Thursday, April 07, 2016

Satanic, Atheist Literature to be Distributed in Colorado Middle and High Schools

"The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities" (screen capture)
News channel KJCT8 in Colorado is reporting that atheist and satanic groups are going to be circulating atheist, secular and satanic literature to middle and high school students in Delta County, Colorado.

In December, Gideons made Bibles available for students at public schools in Delta County. That led to a student complaint, and led to secular groups such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers and the Satanic Temple to apply for similar distribution.

 “The school district is not required to maintain this open forum and is free to close it rather than allow FFRF to distribute materials,” Freedom From Religion attorney Andrew Seidel wrote in a letter to the district earlier this month. “We do not think schools should be a battleground for religious ideas. But when schools allow the Gideons to prey on children, their message of eternal damnation for any who don’t believe in their God must be countered.”

Some of the brochures include “The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities,” “Top 10 Public School State-Church Violations and How to Stop Them,” and “What’s Wrong with the Ten Commandments?”

According to KJCT-TV, parents have expressed opposition to the upcoming distribution.

Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent of the Delta County School District, told reporters this past week that the district can’t turn down the groups because of way the distribution policy is written. “The way the policy is written, cannot discriminate what is handed out. We just have to follow the process,” he said.


UC Disadvantages California Students, State Auditor Charges

As we noted, California State Auditor Elaine Howle has been riding herd on Caltrans for shoddy maintenance practices that promote waste, fraud and abuse. Now the auditor turns attention to the University of California in a new report charging that UC admissions and financial decisions have disadvantaged California’s own resident students. Over the past few years, the university has “undermined its commitment to resident students,” and “in response to reduced state funding, the university made substantial efforts to enroll nonresident students who pay significantly more tuition than residents.” By the auditor’s count, nonresident enrollment is up 82 percent and resident enrollment down 1 percent. The report helpfully charts the back story to the numbers.

The UC had previously demanded that nonresidents’ academic qualifications equal the upper half of residents’ qualifications. In 2011, however, the UC relaxed this admission standard and in the following three years, admitted “nearly 16,000 nonresidents whose scores fell below the median scores for admitted residents at the same campus on every academic test score and grade point average.” At the same time, “the university denied admission to an increasing proportion of qualified residents at the campus to which they applied.”

The University of California used to play fast and loose with academic standards to get the requisite number of minorities, and that too resulted in the denial of admission to many qualified students. Voters put a stop to racial and ethnic preferences in 1996 by passing Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, but diversity dogma still dominates.

In response to reduced state funding, the University of California could opt to dramatically reduce bureaucracy, heavy with highly paid vice chancellors, assistant vice chancellors and such. Their preference has been to hike tuition, and when students have engaged in peaceful protest, campus police pepper-sprayed them. Fair to say that the UC also disadvantaged those students, and the ensuing crisis wasted more taxpayer dollars.


Australia: University of Queensland Union to host bake sale that charges based on gender

A bake sale that will charge customers based on their gender for a 'Feminist Week' at the University of Queensland has sparked outrage online with some students calling it discriminatory.

University of Queensland Union posted a list of events for an organised 'Feminist Week' from April 4-8 to their website including a Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale at the campus on Tuesday.

The University of Queensland Union is holding a bake sale to celebrate Feminist Week - but not everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

The event welcomes anyone to come and purchase a baked good, but created cost divisions between men and women.

"Each baked good will only cost you the proportion of $1.00 that you earn comparative to men (or, if you identify as a man, all baked goods with cost you $1.00!)," the UQU outlined on their site.

"For example, if you are a woman of colour in the legal profession, a baked good at the stall will only cost you 0.55 cents!."

Many voiced their outrage at the bake sale by commenting on a post put up by UQ student Ashley Millsteed to the UQ Stalkerspace Facebook page that called the bake sale discriminatory, citing the Queensland's 1991 Anti Discrimination Act and the national 1984 Sex Discrimination Act.

"UQU, which is meant to represent all students, is engaging in conduct that's blatantly discriminatory against men to try and make some asinine political point," he wrote.

"What's interesting is that this bake sale itself constitutes discrimination under both Queensland and Federal Anti-Discrimination law."

"This is incredibly disappointing. Shame on UQU for condoning this. This is exactly why more people are starting to reject feminism. It's insulting to the women (and men) who fought, and who continue to fight for equality," wrote another commentator.

The gender pay gap is the difference between women's and men's average weekly full-time equivalent earnings and is influenced by a number of factors including work, family and society.

The gender pay gap sits at 17.3% as of March 2016, the government funded Workplace Gender Equality Agency found.

UQ School of Education associate professor and gender studies co-convenor Liz MacKinlay said the bake sale was a clever way of raising attention.

"When we ask people to check their privilege and think about equality the people who are privileged seem to get the most upset because they have the most to lose," she said.

"The reality is that people who are not privileged don't get the choice to get upset or not because as soon as they raise their voice it is silenced."

"If people are upset about it, the next question that needs to be asked is 'Why are you upset about that? Think logically about the reasons why you are upset.

"You are being asked to think about why it might be that women get paid less over the course of their lifetime."

Professor MacKinlay said she gets "pretty frustrated" when she hears people calling events like the bake sale discriminatory.

"I get pretty frustrated when I hear people saying 'What about the men, isn't that discriminatory, isn't it reverse-sexism?'," she said.

"Many men generally speaking have the extra pay as an unearned privilege while women are disadvantaged and people of colour are disadvantaged and minority groups and people who don't conform to binary genders are disadvantaged.

"If we actually looked at that the work women do to raise children at home, what cost would we be putting on that, how much is that worth to us?."

UQU women's officer Madeline Price helped organise 'Feminist Week', which runs each semester, and said it was interesting that out of all the events, the bake sale had generated the most discussion.

"If people are upset they have to pay 35c more for a cupcake, how do you think the person who earns that much less per dollar each year for the same work feels?," she said.

"(The bake sale prices) look at every identity factor that that person identifies with, we have a comparison chart for all professions, and include such intersections as gender, disability, race, sexual identity and ethnicity.

"Most of the discussion generated online is about how discriminatory it is against men when in reality it is based on a lot of other factors, more than just gender."


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