Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Repeal and replace universities

The political left has made a complete pig's breakfast of our educational system.

Political intolerance is now the official policy at colleges and universities across the United States with violence or the threat thereof as the means of enforcing extreme leftist orthodoxy.

In February, a proposed speech by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos precipitated riots at the University of California Berkeley as protesters smashed ATMs and bank windows, looted a Starbucks, beat Trump supporters, pepper-sprayed innocent individuals, and set fires in the street. The speech was cancelled.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was forced to cancel her speech at Berkeley, after law enforcement sources announced that there was a "99% chance" of violence from left-wing activists if the speech was held.

Eric Clanton, a faculty member at California's Diablo Valley College and alleged ANTIFA (self-proclaimed anti-fascist but in reality anti-First Amendment) activist, who spends "a lot of time thinking about REVOLUTION," is the prime suspect in bloody attacks, where a bicycle lock was used as a weapon to assault free speech campaigners and Trump supporters. Clanton's Diablo Valley College profile has now been scrubbed, but according to the WayBack Machine, he joined the faculty in 2015 and "His primary research interests are ethics and politics." Got that? He teaches ethics in politics.

Clanton's lead professor for his Master's degree thesis was Muhammad Azadpur, who has frequently lectured at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy in Tehran, is an advocate of Obama's Iranian nuclear deal, took part in a 2015 panel that justified the brutal Paris nightclub attacks and argued that Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 did not take place due to Islam or Islamic radicalism, but it was "directly proportional to the level of tyrannical manipulations" of the United States.

Rather than training in preparation for success in life, the exorbitant costs of higher education are mainly devoted to leftist political indoctrination.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the percentage of young adults living with their parents has risen to 75-year high, likely because the economic usefulness of brainwashing by a gaggle of tenured radicals has reached an all-time low.

As an interesting coincidence, it seems that the demand for Social Justice Warriors in the American job market numerically matches the supply of Social Justice Warriors who survived Stalin's firing squads - which is zero.

Academic political intolerance or Totalitarianism 101 is both deliberate and as old as the Russian Revolution.

It is based on an essay "Repressive Tolerance" written in 1965 by Herbert Marcuse, an adherent of the Soviet-controlled Frankfurt School, which was the cultural arm of the Communist International founded to undermine western Judeo-Christian democracy from within.

Fred Bauer, in his article "The Left and ‘Discriminating Tolerance,'" captures Marcuse's inverted logic and identifies the origin of the political intolerance presently practiced at U.S. academic institutions:

"Marcuse argued that, because of the radical repressiveness of Western society, a tolerance for all viewpoints actually contributed to social oppression. A pervasive network of assumptions and biases implicitly privileges the viewpoint of the powerful, so that seemingly ‘equal' presentations of opposite opinions actually end up benefiting the viewpoint of the powerful.

He offered the example of a magazine running a piece criticizing the FBI along with one praising the FBI. Fair and balanced? Not so fast, Marcuse said: ‘the chances are that the positive [story] wins because the image of [the FBI] is deeply engraved in the mind of the people.' Because of social programming, the inhabitants of a given society automatically favor certain values. The ideological playing field's lack of levelness means that seemingly equal presentations of ideas are not really equal."

"In the light of this situation, Marcuse made a rather cunning inversion (one that has been aped countless times since by cultural organs across the United States): The fact that society is so radically unequal means that we should be intolerant and repressive in the name of tolerance and liberty. He rejected what he termed ‘indiscriminate tolerance' - a tolerance that accepts all viewpoints - in favor of ‘liberating tolerance' or ‘discriminating tolerance.'

Unlike many of his disciples, Marcuse was frank about what this intolerance would mean: ‘Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.' When many in the media junked the Bush-era refrain, ‘Dissent is patriotic', and began to suggest that dissent during the Obama administration was a product of some unhealthy motivation (especially racism), they were putting into practice Marcuse's theory of ‘discriminating tolerance.'"

The political extremism in academia can only persist by inventing ever increasing degrees of extremism and can only survive in an environment devoid of alternatives.

The time has long passed for the diversion of federal funds away from politically intolerant colleges and universities to more practical and effective regionally-based business/online educational consortia that fulfill the needs of the marketplace, community and the students rather than perpetuating leftist propaganda mills dedicated only to their own institutional self-preservation.

"Too much of what is called ‘education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality." - Thomas Sowell


University of California’s Secret Slush Funds

University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and also the former governor of the state of Arizona, appears to have been caught by California state auditors with her hand in the proverbial public tax dollar cookie jar.

Writing at Coyote Blog, Warren Meyer, who runs a business that manages campgrounds at publicly-owned parks and forests, remembers that another California state agency’s bureaucrats were also caught hiding state taxpayer funds from the state’s legislature, and even used the same excuses now being offered up by Napolitano and her fellow university administrators.

Pretty much the entire management team of California State Parks got fired for doing almost the exact same thing, with the exact same excuses.

California state parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned and her second-in-command was fired Friday after officials discovered the department has been sitting on “hidden assets” totalling [sic] nearly $54 million.

The money accumulated over 12 years in two special funds the department uses to collect revenue and pay for operations: $20.4 million in the Parks and Recreation Fund, and $33.5 million in the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund.

The money accumulated, state officials said, because the parks department had a pattern of under-reporting the actual size of the funds in its regular dealings with the state Department of Finance.

Ms. Coleman (who I worked with a few times and liked) was frankly an easier “kill” because, while long tenured in the state parks job, she really did not have a lot of political muscle. Napolitano does. Relying on consistent standards would say Napolitano should go, but government has never been about applying consistent standards, only power. So we shall see.

With such a history, perhaps a good question to ask is how many other California state government agencies are similarly attempting to stash taxpayer funds out of the sight of the state’s taxpayers? If that unethical practice is likewise occurring at multiple state agencies, it might provide the leverage needed by responsible state officials to clean house and to oust the politically-entrenched administrators at the University of California.


Australia: Fat cat universities to get reduced Federal funding

UNIVERSITY funding will be slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars in the May Budget after a report found they receive enough revenue to cover the cost of teaching most degrees.

Student fees are likely to rise and graduates will likely be required to pay back their loans faster under the sweeping changes, Fairfax Media reports.

Universities will reportedly face new efficiency measures of between 2 and 3 per cent to be phased in over a number of years.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham will foreshadow the education package to be announced at next week’s Budget at a higher education and business event in Canberra tonight.

It’s understood he will point to a report by Deloitte Access Economics which shows universities receive enough funding, through government and student fees, to cover the costs of teaching most degrees.

The report shows the average cost of delivery per student grew 9.5 per cent between 2010 and 2015, while funding per student grew by 15 per cent.

Universities received $19,285 per student place in 2016.

Government figures show the average cost of an undergraduate place is $16,000 and for postgraduates $20,000.

The government acknowledges funding in some areas — such as dentistry and veterinary studies — didn’t cover the cost of delivery but says the vast majority of courses could be delivered cheaper than the level of funding provided.

Senator Birmingham says this showed the record level of funding for universities had grown beyond the cost of their operations.

“Universities have a vital role to play in Australia but many mums and dads are feeling the pinch of tighter budgets at home and want to know their tax dollars are being used effectively and efficiently,” he said on Monday. “Universities need to invest taxpayer money judiciously and with appropriate public scrutiny and accountability.”

Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek has slammed the proposed efficiency measures.

The government should not be “slashing” money from education to repair the budget, Ms Plibersek said.

She also questioned the Deloitte report’s credibility.

“Isn’t it surprising that when the government commissions a company to do a report to justify cuts to university funding and increases to student costs that the report comes out saying we should cut university funding and increase student costs,” she said.

Ms Plibersek also laughed off suggestions Labor had promised similar efficiency measures, saying funding for education had nearly doubled to $14 billion under the Rudd and Gillard governments.

Universities have tried to pre-empt any funding cuts with an analysis the sector says shows it has contributed $3.9 billion to the budget bottom line in recent years. The sector’s peak body says there is no capacity to absorb further cuts.


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