Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thomas Jefferson Now Politically Incorrect at University He Founded

A group of students and professors at the University of Virginia want to give the founder of their school the shaft. In a letter to university president Theresa Sullivan, they asked her to remove Thomas Jefferson quotes from messages to students, according to the Washington Examiner.

“For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these emails undermines the message of unity, equality, and civility that you are attempting to convey,” the group wrote. Sullivan said in a response that she would not backpedal from quoting Jefferson, according to another report from the Examiner.

The Sage of Monticello—as the author of the Declaration of Independence has often been called in tribute to his home in Charlottesville, Va.—had such high hopes for the school that he wrote of the students toward the end of his life, “they will exhibit their country in a degree of sound respectability it has never known, either in our days, or in the days of our forefathers. I cannot live to see it. My joy must only be that of anticipation.”

Jefferson was so proud of his creation that he put it on his tombstone, and left off the fact that he was President of the United States. Many generations of students and faculty have shown their appreciation for their school’s founder. According to stories told on campus, students rushed into the school’s Rotunda to save a statue of Jefferson in an 1895 fire.

Unfortunately, a few of UVA’s current students are think Jefferson’s legacy is problematic.

This is not the first time Jefferson has come under attack. Local chapters of the Democratic Party, which used to celebrate Jefferson as one of its antecedents, have increasingly removed Jefferson’s name from their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. Jefferson’s detractors have generally cited his slave ownership as the reason he can no longer be championed.

Though Jefferson was a slave owner, no single document in human history besides maybe the Bible has done more to undermine slavery than the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln was sometimes privately critical of Jefferson, but he gave enormous credit to the Virginian’s philosophy for sealing the institution’s fate.

Lincoln wrote for a Jefferson Birthday celebration in 1859:

All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men at all times, and so to embalm it there, that today, and in all coming days, it should be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.

It is particularly sad, but not unexpected that Jefferson has come under fire at the university he held out such high hopes for. There has been a concerted effort to remove any mention of symbols or great leaders of America’s past who have fallen out of favor with the current political climate.

In the past year alone, activists have attempted to remove monuments across the country: from more controversial Confederate monuments, to Andrew Jackson’s statue in New Orleans, to even paintings of progressive hero Woodrow Wilson at Princeton University. The justification in most of these cases was that the figures were racist and supported values that are no longer accepted, so they need to be removed from the public sphere entirely.

When does this war on American history stop? If every figure must be held up to the constantly-evolving values of the times, we will eventually find that we’ve purged all of the good along with the bad elements of what made this country what it is. We may even find that tomorrow, we are the ones being erased from history.


Indoctrinated  and infantalized  kids:  Schools bring in therapy dogs and Play — Doh for college kids traumatised by Donald Trump win

Comment from Australia

ACROSS the United States, schools and colleges are offering students traumatised by Donald Trump’s win colouring books, Play-Doh and therapy dogs.

That’s right, you got it, young adults past the voting age are moulding plasticine and petting hounds to cope with an election result in a western democracy.

At the University of Kansas, tutors reminded its 18 and 19-year-olds that therapy dogs were available.

And the girls at an exclusive private school in New York City last week were so stricken the teachers brought in the therapy dogs to soothe them.

This was done for 9/11 rescuers and survivors back in 2001, and the dogs have been used since for tasks such as helping to boost the social and reading skills of children with autism.

Forget about the lunatic idea that Donald Trump really made it to the White House, in its wake the world really has gone mad.

OK, so a bigoted egomaniac who is against minorities and women is the world’s new Commander-in-chief, but is it really cause for an outbreak of mass hysteria?

Students at the University of Michigan have been offered colouring books to calm them.

Cornell University, an Ivy League college in New York state, held a campus-wide “cry-in,” with seniors handing out blankets, tissues and hot chocolate.

Tufts University in Massachusetts staged arts and crafts sessions for its devastated students, and campuses throughout the country cancelled classes because students asked or professors were too distraught to teach.

And in Australia, where we are all meant to be tougher, it was primary schoolers rather than adults who were feeling the heat of post-election disappointment.

Children as young as five have been chanting death threats as the backlash of the Trump presidency was felt across Sydney’s inner west.

The After School Klub at Newtown Public School confirmed it held a special art therapy lesson after students chanted “we hate Trump”, theInner West Courier reported.

The After School Klub supervisor Bek Ames said her students were visibly upset following the election on Thursday. “When I came in the kids were upset and chanting ‘we hate Trump’ and these are kindergarten kids who are five and six years old,” she said.

“Some of the kids were saying we should kill Trump and Trump should kill himself. “I have never seen anything like this before — when we had the (Australian) election some of them talked about it but most didn’t know what was going on.”

While Ms Ames responded appropriately to the clearly disturbed children in her after school class, it is fair to ask from where did they get this trauma. Yep, their parents, who started trumpeting on social media last Wednesday morning the advent of a new world order and wailing when they didn’t get it.

When Hillary Clinton failed to launch, it was like the end of the world for the newly traumatised.

But emotional disturbance among minors doesn’t come from television reports.

Sorry, but the kids got it from their hysterical parents ... proclaiming the end of the world because of, to repeat it, an election result in a western democracy.

“All my dreams are shattered,” posted one woman on Facebook, as if Ms Clinton was likely to fulfil those dreams.

People are allowed to be disappointed, but the carry-on post Donald Trump’s election is ludicrous.

There are holocausts and genocides, reigns of terror and terror attacks which visit great loss and heartache upon families, and have a lasting effect on the communities around them.

Narcissistic tyrants and egotistical bad men were behind them all, and if Pol Pot or Stalin, Hitler or Abu Bakar Bashir had the mass media to broadcast their messages of hate, schoolkids would need more than Play-Doh and therapy dogs.

And in countries between despots and dictators, there is ever present grinding poverty, poor education and health care.

By all means, protest, rise up against him, but stop the emotional catastrophe.

Trump might prove to be the worst bastard ever to grace office, or he just be the Homer Simpson of Capitol Hill — largely useless and desperate to please.


U.S. Hosts More than 1 Million International Students

Seven percent more international students studied at U.S. institutions last year, reaching more than 1 million and focusing on engineering, computer science and STEM.

This data come from the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs released each year.

“The Open Doors findings show that international students value the quality, diversity and strong reputation of U.S. institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers,” said IIE President Allan Goodman.

“At the Institute of International Education, we believe American colleges and universities offer a premiere education and valuable training to students from around the globe and that students from other nations also teach us a lot about the world we share. The more we can open doors to other cultures for our students, the better off our country and our world will be.”

Those more than 1 million international students represent 5 percent of the total student population in the U.S. More than a third of these 1 million international students studied engineering, math or computer science: 14 percent engaged in practical training in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) professions.

“The growth in international STEM students is likely connected to the 25 percent increase in students from India, more than three quarters of who study in these fields,” the report said.

Open Doors also reports on U.S. students. More than 313,000 U.S. students received credit last year for study abroad during 2014-2015. That is up nearly 3 percent from the previous year. Approximately a quarter of these students majored in STEM fields.

More U.S. students — over 22,000 in 2014-2015 — participated in work abroad that did not offer school credit or pay, the report said. Many served in internships and volunteered to gain practical skills, IIE said.

“We need to empower more of America’s future leaders to experience the world beyond our borders,” said Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “International education helps people develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy, and creates networks across borders that improve international understanding and strengthen the national security of the United States.”

While more international students came to the U.S. to study, fewer females were among them, the reports said: Only 43 percent of international students to the U.S. during 2015-2016 were women, down from 45 percent five years ago.

The study attributed this to fewer women studying in STEM fields worldwide.

However, 67 percent of Americans studying abroad were women.

“The racial and ethnic diversity has improved modestly each year since 2004-2005, with 27 percent of U.S. students who studied abroad in 2014-15 identified as racial or ethnic minorities, up from 17 percent a decade ago. Open Doors reports that about 5 percent of those who studied abroad were people with disabilities.

“Studying abroad is one of the best ways to prepare to enter and succeed in the interconnected, globalized workforce, yet 90 percent of American college students do not study or intern outside of the United States. We owe it to the next generation of Americans to find ways to make it more accessible to a wider range of students,” said IIE’s President, Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “Some U.S. students studying in STEM fields had found it challenging to study abroad. But this is changing, and global experience is increasingly crucial to success in all fields.”

While Europe hosts more than half of U.S. students abroad, Cuba, Mexico and Greece experienced the highest rate of growth with an 18 percent increase. “Open Doors data indicate the Ebola crisis likely deterred U.S. students from traveling to sub-Saharan Africa, as the number of U.S. students in that region fell by 20 percent,” the report said.

Other key findings include:

    China and India remained the top countries to send students to the U.S. and accounted for 84 percent of the growth in international students in 2015-2016.

    Saudi Arabia surpassed South Korea to become the third-largest sender of international students to the United States. Saudi Arabia saw a sharp decline in students to the U.S. after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

    Brazil sent 18 percent fewer students to the U.S. in 2015-2016, likely because of “a freeze” in the Brazilian government’s Scientific Mobility Program.

    California hosted nearly 150,000 international students in 2015-2016, making it the top destination for students from abroad. Four of the top 20 U.S. host institutions for international students were located in California, with the University of Southern California ranking second, just behind New York University.

    New York is the second leading host state, and New York City is the leading host metropolitan area.

    International students bring nearly $36 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.


No comments: