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The PJ Tatler

Much-Heralded Study on Gay Marriage Views Retracted Because Data was Faked

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Story telling.

One of the authors of a recent study which claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it.

The retraction this week of the popular article published in a December issue of the Science academic journal follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.”

According to academic watchdog Retraction Watch, Columbia University political science professor Donald Green published a retraction of the paper on Tuesday after confronting co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate assistant at UCLA.

The study received widespread media coverage from The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and others, when it was released in December.

The news here isn’t that study data was fabricated to fit the pre-determined narrative’s conclusion, it’s that they were caught and are retracting it.

Progressives in academia don’t dismiss opposing points of view merely because they are generally intolerant people(they most definitely are), they also can’t believe any other conclusion but their own to be true. This is a condition that has gotten worse in recent years as the progressive hijacking of academia has taken firmer hold.

It would be at all surprising to me if younger academic wannabes make the “square peg/round hole” approach more commonplace and begin “adjusting” facts whenever they believe they can get away with it. Perhaps they already are and this story is an anomaly.

Maybe we should give them a “safe space” to talk about the abandonment of ethics.

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Governor Blames Republicans for Education Bill That Democrats Voted For

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

It’s been clear for weeks now that Minnesota’s Democrat governor Mark Dayton wants a government shutdown. He’s been openly pining for it, not bothering to mask his naked partisan desire to blame Republicans going into next year’s election season.

The regular legislative session concluded late Monday night. As the deadline for the session approached, Governor Dayton repeatedly moved the goal posts on education funding, demanding ever more spending and full funding of universal preschool for four-year-olds.

The preschool piece has been a “priority” for Dayton despite widespread bipartisan opposition to the idea. Officials in the school district in which I live, which already deals with challenging fiscal issues, have told me they wouldn’t know where to put the new students if preschool were mandated by the state. But practical issues like that don’t concern Dayton, who sees universal preschool as a chance to both define a personal legacy in his second term and stick a thumb in the eye of House Republicans.

Tuesday, Dayton indicated he would make good on a threat to veto an education bill passed by the legislature because it does not include universal preschool. His veto will necessitate a special session during a time when capitol renovations leave the legislature with nowhere to meet. But Dayton says the inevitable special session was triggered by Republicans for not including his “priority.”

There’s only one problem with that narrative. Dayton’s fellow Democrats control the State Senate, and passed the same bill he’s about to veto. The Senate’s passage has been spun by some as a reaction to pressure to end the regular session on time. However, the reality is that many Democrats stand as skeptical of universal preschool as most Republicans.

The drama indicates that Dayton thinks voters will ignore the facts and buy his manufactured narrative of partisan intransigence. Even liberal allies in local media remain skeptical of that strategy’s chances.

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See How Bernie Sanders Pays for Free College for Everyone in New Bill

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senator and Hillary Clinton presidential challenger Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation to make four-year public universities totally free.

The 35-page College for All Act would give states $47 billion each year in federal grants to operate. These schools currently rake in about $70 billion in tuition each year, so states would be left to pick up a third of the tab.

“To qualify for federal funding, states must meet a number of requirements designed to protect students, ensure quality, and reduce ballooning costs. States will need to maintain spending on their higher education systems, on academic instruction, and on need-based financial aid. In addition, colleges and universities must reduce their reliance on low-paid adjunct faculty,” Sanders’ office said in a description of the bill. “States would be able to use funding to increase academic opportunities for students, hire new faculty, and provide professional development opportunities for professors. No funding under this program may be used to fund administrator salaries, merit-based financial aid, or the construction of non-academic buildings like stadiums and student centers.”

What’s the pay-for? A “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street.

“This legislation is offset by imposing a Wall Street speculation fee on investment houses, hedge funds, and other speculators of 0.5% on stock trades (50 cents for every $100 worth of stock), a 0.1% fee on bonds, and a 0.005% fee on derivatives. It has been estimated that this provision could raise hundreds of billions a year which could be used not only to make tuition free at public colleges and universities in this country, it could also be used to create millions of jobs and rebuild the middle class of this country.”

Sanders said today that it’s “a national disgrace that hundreds of thousands of young Americans today do not go to college, not because they are unqualified, but because they cannot afford it.”

He noted that free college would be like stepping back in time, since the University of California system didn’t begin charging tuition until the 1980s and in 1965 average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243.

Sanders stressed that his bill means “any student, regardless of his or her background or income, who has the ability and desire, will be able to get the education they need and the education they deserve. This legislation opens the door for a middle class life to millions of young Americans and will make our economy stronger and more productive.”

He also defended his pay-for: “More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a financial transactions tax including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, China, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Brazil.”

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Cloward-Piven in Action: ‘Traumatized’ Students Claim ‘Disability’

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Thank you, George Herbert Walker Bush:

Students with violent and traumatic pasts sued the Compton Unified School District on Monday, alleging they are legally disabled and the school has failed to meet their educational needs. The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, contends that under federal educational rules and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the district should establish special mental health and other services to help students with “complex trauma.”

That would include methods used by other districts such as San Francisco’s, including special training for teachers and staff; teaching children “skills to cope with their anxiety and emotions”; and “restorative” discipline strategies that don’t rely on suspending or expelling the students, according to the suit.

Trauma “stems from such causes as exposure to violence and loss, family disruptions related to deportation, incarceration and/or the foster system, systemic racism and discrimination, and the extreme stress of lacking basic necessities, such as not knowing where the next meal will come from or where to sleep that night,” according to the lawsuit.

Studies have shown that such trauma can affect a child’s developing brain and psychology and such children do worse in school and have more absences and poorer graduation rates, the lawsuit said.

So now cultural social dysfunction is a “disability.” Is a low IQ a “disability”? What about a low family income? Once you make having a “disability” into a monetary proposition, you are sure to get lots more “disabilities.”

The ADA was one of the dumbest laws ever passed by a Republican president and now it’s predictably being used as a cudgel with which to bankrupt the system. Where does this stop?

Don’t answer that question.

 

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Facing a Massive Deficit, Arizona Slashes Welfare Benefits

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by The Tatler

Arizona is looking at a $1B deficit so the state legislature has cut the state’s welfare program, reducing the lifetime limit for benefits to the lowest in the nation.

Benefits will be cut off after one year for families on the program.  “As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program on July 1, 2016.”

The Associated Press describes “The cuts of at least $4 million reflect a prevailing mood among the lawmakers in control in Arizona that welfare, Medicaid and other public assistance programs are crutches that keep the poor from getting back on their feet and achieving their potential.”

“I tell my kids all the time that the decisions we make have rewards or consequences, and if I don’t ever let them face those consequences, they can’t get back on the path to rewards,” Republican Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, said during debate on the budget. “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

Not everyone is happy about the legislature’s decision.

Cutting off these benefits after just one year isn’t fair, said Jessica Lopez, 23, who gave birth to her son while living in a domestic violence shelter and has struggled to hold onto jobs because she has dyslexia and didn’t finish high school.

“We’re all human,” said Lopez, who got $133 per month for about a year until she qualified for a larger federal disability check. “Everybody has problems. Everybody is different. When people ask for help, we should be able to get it without having to be looked at wrong.”

Arizona’s new welfare limits are the most restrictive in the nation. Most states have a five-year limit on benefits, 13 states have two-year limits and Texas has a tiered system.

The state made other cuts to keep in line with the governor’s pledge not to increase taxes. “The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job, and cutting off those benefits after five years. And Republican leaders are suing their own state to block a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which expanded Medicaid to give more poor people health insurance.”

The AP, which has a terribly biased write up on this story explains that the money for Arizona’s welfare program comes from the federal government. “Arizona’s welfare is entirely federally funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, but that money comes in a block grant, and Republicans want to use it instead for agencies such as the state’s Department of Child Safety.” The cuts in welfare will go to help the children but we don’t read about that until the very end of the story.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says the cuts are needed to protect the state’s education programs. “The bipartisan, balanced budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor protects Arizona’s most vulnerable, while avoiding a tax increase,” said Daniel Scarpinato, governor’s office spokesman.

 

 

 

 

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Teacher Fired for Helping Teens Plan Tryst in School Closet

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

When parents check their kids’ cell phones, they don’t expect to see what one suburban Atlanta mother discovered when she looked at her 14 year-old son’s phone. The mom, who chose to remain anonymous, found a series of texts between her son and his teacher, helping the boy plan to have sex with a girl in a storage room at the school.

The school system has fired 25-year-old Quinton Wright, who taught at Champion Theme Middle School in Stone Mountain, east of Atlanta. Wright also faces charges, but he hasn’t turned himself in.

WSB-TV’s Tom Regan spoke with the parent, who said she couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I was in a state of disbelief when I read all these messages,” the mother said, asking to remain anonymous.

[...]

“Basically he’s allowing the students to have sex in a storage room of his classroom,” the mother said.
“He told my son you can have it from 7:30 to like 8:30,” the mother said reading some of the messages. “’Did you tell the girl what’s going to happen? That she cannot tell anybody?’ basically don’t tell anyone I’m allowing you to use my room.”

The mother said the teacher also sent her son a calendar showing teachers’ schedules and a text saying he did not have condoms.

The school system removed Wright from the classroom after the mother discovered the messages, but that was not enough for the distressed parent.

“It’s very sickening and disheartening, because we trust administrators and educators when we drop our kids off at school,” the mother said.

The mother told Regan she pulled her eighth-grader from school Friday and contacted the school’s principal and police.  She said she also filed a complaint.

[...]

The student’s mother told Regan she was suspicious of the teacher from earlier behavior.

“He called me when the kids are at their eighth-grade prom and asked if he could come over and take pictures with the boys before the prom, and I said no,” the mother said.

Featured image courtesy of WSB Radio

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Evangelicals to Bring Christian College Students to Israel

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Christian? In college? Want to go to Israel for $500? Haaretz reports:

Conservative Jewish funders and Christian donors of Hobby Lobby fame have joined forces to launch a Christian Birthright trip, modeled after the successful program that has taken thousands of Jewish young adults to Israel for the past 16 years.

Covenant Journey, a subsidized evangelical 11-day trip to Israel that was officially announced May 8, will bring 250 students to the Holy Land by the end of the summer. It aims to bring thousands more in the upcoming years.

Just like the Taglit-Birthright Israel program it is modeled after, Covenant Journey seeks to strengthen American students’ love for Israel. But instead of having them mingle with young Jewish soldiers, participants walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and visit Christian holy sites. According to the program’s founder, the results from a recently launched pilot tour were encouraging. Participants in the trip were transformed into enthusiastic pro-Israel advocacy messengers.

…The Philos Project, a pro-Israel group with a stated mission of promoting “positive Christian engagement in the Middle East,” offered its backing early on. The group’s board includes Richard Lang, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary; Mark Tooley, president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, which is a conservative religious think tank, and Republican Jewish activist Dan Senor, who served as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, in Iraq, during the administration of George W. Bush. The group’s main funder is Paul Singer, a Jewish hedge fund billionaire who is also one of the single largest donors to Republican politics.

Politically it’s a smart move. With anti-Semitism on the rise on college campuses and Obama stacking the decks against the Democrats when it comes to the pro-Israel vote, subsidized Israel trips are yet another great way to solidify bonds with Israel’s Christian supporters who vote in America. Targeting the millennial generation is more than a wise idea. These young adults are the ones who have been the most exposed to an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist agenda in the history of public education. What’s more, whether it is in the form of BDS, Christ at the Checkpoint, the Soros-backed Telos Group, or Palestinian Liberation Theology, the Christian community is far from immune to anti-Zionist influences.

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Common Core: Creating a Productive Citizenry of Sex-Bots

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

According to the National Sexuality Education Standards for Common Core, children as young as the second grade are expected to comprehend that gender is a cultural construct. By 5th grade they need to be able to identify what HIV is and how to prevent it medically. By the end of 8th grade they need to identify “credible sources of information about sexual health.” They also need to comprehend how abstinence contributes to the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, much to the chagrin of Jenny Kutner, resident sexpert at Salon, who does not view abstinence to be “medically accurate” let alone a form of “sex education at all.”

Kutner justifies her opinion based on a recent California judge’s ruling regarding sex ed in public school classrooms. “Access to medically and socially appropriate sexual education is an important public right,” as is everything nowadays from wedding cakes to vandalizing major cities in the name of civil rights. Why is sex ed a public right? According to the Common Core standards:

Improvements in public health, including sexual health, can contribute to a reduction in health care costs. [And] Effective health education can contribute to the establishment of a healthy and productive citizenry.

The last time the government was so concerned about public sexual health, they handed out condoms by the boatload to soldiers. That’s right, folks, your public school kid is a soldier in America’s new “productive citizenry” army.

What neither the nationalized sex ed curriculum, nor the judge in California, nor Jenny Kutner ever expect students to understand is that if they want children one day, they need to have a plan to prioritize or balance family and career by the time they’re 18. Female students need to understand that the longer they push off having children, the harder that process will be. They also need to understand the medical ramifications of various birth control methods and how those may impact their ability to have children down the line as well. 

Since the procreation of life is conveniently lumped in with the prevention of disease, it is safe to assume that the cultural standard is to avoid both by all costs. After all, that’s what a productive citizen would do — place the needs of the state before their own selfish desires in order to avoid diseases of all kinds that could inhibit their ability to contribute to society.

So, why not promote abstinence, the only method of avoidance with a 100% guarantee? The loyalties expressed in abstinence-only education, to God, monogamous life-partners, and the unborn, pose the greatest threat to this State-focused mentality. The State doesn’t care if your kids have sex. They just don’t want to have to deal with the consequences.

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Earnest: Obama Not Criticizing Private School Parents, Just Reminding Them to Think of the Collective

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama, who attended a private prep school and sends his children to the most exclusive private school in D.C., wasn’t criticizing people who send their kids to private school.

Obama made the comments while talking about society’s elites at a forum on poverty Tuesday at Georgetown University.

“Those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages — are withdrawing from sort of the commons, kids start going to private schools, kids start working out at private clubs, instead of the public parks, on anti-government ideology than dis-invest from those common goods and those things that draw us together,” Obama said. “And that, in part, contributes to the fact that there’s less opportunity for our kids.”

Earnest told MSNBC this morning that Obama was making the point “that it’s important for us to recognize that as a country, we all have an interest investing in the common benefits that our country has to offer.”

“His point is that, even if you send your kids to private school, we all have an interest in making sure that we have good, high-quality public schools in this country that are available to everybody. And it’s not that far from the White House that we do have some of the best public schools in the country over in Fairfax County, Virginia. And that is an example — that is also a more wealthy than average county in the country. And that is an example of a society and of a community that is invested in a common good for the benefit of their community,” Earnest continued.

“I don’t think that he’s criticizing people for sending their children to private schools.”

Instead, Earnest said, Obama is “suggesting that all Americans need to keep in mind that it’s in our collective best interest as a country and as individual citizens for us to invest in the common good, for us to invest and make sure that we have good quality public schools are available for everybody, so that everybody has a fair shot, everybody has a fair shake, everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed and will let their ambition and their hard work take them as far as it — as it will carry them.”

“That’s what this country is all about,” he said. “And we start to lose sight of those basic values in this country, if we all start to sort of retract back into our own private clubs and our own private schools and lose sight of the fact that we all have an interest, even if our kids aren’t going to the public schools, that we want those public schools to be good.”

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How Your Tax Dollars Fund Childhood Obesity

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

A recent survey indicates that 95% of parents think their overweight children “look just right”. Cue Michelle Obama’s latest national panic attack: We don’t know what fat looks like anymore! But before you allow the Feds to implement yet another government-mandated solution, read on. “African American and low-income parents had the most inaccurate perceptions” of what a healthy child should look like. These populations are also the ones reaping the benefits of federal programs like WIC, the Women, Infants and Children special supplemental nutritional program administered by the USDA.

According to a 2013 Time article, the answer to “Why Obesity Rates are Falling” was WIC “…which provides nutritious foods and information on healthy eating and health care referrals to low-income pregnant women, promotes breastfeeding and offers whole fruits and vegetables instead of fruit juice.” How far did those statistics really fall? A whopping 1%. The minority big enough to protest against on Wall Street is also a cause for celebration among fans of tax-subsidized food programs. If only every American’s standards were so low.

How does WIC produce fat kids 99% of the time? By providing a budget that allows for a greater consumption of sugars, carbohydrates and fats than fruits and vegetables. The monthly food package for a child ages 1-4 permits for 128 fluid ounces of juice, 2 pounds of bread, 1 dozen eggs… and $8 worth of fruits and vegetables in cash vouchers. For a whole month.

That’s right, you don’t even get the food directly. You get a cash voucher and hope you can access fresh fruit and veggies, which can be hard to find in low-income areas often dubbed “food deserts.” Even if fruit and veg are accessible, they are some of the most expensive items at the food store. (I’m still waiting for my coupon for brussel sprouts.)  In fact, according to the journal Pediatrics, “high prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) in young children in low- and middle-income households.”

The Feds have created a culture of obesity currently fed and later medically supported by your tax dollars. I guess those low-income and minority babies aren’t good enough for Michelle O’s salad of the week. Save those greens for the middle class. They’ll need the energy to get to work.

 

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Women: If You Want the Right Diagnosis, Take Medicine Into Your Own Hands

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Contemporary feminists continue to push the myth that women are stereotyped as stupid simply because of their gender. This time the target is medical professionals who misdiagnose female patients’ pain as a mental disorder. Because these activists are stuck in Sylvia Plath’s oven, misdiagnosis is obviously the result of a patriarchal belief that all women are secretly insane.

Forget the fact that their opening citation involved a misdiagnosis by a female doctor in the UK. Their first study cited shows that women patients are prejudiced against because of their gender. Too bad that study comprised findings ranging from 1970-1995. A 2000 study on “physician and patient gender concordance” revealed that female patients often chose their doctors, often chose women doctors, and were more likely to be disappointed with their treatment than their male patient counterparts.

What the Think Progress report didn’t take into account was the amount of time doctors spend with each patient. According to a 2010 study, American doctors have an average of 32 minutes for a new-patient appointment. According to more recent reports, the average doctor visit is roughly 15 minutes, a time crunch resulting from “…Medicare’s 1992 adoption of a byzantine formula that relies on “relative value units,” or RVUs, to calculate doctors’ fees.” In Britain, the plague of socialized medicine has driven the average visit down to 11 minutes thanks to the economics of the National Health Service.

The reality is a financial, not an ideological one. Women aren’t being talked over, ignored or misdiagnosed because they’re female. They’re receiving poor treatment because the economics of an increasingly socialized system don’t permit proper attention to be given to patients, male or female alike. Medicine, like everything else in the age of Obama, is becoming self-serve. Want a proper diagnosis? Stop allowing your feminism to turn you into a paranoid wreck. Instead, use it as a driving force to take control over your own health instead of expecting the State to do it for you.

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In Other Financial News of Crooks, Judge Rules Banks Helped Cause Crash of ’08

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Remember the big, conveniently timed Crash of ’08, the one that helped propel a malevolent nobody from the Chicago Machine into the Oval Office? Yeah, that one:

Many on Wall Street have long argued that the banks did not generally break the law when they packaged shoddy mortgages and sold them to investors in the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008. But on Monday, in the starkest of terms, a federal judge dealt a strong blow to that version of history. She ruled that two banks misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in selling them mortgage bonds that contained numerous errors and misrepresentations.

“The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous,” Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan wrote in a scathing 361-page decision.

No sheetrock, Sherlock. And yet by and large the reckless criminals who brought down the American economy have skated on this one, first bailed out by the taxpayers and then merrily enjoying a rising Dow while the rest of the country suffers.

The ruling came in a closely watched case brought by the government against the Japanese bank Nomura Holdings and Royal Bank of Scotland. They were the only two of 18 financial firms that took their case to trial, arguing that it was the housing crash, and not deceptive loan documents, that caused the bonds to collapse.

The other firms — including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America — settled, together paying nearly $18 billion in penalties but avoiding a detailed public airing of their conduct.

Gee, I wonder why… couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that among Obama’s many nicknames is this one: the president from Goldman Sachs.

Judge Cote’s ruling described a dangerous and toxic period in the American economy. As house prices were soaring, Wall Street banks were purchasing high-risk mortgages and then bundling them into bonds that were sold around the world. As this huge mortgage machine churned on, the quality of the loans plunged.

Some financiers and housing industry analysts have since asserted that, while Wall Street was acting out of greed and with a cavalier disregard for risk, it did not act deceptively. But Judge Cote, in her order, took a dim view of the banks’ conduct. She said that loan guidelines were “systematically disregarded” and found “disturbing examples” showing that Nomura was willing to package and sell defective loans.

“This case is complex from almost any angle, but at its core there is a single, simple question. Did defendants accurately describe the home mortgages in the offering documents for the securities they sold that were backed by those mortgages?” she wrote in her decision. “Following trial, the answer to that question is clear. The offering documents did not correctly describe the mortgage loans.”

For the best primer — from a liberal perspective! — read my friend Les Leopold’s book on the subject: The Looting of America. You’ll be glad you did.

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Insanity in Academia: Smith College President Says ‘Motherhood Is a Cultural Invention’

Monday, May 11th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the Boston Globe:

Motherhood is a cultural invention. It reflects a belief adopted by society that is passed down from one generation to the next. In US culture, we hold to the idea that young children are better off when cared for exclusively by their mothers. Mothers are bombarded by this message in the media, especially in programming directed to them. Only after five seasons does Claire Dunphy, the iconic mother of “Modern Family,” return to the workplace.

I could respond with single mother/career mother roles from media to counter Ms. McCartney’s critical “Modern Family” example, but I’m writing a blog post, not a book.

Part of this is rooted in the leftist pitch to get your kids into daycare as early as possible for the beginning of the indoctrination that will make them believe things like “motherhood is a cultural invention” without questioning.

Most of it is rooted in the fact that radical feminists are insane.

They are, however, well placed in academia.

That is why the author can write things like “Our cultural construction of motherhood is rooted in a particularly strong American bias toward personal responsibility, reflected across our social policies” (if only that were true!) and “Mother’s Day is a good day to double down on the work required to reconstruct our conception of motherhood” and remain in charge of an institution that charges more than $60,000 a year to “teach” young minds.

Feminists want to play fast and loose with gender roles and societal norms as needed but still be able to say all men are rapists waiting to happen. They have no middle ground here — it’s all fluid or rigid, which makes most (I’m being generous) of their claims childish and easy to dismiss.

“Motherhood” and “child-rearing responsibilities” are different concepts that are being conflated here for the purpose of this whimsically illogical thought journey of Ms. McCartney’s. I take that back, motherhood is actually being reduced to a set of chores here, completely exorcising the gestation period that, according my latest level of understanding, is still done by human females.

My intention here isn’t to spend time picking apart what Ms. McCartney is writing, her intellectual bubble (and bubble head) status is pretty clear. It’s just important to keep pointing out just how badly radicalized the upper levels of academia are.

And hopefully to inspire people to start doing something about it.

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Obama Proves Campus Rape Is Good for Business

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Reporting of sex crimes on college campuses has nearly doubled in the last five years. Not because the crimes have necessarily occurred, as last year’s Rolling Stone/UVA debacle illustrated quite clearly. Oh, and not because there are standardized procedures for collecting and reporting sexual offenses, either. And, as a recent National Review article indicates, numbers can be played with or outright omitted in order to create fantastic headlines, like the absurd 1 in 5 stat  cited by President Obama’s It’s On Us campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses. Yet these drummed-up numbers continue to be used to drag the dead horse of campus rape out of the contemporary feminist barn and into the mainstream media’s spotlight. Why?

Money, of course:

The number of Title IX sexual violence complaints received by the department jumped from just 20 in fiscal year 2009 to 123 in fiscal 2014. As of April 8, 2015 — a little over halfway through the current fiscal year — the department had received 68 such complaints.

However, the number of staff has been falling at the Office for Civil Rights, which is tasked with enforcing Title IX.

…President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget would increase the Office for Civil Rights’ funding by 31 percent to $131 million, which the Education Department has said it would use to hire 210 full-time employees.

That’s 210 more employees who will be used to threaten colleges with too many complaints on file:

The Office for Civil Rights staff have said in the past that their priority is taking corrective action, rather than punishing a school. In the Boxer letter, they note they have “experienced positive results” on that score using their ability to threaten federal funding if an institution doesn’t fall in line.

Building bureaucracy on your tax dollars, one questionable accusation at a time.

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The Greatest Threat to Space Exploration: Manifest Failure

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Welcome to Generation Whatever. Forget Kirk versus Picard. There’s a new Captain in town named Barack and his bidding with the final frontier is finally coming to fruition. Sure, we can explore Mars, but why even bother? We’ll just screw that up, too:

The white, male European conquerors of the New World and 19th-century American pioneers of Manifest Destiny still colour the space age, so is it a myth that we’ll turn nice on Mars? …destiny is rarely great for the people already at the destination. When Africans moved north to colonise Europe they obliterated the Neanderthals. When Europeans seized the New World, its cultures were virtually extinguished. Luckily the only population on Mars that we know of is a handful of rovers, but no doubt we’ll start a war anyway, before dragging them into some form of slavery or oppression. It’s just what we do.

So, NASA, how’s that “cheer up Muslims by reminding them of their math skills” working out for you? You’d better enjoy being the glorified therapy agency of choice for the Islamic world, because that’s your only job security going forward. You stink at everything else by virtue of your implied white, male colonialist ethos. And for those of you drawing your astronomical inspiration from the sci-fi world, you’re just a bunch of pervs:

Women in space-colony fiction have generally been presented as sexy walking vaginas, whose main purpose is to provide the male astronauts with a place to dock their penis at night. This being necessary in order to “ensure the survival of the species”.

Fiction proves it. Pulp fiction, actually, and quotes from Russian scientists – yes, Russia, the folks who gave us Sputnik, socialism and the lingering iron claw of the KGB. Let’s definitely base our theories about humanity on those guys. Space dudes? All pervy Putins deep down inside.

The prime reason why progressive ideology stinks? It’s as regressive as human nature can possibly get, believing fervently in the inevitable failure of humankind at every turn. Only progressives could turn manifest destiny into manifest failure.

 

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The Foot in Mouth Disease Common Among Middle Class White Chicks

Monday, May 4th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Twit(ter)-feminist Megan Tyler blathers on about the evils of “choice feminism” pop culture’s current interpretation of the fight for women’s rights as nothing more than the right to sexually abuse yourself or others in the name of vaginas everywhere:

… the choice arguments are fundamentally flawed because they assume a level of unmitigated freedom for women that simply doesn’t exist. Yes, we make choices, but these are shaped and constrained by the unequal conditions in which we live. It would only make sense to uncritically celebrate choice in a post-patriarchal world.

Like many of her slightly more academic contemporaries, Tyler is a disciple of Marxist feminism. To a Marxist, no one has a choice. Women are the oppressed proles, men the oppressive bourgeoisie. The philosophy balks at the concept of choice because free market capitalism and the governmental independence that goes along with it is a denied possibility at the outset. That denial creates contemporary feminist foot-in-mouth disease. Symptoms include middle class white girls balking at the idea that either Beyonce or the local stripper should possibly choose to sexualize her image in order to make money, while simultaneously celebrating slut walks as an earmark of the struggle for women’s liberation.

What are the “real problem women still face”? According to Tyler, they are what can easily be dubbed “first world woman problems” like a lack of state-sponsored child care and, of course, the dead horse that is the equal pay myth. Marxist feminists would find these both to be excessively obnoxious, as they wrestle with the State the way they wrestle with men: All powerful, but never benevolent enough.

When Tyler and her ilk begin to counter the hypocrisy of “choice feminism” with the reality of the inequalities women face in the Muslim world, give me a call. I’ll be happy to bring them a crowbar so they can finally get their Manolos out of their mouths.

 

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Harvard Law School Students Are in Distress Over Evil Cops

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Harvard Law students staged what I suppose was meant to be a “protest” against police violence, sticking a series of upside-down American flags into the ground with the names of those killed by police in the first few months of 2015. No details of each case are given, leading one to believe that each killing was essentially a murder in the name of law enforcement.

Note, this is the same law school that nearly honored a female lawyer whose organization was involved in the creation of a “notorious, anti-cop rap video” in February. Last year, the prestigious Ivy League university permitted law school students to postpone final exams so that they could adequately focus on protesting the non-indictments of cops in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, a decision that set a precedent for law schools in the Baltimore area.

Recently the law school devoted a conference to “tackling” what has been dubbed “implicit racial bias” in the legal profession: “…how cognitive processes are unconsciously formed and affected by biases and prejudices that can be ingrained from years of social learning and by negative stereotypes.” In other words, these law students are being convinced that the system is inherently racist. The question becomes, what kind of biases will they be carrying out of the classroom and into the court room?

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Forget About Why they Aren’t: Why Are Women Having Children? And What Can Politicians Do to Support Their Decision?

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

The Atlantic published the most recent in a whole slew of articles on why women aren’t having children. (Google “Why women are having children” and you’ll get the entire mind-boggling list.) The reasons are prototypical contemporary feminist blather about the evil stain that humanity is on the environment and how they just don’t want to have kids. Apparently the selfishness inherent in not wanting to care for another human being is perfectly justified by the selflessness of caring about grass, trees and greenhouse emissions. Environmentalism, combined with a healthy love of animals, is the salvation-du jour of the not-mothering crowd.

In reality, these baby-less babes represent a mere 5% of Americans who, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, do not want to have children. According to Gallup, “More than half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 40 have children, and another 40% do not currently, but hope to have children someday. Only six percent of Americans aged 18 to 40 do not have, and do not want to have, children.”

The real question becomes: In the face of all this popular criticism, why are women still choosing to become mothers today? And what real solutions can politicians anxious to imbue family values into American culture generate to support the parenting desires of the electorate?

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How Sex Ed Screwed Millennial Women

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Camille Paglia once suggested that real sex education would involve sitting a tween girl down and giving her a stark reality check. Forget condoms on bananas. The real issue would be: Do you want to have babies or not? Then, let the life planning begin.

Instead, what the majority of millennial students received via public education were the basics on how to avoid pregnancy and STDs (as if you can lump a new life in with a gross disease) along with a strong push to plan for a career before thinking about having a family. America is now reaping the fruits of an entire generation of public labor:

In a new report, the Urban Institute think tank writes that in 2012, there were only 948 births per 1,000 women in their 20s, “by far the slowest pace of any generation of young women in U.S. history.” …The report authors say they don’t know whether Millennial women will eventually catch up in childbearing like women who lived through past recessions did.

Overall, the report paints a positive picture for women of color and a neutral one for white women. On one hand, women might be enjoying living carefree and childless into their 30s. On the other, a nationwide shortage of babies hasn’t worked out well for places like Germany, Denmark, or Japan, where aging populations threaten economic growth and the sustainability of pension funds.

Eighty-one percent of white women are experiencing a decrease in birth rate because they simply aren’t marrying. These career women are living out their Carrie Bradshaw or Hannah Horvath fantasies without realizing that they are de-funding the very socialized economy for which they so heartily advocate. All that free birth control won’t be so free if they don’t produce a new generation of babies to pay for it down the road.

What’s more, these women are inevitably relying on a paternal government that will take care of them well into their old age. Considering that the public education system has already trained them to economically produce, the question becomes: If they require more care than they are financially worth, what makes their aging bodies a good public investment?

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Obama’s Lawyer Basically Tells SCOTUS That Religious Schools Are Toast

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Barack Obama

During oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday (Obergefell v. Hodges), Justices Roberts and Alito questioned Solicitor General Donald Verrilli about the rights of religious schools if the Court decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states.

Justice Roberts asked if religious schools that provide housing to married students would be required to offer such housing to same-sex couples. Verrilli demurred, saying there is currently no federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Those issues are going to have to be worked out,” he said.

Not satisfied with that answer, Justice Alito brought up the Bob Jones case, where the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. He asked if the same would apply to a college or university that opposed same-sex marriage.

“You know, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli said. “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It’s going to be an issue.”

Suddenly we have a clear, unambiguous answer for those who have been bleating, “Yeah, but how would gay marriage affect you personally?” It’s not that proponents of traditional marriage haven’t been saying this all along, but now we have it on the record — from the lips of Obama’s lawyer to the ears of the masses: We’re coming for your Christian schools.

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Georgia Teacher Forced to Retire for Telling Students That Obama Is Not a Christian

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

Dublin, Georgia, middle school teacher Nancy Perry will retire at the end of this school year, and chances are she won’t receive a gold watch. Dublin City Schools voted to force Perry to retire because she allegedly told her students that President Obama is not a Christian, and neither is anyone who voted for him.

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter announced the retirement of Nancy Perry early Tuesday morning, while simultaneously apologizing to students and parents for Perry’s actions.

“It is not the place of teachers to attempt to persuade students about religious or political beliefs,” Ledbetter said. “In doing so, the teacher was wrong and that has been communicated to her… Just as importantly, we are communicating this message to all staff of the school district.”

In March, Perry a veteran teacher at Dublin Middle School, told her students that the president is not a Christian — and that anyone who voted for him was not a Christian. Parents protested and the NAACP called for sanctions against Perry.

[...]

Immediately after parents complained to Nancy Perry about her comments, a meeting was set up to address them.

Although Perry has said that she never made the comments, at the meeting, according to the NAACP, she “presented to the parents a packet of several pages from a website that expressed her views on religion and politics. … The parents’ concern was exacerbated by the teacher’s unwillingness to even consider the possibility that her classroom conduct was not conducive to a healthy learning environment.”

Added to the accusations leveled against Perry was that she allowed her husband to be in on meetings between her and parents. Perry’s husband Bill is a member of the local board of education, as well as a former local talk radio host.

Parents saw that as a form of intimidation…

Ledbetter has ordered all school principals to call his office immediately when a school board member tries to get involved in day-to-day school activities. NAACP officials had threatened to involve the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting agency, arguing that Bill Perry was “micromanaging” the schools.

“An individual board member should not participate in a parent/teacher or parent/principal conference nor should an individual board member in any way attempt to involve himself in a parental concern or a personnel matter at the school level,” Ledbetter said.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Valerii Ivashchenko

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

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

 

Update: the board member in the video is Michael Jones, not John Martin as stated originally. The post has been updated to reflect the correct information.

At a recent hearing conducted by the Missouri State Board of Education, board member Michael Jones 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:

Jones: 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.

Jones: 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.

Jones: 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.

Jones: 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?”

Jones, whose biography says he has “more than 30 years of experience specializing in public policy development and implementation” 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 been using his revisionist history views to influence public policy in St. Louis 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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