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Professor Tells Students to Hate Republicans

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Prof. Brent Terry teaches Introduction to Creative Writing at Eastern Connecticut State University. In a lecture Monday morning, he said that Republicans are “racist, misogynistic, money-grubbing people” who want to turn the clock back and keep blacks and Latinos from voting. The Republican Party was founded to end slavery while the Democrats started a civil war to preserve slavery, but ESCU’s history department probably doesn’t teach that. He also said that if the Republicans win the Senate this fall, America will be a “very, very different kind of country” in which colleges will start closing up.

Campus Reform reports that the audio was captured by a student, who wishes to remain anonymous. ESCU has released a statement saying “Our faculty has academic freedom to conduct their classes in whatever way they choose, this is not a university matter.”

Just another day in academia.

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Wendy Davis Campaign Morphs Into Clown Show

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

What do you do if you’re falling behind and you’re wrong about, well, everything? If you’re Wendy Davis, you hire a castoff from Harry Reid’s house of lies and you just lie about whatever comes up.

The example is in today’s Dallas Morning News, via editorial writer Rodger Jones.

Fact No. 1: Texas public school districts that offer Pre-K already assess them for effectiveness.
Fact No. 2: The Davis campaign has been ridiculing the idea of assessing Pre-K kids, calling it “standardized testing for four-year-olds” and imposition of “Baby STAAR” tests.
Fact No. 3: The Davis campaign has been mum on whether she would ban Pre-K assessments that districts now administer.

Just this afternoon, the campaign put out an email that starts with this headline: “DAVIS CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO DMN EDITOR RODGER JONES”

Never mind that I’m not editor of the DMN, or an editor of any kind. The release continued this way:

FORT WORTH – Wendy Davis campaign communications director Zac Petkanas responded to editorial board editor Rodger Jones’ defense of Greg Abbott’s plan to impose standardized testing onto four year olds.

“Greg Abbott’s so-called education plan does something that Texas currently does not do: impose a top down mandate tying additional state resources for pre-K classrooms with how well four year olds do on standardized test assessments.

“Under Abbott’s plan, school districts with pre-K students who don’t meet the mark have their resources slashed.

“To say that this currently takes place in Texas today is just plain wrong.”

I’m saying one simple thing: Pre-K assessments happen today, a reality that may have caught the Davis campaign by surprise as they set out to criticize the very idea of making sure tax money is used properly.

This is aside from any comparison of the Abbott and Davis Pre-K plans. This is a reality check for the Davis folks. A sample of what they put out last week:

“Four-year-olds should be coloring with crayons, not filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils,” Davis told a crowd of about 80 people at the Texas State Teachers Association.

It’s a distortion for effect, and they know it.

It’s cute, how Wendy Davis and Zac Petkanas think they can just make up whatever reality they want.

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Charges Dropped in Ridiculous PA Student Wiretapping Case

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The story of the bullied kid who recorded his bullies, only to then get bullied by his school and the local police, is about to end on a happy note. The District Attorney is getting the last say, and will drop the charges entirely.

No one in our office who was authorized to give advice on wiretap issues or school conduct issues was ever contacted in this matter. We have made multiple attempts to contact the officer who wrote the citation. Those attempts have been unsuccessful. It is our intention to withdraw the citation on April 29 because we do not believe his conduct rises to the level of a citation.

Would there have been a positive ending if blogs hadn’t turned the story into a national issue? Unlikely.

h/t Eugene Volokh.

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Zero Tolerance: Another Public School Decides to Wreck a Kid’s Life

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The short version of the story: Kid gets bullied at his school in Pennsylvania, school pays no attention and fails to help him. So he records audio of the bully bullying him, to provide proof to his mother. His mother tells the school and lets them hear the audio. The school administrators do the absolute stupidest possible thing. They tell the boy to delete the audio, and call the cops. The responding officer then does the dumbest thing he can do, and charges the kid with a crime.

By the way, the kid who now has a conviction on his record has a learning disability.

The student didn’t even truly commit “wiretapping,” which is what the police officer initially thought to charge him with, despite the fact that there was no longer any audio recording at all. The boy used a school-issued iPad to record the audio. How is that “wiretapping?” I realize that in legalese it may be, but the law is often an ass. The boy was convicted of disorderly conduct last month and removed from the class in which the bullying took place. The bullies are still there, unmolested.

The 15-year-old is being punished harshly for defending himself nonviolently.

The incident and ongoing criminal case happened in Fayette Township, PA. South Fayette High School is the guilty educational establishment.

Everyone involved in the decision to slap the boy with criminal charges should be fired and they should face child abuse charges themselves. The administrator who called the police, the police officer, the judge, everyone — fire them all and slap them with civil lawsuits.

They make these idiotic decisions based on “zero tolerance” policies. It’s past time to hit the adults in these cases with zero tolerance policies as well.

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Wendy Davis Voted for WHAT in Texas Classrooms?

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Parents of children in Texas public schools need to pay attention to this one.

In the 2011 session of the Texas legislature, lawmakers considered a bill that made it easier for school districts to fire teachers who had been convicted of felony crimes. The need for such legislation, in an age when teachers have been caught having sex with underage students and other terrible misdeeds, is obvious.

The Texas House considered HB 1610 to make it easier for school districts to get felons out of classrooms. Sen. Wendy Davis was among a handful of Democrats who voted against the bill. The bill passed easily, without Davis’ vote. Davis then voted for a loophole that would have allowed felons to continue teaching if their crimes were unrelated to teaching.

A convicted felon is a convicted felon.

HB 1610 passed the Texas Senate and then passed the Texas House almost unanimously. Just one member voted against it in the House. It was one of the most bipartisan bills of the session.

But Wendy Davis voted against it.

Why would she do that? Why would Wendy Davis vote repeatedly to keep felons in our public school classrooms?

The Real Wendy (which is a political attack site — it also gets its facts right, though) speculates that she was voting to satisfy the teachers unions. Davis is the union candidate — teachers unions have donated more to her campaign than all of the three previous Democratic governor candidates combined.

Whatever the reason, Davis’ votes to keep felons in Texas public school classrooms is disturbing and appalling. There’s no way around that.

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Brandeis University Rescinds Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Honorary Degree Because She Criticized Islam

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The students, faculty and staff of Brandeis University have submitted themselves to dhimmitude.

Brandeis University in Massachusetts announced Tuesday that it had withdrawn the planned awarding of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch critic of Islam and its treatment of women, after protests from students and faculty.

The university said in a statement posted online that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.

“She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world,” said the university’s statement. “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006, has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. That includes a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine in which she said of the religion, “Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”

Ali knows well of what she speaks. She was raised Muslim in Somalia, survived female genital mutilation, escaped Somalia’s civil war and became a member of the Dutch parliament. But Islam followed her, and credibly threatened her life. She and Theo Van Gogh produced a short film critical of Islam’s treatment of women, called Submission. A Muslim murdered Van Goch on an Amsterdam street in 2004. His killer used a knife to pin a note to Van Gogh’s body, and in that note he threatened Ali.

The threats became too much, and Ali was once again forced to move, this time to the United States.

So she knows very well what she is criticizing and why she criticizes it. Shame on Brandeis. The university probably thinks it is making a statement for tolerance, but in rescinding Ali’s honor, it is making a very different statement.

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Obama’s ‘War on Women’ Devolves into a Squabble Over Dry Cleaning Costs

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The formerly* most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States of America, said this today.

POTUS said, “[I] know it’s equal pay and not Obamacare day, but I do want to point out that the affordable care act guarantees free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care and ends the days when you can be charged more for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance. That’s true for everybody. That’s just one more place where things were not fair. We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right? I know that — I don’t know why it cost more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt.”

If he really doesn’t know, it’s probably because he never held a real job in his life. Or, he just isn’t very smart.

That remark prompted the Washington Post’s Juliet Epstein and Kate Zezima to study up and write a post about — I’m not making this up — why it costs women more than men to get dry cleaning.

They note that there is no federal law against charging women more. They noted that Obama isn’t even the first Democrat to bring this vital issue to our nation’s attention.

They fail to note that women’s clothes tend to be tailored more than men’s, and that women tend to wear more delicate fabrics than men. The Post’s two writers on this one story failed to even take any of that into consideration, even though it’s blindingly obvious. They note all of the politics, but none of the relevant facts.

A female commenter on the story sets them straight.

I was born in the dry cleaning business. My parents have been in the business for 18+ years.
That being said, I would like to say dry cleaners are not trying to be discriminatory. It’s business.

1.) Men’s shirts are dry cleaner’s loss leaders. We hate people who bring 10+ shirts without any dry cleaning because we make no profit.

2.) Dry cleaners have men’s shirts machines. These machines are fit for men’s shirts.
See link: http://www.mymartinizing.com/files/shirts/sankosha…

3.) Women’s clothing are more complex than men’s clothing. This article talks about cleaning a women’s blouse versus a man’s shirt, but what about pressing a blouse, dress or skirt?

4.) Think about the lines of a woman’s figure and the way that clothes are designed to contour this figure. Now think about a man’s body. It’s more boxy. No machines are manufactured that could form the many types of women’s blouses. See link above.

5.) Women’s blouses are usually more versatile in style, fabric material, and embellishments. If a woman brought in a silk shirt, a dry cleaner would not wash it. It must be dry cleaned. The cost of chemicals and pressing is more expensive. Thus, her blouse is more costly.

Overview: The time and effort that goes into cleaning women’s clothing is more labor intensive as well as time intensive. This is why Michelle’s blouse is more expensive than Obama’s shirt.

Thank you, Pres. Obama, for considering the discrimination of women in the area of dry cleaning. However, you spoke too soon.

*Barack Obama has devalued the US presidency to the extent that he is no longer the most powerful man in the world. Vladimir Putin might be, China’s president might be, George Soros might be…but Barack Obama is not.

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It’s Time to Start Suing Schools and Officials — Personally — for Abusing Students

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Times reports that a New Jersey school in the Vernon Schools system suspended a 13-year-old boy last Thursday. His “crime” — twirling a pencil in his fingers.

Another kid behind him yelled “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie!” According to AWR Hawkins, that kid had been bullying Ethan Chaplin, the kid who was twirling the pencil.

And the idiots in charge of the school took the bullying to an entire new level.

The school suspended him. It ordered him to undergo both a psychological and a physiological examination. The boy’s father says his seventh-grader son was stripped and had to give blood samples and urine samples for drug testing. He passed out during the examination. Four hours after that, a social worker spoke with the boy for all of five minutes and cleared him of doing anything wrong.

When he went back to school, the principal reportedly followed him around all day.

That boy was abused by his own school. The authorities over him terrorized him. They bullied him. All just for twirling a pencil in his hand.

As has become typical in these cases, Superintendent Charles Maranzano defends the indefensible actions of those who work for him:

“We never know what’s percolating in the minds of children,” he told the news station. “And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty.”

Twirling a pencil is about a billion miles away from going on a murder spree.

It’s time to go Al Armendariaz on these people and make examples of them to deter this kind of abusive behavior. Our government is already doing that to citizens and has been for years. It’s time to turn the tables. The super needs to be sued personally, as does every other teacher and official involved. They’re not fit to be around children.

 

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UC Santa Barbara Sort Of Apologizes For Psycho Prof Who Attacked Teenage Pro-Life Demonstrator

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Maybe.

The California school that employs a professor accused of attacking a teen-aged pro-life demonstrator has issued an apology…sort of.

In a long-winded 1,000-word letter that reads more like a diatribe than a mea culpa, University of California at Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor Michael Young eventually conceded that women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young should not have snatched a pro-life sign from 16-year-old Thrin Short, giving backhanded praise to the framers of the Constitution.

“Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Young wrote in an open memo to the student body.

The price of freedom of speech, Young was enlightened enough to acknowledge, is that students, staff and faculty must tolerate “outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda.”

“Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” Young added, mentioning “evangelical types.”

Leftists (especially academics) are rarely sorry for their un-American behavior, they’re just sorry when they get caught with bad optics. Like an alleged grown-up ripping a sign from a 16 year-old girl’s hand while berating her as she exercises a Constitutional right.

That the Vice Chancellor had to get in a dig at the Founding Fathers before he could say anything nice about them show just what a pathetic bunch of pukes are running higher education in this country.

Quick question for the readers: are there any feminist studies professors who aren’t angry all the time?!?

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VIDEO: Missouri Teacher Tearfully Describes Being Harassed For Opposition To Common Core

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

From Duane Lester at The Missouri Torch.

Thou shalt not question your union or federal overlords.

YouTube Preview Image

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Texas School Fires Principal Who Wants Students to Speak English

Friday, March 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There’s a lot to unpack in this story.

HEMPSTEAD – The Hempstead school board won’t renew the contract of a principal who instructed her students not to speak Spanish, in a rapidly-evolving district where more than half of the students, like many Texas schools, are now Hispanic.

Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey was placed on paid administrative leave in December after reportedly announcing, via intercom, that students were not to speak Spanish on the school’s campus. The Hispanic population of the rural area, roughly 50 miles northwest of Houston, is growing quickly, and Latino advocates say that it’s important to allow Spanish in public schools.

“When you start banning aspects of ethnicity or cultural identity,” says Augustin Pinedo, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens Region 18, “it sends the message that the child is not wanted: ‘We don’t want your color. We don’t want your kind.’ They then tend to drop out early.”

I actually agree with that last quote, just not its trajectory. It is true that if you send the message that something about kids makes them unwanted, you hurt those kids and their future.

Now, what messages have our public schools been sending over the past decade or two?

Males are less desirable than females, and a male who acts like a male stands a strong chance of being labeled ADHD and drugged out of being a young male. A kindergarten boy who has no idea what sexual harassment is can get suspended from school for sexual harassment these days.

Christianity has been all but driven from our public schools. Prayers before football games have been litigated to death. When a valedictorian quotes a Bible verse or acknowledges God, all Hell breaks out.

Our public schools tend to punish any expression of support for the Second Amendment. Wear an NRA shirt to school — get suspended. When a six-year-old boy makes a gun shape with his fingers, he gets suspended. Even when a little kid draws an innocent picture or says “Bang!” to a pal, he gets suspended. Kids playing around with airsoft guns on their own property after school get suspended from school and have their academic careers ruined.

In all of the above examples, the school administrators are never punished. They keep their jobs. And the kids get the message. Kids who get bullied in today’s schools also get the message that if they defend themselves, they will be punished right along with their bully. If the bully gets punished at all.

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Academia Continues Its Assault On Free Speech

Monday, March 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Duct-taping the Constitution.

An upcoming conference on heterosexual marriage is being denounced as hate speech by the Stanford Graduate Student Council (GSC), which is seeking to quash the event. Last week, the council at the top-ranked California university voted ten to two to deny funding for the event “Communicating Values: Marriage, Family, and Media,” sponsored by the Stanford Anscombe Society.

The council withheld the $600 of requested funding after student outcry over the event’s “anti-LGBT” content, according to the Stanford Daily.

Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS) is a group that “promotes discussion regarding the roles of the family, marriage, and sexual integrity in the lives of Stanford students both now and after graduation.”

“Communicating values” was created in order to “engage in intellectual and civil discourse about the issues of marriage, family, and sexual integrity,” according to the event description.

However, other students weren’t so willing to engage in civil discourse on their campus.

Over 100 students, many organized by the queer graduate group GradQ, showed up at the GSC meeting on “Communicating Values” and, according to the minutes of the meeting, decried “Communicating Values” as hateful and even dangerous to LGBT members of the Stanford community.

In the minutes (transcribed without editing), one student claims that “an event such as this would be a negative event, in schools that have negative events there is a statistically significant increase in suicide.” Another said that “public schools cannot deny student group funding based on viewpoint, but enforcing viewpoint neutral policy that denies funding for hate speech is an entirely different ballgame. Even if Stanford was a public university, it would be perfectly legal to deny funding to events that make LGBT community feel unwelcome.”

One of the more insidious charades leftists participate in is pretending that elite American universities are churning out intellectually rigorous people who should be running the country. For decades, however, they mostly produce incurious drones who have an unnatural fear of even a slightly differing opinion. Political correctness provides the foundation for freedom’s house of horrors, allowing any non-leftist thought to be labeled “hate”.

It’s almost to the point where Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will be a feel good story relative to what is actually going on.

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Open Thread: 17 Equations That Influenced History

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

You remember all of these, right?

stewart 17 equations table corrected

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School Forces Girl in Wet Swimsuit to Stand Outside in Sub-Zero Weather

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Legalism has gotten a 14-year-old girl a case of frostbite.

The trouble began when a small science experiment triggered the fire alarm at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz was swimming in the school pool for health class at the time. Her clothes were in her locker, and a teacher told her that there was no time for her to change. Hagen-Tietz was rushed outside–still wet and dressed in only swimsuit.

It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day. With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero.

Hagen-Tietz asked to wait inside an employee’s car, or at the elementary school across the street. But administrators believed that this would violate official policy, and could get the school in trouble, so they opted to simply let the girl freeze.

Her fellow classmates, at least, huddled around her to try to keep her warm. And one teacher did eventually lend her a coat.

At the risk of sounding like a dubstep repeat sequence, everyone involved with this who works in the school system needs to be fired. They literally endangered a student’s life, because they have had their brains shoehorned into narrow legalistic modes of behavior. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids, and criminal prosecution should be considered. No more fooling around with this idiocy.

Between this and the numerous cases of little kids suspended from school for making a gun with their fingers, going pow-pow, drawing a firearm or even wearing a shirt that mentions Second Amendment rights, our educational system has been unionized and overlawyered right out of common sense.

Here’s a radical set of proposals: Kick the unions permanently out of all public education, fire at least half the administrative staffs in every school system, cut excessive superintendent salaries, stop schools from building ridiculous sports palaces, and let those who do remain in the system think.

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Ohio School Suspends 10-Year-Old for Making a Gun with His Fingers

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Zero tolerance/zero common sense strikes again.

A ten-year-old Ohio boy was suspended from schoolafter a teacher caught him brandishing a “level 2 lookalike firearm.” What lookalike firearm was this, you ask? Well, Nathan Entingh got in trouble after he pretended to use his finger as a gun. Yep, his finger.

The principal for the Devonshire Alternative Elementary School has reportedly warned students about using “pretend guns” before, though Entingh claims that other students caught doing the same thing weren’t suspended for three days like he was.

His father said they could have just given him detention or an in-school suspension, but to suspend him for that length of time is just “very excessive for what he had done.”

A 10-year-old boy making a gun with his fingers should not be a punishable offense at all.

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Texas Public School Penalizes Honest Student for Doing the Right Thing

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

I might be all out of words. How we vote no longer matters. The majority of Americans don’t want Obamacare, and do want the IRS abuse investigated. Obamacare stays, IRS abuse won’t be resolved — majority does not rule. Many of our public schools are run by people who are incapable of thinking. So are many of our police departments. When you mix unthinking idiots in education with unthinking Keystone cops, you get powerful idiots doing idiotic things to our children.

A Texas family is appealing their son’s suspension after he brought a can of beer to school.

Christi Seale said her 17-year-old son Chaz was running late Monday and accidentally grabbed a beer instead of a soda to pack in his lunch.

When Chaz realized his mistake, Seale said he immediately gave it to a teacher at Livingston High School, about 90 minutes north of Houston.

But the school didn’t buy the story. The teacher called the principal and Chaz was suspended for three days. He will also have to attend an alternative school for two months.

“I think it’s not black and white. There has to be a gray area. You can’t punish a kid for doing the right thing. It’s the same punishment you would give a kids that you catch doing the wrong thing,” Seale said.

Livingston ISD is standing by the teacher and the principal, because of course. No one is allowed to think, this is a public school!

The story gets even worse. The campus cops got involved. A cop committed the crime of thinking.

So the teacher called the principal’s office, and the principal referred Seale to campus police. Police swiftly issued him a citation for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

But the officer revoked the citation after learning of the circumstances of the incident, tearing up the slip in front of Seale.

Undeterred, the school district suspended Seale for three days. The police officer reportedly got into trouble with his superiors for refusing to pursue the first citation.

Common denominator: These are all government employees.

If our big government were smart, that would be one thing. I still wouldn’t support it, but at least it would defensible. Our big government is stupid, which makes it an active threat.

 

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Young Idealist: ‘I shall never retreat or surrender’

Monday, February 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Today, February 24, is the 178th anniversary of one of the most heroic letters ever written. On February 24, 1836, Lt. Col. William Barret Travis and just 188 fellow freedom-fighters were holed up in a mission in San Antonio, Texas. The mission was originally called Mission San Antonio De Valero, but by 1836 had long been known as the Alamo.

On February 24, Travis commanded the small group of Texians inside the mission turned fortress. Four days earlier Texas had declared its independence from Mexico, reacting to Santa Anna’s despotism. Surrounded by a hostile army far outnumbering his own forces, Travis wrote the following letter.

Commandancy of the The Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—
Fellow Citizens & compatriots—

     I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man — The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat.  Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.

William Barrett Travis.
Lt.  Col. comdt.

P. S.  The Lord is on our side — When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn — We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836. Relief for the Texians within the Alamo never arrived, but Travis’ letter was key to bringing in more troops and support to fight for Texas. The 13-day siege gave Gen. Sam Houston time to gather forces to attack and defeat Santa Anna at San Jacinto on April 21. The Republic of Texas won its independence.

Lt. Col. William Barret Travis died in the Battle of the Alamo. He was just 26 years old.

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But, Sebelius and Obama Told Us that This Wasn’t Happening!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Obamacare is costing hours and jobs. It says so right there in the New York Times.

WASHINGTON — Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.

The cuts to public sector employment, which has failed to rebound since the recession, could serve as a powerful political weapon for Republican critics of the health care law, who claim that it is creating a drain on the economy.

They claim it, because it is. You just said so, New York Times. Dontcha read your own stuff?

Apparently all these government entities are just doing it wrong. It can’t be Obamacare’s fault.

Mark D. Benigni, the superintendent of schools in Meriden, Conn., and a board member of the American Association of School Administrators, said in an interview that the new health care law was having “unintended consequences for school systems across the nation.”

How do you know that they’re “unintended”?

Let’s hop through the story.

In Medina, Ohio, about 30 miles south of Cleveland, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the city had lowered the limit for part-time employees to 29 hours a week, from 35. Workers’ wages were reduced accordingly, he said.

Lawrence County, in western Pennsylvania, reduced the limit for part-time employees to 28 hours a week, from 32. Dan Vogler, the Republican chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said the cuts affected prison guards and emergency service personnel at the county’s 911 call center.

It’s charming, now the NYT inserts the party affiliation here and there to suggest that that’s what’s driving the cuts — not the law that the Democrats pushed through.

Now let’s try our best not to gloat, as unions that supported Obamacare find out what’s in it.

William J. Lipkin, an adjunct professor of American history and political science at Union County College in Cranford, N.J., said: “The Affordable Care Act, rather than making health care affordable for adjunct faculty members, is making it more unaffordable. Colleges are not giving us access to health care, and our hours are being cut, which means our income is being cut. We are losing on both ends.”

The American Federation of Teachers lists on its website three dozen public colleges and universities in 15 states that it says have restricted the work assignments of adjunct or part-time faculty members to avoid the cost of providing health insurance.

Clearly, they’re just all doing it wrong. Obamacare was supposed to usher in a time of plenty, when the doctor would lay down with the insurance adjuster, they would beat skyrocketing deductibles into manageable payment plans, and all was to be right with the fully insured world.

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NEA President: Common Core Standards ‘Completely Botched’

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

When you’ve lost the NEA

I am sure it won’t come as a surprise to hear that in far too many states, implementation has been completely botched. Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools. Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what’s needed to get [Common Core State Standards] implementation right. In fact, two thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms.

That’s from a letter that President Dennis Van Roekel sent to the members of that National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers labor group.

As Lindsey Burke from Heritage notes:

This is what happens with one-size-fits-all bureaucratic initiatives.

In addition to the implementation of the standards being inefficiently handled, there is also the question of exactly what those standards are supposed to achieve.

Partisan ideology and ham-handed federal “efficiency”, coming soon to a first grade class near you!

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Five Years Ago Today: Rick Santelli’s Epic Rant Launched the Tea Party

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It was on February 19, 2009, that CBNC’s Rick Santelli let rip the rant heard ’round the world. The day before, President Obama spent some of his honeymoon political capital on a proposal to subsidize the mortgages of about 9 million Americans, with taxpayer dollars. The media, still in full swoon over Obama (and most of the media remain in that state to this day), reported on the proposal without noting that it would force Americans who had been responsible with their decisions to subsidize millions who had not.

CBNC’s Rick Santelli was standing with traders in Chicago the morning of February 19. The mortgage proposal had him in high dudgeon. He turned to his fellow traders and said, “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbors’ mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand.” The traders can be heard booing the proposal. Santelli turns back to the camera and makes his first slice of history, saying, “President Obama, are you listening?”

President Obama was not listening (well, unless you count the NSA). He hasn’t listened to this day. He would go on to ram Obamacare through a Democrat-controlled Congress despite the majority of the American people’s objections to that law. The majority still object to that law; Obama continues selling it anyway.

Santelli wasn’t finished. He noted that it is possible to take a prosperous nation to its knees with terrible, big government policies.

“Y’know, Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy. They moved from the individual to the collective. Now they’re driving ’54 Chevys, maybe the last great car to come out of Detroit,” he said.

A few seconds later, Santelli said something that launched a whole movement.

“We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” Santelli said. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”

The Tea Party would go on to galvanize opposition to Obama’s policies and hand the U.S. House of Representatives to Republicans in 2010, along with several governorships and state legislatures. The Obama administration, or functionaries within it, would counter by using the IRS and other executive branch agencies to harass and slow the Tea Party’s growth heading into the 2012 election.

Watch Rick Santelli’s epic rant here.

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Idiotic ‘Ethnic Studies’ Requirement Being Debated At Cal State L.A.

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Multiculturalism run amok.

A debate at Cal State L.A. over an ethnic studies requirement turned heated Tuesday as several students tried to shout down faculty members who responded by chanting “Let her speak, let her speak.”

Dozens of students crowded into a meeting of the Academic Senate, which was considering a motion that at least one of two required general education diversity classes be in Asian/Asian American studies, Chicano studies, Latin American studies or Pan-African studies, or in related courses in some other departments.

The 55-member senate had rejected a similar requirement last month but had been considering a new motion amid pleas by many students that mandated curriculum should include perspectives from all cultures.

Many ethnic studies instructors who support the requirement argue they have particular expertise in theories and instruction that can’t be replicated in other departments.

Opponents argued that although they valued the study of race and ethnicity, such studies should be integrated throughout the curriculum, allowing students a greater choice in classes.

The one scintilla of sanity in there is the news that some instructors would like students to have more choice. Look, if a student wants to take ethnic studies classes, let him/her. There is no sound educational reason for making them a requirement, however. It’s all just so much PC garbage.

Thankfully, the Los Angeles city council took time out from finding new ways to financially ruin the city and address this most important of issues.

Student and faculty supporters got a boost earlier in the day when the Los Angeles City Council approved by a vote of 14 to 0 a resolution supporting the ethnic studies requirement.

Councilman Gilbert Cedillo, who presented the resolution, said in an interview that greater education on race and ethnicity might help to ease conflict on wider issues facing the city.

“We live in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and people have to have sensitivity to each other and value each other; and ethnic studies contributes to that,” Cedillo said.

It’s true, this is an extremely diverse city. That point alone makes the requirement seem nonsensical. Cal State L.A. isn’t exactly known for its international student body; much of it is homegrown. If one grows up in this city and still lacks “sensitivity”, an Asian-American studies class isn’t going to bring about an epiphany.

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University of South Carolina Textbook Says Predictably Terrible Things About Reagan, Conservatives

Monday, February 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Progressive academics just don’t see anyone else as human.

A University of South Carolina textbook has one student whistleblower outraged over its accusations that President Ronald Reagan was sexist and conservatives view people as incapable of “charity” and “lazy.”

The textbook, obtained by Turning Points USA Founder Charlie Kirk, was authored by Karen K. Kirst-Ashman and used for the three credit course “Introduction to Social Work Profession and Social Welfare.

The mandated reading includes sections such as “Conservative Extremes in the 1980’s and Early 1990’s,” which claims Reagan “ascribed to women primarily domestic functions’ and failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency.”

Anna Chapman, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, told Campus Reform “I can not even tell you how angry I was when I read that.”

The excerpts sent to Campus Reform make no mention of Reagan’s appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice; his appointment of the first female U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick; Elizabeth Dole, the first female appointed to Secretary of the Department of Transportation; or that over 1,400 women were chosen by Reagan to fill powerful, policy-making positions.

The book accuses conservatives of taking a “negative view of human nature” and says that rich people see having less rich people as “useful.” It’s progressive propaganda.

This story will take one of two tracks. The university will hide behind “academic freedom” and do nothing, or it will claim to be shocked! by its contents and remove it from classrooms…only to return it once the dust settles. Other universities will lay low, hoping that the world doesn’t learn that the same book is being used on their campuses too.

 

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Good Night America: 1 In 4 Don’t Know Earth Orbits The Sun

Friday, February 14th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

If you’re the sighing type

Americans are enthusiastic about the promise of science but lack basic knowledge of it, with one in four unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun, said a poll out Friday.

The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.

Nine questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score — 6.5 correct — was barely a passing grade.

Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

It might not be a sign of the apocalypse…OK, it probably is.

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A Love Letter to Americans

Friday, February 14th, 2014 - by Noelle Nguyen

I came to this country in the mid-eighties as a political refugee. My father fought communist forces in Vietnam for the South Vietnamese military alongside U.S. armed forces. Following the fall of Saigon, our family fled the country by boat and spent nearly three years in refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines. We were consequently sponsored to the U.S. by a church and our family eventually settled in California.

When our family first arrived in the U.S., in an effort to help us assimilate, a man whom we all called “Dad” drove his van around town every Friday to take newly settled immigrants on a shopping trip to K-Mart. His wife would then make us dinner and we’d all watch a movie before he’d drop us back at our homes by the end of the evening, marking some most indelible footprints in my heart. I further benefitted from charitable Americans in the form of welfare, Medicaid, federal student aid, and a host of other entitlement programs I’d likely forgotten, which were made available to us to help us get on our feet by hardworking, taxpaying Americans. I became a naturalized American citizen and attended both public and private schools, and subsequently went on to achieve some career highs (and lows) in the private sector, all of which richly contributed to my road to achieving the American dream.

By virtue of being an American, I had achieved the American dream.

I developed an unwavering appreciation for Americans and an allegiance to the country I’ve called home for nearly three decades—the U.S. It’s an appreciation that one who’s never lived beyond the boundaries, safety, and charity of this country perhaps couldn’t possibly fathom. To have been given so much—opportunity, life, and liberty—by a country I cherish, and to subsequently witness its withering growth trajectory during the formative Great Recession years, pained me. The anguish of watching my mother ingest her own wedding band at sea during our escape so as to avoid confiscation by pirates, though compelling, was no match for the desolation I later felt as I watched the country enter what I believed to be an era of not only economic but also cultural decline. Watching segments of misguided and ideologically imbued Americans paint the country I love as the world’s enemy further compounded my need to stand up for well-meaning Americans.

In 2012, after witnessing the gradual decimation of the manufacturing sector and the country’s deteriorating economic fortunes, I founded American Love Affair, an online retailer of only made-in-the-USA products, as a means of aggregating, promoting, and selling consumer products manufactured on American soil. These talented producers, largely SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), managed to survive, thrive, and, in some cases, dominate in the face of increasing global competition.

For underserved consumers who desire American-made products, both domestic and abroad, American Love Affair is not just an online retail destination, but also a symbol of American resilience, diversity, productivity, and fighting spirit. It is the American dream.

The American system is one that leverages the free human spirit to achieve greatness, and, warts and all, the truth remains that the U.S.A. is the most vigilant and successful defender of freedom and capitalism the world has ever known. Americans remain the most just, well-meaning, and vigorous champions of human rights and human capital the world has ever known.

Indeed, American Love Affair stands for my love affair with America. It is my homage to you, my beloved fellow Americans. On this Valentine’s Day, to you, I dedicate this love letter.

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Everything Wrong With The Liberal View Of Public Education In One Sentence

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

We have come for your children.

Bill de Blasio’s education commie let this one slip when asked why they’re keeping schools open during the heavy winter storms. The last sentence of the paragraph is the money line (emphasis mine):

“If people can go to work, then kids can go to school,” she said. “Many of our kids don’t get a hot lunch and, in many cases breakfast, unless they go to school. So it’s still a parent’s decision whether they send their kids to school or not. My decision is where the kids are safest and the most taken care of, and the answer to that is in schools.”

There you have it. In the mind of a nanny state progressive, your kids are safer and better taken care of when they are in school. She didn’t qualify this statement much, and that’s because her ilk believe this to be the case for all children.

(I cover this both humorously and seriously in my ebook “Don’t Let The Hippies Shower”. It’s only $3.99 at Amazon and you don’t have to have a Kindle to read it. Just download one of the Kindle readers that are free for various platforms. Book plug over. Hey, it’s only the second one I’ve done here!)

This is why de Blasio and his wife won’t shut the hell up about taxing the hell out of hard working people to pay for pre-K for everyone. They want to remove you from the equation as much as possible when it comes to your kids because they need the time for indoctrination.

The progressives have been creeping up on many fronts for decades now. They are almost in a position for full-on assaults on all of them and we cannot underestimate what they are capable of.

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Which Product was More Dishonestly Marketed: Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, or Barack Obama?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Kids of a certain age remember ads for Amazing Live Sea Monkeys. They ran in the backs of comic books. The ads promised that Amazing Live Sea Monkeys would hatch, grow, and become your friends.

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Amazing Live Sea Monkeys were supposed to be so amazing that they even had their own Saturday morning show.

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And a video game.

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When Barack Obama burst into American politics, he promised to be a different kind of politician. He promised Hope. And Change.

obama-noddin

The media were smitten.

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Hollywood couldn’t get enough of him.

Jean-Luc-Picard-Sings-And-Dances

 

Despite their skepticism of the young, inexperienced senator, many Americans fell in love too.

like-the-way-i-feel

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And he was elected President of the United States. Twice.

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Gallup Poll Dashes Texas Democrats’ Hopes to Turn the Lone Star State Blue

Monday, February 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Texas Democratic Party, and the national Democrats along with them, have a racist strategy to flip Texas from reliably Republican to purple or even blue. Talk to any Democrat leader here or nationally and they will admit that they have no intention to change or moderate any of their policies. They are not going to back away from their high-tax, anti-business policies, and they are not going to moderate on abortion or lend any meaningful support on the Second Amendment (Wendy Davis’ unconvincing conversion on open carry only serving to reinforce the Democrats’ party position). They won’t even step away from Barack Obama despite his unpopularity here. They even stand with Big Labor in this right-to-work state.

Democrats are just waiting for the state’s rising Hispanic population to turn Texas into a swing or even blue state. That’s their strategy.

The Democrats’ strategy assumes several things. One, that Hispanics in Texas vote as a bloc. Two, that Hispanics pay no attention to policy save immigration. Three, that most Hispanics who pay attention to immigration are uniformly in favor of an essentially unsecured border and amnesty. Four, that the Democrats’ positions on social issues will not hurt them with Hispanic voters. And five, that taking a strong stance on immigration and border enforcement is a sure-fire loser for Republicans, and therefore a winner for Democrats.

A new Gallup poll throws gallons of cold water on everything that Democrats think about Hispanic voters in Texas.

The poll finds that nationally, Hispanics prefer Democrats by 30 points, but in Texas, the gap is just 19 points. Hispanic voters have gravitated toward Republicans in Texas at a time when Democrat policies like Obamacare are clearly failing and hurting the economy, and Democrat policies on energy have clearly hurt the Lone Star state. Despite that, Texas is outperforming the national economy largely because Texas has elected Republicans, and those Republicans have enacted serious conservative policies that are working across Texas. The Democrats have also gone all-in on abortion, electing the most pro-abortion president in American history while promoting the radically pro-late term abortion state Sen. Wendy Davis as their standard-bearer in Texas. The Democrats have lurched too far to the left on social and economic issues generally. Texas Hispanics have noticed.

At the same time, most Texas Republicans have not only not avoided the subject of border security, they have tended to articulate strong and clear policies on border security that include security first, followed by no amnesty, but compassion for the very few illegal aliens who were brought into the U.S. as young children and only know America as their home. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, son of immigrants from Cuba himself, articulated strong border policies during his primary campaign, and attracted 40% of the Hispanic vote on his way to victory.

Overall, the trend for Hispanic voters in Texas is not one that will change the state’s voting habits anytime soon.

Relative to 2008 — the year of President Barack Obama’s landslide presidential victory — Texan Hispanics have gradually become more Republican, even as the percentage of Hispanics identifying with or leaning toward the Republican Party has remained relatively stable nationwide. The six-percentage-point gap between the percentage of Texan Hispanics and Hispanics living in all other states who identify or lean GOP is the highest it has been in over six years.

Policy does matter, and how it is articulated matters too.

The national GOP could learn a few lessons from the Texas GOP on the issue of border security and attracting more Hispanic voters — voters who are vital to the Republicans’ viability from now on. They can listen to the pundits who essentially agree with the Democrats’ cartoon view of Hispanic voters, or they can watch what works and what doesn’t in majority-minority Texas. Pandering and surrendering to the Democrats will not work. The first is a good way to insult voters, while the second will fracture the party’s base.

The fact is, many of Texas’ Hispanics have been in this state for four and five generations or more. Hispanic voters are not single-issue voters. The Texas GOP has been successful in encouraging and recruiting quality conservative Hispanic candidates for offices from the county and local level to the legislature on up — state Rep. Larry Gonzales, the aforementioned Sen. Cruz, and many others across the state. Independent grassroots outreach groups like Duke Machado’s GOPisForMe are making a big difference too. The Texas GOP has also focused on connecting with Hispanic voters on jobs, on values, and on the future — not one issue, but a range of issues. At the same time, Texas Republicans aren’t going soft on the border. Quality candidates and a full-spectrum approach on issues — that’s how Texas Republicans are outperforming the national and other state-level Republicans with Hispanic voters.

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Joe Biden: Infrastructure, Not Personal Freedom, is Behind America’s Economic Dominance

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

VP Joe Biden spoke on infrastructure in Pennsylvania today, and said a couple of startling things. In the first, Biden said that LaGuardia Airport in New York is “like a Third World country.”

Given Bidens’s history of racial incidents, this comment could be seen as insensitive, but as he was speaking on infrastructure, he gets a pass here.

LaGuardia’s newest terminal was built in 1992, by the way.

Biden also had this to say on the subject of why America has the world’s largest economy.

“No, I’m not joking!” he added. “Why did we lead the world economically for so long? We had the most modern infrastructure in the world.”

Biden implies that we no longer lead the world economically, which isn’t true. It’s not even close to true. The US economy is still the world’s largest by far, nearly double the size of China’s economy and more than three times third-place Japan’s. Several US states, including California, Texas and New York, would rank above most national economies on their own.

The US remains the big dog, but some other countries are catching up. The question is why?

The period Biden is probably referencing is the decades following World War II, roughly 1945 to 1969 or so. The US enjoyed a period of massive economic expansion relative to the rest of the world, and the US outproduced the rest of the world combined, by far, for many of those years. That was largely due to the fact that economies across Europe and Asia had been shattered during the war and took time to rebuild. They had to recover and some had to adapt to democracy. The United States generally financed that rebuilding. What statists and fascists had destroyed, America would restore and set free.

America’s post-war dominance could not last forever, nor should it have. As other countries recovered, they could be expected to become more productive and more competitive.

The only way America’s dominance could be chalked up to infrastructure is if you consider the fact that, for years, many of our competitors had no infrastructure. America was rebuilding their infrastructure. America was also intent on freeing those who had lived under repressive regimes.

Why could we do that, though? Because we had won the war, and because we had the most free economy in the world. Why did we do that? US policy was to restore our allies and defeated enemies, and install democracy and individual freedom. That was not the only approach available. Our fellow victor in the war, the Soviet Union, was devastated after World War II and lacked the human rights and freedom necessary to sustain a vibrant national economy. The Soviets installed puppet Communist regimes wherever they could, which essentially froze its territories and their economies. The Soviets and their allies were agents of repression. The Soviet bloc fell behind economically. The US surged ahead, stayed ahead, and eventually defeated the Soviets in the war of ideas, and by outspending them on defense. The Communists eventually had to tear down the Berlin Wall and admit defeat.

While the US once had the world’s most free economy, thanks largely to policies that Biden supports and endorses, we no longer do. The United States currently ranks around 12th to 15th on the global economic freedom index. The main reason that we keep sliding down the economic freedom scale is that our government cannot help itself and cannot stop confiscating and spending more and more of our wealth. Our legal system, regulatory environment and property rights are all growing worse, sending us down the economic freedom scale.

Biden and his Democratic party are the party of trial lawyers, the party of heavy-handed regulators, and the party that favors government over private property ownership. So to the extent that we have economic problems, Biden is part of them, not part of any solutions to them.

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Maryland School Throws Party for Straight-A Students, Parents of Underachievers Respond Predictably

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Old school.

A Maryland middle school is holding a dance and pizza party complete with a DJ and a game room for students who earned straight A’s.

Students who got B’s and C’s are invited to attend the party once classes are over, and pizza is no longer being served. Students with lower grades are not invited at all, The Washington Post reported.

According to the newspaper’s report, 306 students of the school’s 865 students are being left out of the party.

Before college, I spent six years being educated by nuns and six years in public schools. I know for a fact that I learned far more from the good sisters who never at any time cared about my feelings. We have just pumped out a generation or two of emo morons because educators began focusing on not making under-performing students feel bad about themselves.

Many will, of course, confuse incentive with shame here. And I am sure that some of those 306 students who are being left out have some legitimate learning issues.

Some.

The bottom line here is that, in the rush to coddle students who struggle in school we have almost stigmatized those who do well. Such an extraordinary effort is made to not formally praise them that it diminishes the hard work it takes to get straight A’s. This kind of reward is refreshing in the Participation Trophy Era.

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Academic Poison: Professor Says Bin Laden Was A ‘Freedom Fighter’ In Required Textbook

Thursday, January 30th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The Idiot Class

Usama bin Laden was a freedom fighter and the U.S. is a “neocolonial power,” according to a California state university teacher whose writings are required reading for his political science students.

Emmit Evans, a political science lecturer at the public university Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, requires students in his “World Food Systems” class to read the textbook he co-authored, “The Other World.” In the book, about politics in the developing world, Evans offers up a sanitized version of the 9/11 mastermind and the terrorist group he headed.

“The Al Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden is one example of an attempt to free a country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) from a corrupt and repressive regime propped up by a neocolonial power (in this case, the United States),” the book says.

Professor McMoron claims that he is merely conveying the facts:

Asked about his line referencing Al Qaeda, Evans told FoxNews.com in the language of academia that he merely presents facts and doesn’t moralize.

“With respect to my writings, they are empirical, not normative,” he said.

One of the more “through the looking glass” aspects of modern American academia is that the most profoundly ignorant people have been put in charge of higher education. At first glance, one would assume that this man knows quite well that his interpretations aren’t at all empirical and that he is lying merely to promote an agenda. In the narrow-minded bubble world of college politics and history professors, however, his conclusions are accepted as fact, despite being wildly interpretive and inaccurate.

The leftwing agenda has been in place so long in American universities that facts are contorted to fit predetermined conclusions. Since the Vietnam War, the most important conclusion that one has to come to if one is to remain published and popular on the academic cocktail circuit is that the United States is a bullying aggressor. That always leads them to see a lot of grey area in the motivations and actions of our enemies.

Which there isn’t.

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Finally, GOP Begins to Focus on School Choice

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

None too soon.

Republicans eager to attract black and Latino voters believe they have hit on an ideal magnet: school choice.

Led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, with high-profile contributions from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the GOP is pushing an election-year initiative to talk up school choice at every turn.

Calling for more charter schools, vouchers and tax credits to help parents pay private school tuition fits with the party’s mantra that the government works best when it gets out of the way and lets the free market flourish. But top strategists say it’s more than that: Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on the attack. And unlike immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance of blowback from the tea party.

Plus, the photo ops are great. As the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks put it in a strategic planning document: “Focus on kids and the future = excellent media opportunity.”

The Leftmedia is naturally painting this as pure pandering, because that is the sole motivation for anything the Democrats do.

While it is an issue that definitely has appeal to some minority groups that don’t traditionally vote Republican, it is simply incorrect to think that is all this is about. As I wrote for FreedomWorks last month, it really is about choice, which the Left abhors unless you are talking about abortion. (Aside-Politico‘s attempt to make it seem as if the GOP is taking cues from FreedomWorks is laughable. There aren’t a lot of hugs being exchanged between the two entities.)

School choice is about the freedom to have our children educated in the best way possible. The Democrats hate it because their goal is to be permanently in cahoots with teachers’ unions and use public schools as indoctrination mills.

There is also the fact that the party that claims to be the champion of the poor and downtrodden in the United States is also the one fighting hard to make sure only well-to-do families have education options.

And that should be pointed out every time a Democrat begins wailing about “income inequality.”

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Higher Education Standards? Make Stuff Up!

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Chicago, of course.

A new report finds that one Chicago public high school is having a problem with ghosts.

More specifically, the school is being populated in part by “ghost students”— nonexistent kids that the school’s dishonest principal and her assistant have been using to pad the school’s enrollment numbers, and therefore, the school’s budget.

That’s just one of the revelations in Chicago Public Schools Inspector General Jim Sullivan’s new report on the wrongdoing that he uncovered in the nation’s fourth-largest school district during 2013, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The falsification and manipulation of school data seems to be the theme of Sullivan’s report.

For instance, one Chicago elementary principal allegedly changed grades to allow children to graduate to the next level.

“We do have a concern about (Chicago Public Schools) data as evidenced by the cases we had this year,” Sullivan said, adding that much of the data “is created and can be manipulated at the school level.”

Worry not, taxpayers, there is a good reason for all of this.

He believes the increase in fake data is due to the fact that “schools, teachers and principals (are) increasingly being tracked and evaluated based upon data on everything from student assessment scores to attendance,” the Tribune reports.

Wait, you mean we’re judging teachers and school administrators on things like whether the kids are learning anything? Or showing up? What kind of Draconian hell is this?!?!?

Off to make up some phantom dependents for my taxes this year…

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‘Stop Right There!’ — California School Tells First Grader to Stop Talking About the Bible

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Tolerance has its limits.

The incident occurred Dec. 19 inside a first grade classroom at Helen Hunt-Jackson Elementary School in Temecula, Calif. The previous day the teacher instructed boys and girls to find something at home that represented a family Christmas tradition. They were supposed to bring the item to school and share the item in a classroom presentation.

Brynn Williams decided to bring the Star of Bethlehem that adorned the top of her family’s Christmas tree. She also worked on a one minute presentation to explain that her family’s tradition is to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time.

“Our Christmas tradition is to put a star on top of our tree,” the little girl said. “The star is named the Star of Bethlehem. The three kings followed the star to find baby Jesus, the Savior of the world.”

Before the child could utter another word, the teacher intervened, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom – the law firm representing the Williams family.

“Brynn’s teacher said, ‘Stop right there! Go take your seat,’” Tyler said. “Bryn was not allowed to finish her presentation by reciting the Bible verse, John 3:16.”

Tyler said the little girl was the only student in the class not allowed to finish her presentation.

They took the little girl to the principal’s office, the principal heard the full presentation, and then concluded that the teacher did the right thing. And now the school has clammed up, citing an “ongoing investigation.”

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Does Wendy Davis Think She’s Running for Faculty Lounge Leader, or Governor of the Nation’s Most Economically Vibrant State? (Updated)

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Presumed Democratic Party nominee for Texas governor, state Sen. Wendy Davis, addressed an education forum in North Texas today. Davis attended to promote her ideas to reform education in the Lone Star State.

Her standout idea is underwhelming. It belongs alongside candidates for student body president, promising free ice cream in the cafeteria on Fridays.

Education issues in Texas and elsewhere typically have nothing to do with a shortage of teachers, which this idea is presumably intended to address. Nor do we have too few college students. The problem is that college tuition is rising at a pace far faster than the rate of income increases and far beyond inflation. We have universities that are not transparent about how they spend their money, and which have gotten into the habit of doling out lavish salaries on platoons of assistant vice presidents and deans for this or that. Universities increasingly focus less on educating, and more on delivering leftwing ideology, while they busy themselves restricting the free speech of students and faculty.

Davis’ proposal would have no impact on any of that, but would create a glut of teachers, which would probably drive educators’ salaries down.

Update: The Abbott campaign is out quick with a statement on Davis’ “fuzzy math.”

Communications Director Matt Hirsch today issued the following statement regarding Senator Wendy Davis’ education proposals:

“Sen. Wendy Davis’ proposals are more fuzzy math – a plan that will increase spending and impose more mandates on Texas universities without explaining how to pay for it. Greg Abbott believes in genuine local control of education: empowering parents, teachers, and principals to serve our students well. Greg Abbott has traveled and will continue to travel across Texas, meeting with educators to learn how he can achieve his goal to make our education system number one in the nation. He’s boasted the benefits of competition in the classroom, digital learning, and having the involvement of both students and parents, in addition to the highest quality of teachers and principals, to help achieve this goal.”

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Leftists Are Committed To Getting Their Grubby Ideological Paws On Your Kids Early

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Cheerios and indoctrination.

Mr. Cuomo also said he wanted to pay top teachers performance bonuses and announced plans for a $2 billion bond referendum in the fall that, if passed by voters, would be used to upgrade public schools and provide them better equipment.

The governor spent a fair bit of time talking about education, as Mr. de Blasio looked on. The mayor has made universal prekindergarten classes a priority, promising to pay for the program with a tax on city residents earning $500,000 or more, an issue he pressed in comments to reporters.

Mr. Cuomo affirmed the state’s commitment to early childhood education, and made a promise to deliver full-day prekindergarten, but he did not say how much it would cost.

After the speech, Mr. de Blasio, who needs legislative approval for his proposed tax increase, praised the governor for presenting what he called “a progressive, proactive agenda for the future of our state,” and called the governor’s goal of expanding prekindergarten statewide “a fantastic statement.”

I mentioned a few weeks ago that de Blasio was excited about a meeting with The Idiot King where the progressive preschool push was talked about a lot.

It really is the linchpin of their ambitious agenda, one that aims to mold voters sympathetic to them before they’re even allowed to vote.

Progressives will trot out study after study to prove to you that your child will never learn to write his name without sticking the pen in his eye if you don’t get him to a preschool STAT. (One wonders how all of the scientists who got us to the moon were able to do so without the benefit of having gone to preschool.) It’s all garbage, of course, but it’s purposeful garbage. The sooner they can get your kids out of your hands and into those of a government employee who will say anything for a pension, the better.

And how do they get them there? Simple: continually make the tax burden on average parents so overwhelming that both have no choice but to work. Daycare too pricey you say? Hey-the governor just said he’s going to pay for preschool.

That’s how it is done.

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