Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

VIDEO: Here’s the Proof That Big Government Can’t Fix Poverty

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

Reason‘s Jim Epstein reports on the extremely pricey efforts to fix public education in the nation’s poorest small town:

By far, the largest initiative to combat poverty with government largess has been directed at Camden’s public schools. New Jersey spends about 60% more on education per pupil than the national average according to 2012 census figures, or about $19,000 in 2013. In Camden, per pupil spending was more than $25,000 in 2013, making it one of the highest spending districts in the nation.

But all that extra money hasn’t changed the fact that Camden’s public schools are among in the worst in the nation, notorious for their abysmal test scores, the frequent occurrence of in-school violence, dilapidated buildings, and an on-time graduation rate of just 61 percent.

Watch the video (above), which is the first of three parts. The rest are available at the link, which I would have headlined “Required Reading” if I hadn’t already posted one of those today.

******

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Read bullet |

The Un-Popular Face of Black Activism in America

Sunday, January 25th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

“Black” has become an idol. Oddly enough we learned that lesson through the making of Selma, a film focused on the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who boldly declared, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Director Ava DuVernay defended the rewriting of history into what amounts to a black power narrative (mythical kneeling blacks before white cops and all), stating, “This is art; this is a movie; this is a film. I’m not a historian. I’m not a documentarian.” The mainstream media jumped on the bait thrown out by the film’s star David Oyelowo, who declared that ”parallels between Selma and Ferguson are indisputable.” The fact that neither the Academy nor filmgoers fell march-step in line only acted as further proof of the conspiracy against “black and brown people” in Hollywood.

The race war fomented in the rise of the Black Power movement (the nasty “alternative” to King’s civil rights movement) continues unabated. In fact, it has opened on a new front, one that ties racial strife with national security and even international relations. Playing on strong ties to the Nation of Islam, Black Power now has its eye set on the Palestinian territories and places like Ferguson, Missouri, and the like are set to become the next battleground in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making way for the planting of hotbeds of radical Islamic terror.

But, to tell the story of Ferguson and Florida’s black activists traveling on solidarity missions to the Palestinian territories is to exact the same kind of indecent omissions as DuVernay. There are blacks out there who support Israel and who, in fact, draw inspiration from the civil rights movement in doing so. The primary difference between these black Zionists and their Black Power counterparts: They are motivated by Jesus, not Islam.

YouTube Preview Image

in 2006, Cornetta Lane an African American at Wayne State University, even went as far as expressing this support by singing Hatikvah in front of an anti-Israel protester who claimed that Israel was a racist state.When Jewish students asked at the time why she sang Hatikvah, Cornetta replied that her pastor, Glen Plummer, explained that Jews significantly helped out African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and that Jews contributed significantly to both the NAACP and the Urban League, and were advisers to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thus, when she saw that there was going to be an anti-Israel rally, Cornetta decided to take this step.

Much like Cornetta Lane, Chloe Valdary has drawn on her uniquely Biblical Christian upbringing and study of the civil rights movement to develop her own brand of Zionist activism. Dubbed “the Lioness of Zion,” Valdary started a pro-Israel student group on her college campus that garnered national attention, turning the college student into a speaker for a variety of Zionist organizations, including CAMERA and CUFI:

The parallels’ between the black struggle during the civil rights movement and the Jewish people today insofar as the legitimacy of Zionism is concerned is staggering. Martin Luther King Jr. [was] a Zionist but more importantly he realized that we must advance our duty when advancing the cause of human rights today. If he were alive today, he would surely be pro-Israel. This is one of the reasons why I am such a staunch Zionist.

YouTube Preview Image

Valdary is not alone. Dumisani Washington, a pastor and music teacher in Northern California, has formed the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, an organization “dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Jewish people, and people of African descent through education and advocacy.” Raised a Christian, Washington had a strong interest in the Old Testament and Hebrew history at a young age. Growing up in the segregated south, he drew inspiration from the Exodus as well as Martin Luther King:

Dr. King was a staunch supporter of the State of Israel and a friend of the Jewish people. Many who know of his legacy know of his close relationship with Rabbi [Avraham] Joshua Heschel as well as the Jewish support for the Black civil rights struggle. Many are unaware, however, of the negative push back Dr. King got from some people. Particularly after the 1967 war in Israel, international criticism against the Jewish State began to rise.  Dr. King remained a loyal friend, and made his most powerful case for Israel almost 1 year after the Six Day War – and 10 days before his death.

YouTube Preview Image

Both Valdary and Washington have raised the ire of pro-Palestinian organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), an organization that misappropriates black history and depicts black supporters of Israel as the Uncle Toms of the 21st century. Contrary to the Black Power impetus forging the Ferguson-Palestine relationship, Washington has outlined the differences between the Palestinian liberation and civil rights movements, and in an open letter to SJP, Valdary condemned the organization, writing:

You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Americans remain blind to these modern day civil rights/Zionist activists because, contrary to the preaching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we have been made into a color-centric society by the Black Power movement and its contemporary descendants. Race has become an idol. Black Power has created the mythical “black and brown faces” to be honored through tokens of affirmative action while sacrificing living human beings on the altar of ghetto culture because of the color of their skin. To remain blind to the idolatry of race is to remain blind to the real struggle for civil rights in America, the struggle to be viewed as a human being instead of a race-based demographic or a color-based “minority.” This is the struggle that unites rather than divides us on issues of economy, quality of life, and yes, even national security and the threat of terrorism.

Now, more than ever, we must value each other on the content of our character, lest the idolatry that comes from the obsession with skin color blind us from the true threats unfolding in our midst.

Read bullet |

Exposing Feminism’s Patriarchy Myth on Campus

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

Arthur Chu wrote a wandering epithet over at Salon on “bitter nerd” Scott Aaronson’s rant against feminism. Aaronson’s complaints as detailed in Chu’s piece are far from new. As a graduate teaching assistant I had many male students (rather nerdy types) walk out of film theory classes declaring they were “horrible people” and “secret rapists” because they were born male. In the wake of the campus rape lies of 2014, who can blame these guys for believing feminism is conducting its own War Against Men:

This is not a debate about gender roles. It is not about economics or the esoterica of hateful radicals in an ivory tower. This is a war, an ideological campaign to smear all men as moral monsters. It is not a war against “patriarchy” or some imagined evil rich guy. This is a war on men as such – of all races and social classes. It is a war against your brothers, sons, fathers, friends and relatives. And right now, the bad guys and girls are winning.

“…[H]ow could [Aaronson] be targeted by books written by second-wave feminists when he was a toddler?” Chu asks incredulously. Camille Paglia answers Chu in her book Vamps and Tramps, and most recently in her Time magazine piece on the overblown campus rape epidemic. Second-wave feminists believe themselves to be superior human beings through a pseudo-science that negates biology, psychology and religion in favor of a sterile view of the world as a grand social order which must be maintained and controlled through Marxist politics. To put it rather simply, the second wave threw out biology and psychology and mocked God, making a target of every man like Scott who reads feminist literature only to walk away convinced that he’s an inherent rapist because he was born male. As Paglia explains:

The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light.

Paglia details that Marxist feminists “…simplistically project outward onto a mythical ‘patriarchy’ their own inner conflicts and moral ambiguities.” Men have no such external myth on which to blame what Chu calls “internal demons” which is why for men these moral struggles are easily chalked off as “slippery things.” Chu writes

I do know that what could help women… is to find the guys who are doing bad things to her and stop those guys from doing that. That’s why feminism is more focused on women’s issues than men’s, because women’s issues are the things happening out in the world where we can do something about them.

This absurdity is an outgrowth of the second wave’s politicization of male rape. Female rape, highly eroticized in the ’70s, was legitimized by the feminist movement as sexual fantasy only to become an illicit crime when acted out by a male counterpart. Paglia notes, “…the illicit is always highly charged,” which is why the issue of campus rape has become the most highly charged issue of feminism today. This also explains why rape has become the source for such incredible moral ambiguity and why men, the mythical figures onto which the moral ambiguities of the female sex are projected, are increasingly blamed for women’s bad sexual decision-making.

 YouTube Preview Image

The story of Molly Morris and Corey Mock is nothing new to the campus rape scene. Having met on Tinder, a social media app designed to fulfill hook-up scenarios, Mock pursued classmate Morris, who played hard to get until agreeing to a breakfast date. Morris took Mock up on his invitation to a party, but wound up not arriving until 2 a.m., only to find a bunch of male wrestlers with few female faces in the crowd. Partaking in plenty of booze, Morris implies she was drugged and woke up the next day naked in bed with Mock. She decided not to go to the police because “she was not emotionally ready to enter a criminal justice system that would scrutinize her life and choices.”

Her’s is a pathetic excuse that permits the consequences of her bad decision-making to be projected onto the mythical patriarchy represented by Mock and the criminal justice system. When Morris finally did approach their university’s administration Mock was found innocent, then guilty, then granted a stay and finally expelled from the school in what amounted to a politically motivated public relations debacle. Mock’s side of the story is only given by his father via the comment field at the end. He explicitly details his son’s sexual encounter to make it clear that it was, indeed, consensual. After explaining what happened to his son, he concludes, “Morally and ethically I want to say, don’t have sex until you get married. We all know that would be naive.”

Would it? The reality is that abstinence has become the only 100% guaranteed way to avoid being falsely accused of sexual assault. That reality check highlights the long-forgotten intrinsic value of abstinence culture. The moralists who promoted that antiquated agenda understood that the allure of sexuality and the power of sex needed to be contextualized through marriage so societal order could be maintained. When society rejected marriage culture, it implicitly accepted the second-wave feminist alternative. Hence, every man is a rapist and every woman a victim.

Paglia argues that “rape will not be understood until we revive the old concept of the barbaric, the uncivilized.” Likewise, the problem of campus rape – that is, second-wave feminism’s grotesque predilection for falsely accusing male sex partners of assault in an attempt to soothe their own wounded pride and troubled souls – will not cease until moral order, built on a solid biological and psychological understanding of the individual and an acceptance of moral responsibility on the part of both parties, is restored.

Read bullet |

Feminism: Adding an ‘F’ to LGBTQ Activism

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

When you’re constantly relying on a third party to define your sexuality, you’re inevitably going to write yourself onto the sidelines of social activism, which is precisely what contemporary feminism is currently doing. With its insane Marxist belief that biological “sex” and “gender” are two separate entities that do not overlap or influence each other, contemporary feminism has bought into postmodern subjectivity. Issues are left to be parsed in terms of value judgments rendered by individuals on the basis of sheer whim. This includes defining what it means to be a woman.

It’s bad enough when contemporary feminists attack shopping malls for categorizing “boys” versus “girls” clothing. The complaint is always the same: “My daughter wanted a superhero shirt that was unavailable in the girls’ department!” Pants were unavailable in the girls’ department 100 years ago. Women wore them anyway. Instead of raising independent thinkers, contemporary feminists raise dependent complainers who derive their entire sense of gender identity from a store’s marketing department. This is the dark side of allowing society to define your gender. Suddenly a generation of women is convinced they have male tendencies because they have a penchant for Superman. It couldn’t be that they want to wear his logo because they find him strong, appealing, or — God-forbid — attractive. Because his logo is sported in the boys’ department only, it must mean any little girl who wants to wear his shirt is obviously a trannie.

Read bullet |

What a VodkaPundit-Style Free Community College Plan Looks Like

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

******
Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Read bullet |

New Institutions Rise as Older Catholic Colleges Shed Their Roots

Sunday, January 11th, 2015 - by Pierre Comtois

Is there a difference between Catholic colleges and any state university?

For many, there is, with the image of a Catholic college being smaller maybe, with cassocked priests criss-crossing the greens, quiet halls and ordered dorm rooms where crucifixes on the walls remind students of their faith, church bells ringing out morning and evening prayers, and the voices of religious brothers echoing in the approaching twilight.

With well over 250 institutions of higher learning in the United States, Catholic colleges like Georgetown University (founded in 1789), have been in business since the nation’s founding. Over most of that time, all managed to maintain their identity as primarily religious institutions with the occasional Hollywood film reinforcing their image during the 1940s and ’50s.

The reality however, is that most Catholic colleges, having been a part of the American scene for over 100 years, have evolved over time, accommodating themselves to scholastic standards valued by their secular counterparts.

Read bullet |

Your Guide to Museum Hopping In The Big Apple

Sunday, January 11th, 2015 - by Arlene Becker Zarmi

 NYCArtMuseum

Jugglers, mimes, keyboard artists, and assorted musicians perform on the steps of one of New York City’s most prestigious museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These performers are part of New York City’s museum scene every weekend when New Yorkers and visitors alike make the rounds of the many museums in the Big Apple.

New York can well be called Museum City, USA, with more museums than any other city in the country. There are museums of art, history, science, music, broadcasting, fashion, and almost as many museums as there are cultures, professions, and interests. Many are small, offbeat, and sometimes only one floor large, their likes not found outside the Big Apple. A museum hopping trip to New York will be both unusual and educational, and you’ll find that even after you think you’ve seen them all, a new one opens!

New York museums aren’t just collections of things. Some offer concerts, poetry readings, lectures, and movies. Most museums are in Manhattan and can be toured by area, as the larger ones are within walking blocks of one another on “Museum Mile”.  A few are in different part of New York City. Many are closed on Mondays, open late mornings, and have shops where you can buy items related to the collections, like books and postcards. Many even have restaurants.

Read bullet |

The West’s Multiculturalist Elite Proves the Greatest Threat to Islamic Reform

Friday, January 9th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Ahmed Merabet, the police officer who first responded to the terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices only to get shot to death at point-blank range by the attackers, will inevitably become the poster boy for both sides of the Muslim debate. His truth was that of a Muslim who integrated into French society and professionally defended Western values resulting in his untimely murder at the hands of Islamic radicals. That truth is already being manipulated by multiculturalist news outlets bent on defending universalism despite its deathly consequences.

The Atlantic is using Merabet’s story to drum up what they believe to be obvious anti-Muslim sentiment in France, obvious only because news agencies scrambling to cover the Charlie Hebdo story didn’t jump on Merabet’s paragraph to defend Islam against radical Islamic terrorists. (Priorities, people.) Joining with The Atlantic crowd, Max Fisher opines at Vox:

Here is what Muslims and Muslim organizations are expected to say: “As a Muslim, I condemn this attack and terrorism in any form.”

This expectation we place on Muslims, to be absolutely clear, is Islamophobic and bigoted. The denunciation is a form of apology: an apology for Islam and for Muslims. The implication is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise. The implication is also that any crime committed by a Muslim is the responsibility of all Muslims simply by virtue of their shared religion.

Read bullet |

The Plan to Take Back Feminism in 2015

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

Take one look at Mic’s list of feminist triumphs for 2014 and you’ll get the feeling that most of us have over the course of this rather petty year: American feminism doesn’t know what to do with itself. Sure, it pays lip service to international women with its only PC figurehead, Malala Yousafzai, taking the list’s lead. And yes, the editors made sure to include a proportional number of women of color on the list, even if they included Ferguson protestors, leading one to ask why the feminist movement would want to associate itself with the kind of race riots we haven’t seen in this nation in nearly 50 years. But when your greatest triumphs include hashtag activism, conquering “manspreading,” and harassing Bill Cosby over decades-old alleged rape accusations, you illustrate how pathetic you’ve become.

A few of these so-called feminist triumphs were listed among the top feminist fiascos of 2014 in the L.A. Times, along with some real head-hanging, shame-filled moments stretching from #ShirtStorm to #BanBossy. One item on the list, however, strikes a sobering note: Rotherham. The complete lack of American feminist response to the sex trafficking of women in this British town for over two decades should be enough to shame feminists into pursuing a new direction in 2015. Feminism as a biblically grounded, non-sectarian movement for women’s independence can once again play a vital role in American and global culture, as long as its gaze is redirected from the navel to the critical issues facing women today.

Read bullet |

4 Fallacies Killing Feminism

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, two wannabe-famous New York twenty somethings, teamed up to talk sex via their “running soap opera,” “almost reality TV show” podcast Guys We F*cked. Broadcasting under the “anti-slut shaming” banner makes Guys We F*cked appealing to the contemporary feminists at Salon who never turn down the chance to normalize twisted sexuality. Salon assistant editor Jenny Kutner sat down with the comedy duo more commonly known as “Sorry About Last Night” who, as they enter season 2 of their famed podcast, are looking to crowdsource funds from fans while noting that their careers are “…getting better because of the podcast, which is really exciting.”

Performing an editorial feat, Kutner defines the duo’s narcissism as “comedy with a purpose” in her attempt to define the two as feminists. In doing so, the assistant editor at Salon exposes exactly why contemporary feminism is failing 21st century women: Today’s feminists have worked to sever feminism from its historical roots as a biblically-grounded movement for women’s independence. What they’re replacing it with, a “social media feminism” as artist and feminist April Bey has dubbed it, is a mere mask for narcissistic, death-obsessed, goddess worship.

Read bullet |

Why Do Jews Struggle with Chosenness?

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

I have no interest in seeing Ridley Scott’s epic IMAX 3-D meisterwerk Exodus: Gods and Kings. Why would I want to spend money on a “gloriously junky” movie that turns my history into a collection of high-tech special effects laced together by a biased, biblically-inaccurate script? Yet, for however lousy the movie itself might be, it has inspired some interesting commentary on Jewish peoplehood from Emma Green over at the Atlantic. For Green, the film inspired a polemic that highlights the seemingly eternal struggle Jews have with the idea of being called out, that is to say “chosen” by God.

I’ve always found this to be rather asinine as far as ideological burdens go. Most people struggle to find their purpose in life. Jews are born into it. We are here to bring God’s teachings into the world in order to make this earth a better place. This chosen status, this calling doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. It simply gives us a job to do, a role that manifests itself through every aspect of existence, every academic discipline, every profession we’ve ever encountered. Whether we’re religious or not, or politically Left or Right, we (for the most part) are bent on doing our part to make the world a better place. Which is probably why those who hate us the most love to rub our chosenness in our face, intimidating the Emma Greens among us into second guessing our God-given responsibility.

Read bullet |

Chinese-American Mom Says Common Core Is Just Like Education in Communist China

Sunday, November 30th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Lily Tang Williams, a mother of three, testified before the Colorado State Board of Education that Common Core was similar to the education she received growing up in Mao’s Communist China.

“Common Core, in my eyes, is the same as the Communist core I once saw in China,” Williams said. “I grew up under Mao’s regime and we had the Communist-dominated education — nationalized testing, nationalized curriculum, and nationalized indoctrination.”

In a post at FreedomWorks, Williams wrote about her experience with the Chinese education system:

Our teachers had to comply with all the curriculum and testing requirements, or lose their jobs forever. Parents had no choice at all when it came to what we learned in school. The government used the Household Registration and Personnel File system to keep track of its citizens from birth to death.

“I came to this country for freedom and I cannot believe this is happening all over again in this country,” she said in the meeting. “I don’t know what happened to  America, the Shining City on the Hill for freedom.”

She said Americans should not compare their children (or their kids’ test scores) to those being educated under the Chinese system.

“I am telling you, Chinese children are not trained to be independent thinkers,” said Williams. “They are trained to be massive skilled workers for corporations. And they have no idea what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989 where government ordered soldiers to shoot its own 1,000 students.”

Read bullet |

A National Call for Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

Lately my editor, David Swindle, has been encouraging me to develop a series describing my own out-of-the-box Jewish faith. It’s this mish-mosh of biblical proverbs, Torah adages, stories and songs tightly woven together by my American colonial heritage and intense Zionist pride. There is no one perfect word to describe my Jewishness beyond biblical in nature. Orthodox, Conservative, even Reform I am not. Reconstructionist or Renewal? Forget it. But I find commentary from all denominations (“streams” we call them in Judaism) interesting and acceptable in a “with malice towards none, with charity towards all” kind of way that gives me the liberty to define my Judaism in a way most of my compatriots are simply afraid to do. Which is probably why David finds my approach so fascinating. It’s rare to find a Jew who isn’t somehow fettered by the chains of guilt.

So I begin at the beginning, with Thanksgiving, the quintessential Jewish and American holiday. Traditionally Jews celebrate the idea roughly 1-2 months earlier during Sukkot, a festive fall harvest holiday in which we humble ourselves before the God who brought us out of bondage, not because we are perfect, but because He loves us and wanted to dwell with us. (Sukkahs, as in “tabernacles,” as in “the Lord tabernacles with us.”) When you understand the story of God and Israel as a passionate love story, the struggles are contextualized as are the prophecies, into tough tales with happy endings. When you understand the metaphor of God and Israel as a greater metaphor of God’s love for humanity (we’re just the physical reminders) you open your heart to the immense, overwhelming love of God. And there is nothing more you can do as a human being than reflect on that truth with awe-filled gratitude.

Read bullet |

Are America’s Law Graduates Really Getting Dumber?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 - by Helen Smith

shutterstock_154909640

Bloomberg Businessweek has an interesting article about why so many law graduates are failing the bar exam this year (via Newsalert):

The most recent bar exam test results are in, and they are ugly. In several states, people who took the bar in July were more likely to fail than those who took it last year, and scores on one portion of the test dropped to their lowest point in 10 years.

Are America’s law graduates really getting dumber? The people who put together the bar exam seem to think so.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners, a nonprofit that prepares one of the state-specific multiple-choice sections in which scores dropped dramatically, sent a curt message to law school deans in October. “The results are correct,” wrote Erica Moeser, the group’s president, in an Oct. 23 memo. “The group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2013,”…

As fewer people apply to law school, many programs have accepted less-qualified applicants in order to keep class sizes the same and to sustain their bottom line, says Derek Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine University. “This drop, while bigger than expected, is just a sign for what’s going to come for law schools as the incoming classes continue to decline in quality.”

Letting people in who are not qualified seems unfair to the students who invest so much time and then fail the exam. And what about the quality of the lawyers coming out? Is it compromised in terms of practice?

******

Cross-posted from Dr. Helen, image illustration via shutterstock /  

Read bullet |

Ohio May Allow Elimination of Music and Phys Ed Teachers, School Nurses, Librarians, and Social Workers

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Calling it a “horrifying spectacle,” education reformer Diane Ravtich wrote about an upcoming vote by Ohio’s State Board of Education:

On November 11, the Ohio State Board of Education will vote on a motion to eliminate crucial positions at elementary schools. The Board will vote on whether to eliminate “specialist” positions, that include elementary schools arts teachers, elementary school music teachers, elementary school physical education teachers, school nurses, school library media specialists, school counselors, and school social workers. Will they call it “reform”?

Education blogger Peter Greene said the Ohio Board was “gunning” for specialists:

The appeal for districts is obvious. Let’s have one music teacher for 10,000 students. Let’s have no music teacher at all. Great…Do we really need to argue that the poorest, most vulnerable students are the ones who most need these sorts of services and enrichment? Is there somebody in Ohio prepared, seriously, to argue that nurses and music and art and phys ed are unnecessary luxuries, and kids should just pack up their grit and do without?

Is this true? Does the State Board of Education in Ohio really want to deprive poor children of music and art education and social services?

Actually, no.

Currently, the Ohio Administrative Code requires that for every thousand elementary students, schools must have in place five of the following eight specialists: art, music, counselor, school nurse, librarian/media specialist, visiting teacher, social worker, or phys ed – called the “5 of 8″ rule. The state board is simply considering allowing boards to have local control over staffing decisions rather than enforcing an arbitrary number of specialists, regardless of the individual district’s needs.

Tom Gunlock, the board’s vice chairman, told the Plain Dealer that the proposed change (the vote won’t likely take place until December) isn’t intended to eliminate those positions, but to let districts make their own choices.

“I’m sure they’ll do what’s right for their kids,” Gunlock said. ”For years, people have been telling me about all these unfunded mandates and that we’re telling them what to do. They keep telling me they know more about what their kids need that we do, and I agree with them.”

This is actually a good thing. Instead of treating children like numbers and treating all school districts the same, it returns control to local districts so they can decide which (and how many) teachers and specialists they need. As we’ve seen with Common Core, one size does not fit all and local control is better than top-down national (or even state) authority. If you don’t like something your local school board does, you can walk down the street and complain to someone who lives in your community. They’re your neighbors and their kids likely attend the public schools in your district. If they make decisions you don’t like, you can vote them out in the next election and get a new school board.

Nevertheless, near panic has set in in Ohio as word has gone out that very soon, art and music will cease to exist in the state — along with the union jobs that must be protected at all costs (whether they’re needed or not):

Read bullet |

The Progressive Income Tax: Which Side Is ‘Greedy’?

Saturday, November 8th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Read bullet |

10 Signs Common Core Has Gone from Fringe Issue to Mainstream

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

stop_common_core_rotten_to_the_core_button-r863ac01ab1a04608b2bb256b61bc37ff_x7j1f_8byvr_512

When people like Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin first began to sound the alarm on Common Core a few years ago, many people viewed it as a right-wing cause, one of those issues that split cleanly along party and ideological lines and would remain in the conservative camp. The promoters of the Common Core, including the Republican Governors Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and others, surely never saw the tsunami of opposition that was headed their way and now threatens to take down the standards that were adopted by forty-four of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Here are 10 Signs Common Core Has Gone From Fringe Issue to Mainstream:

Read bullet |

8 Reasons Why Jews & Christians Should Re-Think Celebrating Halloween

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

Halloween was always a point of contention in our house growing up. Naturally theatrical, I loved dressing up and relished in making my own costumes. And what kid turns down free candy? Sure, Jewish kids have Purim for these things and more, but when you’re in a mainly gentile neck of the woods, it’s a struggle not to be allowed to join in the party. As I grew into adulthood and took a deeper look at Halloween, however, I began to understand my parents’ objections quite clearly. There are definite reasons why Jews and Christians who base their faith in the Bible should re-think introducing and encouraging their child’s participation in this, the most pagan of American holidays.

Read bullet |

10 Ways Homeschooling Makes Great Families

Monday, October 27th, 2014 - by Karina Fabian

Most of us parents are well into the school-year routine of getting up early to take kids to the bus or school and coming home to do chores before having to watch over the homework situation – and maybe having to do some intervention about something a kid or teacher said or did. Now, imagine spending the day in your pajamas discussing ancient Greece with your kids before sending them to do 20 minutes of math on the computer before getting ready to meet friends at the park — and all as part of their education. Homeschooling is a growing trend in the United States, and in addition to giving their kids a good education without the stress of an institutionalized setting, parents say one of the best advantages is that it makes for closer families. Here are ten reasons why homeschooling brings families closer.

Read bullet |

These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

4LAn4OqL

So far in this ongoing series compiling and organizing the best work from PJ Lifestyle’s contributors I’ve focused on critics and analysts of popular culture from all over the place. To the north in Canada, the punk rock capitalist canadian: “136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.” To the South, guaranteed smiles from a gifted Georgia writer: “116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen.” And to the East Coast, in the wilderness of New Jersey, taking back feminism: “194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Also check out these shorter collections from two newer contributors, focusing on war and comic books: “Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture” and “15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois.”

Today I highlight two more PJ Lifestyle writers who lead the way in other important fronts in the culture wars. What more appropriate way to promote the section’s family themes than to showcase the diverse perspectives from a mom and a dad? Paula Bolyard and Walter Hudson have both been inspirations to edit, learn from, and befriend over the past few years. They’ve both helped to shape my thinking for the day when I become a parent. Take a look at some of their articles and you’ll see why I’m so optimistic about the impact they can both have on the culture…

*****

Paula is tremendously persuasive and compelling in her journalism exploring the world of home schooling. Her critiques of public school education and teachers unions have also shaped my perspective. When I have children someday they’ll be homeschooled. That’s Paula. She’ll change your mind too.

But Paula illuminates on a whole swath of issues. Our collaborations began when PJ was looking for an Ohio contributor in 2012. Paula provided very insightful, accessible coverage then and has returned to covering her home states’s news political controversies, and culture. Post-election I was eager to see Paula explore other topics. She’s had many successful articles on everything from parenting advice to religious commentaries to life reflections to goofy nostalgia pieces. Her pro-life articles are some of the best I’ve ever read — models of how to articulate values and win over fence-sitters.

After you check out a few of Paula’s articles please get in touch with us and let us know what kinds of ideas you’d like to see her explore in the future. Please leave your comments or hit us up on Twitter: @Pbolyard and @DaveSwindle

And now also check out today: “125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson.”

 

Education

  1. When Teachers Act Like Thugs ‘for the Children!’
  2. A Parent Guide to Teachers’ Unions
  3. Has a Century of Progressive Education Turned Us into Obedient Sheep?
  4. Should Parents Take Over Failing Schools?
  5. When Radical Teachers Occupy the Department of Education
  6. Can the Left and Right Find Common Ground on Common Core and High-Stakes Testing?
  7. Arming Teachers in Schools
  8. What is the Cultural Profile for the Class of 2017?
  9. Shelter-in-Place: This Generation’s Duck-and-Cover
  10. Weeping, Confession, and Hugs Replace Reading, Writing, and Math at School
  11. 10 Terrible Common Core Homework Assignments
  12. Should Colleges Have Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  13. Are We Getting Carried Away With Common Core Curriculum Phobia?
  14. 10 Things Your Kids May Never Read Because Common Core Neglects Cursive
  15. How Parents Are Winning the Common Core Debate
  16. Common Core: As Untested as the U.S. Speed Skating Suits
  17. How Can Parents Fight Back Against Federal Bleacher Bullies?
  18. Ohio Lawmakers Hold Common Core Repeal Hearings
  19. Terrorist-Supporting Kent State Professor’s Incendiary, Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts
  20. More Outrage at Kent State About a Sweatshirt Than a Terrorist Sympathizing Professor

Homeschooling

  1. Think You Could Never Homeschool?
  2. Ohio Gives Homeschoolers Equal Access to Sports and Other Activities
  3. Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird if You Homeschool Them?
  4. What If All the Homeschoolers Suddenly Enrolled in Public School?
  5. 7 Objections to Homeschooling Teens
  6. How Common Core is Coming to Homeschoolers
  7. Are Elite Colleges and Universities Discriminating Against Homeschoolers?
  8. 4 Secrets from the Hidden World of Homeschoolers
  9. Does Homeschooling Reduce Opportunities for Women in the Workplace?
  10. An Open Letter to Grandparents of Homeschooled Kids
  11. Ohio Lawmakers Want Social Workers to Have Veto Power Over Decision to Homeschool
  12. UPDATE: Controversial Ohio Homeschool Bill Withdrawn After Grassroots Tsunami Opposes
  13. German Homeschooling Family Can Stay in U.S.
  14. Do Homeschoolers ‘Rob’ Public Schools of Tax Dollars?
  15. Strong Religious Beliefs Can Shape How Women View Homeschooling
  16. 5 Pro Tips for Homeschoolers
  17. The Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op
  18. The Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op
  19. Homeschooling Family Ordered to Follow Common Core Curriculum

Family and Parenting

  1. 4 Benefits of Marrying Young
  2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Your College Kid Home for Christmas)
  3. Raising Boys Who Grow Up to Be Men Who Go to Combat With Women
  4. 5 Busybodies Who Want to Parent Your Kids
  5. Stay-at-Home Moms: Will Your Kids Judge You for Choosing Them Over a Career?
  6. Small-Town Values and Two-Parent Families
  7. 7 Quick Tips for Parents of New College Students
  8. The 5 Best American Historical Fiction Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids
  9. What We Taught Our Boys About Girls Like Miley Cyrus
  10. Was Bad Parenting to Blame for the Sandy Hook Massacre?
  11. Is Your Child a Stealth Dyslexic?
  12. I Agree With Camille Paglia on This Kind of Family Planning for Teens
  13. Implementing Andrew McCarthy’s Proposed Compromise on the Marriage Question
  14. How Do You Survive When Your World Shatters?
  15. How Did We Survive Childhood Before the ’90s Safety Nannies Came Along?

Guns

  1. How I Evolved on Guns During the #BostonPoliceScanner Manhunt
  2. Evolving on Guns: Considering the Morality of Gun Ownership Now That I Refuse to Be a Victim
  3. Evolving on Guns: My First Foray into Gun Culture

Ohio

  1. How to Commit Voter Fraud in Ohio
  2. It’s the Gas Prices, Stupid
  3. Will We See a Florida Recount Rematch in Ohio?
  4. Does Obama Have the Stronger Ground Game in Ohio?
  5. Ohio: Somali Voters, ACORN Tactics, and Voter Fraud Allegations
  6. Ohio Post-Mortem: Glitz, Gimmicks, Sleight-of-Hand, and Witnessing Fraud
  7. Is Ohio Governor John Kasich the Chris Christie of the Midwest?
  8. Cleveland House of Horrors: Should Somebody Have Done Something?
  9. Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Sentenced to 1000 Years, Blames Victims
  10. Cleveland House of Horrors Demolished
  11. Ohio’s Ashland University Slashes Tuition by $10,000
  12. Ohio Paper Can’t Find a Single Person to Argue Against Legalizing Pot… Really??
  13. The Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland
  14. Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes ‘Win Tax’ for Cleveland Sports Teams
  15. Federal Judge Orders Ohio to Restore Early Voting on 3 Days Before Election Day
  16. Conflicted About LeBron’s Return to Cleveland
  17. Ohio Teachers Threaten to Strike Over Being Forced into Obamacare Exchanges
  18. Cleveland School Dumps FLOTUS Lunches for Chipotle-Style Burritos and Clam Chowder
  19. Cleveland VA Still Mired in Huge Backlogs

Nostalgia

  1. Hundreds of Drive-In Theaters May Close Permanently at End of Season
  2. The 1970s Culture Clash in 2 Songs
  3. 10 Modern Technologies We Lived Without in Primitive, Pre-Millennial America
  4. 5 Memories That Will Make You Nostalgic for the 1970s
  5. The 10 Most Terrifying Public Service Announcements from the 1970s
  6. The 10 Most Essential Women’s Shoes in the 1970s
  7. Whatever Happened to Our Top 10 Favorite Tiger Beat Cover Boys From the 1970s?
  8. 10 Comic Book Ads That Destroyed Your Faith in Humanity Before You Hit Puberty

Life Advice and Reflections

  1. Baseball: The Last Refuge from What Divides Us
  2. On September 11, Another Pilot Died in His Seat
  3. 9/11 as the Chilling Details Unfolded Online
  4. Things We Take for Granted
  5. Get Off the Phone!
  6. 5 Reasons To Remain Optimistic That We Haven’t Lost America Yet
  7. 5 Things to Grab When You Hear the Tornado Sirens
  8. The Sacrifice of One
  9. 10 Surprisingly Unconventional Uses for Your Crock-Pot

Religion

  1. Christian Churches Occupied, Shia Mosques Destroyed, Nuns and Orphans Kidnapped in Iraq
  2. Marco Rubio and the Progressive Atheist Orthodoxy
  3. Dear Sister Wives Star Kody Brown: Love Should Be Exclusive, not Divided
  4. The (g)odless Inaugural Prayer
  5. Is a Spiritual Revolution the Missing Link in Our Quest for a Political Revolution?
  6. New Great Awakening: Should Pastors and Churches Be Involved in Politics?
  7. New Great Awakening: America Is Not a Christian Nation
  8. New Great Awakening: Does God Promise to Heal Our Land If We Pray?
  9. New Great Awakening: When Politicians Speak for God
  10. The Atheist Who Silenced the Astronaut
  11. What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
  12. Fal$e Teacher$ — Christian Rapper Shames Prosperity Preachers
  13. Is Your Church Too Old — Or Too Young?
  14. Why Liberals Hate Tim Tebow
  15. Should Christian Parents Send their Children to Public Schools?
  16. Will the Tolerance Agenda Destroy Christian Higher Education?
  17. A Model of Interfaith Dialogue: A Southern Baptist at Brigham Young University
  18. How about Celebrating Reformation Day instead of Halloween?
  19. At Least We Don’t Have Marauding Hippos in the Streets of America
  20. Right This Very Minute Someone Is Being Tortured
  21. Peace with God Amid Christmas Chaos
  22. Thanks to Our Atheist, Agnostic, and Liberal Friends for Their Help in the Liberty Wars
  23. Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?
  24. The Resurgence of God in Academia
  25. Will Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?
  26. Is Heaven Is for Real… Real?
  27. British PM David Cameron Emphasizes the Importance of Christianity in Society
  28. Where Was Jesus on Saturday Between His Death and Resurrection?
  29. Have You Done Enough for God This Easter?
  30. A Moment of Prayer on the Campaign Trail
  31. Sarah Palin: ‘Waterboarding Is How We Baptize Terrorists’
  32. 10 Quotes on Faith and Freedom from Eric Metaxas’ Hillsdale Commencement Address
  33. The Left’s Anti-Christian Bigotry Strategy 2.0
  34. Jesuit Priest Abducted in Afghanistan

Pro-Life

  1. Extreme Makeover: Planned Parenthood Edition
  2. 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers
  3. Can This Powerful Song Change the Hearts of Abortion Supporters?
  4. Blood on Humanitarian Icon Mandela’s Hands
  5. The 3 Deadliest Words in the World: ‘It’s a Girl’
  6. What Happens to America’s Aborted Babies?
  7. Is It True That 50 Years Ago Christians Didn’t Care About Abortion?
  8. Obama’s America: Abortion Deserts Across the Country
  9. Ohio Cracks Down on Unsafe Abortion Clinics

TV

  1. 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey
  2. Best Moments from the Season Premier of Duck Dynasty
  3. Who Are You to Judge Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson?
  4. The Touching Asperger’s Storyline on Parenthood
  5. Why We Will Miss Downton Abbey

Humor

  1. 10 Ladies’ Room Rules That Will Keep Other Women from Hating You
  2. The 10 Dumbest Fireworks Fails
  3. The 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos
  4. 11 Curious Spurious Correlations

Activism and Ideology

Read bullet |

The Battle Against Israel’s Orthodox Patriarchy

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

YouTube Preview Image

I didn’t fully appreciate how spiritually free I am as an American woman until I set foot on an El Al plane.

“Do you speak Hebrew?” the fretting woman in front of me asked.

“No, not really.”

“It’s okay, I speak English,” she hurriedly replied, obviously looking for a friendly face. “These Orthodox,” she motioned to the people sitting next to her, “they don’t like sitting next to women.”

“Well, that’s their problem.” My response was pointed, matter-of-fact, American.

She smiled as if a light bulb went off in her head. “You’re right!” Her expression grew cloudy. “But what if I take off my sweater? They won’t like that I expose my shoulders with my tank top.”

Again, I simply replied, “That’s their problem.”

She smiled, empowered. Removing her sweater, she took her seat and stood her ground.

And at that moment I thanked God I was raised in pluralistic America, and realized, oddly enough, that the Holy Land was giving me my first chance to practice the biblical feminism I’ve preached.

Israel is a Western nation in that women have equal rights by law. Israel is also a confluence of religious and ethnic cultural attitudes, not all of which are friendly to women. Two days into our trip to Jerusalem, a family member who also happens to be a retired journalist explained the latest story to hit the nightly news. A man accused of spousal abuse was released to return home. Later that evening, police found his wife had been shot dead. The husband confessed to the murder. Apparently, domestic violence and death is a relatively small but significant problem in Israel. When I asked my former journalist why, he pointed to the influence of Middle Eastern (both Arabic and radical Islamic) patriarchal culture as the primary source.

Yet, even religious Jews in Israel (and around the world), despite their insular nature, are far from immune to sexual abuse. Sex scandals among the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) show up frequently on the evening news. In this case it’s not the Arab/Muslim influence, but perverted behaviors that arise from rabbinic abuse of biblical teachings. How do you expect a man to relate to a woman sexually when he’s not even allowed to look her in the eye?

Read bullet |

10 Ways Not to Land Your Dream Job

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Sure, you know how to write an assertive cover letter and you have a wardrobe of freshly pressed black and navy blue suits. But, just because you’re doing everything the manual tells you doesn’t mean you aren’t going to make a mistake in your job search. From my other life working in human resources, I give you the ten best mistakes applicants have made in pursuit of a job.

10. Want to include the fact that you taught an adult education course on photography on your resume? Don’t dub yourself “Adult Photography Instructor.”

Language matters. In the age of social media and Google, applicants should understand that lying on their resume isn’t an option. Just be sure you aren’t getting so creative with your wording that you make yourself sound more qualified for porn than a professional environment.

Read bullet |

The Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

I recently wrote about the top 10 reasons to join a homeschool co-op, where I discussed many of the positive aspects of joining with other families in a collaborative effort to educate your children. But like most good things, there can be drawbacks and parents need to consider both sides of the equation before signing up for a co-op.

Here Are the Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op:

Read bullet |

15 Tricks and Tips for Getting the Most Out of College

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

15. Everything you know about the social stratosphere is wrong…

College is nothing like high school. You understand this in theory, but have never experienced the kind of social freedom you will in college. There are no cliques. There is no lunch table. Welcome to the world of being an adult. For the first couple of weeks you’ll attend pre-arranged mixers, usually orientation events or annoying team-building activities your RA spent all summer training to lead. These awkward moments are helpful for one reason: Discovering who has a car. As a freshman, be aware that the parties you crash at frat houses aren’t for making friends, they’re for getting drunk and hooking up. You’ve been warned.

Read bullet |