Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Charles Murray speech draws Harvard protesters

CAMBRIDGE — Nearly 100 protesters, including college students and local residents, greeted lightning-rod libertarian author Charles Murray at Harvard University on Wednesday night.

Fearing a repeat of the violent protests when Murray visited Middlebury College earlier this year, officials had barricades and a heavy police presence outside the university’s Natural History Museum, near where Murray was scheduled to speak.

But the scene — both outside and inside the address — was peaceful.

Murray’s work on intelligence, race, gender, and class has drawn crowds and sparked protests for decades. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called Murray a white nationalist, a label he vigorously denies.

As Murray spoke about IQ and the value of intelligence in the current economy Wednesday, more than a dozen students, some with signs that said “Speak out Against White Nationalists,” quietly got up and walked out.

“I appreciate the way that was done,” Murray said to the students.

Murray spent much of his speech discussing his recent work on the economic stratification of American society and the disdain that elites have shown the working classes and its impact on Donald Trump’s election.

Still, Murray acknowledged that much of the heated debate he generates goes back to his 1994 book, “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life,” which explored the ethnic differences in measures of intelligence. He has also written about whether economic and social success and intelligence in the United States are partly tied to genetics.

Most questions from students Wednesday night focused on his writings about race, intelligence, and genetics.

In a question submitted before the event, one audience member asked directly if Murray was a white supremacist.

“No,” he said, adding that he is “sick of the fact that I’m trying to prove a negative.”

Some students who attended said they appreciated that Murray took a respectful tone.

Erin McCarthy, a sophomore, said she was expecting Murray to say things that were much more controversial and inflammatory.

“I came in feeling heated and came out feeling a little confused,” McCarthy said.

Her friend, Eve Driver, also a sophomore, said she still disagreed with some of what Murray said, but was there to support an open dialogue.

Outside, protesters chanted “Don’t give in to racist fear — everyone is welcome here.” Some held signs that said, “Say no to fascism” and carried an antifa flag, which is a symbol for far-left-leaning militant groups that have resisted neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events.

Nicholas Whittaker, a junior and a member of Harvard’s Black Caucus, who helped organize the protest, said he wanted to make sure objections to Murray’s views were heard. He said he would have preferred if the Murray event had been a panel discussion, where the author’s view could be more vigorously debated.

“There is a lot of talk about free speech thrown around,” he said. “We wanted to throw our speech out there.”

Scott Gilbert, a resident from the Greater Boston area with Refuse Fascism, said Murray shouldn’t have been invited.

“Charles Murray is a known white supremacist, a pseudo scientist — all his literature has been debunked in the ’80s and ’90s, but he’s still spewing his [research] out and being promoted by places like Harvard,” Gilbert said.

At Middlebury College in Vermont this past March, student protesters interrupted Murray’s speech and injured a professor as she escorted him out the building.

A political scientist and a Harvard graduate, Murray’s controversial books, in addition to “The Bell Curve,” include “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” published in 2012.

He was invited to speak at Harvard by the Open Campus Initiative, a student organization that says it was launched last year to promote free speech on college campuses by inviting controversial speakers to events.

Also Wednesday night, the undergraduate Black Caucus and the school’s Black Student Alliance held a panel discussion nearby, with speakers who focused on why inviting Murray to speak at Harvard was a mistake and discussed flaws in his work.

Walter Johnson, professor of African and African-American Studies, called Murray’s appearance “performance art, a spectacle to trigger a response.”

The event drew about 100 people.


Why the Trump Administration Is Rewriting Campus Sexual Assault Rules: 5 Men Who Were Falsely Convicted

"One university leader was rightly appalled when he was asked by an Office for Civil Rights official: 'Why do you care about the rights of the accused?'" – Betsy DeVos

One of the many disasters the Obama Administration put in place was a reinterpretation of Title IX that led to colleges setting up kangaroo courts that were heavily stacked against men in rape cases. Men were not given due process; the standard of guilt was changed from beyond a shadow of a doubt to “a preponderance of the evidence;” men were denied meaningful counsel; men were not allowed access to information gathered by the college proving their guilt and allowing men to cross-examine their accusers was discouraged. In other words, if you’re a man charged with rape on a college campus, you’re essentially guilty until proven innocent by a hostile system.

Unsurprisingly, this system has produced a significant number of false convictions. Now, some people might say that’s impossible because “women never lie about rape.” Of course, many women would never lie about rape, but A LOT of women HAVE lied about rape. Tawana Brawley, Emma Sulkowicz (Mattress Girl), the Jackie Coakley Rolling Stone case and the Duke Lacrosse case are some of the most famous examples, but depending on the numbers you believe, it can be quite common,

According to the FBI, a higher percentage of rape claims are false than any other criminal complaint - 8 percent compared to 2 percent for other crimes. More detailed studies have found much higher rates of false rape charges. A study of all rape allegations in a midwestern city over nine years found 41 percent were false and a study of more than a thousand rape allegations on Air Force bases over the course of four years concluded that 46 percent were false. In 27 percent of the cases, the accuser recanted.

Rape is a terrible thing and if it were up to me, men who are convicted of it would be impaled on a sharp spike. However, because rape is such a terrible thing, it is extremely important that we don’t falsely label men as rapists. It’s very true that when a woman is raped, she has been victimized and that incident can have devastating consequences for her life. However, men can also face devastating consequences if they’re falsely branded as rapists.

Here are five examples of men who could tell you all about that. Once you read their stories (many of which were covered by my friend Ashe Schow who does great work on this issue), you’ll understand why the Trump Administration is doing the right thing by addressing these rules (PS: I could have easily done a lot more than five, but because of space limitations, I had to keep the number down).

1) “John Doe” at Swarthmore:  “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” kissed. A week later, after a date, “John Doe” engaged in some sort of sexual activities with a “Jane Doe” that DID NOT include intercourse.  Later on, by her own account, “Jane Doe” initiated sexual intercourse with “John Doe.”

Nineteen months later, “Jane Doe” claimed she had been “coerced” into the FIRST TWO ENCOUNTERS (the kiss and the activities that did not include intercourse).

The university investigated and decided to drop the incident without filing any charges against “John Doe.” After two other students filed complaints unrelated to John Doe with the Department of Education, Swarthmore’s President announced a “zero tolerance” policy for its sexual assault policy (I should hope it was zero tolerance before). “John Doe’s case was then reopened and he was convicted of “sexual misconduct.” Afterwards he was expelled. Eventually, the school settled a lawsuit with “John Doe” and admitted that it unfairly charged him.

2) “John Doe” at Brandeis University: This one involved two gay men who were in a 21-month long relationship. After they broke up, the “victim” claimed his boyfriend once awakened him with a kiss while encouraging him to have sex and on another occasion, patted his groin without permission. After he filed a claim, Brandeis gave “Doe” a disciplinary warning and ordered him to attend mandatory training despite the fact that he wasn’t given a hearing. “Doe” then claims that this information was leaked by Brandeis, which cost him an internship along with multiple job offers which were withdrawn. “John Doe” eventually dropped his lawsuit (But not his Title IX complaint) against Brandeis after a judge tore into Brandeis for the unjust way it handled the case.

3) Justin Brown and Alphonso Baity at the University of Findlay: Both men, separately had sex with a woman who accused them of rape. Their roommates were around. They said it was consensual. Other women visiting the house said it was consensual. In fact, some of them noted that they could HEAR HER loudly consenting to sex. The woman herself said the encounter was consensual….before she changed her mind 10 days later. The university refused to interview Brown and Baity’s roommates, threatened the visiting women who corroborated their stories and didn’t even hold an official hearing. Forty eight hours after the accusation was made, both men were expelled and an email was sent out to the student body telling them why. This led to news stories that noted the men were accused of sexual assault. Neither student has ever been charged with a crime and they’re suing the university.

4) “John Doe” at Amherst College: John Doe was blackout drunk and his roommate’s girlfriend performed oral sex on him. Even the university said that it considered Doe’s claim of being blackout drunk to be “credible.”  Immediately afterwards the “victim” sent exculpatory texts to a female friend,

 “Ohmygod I jus did something so f*ckig stupid" [sic throughout]. She then proceeded to fret that she had done something wrong and her roommate would never talk to her again, because "it's pretty obvi I wasn't an innocent bystander."

She also had consensual sex with another man AGAIN THAT SAME NIGHT. Later, when Doe’s girlfriend found out about her friend’s encounter with her boyfriend, their friendship ended.

TWO YEARS later the “victim” accused John Doe of sexual assault. He was then expelled. Later, after his lawyer came across the texts that the university never bothered to run down, Amherst refused to reopen the case. There’s currently a court case working its way through the system.

5) "John Doe" at the University of Colorado Boulder: “John Doe” met “Jane Doe” at a frat party. They were both drinking, made out and eventually had sex. A few days later, “Jane Doe” told the Boulder police that she was sexually assaulted. As the police investigated, she lied to them several times and admitted she was angry at “John Doe” for rejecting her and wanted “the s*** to be scared out of him.”

Bizarrely, despite the fact that the police found no evidence of sexual assault and “Jane Doe’s” ADMISSION to the university that she lied to the police, “John Doe” was found guilty and suspended from campus. “John Doe” sued the university and it chose to settle the case.


UK: A NATIONWIDE school maths competition has come under fire after it emerged pupils must answer one of the questions entirely in Gaelic or Scots

Scots is just another English dialect and Britain has a lot of dialects so it should be widely understod

A nationwide maths competition has come under fire
The SNP was heavily criticised after maths standards fell to their lowest ever level in a global study last year, with Scotland plunging from fifth place to 15th place in the world.

It came just weeks after Education Secretary John Swinney launched an initiative to drive up numeracy skills and improve confidence among pupils, teachers and parents.

One of the main events of this year's Maths Week Scotland, which begins tomorrow, is a competition called Maths Wi Nae Borders.

It is open to any class in Scotland and features five questions, including one written in Gaelic and Scots with no English translation. Pupils must also give their answer in Gaelic or Scots using a minimum of 30 words.

In Scots, the question reads: "Ailsa 'n' Catriona fin' three tartan bunnets in thair faither's bedroom. Wan o' the bunnets wis blue an' the ither twa wur rid. Aw o' a sudden, the lecky goes aff in the hoose - the lassies are left in pure pitch black. Baith of them grab a bunnet, whap it oan and huv a donner ootside. Ailsa heids oot furst so Catriona spots the colour o' Ailsa's bunnet. Afore Ailsa even turns roon, Catriona pipes up 'Ah dinnae ken whit colour mah bunnet is'. Ailsa replies 'That means ah ken the colour o' mine!' Whit colour is Ailsa's bunnet? Explain how ye ken."

According to the 2011 census, only around 5,000 of Scotland's 624,000 5-15 year olds were able to speak, read and write in Gaelic while a further 124,000 could speak, read and write in Scots.

This means that up to half a million pupils would be unable to answer the question and therefore denied a realistic chance of winning the Maths Wi Nae Borders contest.

All participating teams will receive a certificate while the winners will receive a trophy and prizes for individual pupils and the school's maths department.

Last night, Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: "This is needless tokenism by the SNP especially as it will mean that lots of children will be unable to answer that particular question.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour is calling on opposition parties to back a review of teachers' pay and conditions.

Iain Gray has written to the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens asking them to support him to ensure staff do not leave the profession.

More than 40 per cent of Scottish teachers are considering leaving their job in the next 18 months due to stress, according to a survey published last week.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “Maths Week is the first ever week-long celebration of maths and numeracy and we encourage as many people as possible to take part. This is just one of a huge range of activities taking place all over Scotland throughout the week, including another national competition being run by Sumdog.”


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