IJReview picked up on one of the funniest SNL sketches in recent (a.k.a. post-original cast) history. It was a Schoolhouse Rock! parody that aired last night, mocking Obama’s latest immigration-related executive order and complete disregard for the constitutional process:
It starts out with the familiar boy climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and asking what kind of bill is on the Hill with him. The bill responds with a jingle that he is an “immigration bill” and that he hopes he can be passed into law someday.
Cue the President shoving the bill down the stairs before inviting his buddy, the cigarette smoking “executive order,” into the picture.
The boy exclaims in bewilderment that what the President is doing is unconstitutional, but the executive order just laughs at the boy’s belief that he still thinks that is how government works.
The sketch may be tongue-in-cheek payback on the part of NBC after being snubbed by the president, whose administration just so happened not to request air time from the Big 4 to announce his executive order plans in prime time. Dubbed “The Commander-in-Chief of MSNBC,” Obama has employed his “heckler’s veto” multiple times in the past, and Saturday Night Live sketches were far from immune. Last night’s humor is obviously a sampling of what can happen when Tina Fey no longer manages the Obama campaign from its 30 Rock location.
Despite the president’s latest appearance on Univision and Telemundo, the majority of Latino voters disagree with his executive order and rate amnesty low on their list of priorities:
By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”
When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.
Apparently SNL did a better job of marketing to a new target demographic than the Big-O.
Watch the video on the next page.
In what seems to be an escalation of his previous public comments, tenured Kent State University professor Julio Pino is using his personal Facebook page not only to post anti-Semitic epithets and threats, but also to declare his solidarity with the terrorist group ISIS.
In August, we saw the incendiary, anti-Semitic Facebook posts by Pino, the Cuban-born associate history professor who converted to Islam in 2000. Dr. Pino’s posts supported Hamas, made vile, racist comments about Jews and Israelis, and even seemed to support ISIS. Pino, who has a long history of anti-Semitic behavior, also vowed that he wouldn’t work with fellow staff members who supported Israel:“Collaborate with no one who collaborates with Israel, and let her or him know why. I have started with the head of our ‘Religious Studies’ program, who sends student-dupes to Israel every year.” Pino remains employed by the taxpayer-supported university and it seems he has been emboldened by the cover Kent State is providing for him.
In a post this week, he declared, “We will wage jihad from al-Quds to Canada!” Pino posted this comment along with a video from Russia Today (the state-funded news outlet) showing allegedly “uncut” footage of the “bloody caliphate” in Iraq.
In another post with a link to a YouTube video warning of a possible Islamic State attack in New York City, Pino calls a Canadian jihadist his brother: “Canadian Brother from ISIS ‘We love being attacked! We seek martyrdom!’”
On Friday, Pino posted a link to a BBC article warning that the Islamic State is setting its sights on Saudi Arabia, where the Muslim holy site of Mecca is located. “No Sleep Till Mecca!” Pino vowed.
Back in October, Pino scoffed at reports that ISIS is a great military threat. “From the bourgeois media: ‘ISIS is the greatest military threat the U.S. has faced since 1945.’ You mean that whole Cold War, nuclear arms race, Korea, Viet Nam thing was for kids?” he asked.
Last week Pino applauded the Ayatollah Khamenei, calling him his “favorite tweeter.”
Here’s the tweet that got Pino so excited:
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 8, 2014
Freedom of speech: Awesome. Using said freedom to tweet racist, profane taunts? Not so awesome. Being unemployed now because people figured out that you’re a public school English teacher, and having to look for new work in the Obama economy.
A Texas teacher who posted a profanity-filled tweet over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. — telling those who disagreed with her to “kill themselves” — is being fired, school officials said Monday.
Vinita Hegwood, an English teacher at Duncanville High School, was suspended without pay Monday pending her discharge after posting a “reprehensible” message on her personal Twitter account, according to the Duncanville Independent School District.
On Friday, Hegwood tweeted the following: “Who the f–k made you dumb duck a– crackers think I give a squat f–k about your opinions about my opinions RE” #Ferguson? Kill yourselves.”
In her Twitter account, which has been taken down, Hegwood described herself.
“Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Teacher. Delta. Football fan. Still defining and fine tuning the awesomeness that is me,” it read.
Geez. What a load.
Duncanville ISD had no choice here. Sure, they could have kept her on, but what parent in their right mind would leave their kid in her class after this? Is it the racism, the stupidity or the inability to express herself without resorting to profanity that’s supposed to attract parents to have their kids in her classes?
For the kids, their former English teacher provides a value life lesson. Freedom of speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say in all but a handful of circumstances (terroristic threats, etc). Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you never have to face consequences for what you say — especially if you’re a public employee and you’re placed in a position where you’re expected to be a role model.
In a prima facie violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Minneapolis School Board has decided to begin segregating their students into two different categories – white, and everyone else. If teachers and administrators want to suspend a white student, there will be no questions asked. But if they dare attempt to suspend a “student of color,” the act will be reviewed by the school district superintendent and “her leadership team.” BringMeTheNews reports:
The move comes after Minneapolis’ suspension policies have been under increased scrutiny from civil rights officials inside the U.S Department of Education and also follows a moratorium on suspensions of pre-kindergartners, kindergarteners and first graders that Johnson says has reduced suspensions by 50 percent.
She predicts reviews of suspended students of color could reduce them by a further 50 percent by 2016, telling the Tribune: “It’s about reducing disproportionality of student suspensions.
“Changing the trajectory for our students of color is a moral and ethical imperative, and our actions must be drastically different to achieve our goal of closing the achievement gap by 2020.”
Along with proving blatantly racist and likely unconstitutional, this practice stands as ridiculous policy. Why would your goal as an administration be to reduce the number of suspensions? Shouldn’t the focus be on reducing incidents of unacceptable student behavior? If you’re just going to arbitrarily ban suspensions or bottleneck the disciplinary process, how are you addressing students’ actual needs?
The assumption seems to be that suspensions are being handled out arbitrarily to punish children for being minorities. But that should be something you can prove. Where’s the example of a student having been suspended for being black? Where’s the example of a student being suspended without violating school policy on multiple occasions? Is there one? Or are administrators simply looking at the numbers and assuming that a disproportionate number of minority suspensions means the suspensions are motivated by race?
This idea, that racially disproportionate anything signals institutional racism, has been taken as gospel by the political left and informs policies which explicitly discriminate against white people. But how is explicit discrimination as policy better than implicit discrimination by an individual? Why should a white student be subject to a different disciplinary process than their minority peers? And how can such policy be characterized as anything other than racial segregation?
Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut succinctly detailed the crisis situation faced by women across the Islamic world. In doing so, she leveled her gaze at Western progressives, particularly feminists, who have a penchant for sweeping Islam’s crimes against women under the rug of “multiculturalism,” to the continued detriment of their sisterhood abroad:
Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.
To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.
There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.
Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative.
Feminists in the Islamic world have a laundry list of Western progressive feminism’s “Excuses for Abuses” which include:
Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”
“Injustices against women take place all around the world, not just against Muslims or in Muslim countries.”
“What you are seeing is not the real Islam; Islam has been hijacked.”
“It is not about Islam. Crimes were committed and are being committed in all places throughout history.”
Bulut’s responses to the last two “Excuses” are particularly interesting:
“Not all Muslims are the same. There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.”
First of all, thank you very much for this genius discovery. But how can it help reduce the Islamic violence around the world?
Of course it is true that there are many good Muslims, whose values do not follow Islamic teachings verbatim, but also include humanitarian values. They do not wage war on other religions or try to bring them under submission to Islam. In the eyes of jihadis or Islamists, however, who live by the harshest interpretation of most doctrinaire Islamic teachings, such a quality makes them “bad Muslims.”
“All religions are essentially the same.”
Well, not quite. Biblical values are far more benign than Islamic ones, and generally descriptive rather than proscriptive. Furthermore, the most violent of them were long ago abandoned.
No religion, for instance, other than Islam, has ever commanded that those who insult or leave it should be put to death. (See Surahs 6:93, 33:57, 33:61)
Bulut’s conclusion acts as a clarion call to Western feminists: You can defend Islam, or you can defend women, but you cannot defend both.
As Putin quietly rolls his tanks, weapons and soldiers into Ukraine, Russia Today opines on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For Russian state media, the fall was the most pointless and indeed, detrimental moment of the 20th century, of course. If you can manage to get through the editorial’s monolithic rambling you learn that the fall of the Berlin Wall only allowed in the evils of NATO, McDonalds, blue jeans, the failing Euro, and pretty much every other thing that has made news in eastern Europe for the past 25 years.
This is your typical bloviated Russo-speak, the kind that makes most readers turn away from Ayn Rand in 30 pages or less thinking, “Get to the point, already!” But, there is no point. Like the Russian winter, their disinformation monologues are tedious, cold, dark and never ending. They simply continue their avalanche down from central command, collecting anything and everything in their wake until us proles at the bottom get knocked over by the sheer weight of it all and dragged along for the deathly ride.
Nevertheless, it is important for us in the West to keep an eye on what Putin’s media-bots are saying as well as doing, especially when their reflections on 25 years of freedom end with:
It seems to me the curtain is being drawn closed again, only this time by the NATO nations and not Khrushchev. It’s as if our roles are reversed somehow. Vladimir Putin acting like JFK, and western leaders bent on some convoluted socialism.
It should be no secret that Putin has forever been hellbent on controlling the narrative. Russia Today‘s editorial line only proves that glasnost and framing are Soviet art forms that Americans, with the possible exceptions of Olivia Pope and Cyrus Beene, still can’t seem to comprehend let alone believe. Disinformation is nothing more than controlling the narrative and twisting it to your advantage. Hence, Putin is JFK, NATO is the new evil dictator, and America is the land of the oppressive socialist regime. “Two legs good, four legs better,” indeed.
Note: This class did not make it into the sales pitch video.
Apparently technology has created a “new morality” and it’s up to University of Pennsylvania creative writing students to shame the hell out of it next spring:
Next semester at the University of Pennsylvania, students will walk into a classroom, pull out their laptops, their smartphones, their tablets, and sit there, for three hours, doing what they no doubt do pretty often: Waste time on the internet.
The Ivy League school’s newest creative writing class is trying to remove the stigma from an activity that millions of people do on a daily basis, in an attempt to explore how our minds might work when we’re totally aimlessly clicking through reddit or Facebook or Buzzfeed or watching porn or doing whatever the hell people do in their free time.
“I’m very tired of reading articles in the New York Times every week that make us feel bad about spending so much time on the internet, about dividing our attention so many times,” Kenneth Goldsmith, a world-renowned poet and the course’s professor, told me. “I think it’s complete bullshit that the internet is making us dumber. I think the internet is making us smarter. There’s this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age.”
Parents, before sending your children to college please watch PCU. It’s a cute little flick from the mid-90′s in which a group of misfits essentially throw a massive party to overcome PC culture. It also contains a lot of great commentary on the waste of time that college has become, especially for liberal arts majors. For instance, one guy spends the entire movie stuck in front of a television doing research for his senior thesis. The “Caine-Hackman Theory” argues that, at any time during the day or night, you can find a movie with either Michael Caine or Gene Hackman running on the tube. I’m convinced he now has more academic validity than 21st century Ivy Leaguers. That’s right, this ain’t state school material. G-chat, Facebook, and Reddit are now the stuff of the future “dreamers of dreams”.
So, his students will explore what, exactly, wasting time even means. Is it a waste of time to tap out some forum posts or internet comments? Is it a waste of time to gchat with your friends? Is it a waste of time to click through YouTube videos? Can we consciously or even unconsciously channel the things we do on the internet to make a work of art or the next great American novel or an autobiography?
His students will be tasked with trying. For much of the class, they’ll be wasting time online, sure, but at some point, they’re going to have to take the raw material of all that time wasting—browser histories, text messages, screenshots, who knows what else—and turn it into a “compelling and emotional work of literature.”
You’ve been warned. The next time you’re browsing for a good read and pick up something by an author with an Ivy League education, you may just wind up reading snippets of a Reddit feed. Suddenly Lena Dunham having drugged out sex with a college Republican and putting pebbles in her year 1 year-old sister’s vagina is high art, indeed.
The rebellion begins.
A new survey reveals that companies like Facebook are on the cutting edge of the abortion argument when it comes to offering employees the freeze-your-eggs perk. For a new generation of career women, abortion rights (a.k.a. “reproductive justice”) are becoming increasingly tied to “economic justice”. Reporting on the survey, Maya Dusenbery, Executive Director of Feministing writes:
Far from seeing abortion access as something that shouldn’t be included in the broader agendas–let alone a poison pill that would sink their support for the legislation–voters agreed that reproductive rights are pretty key part of ensuring gender equality. As the chart above shows, strong majorities in both states agreed that a woman’s ability to control whether or when she has children is important to her financial stability and equality.
When the question is about the impact of access to abortion specifically, the figure drops slightly to about half. But that simply suggests that we need to more clearly show that abortion is a very common way that people control their reproductive lives–by fighting the stigma that paints folks who have abortions as “the other” when in fact we’re not–and continuing to highlight just how precarious access to the procedure has become, particularly for those with the least financial stability.
Results of the survey illustrate that the highest supporters of government funded abortion are African Americans, Latinos, and those with household incomes less than $50,000/year. The racial statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the majority of abortions are performed among the Black and Latino communities:
According to 2010 census data, African Americans make up 12.6% of the U.S. population but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that black women accounted for 35.4% of all abortions in 2009. The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) puts the percentage of black abortions at 30% of the U.S. total.Their most recent numbers are from 2008. Similarly, AGI tells us that Hispanic women accounted for 25% of all U.S. abortions in 2008, though Hispanics make up just 16.3% of the U.S. population.The CDC lists the percentage of Hispanic abortions at 20.6%. Compare those numbers to non-Hispanic whites, who make up 63.7% of America’s population, but account for only 36% of all U.S. abortions (37.7%according to the CDC).
Serious content warning. Serious enough that the original video was pulled from YouTube.
There’s a great episode of Modern Family in which Cam and Mitchell have to explain to their four year old daughter Lily that she can’t use the f-word. Every time Lily drops the f-bomb, Cam starts compulsively laughing, making it very hard to convince the child that using the f-word is inappropriate. Horrified, Mitchell rebukes Cam throughout the episode until Lily drops a big, fat f-bomb while standing in front of a church full of people, dressed as a flower girl in a wedding party. At that point everyone laughs. Point being: Adults get a perverse kick out of watching innocent little kids use bad words.
It’s probably why Will Ferrell made a series of videos for Funny or Die featuring his creative partner Adam McKay’s toddler daughter repeating loads of foul, inappropriate language in adult-like scenarios. Commenting on his child’s foul-mouthed role, McKay remarked:
“Fortunately she is in this great stage now where she repeats anything you say to her and then forgets it right away, which is key,” says McKay, who has two daughters by his wife of 11 years, actress Shira Piven (Jeremy’s sister).
Adds McKay, “She has not said the B-word since we shot the thing.”
Rumor had it that the videos ceased production once the toddler was old enough to realize what she was saying and repeat it.
Adults find kids cursing to be funny. The younger the kid, the better. So, when FCKH8 decided to have a load of little girls dress up as princesses and drop the f-bomb all over the Internet, they basically decided to give adults everywhere (except those with some sense of moral fiber) a laugh.
And mock feminism at the same time.
I laugh at the War on Women mythology quite frequently. The idea that beauty is somehow associated with helplessness, that abortion translates to career equality, and the whole 77 cents-to-a-dollar thing all really tickle my funny bone. But I do take feminism seriously. And I wonder, if the folks at FCKH8 really took feminism seriously, would they have chosen to market it by employing one of the gags that makes adults laugh the most?
Apparently, FCKH8′s real goal is to say American Feminism, with it’s slavish attachment to the War on Women is a complete joke best understood by those with the intellect of a 5 year old. Which is a shame, both for FCKH8 and American feminism, because, for the women facing real issues of inequality and gender-based persecution, feminism is no laughing matter.
Truth Revolt‘s Ben Shapiro (a.k.a. the guy who took over the Breitbart mantle) has jumped on Christina Hoff Sommers‘ Factual Feminist bandwagon with his own info short Women are Winning the War on Women. Knocking down the pay gap, birth control, and sexual assault myths with statistical evidence, Shapiro declares, “It’s a great time to be a woman, which means we don’t need Hillary Clinton and her magical X-chromosomes to save the day.”
In the short Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, touts the fact that his wife balances both motherhood and medical school, destroying the stereotype that religious men don’t (or can’t) support gender equality.
Using midterm hype to get ahead of 2016 Presidential electioneering, Shapiro applies his legal mind and quick wit to what is becoming a genre of informational videos geared towards the next generation of American feminists.
Check it out and pass it on.
Chicks on the Right, women working to take back feminism from the pro-choice crowd, discovered yet another way for parents and students to flush the cost of three college credits down the drain. Last spring, it was Rutgers University’s “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé.” This coming spring, it’s UT Austin’s “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism.”
By comparison, this class has a very eye-catching title. Whether or not you are a Beyoncé Bey or part of the Rihanna Navy, it will cause you to do a double take while scrolling through electives. The one downside, students may not realize the type of academic inquiry or material that will be covered in the course.
Students in this class will learn that there is far more than catchy melodies to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music. They will not be simply listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna for fun or even comparing the roles of Beyoncé and Rihanna in popular culture, rather, students will be studying how the lyrics, music videos, and actions of these women express various aspects of black feminism such as violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The instructor hopes for students to understand the role black feminism plays in popular culture as well as everyday life.
For any student interested in women’s and gender studies or how popular culture reflects social studies, this is a class that will make them fall crazy in love.
Yellen said recent decades have been marked by “significant income
and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority.” This hurts social and economic mobility, she added.
Yellen added there are four “building blocks” to increase opportunity for those with smaller incomes and fewer assets.
“Two of those are so significant that you might call them ‘cornerstones’ of opportunity,
and you will not be surprised to hear that both are largely related to education,” she said. “The first of these cornerstones I would describe more fully as ‘resources available to children in
their most formative years.’ The second is higher education that students and their
families can afford.”
Yellen sounds more like a Bill de Blasio aide here than one of the more powerful unelected people in America. It’s the typical progressive tripe about spending on education at an early age and “FREEEEEEE COLLEGE!” OK, she didn’t actually say free college, but as we saw with the Occupy morons, that’s how it is most often interpreted by the participation trophy types.
One of the more demonstrably false notions repeated by progressives is that we don’t spend enough on education. If you woke Barack Obama up from a deep slumber he’d mutter, “Education spending…” before being fully conscious. It is their go-to for almost everything. As those of us who paid attention in school way back when even less money was being spent on it know, we the taxpayers spend plenty on education. It is just wasted by the thoroughly awful people at the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and their minions. Big Government and Big Labor have done nothing to education in America other than find new ways to make sure an ever-decreasing amount of each taxpayer dollar gets to students.
Then they want more to do less.
Need a laugh? Check out Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin’s sit down on Russia Today’s Keiser Report. Make sure there’s no food in your mouth before I tell you the episode’s title.
It’s called “Meeting of Megaminds”.
The pair make an excellent duo of on-air Putin spambots. Russell Brand, better known as the former Mr. Katy Perry, is attempting to carve out a niche for himself as a comedian-cum-conspiracy theorist who makes Carrot Top look appealing. Alec Baldwin has devolved from Hollywood megastar to angry old man in a way that makes you wish a combo of Nicolas Cage and Clint Eastwood would magically appear every time he opens his tired old mouth. He promised to immigrate if George W. Bush were elected in 2004, but I guess pre-production for 30 Rock got in the way (thanks, Tina Fey). Fitting right in with the acting crowd, Russia Today host Max Keiser plays the typical role of upper crust yuppie-turned-commie (wouldn’t Alger Hiss be proud). He was an NYU theater student before working in stand up comedy, radio, and as a broker on Wall Street before making it rich with his creation, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Until 2012 he was a regular on Iran Press TV. Now, when he isn’t on Russia Today, he busies himself making documentaries for Al-Jazeera and writing for the Huffington Post.
Think he might just have a bit of a bias? Then you’re the biased one, obviously. Capitalist pig.
You have to slug through most of the stereotypical socialist hyperbole to get to any actual meat in the discussion. Still, the inflated theoretical dialogue (calling it “intellectual” would be an insult to those with actual, functioning brain cells) provides a great learning experience for young folk looking to understand what Soviet propaganda sounded like before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s nice to know this kind of pompous hot air still floats around in our atmosphere. Perhaps Al Gore should start tagging it as the real cause of global warming.
Millennial actress Raven Symone has dared to de-hyphenate her identity in the face of the goddess O:
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” Raven said.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Oprah said. “You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven replied. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture,” Raven said.
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America is supposed to be?” Raven declared.
The former child star, best known for her role on The Cosby Show caused television’s Goddess-in-Chief to nearly jump out of her chair. Perhaps generational difference is playing a key role in the Symone’s patriotic identification. According to a recent NPR story titled Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously:
“Forty-three percent of millennials are nonwhite,” says Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center (and a millennial herself). “When we look at older generations — boomers and silents — less than 3 in 10 were nonwhite.”
Because millennials look different en masse than generations past, the future is going to look different too. They’ve already led the country to massive shifts in opinion on social issues over the past decade.
As Symone illustrated, not every social issue is about sex or pot. Her willingness to step outside the box confronts the political correctness of Oprah’s Baby Boomers exactly the way it should: With a peaceful, confident, fresh perspective.
Perhaps Millennials should be given a second look after all.
St. Ignatius High School, a private Jesuit school for young men in Cleveland, withdrew from the National School Lunch Program this year in order to go “above and beyond” the federal standards.
Chris Rini writes in the St. Ignatius school newspaper:
In a typical school cafeteria, the norm is to meet all governmental requirements and restrictions while still providing some decent food. However, Campus Dining, led by [John] Pietravoia, has decided to go above and beyond that standard. In fact, this year, for the first time, Saint Ignatius has gone off of the federally funded National School Lunch Program, which means that campus dining is able to serve what they wish in our cafeteria without having to purchase frozen and processed products. In other words, campus dining is spending more time and money to give students better-tasting, higher quality, and healthier eats.
The $14,300 per year private school, which serves around 1500 students (some of whom attend through the Cleveland school voucher program), is known for high academic standards — 99% of the school’s students attend a 4-year college after graduation. Students at the school in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood complained last year about federally mandated price increases on school lunches. “This mandate, contrary to what one might expect as gas prices are rising, is the only reason for the price hike midway through the year,” the school paper reported last year. Pietravoia said it was the first time in his seventeen years at the school that there has been a mandatory price increase.
Pietravoia said that leaving the federal school lunch program will give students — the customers — more choices. “I believe the customer has a right to make a choice,” he said.
Now students can look forward to a menu that includes a Chipotle-style burrito bar featuring healthy burritos made with all natural, local ingredients. The burrito bar will serve subs once a week and students can enjoy a caffeine-free, vitamin-enriched Monster with their burritos or subs. The cafeteria will also serve pizza on traditional white crust and a “Riche burger,” made from antibiotic- and hormone-free hamburger produced locally. Pesticide-free salad ingredients will also come from local farms and the school’s “famous” clam chowder will be served every Friday.
“We’re keeping our standards very high for local sustainability; pesticide-, hormone-, antibiotic-free products, healthy choices, and good food,” said Pietravoia.
Schools participating in the National School Lunch program are subsidized by the federal government for lunches provided to students at participating schools. They receive $2.93 and $2.53 for free and reduced lunches respectively and $0.28 for each lunch sold at full price. First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled new standards for school meals last year as part of her Let’s Move! campaign. The mandates were signed into law by President Obama and include reducing the calorie counts in school lunches as well as trans fats, saturated fats, and sodium, while increasing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in the meals. Schools that have menus in compliance with the updated program meal requirements receive an additional six cents of federal cash reimbursement for each meal served.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is urging employers to consider the results of tests given to students during their junior year of high school when making hiring decisions. The Michigan Work Ready Community Initiative encourages employers to use the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and ACT “WorkKeys” tests to evalutate potential employees for career suitability.
“The Michigan Work Ready Communities Initiative is another step in improving the quality of the workforce in Michigan,” said Snyder in a presentation with Michigan employers and business leaders.
The program’s supporters say that thousands of high-tech jobs are going unfilled in Michigan. Snyder thinks employers can use the test data to identify which employees are best suited for advancement and said the program can solve the “talent disconnect” that has developed in the state. “This is the No. 1 item we need to work on,” the Republican governor said.
“This program is the right move for our state,” Snyder said. “It provides a universal system of assessing workers’ skills and abilities for employers, as well as promoting workers’ development and improvement.”
ACT, the college admission testing company that developed WorkKeys, describes them this way:
ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills and offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs.
Students who successfully complete the ACT WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information can earn ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC), a portable credential that employers can use to assess potential employees.
ACT played a leading role in the development of the Common Core State Standards, which emphasize “college and career readiness.” Now, they will report the data they collect on every Michigan public school junior to potential employers in order to fill a pipeline for “high-tech” workers.
Questions remain about whether schools will modify their curriculum to reflect the business community’s need for “high-tech” jobs. Some parents are concerned that schools will be transformed into state-sponsored job training programs, since very specific skills will still be needed to solve the problem of unfilled high-tech jobs.
Other parents are concerned about students who don’t test well or that a poor score on a single, high-stakes test could disqualify an individual from future employment. There are also complaints about data collection and privacy related to the mandatory tests.
A New Jersey family was stunned to receive a notice from local school officials ordering them to follow the Common Core standards after they withdrew their son from public school.
After withdrawing their son from Westfield Public Schools, a homeschool family was surprised when the assistant superintendent sent them a copy of the school’s homeschool policy and asked them to call him.
Their surprise turned to shock when they saw that the policy required them to submit a letter of intent and an outline of their curriculum which (per the policy) must follow New Jersey Common Core content standards, and then wait for the superintendent to approve their curriculum and give them permission to homeschool.
HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff wrote the assistant superintendent on behalf of the family, pointing out that the policy conflicted with current New Jersey Department of Education home education policy. Local boards of education are not authorized to review or approve the curriculum or education programs of children educated at home in New Jersey or to monitor the educational outcomes. In fact, unless a parent is withdrawing a child from public school, New Jersey parents are not even required to notify state or local officials of their decision to homeschool.
In this case, however, the parents withdrew their child from school, which triggered a response from the school district. The assistant superintendent demanded a letter of intent to homeschool from the parents, an outline of the curriculum they planned to use, and ordered them to comply with the Common Core standards. After being contacted by HSLDA the superintendent backed off on demands that the family follow the district policy. Instead, the superintendent told them their curriculum merely “should be guided by the New Jersey Common Core State Standards.” HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff wrote back and explained that “homeschool families have no obligation to follow or be guided by common core standards.”
While nothing in New Jersey law requires parents to have their curriculum approved by school officials, compliance with Common Core is a murky area of the law.
New Jersey Law N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25 requires that “every parent, guardian or other person having custody and control of a child between six and 16 to ensure that such child regularly attends the public schools of the district or a day school in which there is given instruction equivalent to that provided in the public schools for children of similar grades and attainments or to receive equivalent instruction elsewhere than at school.” [emphasis added]
The legislature gives no specific definition of “equivalent instruction.” But there is nothing specifically in the law that would exempt homeschooling parents from having to provide an education the state considers to be”equivalent” to the Common Core standards.
New Jersey is not the only state that requires equivalent instruction. Connecticut, Indiana, Nevada, and New York homeschooling laws all have language that requires some form of equivalent instruction or equivalent education that states could use to require parents to align their curriculum with Common Core standards. In some states, homeschools must register as private schools and may also be subject to Common Core mandates.
Other states, like Ohio, provide protections from Common Core and other mandates because authorities are specifically prohibited from interfering with the curriculum decisions of parents. Nevertheless, as tests like the SAT and Advanced Placement exams are aligned to the Common Core, even homeschools may not be able to avoid teaching to the new standards as they become more and more embedded in the nation’s educational system.
When good habits are bad, or something.
A 13-year-old California boy was reportedly placed in detention for sharing a school-prepared lunch with another student.
Kyle Bradford, a student at Weaverville Elementary School in Weaverville, Calif., was disciplined after sharing his chicken burrito with a friend who didn’t like the cheese sandwich he was given by the cafeteria, KRCR-TV reported.
“It seemed like he couldn’t get a normal lunch so I just wanted to give mine to him because I wasn’t really that hungry and it was just going to go in the garbage if I didn’t eat it,” Bradford told the website.
The Trinity Alps Unified School District, however, has rules that prohibit students from sharing food — claiming that students can have allergies their classmates may not be aware of, according to the website.
When in doubt, overreact — that is the way of school administrators. I am sure we can partially blame the lawyers for that. However, I also think this has to do with the liberal fantasy of being able to have rules that make every little bad go away in childhood.
I will now leave you with the immortal words of Susan Powter:
A few weeks ago I wrote about Julio Pino, a tenured Kent State professor who openly supports Hamas on his Facebook page and calls for the destruction of Israel. The convert to Islam also wrote, “MESSAGE MY WAY FROM ZION: While we were educating the world your parents and their ancestors were giving BLOW JOBS to apes!! THAT’S A FACT jack!!” and vowed that he would not work with his fellow professors who support Israel saying, “Collaborate with no one who collaborates with Israel, and let her or him know why. I have started with the head of our ‘Religious Studies’ program, who sends student-dupes to Israel every year.”
Kent State did not respond to my request for a comment about the Facebook posts and Adam Hirsh, Assistant Director of Hillel at Kent State declined to comment on the posts, instead referring me to a statement the group made earlier in the month about Dr. Pino’s “repeated hate rhetoric.”
Basically, the incendiary Facebook posts were met with a yawn. Just more bigoted rantings from Kent State’s resident anti-Semitic scholar.
But, oh, the outrage at Kent State this week when Urban Outfitters tried to sell a vintage Kent State sweatshirt that appeared to be blood-spattered! Many students were upset, saying it reminded them of the May 4, 1970 shootings of four students by members of the National Guard. In fact, the Plain Dealer reported that Kent State students were “collectively disgusted” by the shirt.
“I was just appalled,” said Marvin Logan, president of Undergraduate Student Government. “As a member who represents the entire student population, I felt for our community. May 4 is a sensitive topic. It’s a part of our legacy and should not be taken lightly.”
“How could somebody be so insensitive?” asked Jerry Lewis, a professor emeritus of sociology at Kent State who witnessed the Kent State shootings. “Even if you don’t know the parents like I do or you don’t know the wounded students, 13 people were shot protesting, legally protesting. (That) should be enough to make you outraged by the sweatshirt.”
Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat who represents Kent, even felt the need to weigh in on the controversial sweatshirts. ”It is deplorable for Urban Outfitters to exploit the pain and suffering of this national tragedy for their gain,” Ryan said in a press release. “May 4th was a seminal and transformational moment in American history and we should never lose sight of its immense impact. Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,” said Ryan (or was it Santayana?)
Likewise, the university was outraged at the insensitivity of Urban Outfitters. ”We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” the university said in a statement Monday. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”
Kent State spokesman Eric Mansfield said he has been contacted by media from around the world about the shirts. Urban Outfitters also called to let him know the company was posting an apology on Twitter. “Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused,” the company posted on Twitter. “It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.”
Mindy Farmer, who was leading freshman students through the May 4 Visitor Center as part of their First Year Experience class this week said, ”There was nothing but outrage,” about the sweatshirts. “May 4 was a sad event and we are seeing nothing but support (for the university). They have a sense of history and for that we are grateful.”
Farmer told the Plain Dealer that the Urban Outfitter sweatshirt incident is a teachable moment for students.
“We are the right place to combat ignorance,” she said.
I thought that the recent passage in California of the “yes means yes” bill was extremely problematic — especially for males, who are basically at the mercy of women when it comes to initiating a sexual encounter. The temptation to engage in false accusations for purposes of revenge or pique will be great, and given the temper of the times, rather than an incident becoming a “he said, she said” issue, it is likely to be a “whatever she said goes as the truth” matter.
That California law defines consent as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” And it covers each step of the sexual encounter — from kissing to petting, to intercourse. Madness.
But Ohio State has gone California one better. If you’re a Buckeye male, it’s not enough that you get “consent” for every sexual act. You have to agree with your partner on why you are having sex.
Have they gone bat guano crazy?
Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute writing at the Liberty Unyielding blog:
Ohio State applies an impractical “agreement” requirement to not just sex, but also to a much broader category of “touching” that is sexual (or perhaps romantic?) in nature. First, it states that “sexual assault is any form of non-consensual sexual activity. Sexual assault includes all unwanted sexual acts from intimidation to touching to various forms of penetration and rape.” Then, it states that “Consent is a knowing and voluntary verbal or non-verbal agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act. . .Conduct will be considered “non-consensual” if no clear consent . . . is given. . . .Effective consent can be given by words or actions so long as the words or actions create a mutual understanding between both parties regarding the conditions of the sexual activity–ask, ‘do both of us understand and agree regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how this sexual activity will take place?’”
College students, barely out of their teenage years with little sexual experience, are now expected to glean “consent” by the actions and supposed intent of their partner. If you kiss a girl without permission, that is considered a sexual assault — even if the girl liked it.
Bader takes us through the practical consequences of the policy:
This “agreement” requirement is impractical, because unlike sex (where there is generally an implicit agreement among the participants before it can even happen, since sex is difficult to do without active cooperation), no one agrees in advance – verbally or non-verbally – to have someone touch them in a particular place while making out. No one ever says, “may I touch your breast” before doing it while making out. They may (and usually do) welcome (and enjoy) it after it occurs, but they don’t specifically “agree” to it in advance (indeed, they may have expected the touch to occur in a different place, even if they found it pleasant). The very process of making out is a gradual escalation of intimacy step by step, without constant discussion or an endless series of agreements. That may be impossible under Ohio State’s policy, not just because it requires “agreement” (rather than mere “acquiescence”) but also because it expresses hostility to the concept of “consent to one form of sexual activity” being a signal of receptiveness to other, slightly more intimate “forms of sexual activity.” But that’s exactly what happens in making out: when you acquiesce in one form of touching or other “sexual activity” long enough, that signals a likely willingness to engage in slightly more intimate forms of touching — although you are free to rebut that presumption of willingness at any time simply by saying “no” or physically conveying your unwillingness. Such fluid interaction is threatened by Ohio State’s definition, which states that that “Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other . . . sexual activity,” that there must be “agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act,” that only “clear consent” counts, and that “Consent can never be assumed, even in the context of a relationship.”
With so much going on prior to intercourse, can a woman having a sexual encounter under these circumstances ever use the excuse that she and her partner got “carried away” and had unprotected sex leading to an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion? If you’re going to slow down the process of becoming intimate, what excuse do you have for not using a rubber? Or some other form of contraception?
That’s a side issue, to be sure. But Bader’s practical guide to sex at Ohio State (and other schools that will likely adopt similar policies) is a clear warning to males; know your partner well before even initiating a kiss. Is she mentally stable? Does she have relationship issues? If you’re only interested in a casual encounter, is she OK with that? A woman who discovers that her sexual partner from the night before was not interested in a long term relationship and only wanted to “hook up” for the night, is that grounds for charging him with sexual assault?
This may be the zenith of political correctness on college campuses. To take perhaps the most joyous, fulfilling act a human being can perform and turn it into a laborious, awkward, artificial, and dangerous encounter is the height of stupidity.
You have to wonder if the people who developed this policy ever had sex themselves.
This past week Jewish media was abuzz with stories of how hard journalist Steven Sotloff’s family and friends worked to hide his Jewish identity after he was captured by ISIS. It seemed strange to me that Jew haters would have such terrible Jewdar. After all, the guy’s name was “Sotloff”, but apparently that’s not a “tell” in the Muslim world:
One thing journalists quickly learn is that the Jewish “tells” in the West don’t mean much in the Middle East. Jewish names obvious in the West are not at all so in the region, and stereotypical “Jewish looks” among westerners are indistinguishable from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern features that are common throughout the Middle East.
“My name might have been Miriam Leah Goldbergstein, and I wouldn’t have worried,” said Lisa Goldman, who reported for various outlets in Lebanon and then in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011.
“A rose by any other name” would still be an infidel, so it would seem:
It’s not known whether ISIS was aware that Sotloff was Jewish. Colleagues believe his kidnapping by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in 2012 in Syria was one of opportunity and not a deliberate targeting. James Foley, another journalist kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded last month by the terror group, was Catholic.
Which is, perhaps, the overarching point of the latest rash of radical Islamist beheadings of Western journalists. We are all roses to be de-headed, whether we call ourselves Jews, Christians, or simply Westerners of a secular stripe. Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari didn’t blink in her distinction of “The West” from the Muslim east when she commented on radical Islamist recruits:
These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women.
If you want real insider information in the medical world, speak to a nurse. Jill Stanek, R.N., provided keen insight into the risks surrounding outpatient surgical procedures gone wrong. Citing the importance of knowing whether or not your doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital, Stanek writes:
The issue of abortionists having admitting privileges at nearby hospitals has become huge in recent years, and even recent days, as several states have moved to enact such laws. Abortion proponents always oppose these as an “undue burden,” “medically unnecessary,” and even an “assault” on women – a backdoor attempt by pro-lifers to shut down clinics.
Stanek, a pro-life advocate, admits that she has used this as a political tactic to shut down abortion clinics. Politics aside, as a medical professional she rightly argues:
But so what. This should be separated from the fact that such laws do indeed protect women’s health and safety. Who wants to go to a doctor who can’t get hospital admitting privileges? And why should abortion clinics be allowed to operate as substandard medical facilities simply to protect abortion? Abortion most certainly isn’t a benign procedure. Since abortion was legalized in 1973, at least 411 mothers (CDC Table 25 - as of 2009, the latest figures available) have died due to abortions at legal clinics. That’s just deaths.
Only hours ago a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of Louisiana’s admitting privileges law, due to take effect today.
And on Friday a federal judge blocked Texas from enforcing a law forcing abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical treatment centers, which is related since some of these regulations ensure halls and doorways are wide enough to fit gurneys and wheelchairs.
…Such irrational legal decisions kill not just children but their mothers.
Last month we learned that feminists were unwilling to come to the defense of women forced into sex slavery in ISIS territory. Last week we learned that feminists were willing to turn a blind eye to rape if it meant empowering bureaucracy and justifying their own twisted ideology. Now we’re learning that feminists are willing to watch their fellow women die in order to protect the politics of abortion.
The Yazidis. Campus rape victims. The young girls of Rotherham. Women seeking abortions. All of these groups should logically fall under the care of feminists the world over. Unfortunately for these victims, they are nothing more than the poster children of goddess feminism, the enslavement of women to an ideology that corrupts and ultimately destroys the individual in favor of the communal pursuit of …what? Freedom? Please. This is not the freedom our foremothers fought for. This is only death.
Haleh Esfandiari is an Iranian American who escaped the revolution in ’79. Currently directing the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Esfandiari was held captive by the Iranian regime for 105 days in 2007. One of the few voices willing to speak up for the women being oppressed under the ISIS regime, she recently turned a critical eye toward Arab and Muslim governments in the region in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
Arab and Muslim governments, vocal on the threat ISIS poses to regional stability, have been virtually silent on ISIS’s systemic degradation, abuse, and humiliation of women. To the men of ISIS, women are an inferior race, to be enjoyed for sex and be discarded, or to be sold off as slaves.
…Zakia Hakki, an Iraqi judge and a woman herself, says that the fighters leave behind pregnant women who, as “soiled goods,” are ostracized by their own societies, while their children are treated as illegitimate. These raped women become targets for honor killings in their own families and communities. The governments of Iraq and Syria have also failed to protect these women and give them any assistance; nor have Western NGOs been effective in looking after these abandoned women and children. ISIS’s men not only leave behind dead bodies in their wake but also women and children who are scarred for life.
In its propaganda, ISIS emphasizes women’s modesty and piety. It created the al-Khansaa female brigade to protect the morality of women and to ensure they appear totally veiled in public. The irony will not be lost on anyone.
Esfandiari’s damning evidence adds fuel to the fire most feminists are unwilling to take on. But, it is her cultural analysis that demands the West’s wholehearted attention (emphasis mine):
Volunteer fighters from around the world, including from Western countries, who have joined ISIS are complicit in these crimes against women. These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women. Why are there are no demonstrations in Western and Muslim societies against this barbaric onslaught on women and girls? How much longer will the Muslim and Arab world watch these horrors against women and children before speaking out and acting forcefully to protect them and rid the region of the ISIS calamity?
They make handsome salaries, make important-sounding speeches, and often make their Boards dance to their tune, but NPR reports that a new study says school superintendents have virtually no impact where it matters.
“We just don’t see a whole lot of difference in student achievement that correlates with who the superintendent happens to be,” says Matthew Chingos, a senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. He’s a co-author of what’s likely the first broad study to examine the link between superintendents and student achievement.
Chingos and his co-authors, Grover Whitehurst and Katharine Lindquist, analyzed student test score data from Florida and North Carolina over a 10-year period. His conclusion: Hiring a new superintendent made almost no difference in student success.
Chingos explains the findings this way: “What percentage of differences in student achievement is explained by superintendents? It’s very small, about 0.3 percent.”
Whether you hire a new one, or pay bonuses to keep the one you have, it won’t really matter to the bottom line.
In football, coaches cash in, but not for long if they can’t win.
But in this sport, where the average Superintendent makes $195,000 fully rolled up with bennies, there’s not only a lack of consequences for paltry student performance, there’s no explicit connection between the two.
O, sure, every superintendent talks about student achievement, but few would be willing to link their contract to it.
One exception is New Jersey, where in 2011, as part of a salary cap law, the state started paying Superintendents CEO bonuses – up to 15% of salary — based on metrics determined by the local school board. Of course, that happened thanks to Gov. Chris Christie. The unions fought him all the way and the accusations fly that districts play fast and loose with the benchmarks.
Having worked a few years in the admin building of a public school district, and read a number of books on education reform at that time, I can tell you that few people “in the industry” actually know how to increase student performance.
I worked in the PR department, and sometimes we’d get a call from a parent thinking of moving into our district. They always asked about our state ratings, clearly concerned about their children’s future. Sometimes I wanted to ask “how much money do you make?” Because the only thing that seemed clear from our in-district stats was that schools in better neighborhoods, with higher incomes, registered higher average standardized test scores.
Of course, this new study will have little impact on contract negotiations, thanks to the magical thinking of school boards, which always see their district as an exception to the rule.
White, conservative male Rich Lowry provides further evidence for my argument that the East proves the West needs feminism. In his latest syndicated column, Lowry details the horror that has occurred in Rotherham, England, a small northern England town in which “more than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited” for over 15 years.
England is the West, you may argue. And you’d be right. A Western nation that turned a blind eye to these vicious crimes against women because the perpetrators of said heinous offenses were Pakistani Muslims.
… the local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.
The British home secretary says “institutionalized political correctness” contributed to the abandonment of hundreds of girls to their tormentors. Imagine something out of the nightmarish world of Stieg Larsson, brought to life and abetted by the muddle-headed cowardice of people who fear the disapproval of the diversity police.
In Rotherham, multiculturalism triumphed over not just feminism, but over the law, over basic human decency and over civilization itself.
According to an “independent investigation released last week”:
”It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”
Law enforcement, government-funded social workers, and elected officials were all well aware of the crimes being committed and, by and large, did nothing fearing Orwellian punishment for attempting to defend these women against a perceived protected minority.
The Times of Israel carried the startling report of one radical Islamist mother-in-law who was willing to send not one, not two, but all of her daughters to slaughter for the Palestinian cause:
The bereaved mother-in-law of Hamas terror chief Muhammad Deif said she would be “honored” were he to marry her two other daughters, even if they were “martyred” as a consequence.Deif’s wife Widad and his son and daughter were killed last week in an Israeli airstrike aimed at Deif, the Hamas military commander said by Israel to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in a career of terrorism dating back to the early 1990s.Apparently believing that Deif survived the Israeli strike, Widad’s mother Zeian Asfura, 61, told London’s Sunday Times in an interview published Sunday: “Should Deif request the hand of any of my other daughters, I will happily consent and even if she, too, is martyred I will consent to the third.
“It is an honor to have Deif a husband to any of my daughters and be a father to their children,” Asfura added.…Asfura said that when she consented to the marriage in 2011, she realized the possible consequence. “When I agreed the marriage, I in effect consented to a fate of martyrdom for my daughter,” she said.
Mainstream feminists news sources didn’t bother carrying this story, but give them time. Nearly a month after the rest of the world learned that Yazidi women were jumping off cliffs to avoid becoming Islamic State sex slaves, Jezebel finally granted a few words to the issue. Referring to the women as “brides” instead of “sex slaves”, the author demurely referred to to the situation as “just awful.” The Yazidi choice to commit suicide didn’t even make the story.
Friedan feminists lapped up the liberties their mothers and grandmothers had fought hard to earn and shrugged. As a result, their daughters live comfortably, insulated in their so-called feminism that remains ignorant of the real persecution of women the world over. The more politically inclined among them fell for the Marxist narrative of postcolonial struggle, rendering them powerless against a perceived racial minority’s religious ideology that subjects a woman to a life of objectification and abuse. Hence contemporary American feminism isn’t equipped to confront radical Islam’s threat against women.
The struggle of the Yazidi women and the perverted ideology of Zeian Asfura demand that feminism not be defined by upper class white women supplementing their career of bored housewife with fundraising galas for the latest cause celeb. It is time feminism got back to its roots of Bible believing, slave-freeing, vote-wielding powerful women who worked as forces of nature fighting against female persecution. Ignorance is evil, and the kind of ignorance embraced by modern feminism is the kind that empowers evil to thrive to the point that no ocean border can wash it away. The West needs feminism, true feminism, Biblical feminism, lest the story of the Yazidi become a global narrative and evil mother-in-law jokes take on a sick, sad new meaning in our neck of the woods.
Last Thursday the California State Assembly passed the “Yes Means Yes” campus rape bill, which now awaits the governor’s seal of approval. Feminist site Jezebel reports:
As previously reported, Senate Bill 967 sets a standard of requiring “affirmative consent” in sexual assault investigations, which means that the students in question must have affirmed to each other verbally or physically that they wanted to have sex with one another. It’s different from the previous “No Means No” mantra that many college campuses went by, which often meant that the person alleging that they had been sexually assaulted was penalized for not saying specifically that they didn’t want to have sex. Additionally, under affirmative consent, “Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent.”
It should come as no surprise that an ideological movement that took up residency with cultural Marxism in the 1960s would view bureaucracy as the best weapon against sexual assault. As Stalin once said, “bureaucracy is the price we pay for impartiality.” And isn’t impartiality what feminists strive for in sexual encounters these days?
Annuo, a “sexual consent app,” launched on August 11 when the campus rape bill hit the California legislature:
Annuo is the world’s first app that rewards you for having sex; so long as it’s consensual. Here’s how it works:
1) You and your prospective sex partner both sign-in via facebook. (Nothing about your encounter will be posted to your wall)
2)Person A signs a prompt consenting to sex
3) Person B signs a prompt consenting to sex
4) The two of you get busy!!!!
5) You get mPoints as rewards which can be redeemed for cool stuff
Impartial, 21st century bureaucracy (electronic versus that tree-killing paper trail) turns sex into a legal agreement with the promise of being rewarded with “cool stuff” (way cooler than love, I’m sure). You know the old joke, Stalin and Mark Zuckerberg walk into a bar on ladies’ night…
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed suit on Wednesday against the Obama administration, arguing that it has coerced states into adopting Common Core education standards.
The move by the Republican governor, who is widely viewed as holding presidential aspirations, comes amid a backlash against the multistate standards that aim to boost critical-thinking skills and apply consistency to a patchwork of state guidelines.
“Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything,” Jindal said in a statement.
Jindal was a supporter of the standards when his state was among 45 to enact them in 2010, but he has since characterized them as a federal attempt to control the curriculum taught in the nation’s schools.
While the standards were developed and implemented by states, the Obama administration encouraged their adoption through a competitive-grant program called Race to the Top, which gave money to cash-strapped states.
State programs incentivized by federal dollars aren’t state programs. Public education has become the biggest federal boondoggle masquerading as a collection of state programs in America. Common Core is a ruse to cement the states’ lips to the federal financial teat. It’s good to see that Jindal has not only come around on this but is seeing it for what it is.
In the midst of three weeks of hearings on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Ohio lawmakers introduced H.B. 597, a bill that would repeal the controversial standards and require the state to develop new standards that would go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year. In the interim, Ohio would use standards the state of Massachusetts used before they adopted the CCSS.
But according to former State Representative Diana Fessler, H.B. 597 (and Sub. H.B. 597, which replaced the original placeholder bill) is nothing more than “a tool for political gain” designed to protect Republicans in upcoming elections. Fessler explained the political maneuvering in an article at Ohio Conservative Review:
In August of 2013, Rep. Thompson (R-Marietta) introduced House Bill 237 to repeal Common Core (CC) in Ohio. The bill never budged. In an attempt to give the bill some traction, Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney) introduced a discharge petition. The bill still didn’t budge.
Anytime during the past year, Rep. Huffman, Speaker Pro Tempore of the House (the second highest position in the House) could have used his high rank to advocate for a good bill, HB 237. Instead, Rep. Huffman co-sponsored a new bill, HB 597. The new bill functionally rendered both HB 237 and the discharge petition moot.
The new bill, HB 597, an education bill, was not assigned to the House Education Committee. Instead, in a bizarre move, it was assigned to the House Rules and Reference Committee — a committee chaired by none other than Rep. Huffman. HB 597 sets Rep. Huffman up to tout advocacy for anti-CC legislation when he runs for Senator Faber’s open Senate seat in 2016.
The House Rules Committee is run by top House GOP leaders and rarely hears bills. Chairman Huffman replaced several members of the Committee prior to the hearings, including John Adams (R-Sidney) a leading proponent of the repeal effort. Adams and Huffman are expected to face off in 2016 for Faber’s open Senate seat.
Fessler says that the tight timeline makes it virtually impossible for Sub. H.B. 597 to pass before the end of the House legislative calendar. Chairman Huffman has said the full House will not vote on the bill until after the November election, which would leave less than two weeks for a bill to be introduced in the Senate and make it through the conference committee process before the legislative session ends.
According to Fessler:
If either chamber rejects the Committee’s new version of the bill, the bill dies (but the record of how members voted will stand and those votes will be touted during the 2016 elections). Accordingly, the greatest political advantage would come from both Chambers passing an anti-CC bill that later gets “hung up” in the Conference Committee or fails to gain ratification in both chambers.
The second greatest political advantage, and the one most likely in play, would come from just the House passing the bill and then letting the clock run out.
Passage of Substitute HB 597 by the House meets an important political objective: it ensures that specific Republicans in contested 2016 primaries will be able to portray themselves as being against Common Core. Ultimately, some candidates, including a certain chairman, will proclaim that they fought to repeal CC but, sadly, forces beyond their control prevailed. [emphasis added]
The conservative right wing has risen to the defense of actress Sofia Vergara’s Emmys pun. I’m pretty sure they’re only doing this to annoy liberal feminists, which is a stupid reason to defend anyone’s bad joke. What conservatives fail to realize is that, by defending Vergara’s vapid display of beauty on the altar, they’re putting themselves in the same camp as those feminist liberals they claim to hate.
What made Vergara’s 360 on prime time acceptable? Her beauty and the fact that she was fairly modest in her presentation. Vergara’s is the safe, 1940′s glamour style that conservatives love, equal parts nostalgic, respectable, and most importantly, tantalizing tease for those strapping young American boys in bluchers and madras ties. Beyonce, villified by conservatives for her lascivious performance at the VMA’s, is everything right wing men loathe, despise and even fear from the feminist left. She is dangerous, grotesquely sexual, and lusts after deviance. Instead of addressing this, conservatives simply sought an alternative goddess to fit their metaphorical and sexual needs. In truth, there is nothing different from Beyonce and Vergara’s respective performances, except for the fact that Vergara kept her legs closed, abiding by that age-old Bible belt bit of advice: Who’s going to buy the cow when you give the milk away for free?
Even the strongest of conservative analyses of the Beyonce/Vergara dispute includes:
As for the examples being set for young women: if you have a choice between wearing a tasteful, expensive dress and standing on a turntable to make a joke, or doing whatever Beyonce is singing about, I believe most American mothers would join me in strongly urging their daughters to choose the turntable.
Matti Friedman, a former AP Correspondent, has written a brilliant, must-read analysis of why the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel is skewed, biased, and downright reprehensible:
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.
The 3 page story explains a number of popular misnomers that are the result of mainstream media reporting techniques, including:
- In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
- The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
- Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story. In addition, reporters are under deadline and often at risk, and many don’t speak the language and have only the most tenuous grip on what is going on. They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both. Reporters don’t need Hamas enforcers to shoo them away from facts that muddy the simple story they have been sent to tell.
Concluding with, “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality,” the story is a must read for anyone willing to confront the mess of mainstream media and the reality of life in Israel and the Middle East.
North Carolina County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, some of them religious schools.
The state’s Opportunity Scholarship program, expands school choice in North Carolina by providing education scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year for eligible children who choose to attend private school. The program is designed to give low-income families public funds to help pay private school tuition. It was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year and had already begun operating.
About 5,500 students applied for the annual grants of up to $4,200 per child. More than 1,800 students were chosen by lottery have already accepted Opportunity Scholarships, but not all have enrolled in private schools.
Those supporting the so-called voucher program, say it offers low-income children a choice for a private-school education that better meets their individual needs after the public schools failed to do so. To be eligible, parents had to have their children enrolled in a public school and meet federal income requirements for their children to receive subsidized lunches.
The program was challenged in lawsuits by the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing advocacy group, and the N.C. School Boards Association, which was joined by 71 of the state’s 115 school districts.
This is essentially a fight to keep doing an awful job and trap poor students in difficult situations. Of course, trapping the poor forever is the cornerstone of liberal politics so that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The leftist response on all matters of education is the one-note, “MORE MONEY!” cry.
There is no moral, or even economic, argument to be made to keep perennially under-performing schools as the only education options for poverty-stricken or at-risk youth.
Unless you’re a school administrator who needs some vacation money, right?
Ms. Magazine has published one professor’s feminist response to the violence (can we call them “race riots” or is that too 60′s?) in Ferguson, MO. Loaded with the language of critical theory, Professor Williams cites numerous historical resources ranging from 1892 – 1977 in order to defend “reproductive justice” and rail against what she (of course) believes to be racially motivated “police brutality”. Her conclusion (again, based on research dating from 1892-1977) is the textbook leftist response that leaves the casual reader with a yawn:
Police brutality cuts across race, class, gender and sexuality. Feminists that believe in reproductive justice must speak out for the rights of mothers and fathers to parent their children without fear that police and self-appointed neighborhood watchmen will deprive them of a future. Feminists must also ensure that women and sexual minorities that are subject to profiling and police violence are not subsumed by male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression. And feminism is not just about women’s oppression. As advocates for social justice, feminists should respond to undue acts of police violence against women and men.
Yada, yada, yada. It’s odd how she begins by distinguishing between “white” police officers (who are presumably male) and “black and brown men” (what about burnt sienna, sandalwood, or any of Crayola’s 72 other colors?), but by the end has fallen into the classic feminist language pattern of railing against “male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression.” It could easily be argued that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rioters in Ferguson are subjecting us law abiding citizens in all our 72 colors to a “male-centered narrative of racial trauma and oppression.” But, that doesn’t fit the Professor’s well-written screed of contempt against the white colonialist oppressors she’s being paid to hate.
Just as there must always be a boss and a prole, there must always be the oppressor and the victim if social justice is to survive and thrive as the lay movement du jour. Social Justice can’t save you if you don’t need saving, and without its redemptive power, it can’t compete with Biblical faith. Therefore, feminists are forced to defend the men they otherwise despise whenever their situation fits the victim narrative of social justice. This doesn’t mean that social justice feminists have had a change of heart, merely that the men placed before them suit their need.
Media gatekeepers following the social justice narrative have ensured that audiences have gotten their fill of violent images of “black and brown” (and even…white!) men and women rioting in Ferguson. Yet, when asked if the shooting of Michael Brown was “justified”, 64% of the viewing audience responded that they “didn’t know enough to say.”
Like sacrifices made to an ideological god, the lawbreaking population of Ferguson is praised in their 15 minutes of fame leading up to the altar. Law abiding bystanders look on as the flames wash the color from their faces, turning their once bright and brilliant world into a desperate, so-called “just” canvas of black and white. And the majority of Americans, subjected to the narrative of social justice through media and education, don’t know enough to stand up against this cultural tyranny.
Kent State University associate professor of history Julio Pino is well known for his anti-Semitic, jihad-supporting views. In 2002 the Cuban-born convert to Islam wrote a poem published in the Kent Stater that praised a female suicide bomber in Israel, saying her actions should be “pronounced ‘justice’ and spelled C-O-U-R-A-G-E.” In 2007, at the same time he was on the payroll of Ohio taxpayers as a tenured professor, he was also writing for Global War, a now defunct blog that supported violent global jihad. In 2011, Pino made news after he shouted ”Death to Israel” when an Israeli diplomat spoke at a campus event sponsored by the Jewish Hillel organization.
In early August of this year, Pina wrote an open letter to his fellow academics who support Israel, holding them “directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month.” Pino said, “Your names are scrawled on every bullet fired, bomb dropped, body buried and burnt forehead in Gaza. May your names become a curse word on the lips of every justice-loving person on earth, along with ‘Obama’ and ‘Netanyahu.’” He accused his fellow academics of being fascist collaborators and ended with a veiled threat saying, “We both know the fate of collaborators.” Pino signed the letter with a Che Guevara slogan: “Hasta la victoria siempre!” (“Until Victory, Always!”), and added, “Jihad until victory!”
While Kent State has, over the years, condemned Pino’s actions and violent rhetoric, it has not announced any official disciplinary actions against Pino for his incendiary rhetoric and attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel members of the campus community. The university called his most recent statements “reprehensible” and irresponsible” and said that “at Kent State, we value collegiality and mutual respect. Assailing the public with broad statements of culpability violates these principles.”
The toothless condemnations from the university have done little to quell Pino’s zeal for terrorist causes and the destruction of Israel, if his recent Facebook posts are any indication.
Pino’s profile picture shows protesters draped in Hamas flags.