a situation in which the public may misconstrue her as speaking on behalf of the University. We want to make it clear that Carol Swain in no way represents our alma mater, regardless of the fact that she teaches here.

    Secondly, there have been several instances in which students have contacted Professor Swain to hold an intellectual debate with her, and in return, she has resorted to name-calling and posting their personal contact information on her public page. In many cases, students claimed this led to public shaming, intimidation, and/or harassment by her followers.

    Additionally, several students who claim to have taken Professor Swain’s class(es) have expressed concerns that minority students enrolled in her class(es) – especially those who are LGBTQIA+ and/or non-Christians – expose themselves to unfair assessment in-class and may receive lower grades than their peers simply because of their identities. At a University that prides itself on fairness, diversity and inclusion, these allegations are entirely unacceptable if true.

Swain, who is currently on sabbatical, called those allegations “lies” and said she “earned the right” to call herself a professor on Facebook.

“They don’t own the word professor,” she said. “Professor is a word, and I’ve earned the right to call myself a professor.”

Swain did admit to paraphrasing a “threat” she received from a student via Facebook and said she shared a link to that student’s public Facebook on her own page. Swain has since deleted that post.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but the student contacted me,” Swain said. “My point in showing it was to show the level of disrespect and what I have to put up with at Vanderbilt University with this person saying I was a disgrace.”

“It’s something that has changed in the student body, that they think they can control what people do, not just inside the classroom, but outside the classroom,” Swain said.

While she’s strong in her views, Swain said the situation has taken a personal toll. “It hurts more to be attacked because the students have been my life. That’s, to me, the sole reason why it’s been so distressing on a personal level.”

But if it causes people to look at the “attacks” on freedom of speech and freedom of religion, Swain says she’s “not sorry about it.”

“I’m very concerned about what’s happening across the nation, and I believe university administrators have lost control and that they’re making a serious mistake when they give into students using those 1960s, 1970s protest strategies,” she said.

After the University of Missouri president was forced to resign earlier this week over his handling of cases involving discrimination, protests have spread nationwide. Vanderbilt University is among a group of colleges and universities facing student protests over alleged incidents of racism and other types of discrimination.


Liberal Professor's Choice Words for Student Fascists

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a liberal Clintonista stalwart, appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox program to discuss the suppression of free speech sweeping the nation’s universities. He isn’t thrilled with the movement and didn’t offer kind words. Instead, he heavily criticized the students' childish antics. From the interview:

    “These are the same people who claim they’re seeking diversity. The last thing many of these students want is real diversity, diversity of ideas. They may want superficial diversity of gender or superficial diversity of color, but they don’t want diversity of ideas. We’re seeing a curtain of McCarthyism descend over many college campuses. I don’t want to make apologies to the 1930s, but we have to remember that it was the students at universities who first started burning books during the Nazi regime.

And these students are book burners. They don’t want to hear diverse views on college campuses. … It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy. They want complete freedom over their sex lives, over their personal ives, over the use of drugs, but they want mommy and daddy dean and president to please give them a safe place [to] protect them from ideas that may be insensitive and maybe will make them think. … If you’re going to be a college administrator or a professor, if you have tenure, you have to speak back to the students, you have to call these things what they are: double standards, hypocrisy, bigotry, McCarthyism, and the fog of fascism is descending quickly over many American universities. We have to fight back against these students.”

On that last point, commentator David Harsanyi echoes Dershowitz’s perspective. He writes:

    “The thousands of other University of Missouri students … could have held a counter-protest against dimwitted fascists cloistered in safe spaces. Where are those student groups? Why was there no pushback from those kids — and really, there was none as far as I can tell, at either Missouri or Yale — against the bullies who want administrators fired for thought crimes? It can mean that students are too intimidated, too uninterested or not very idealistic about these freedoms. None of those things bodes well for the future.

    "And where is the faculty, those brave souls who value the freedom to debate and champion sometimes-controversial ideas when mobs of students are making wild accusations against their school without any real evidence? Where are they when students shut down conservative, libertarian or not-progressive-enough Democrats from speaking at their schools?

Fellow commentator Mona Charen, meanwhile, gets to the crux of the problem:

    "During what liberal academics praised as the ‘idealistic’ 1960s, American students (sometimes armed) seized buildings, held a dean hostage, looted research files and committed promiscuous vandalism. Nazi students (egged on by professors) ‘cleansed’ Heidelberg and other universities of Jews and others. Russian universities became incubators for radicals who took their ideas into the streets. During the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s faithful pupils subjected their teachers to ’re-education' and even occasionally cannibalized them.

    "Students are natural radicals. The job of academics in a free society that hopes to remain so is to instill respect for freedom of thought and expression. Our problem is that many of the students who were burning professors' research notes in the 1960s are now on the faculty.”

We’re reaping what we’ve sown.


UK: Two teachers in 'Trojan horse' school face lifetime ban for feeding pupils 'diet of Islam'

Two teachers from a school linked to the 'Trojan horse' scandal could be banned for life after a hearing found that they 'fed pupils a diet of Islam' which 'stifled their development'.

Inamulhaq Anwar and Akeel Ahmed exercised 'undue religious influence' on children at Park View Academy in Birmingham, a disciplinary panel ruled yesterday.

Pupils were never taught sex or relationship education, according to officials, and were 'immersed in orthodox Islamic doctrine' - which could leave them vulnerable to being groomed by extremists.

Anwar, 34, and Ahmed, 41, were 'generals' in the campaign to enforce Islamic discipline in the school, according to the Birmingham-based panel.

They were found to have implemented 'an undue amount of religious influence in pupils' education', and could now face being the first British teachers to be banned from the classroom permanently.

A total of 11 other staff at Park View and Oldknow Academy face charges of misconduct over the 'Trojan horse' affair, which allegedly saw teachers conspire to introduce hardline Islamic teaching to schools in the West Midlands.

Yesterday, a National College of Teaching and Leadership disciplinary panel chose to accept the evidence of a staff member that Anwar and Ahmed were central figure in Park View's religious indoctrination programme.

The panel said that pupils were 'fed a diet of Islam' which had in turn 'stifled their development as normal teenagers'.

It also found that the conduct of the two men tended to undermine tolerance and respect for the faith and belief of others.

Chairman Mark Tweedle said that the teachers were 'guilty of unacceptable professional misconduct' which 'may also bring the profession into disrepute'.

He said that the claims were 'in no way concerned with extremism', but added: 'Pupils raised in a predominantly Muslim community and immersed in orthodox Islamic doctrine at school are more likely to feel isolated and inadequately prepared for the world as they grow up.

'As such they are more likely to be vulnerable from the actions and inferences of others who may exploit any sense of alienation.'

Mr Tweedle said the panel had found that 'Park View was leading the way in the introduction of Islamic practice - perhaps more so than in other British state schools.'

Among the allegations found to have been proven were the claim that Ahmed and Anwar 'reformed the school curriculum to exclude proper teaching of sex and relationship education, use of contraception and safe sex'.

Mr Tweedle went on to say that 'pupils' development was being stifled and they were not being allowed to develop likes normal British teenagers'.

The panel concluded: 'This omission meant the relevant boys were not being fully informed as to how to keep themselves safe [from STDs] and meant they were not being prepared for life in modern Britain.'

Mr Tweedle said both teachers had also failed to afford pupils the chance to 'explore different cultures and form their own views'.

Ahmed organised religious assemblies where boys were segregated from girls, and encouraged prayer during the school day through posters, a call to prayer on the school's loudspeaker system, and direct reminders to teachers.

Separately, Anwar was also found to have breached proper recruitment procedures at Park View's sister school Nansen Primary, in hiring a personal acquaintance as deputy headmaster.

Park View was placed in special measures by Ofsted after the 'Trojan horse' allegations came to light, and it has since been renamed Rockwood Academy.

Ahmed and Anwar will be told what sanctions they will face at a later date.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Obscene British Primary school BANS blind seven-year-old girl from using walking cane 'because it could trip up teachers'

Typical British bureaucrsats.  Give them an ounce of authority and they will find ways to hurt people with it.  They're wavering under publicity, however

A primary school has banned a blind seven-year-old girl from using her walking cane at school for 'health and safety' reasons - in case she trips up teachers and pupils.

Lily-Grace Hooper, from North Bristol, suffered a stroke when she was just four days old. It caused the little girl to lose her 3D vision, become blind in her right eye, and to only be able to see lights and colours in her left. Earlier this year a charity donated her a fibre-glass walking cane after she started using cardboard tubes to guide herself at home.

But now Hambrook Primary School has said it posed a high risk to others around her after a safety assessment. Lily-Grace has been told she cannot use it and should instead have full adult support at all times - and has to 'walk carefully'.

The decision by Hambrook Primary School and the Sensory Support Service - which does assessments for schools - has infuriated Lily-Grace's mother, Kristy.

Kristy, 38, said: 'When the school told me she can no longer bring her cane into school, I just thought this must be health and safety gone mad.

'She hasn't had any problems with any of the other students, and none of the parents have complained about it - in fact, they have all been very supportive. 'I don't understand where the school is coming from.

'Lily-Grace has taken to the cane very quickly, and she needs it as she travels to school, walks to the playground, or just being in school.

'I am absolutely livid. What about the health and safety of my girl? I like the school, they are a good school, but this really is very poor advice.

'It's just ridiculous. If you took a walking cane away from a blind adult, you would say that was discrimination. It's the same here.'

But a risk assessment by the Sensory Support Service on behalf of the school said the cane caused high risk to people around her.

The risk assessment said Lily-Grace should use hand rails to get about and she has also has been asked to 'walk carefully over all surfaces'.

The report added she should use a shortened cane, something her parents say is not suitable because the long and light stick has been specifically designed to suit her needs.

Ms Hooper is now worried her daughter will become dependent on having someone show her around, and a helper would set her daughter apart from the rest of her class.

She added: 'It is a disability, but I want to celebrate it and make sure she can become independent.'

Sarah Murray, founder of Common Sense Canes, who donated a stick to Lily-Grace, said the treatment of the school girl was 'absolute nonsense'.

She added: 'I've heard about this health and safety reasons, and I just cannot fathom what the school is thinking. Why are they taking a cane away from a little girl?'

Charity for vision-impaired children, Blind Children UK, said it was imperative a child learned independence from a young age. A spokesman said: 'Using a cane teaches a child to keep themselves safe and can help them to become less reliant on others.

School head Jo Dent said they would discuss the situation with the family. She said: 'The school's mobility officer raised health and safety issues around the new cane following a recent risk assessment.

'We have to consider all of our pupils, so it is important that we have an opportunity to discuss the situation before we make any decisions. 'We are very keen to resolve this issue as soon as possible and have been actively seeking to engage with the parent to bring this to an agreeable conclusion.

'The pupil has not been banned from bringing in their cane, we have simply asked them to not use it around school as a temporary measure until we have the chance to meet with the parent and discuss the situation.


Education Disaster

By Walter E. Williams

The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress report, also known as The Nation's Report Card, shows that U.S. educational achievement, to put it nicely, leaves much to be desired.

When it comes to reading and math skills, just 34 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of U.S. eighth-grade students tested proficient or above — that is, performed at grade level or above. Recent test scores show poor achievement levels in other academic areas. Only 18 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in U.S. history. It's 27 percent in geography and 23 percent in civics.

The story is not much better when it comes to high schoolers. According to 2010 and 2013 NAEP test scores, only 38 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading. It was 26 percent in math, 12 percent in history, 20 percent in geography and 24 percent in civics (

Many of these poorly performing youngsters gain college admission. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education reports, "Every year in the United States, nearly 60 percent of first-year college students discover that, despite being fully eligible to attend college, they are not ready for postsecondary studies."

That means colleges spend billions of dollars on remedial education. Many of the students who enroll in those classes never graduate from college. The fact that many students are not college-ready takes on even greater significance when we consider that many college courses have been dumbed down.

Richard Vedder, emeritus professor of economics at Ohio University, argues that there has been a shocking decline in college academic standards. Grade inflation is rampant. A seminal study, "Academically Adrift," by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, argues that very little improvement in critical reasoning skills occurs in college. Adult literacy is falling among college graduates. Large proportions of college graduates do not know simple facts, such as the half-century in which the Civil War occurred. Vedder says that at the college level, ideological conformity is increasingly valued over free expression and empirical inquiry.

While educational achievement among whites is nothing to write home about, that for blacks is no less than a disaster. Only 13 percent of black eighth-graders score proficient or above in math, and only 16 percent do in reading. In 2013, only 7 percent of black 12th-graders scored proficient in math, and only 16 percent did in reading. The full magnitude of the black education tragedy is seen by the statistics on the other end of the achievement continuum. "Below basic" is the score given when a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. In 2013, 62 percent of black 12th-graders scored below basic in math, and 44 percent scored below basic in reading.

Dr. Thomas Sowell has written volumes on black education. The magnitude of today's black education tragedy is entirely new. He demonstrates this in "Education: Assumptions Versus History," a 1985 collection of papers. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a black public school in Washington, D.C. As early as 1899, its students scored higher on citywide tests than any of the city's white schools. From its founding in 1870 to 1955, most of its graduates went off to college. Dunbar's distinguished alumni included U.S. Sen. Ed Brooke, physician Charles Drew and, during World War II, nearly a score of majors, nine colonels and lieutenant colonels, and a brigadier general.

Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School also produced distinguished alumni, such as Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway, as well as several judges, congressmen and civil rights leaders. Douglass High was second in the nation in black Ph.D.s among its alumni.

The stories of the excellent predominantly black schools of yesteryear found in Sowell's study refute the notion of "experts" that more money is needed to improve black education. Today's Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frederick Douglass high schools have resources that would have been unimaginable to their predecessors. Those resources have meant absolutely nothing in terms of academic achievement.


Divestment: an illiberal, anti-academic movement

A new report exposes the campaign to turn students against fossil fuels

The University of Oxford hit the headlines earlier this year when it ruled out investing in coal and tar sands. Oxford’s own press releases paraded this ‘divestment’ as a victory for environmental campaigners. Less trumpeted was the fact that Oxford had no investments in coal or tar sands from which to divest. Nothing had changed. The announcements were simply intended to send a message to the world that ‘Oxford University is a world leader in the battle against climate change’.

That Oxford’s declaration rang hollow has not stopped it becoming a much vaunted success story in a campaign to get universities to divest from fossil fuels. The divestment movement, seemingly student-led and hugely popular, has rapidly become a growing force on campuses around the world. Now, the origins and practices of this campaign have been uncovered and meticulously detailed by the National Association of Scholars (NAS). Its latest report, Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels, sets out the reality behind the virtue-signalling headlines.

Inside Divestment explains how ‘the fossil-fuel-divestment movement emerged from a single campaign at Swarthmore College in fall 2010, and has grown into an international movement’. But, as the NAS report shows, such apparent global influence is not the whole story. The divestment movement, a collection of local campaigning groups, might be fronted by students, but ‘many are run by small numbers of full-time organisers’ who are ‘orchestrated by Bill McKibben’s activist group’. With relatively few student activists, the divestment movement ‘makes up in boasts what it may lack in grassroots support’.

Despite much publicity, then, only 44 higher-education institutions have actually divested from fossil fuels. This figure represents just 0.24 per cent of colleges and universities in the world and 0.62 per cent of those in the US. Few of the ‘divested’ institutions are large or prestigious and, as at Oxford, some ‘have sold no investments at all since their divestment decisions’. However, as Inside Divestment explains, such figures mean little to a movement whose own advocates acknowledge that, even if successful, it ‘will not decrease the share price of fossil-fuel companies or appreciably shrink their profits or access to capital’. The movement’s claims that divestment can stop global warming and improve the environment are also exposed as bogus: ‘It can do neither.’

This practical impotency does not matter to the divestment movement, which, as the NAS report repeatedly demonstrates, is not a political campaign aimed at winning people over to particular arguments, but a moral crusade. Oxford is not alone in its grandstanding. By self-consciously eschewing debate in favour of moral declarations and emotional demonstrations, the divestment campaigners betray the principles of free inquiry that higher education should be defending.

The divestment movement has been able to garner such widespread but passive support in higher education because values have already trumped the pursuit of truth. As Inside Divestment notes, ‘the divestment movement is itself a spin-off from the larger campus-sustainability movement’. Universities have legitimised a blurring of the boundaries between scholarship and political activism. Two campaigns took root when ‘professors gave college credit to students who worked on a fossil-fuel-divestment campaign’, while another started at a university that ‘assigned every freshman a summer reading – Eaarth, by Bill McKibben’.

Faculty involvement lends weight to the unashamed moral crusading of the divestment movement. The NAS report notes that ‘small numbers of students run vociferous campaigns focused on publicly shaming those who disagree’. The aim is not to give students access to facts for them to make up their own minds; rather, it’s to present them with moral certainties and polarise opposition. It gives students a cause that channels feelings of both anger and moral superiority. Those questioning divestment are presented as uncaring oppressors: ‘Anything besides full agreement counts as immorality.’ The divestment movement’s strategy is ‘to intimidate the uncommitted into joining, or at least not opposing, divestment’.

The moral certainty of the divestment campaigners sits particularly uncomfortably within universities, whose whole reason for existence should be underpinned by critical thinking and the questioning of absolutes. The divestment movement’s conviction that when it comes to climate change, ‘the time for rational debate is over’, makes it a campaign that cannot permit dissent. The desire to bypass the public, or students, comes from McKibben, who ‘argued that needed a new strategy that was not reliant on going “through the political system”’. It is not surprising, then, that, ‘only a handful of colleges have held actual debates about fossil-fuel divestment’. But the argument that the science is now settled is undercut by the facts: ‘[D]ata show us to be in the midst of more than 18 years during which there has been no appreciable global warming.’

The moral imperative of the campus climate crusaders to ignore facts, bypass arguments and prevent debate places the divestment campaign in opposition to academic freedom. Inside Divestment reveals the extent to which the movement ‘scorns discourse as needless delay’. Campaigners decry debate as ‘a hopeless waste of time’ and ‘unproductive’. Fearmongering means ‘divestment activists commonly argue that the time for civil discourse is over. Talk is only a means of delay that the earth cannot afford.’ Such arguments are made most crudely by activist students. One Swarthmore student published an article on her campus blog with the subheading, ‘Fuck your constructive dialogue’. In it she argued that ‘those who stood for “constructive dialogue” about “facts and reason” rather than “hyperbole and emotion” were just putting up smokescreens to block their “elitist” intentions.’ Such students only echo the views of the movement’s leaders, who favour conflict over dialogue, arguing: ‘“Open conflict” could “correct a bias”, such as Swarthmore’s “bias toward cognitive linearity”, that is, logic-driven debate.’

With its disregard for truth, logic, debate and academic freedom, the divestment movement represents an assault on the principles that have underpinned higher education for over a century. Universities are transformed from places of intellectual inquiry into sites for political campaigning. Divestment campaigners further exacerbate the trend for higher education to be more concerned with the promotion of particular predetermined values than with the pursuit of knowledge. The New School in New York announced its divestment from fossil fuels, along with the creation of a climate-change curriculum intended to form students into ‘climate citizens’. In contrast, the NAS’s Inside Divestment is a clarion call to debate. It provides the badly needed, dispassionate, detailed and rational account of the divestment movement that, to its shame, has failed to emerge from within academia.


Fourth grader threatened with sexual harassment charges for writing his classmate a love letter saying her 'eyes are like diamonds'

What started as an innocent love letter passed from a nine-year-old boy to the girl he likes in class has caused something of a scandal at a small Florida elementary school.

The fourth grader is now being threatened with charges of sexual harassment because of the note - only he doesn't know what sexual harassment is.

The letter describes the girl as 'pretty' and 'cute' and says she has 'eyes like diamonds', but other kids in the class started making fun of the boy and said that he wanted to see the girl naked.

That's when the principal was notified, and an investigation was launched at the Hillsborough district school in Tampa.

The boy's mother, who asked not to be named, is outraged over how her son has been treated.

'That's when the principal proceeded to tell me that it wasn't appropriate that he was writing the note and that if he writes another note, they are going to file sexual harassment charges on my nine-year-old,' the mom told ABC Action News.

The school district said that because the boy sent more than one letter the situation qualifies as harassment. 

The district also said it discourages children passing notes because it is a distraction.

However the boy's mother said it was a harmless gesture.

'He's nine - what little kid doesn't write love notes?' the mom said.  The mother added: 'My son doesn't even know what sexual harassment means.'

A psychologist told the network that she doesn't believe the incident can be classed as harassment.  However she encouraged parents to talk to their children about boundaries.

The school has so far not commented on the letters.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ben Carson: ‘Everybody Called Me Dummy’ in School

In a speech at Liberty University on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said when he was a child, his peers called him “dummy,” because he was “a horrible student.”

“In fact I was a horrible student, and everybody called me dummy. That was my nickname, and I believed it too. I didn’t think I was very smart, and I remember once we were having an argument in the schoolyard about who was the dumbest kid in the class. It wasn’t a big argument, because they all agreed it was me,” said Carson, "but then someone had to extend the argument to who was the dumbest in the world, and I said, ‘Wait a minute. There are billions of people in the world.’ And they said, ‘Yep, and you’re the dumbest one.’”

Carson is a retired neurosurgeon, who worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital after graduating from Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School.

He said his dream had always been to be a doctor – so much so that he liked going to the doctor and “would gladly sacrifice a shot just so I could smell those alcohol swabs.”

“There was one person who didn’t think that I was dumb, and that was my mother. She always thought that there was something there, and she would always say, ‘Benjamin, you’re much too smart to bring home grades like this,’” Carson said. “I brought them home anyway, but she was always saying that, and she just didn’t know what to do, and she prayed, and she asked God for wisdom to know what to do to get her sons to understand the importance of intellectual development.”

Carson said God gave her mother the wisdom to require him and his brother to read books and submit written book reports to her, even though she couldn’t read them.

“And you know what? God gave her the wisdom, at least in her opinion. My brother and I didn’t think it was wise at all. I mean turning off the TV, what kind of wisdom was that? Making us read two books a piece from the Detroit Public Libraries and submit to her written book reports, which she couldn’t read – but we didn’t know that – and she would put checkmarks and highlights and underlines, and we would think she was reading them, but she wasn’t,” he said.

“People were always saying to me, ‘Why did you do it? Your mother was always working. She wouldn’t have known whether you read the books or not.’ Yes, she would have, and back in those days, you had to do what your parents told you. There was no social psychologist saying let the kid express themselves, you know,” Carson added.

Carson discovered through reading about accomplished people that he was in charge of his destiny.

“As I read those books, incredible things began to happen. I began to realize, particularly, as I read about people of accomplishment and all kinds of fields, that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. It’s not somebody else. It’s not the environment, and that was incredibly empowering to me, and I stopped listening to all the people around me – all the naysayers who talked about what couldn’t be done – and I started thinking about what could be done and what a difference it made in my life,” he said.

Once he got to medical school, Carson “did terribly” on his first set of comprehensive exams. When he was sent to see the counselor, “he looked at my record, and he said, ‘You seem like a very intelligent young man. I bet there are a lot of things you could do – outside of medicine.’” The counselor advised him to drop out of medical school.

Carson was “devastated,” so he went home and prayed, asking God for wisdom. He said he was going to a lot of classes but not really learning anything from class. As he thought back, he realized that what taught him a lot was reading, so he made “an executive decision to skip the boring lectures and to spend that time reading, and the rest of medical school was a snap after that.”

“Everybody learns in a different way,” Carson said. “I personally don’t learn anything from boring lectures, but I learn a lot from reading. Now there are other people who learn a great deal from boring lectures, and that’s how they learn. Other people, they learn from discussions. Some people learn from repetition. Some people are very visual. One of the other things I discovered is that I was very visual, so I made flash cards for everything that I needed to know. I had literally thousands of flash cards.”

Carson encouraged students to find out what works for them. “God has endowed us with these amazing brains, and we’re made in the image of God,” he said.


UK: Children as young as FOUR being given transgender lessons which encourage them to explore their 'gender identities'

Children as young as four are receiving lessons from transgender campaigners – including a man who revealed to primary school classes that he is a ‘trans man’ and was ‘assigned female’ at birth.

Thousands of pupils have had the controversial classes, in which they are encouraged to explore their ‘gender identities’ and are questioned on what being a transsexual means, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Up to 20 primary schools a year pay for the classes, given by campaigners’ organisation Gendered Intelligence. Parents’ groups have reacted with concern that pupils may be ‘frightened’ by the workshops, while experts warned the lessons may confuse young children.

Gendered Intelligence has confirmed it teaches pupils of all ages in primary schools, from reception class – where children are aged four and five – up to Year Six, where pupils are aged ten and 11. The workshops cost an undisclosed sum and have been available since 2008.

The Mail on Sunday has seen footage of Gendered Intelligence conducting workshops with primary classes, in a video available for teachers to hire at the cost of £20.

In one class, Year Six boys at Hotspur Primary in Newcastle are asked to describe the ‘girlish’ things they like to do, while the girls say what ‘boyish’ pursuits they enjoy.

Gendered Intelligence’s founder Jay Stewart, who is giving the class, asks the pupils if they think ‘life will be hard at school if you’re a boy at school who likes doing “girlish things”?’

Mr Stewart then asks the class what they think the word ‘transgender’ means and he follows this by revealing he is a ‘trans man’. He says: ‘When I was assigned at birth, I was assigned female when I was born. So I am transgendered. So have you got any questions for me?’

One girl asks if his ‘friends went off’ Mr Stewart after he made the change. He replies: ‘Most of my friends stayed my friends, which is why they’re such good friends. But I’ve also got lots of friends who are also transgendered and actually there’s a whole community of transsexual and transgendered people.’

At the second school featured in the film, Westerhope Primary, also in Newcastle, Mr Stewart again tells the pupils that he is transgender – despite teachers asking him beforehand not to do so.

Head teacher Jo Warner says that in a conversation with Mr Stewart and the class’s teacher, Katie Salkeld, she said: ‘We want you to look at gender issues, but at the minute we don’t feel absolutely comfortable with you actually saying, “I’m transgender”.’

Yet after the lesson, both Ms Warner and Ms Salkeld said they changed their view and believed Mr Stewart telling the children about his transgender status was right.

Gendered Intelligence describes itself as a not-for-profit ‘community interest company’.

Child psychotherapist Dilys Daws warned: ‘What can get confused is that children who just happen to be unhappy at the moment actually fixing on this being about their gender, when it might be to do with the relationship with a parent.’

Margaret Morrissey, of pressure group Parents Outloud, said four and five-year-olds were ‘far, far too young’ to receive the lessons. She added: ‘We’re in danger of frightening children and making them feel they ought to feel like this.’

Mr Stewart said: ‘It’s so important to be teaching children in schools that they can be anything that they want regardless of the gender that they have been given at birth.

‘Gendered Intelligence delivers age-appropriate workshops and assemblies by working closely with the senior leadership teams of each of the schools we work with. We are proud of this work and feedback is always incredibly positive.’


Rubio: ‘A Student Loan Is Worse’ Than Indentured Servitude

During an appearance at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said taking out a student loan is worse than indentured servitude.

“A student loan is worse. You still owe the money. The difference is if you don’t pay back the investment group, you have a contract, and they can obviously have legal remedies for it. If you don’t pay back your loan, it ruins your credit. They’ll collect on you for the rest of your life,” said Rubio. “Because they’re federally backed, they’ll garnish your wages. They’ll take it out of your tax return if necessary, so I think it’s way better than the issue of whether you want a student loan.”

Rubio described his proposal of allowing private investors to loan money to students, who would sign a contract to repay a small percentage of their income for the next 15 or 20 years.

“The student investment plan is an idea that actually allows individuals that instead of going to a student loan route, allows you to go to the equivalent of a private investment group the way you would with a company,” Rubio said.

“You present to them who you are, and what your background is and what your future goals are and your resume and your GPA and your transcripts, and they look at all this, and they decide whether or not they think you are a good investment,” he added.

“If you are a good investment, they pay for your tuition. This is primarily at the graduate level - and in return, you sign a contract to pay back a percentage of your income - one or two percent a year for 20 years or 15 years,” Rubio said.

A panelist at the event asked, “So the student investment plan was a new idea I had not heard of when I was preparing for today. Everybody I shared this with had the same question I want to pose to you: What’s the difference between indentured servitude? This is what comes front in mind when I hear something about 10 years of my life being paid over to another person.”

“A student loan is worse. You still owe the money,” Rubio said. ”The difference is if you don’t pay back the investment group, you have a contract, and they can obviously have legal remedies for it.

“If you don’t pay back your loan, it ruins your credit. They’ll collect on you for the rest of your life,” said Rubio. “Because they’re federally backed, they’ll garnish your wages. They’ll take it out of your tax return if necessary, so I think it’s way better than the issue of whether you want a student loan,” he added.

“On the student investment plan, the risk is on the investment group. If you don’t make enough money to pay them back in that defined period of time, they made a bad investment. In the student loan, if you borrowed $100,000, you owe $100,000, and you will owe that $100,000 until the day you die or pay it off,” said Rubio.

“If you just don’t make enough money to pay back the student investment group, they made a bad investment. They assume that risk. There’s a big difference, and by the way, it’s optional. It’s not mandatory. We’re not telling anybody they have to pursue this route, but it is way better than owing a student loan, which ... you will owe that amount of money whether you’ve found a job or not,” he said.


Neil Cavuto Schools Student Who Wants Free College

Keely Mullen, one of the lead organizers of the Million Student March, spoke with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business on Thursday saying that “[t]he movement, the Million Student March, is a movement for a more equitable and fair system of education,” noting that others should have to pay for college students’ schooling.

Neil Cavuto had just one question for the young college student: “And how’s that going to be paid?”

“The movement, the Million Student March, is a movement for a more equitable and fair system of education, as opposed to the really corporate model that we have right now,” says Keely Mullen. “So, the three core demands of the national day of action are: (1) free public college, (2) a cancellation of student debt, and (3) a $15 an hour minimum wage for people who work on the campus.”

“And how’s that going to be paid?” asked Cavuto.

“Umm, great question,” said Keely Mullen. “Uh, I mean, you know, so. I’m not sure if you’re talking on like a national level or particular schools. I can sort of touch on both.”

“Well, if you want all that stuff, someone has to pick up the tab,” said Cavuto. “Who would that be?”

“Umm, the one percent of people in society that are hoarding the wealth and really sort of causing a catastrophe that students are facing. I mean, we have a relationship right now where one percent of the population own more wealth than the 99 percent combined … .”

Cavuto then pressed in further, asking the college student Mullen practical questions regarding the feasibility of the Million Student March’s ideals. Needless to say, Cavuto seemed unmoved by her answers.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dartmouth Protesters Assault Students While Screaming Racial Threats

An excellent lesson in what the naive white students are defending

A group of Black Lives Matter protestors at Dartmouth College led a violent protest Thursday, hurling racial insults at students and pushing them up against a wall as they tried to study in the library, The Dartmouth Review reports.

“Fuck you, you filthy white fucks!” “Fuck you and your comfort!” “Fuck you, you racist shit!” they reportedly yelled.

About a 150 Dartmouth protesters shouted as they marched through Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College. Students who didn’t join in on their protests were harassed, one woman was pinned to a wall by protesters who shouted, “filthy white bitch!” in her face. Students who were seated were told to, “Stand the fuck up!”  “You filthy racist white piece of shit!”

The protesters actively disrupted students reviewing for exams, entering study spaces and shouting at students who tried to close their door. One student was forced to abandon her study room and ran out of the library.

The black-clad protesters also harassed students who wore “gangster hats,” and Beats headphones, calling them “symbols of oppression.” One self-identified protester wrote on Facebook, “we raised hell, we caused discomfort, and we made our voices heard all throughout this campus in the name of standing up for our brothers and sisters across the country who are staring terrorism and assault directly in the face.”

A student wishing to remain anonymous told the Dartmouth Review that she clapped after a protester said, “let’s give a round of applause for the beautiful people of color who were here for this protest.” However, she was then told by the protester, “for all of you that are sitting down and applauding right now, ‘we don’t care about you.’”


Profs Write Openly Racist Manifesto Against Campus Concealed Carry

Two professors at the University of Texas (UT) have taken a new approach to resisting the impending legalization of concealed carry on Texas campuses: Gun rights are the new segregation.

A new Texas law, passed earlier this year and taking effect in 2016, will allow those with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons onto Texas college campuses and even into classrooms.

There is a strong movement of students and professors opposed to the new law, and two such professors released a manifesto for the movement Tuesday that is remarkably open in its hostility toward white men.

“As professors, we don’t see classroom carry to be about our own personal security,” the manifesto says early on. “We will most likely never be shot in our offices or classrooms, even if we were to piss off some white male students with sacrilegious ideas about race, empire, evolution, or god.”

The new manifesto, authored by UT-Austin history professor Jorge Canizares-Esguerra and UT-El Paso political science professor Patrick Timmons, both leaders of Gun Free UT, was released in an email urging opponents of concealed carry to attend a Tuesday rally. In it, the authors argue that it’s misguided for opponents of concealed carry to focus on whether the new law will increase or decrease violent crime rates.

Instead, Canizares-Esguerra and Timmons explicitly frame the conflict as a racial one, with supporters of gun rights cast as white racial oppressors who are the heirs of slavery, Jim Crow, and other acts of “settler colonialism.”

“We are witnessing the great ideological return of settler colonialism,” they say. “America has all along been about the sheer display of white male power (with guns): over Indians, over slaves, over females, over Mexicans, over Asians, over African Americans, and over Arabs. [The] return of the vigilante movement is a giant, collective white push back against the Civil Rights Movement and against the unintended consequences of globalization,migration, and demography.”

The two authors also make the unusual argument that Texas’s concealed carry law is unconstitutional because it results in the suppression of free speech.

“When a student brings a gun into our individual first -amendment [sic] right to control the bond of trust and community that is constitutionally under our care,” they say. “Yes, this is a classroom he has privileged his individual right over our right to establish and control the bond of trust and community in the classroom necessary to teach. The mere presence of guns can intimidate and thwart free speech.”

The two then return to equating gun rights with racism, blaming a “toxic ideology of white racism and libertarianism” for infringing their “individual right to determine the nature of the community of trust within our classroom.”

The manifesto ends by suggesting that those who carry guns are no different from those who attempt to hurt others by causing a panic.

“What differentiates an individual who seeds mistrust and puts people at risk by shouting ‘fire,’ in a crowded theater, from the individual who carries a gun into our classroom? Neither the shouter not the carrier can avail himself from constitutional protection.”

More than 250 UT professors have signed a petition protesting the new Texas law. In October, economics professor Daniel Hamermesh announced he was resigning his position and going to teach at another university, claiming the law drastically increased the chances a disgruntled student would assassinate him. Supporters of concealed carry have accused Hamermesh of being a false martyr, suggesting he was planning to leave anyway and chose to blame the gun law for political reasons.


British school leavers are unemployable because they can't speak properly, says business leader

Students are leaving school and university unable to speak properly, to the dismay of employers.

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, called for better training in communication skills to prepare young people for the world of work.

He said too many people 'cannot speak articulately' and fail to recognise the importance of turning up to work on time.

A new survey by the BCC reveals that 69 per cent of employers do not think secondary schools prepare their pupils for work. More than three-quarters (78 per cent) want to see lessons in how to behave in job interviews.

Almost nine in 10 firms (88 per cent) said they value communication skills most, compared to 69 per cent for literacy, 64 per cent for numeracy and 56 per cent who said IT skills.

Young people do not know how to make eye contact or speak politely, preferring instead to play with their mobile phone, it was claimed.

Mr Longworth told The Times: 'What businesses often say is anecdotally is they will get people coming in for jobs who simply are not able to articulate at all what it is that they want to do or demonstrate that they are able to deal with customers or even with other employees.

'Communication skills are a real problem both at interview and in the workplace where students actually cannot speak articulately and don't know how to deal with people in a polite way.

'Then there is the whole business of punctuality where they won't turn up for work on time, and they don't think that's a problem.'

Research by the BCC found that business and education were 'worlds apart' when it comes to careers advice.

New figures today show the unemployment rate for 16-24-year-olds was 14.2 per cent for July-September, down from 16.2 per cent a year ago but higher than the national average of 5.3 per cent.

Mr Longworth added: 'High youth unemployment and business skills gaps are a cause for national embarrassment. 'Unless ministers allow schools to increase their focus on preparing students for the working world and businesses step up and do more to engage, inform and inspire, we could fail an entire generation of young people.

'Preparing students to face potential employers should be given the same level of priority as academic achievement in schools across the UK.'

The survey of 3,200 businesses and 300 education leaders found a 'mismatch' on the views of careers guidance.  Four out of five secondary schools believe they are effective at offering careers advice, but all businesses said the system needed to be reformed.

Mark Boleat, policy chairman of City of London Corporation, said: 'Urgent action is required to boost the skills of young people.  'Too many employers are having to fill the gaps of patchy careers advice at the recruitment stage.

'For a successful outcome, this engagement needs to happen a lot earlier. Businesses and schools need to work much more closely to raise awareness of skilled jobs and how young people can secure them.

'Pupils also need more frequent exposure to the workplace so they understand the practical and 'real life' application of their studies.'

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: 'The NUT shares a number of the BCC's concerns, in particular their dismay at the high level of youth unemployment, and the complacency of Government in supporting young people.

'It is Government policy and cuts which have stifled careers advice and rendered 14-19 education a muddle. 'It was the coalition Government, rather than schools, which chose to strip out work experience and work-related learning from the national curriculum for 14 to 16-year-olds.

'The Government should urgently review the availability of independent, impartial careers advice and guidance. It was their abolition of Connexions which contributed greatly to the current parlous state of careers services.'


UK: Bidding war for maths and physics teachers: Staff cashing in with inflated salaries as heads struggle to fill posts

Schools are spending thousands to poach teachers on inflated salaries instead of buying classroom materials like books, a leading head has warned.

Robin Bevan, who runs one of the country’s best state schools, said heads are blowing their budgets on pay because of a national teacher shortage.

Many are being paid £10,000 more than they are worth and are inundated with offers from rival schools keen to lure them away.

The biggest shortages are in maths and physics, but schools are also struggling to recruit in other subjects including music.

Mr Bevan said a relaxing of the rules that forced schools to abide by pay scales has meant teacher recruitment now operates like a ‘free market’.

He branded it a ‘bloody mess’ and warned that there was ‘a risk’ that schools could run out of cash to pay for classroom materials, including iPads and maths textbooks.

He said that while this was not the case at Southend High School for Boys in Essex, where he is head, recruitment was still a problem.

He said: ‘At the moment because the supply of maths and physics teachers is really poor, salary is used as the principal manipulator to move teachers from one school to another.

‘As a head teacher you face the difficulty of looking to recruit when there are very few teachers coming in.

‘We are forced to respond with at least some financial offer and it makes things very difficult. It’s much more like working in the commercial world.

‘Salary negotiation has never been part of the education landscape.

‘The proportion is schools budgets that is being spent on teachers pay is rising faster than those budgets are rising.

‘And if you’re paying more for teachers’ pay as a head teacher you have less resources for those other things - classroom materials, equipment and so forth.’

He said he recently paid a music teacher £5,000 extra to recruit her but she left 18 months later for higher pay and a leadership role elsewhere.

He said he was doing his best not to throw money at teachers but ‘that is what is happening’.

And he revealed he recently had to teach maths classes of 60 because he could not get enough staff.

He added: ‘Recruitment for us is consistently a massive headache. It’s not unusual to advertise for a very successful school [like ours] to get only one or two applicants.

‘Maths is very difficult to recruit. ‘Last year we had for nearly six months a shortage of maths teachers.’

Teachers’ pay used to be rigidly set by the government, but under recent reforms aimed at raising standards, the best teachers can be paid more.

However, this has led to a competitive market in which teachers in short supply go to the highest-bidding schools.

He said: ‘It’s fine to liberalise your pay scale so long you have a good teachers supply. But if you don’t it means salaries are going to rise.

‘Teachers are being paid very substantially higher salaries than the main scale point in order to retain them.

‘The consequence is I have difficulty recruiting and when I do I am doing it from a neighbouring school which means it leaves them with the inherited problem.

‘It’s like Chinese puzzle you’re moving the pieces around to see who ends up with a hole.’


Monday, November 16, 2015


Parading their superior wisdom to the adult world is something students have always done, no matter how shallow or conventional their "wisdom" in fact is.   And that takes the form of "protests" against adult authority.  But the Left are so fully in charge of the universities and colleges that there is little of a concentional sort to protest about.  So nowadays they pick on tiny things and demand the impossible.  There HAS to be something to protest about that will draw attention to themselves.  Their "protesting" will give them warm feelings of righteousness and heroism for many years to come

Southern California College Dean Resigns Amid Racial Issues

The dean of students at a small Southern California college resigned Thursday after protests linked to racial concerns on campus.

Mary Spellman, who held the position at Claremont McKenna College since 2010, announced her resignation in an email to students.

"I believe it is the best way to gain closure of a controversy that has divided the student body," she wrote.

"I hope this will help enable a truly thoughtful, civil and productive discussion about the very real issues of diversity and inclusion facing Claremont McKenna, higher education and other institutions across our society," Spellman added.

Student protesters had demanded her resignation amid complaints that her office wasn't doing enough to deal with the concerns of students of color and others who felt marginalized.

Last month, Spellman responded to a college newspaper piece by a Latina student discussing her concerns by saying that Spellman would work to help students who "don't fit our CMC mold."

"This was her decision. She did not consult with anyone in the administration before making her decision," college spokesman Max Benavidez said.

However, "it was the right thing to do given the situation," he said.

Spellman's decision also follows Monday's resignation of the University of Missouri's president and chancellor in the face of racially tinged protests.

The liberal arts school east of Los Angeles has a high academic reputation and around 20 percent of its students are international students. School figures showed that as of last fall, the campus had 1,325 students, including 57 African-Americans, 180 Hispanics and 137 Asians.

Last April, about 30 students wrote to President Hiram E. Chodosh to say they felt excluded and among other things asked for a mentoring program and more diversity in hiring.

There also were tensions over a photo that appeared on social media showing the junior class president with white women who were wearing false mustaches, sombreros, ponchos and holding maracas at a Halloween party.

Spellman's resignation came a day after the school president announced the creation of new "leadership positions" on diversity and inclusion in student and academic affairs.


Racist anti-racists

White students at the University of Missouri say that they were asked to leave the 'black healing space' and meet in a different room during a school protest of racist incidents on Wednesday night.

The Daily Caller reports that supporters of a group called Concerned Students 1950 in charge of the protest movement at the school assembled at the school's student center for a meeting after a planned protest march was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Activist Steve Schmidt tweeted on Wednesday that white student activists were asked to leave the room.

‘#ConceredStudent1950 is dividing into seven groups,They're asking white allies to leave #ConcernedStudent1950,' he tweeted.

Reporter Jared Koller of KOMU-TV news said that there were six meeting groups for black students and one meeting group for whites.

The Daily Caller reports that Johnetta Elzie, a national Black Lives Matter activist said the divided groups were intended to create a 'black-only healing space.'

'Black only healing space for the students to share, decompress, be vulnerable & real. #ConcernedStudent1950,' the activist tweeted.

On Friday at least 100 people marched from the University of Missouri's black culture center through areas of Greek housing and to the heart of the Columbia campus in response to threats of violence against black students.

Shelbey Parnell, one of the original 11 organizers of Concerned Student 1950, says the aim was ‘reclaiming’ campus and showing that racism has no place at the university.

The student who launched a hunger strike to oust former University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe helped lead students in chants and a dance in Jesse Hall, a main campus building.

New Interim Chancellor Hank Foley joined students in the chanting while arm-in-arm with Missouri Students Association President Payton Head. Students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City participated in the demonstration.

Black student groups have been complaining for months about racial slurs and other slights on the system's overwhelmingly white flagship campus in Columbia.

Former University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned this past week.

Their departures followed one student Johnathan Butler’s hunger strike and protests by others who criticized the administration's handling of racial issues.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel will step down at the end of the season because of health reasons.

Pinkel and the Tigers announced the decision Friday afternoon and noted Pinkel had been diagnosed with lymphoma in May. The stunning move comes days after his team threatened to boycott Saturday's game against BYU over concerns about racial strife on campus. Pinkel supported his players.

Graduate students also marched and spoke against administrators. Some hope to unionize.

The statement says student demands won't go away ‘simply because new men hold the key positions of trust’ at the university.

A racist incident took place October 24, when a swastika, scrawled in feces, was found in a dorm bathroom and weeks later a student threatened to shoot black students at the school.

The former Missouri University of Science and Technology student who's charged with threatening a school shooting has turned himself in to authorities.

Attorney Scott Rosenblum said Friday that 19-year-old Tyler Bradenberg of St. Louis is jailed in Phelps County. Rosenblum says Bradenberg will plead not guilty to one felony count of making a terroristic threat.

The probable cause statement says Bradenberg admitted under questioning to using his personal cellphone Wednesday to post on the app Yik Yak that ‘I'm gonna shoot up this school.’

Missouri S&T spokeswoman Mary Helen Stoltz says GPS spoofing technology was used to make it appear the post was made from Rolla, although it actually was made from St. Louis.

On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon named a community development official with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

Nixon said in a news release on Friday that Yvonne Sparks will fill a vacant seat on the board, which oversees the university's four campuses. Her appointment must be confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

The system's flagship Columbia campus has been facing racial strife for the past few weeks, which led the resignations of President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

If her appointment is approved by state lawmakers, Sparks would be the second black member of the 9-person governing board. St. Louis businessman David Steward is currently the only black curator.

Sparks is the reserve bank's assistant vice president and community development officer and serves on numerous boards in the St. Louis area.

She would represent the First Congressional District with a term that would end January 1, 2021.


Boston students get on the bandwagon

Hundreds of students at Boston-area colleges joined those at other campuses nationwide in demonstrations Thursday to support black students at the University of Missouri, where recent student protests over racial discrimination have led to the resignation of top officials.

A large crowd of Boston College students and faculty clad in black gathered on the Chestnut Hill campus for an afternoon “blackout” to symbolize their solidarity with Missouri students.

The Twitter account “Eradicate BC Racism” posted photos of the students raising their fists in unison with the hashtags #BCBlackOut and #BCRacism.

At Emerson College, students and faculty showed solidarity at a demonstration at the college’s Cultural Center.

Nathaniel Charles, 20, organized the event with friends from EBONI, Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests, where he is the secretary.

After the head of the University of Missouri stepped down, demonstrations have cropped up at Ithaca, Smith, and Claremont McKenna.

“We had a space with black paint where students could come and get three lines painted on their cheeks representative of the Mizzou Tigers, showing our support for their ferocity,” said Charles, who is a junior from Malden studying writing in film and TV.

Charles said about 50 people attended. Those who couldn’t make it used Sharpie markers and eyeliner to draw the lines on their faces, posting photos to social media.

“I think that there is work to be done anywhere,” he said, of improving racial sensitivity.

Similar demonstrations have been held this week at colleges across the Northeast, including Yale University, Smith College, and Ithaca College. On Thursday, students at Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond; Loyola University in Chicago; and campuses at the University of California held rallies.

Boston University students have planned a demonstration at 3 p.m. Friday at Marsh Plaza, on the campus. By Thursday evening, nearly 800 students said on the event Facebook page that they would attend and 1,000 more said they were interested in going.

Some students said Thursday they face daily instances of casual racism and insensitivity, subtle slights called microaggressions.

‘‘It’s more the daily microaggressions than the large situations,’’ said Akosua Opokua-Achampong, a sophomore at Boston College. ‘‘Those also hurt.’’


Ben Carson: Colleges Are Being ‘Too Tolerant’ Of ‘Infantile Behavior’

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson responded to recent incidents of unrest at the University of Missouri and Yale University saying that society is being “too tolerant” in accepting what he called student-activists’ “infantile behavior.”

“This is just raw emotion and people being manipulated…by outside forces who wish to create disturbances,” Carson told Megyn Kelly during an interview on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” on Wednesday.

Protests over alleged racial insensitivity boiled over this week at Mizzou as well as at Yale, Carson’s alma mater. Tim Wolfe resigned as president of the University of Missouri on Monday after coming under fire from activists who accused him of failing to properly respond to several racially-tinged incidents. Activists at Yale were upset over Halloween costumes they deemed offensive.

Carson said that the response from students marks a “very dangerous trend,” one he didn’t experience even during his time at Yale, which spanned the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“When we get to a point where a majority can say ‘I don’t like what you’re doing, that’s offensive, and therefore I have a right to violent toward you or deprive you of rights because I don’t like what you’re doing,’ that really goes against the grain of our constitutional rights,” Carson said.

He was responding to an incident that took place on Mizzou’s campus on Monday. There, students mobbed and harassed journalists who were trying to cover protests on campus. The students sought a “safe space” to celebrate Wolfe’s resignation.

At least two professors helping organize the event — a husband-and-wife named Richard Callahan and Melissa Click — actively blocked the journalists. Click called for “muscle” to prevent one from recording the event while also grabbing his camera.

Kelly also asked Carson about an email sent from University of Missouri administrators on Tuesday informing students to call the police if they hear any offensive language from fellow students.

“What are we doing to tomorrow’s generation?” Kelly asked.

“We’re being a little too tolerant, I guess you might say, accepting infantile behavior,” Carson responded.

“The officials at these places must recognize that and have the moral courage to stand up to it, because if they don’t, it will grow, it will exacerbate the situation, and we will move much further to anarchy than anybody can imagine,” Carson warned.


James Woods Goes Off on Missouri Professor Melissa Click: 'Numbskull...Nut Job on the Left'

Actor James Woods is not impressed with Melissa Click, a faculty member at the University of Missouri. The university has been the focal point of protests over the last several days, with students claiming that the campus suffers from racism. In an incident November 9, Click was videotaped trying to prevent someone from videotaping a protest. "You need to get out!" Click says. Then, turning to some students, she says, "Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!"

On November 11 - Veterans Day - Woods took to Twitter to criticize Click. The actor posted a picture of Click next to one of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il and wrote, "Imagine how long the nut job on the left would last in the country run by the nut job on the right?" Woods also tweeted a picture of men in combat, writing that "these guys gave their lives...So this numbskull could do this." Below the second sentence is a picture of Click trying to remove a person who is filming her at a protest.

Click has apologized and resigned the courtesy appointment she had with the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She remains an assistant professor in the Department of Communications. According to a university bio, "Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy," the bio states. "Current research projects involve 50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children's television programs."


The ‘Yale snowflakes’: who made these monsters?

These little tyrants are the bastard offspring of older radicals

Video footage of Yale students losing the plot over a faculty head and his wife, who said everyone should calm down about Halloween, has caused much head-shaking in liberal circles. And it isn’t hard to see why. The head’s crime was that his wife sent an email suggesting academics and students should chill out about ‘culturally insensitive’ Halloween costumes. It’s okay, the email said, to be a ‘little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive’ on this one day. For his wife issuing this mildest of rebukes to over-sensitive over-18s, the head was accosted by a mob of students insisting the email made them feel unsafe. When he told the crowd that he thinks university is about providing education, not a ‘safe home’, they screamed at him to ‘step down!’. ‘Who the fuck hired you?!’, the most unhinged of the students cries.

It’s unnerving, odd, a terrifying snapshot of the new intolerance. We could see the culture of ‘You can’t say that!’ in all its swirling, borderline violent ugliness. It wasn’t a whispered or implied ‘You can’t say that!’, of the kind we see all the time in 21st-century public life, in response to people who criticise gay marriage, say, or doubt climate change. No, this was an explicitly stated ‘You can’t fucking say that, and if you do we’ll demand that you be sacked!’ That it was stated at Yale, and in response to a bloody email about Halloween, has added to the hand-wringing among liberals, who want to know what’s gone wrong with the new generation.

Okay, fine. It is indeed interesting, and worrying, that students are so sensitive and censorious today. But I have a question for the hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers who are so disturbed by what they’re calling the ‘Yale snowflakes’: what did you think would happen? When you watched, or even presided over, the creation over the past 40 years of a vast system of laws and speech codes to punish insulting or damaging words, and the construction of a vast machine of therapeutic intervention into everyday life, what did you think the end result would be? A generation that was liberal and tough? Come off it. It’s those trends, those longstanding trends of censorship and therapy, that created today’s creepy campus intolerance; it’s you who made these monsters.

Over the past year, there has been growing concern in the media with the campus crazies who demand trigger warnings on books (lest their content induce PTSD), who cultivate Safe Spaces in which no bruising word may be uttered, and who try to crush everything from Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ (it makes female students feel unsafe) to talks by Germaine Greer (she makes trans people feel unsafe). From Jonathan Chait’s New York essay in January, which bemoaned the return of PC to the Western academy, to the current eyebrow-raising over the Yale snowflakes and their cavalier attitude towards ‘the crucial liberal tradition of free speech’, an anti-PC backlash has emerged, with 40-plus observers looking with horror at the foot-stomping Stalinists of the younger generation.

But there’s a problem with this backlash: it tends to treat this campus tyranny as the handiwork of a new generation. In the words of Todd Gitlin, there is a new ‘generational norm of fragility’. The New Statesman goes further, claiming today’s intolerant yoof are ‘rebelling against their parents’ generation and its liberal deification of free speech’. Excuse me? What liberal deification of free speech? The older generation – including some of very people going pop-eyed over the Yale snowflakes – has been chipping away at free speech for decades. And in the process they nurtured the world we now inhabit, in which words and images are seen as dangerous and our sense of self-worth is viewed as so fragile that we must squash anything, or idea, that threatens it.

The weepy students who think everything from ‘racist’ costumes to racy novels could cause them ‘mental harm’ did not invent the idea that words damage us and thus must be controlled. In Britain, and across Europe, we’ve seen the spread over the past 40 years of hate-speech legislation that punishes ‘insulting’ or ‘grossly offensive’ commentary about minority groups. On campuses, this has manifested itself as a student-led No Platform policy in Britain, which first expunged racists and Zionists and was later applied to Islamists, sexists, tabloids and Eminem’s music. In the US, the modern turn against free speech manifested itself in the scourge of campus speech codes, which spread across the nation from the late 1980s, and which described everything from racist speech to ‘inconsiderate laughter’ as contributing to the creation of a ‘hostile environment’. In the words of one of the academics who wrote one of the speech codes – they were mainly the work of academics, not students – certain forms of speech are ‘assaultive’ and can cause ‘severe psychological trauma’ (1). That was said in a book tellingly titled Words that Wound, in 1993, before today’s snowflakes were born. And we wonder why youth see books, speakers and songs as forms of assault. That idea has been seeping through the academy, from the top down, for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, radical politics has, for 20 years or more, largely been about banning ‘harmful’ things. Whether it’s leftists demanding the shutting down of neo-fascist bookshops, feminists calling for bans on porn or Page 3, or gay-rights groups agitating for the censorship of homophobic black music, being radical has weirdly come to mean smashing or hiding offensive material. But the idea that a pornographic movie turns men into rapists – a staple of New Feminist thinking – is equally as mad as the notion that a critical email about Halloween could ‘harm’ students. In both cases, mere images or ideas, a film of some sex or a stream of words, are imbued with the extraordinary power to warp minds and souls, to alter atoms, as if people are putty and imagery is all-powerful. And yet some of the same people who think nothing of trying to extinguish porn now look in horror at the Yale snowflakes who want protection from words.

Closely related to this institutionalisation of censorship has been the relentless rise of the therapeutic outlook. This new view of humanity eschews the old John Stuart Mill attitude – which celebrated self-government, the ‘firmness and self-control’ of the individual – and replaces it with a view of individuals as weak, threatened, easily damaged by horrible happenings, cutting words: ‘scarred for life’. On campuses in Britain and the US, this autonomy-slamming outlook could be seen in the spread of wellbeing classes, an obsession with student stress, the introduction of ‘therapy dogs’ (seriously), and various other measures designed to stroke allegedly fragile students’ sense of self-worth rather than let them negotiate life’s ups and downs for themselves. If they think of themselves as weak, so weak they cannot read an email, that really isn’t surprising: we have been telling them they’re weak for 20 years.

The Yale snowflakes are pathetic, yes. But what’s even more pathetic is the ridicule of the snowflakes by the very generation who created this world in which words are seen as wounding, judgement is considered harmful, and everyone is treated as fragile. Having claimed for 30 years that offensive discussion, or porn or racist newspapers, create a ‘hostile environment’, can the older generation really be surprised that students are now setting up Safe Spaces? The Safe Space is the logical solution to the notion that words and images cultivate a ‘hostile environment’.

Mercifully, most students are still quite sensible. They don’t cry when they get an email or balk from reading offensive novels. That Yale mob was small. But the sensible students will have to wage war, not against their more pathetic fellow students, but against the vast illiberal, autonomy-demeaning ideologies that emerged in the late 20th century under the watchful eye, and often with the enthusiastic backing, of today’s tut-tutters over censorious campus life. They should rise up, not so much against the snowflakes as against the critics of the snowflakes, who shamelessly mock students who can’t handle an email while avoiding their own moral culpability in the creation of the unhinged, unfree climate currently crippling daring thought and open debate across the Western world.


Snowflakes or Fascists?

There was a much-beloved quote circulated among leftists, often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, that “when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” In light of recent episodes of mob action on American campuses, the quote needs updating: When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in “diversity” and demanding “safe spaces.”

Demand is the key word. It marks the essential authoritarianism at work here. At the University of Missouri, students “demanded” that (now-former) university President Tim Wolfe write a “handwritten” letter of apology acknowledging his “white, male privilege.” Among his alleged sins was apparently not doing enough to shield so-called “marginalized students” from feeling upset after a black criminal, Michael Brown, was killed by the police officer he had assaulted. Another sin was driving away when a mob surrounded Wolfe’s car at homecoming festivities. Wolfe has since apologized, groveled (“my apology is long overdue”) and resigned. Good riddance.

Events at the University of Missouri were a perfect American storm: the confluence of fascistic student and faculty behavior, viral rumors of white racism and the almighty dollar. That’s right, the dollar, because as an American university administrator, you can offend every principle enshrined in the Bible and the U.S. Constitution, you can make a mockery of higher education by offering courses on Martha Stewart’s whiteness or “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but don’t mess with the football team. That’s where the real power resides. When the black football players threatened to boycott this weekend’s game against Brigham Young, the university president had to go.

There has been some tut-tutting, even among liberals, about modern university students' hypersensitivity. But let’s not kid ourselves — though it is couched in the language of safety, what these little snowflakes want is repression. Brenda Smith-Lezama, for example, is vice president of the Missouri Students Association. Asked about efforts on the Missouri campus to “muscle” student journalists away from a public event, she offered a view that would make Castro proud: “I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and for other students here,” she told MSNBC.

An ideological fellow traveler at Yale screamed obscenities at a faculty member. That alone ought to be enough to ensure her dismissal from the college — or at least some degree of punishment. But no. Background: Erika Christakis, a professor’s wife and a lecturer in childhood education, had written an email suggesting that students should be able to use their own judgment about Halloween costumes. On such mighty issues do our finest minds now cogitate. Students confronted the professor on campus. One student screamed that it was the faculty’s job to “create a place of comfort and home” for students (comfort, that is, being defined as insulation from challenging ideas). He demurred. “Then why the f— did you accept the position?” she bellowed. “It is not about creating an intellectual space!”

Congratulations, Yale, and Missouri, and American academia in general, you’ve succeeded in undermining the ethic of free inquiry, disinterested scholarship, and certainly anything like decent manners.

The target of that vulgar outburst has now executed a full kowtow. He invited students to his home and prostrated himself: “I care so much about the same issues you care about. I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism. I’m genuinely sorry … to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.”

Yeah, we’re all disappointed in you, fella. As for the screamer, she’ll suffer no ill effects, and is probably already fielding job offers from MSNBC.

The truth is that universities are and always have been ripe environments for absolutism. Students — brimming with self-righteousness, unaware of how easily violence can spread, stimulated by the scent of blood in the water — have provided the shock troops for most totalitarian movements.

During what liberal academics praised as the “idealistic” 1960s, American students (sometimes armed) seized buildings, held a dean hostage, looted research files and committed promiscuous vandalism. Nazi students (egged on by professors) “cleansed” Heidelberg and other universities of Jews and others. Russian universities became incubators for radicals who took their ideas into the streets. During the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s faithful pupils subjected their teachers to “re-education” and even occasionally cannibalized them.

Students are natural radicals. The job of academics in a free society that hopes to remain so is to instill respect for freedom of thought and expression. Our problem is that many of the students who were burning professors' research notes in the 1960s are now on the faculty.


Stop Paying for College

I have a proposal: Let's turn the whole damn campus into a "space of healing."

Such "spaces," we learn in Rich's excellent column on the Mizzou mau-mauing (to be read in conjunction with similarly insightful columns by Kevin and our friend Roger Kimball on last week's Yale mau-mauing), are what university administrators failed to "create" so the coddled children could grieve over ... well ... everything.

As always, there are pretexts aplenty - purported racial insults (you'll have to forgive me - or not, who cares? - if I won't believe these incidents happened as described until that is convincingly proved) and, of course, the killing of a teenager who was attacking a police officer right after knocking off a convenience store. Speaking of Michael Brown, Columbia Law school students who claimed to be too "traumatized" by the Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer he attacked were permitted to postpone their exams - evidently, a classroom with a test placed on the desks is no longer a "safe space" on the American campus.

Can we please stop pretending that this is anything other than what it is? As an institution taken over by the hard Left, "higher education" simply wants to confiscate more of our money and obliterate any remaining vestiges of meritocracy. The agitators know that if they agitate enough, no matter how trifling the pretext, they will get concessions.

So let's stop paying for it.

Let them have the "safe space." Let them figure out how to keep the "spaces of healing" without the support of the society they want to destroy - once they've squeezed the last thin dime out of it.

The university is a terrible deal for the country and for too many students. It is no longer a center of learning and the promotion of reason. It is a cauldron of hard Left indoctrination and victim narratives where reason no longer has a home. I believe in free expression, so I don't favor the coercive shutdown of such places (in the way that they would favor shutting down, say, National Review). But I don't believe we should pay for them or pretend that they are something they are not.

What I am saying is not controversial for anyone who believes deeply in education. As the invaluable Glenn Harlan Reynolds has been pointing out for years (see, e.g., The New Schooland The Education Apocalypse), there are viable, economical alternatives to the nigh-obsolete four-year campus model of higher education. Whatever worthwhile remains at today's colleges, these alternatives - especially online education - can provide it better and much cheaper.

Shifting from the campus to the Internet can eliminate the universities' administrative bloat - the billions of public dollars progressive politicians sluice through the system to underwrite hard Left thought police in sinecures ostensibly devoted to "diversity," speech regulation, campus "community responders," etc. It can give parents and students more choice and more excellence since online education would weed out lots of the mediocrity - and worse - that dominate the campus. And the pressure of competition would dramatically improve whichever of today's schools survived the transition.

As Professor Reynolds explained yesterday at his Instapundit blog on PJ Media, the transition is already happening. Mizzou's football squad apparently thinks threatening to boycott a game is better publicity than losing the game (as they've been doing regularly this year). But the real story is that more students today take at least one course online than attend a college with a varsity football team. There are more undergrads taking at least one online class than the combined number of graduate students in Masters and PhD. programs.

It is past time to accelerate the transition. The best way is to stop paying for our own destruction.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Brown U's Editorial Board 'Deeply Troubled' by Politician's Denial of 'White Privilege'

What about Indian privilege, Chinese privilege or Japanese privilege?  They all do better in the USA on average than whites do.  So do whites have any privilege at all?  If so it must be rather low down the pecking order.  Compared to some they do have the privilege of working harder, I guess

But the whole idea of privilege is just a leftist slur.  It asserts that some people or classes of people were/are given certain things unfairly rather than working for them, earning them or deserving them

If a high IQ person makes a scientific breakthrough, is that privilege?  I can't see it.  He may be amply rewarded for his breakthrough but that reward is a reward for his work, not privilege.

Being born bright could be seen as a privilege but that is conferred by genetics not society -- and being bright of itself may mean little.  I knew a very high IQ man who could only find work supervising garbage bins.  It's the work you do using your brain that matters and which gives you any rewards. And the results of work are not "privilege".  They are justly earned  rewards

And a rejection of a job application by a black is also a justly earned reward, though the individual black himself might not have earned it. If Leftist privilege-critics can talk in terms of such broad categories as "whites", why can employers not think in terms of such broad categories as "blacks"?  And the well-known poor performance of blacks in many ways will often give rise to a reasonable fear that any given black may perform poorly in tasks relevant to the job in question. If the task involved singing and dancing or running fast, an application from a black could well be given priority.  Who would be "privileged" then?

Any attempt at answering that question shows immediately that the whole idea of anchoring your analysis of wellbeing or success in such  broad and diverse categories as "whites" or "blacks" is near brain-dead.  It indicates an inability at detailed thought or a lack of fine-grained perception.  It is just a typical Leftist overgeneralization. There all sorts of whites, rich, poor and in-between.  Are they all equally "privileged" by being white?  Only a Leftist would think so

An intelligent appraisal of various forms of success in society would require much, much more than such childish categories as "whites".  Pre-schoolers can tell whites from blacks and Leftists  would appear not to have got beyond that infantile stage in their thinking.  Leftist politicians do talk of 'nuance' but they rarely display any of it

But nothing in Leftist "privilege" discourse is remotely intellectual.  It is just an attempt at stirring up racial antagonisms.  It is racism pure and simple

The Speaker of the R.I. House, Rep. Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston), has drawn the wrath of The Brown Daily Herald for saying he doesn't think "white privilege" exists.

As noted in a Nov. 11 editorial, Mattiello told The Providence Journal on Oct. 31: "I'm not sure I've ever thought of the phrase 'white privilege.' I don't think there is a white privilege."

(The newspaper called it ironic that Mattiello made the comment while advocating passage of legislation banning racial profiling.)

Mattiello also told the newspaper, “I absolutely disagree with that phrase. I don’t think anybody in society views any particular nationality as having any privilege over any other. I certainly don’t.”

The Daily Herald editorial board responded: "We are deeply troubled by one of the most powerful politicians in the state government denying a reality that affects his constituents and Rhode Islanders more broadly, including students here at Brown. To argue that white Americans do not have unfair advantages over people of color ignores both the voiced experiences of people of color and the corroborating data."

The editorial points to a survey released by the Associated Press showing that more than half of black millennials know a victim of police brutality, while less than one third of white millennials do -- "a poignant reminder of how white privilege inheres in our own generation," the editorial says.

"Further data — like that demonstrating that white job applicants are more likely to receive a callback after submitting job applications than people of color, or that of the 46,235 New Yorkers stopped by police last year, 55 percent were black, and only 12 percent were white -- illustrate how entrenched white privilege remains in our society and how misguided Mattiello’s statement is."


Completely unrelated to the Brown newspaper editorial, The Los Angeles Times on Thursday published an article explaining that on many college campuses, "microaggressions" are seen as "the new face of racism."

Microaggressions include "everyday slights and snubs, sometimes unintentional,"  rather than "blatant acts of bias."

According to the newspaper, the phenomenon "is drawing widespread attention across college campuses and kicking up a debate about social justice and free speech rights."

Students are sharing their experiences with microaggression on websites and Facebook pages at -- you guessed it -- Brown, as well as Harvard, Oberlin,  Dartmouth, Swarthmore, Columbia, Willamette and other universities."


Faisel Mohammad had ISIS flag when he stabbed 4 people at UC Merced

Faisel Mohammad the Muslim terrorist who stabbed four at UC Merced last week had an ISIS flag printout with him as he carried out his stabbing. But according to the idiots at UC Merced still claim Faisel Mohammad wasn’t a terrorist and his stabbing wasn’t a terrorist act. Here’s a dose of reality to the brain-dead leftists in Merced: if a Muslim stabs Americans and carried a printout of an ISIS flag with him, he’s a terrorist. This is why it took so long to get the details of Faisel Mohammad. And it took a week to come out about this terrorist’s ISIS flag printout? Give me a break.

The printout of the ISIS flag was reported Tuesday by the Merced Sun-Star, citing a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday. The official also said Mohammad’s manner of dress during the attack and some of the websites he may have visited in the days leading up to the incident ultimately led local authorities to hand control of the investigation over to the FBI. Warnke confirmed that decision, saying “new information” had been discovered on Saturday about Mohammad, who was shot and killed by police during the episode.

“I met with the FBI Saturday night and turned over copies of all evidence we’ve collected to that agency and the UC Merced police department,” said Warnke. “As far as any further investigation into any outside influence, the FBI will be handling that from now on.”

While the unnamed law enforcement official who spoke with the Sun-Star didn’t directly say the flag was related to the attack, the Islamic caliphate is known to be recruiting U.S. citizens directly and attempting to inspire lone wolf attacks within the country. The group’s social media savvy is well documented.


The Picture of Dorian Gray: The Two Faces of the American Academy

By most measures, American universities are the envy of the entire world.  Of the top thirty universities affiliated with Nobel Prize winners, for example, eighteen are in the United States.  According to the U.S. News and World Report rankings, of the top ten universities worldwide, only two – Oxford and Cambridge – are not in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, or New York.  Prospective students from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America flock to even the humblest American colleges, hoping to receive diplomas from the same system that once sheltered Albert Einstein, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss.

American universities are rich, too.  Harvard’s endowment, for instance, is approximately 35 billion dollars.  If one adds together just the endowments (and not the tuition income, grants, subsidies, athletics licensing fees, patent and copyright income, alumni donations, and total asset value) of the top ten American universities, one arrives at a sum just about equal to the GDP of Senegal.  Universities are building and expanding, hiring new professors, publishing oceans of data in a virtually uncountable number of specialty journals, attracting new students, opening campuses overseas, and paying presidents and chancellors salaries in the millions of dollars per year.

American universities, that is to say, stride, Colossus-like, over a Rhodes of higher education.  They seem to be the masters of all they survey.

But this tale of wild success is only half the story.  While the faculty, administrators, and trustees bask in the splendor of their educational empire, the students under their care descend deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of insecurity, impecuniousness, immaturity, and the insatiable lust for sex, power, and diversion.  Addled with drug and drink, host to a staggering rate of venereal disease (half of the new cases each year occur among 15- to 24-year-olds), crushed under student loan debt, and, increasingly, unable to find anything better to do with their time than riot, the American university student – ignorant, ill-mannered, and enraged – would seem to be the diametrical opposite of the American university system he inhabits.

What explains this strange Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomenon?

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, novelist Oscar Wilde reveals the effects of a life of debauchery on the soul, even when the body seems ageless and hale.  The protagonist, after whom the novel is named, has his picture painted by an artist and thereafter begins to live a life void of all the decencies of civilized society.  He jilts faithful women, cavorts with opium addicts, indulges every unholy passion, and even murders the artist who painted him as a handsome young man.  With each transgression of the moral law, the face on the canvas – really, it turns out, a mirror for Dorian’s inner self, his soul – grows more twisted and deranged.  Dorian’s body remains freakishly youthful despite the passage of many years, but the portrait ages and gnarls, a true representation of what is really going on inside Dorian’s heart of hearts.

The American university and the American university student: stand them side by side, like Dorian and his portrait, and you have the full picture.  Every sin of the professoriate, far from harming their careers, has, conversely, redounded to their great benefit.  Like Dr. Faustus after his bargain, the American professoriate is on the unstoppable up and up.  Every book and article written in praise of some perverted theory of gender or queerness gains wide acclaim for the author.  He or she wins awards, gives speeches, and gets an even bigger heaping of taxpayer money in his or her bank account each month.  (Melissa Click, for example, who threatened student journalists at the University of Missouri with violence this week, is paid $4,750 per month.  Her field of study?  Lady Gaga.)

Everything is power, the professors proclaim.  There are no eternal truths.  The United States is an oppressive society.  Capitalism is the enemy.  Everyone around you is a racist.  Scott Walker is Hitler.  I hate Republicans.  The only possible relationship to the university is one of thievery.  The only legitimate subjects of inquiry are the grievances of the perpetually aggrieved.

As for the students: a common lament among those who take universities seriously is that graduating seniors are statistically no better educated than incoming freshmen.  This is all true when “educated” is taken to mean “having greater facility with logic, language, math, science, and history than one previously enjoyed.”  But, as the now undeniable outbreak of full-blown Maoist Cultural Revolution on our campuses makes clear, the students have been soaking in every word their teachers have said.

When the professors criticized capitalism, for example, the students took to the streets, protesting the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and Wall Street (and, now, the very financial system that loaned the students the money to attend their four years of socialist re-education).  The professors went home each evening to jazz records and cocktails, but their charges were busy making signs redolent of Paris in 1968 and planning to burn down the capitalist system themselves.

When the professors told the students that they could be any gender they chose, the students swooned into a pandemic personality disorder.  Everyone, it now seems, is some variant of transgendered.  The professors, for the most part, got married, had kids, and moved into respectable homes.  Their students underwent perhaps the most pervasive and acute dissociation of sexuality and identity in recorded history.  Universities are asylums for the sexually confused, mainly because professors and administrators actively encourage them.

And when the professors told the students they lived in a racist, bigoted, evil land, the students began to agree with them.  The professors paid their taxes, voted the straight Democrat ticket, reported for jury duty, and dutifully plastered their office doors with Hope and Change stickers.  The students attacked the police, joined ISIS, trampled and burned the American flag, ran armed forces recruiters off of campus, welcomed militant imams and rabid anti-Jewish terrorists to speak (and even employed a few of them – is that you in the crowd, Mr. Ayers?), and learned that, simply enough, in all the world, there is no problem that cannot ultimately be blamed on the land of their birth.

Let us not be surprised that the young people at universities are shrieking, infantilized moral cripples, while their professors are the very picture of worldly success.  These two images are inseparable.  The professors have sown falsehood and profited from it.  Their students have reaped the bitter harvest and now literally scream for someone to placate them in their barbarism.

The American university and the American university student – together, they make up the full picture of Dorian Gray.