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The PJ Tatler

SHOCK VIDEO: State School Board Member Tells Parents Civil War Ended State Sovereignty

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
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At a recent hearing conducted by the Missouri State Board of Education, board member John Martin defended Common Core by telling a parent that the “war of northern aggression” resulted in a national government that ended state sovereignty.

Transcript courtesy of the Missouri Torch:

Martin: The presumption of this question is that this is a single country made up of a whole lot of different people. The question is if there ought to be some objective to education, whatever that is, I am not stipulating what it is for the purpose of this question. How do you establish for a country, what all children need to know? What is the vehicle for teaching them that?

Parent: Your question seems to be set around the premise of us being a democratic society instead of being a Republic. I think that is where education may have went wrong. Maybe even in yours. Education should be handled right here at the state level without federal involvement.

Martin: Well, I would, you know, when I went to school I did take that part of history.

Parent: Sure, but the premise of the question was nationally.

Martin: I would argue that the war of northern aggression settled the issue about whether you are 50 different states or one national government. The fact that we have got a federalized system of government is totally different than the issue of 50 sovereign states. So, that got resolved in 1864. So, my question is, given the fact (inaudible) how do you create in an inclusive way, generally speaking, how do you create an educational system that assures that all children, no matter where they come from, have the ability to know what they need to know to be productive human beings for the 21st Century.

Parent: That is where you and I would completely disagree. Sounds like you are more of a globalist and I am more of a localist. I think education should come from the local level.

Martin: Okay, we disagree.

According to Duane Lester at the Missouri Torch, the video was shot in an overflow room “where opponents of Common Core were funneled into, despite the fact they were there first and were testifying.”

Parents in the audience were clearly shocked by what they were hearing, responding with “Seriously?” and “What?”

Martin, whose biography says he has a PhD and has been a teacher, principal, and superintendent, has no problem with a federal takeover of his state’s education policies because he truly believes they have the right to do so — and he probably thinks the feds should do a lot more — seemingly ignorant of the past abuses of powerful centralized governments of the past.

And the worst part? He’s probably been teaching this revisionist history to school children for decades.

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Would You Let Your Kid Walk Home Alone to Support Free Range Parenting?

Monday, April 27th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

It was a warm spring day in 1994. I stood waiting on the corner across from my school at the spot my mother and I had long ago agreed upon would be our pickup location. I stood waiting as droves of children passed by until I was virtually alone. Ever been around a school 10 minutes after dismissal time? It’s a dead zone.

A rather lousy looking station wagon pulled up with two men who resembled dirty Uncle Bucks sitting inside. They pulled slightly past me, parked and waited. No kid got in their car. Neither one got out to look for anyone in particular, either. Ten minutes went by, then fifteen. This was the era before cell phones. Having no idea where my mother was I debated heading off in the direction for home, figuring she’d catch up. Just as one of the grubby men got out of the car, my mother whipped around the corner and shouted for me to get in. She’d gotten caught up at work and was running late.

“Did you see those men?” She asked, eyeing up the strangers who quickly receded into their vehicle and sped off when they saw her coming.

“Sort of,” I replied.

“Stay away from those creeps. You know what happened to Megan.”

By “Megan,” she meant Megan Kanka, a girl slightly my junior who had been lured from her front yard where she was playing by a neighbor, sexually assaulted, murdered and dumped into a local park mere weeks prior. She wasn’t a far-off victim on the nightly news. Megan Kanka lived a few neighborhoods over in our bucolic little suburban town.

On May 9, “Free Range Advocates” are encouraging parents to let their children walk home unattended from a local park. Intended to be a show of support for the Meitivs, who allowed their 10 and 6 year-olds to walk home unattended from a neighborhood park in Silver Spring, Maryland, the idea is a stupid one at best. The reality is that the neighbor who saw two unattended children did the right thing by calling the police. It’s all well and good to ask, “When did we stop being a community of responsible adults all looking after each other and each other’s kids?” But this isn’t the nifty fifties. This is a post-Megan Kanka, post-Hillary’s Village world where if you want a village to raise a child, you have to bear the bureaucratic consequences.

When I take walks around my neighborhood I greet the folks I see. I’ve learned to receive nothing but suspicious looks from the children playing outside. When they hit about 4, old enough to start learning “stranger danger” in school, they furrow their little brows, guard their siblings and eye the front door for mom, not daring to say a word. Hillary’s village is one of suspicion and bureaucracy.

Could that neighbor have simply spoken to the children and asked them where their parents were? Those kids have been educated to run the other way. If that neighbor did get a home phone number out of them and called their parents, would they have been accused of interfering in their free range style? Possibly. Suppose the Meitivs would’ve offered to pick up the kids. Had the neighbor invited them in to wait, they’d be putting themselves at legal risk of foul accusation. This is a post-Megan Kanka world.

Were the cops right to keep the Meitiv kids in a patrol car for hours? No. Was calling social services an extreme? Theoretically. In practicality, it’s the norm. When you introduce the government, you introduce paperwork. Like credit card transactions, there are systems to be followed and dues to be paid, whether you like it or not. That’s what socialism is all about: Treating everyone, the criminal and the criminally stupid, equally.

Want your kids to feel safe? Raise them to understand how the world really works before you load them with nostalgic visions of how you think it ought to be. It’s one thing to shake your head at what the world has become. It’s another to shake your head in regret after it’s too late.

 

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Student Sues Columbia for Failing to Protect Him from Harassment of ‘Rape’ Claimant

Friday, April 24th, 2015 - by The Tatler

Here’s a bit of a twist to the usual stories we hear concerning rape on college campuses.

On Thursday, a student at Columbia University filed suit against the school for failing to protect him from harassment by a fellow student making rape allegations.

According to the New York Daily News, both the school and law enforcement rejected the woman’s claims.

Paul Nungesser, a German citizen who attends Columbia University, is claiming fellow student Emma Sulkowicz has continuously and publicly said that he is a “serial rapist” which has earned the situation both national and international media attention.

“Columbia University’s effective sponsorship of the gender-based harassment and defamation of Paul resulted in an intimidating, hostile, demeaning … learning and living environment,” the lawsuit said.

Columbia did not have any comment on the suit.

In his lawsuit, Nungesser said a Columbia-owned website had presented as fact that he sexually assaulted Sulkowicz, a senior majoring in visual arts. It said that the school allowed Sulkowicz to carry a mattress into classes, the library and campus-provided transportation as part of her senior thesis, that Kessler approved the “Mattress Project” for her course credit and that Sulkowicz’s pledge to carry her mattress to graduation may prevent Nungesser and his parents, who’d like to fly from Germany, from participating in graduation ceremonies.

Here is a picture of Sulkowicz and her mattress:

EmmaSulkowiczmattress

The suit also states that Nungesser “has been subjected to severe, pervasive … and threatening behavior by other Columbia students, believing that Paul is a `serial rapist,’ whenever Paul has appeared at university activities.”

Sulkowticz claims that her behavior is merely “art”:

“It’s ridiculous that he would read it as a `bullying strategy,’ especially given his continued public attempts to smear my reputation, when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia. If artists are not allowed to make art that reflect on our experiences, then how are we to heal?”

The story Sulkowicz tells is this, from the Cathy Young at The Daily Beast:

On Aug. 27, 2012, she has said, a sexual encounter that began as consensual suddenly turned terrifyingly violent: Her partner, a man whom she considered a close friend and with whom she had sex on two prior occasions, began choking and hitting her and then penetrated her anally while she struggled and screamed in pain. By Sulkowicz’s account, she finally decided to file a complaint within the university system several months later when she heard stories of other sexual assaults by the same man—only to see him exonerated after a shoddy investigation and a hearing at which she was subjected to clueless and insensitive questions. What’s more, charges brought against the man by two other women also ended up being dismissed.

The other side of the story, Nungesser’s side, tells a different tale.  He provided The Daily Beast with numerous Facebook messages between the two of them following the alleged rape, that were friendly and engaging. On her birthday, several months after the alleged rape, Nungesser sent her a happy birthday message. to which she responded, “I love you Paul. Where are you?!?!?!?!”

The details of the story are quite complex; you can read the rest of Cathy Young’s piece if you are interested, it’s quite thorough.

We’ll see how this plays out in court.

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Earn College Credit for Bashing Jews!

Friday, April 24th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Shalom Life reports:

Outraged students and pro-Israel groups are up in arms over a new course being taught at the University of California Riverside. The class, called “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid,” labels Jewish citizens of Israel as “occupiers,” and tries to discredit their claims to their homeland.

The class is being taught by Tina Matar, an undergrad student at the school. Matar is also part of the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, and has (along with other members of the SJP) voiced her support of Hamas and other terrorist groups committing genocide against the Jewish peoples. Matar, along with the SJP, have also tried to get the school to boycott Israel, and partake in the BDS movement at campuses around the globe.

The campus is an active participant in the BDS movement. Matar, still a student herself, is being sponsored by a pro-BDS professor, David Lloyd. And here’s the real kicker: Janet Napolitano is a university administrator.

In his letter protesting the one-credit class, Christians United for Israel head David Brog commented, “I’m not sure what’s worse, having a college course taught by an undergraduate student or having a course syllabus that reads like the Facebook page of a skinhead teenager.”

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Hillary and How Hollywood Turned Menopause into a Curse

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Language warning: NSFW

Praised for her raw take on women’s body issues, comedian Amy Schumer hosted Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for a sketch taking on Hollywood’s treatment of middle-aged women on the latest episode of her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. It was a well-timed take on a rote discussion aired in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s declaration and the ensuing #HillarySoOld Twitter trend. Millennial voters barely old enough to remember Sally Field will never know that famed star Myrna Loy already covered this territory in the mid-40s when she went from being Cary Grant’s sexy career-woman love interest to his dowdy middle-aged wife in the span of one whole year.

Why has Hollywood never been kind to middle-aged women? For the same reason men get sexier as they age. Both have a lesser chance of being capable or inclined to reproduce. Angelina Jolie may have been more than willing to surrender her lady parts in the name of science, but the reality is that a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy will not be kind to her looks or her figure. (Fortunately for her she can afford to hide all that the way most menopausal women anxiously hoarding Oil of Olay in Wal Mart cannot.) At the same time, a man whose hair is embracing that touch of gray has gone from sexual threat to father figure. (See: George Clooney’s resume.)

This double standard is fueled by a goddess feminism obsessed with the idea that a woman’s ability to bear children is a biological curse that must be overcome if she is to obtain equality. Instead of embracing fertility, we drug it, abort it, or demand federal dollars to daycare it out of existence so we can get back to work, our beauteous forms intact. Therefore, why should it be any surprise that menopausal years are seen as our last “f**kable” golden hour of life before the only thing working in our favor — our beauty — fails us?

The grand irony is, of course, that one of the greatest cultural institutions presumed to support Hillary in 2016 will, once again, inevitably work against her. In the end, she just doesn’t fit their type.

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Babies, Just Another ‘Temporary Disability’

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

London-based Goldman Sachs exec Sonia Pereiro-Mendez just won a hefty $1.5 million in an out-of-court settlement simply by claiming that her employer discriminated against her pregnant and lactating body:

Pereiro-Mendez said senior management made sexist comments about her childcare arrangements and underpaid her by £1.4m ($2.1m) over a four year period following her pregnancy. At one point, she breastfed in a car when returning for a meeting whilst still on maternity leave. Such was the sexism that Pereiro-Mendez was allegedly able to make covert films of Goldman staff incriminating themselves.

There’s a reason the financial firm settled out of court for the ghastly sum. Firstly, the fees associated with taking the case to court would have cost far more in the long run. Secondly, some boss was stupid enough to allow her to attend a meeting while on leave (a huge HR no-no) and thirdly, she caught someone on tape essentially calling her a bad mother.

And therein lies the rub. Thanks to contemporary “choice” feminism, as in “because I’m a woman, any choice I make is a feminist choice subject to judgment based on my gender,” it can be just as sexist to assume a woman will have a child as it is to mock her mothering skills. Not that feminists are huge advocates of child-bearing. Praised as a huge victory for pregnant career women, the Supreme Court is now firmly defining pregnancy as a “temporary disability” that should be accommodated as such in the workplace. Just as babies have become fetuses, pregnancy is just a temporary medical setback akin to an off-the-job injury. Orwellian enough for you?

 

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Michigan Lawmakers Want Homeschooled Children Registered Like Dogs and Inspected by Social Workers

Monday, April 20th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

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In the wake of the tragic murders of two Michigan children whose mother tortured them before stuffing them into the family’s freezer, lawmakers are calling for more stringent regulation of homeschooling in the state.

The proposed legislation from state Rep. Stephanie Chang, a Detroit Democrat, would require homeschooled children to be inspected twice per year by a licensed social worker or law enforcement officer. The bill would also require homeschooling parents to register their children — like dogs or sex offenders — with the superintendent of the school district in which they reside. Michigan is one of eleven states that do not require homeschooling parents to report to state or local authorities.

CBS Detroit reported:

Chang cited the case of Stoni Ann Blair and Stephen Gage Berry as a reason for planning the legislation. Investigators believe Stephen was 9 when he died in August 2012 and that Stoni was 13 when she died the following May. Their mother, who is accused of torturing and killing them and then stuffing their bodies in the freezer, had said she homeschooled them.

“We all failed Stoni and Stephen because Michigan does not maintain a list of homeschooled children and so we have no way to identify and then protect any child who could be at risk for abuse,” Chang said. “Most homeschool parents have their child’s best interest in mind, and many do a fine job homeschooling, but with Stephen and Stoni, that wasn’t the case.”

Every few years legislation like this pops up as a knee-jerk reaction to some terrible tragedy that was inflicted upon children who were allegedly homeschooled. The most recent was in Ohio in 2013, when Democratic state Senator Capri Cafaro introduced Teddy’s Law in reaction to the very tragic death of Teddy Foltz-Tedesco in January 2013. The law (which was quickly withdrawn after an outpouring of state and national opposition) would have required homeschoolers to pass background checks and have their children inspected by authorities before being allowed to educate them at home. Teddy was killed by his mother’s boyfriend after he was withdrawn from school  because officials there suspected abuse. Relatives and neighbors say they reported the abuse to the children services board on repeated occasions but were rebuffed.

That’s a common thread in most of these tragic stories. In nearly every case — almost without exception — the family had a history of contact with child welfare officials because of allegations of abuse. And in almost every case — almost without exception — the authorities dropped the ball. In the case of the children in Detroit, the state had investigated allegations of abuse in 2002 and 2005 and the mother was referred for counseling. In the Ohio case, family members called authorities multiple times but nothing was done. They said they were accused of lying.

It’s absurd to think that a mother who tortured her children with scalding hot water and a searing hot curling iron before murdering them and stuffing them into the freezer — all while committing welfare fraud — is going to file a pile of paperwork that would trigger an inspection of her children — the children she has stored in the freezer. People who commit diabolical crimes against children will just go further underground if such a law is enacted — they’ll move to a different school district and pretend they don’t have any children, they’ll ignore the regulations, or worse, they’ll go off the grid completely, compounding the danger to the children.

It’s not the sick, twisted individuals like Stoni and Stephen’s mother who will be caught up in the state’s dragnet. Instead, it’s law-abiding parents who are exercising their constitutional right to home educate their children — and doing an admirable job of it —  who will be harmed by these intrusive regulations. In addition to the creepy registry, they’ll be forced to live under a presumption of guilt and will be required to “prove” twice per year to some (allegedly qualified) government official that they are not abusing their children.

I wrote this in response to the proposed Ohio law in 2013:

The logic — if you can call it that — behind this law seems to be that parents cannot be trusted with their own children. Unless they are under the watchful eye of state officials, children face great peril and so there must be new laws enacted in order to mitigate the risk. This ignores the fact, of course, that children from birth to age six are the most likely to die from child abuse — they account for 76% of fatalities. Will the next step be to subject all parents to interrogations by social workers from birth until the time they enroll their children in the safe bubble of the public school? And why stop there? After all, many children are abused at home and become experts at hiding and excusing the bumps and bruises. Shouldn’t we hire armies of government agents to keep an eye on what’s going on in the home after school? Not only that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, violent victimization rates at school were 34 per 1,000 students ages 12–14 and 14 per 1,000 students ages 15–18. Shouldn’t the government just require semi-annual interrogations of all students to solve the school violence problem? You can see the absurdity of this logic.

Not only that, but if the proposed legislation in Michigan becomes law, an estimated 50,000 children will be added to the caseloads of already overburdened social workers, law enforcement officers, and truant officers who will be tasked with tracking these newly “registered” children in much the same way they monitor parolees and sex offenders, requiring them to periodically report their whereabouts and show up for meetings and inspections. Instead of spending scarce resources on known cases of child abuse and neglect, they’ll be forced to cast a wide net over thousands of law-abiding families without probable cause — or any cause — to suspect there’s abuse in those homes.

The courts have ruled that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. In any system where citizens are allowed to exercise their liberties and their rights are protected there will always be those who abuse those freedoms, occasionally with tragic consequences. We don’t solve the murder problem by putting body cameras on all gun owners — just to keep some from murdering. We don’t solve the problem of thievery by frisking everyone who exits a store — just in case someone has pocketed an eyeliner or a package of batteries. In the same way, we don’t surveil all homeschooling families — treating them like de facto criminals and subjecting their children to intrusive “registries” and inspections —  just so we can net a handful of bad actors.

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LAUSD Finds That $1.3 Billion iPad Program Was Largely a Bust

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I know my shocked face is around here somewhere…

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

To press its case, the Board of Education on Tuesday authorized its attorneys in a closed-door meeting to explore possible litigation against Apple and Pearson, the company that developed the curriculum as a subcontractor to Apple.

L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines “made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he’s dissatisfied with their product,” said David Holmquist, general counsel for the nation’s second-largest school system. He said millions of dollars could be at stake.

The program was sold as a “civil rights imperative” by the previous superintendent, John Deasy. In reality, it was just another bureaucratic excuse to throw away taxpayers’ money on education. The average liberal’s plan for improving our schools begins with “increase spending” and doesn’t flesh out much beyond that. The leftist core principle, after all, is that anything can be made better by bathing it in tax revenues. Childhood Santa Claus beliefs are more rooted in reality.

Giving lower-income students an increased access to technology that could help with education is not a bad thing in an of itself. It’s just that even the best ideas can be screwed up in a nanosecond once a bureaucracy gets to work on them.

Deasy, it should be pointed out, was also the superintendent who was rewarding students for just showing up.

This is the second largest and one of the worst school districts in America. It needs some fundamental change, not a shiny, expensive tech bandage on the problem to keep the people distracted for a while.

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Welp…Now We Know How Hillary Feels About Common Core

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

[Begins at 5:33]

During a campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was finally asked to say something about Common Core — which promises to be a prominent issue in the 2016 campaign. Of course, it wasn’t a reporter who asked Clinton about the wildly unpopular educational standards, it was a teacher and Common Core supporter who said it is “painful” for her to see the standards attacked.

Clinton agreed wholeheartedly. “You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful,” she said.

[Not to be confused with the Benghazi attack, which she said was "very, very painful."]

She defended the standards, saying they were the result of a “bipartisan effort … actually, nonpartisan project.”

“It wasn’t politicized. It was about coming up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was. That there wouldn’t be two tiers of education,” Clinton said.

She speculated that Iowans were more supportive of Common Core because “Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time. And you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. A lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that. So [they] don’t understand the value of a core, in this sense a common core.”

[Perhaps what they don't understand is why every state needs the same standards with the same tests and why the federal government needs to be involved.]

“I was a senator and voted for Leave No Child Behind (sic) because I thought every child should matter,” Clinton said. “And [it] shouldn’t be ‘you’re poor or you’ve got disabilities so we’re going to sweep you to the back, don’t show up on test day because we don’t want to mess up our scores.’” Instead, Clinton said every child should have the same opportunities.

[Has she not heard of the Atlanta testing scandal where teachers were sent to prison for leaving poor and disabled children behind by falsifying their test scores?]

So in summary, Clinton supports a federally mandated one-size-fits all set of standards for every school in the country. It’s good that we got this cleared up early on in the campaign. Common Core promises to be a tremendous populist and crossover issue for Republicans — as long as they don’t choose a pro-Common Core candidate like Jeb Bush or John Kasich.

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Hillary’s Campaign-Video Hypocrisy Exposed

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
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Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement video featured a lineup of ordinary Americans talking about things they’re getting ready for, including a mother and daughter who were packing up their belongings and preparing to move.

“My daughter is about to start kindergarten next year,” the mother says, “so we’re moving, just so she can belong to a better school.”

Someone — actually everyone — on Team Hillary apparently missed the irony of a family being forced to move to a different school district to find a better school when it’s well known that Hillary is vehemently (and irrationally) opposed to school vouchers.

In the video above Clinton says that if school vouchers were allowed, parents would be lining up to get government money to pay for (imaginary) white supremacist schools and the “School of the Jihad.” That hasn’t happened anywhere in the country where vouchers are allowed, but it’s a scary bogeyman opponents like to use to counter those who say poor children in failing schools ought to be allowed to take their funding dollars to the school of their choice.

If Hillary really wanted to be the “champion” for that little girl in her video — and for families across the nation — she’d stop supporting policies that force families to move in order to escape failing, sclerotic school systems. She would support school choice in all forms, including school vouchers, instead of standing in the way of progress.

 

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Should the Right Reject a Feminism That Fights for Men?

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

The Telegraph has picked up on one of the equity feminists breaking new ground in the War on Men, American Enterprise Institute’s resident scholar, Christina Hoff Sommers. With more than 2 million views, her Factual Feminist series is drawing some serious attention from a mainstream media bogged down by the likes of Jessica Valenti and her contemporary feminist man-hating ilk. How did these man-haters grab the spotlight? Hoff Sommers explains:

“…In the early 1990s, I – along with several other feminist scholars (Wendy Kaminer, Daphne Patai, Camille Paglia, Mary Lefkowitz, Katie Roiphe, to name only a few) – went to battle against hard-line, sex-panicked conspiracy feminists like Andrea Dworkin. My side won the arguments, but their side quietly assumed all of the assistant professorships. So colleges are now full of gender scholars who instruct students on the ravages of the capitalist, heterero-patriachal system and its ‘rape culture’. Everywhere we hear about ‘micro-aggressions’, ‘trigger-warnings’, and the toxicity of masculinity. It’s as if George Orwell’s Junior Anti-sex League has occupied feminism.”

So, with a host of feminists like Hoff Sommers and Camille Paglia actively advocating for men, should conservatives simply toss off feminism as a man-hating movement that’s past its prime? The social media stats say it’s time to get on the countercultural feminist bandwagon.

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Milking Kids for Cash: Legislators Seek to Triple Funding Amidst Double-Dipping Scandal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

 

The Minneapolis school board will vote Tuesday on whether to renew a contract with the Minneapolis Urban League, an organization at the center of scandal regarding double-dipping between state and local governments. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

The questions started after the Minneapolis School District awarded the Minneapolis Urban League as much as $800,000 a year for a program that never lived up to its promise of graduating the city’s most troubled high school students.

Then Minnesota legislators agreed to give the Urban League $300,000 a year for nearly identical work, paying some of the same staff to work with many of the same students the school district already was paying to help.

Now top state officials and Minneapolis school leaders are investigating whether the Urban League is getting paid twice for similar work.

“It’s alarming,” said Michael Goar, the Minneapolis School District’s interim superintendent. “When there is an issue that they are getting paid both [from the district and the state], then we have to look into it.”

That’s not stopping two Democrat state legislators from throwing even more taxpayer dollars at the group.

… Sens. Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, are seeking to triple funding for the program to $1.8 million over the next two years.

The senators defend the Urban League’s work as essential to closing the city’s achievement gap between white and minority students, which is among the worst in the country.

The only problem with that rationalization is its defiance of objective reality. The Urban League program, known as the 13th Grade, has failed to make significant progress toward closing the district’s troubling achievement gap.

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School District Releases Sensitive Student Data and Parent ‘Cooperativeness’ Ratings

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

Parents were outraged to learn that the Tewksbury Public School District in Massachusetts released a 200-page document last week that included sensitive student data, including parental cooperative ratings.

According to the Tewksbury Town Crier:

The list, which replaces student names with numbers, remains in alphabetical order. Information included the student’s current grade, the out-of-district school, the last school attended, the year the student began attending the new school, information on whether or not the decision was made by the IEP team, a legal settlement (typically kept strictly confidential), or if the student moved in from another town, and miscellaneous detail such as the involvement of the Department of Children and Families, passage of MCAS assessments, and more.

The office of Student Services also published its rating of parents according to their ‘cooperativeness with the district.’ Parents rated a ‘1’ are cooperative, ‘2’ somewhat cooperative, and those rated ‘3’ are ‘not cooperative.’

The newspaper says it was able to easily identify a number of the families in the report and they were contacted by others who were able to identify additional families.

Asked about the cooperation ratings, Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor said, “Probably the choice of wording for the descriptor in the heading should be something different. We were trying to convey to the school committee and finance committee, even if we were to build programs, I’m not certain that all of the families with children who might benefit from the program would want to come back. That is the explanation for that.”

Parents were understandably outraged at the privacy violation and at what they feel is the district’s disrespect for parents of special-needs students.

School districts are collecting more and more information about school children — in fact, it’s a requirement of Common Core — and despite the promises that “no personally identifiable information” will ever be released without parental permission, the example above shows how, even when names are removed, students can still be identified. The promises that our children’s data will be kept private are only as good as the administrators who control that data.

 

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[VIDEO] College Students Can’t Answer Basic Questions About the Holocaust and WW II

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

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Jerry Amernic, author of The Last Witness, asked university students in Toronto some very simple questions about the Holocaust and World War II. Their answers demonstrate a remarkable ignorance of some of the most important events of the 20th century. The students couldn’t answer even the most basic questions, like how many Jews died in the Holocaust or who perpetrated the atrocities. They were also clueless about D-Day and they didn’t know who FDR or Churchill were.

Makes you wonder if they have Common Core in Canada.

 

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Leftist Pollution in Academia Continues: U. of Michigan Cancels American Sniper Showing

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh, the commies

The University of Michigan’s Center for Campus Involvement canceled a showing of American Sniper after 300 students protested, saying the film

“not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim…rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer. Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians…watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to…Muslim students who are too often reminded of how little the media and world values their lives.”

This is (or was, anyway) a college, right, where learning and uncomfortable ideas are occassionally encountered?

The only kind of diversity one can’t celebrate on most American college campuses is diversity of thought. The mindless little prog mobs are easily motivated to protest anything that doesn’t fit the pre-approved Hive Mind agenda.

The point cannot be made often enough that this dumbing down of young American minds in the very places they are supposed to be expanding them is precisely the reason that leftists can get away with cheap emotional ploys almost devoid of facts to win elections.

Yes, they planned it this way.

Nick Gillespie makes a good point about the presupposition that any and all messages in movies will be absorbed by the audience. When my daughter was eleven and I was being very cautious about something she wanted to watch on television she said, “I’m not a monkey who is going to repeat everything I see on TV.”

I guess this U of M crowd is mostly monkey-based.

What thought-provoking college-level cinematic offering was shown instead, you ask? This:
PaddingtonPOSTER

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Are Millennials Putting the ‘Cult’ in 21st Century ‘Corporate Culture’?

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

According to USA Today, “Millennial workers want free meals and flex time” but there’s more to it than that. Look beyond the requests for flex time and generous perks like on-site massages and game rooms, and you’ll see a generation of workers demanding a workplace with all the comforts of, well, family.

When Jena Pellegrino, a 26-year old media assistant, decided to branch out in her career, she wound up coming right back to where she started, the perk-rich company Lockard & Wechsler (LWD), an agency best known as the marketing genius behind the Snuggie. Why? She details,

The perks she enjoyed at her former employer weren’t standard at her new job. She missed working in a smaller company with access to senior co-workers, generous personal time and a teamwork philosophy.

After nine months, she decided to take a chance and called her boss to ask for her old job back. After some negotiations, she was back.

“I felt I wanted to be in a company that treats you like family,” she says.

Millennials are flocking to companies like LWD that offer everything from pool and ping-pong to work-from-home options and corporate Thanksgiving dinners. Perhaps it is because when employees are nestled in the warm, safe bosom of company life, they don’t mind mixing work with pleasure, even if it means taking it home. According to the experts:

…millennials don’t mind working at home or the overlap between work and their personal life… By 2025, 75% of the American workforce will be millennial workers and employers will have to adapt to the market…

Sounds like corporate culture will be shifting just in time to welcome all those Common Core babies into a job market for which they’ve been bureaucratically trained on a national scale. Enticing as they may seem, will corporate perks be enough to ward off the kind of anti-family, death-inducing work stress found in other Common Core-esque nations? Time will tell.

 

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WATCH: SNL Puts Sweet Ending on HBO’s Disturbing Scientology Doc

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

After the mind-warp that was Going Clear, HBO’s scathingly detailed examination of the Church of Scientology, you’ll need a really good laugh to recover your sanity. Check out this past weekend’s SNL spoof of the Church of Scientology’s now-infamous ’90s music video. Then remind yourself that the “religion” of Scientology is nothing more than the culmination of one man’s life-long goal to avoid ever having to pay taxes to the federal government.

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When Jews Flee, Christians Become the Target

Saturday, April 4th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Israel National News reports on Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor’s latest speech to the United Nations Security Council regarding the grotesque mistreatment of Christians in the Islamic world:

Amb. Prosor began by explaining that these days, as the Jewish Passover approaches, there is a terrible new “exodus” that is plaguing the Middle East, one “driven by a plague of [Islamic] persecution aimed at Christians, Kurds, Yazidi, Bahai, and of course, the Jews.”

He related that after the Muslim countries murdered thousands of Jews and forced hundreds of thousands to leave the host Muslim countries, the Muslims had no one left to persecute. So, the “extremists have turned on the Christians.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Christians comprised 26% of the Middle East’s population. Today, that figure is less than 10%.” In ISIS-plagued Iraq, “Christians were given the grim choice of converting to Islam or face death by beheading, stoning or crucifixion. Fearing for their lives, tens of thousands of Christians have fled to northern Iraq and taken refuge in Kurdistan.”

Amb. Prosor stated on behalf of the Israel government that “The Kurds are the leading force in the fight against ISIS. They have shown tremendous courage and fortitude. The Kurds need the support of the international community and they deserve political independence.”

Prosor’s speech is a timely reminder that as both Jews and Christians sit down this weekend to celebrate freedom and tune into The Ten Commandments, redemption, like slavery, is as much a physical act as it is a spiritual one. Not only does it require a good, hard look at reality, it also demands the willingness to unify in order to cross the great divide.

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Students Rally ‘Round High School ‘Girl’ in Revealing Yoga Pants Forced to Change to Conceal Manhood

Friday, April 3rd, 2015 - by Scott Ott

In what may be the most shocking civil rights violation since Memories Pizza announced it would not do something for gays that it has never been asked to do, a high school student in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, was compelled to change out of yoga pants which the school deemed too revealing.

The student, a physiological male who prefers to be treated as a female, was required to put on a pair of gym shorts and a polo shirt, because the principal apparently determined the clingy yoga pants displayed too vividly the form of “her” male genitalia.

The school has no qualms with students or staff self-identifying as the opposite sex, and accessorizing to suit the sex du jour, yet with a modicum of modesty.  Bio-males may wear dresses.
But friends of the newly repressed student feel sure that the long arm of transgender hate has come to their small town in suburban Allentown.

The Emmaus High School principal will meet with students amid an outcry of discrimination that arose after a transgender student was told to change out of yoga pants that administrators felt were inappropriate.

Even the Allentown Morning Call complied with the student’s desire to be identified as a girl despite obvious evidence to the contrary.

 The student said the amount of support she’s receiving from her classmates has been overwhelming.
“About 30 people, most of them I don’t even know, hugged me today and told me I’m so strong,” the student said. “At one point, I just broke down crying.”
Face it: men no longer have the freedom to be who they aren’t.
Emmaus High School near Allentown, Pennsylvania

Emmaus High School near Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Atlanta Teachers Who Cheated on Student Test Scores Are Now in JAIL!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
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ATLANTA (AP) — A group of former Atlanta educators convicted in a test cheating scandal were locked up in jail Thursday as they await sentences that could send them to prison for years.

In one of the nation’s largest cheating scandals of its kind, the 11 defendants were convicted Wednesday of racketeering for their roles in a scheme to inflate students’ scores on standardized exams.

They include teachers, a principal and other administrators, who were accused of falsifying test results to collect bonuses or keep their jobs in the 50,000-student Atlanta public school system. A 12th defendant, a teacher, was acquitted of all charges by the jury.

The racketeering charges carry up to 20 years in prison. The convicted former educators are set to be sentenced later this month.

The teachers and administrators involved were feeding answers to students and erasing and changing answers on tests after they were turned in. State investigators found evidence of cheating in 44 schools. Teachers who tried to report it said they feared severe retaliation.

The convicted teachers were led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

“They are convicted felons as far as I’m concerned,” Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said, later adding, “They have made their bed and they’re going to have to lie in it.”

 

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case Involving Worship in NYC Public Schools

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - by Chris Queen

On March 30, the Supreme Court declined to review a case involving which groups can meet after hours in New York City’s public schools. The Bronx Household of Faith, a small congregation, sued the city over its policy.

The city permits groups to rent school facilities for extended periods of time for “social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainment, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community.” There are few limitations on extended use, but one prohibits using school buildings for “religious worship services” or as a “house of worship.”

[...]

Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argued that excluding worship services from “a broadly available public forum” discriminates against religion. The church, which has outgrown its own building, needs more space for special occasions and the nearby public school is the only place large enough that they can afford.

The appeals court, however, said the reason the space is affordable is because of taxpayer subsidies, and the school board is taking reasonable precaution against liability for appearing to unconstitutionally advance a particular religion.

“The Free Exercise Clause does not entitle Bronx Household to a grant from the board of a subsidized place to hold religious worship services,” the appellate court ruled. Further, the court found no evidence the rule was “motivated by hostility to religion.”

Naturally, opponents of the policy have expressed their disdain, and they are appealing to an unlikely ally to assist them in their fight.

Fernando Cabrera, a council member and pastor leading opposition to the policy said he was “profoundly disappointed” that the Supreme Court won’t be hearing the case.

“We cannot ignore the immense contribution to society that religious organizations and institutions have made throughout our nation’s history and continue to make across the U.S. today,” he said in a statement.

“Churches meeting in New York City public schools for worship services have fed the poor and needy, assisted in rehabilitating drug addicts and gang members, helped rebuild marriages and families and provided for the disabled.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to use his power to revoke the policy. De Blasio said last year he opposes the policy and believes “that a faith organization playing by the same rules as any community nonprofit deserves access.”

What’s next for the Bronx Household of Faith and other churches? That of course remains to be seen, but if De Blasio intervenes, he may create an interesting alliance.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / VICTOR TORRES

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Survey Says: Middle Class Women Want to Get Laid!

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Results of a recent British study published in the Guardian reveal that if you’re a woman, the more middle class you are, the more sexual partners you have:

Given the number of headlines about teenage single mothers from deprived backgrounds, you’d be forgiven for assuming that being in a lower social class equals an increased likelihood of promiscuous behaviour.

But you’d be wrong, because, in fact, having more than ten sexual partners in your lifetime is associated with higher social class and educational status, with nearly double the rates in professional women compared with those in routine occupations.

However, it is correct that the lower down the social scale you are, then the earlier you will start having sex.

By contrast, women from higher socio-economic groups start their sexual activity later, but go on to have more partners throughout their lifetime.

One possible explanation is that highly educated women tend to forge careers before settling down, and so have more years on the singles market.

The real question is, have white, middle-class feminists become so singularly focused on birth control and abortion in order to advocate for their “deprived” sisters, as they claim? Or are they so sex-obsessed in their politics solely in order to sustain their seemingly insatiable, promiscuous lifestyles?

 

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The Radical Left Fishes for Israel, Uses Jewish Americans as Bait

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Jewish Americans are being baited by a radical Left that has sharpened their anti-Bibi fangs in the ready to rip apart the nation of Israel and the entire body of world Jewry. It’s a bold statement, but it’s an honest one. If you thought V15 would dissolve, their participants cashing in the last of the State Department’s change for a defeat party in Vegas, you’re wrong. The ideological fervor is stronger than ever. It has to be, because ideology is the only thing they have fueling their “hope and change” community-organizing momentum that is anything but.

Jonathan Mark at the New York Jewish Week succinctly catalogs the radical-Leftist Jewish bias against Bibi, noting that this isn’t the first time a right-wing leader’s victory has been condemned in the American media. “Begin as in Fagin” a 1977 Time magazine article explained, conjuring up one of the most insulting anti-Semitic stereotypes in history.

Today it is the J Street crowd sacrificing their pound of flesh by cutting themselves off from the “Jewish establishment” in a radical attempt to “directly take on Jewish organizations …complicit with Israel’s occupation” via the Obama method. If Israel won’t directly negotiate, they’ll just be forced into a solution …and what? Be told to deal with it, or else? According to reports, the conference was keynoted by Obama’s chief of staff and fueled nothing more or less than the “Bibi is racist” tagline.

Hannah Senesh wrote about the power of one match to light a fire. In this instance, the blaze is burning out of control in this radicalized segment of the Jewish world.

Mark adopts the Israeli attitude toward the radical Left’s recent drumming up of hostilities, concluding:

If Israel has to go alone, so be it, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Brett Stephens: “Repay contempt with contempt. Mr. Obama plays to classic bully type. He is abusive and surly only toward those he feels are either too weak, or too polite, to hit back…. The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance…. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.”

In the end, he is right. Israel has the self-determination and autonomy to weather the storm. The question is, will the Jewish American community rise to the occasion, or be consumed in the fires of its own outrageous fury, drummed up by a mad man who has no problem negotiating the Jewish people’s terms of destruction on an international scale?

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VIDEO: Ayaan Hirsi Ali Speaks Out in New Book ‘Heretic’

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Watch as the infamous activist, blacklisted by Brandeis University for her anti-Islam views, discusses her new book Heretic and the concept of reforming Islam. Martha Raddatz has no problem outing herself as a turncoat feminist, accusing Hirsi Ali, herself a survivor of female genital mutilation, of unfairly attacking Islam now that she has left the religion.

Raddatz and the pro-Islam Manalo Omar are also quick to gang up on Hirsi Ali when she highlights one of the many Qu’ranic calls for death to infidels currently being used to justify Sharia law and jihad, citing both “the Torah” and “the Bible” as containing violent verses. When Hirsi Ali replies by questioning where the Christians are who take these verses as literally as their Islamic counterparts, Raddatz changes her line of questioning without changing her politically correct tone.

“Doesn’t [your book] incite people to hate Muslims?” is Raddatz’s conclusion, not her query, proving once again that the West’s multiculturalist elite are the greatest threat to Islamic reform.

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Even the New York Times Has Had a Bellyful of Crybaby College Students

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

This piece, by Times writer Judith Shulevitz, has got to be read in full to be believed. The opening will give you a (dis)taste:

KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.

So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”

Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.

And just what sort of “safe space” could the poor dears repair to?

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

And these are the best and brightest who will make up America’s next generation of “leaders.” A toxic combination of Viennese Voodoo, Leftist whining, emotional immaturity and an overly politicized upbringing has given them to us. Be sure to read the whole thing, including the writer’s obvious scorn for the ninnies she’s writing about:

It’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.

But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”

Back when coeducation was being introduced into American colleges and universityies, there were many who predicted adverse consequences:

Certain male doctors argued that extended education was dangerous for women, who could be harmed by overexertion caused by competition with male students. Other opponents of coeducation protested on religious and moral grounds, maintaining that the hazards of impropriety were higher when young men and women were placed in such close proximity for long periods.

Bigots.

 

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The Culture of Entitlement: Somebody Else Pay for My College Tuition!

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The headline on this op-ed piece blog post in the Washington Post says it all:

College applicant: I got in! But I can’t afford it. Was all my hard work for nothing?

The author of the piece, Crysten Price, is a high-school senior in Louisiana who just got admitted to Tulane, so let’s cut her some slack here. But what does it say about the success of President Obama’s constant yammering about how college should be “free” (incrementally, of course, beginning with community college, but we’ve all seen this leftist movie before and know where it’s going)? A lot, is what:

I am one of the top two prospects for valedictorian at Riverside, the opposing student is an African-American female and scholarship student as well. With silent fervor and diligence, together we worked to rise to become the top senior ranks. History will be made graduation day; our high school has yet to rear an African-American valedictorian or salutatorian since its opening in 1970. I believe this to be an extraordinary achievement, considering the politics of our community, the region we live in, the current year, and the odds stacked against us…

To my dismay, I was denied the full scholarship to Tulane. Although being accepted is a pretty astounding achievement, somehow I feel the point I’m desperately trying to prove disintegrated completely. Yes, the middle and lower classes have a place at universities such as this, but when it comes to funding we are on our own. It’s almost as if being let in the door to take a brief look around, but shooed off outright.

One might suggest to Ms. Svrluga Price that millions of students have faced similar circumstances over the years, and many have found a way around or through them: loans, part-time jobs, scholarships (both from the school and elsewhere). Government need not be the first and last resort. Here comes the kicker, though, and it’s unutterably sad:

I want a voice. I want to prove that I am not a product of my hometown’s low expectations.

I want the college education that I worked so hard for yet cannot afford.

I want the rest of the students within my community to leave, to branch out, and to thrive.

I want the destructive system crippling my community to fall.

I want equality of outcome.

And there you have it.

UPDATED: The name of the high-school student has been corrected. Susan Svrluga is a blogger on the Washington Post website who posted Ms. Price’s piece.

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Pay Heed Washington D.C.: This Is Why The Freedom Of Religion Still Matters

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Well, at least Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford are going to try:

With only three weeks remaining for Congress to overturn two Washington, D.C., laws that violate the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges—as well as other religious and pro-life organizations—Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma have done the “right thing” by introducing joint resolutions this week, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Bob Laird.

Senator Cruz comments:

“The D.C. Council is attempting to force religious institutions to provide services, make employment decisions, or participate in activities that directly violate their faith. No government entity should be able to coerce organizations—whether they be non-profits or religious schools—into funding abortion services or promoting gender policy that is contrary to the organization’s fundamental mission.”

The freedom of religion is at the very core of individual liberty and, therefore, of America’s system. Many believe that the freedom of speech was the foundation, but that’s not true: the acknowledgement of that natural right grew out of the freedom of religion (reading tip: Thomas Hobbes). That’s why it’s so important that the Catholic Church — supported by Cruz and Lankford — wins this battle. You can’t preserve liberty in general when  you abolish the freedom of religion, as dictators very well know. Why do you think Mao Zedong and old Joe Stalin declared war on religious institutions shortly after they seized power?

The result of D.C.’s plans will be catastrophic. This is how tyranny starts — by tearing apart the right of citizens to practice their beliefs. Let’s hope that a miracle happens and the Church triumphs. If she doesn’t, I fear not only for her and D.C., but for America in its entirety.

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Greek Organizations at the University of Georgia Ban Hoop Skirts

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

For years when I’ve heard of ridiculous political correctness run amok in American academia, I’ve breathed a sigh of relief that it hasn’t happened at my alma mater, the University of Georgia. Until now.

Sororities and fraternities at UGA have banned the use of hoop skirts at events over concerns of the appearance of racism.

Victor Wilson, UGA’s vice president for student affairs, explained that the ban was due to concerns over what kind of “message” the skirt might send, and compared it to a previous ban on Confederate uniforms, according to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald.

In other words: The fact that people wore hoop skirts during the era of slavery in the U.S. makes them symbols of racism.  “The student leadership, staff and advisors agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events,” read an e-mail sent out Tuesday by Ashley Merkel, president of UGA’s Panhellenic Council, and Alex Bosse, president of the Interfraternity Council.

Students had previously worn them to events such as the “Magnolia Ball.”

The Banner-Herald elaborated on the ban, which comes on the heels of racial controversy involving fraternities at other schools.

The hoop skirt ban came after UGA Student Affairs administrators met Monday with some UGA fraternity and sorority leaders, including representatives of the UGA chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha fraternities, both of which have deep roots in the South.

The ban comes a week after the University of Oklahoma expelled two SAE fraternity members and shut down the university’s SAE chapter because of a racist video made by members. In the video, SAE members chant about lynching, and using a racial slur, vow that there will never be a black member of the fraternity. The video went viral on the Internet and soon found its way to University of Oklahoma administrators. Talk during Monday’s UGA meeting at UGA was about presenting the university and Greek organizations in a good light, and not inviting negative attention, said Victor Wilson, UGA’s vice president for student affairs.

Part of the talk was about dress at such events as KA’s “Old South Week” and SAE’s “Magnolia Ball.” The discussion included hoop skirts, and the messages conveyed by such dresses or other articles of clothing, Wilson said.

“The discussion was about more than dress, but about how you present yourself, and dress was part of that,” he explained.

The university does not make the call on bans like this one — rather, the decision comes from the Greek organizations themselves. Earlier bans at UGA include prohibitions on Confederate uniforms and other symbols and insignia.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

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Hillary Supporters Force Little Girls to Shill for Bill as First Lady in 2016

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Get your vomit bags out before watching this shameful attempt at brainwashing the next generation into thinking Hillary Clinton should be their feminist savior. The YouTube account “Bill for First Lady 2016″ has released a campaign spot featuring a series of little girls rhyming 5 reasons why Hillary should run for president in 2016.

They promulgate the requisite pay-gap myth with the tacky line, “In the USA, having a va-jay-jay shouldn’t mean less pay,” explaining why Common Core is so into sex ed. The girls also get in a line about Republicans bullying women over “reproductive rights,” leaving one to wonder if these girls know they’re the third generation to have survived legalized abortion in America (apparently not a lesson in the Common Core curriculum).

The most unintentionally comical point comes in the conclusion that, “As First Lady, Bill will rock the dress.” I guess Common Core hasn’t gotten to the ’90s, either. Bill definitely rocked the dress, in Democrat blue no less. Not surprisingly this one is red, reminding women they should vote Republican instead.

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Slate: Sending Kids to Private School Makes You a ‘Bad Person’

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

bad teacher

The single greatest cultural barrier to the preservation and advancement of liberty is our reverence for sacrifice. We use the word in reference to things which are actually profitable transactions, like choosing to study for a test rather than go drinking.

The true meaning of sacrifice is exhibited by an author at Slate who thinks you should give up what’s best for your kids for the sake of an “eventual common good.” Allison Benedikt writes:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

Note the nature of the transaction. Benedikt calls you to literally sacrifice what’s best for your kid. Your willingness to give your kid less makes you a better person, by her particular moral calculus.

This is what real-life altruism looks like. It’s not charity. It’s not being nice to your neighbor or helping around church or benevolence toward a stranger. Altruism is the irrational sacrifice of your life-affirming values – like the education of your children – for the alleged benefit of others.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

Benedikt can’t even define what this common good is, only that it won’t manifest for you or anyone you know. And really, that’s the whole point. The litmus test for whether something is truly sacrificial is that it must surrender something you value without redounding to your benefit. We’re not talking about investment. We’re not talking about some kind of legacy or inheritance. This isn’t about you and your children or grandchildren. This is about other people you don’t know or value supposedly benefiting from your self-inflicted loss. If we accept such moral claims upon our lives, we don’t deserve to be free.

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A Hundred Grand Per Year for a Journalism Degree from Columbia? Please…

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Well, almost a hundred: $92,933, to be exact, at the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. No wonder they’re slowly going out of business:

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will reduce its class size and cut about six positions from its staff as the news industry retrenches. The school will gradually reduce enrollment over several years and has already stopped filling some vacant faculty positions, Steve Coll, dean of the school since 2013, said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff today.

The cuts were reported by media blogger Jim Romenesko.

News organizations around the world are cutting staff and budgets as advertisers and readers have fled traditional media for free online sources and social media sites, such as Twitter. While graduate student applications rose sharply after the recession that began in 2008, the school’s class size is headed back to a lower “historical norm,” Coll said.

It’s certainly true that the Old Media world is dying. And overgrown teenagers with rich parents could afford to flee into useless graduate degrees during the recession, when they weren’t going to get any work anyway, to put off the day of reckoning. But maybe the sticker price for a credential has something to do with it as well:

The New York school will also focus on raising funds for student scholarships, Mr. Coll said. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses for a full-time master’s degree student are $92,933, according to the school website. Coll said he will host a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the changes.

Columbia is seeing increased demand for training in digital media, Ms. Fishman said, adding that applications for the school’s dual degree in journalism and computer science were up 47% this year.

I got into professional journalism in 1972, when I was hired by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as a cub reporter. I was armed with a degree in music and knew zero about journalism; my editors said, don’t worry, we’ll teach you. The rest is history.

 

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Watch Megyn Kelly’s Glorious Response to Professors Who Want to Ban the U.S. Flag

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

 

Fox New’s Megyn Kelly had a one-word response to professors at the University of California, Irvine, who want the United States flag banned because it contributes to racism. Actually, Kelly didn’t even need an actual word to express her feelings about the professors, who have expressed their support for a student organization that voted to ban all national flags — including the U.S. flag — on the UC Irvine campus.

I think Megyn Kelly speaks for a lot of Americans.

**** Updated: See from Spencer Klavan at PJ Lifestyle, “How to Beat the Thought Police, One American Flag at a Time: A Victory Case Study at UC Irvine

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VIDEO: The Holocaust Survivor Band Takes Vegas by Storm

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The New York Times reports:

Like many survivors of the Holocaust, after World War II, Saul Dreier and Reuwen (“Ruby”) Sosnowicz moved to America, started families and careers, grew old, and retired to Florida. For these octogenarians, settling near Boca Raton could have been the last chapter in their story.

But then, last summer, Mr. Dreier, 89, decided to start a klezmer band, drawing upon the music he grew up with in Poland. Playing the drums, he teamed up with Mr. Sosnowicz, an 85-year-old Polish accordionist. This Op-Doc video profiles the two men and their group, which they’ve named the Holocaust Survivor Band. In recent months they have performed for audiences at venues ranging from local nursing homes and temples to The Venetian in Las Vegas.

…For them, music is catharsis. The Holocaust Survivor Band summons the bittersweet memories of childhood, but more than that, it is a celebration of life.

Seniors Dreier and Sosnowicz prove that life doesn’t stop and start at the convenience of a radical dictator or cultural norm.

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Whaddya Know: The Participation Trophy Era is Producing Kids Who Are Raging Narcissists

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Shocked, I tell you.

Helicopter parenting, along with other forms of over-parenting, have come under considerable criticism in recent years for creating a generation of kids who can’t problem-solve for themselves. Now, a related parenting behavior – “overvaluing” one’s kids – has come under similar fire: But here, for creating narcissists-in-the-making. A new study from The Ohio State University suggests that constant – and perhaps undue – praise for our kids’ tiniest accomplishments, or non-accomplishments, may have the unintended side-effect of creating an over-inflated ego. And this can have serious consequences both in childhood and later on in life.

“Research shows that narcissism is higher in Western than non-Western countries, and suggests that narcissism levels have been steadily increasing among Western youth over the past few decades,” the authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is something I’ve been railing about for years (I wrote an ebook about it) and my feelings about it has just been reinforced while raising my teenage daughter. When childhood is spent being rewarded for nothing, adulthood can be a bit difficult to navigate. There seems to be no balance between avoiding damage to children’s psyches and coddling them to the point of inducing neuroses. Yes, psychotic, screaming parents at sporting events are awful, but last Saturday I saw pre-season parade for a Little League, celebrating merely getting through the registration process, I guess.

Narcissism is at the core of progressivism. The sense of entitlement inherent in leftist ideology is being nurtured in public schools that decades ago began prioritizing feelings over achievement.

Lunatics…asylum…you know.

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China Celebrates International Women’s Day by Imprisoning Female Activists

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The New York Times reports:

China detained at least 10 women’s rights activists over the weekend to forestall a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation that was to overlap with International Women’s Day, according to human rights advocates and associates of those detained.

At least five of the detained were still being held on Sunday evening, while the others had been released after being interrogated. All were women.

The women still in detention on Sunday evening live in the eastern metropolises of Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, and had timed the start of the anti-harassment campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day on Sunday, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group based outside China that had posted on Twitter about the detentions.

…“The attack this time is a big deal for us because the people who have been taken away formed the growing core of our movement these last few years,” said a young woman in Beijing who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also out of fear of official retribution. “They are the core strength of the women’s activist movement.”

Apparently those female activists weren’t invited to the official government celebration of the socialist holiday:

The All-China Women’s Federation held a gathering attended by female domestic workers and foreign diplomats in Beijing on Friday ahead of International Women’s Day.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of women’s rights, said Shen Yueyue, president of the federation, when delivering a speech.

Shen, who is also vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, said she hoped women would work hard to help realize the “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation.

Shen also urged women worldwide to work together in promoting gender equality and world peace and development.

The best way to celebrate women in China these days is to tell them to work harder and keep their mouths shut.

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