Results of a recent British study published in the Guardian reveal that if you’re a woman, the more middle class you are, the more sexual partners you have:
Given the number of headlines about teenage single mothers from deprived backgrounds, you’d be forgiven for assuming that being in a lower social class equals an increased likelihood of promiscuous behaviour.
But you’d be wrong, because, in fact, having more than ten sexual partners in your lifetime is associated with higher social class and educational status, with nearly double the rates in professional women compared with those in routine occupations.
However, it is correct that the lower down the social scale you are, then the earlier you will start having sex.
…By contrast, women from higher socio-economic groups start their sexual activity later, but go on to have more partners throughout their lifetime.
One possible explanation is that highly educated women tend to forge careers before settling down, and so have more years on the singles market.
The real question is, have white, middle-class feminists become so singularly focused on birth control and abortion in order to advocate for their “deprived” sisters, as they claim? Or are they so sex-obsessed in their politics solely in order to sustain their seemingly insatiable, promiscuous lifestyles?
Jewish Americans are being baited by a radical Left that has sharpened their anti-Bibi fangs in the ready to rip apart the nation of Israel and the entire body of world Jewry. It’s a bold statement, but it’s an honest one. If you thought V15 would dissolve, their participants cashing in the last of the State Department’s change for a defeat party in Vegas, you’re wrong. The ideological fervor is stronger than ever. It has to be, because ideology is the only thing they have fueling their “hope and change” community-organizing momentum that is anything but.
Jonathan Mark at the New York Jewish Week succinctly catalogs the radical-Leftist Jewish bias against Bibi, noting that this isn’t the first time a right-wing leader’s victory has been condemned in the American media. “Begin as in Fagin” a 1977 Time magazine article explained, conjuring up one of the most insulting anti-Semitic stereotypes in history.
Today it is the J Street crowd sacrificing their pound of flesh by cutting themselves off from the “Jewish establishment” in a radical attempt to “directly take on Jewish organizations …complicit with Israel’s occupation” via the Obama method. If Israel won’t directly negotiate, they’ll just be forced into a solution …and what? Be told to deal with it, or else? According to reports, the conference was keynoted by Obama’s chief of staff and fueled nothing more or less than the “Bibi is racist” tagline.
Hannah Senesh wrote about the power of one match to light a fire. In this instance, the blaze is burning out of control in this radicalized segment of the Jewish world.
Mark adopts the Israeli attitude toward the radical Left’s recent drumming up of hostilities, concluding:
If Israel has to go alone, so be it, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Brett Stephens: “Repay contempt with contempt. Mr. Obama plays to classic bully type. He is abusive and surly only toward those he feels are either too weak, or too polite, to hit back…. The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance…. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.”
In the end, he is right. Israel has the self-determination and autonomy to weather the storm. The question is, will the Jewish American community rise to the occasion, or be consumed in the fires of its own outrageous fury, drummed up by a mad man who has no problem negotiating the Jewish people’s terms of destruction on an international scale?
Watch as the infamous activist, blacklisted by Brandeis University for her anti-Islam views, discusses her new book Heretic and the concept of reforming Islam. Martha Raddatz has no problem outing herself as a turncoat feminist, accusing Hirsi Ali, herself a survivor of female genital mutilation, of unfairly attacking Islam now that she has left the religion.
Raddatz and the pro-Islam Manalo Omar are also quick to gang up on Hirsi Ali when she highlights one of the many Qu’ranic calls for death to infidels currently being used to justify Sharia law and jihad, citing both “the Torah” and “the Bible” as containing violent verses. When Hirsi Ali replies by questioning where the Christians are who take these verses as literally as their Islamic counterparts, Raddatz changes her line of questioning without changing her politically correct tone.
“Doesn’t [your book] incite people to hate Muslims?” is Raddatz’s conclusion, not her query, proving once again that the West’s multiculturalist elite are the greatest threat to Islamic reform.
This piece, by Times writer Judith Shulevitz, has got to be read in full to be believed. The opening will give you a (dis)taste:
KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
And just what sort of “safe space” could the poor dears repair to?
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
And these are the best and brightest who will make up America’s next generation of “leaders.” A toxic combination of Viennese Voodoo, Leftist whining, emotional immaturity and an overly politicized upbringing has given them to us. Be sure to read the whole thing, including the writer’s obvious scorn for the ninnies she’s writing about:
It’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.
But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”
Back when coeducation was being introduced into American colleges and universityies, there were many who predicted adverse consequences:
Certain male doctors argued that extended education was dangerous for women, who could be harmed by overexertion caused by competition with male students. Other opponents of coeducation protested on religious and moral grounds, maintaining that the hazards of impropriety were higher when young men and women were placed in such close proximity for long periods.
The headline on this
op-ed piece blog post in the Washington Post says it all:
College applicant: I got in! But I can’t afford it. Was all my hard work for nothing?
The author of the piece, Crysten Price, is a high-school senior in Louisiana who just got admitted to Tulane, so let’s cut her some slack here. But what does it say about the success of President Obama’s constant yammering about how college should be “free” (incrementally, of course, beginning with community college, but we’ve all seen this leftist movie before and know where it’s going)? A lot, is what:
I am one of the top two prospects for valedictorian at Riverside, the opposing student is an African-American female and scholarship student as well. With silent fervor and diligence, together we worked to rise to become the top senior ranks. History will be made graduation day; our high school has yet to rear an African-American valedictorian or salutatorian since its opening in 1970. I believe this to be an extraordinary achievement, considering the politics of our community, the region we live in, the current year, and the odds stacked against us…
To my dismay, I was denied the full scholarship to Tulane. Although being accepted is a pretty astounding achievement, somehow I feel the point I’m desperately trying to prove disintegrated completely. Yes, the middle and lower classes have a place at universities such as this, but when it comes to funding we are on our own. It’s almost as if being let in the door to take a brief look around, but shooed off outright.
One might suggest to Ms.
Svrluga Price that millions of students have faced similar circumstances over the years, and many have found a way around or through them: loans, part-time jobs, scholarships (both from the school and elsewhere). Government need not be the first and last resort. Here comes the kicker, though, and it’s unutterably sad:
I want a voice. I want to prove that I am not a product of my hometown’s low expectations.
I want the college education that I worked so hard for yet cannot afford.
I want the rest of the students within my community to leave, to branch out, and to thrive.
I want the destructive system crippling my community to fall.
I want equality of outcome.
And there you have it.
UPDATED: The name of the high-school student has been corrected. Susan Svrluga is a blogger on the Washington Post website who posted Ms. Price’s piece.
Well, at least Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford are going to try:
With only three weeks remaining for Congress to overturn two Washington, D.C., laws that violate the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges—as well as other religious and pro-life organizations—Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and James Lankford of Oklahoma have done the “right thing” by introducing joint resolutions this week, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Bob Laird.
Senator Cruz comments:
“The D.C. Council is attempting to force religious institutions to provide services, make employment decisions, or participate in activities that directly violate their faith. No government entity should be able to coerce organizations—whether they be non-profits or religious schools—into funding abortion services or promoting gender policy that is contrary to the organization’s fundamental mission.”
The freedom of religion is at the very core of individual liberty and, therefore, of America’s system. Many believe that the freedom of speech was the foundation, but that’s not true: the acknowledgement of that natural right grew out of the freedom of religion (reading tip: Thomas Hobbes). That’s why it’s so important that the Catholic Church — supported by Cruz and Lankford — wins this battle. You can’t preserve liberty in general when you abolish the freedom of religion, as dictators very well know. Why do you think Mao Zedong and old Joe Stalin declared war on religious institutions shortly after they seized power?
The result of D.C.’s plans will be catastrophic. This is how tyranny starts — by tearing apart the right of citizens to practice their beliefs. Let’s hope that a miracle happens and the Church triumphs. If she doesn’t, I fear not only for her and D.C., but for America in its entirety.
For years when I’ve heard of ridiculous political correctness run amok in American academia, I’ve breathed a sigh of relief that it hasn’t happened at my alma mater, the University of Georgia. Until now.
Sororities and fraternities at UGA have banned the use of hoop skirts at events over concerns of the appearance of racism.
Victor Wilson, UGA’s vice president for student affairs, explained that the ban was due to concerns over what kind of “message” the skirt might send, and compared it to a previous ban on Confederate uniforms, according to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald.
In other words: The fact that people wore hoop skirts during the era of slavery in the U.S. makes them symbols of racism. “The student leadership, staff and advisors agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events,” read an e-mail sent out Tuesday by Ashley Merkel, president of UGA’s Panhellenic Council, and Alex Bosse, president of the Interfraternity Council.
Students had previously worn them to events such as the “Magnolia Ball.”
The Banner-Herald elaborated on the ban, which comes on the heels of racial controversy involving fraternities at other schools.
The hoop skirt ban came after UGA Student Affairs administrators met Monday with some UGA fraternity and sorority leaders, including representatives of the UGA chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha fraternities, both of which have deep roots in the South.
The ban comes a week after the University of Oklahoma expelled two SAE fraternity members and shut down the university’s SAE chapter because of a racist video made by members. In the video, SAE members chant about lynching, and using a racial slur, vow that there will never be a black member of the fraternity. The video went viral on the Internet and soon found its way to University of Oklahoma administrators. Talk during Monday’s UGA meeting at UGA was about presenting the university and Greek organizations in a good light, and not inviting negative attention, said Victor Wilson, UGA’s vice president for student affairs.
Part of the talk was about dress at such events as KA’s “Old South Week” and SAE’s “Magnolia Ball.” The discussion included hoop skirts, and the messages conveyed by such dresses or other articles of clothing, Wilson said.
“The discussion was about more than dress, but about how you present yourself, and dress was part of that,” he explained.
The university does not make the call on bans like this one — rather, the decision comes from the Greek organizations themselves. Earlier bans at UGA include prohibitions on Confederate uniforms and other symbols and insignia.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Sean Pavone
Get your vomit bags out before watching this shameful attempt at brainwashing the next generation into thinking Hillary Clinton should be their feminist savior. The YouTube account “Bill for First Lady 2016″ has released a campaign spot featuring a series of little girls rhyming 5 reasons why Hillary should run for president in 2016.
They promulgate the requisite pay-gap myth with the tacky line, “In the USA, having a va-jay-jay shouldn’t mean less pay,” explaining why Common Core is so into sex ed. The girls also get in a line about Republicans bullying women over “reproductive rights,” leaving one to wonder if these girls know they’re the third generation to have survived legalized abortion in America (apparently not a lesson in the Common Core curriculum).
The most unintentionally comical point comes in the conclusion that, “As First Lady, Bill will rock the dress.” I guess Common Core hasn’t gotten to the ’90s, either. Bill definitely rocked the dress, in Democrat blue no less. Not surprisingly this one is red, reminding women they should vote Republican instead.
The single greatest cultural barrier to the preservation and advancement of liberty is our reverence for sacrifice. We use the word in reference to things which are actually profitable transactions, like choosing to study for a test rather than go drinking.
The true meaning of sacrifice is exhibited by an author at Slate who thinks you should give up what’s best for your kids for the sake of an “eventual common good.” Allison Benedikt writes:
You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.
Note the nature of the transaction. Benedikt calls you to literally sacrifice what’s best for your kid. Your willingness to give your kid less makes you a better person, by her particular moral calculus.
This is what real-life altruism looks like. It’s not charity. It’s not being nice to your neighbor or helping around church or benevolence toward a stranger. Altruism is the irrational sacrifice of your life-affirming values – like the education of your children – for the alleged benefit of others.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
Benedikt can’t even define what this common good is, only that it won’t manifest for you or anyone you know. And really, that’s the whole point. The litmus test for whether something is truly sacrificial is that it must surrender something you value without redounding to your benefit. We’re not talking about investment. We’re not talking about some kind of legacy or inheritance. This isn’t about you and your children or grandchildren. This is about other people you don’t know or value supposedly benefiting from your self-inflicted loss. If we accept such moral claims upon our lives, we don’t deserve to be free.
Well, almost a hundred: $92,933, to be exact, at the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. No wonder they’re slowly going out of business:
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will reduce its class size and cut about six positions from its staff as the news industry retrenches. The school will gradually reduce enrollment over several years and has already stopped filling some vacant faculty positions, Steve Coll, dean of the school since 2013, said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff today.
The cuts were reported by media blogger Jim Romenesko.
News organizations around the world are cutting staff and budgets as advertisers and readers have fled traditional media for free online sources and social media sites, such as Twitter. While graduate student applications rose sharply after the recession that began in 2008, the school’s class size is headed back to a lower “historical norm,” Coll said.
It’s certainly true that the Old Media world is dying. And overgrown teenagers with rich parents could afford to flee into useless graduate degrees during the recession, when they weren’t going to get any work anyway, to put off the day of reckoning. But maybe the sticker price for a credential has something to do with it as well:
The New York school will also focus on raising funds for student scholarships, Mr. Coll said. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses for a full-time master’s degree student are $92,933, according to the school website. Coll said he will host a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the changes.
Columbia is seeing increased demand for training in digital media, Ms. Fishman said, adding that applications for the school’s dual degree in journalism and computer science were up 47% this year.
I got into professional journalism in 1972, when I was hired by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as a cub reporter. I was armed with a degree in music and knew zero about journalism; my editors said, don’t worry, we’ll teach you. The rest is history.
Fox New’s Megyn Kelly had a one-word response to professors at the University of California, Irvine, who want the United States flag banned because it contributes to racism. Actually, Kelly didn’t even need an actual word to express her feelings about the professors, who have expressed their support for a student organization that voted to ban all national flags — including the U.S. flag — on the UC Irvine campus.
I think Megyn Kelly speaks for a lot of Americans.
**** Updated: See from Spencer Klavan at PJ Lifestyle, “How to Beat the Thought Police, One American Flag at a Time: A Victory Case Study at UC Irvine“
The New York Times reports:
Like many survivors of the Holocaust, after World War II, Saul Dreier and Reuwen (“Ruby”) Sosnowicz moved to America, started families and careers, grew old, and retired to Florida. For these octogenarians, settling near Boca Raton could have been the last chapter in their story.
But then, last summer, Mr. Dreier, 89, decided to start a klezmer band, drawing upon the music he grew up with in Poland. Playing the drums, he teamed up with Mr. Sosnowicz, an 85-year-old Polish accordionist. This Op-Doc video profiles the two men and their group, which they’ve named the Holocaust Survivor Band. In recent months they have performed for audiences at venues ranging from local nursing homes and temples to The Venetian in Las Vegas.
…For them, music is catharsis. The Holocaust Survivor Band summons the bittersweet memories of childhood, but more than that, it is a celebration of life.
Seniors Dreier and Sosnowicz prove that life doesn’t stop and start at the convenience of a radical dictator or cultural norm.
Helicopter parenting, along with other forms of over-parenting, have come under considerable criticism in recent years for creating a generation of kids who can’t problem-solve for themselves. Now, a related parenting behavior – “overvaluing” one’s kids – has come under similar fire: But here, for creating narcissists-in-the-making. A new study from The Ohio State University suggests that constant – and perhaps undue – praise for our kids’ tiniest accomplishments, or non-accomplishments, may have the unintended side-effect of creating an over-inflated ego. And this can have serious consequences both in childhood and later on in life.
“Research shows that narcissism is higher in Western than non-Western countries, and suggests that narcissism levels have been steadily increasing among Western youth over the past few decades,” the authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This is something I’ve been railing about for years (I wrote an ebook about it) and my feelings about it has just been reinforced while raising my teenage daughter. When childhood is spent being rewarded for nothing, adulthood can be a bit difficult to navigate. There seems to be no balance between avoiding damage to children’s psyches and coddling them to the point of inducing neuroses. Yes, psychotic, screaming parents at sporting events are awful, but last Saturday I saw pre-season parade for a Little League, celebrating merely getting through the registration process, I guess.
Narcissism is at the core of progressivism. The sense of entitlement inherent in leftist ideology is being nurtured in public schools that decades ago began prioritizing feelings over achievement.
The New York Times reports:
China detained at least 10 women’s rights activists over the weekend to forestall a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation that was to overlap with International Women’s Day, according to human rights advocates and associates of those detained.
At least five of the detained were still being held on Sunday evening, while the others had been released after being interrogated. All were women.
The women still in detention on Sunday evening live in the eastern metropolises of Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, and had timed the start of the anti-harassment campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day on Sunday, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group based outside China that had posted on Twitter about the detentions.
…“The attack this time is a big deal for us because the people who have been taken away formed the growing core of our movement these last few years,” said a young woman in Beijing who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also out of fear of official retribution. “They are the core strength of the women’s activist movement.”
The All-China Women’s Federation held a gathering attended by female domestic workers and foreign diplomats in Beijing on Friday ahead of International Women’s Day.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of women’s rights, said Shen Yueyue, president of the federation, when delivering a speech.
Shen, who is also vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, said she hoped women would work hard to help realize the “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation.
Shen also urged women worldwide to work together in promoting gender equality and world peace and development.
The best way to celebrate women in China these days is to tell them to work harder and keep their mouths shut.
Fast-forward to 19:12 (or better yet, just watch the whole thing).
In the world of contemporary feminist politics, criticism of Islam is off the table. Unless, of course, you’re a female Muslim in a Muslim-dominated country who desperately seeks reform. If you are, you’re stuck banging your head against the wall as your sisters in the West do everything to ignore you in pursuit of wage equality, sexual consent apps, and chronicling Lena Dunham’s latest hair adventure.
Most women who follow feminist media is sadly too drunk on the Kool Aid to realize that popular sites like Jezebel, Feministing, the Mary Sue, Everyday Feminism, and the Feminist Majority Foundation have all failed to comment on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic address to Congress. Their flagrant ignorance of the most important foreign policy issue of our time is inexcusable. The willful blind eye they continue to turn towards women oppressed by radical Islamic rule is unforgivable. In one simple, powerful sentence Netanyahu did what contemporary feminists in the West refuse to do:
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
His Game of Thrones mention received more attention than did the fact that Netanyahu equated “freedom for anyone” with “no rights for women.” There’s your meme. There’s your platform. There’s your unifying fact: If women are not free, no one is free. And yet here Western feminists remain embroiled in a heated debate over Patricia Arquette’s lack of “intersectionality“. There’s an age-old meme for that one, too: It’s the pot calling the kettle black.
In appearing before Congress today, Bibi Netanyahu did more for women oppressed by Islam than the feminist movement has on a worldwide scale. He joins a small but powerful group of real feminists including Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who are brave enough to use their western platforms to speak out on an issue vital to women across the globe. Israel’s Prime Minister ended his speech by quoting Moses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them…“. It’s time contemporary feminists ask themselves what they are so afraid of.
We all know that universities tend to be extremely progressive. That’s the case in both the United States and Europe. Whenever a student dares to express conservative views, he’s quickly pushed aside, marginalized and sometimes even punished for his audacity to speak his mind. After all, freedom of speech doesn’t mean that everybody has that right. Of course not!
You may laugh, but British university students now actually demand the “right to be comfortable.” I kid you not.
It doesn’t get much insaner than that.
The great British YouTube’er Pat Condell shares that view and just published a fantastic video in which he utterly destroys progressive universities and students. Teaser:
Inevitably, of course, this right to be comfortable is very selective, and only extends to those who hold the correct opinion. Anyone else can expect to be made very uncomfortable indeed by being silenced – either banned outright, or shouted down by militant “progressive” puritan bigots who think in slogans, and who think it’s more virtuous to be “progressive” than to be factually accurate or morally just, or to have anything remotely resembling an open mind.
Ouch. And guess what? There’s much more where that came from. Watch it:
At the end of a circus of a trial in the case of alleged cheating within the Atlanta Public School System, a key figure in that case, former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, has passed away, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta. She lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 68.
Hall has been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stand trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.
Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges but has not been well enough to stand trial.
The former administrator, who received an award as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009, resigned her post in 2010 following a report from the State of Georgia which stated that Hall ignored widespread cheating on standardized tests throughout the system. Hall denied involvement and placed the blame for the cheating on others on her staff.
Hall first received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2004. Last summer, her attorneys argued that she was unfit to stand trial because the stage 4 cancer had spread throughout her body.
Her legal team issued a statement that read, “Dr. Hall fought this disease with great courage and dignity. For the last year and a half, Dr. Hall’s directions to her doctor have been simple: get me well enough to stand trial; and to her lawyers: see to it that I get a fair trial. She was never concerned about the outcome of such a trial, only that the process be fair. She never doubted that in a fair trial, with the jury hearing the state’s contentions and her rebuttal, to include her own testimony, she would be acquitted. In the end, she was not strong enough to go to trial although that had been her earnest hope.”
“I’m just saddened by her passing and my condolences to her family,” defense attorney Gerald Griggs told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.
Griggs said he thinks Hall’s death will have some impact on the jury, but “I think we have to look past that at this point,” he said.
In all, 20 educators stood trial in the case. Testimony in the trial wrapped up last week, and closing arguments will begin on March 16.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube.
Emmett McGroarty from American Principles Project predicted that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will oppose Common Core in the 2016 presidential election. He also said that a pro-Common Core Republican nominee would lose to her.
During a panel discussion at CPAC on Thursday, McGroarty said the movement to eliminate the Common Core standards, which dictate what children should should know at each grade level in math and English, is growing very quickly.
If Republicans are unable to unite behind a nominee who opposes Common Core, the vote could be “fractured” and a pro-Common Core Republican would face Hillary Clinton, “who does not really have Common Core baggage” in the general election, said McGroarty.
“And that is going to make the Republican candidate, I think, unelectable at that time because the conservative voters will be disappointed,” he said. “Their turnout will be suppressed and low. I think you’ll have the moderate votes or apolitical votes will vote for the other candidate — for the one who doesn’t have the Common Core baggage.”
Among Republicans rumored to be considering presidential runs, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been an enthusiastic supporter of Common Core, as has Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has openly mocked those who disagree with him on the issue. Other Republican governors have either changed course on the standards (Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal) or expressed some concerns about the implementation (Chris Christie).
McGroarty described Clinton as “very smart, very shrewd” and said if the eventual Republican nominee supports Common Core in the general election, she will oppose it. “It’ll almost sound like a Republican criticizing it for the decision-making. She’ll criticize it for the heavy-handedness of the federal government. She’ll criticize it because all these leaders signed onto the standards and committed to the standards before they were drafted — on and on and on,” he said. “It will be very embarrassing for the Republican nominee.”
McGroarty said voters will be asking not whether candidates are “against” Common Core, but “are you fighting for change in the federal government that will prevent a travesty like this from ever happening again?”
He said voters want acknowledgement that Common Core is of poor quality and it was forced upon them. “Because if candidates don’t acknowledge that, then they’re not facing the truth and the fear will be that they’re not going to fight this,” he said.
According to McGroarty, people are beginning to realize that the federal government is dictating education decisions.
“So there’s this conversation going on between the federal government, which has the conditional money, so the states look to the federal executive and they are doing what the federal executive wants — they adopt their policies,” he said.
That’s how that 10% of the education budget really controls policy, according to McGroarty. “People now realize they’re being cut out…they and their desires and their needs and their children are being cut out of the decision-making and so I think this represents a very profound change in America,” he said. “People are realizing that that division of powers is very personal thing…a very personal concept, meant to protect their rights and their liberties.”
On Tuesday, testimony concluded in the trial of 20 educators in the Atlanta Public School system who are accused of cheating on standardized tests. The defense called its final witness, and the Judge Jerry Baxter gave instructions to the jury and attorneys. Closing arguments will begin on March 16 after a longer-than-usual recess.
Prosecutors also say the teachers on trial prompted students as they struggled to answer test questions. Administrators for the district and at several schools allegedly threatened teachers if their students were failing and punished anyone who reported cheating.
Former Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall is also charged with racketeering, but she did not go on trial because she is being treated for Stage IV breast cancer. She will be tried once she is healthy enough.
If the jury finds the defendants guilty of racketeering, they could be sentenced to 20 years in prison. The defendants also face lesser charges that could bring prison sentences.
None of the 12 defendants testified, and eight of them called no witnesses.
In total, four defense attorneys called 31 witnesses in the past two weeks. In contrast, the prosecution called 133 witnesses, two in rebuttal.
The mood in the courtroom was jovial and giddy, as prosecutors posed for photos and Baxter dropped his usual hard-edged persona and addressed the courtroom in a more folksy manner.
“Y’all are fantastic,” Baxter told the jurors who first came to the Fulton County Courthouse for the trial more than six months ago. “I have never seen anything like this. The most striking thing is your diligence. We’re not over yet. The ultimate decisions will be in your lap and that’s coming soon.
“I want you to try to get back to what you were doing. Relax. You need to get in shape mentally and physically. Work out. Do the Rocky thing,” Baxter said.
Once the jury had left on Tuesday, Baxter, who has been testy throughout the trial, apologized to attorneys for his “gruff” behavior.
“If I have made anybody mad, I’m sorry. Sincerely,” Baxter said. “It’s been a long, long journey.
“I’m not perfect. Right, Evelyn?” he said to the court reporter.
“Right,” she answered.
“I have the highest respect for all of you. You battled for your clients and you’ve been professional,” Baxter said. “This trial turned out to be a lot better than I thought it might be. I had visions of nightmares. They have not come true. … I tried to give everybody a fair trial and I hope I have.”
Closing arguments will put the finishing touches on a truly bizarre trial, with accusations of teachers insulting and even threatening students and holding parties where they would change the answers on standardized tests. The trial took on the air of a soap opera many times, so we’ll see if the conclusion of the trial will bring the same kind of excitement.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Matthew Benoit
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde followed Obama’s trendsetting “War on Muslims” narrative, thus failing the cause of women’s equality across the globe. The Feminist Fail started out on the right track:
Nations should remove laws that prevent women from working in order to increase the female labour supply and boost their economies, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said.
“In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active,” Lagarde wrote in a blog. “In a world in search of growth, women will help find it, if they face a level playing field instead of an insidious conspiracy.”
What exactly is this “insidious conspiracy” Lagarde is referring to? Don’t worry, she hasn’t taken the Patty Arquette pill, although she’s definitely drinking the Obama Kool Aid, because it’s all downhill from here:
But the IMF has to tread a careful line on this issue to avoid explicitly critiquing the laws in its 188 member countries, including states like Mali and Yemen, which have been among the worst performers on indices of gender equality.
Mali and Yemen, both Muslim-dominated states. Mali’s logo, “one people, one goal, one faith” is a contradiction in terms, at least when it comes to fostering economic growth, which is the only topic up for discussion on Lagarde’s watch:
The IMF has sought to couch its arguments in economic terms, saying in a previous study that having as many women in the labor force as men could boost economic growth by 5% in the United States, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.
Note the radical climb in potential economic growth when the stats begin speaking to Muslim nations? Oops. Guess Lagarde’s staffers didn’t get the “War on Muslims” memo until after they prepared their findings, to which they quickly tacked on the following caveat:
“In recommending equal opportunities …this study does not intend to render a judgment of countries’ broadly accepted cultural and religious norms.”
Classy. Let’s talk about an obvious problem without directly drawing attention to it, since the problem is defended by radicalized terrorists. Is that called the White Elephant defense strategy?
The JTA reports:
More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study.
Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year. The survey was taken in the spring of 2014, prior to the outbreak of hostilities last summer in Gaza.
The online survey of 1,157 students, conducted by Trinity College Professor Barry Kosmin and Associate Professor Ariela Keysar, found that percentages of students reporting encounters with anti-Semitism were relatively consistent across gender, religious outlook, and geographical region.
Students who affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements were more likely to report such experiences than Orthodox students, with 69 percent of Conservative students, 62 percent of Reform students and 52 percent of Orthodox students responding that they had reported anti-Semitic encounters. Those who said they were always open about their Jewishness on campus were roughly as likely to have encountered anti-Semitism as those who said they were never open about their Jewishness, at 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.
According to the report, those taking the survey defined the term “anti-Semitic incident”. The organization Jew Hatred on Campus, a new organization established by the David Horowitz Freedom Center,
…compiled a list of the 10 U.S. campuses having the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014. Universities included in the top 10 played host to numerous incidents of anti-Jewish acts, such as Israeli Apartheid Week (a week-long event that demonizes the Jewish state); interrupting university activities by staging mock “checkpoints” on campus; campus speakers that call for the destruction of the Jewish state; and verbal or physical harassment and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students. These anti-Semitic incidents occur on university property, often with the support of university funds, despite the fact that such behavior is explicitly forbidden under campus codes of conduct.
From my own personal experience I’d add to the list a set of individual encounters with various students who questioned me as to why “there are so many of you in the media” and demanded my opinions about the”injustice” of the non-massacre at Jenin. In the case of these encounters, each oddly enough motivated by foreign students from Middle Eastern Muslim nations, the interrogators waited until we were alone with no witnesses before launching the “conversations”.
Perhaps it’s time campus Jewish groups start offering Krav Maga classes.
During an interview with the Shark Tank, Senator Ted Cruz told Nicole Sanders that he is “passionately opposed to Common Core” and he had some advice for parents who want to stop it.
“The only way we’re going to stop Common Core — the only way we’re going to change the direction of this country — is for the grassroots to rise up,” the potential GOP presidential candidate said.
Cruz said that education decisions should be made at the state or local level “where we as parents have direct control over the standards, over the mores, over the curriculum that’s being taught to our kids.” He said the standards are being used by the federal government as a “mechanism” to force a uniform curriculum and to “put federal bureaucrats in charge of what is taught to our kids.”
The Texas senator advised parents not to look to Washington for the solution. He said the biggest divide we have in this country is not between Republicans and Democrats, but between career politicians — in both parties — and the American people.
“Part of why Common Core has gotten so much momentum is a whole bunch of Republicans joined with a whole bunch of Democrats agreeing that the federal government should stick its nose in the middle of education,” Cruz said. “The only way to change that is a grassroots movement that’s sweeping the country.”
Cruz compared the current situation in the United States to the country during the Carter administration — economic misery, stagnation, malaise, a disastrous foreign policy — and recalled that during the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s “the expansion of federal power was turned around.”
“But it came from the grassroots,” Cruz said. “The only way to stop Common Core is for the grassroots all across this country to rise up and say, ‘Enough is enough. We’re going to hold elected officials accountable.’”
“If you want to make sure our children’s education stays at the local level with parents having control and not sucked into Washington by unelected bureaucrats corrupting our curriculum, then rise up, speak out, organize, come together and hold elected officials accountable. Republicans and Democrats.”
He said talk is cheap and warned parents not to accept “soothing sounding words” from politicians who tell them what they want to hear.
“We need to hold everyone accountable,” Cruz said, “and that’s something only the grassroots can do.”
— Erica Nicole (@YFSEricaNicole) February 12, 2015
This spring, an aspiring professor—W, as she’s chosen to call herself in a blog post about the experience—attempted to negotiate her tenure-track job offer with the Nazareth College philosophy department. She wanted a slightly higher salary than the starting offer, paid maternity leave for one semester, a pre-tenure sabbatical, a cap on the number of new classes that she would teach each semester, and a deferred starting date. “I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others,” she acknowledged in her e-mail. “Let me know what you think.”
Nazareth didn’t hesitate to do just that: W wrote that the college promptly let her know that she was no longer welcome. “The institution has decided to withdraw its offer of employment to you,” the terse reply concluded. “We wish you the best in finding a suitable position.”
What a dope.
Head over to Nazareth College’s website and you’ll learn rather quickly via their faculty manual that most of the items she attempted to “negotiate” are already set in stone, most likely via union negotiation and past practice. Regarding her “paid maternity leave” request, Nazareth’s policy is generous to say the least. Fully paid disability period, ability to apply paid time off towards FMLA, and the ability to request up to 2 semesters of leave without pay, “but with paid employee basic health insurance and major medical insurance only to which the faculty member would otherwise be entitled”. That’s one heck of a good faith investment put forth on behalf of the college for new parents (moms and dads) to stay at home for up to a year.
As far as a “pre-tenure sabbatical” goes, this woman apparently hasn’t worked a day in academia in her life. She’s applying for a tenure-track position. Time worked is what allows you to accrue tenure. A sabbatical doesn’t count towards time worked, so essentially she just asked them to delay her own job advancement so she could have paid time off to wander the libraries of the world. Combine that with the class cap request and ask how either measure, both of which illustrate a total lack of work ethic, would possibly work to her advantage?
Higher salary within reason? Sure. Lean in all you want. Deferred start date? Depends on the circumstances. But before you decide to negotiate a first job based on the musings of a high-level executive, try reading about the job for which you’re actually negotiating. Or, just whine to the world that your demands were rejected because you’re a woman. That’s much more empowering.
Is Netanyahu justified in wanting to present his position on the Iranian
nukes before the American Congress?
Yes 56% No 36% Don’t know 8%
Is the American Government interfering in the Israeli elections?
Yes 61% No 31% Don’t know 8%
What should Netanyahu do in the wake of criticism regarding his planned
address to Congress?
41% Go and speak regardless
17% Go but speak at AIPAC
36% Don’t go at all
06% Don’t know
According to the Jerusalem Post, the poll had a margin of error of 4.5%.
The interference on the part of the American government, specifically the Obama administration, appears to be nothing less than a part of Obama’s well-orchestrated “Bulworth Plan” to “be more honest” in his second term, as Seth Mandel at Commentary writes:
So what does it mean for Obama to be “authentic?” Here’s CNN:
In addition to revealing his actual position in favor of legal same-sex marriages, and working on immigration reform and to combat climate change, the president singled out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Axelrod wrote. Specifically, he wanted to be tougher on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Just to put this in perspective, Obama had been working to collapse Netanyahu’s government almost immediately. What Obama was saying was that trying to collapse the duly elected Israeli government was his way of pulling punches, of not being tough enough on Netanyahu. It’s easy to see why Obama thought this might make some of his advisors nervous.
Mandel is right that Obama’s strategy is “morally bankrupt and ill advised,” although I wonder why he’d think Obama was out to gain the trust of an already doubtful Israeli electorate. Based on Obama’s “War on Muslims” platform, gaining the support of the Israeli population is furthest from the American president’s mind. Obama’s real end-game is simple: Destroy whatever is left of the Israeli-American political alliance by fostering as much distrust as possible among the Israeli and American electorates towards one another and their respective governments.
Don’t let the Messiah motif mask the reality that Obama is only the figurehead of a very large, very powerful snake that seeks to crush more than any one human being, no matter how powerful, could possibly control or destroy on their own.
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) February 15, 2015
J Street, a progressive organization that encodes itself as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” has just released the slate for their 5th annual conference to be held in March. The list contains the usual suspects with one attempt at a surprise addition in the form of former Republican Secretary of State James Baker.
Pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon gives a concise summation of exactly why this union is anything but a bipartisan move:
…according to the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov, James Baker is the keynote speaker.
Baker is of course infamous for reportedly saying in private conversation, while George HW Bush’s secretary of state, “F**k the Jews, they didn’t vote for us anyway.”
But his antipathy towards Israel is well documented. He wanted the US to punish Israel for destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. He hated Netanyahu as early as 1990, barring him from entering the State Department’s building. And last but not least, he co-wrote the Iraq Study Group’s 2006 paper that recommended (among other things) that the US tilt its foreign policy away from Israel and towards Syria and Iran, advice that President Obama seems to have taken to heart.
So who says that J-Street isn’t bipartisan? It loves anti-Israel, antisemitic Republicans too!
Who’s next on the J Street line up, Pat Buchanan?
Note to parents of public school children: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, is also listed as a featured speaker. Perhaps she’ll enlighten the audience as to how the J Street platform ties into Common Core.
Serious, this guy is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, as The American Interest reports:
Scott Walker, one of the Republicans considering to run for president in 2016, earned his bona-fides earlier in his career by taking on public sector unions. Now he has embarked on another high-profile fight with a state-funded constituency: university professors. The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Walker, a Republican, has proposed a two-year tuition freeze and a $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System’s budget—about a 13% drop next year from current funding levels. Under the plan, Mr. Walker would shift control of the university system from the state to a new independent authority. He has also said that he thinks faculty needs to work harder.
We have warned for some time that the modern American university system is more vulnerable than many professors like to think, and that the way public universities organize themselves is going to come under much tougher scrutiny in the coming years.
Gee, that’s too damn bad. Of course the Democrats will howl, but hey — elections have consequences!
There is still a lot of respect in the country for the hard sciences and the people who teach them, but with the partial exception of economists and business school professors, much of the public has been losing its veneration for social science professors and humanities professors for some time.
A major restructuring of the university system is likely to come, with the weak spot being the publicly funded university system. Politics will have something to do with it; studies show that university faculty are one of the most Democratic groups in the country. With a large majority of states now under GOP control both in the legislatures and the governors’ mansions, it’s going to be hard for tenured faculty and high level administrators to get a sympathetic hearing for their pleas.
Gasps of Disbelief as ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’ Top Teacher Winner Resigns Over Common Core Testing
Stacie Starr, a veteran Elyria, Ohio, teacher who was chosen as the winner of the “Live with Kelly and Michael” 2014 Top Teacher Search, announced her retirement on Monday, citing the increasing pressures on students and teachers under the mandated Common Core standards.
Gasps of disbelief followed the announcement made during an education forum aimed at unraveling for parents the intricacies of the standardized testing system. Starr was at the podium, delivering a talk on how special education students are suffering under the new system based on Common Core standards and more rigorous assessments. She said as a veteran intervention specialist at Elyria High School, she could no longer watch silently from within the confines of a structured school day.
Instead, she is leaving education in the traditional sense.
“I am going to teach in a different way,” she proclaimed.
Starr wants to start an after-school mentoring program for at-risk students in hopes of saving them from the school-to-prison pipeline.
Starr spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the local public library and fought back tears as she announced her retirement at the end of the current school year. “I can’t do it anymore, not in this ‘drill ‘em and kill ‘em’ atmosphere,” she said. “I don’t think anyone understands that in this environment if your child cannot quickly grasp material, study like a robot and pass all of these tests, they will not survive.”
“I have faith in my students, but my students are reading at sometimes a fourth- and fifth-grade reading level,” said Starr, who teaches 9th grade students. “Each and every day, I have to look in my students’ eyes and tell them I can’t help them because the state has decided they have to prove what they know.”
She said it’s hard for teachers because “the rules keep changing.”
Another teacher at the meeting said he understands her decision. “I’m like you. I feel like I have to get out,” said Jackie Conrad, a third grade teacher.
Matt Jablonski, another veteran teacher from Elyria High School, said that he has been teaching since before No Child Left Behind became law.
“We will give the last [Ohio Graduation Test] this year. I don’t know if I’m going to cry when we do, because what we are moving to is unbelievable,” he said.
Last week Dawn Neely, another veteran teacher in the Elyria district, implored the school board to take control of the “testing culture” in their local schools.
“I don’t know what to do. I am morally against what we are doing, and I think history will judge us for what we do to fight for our kids,” she told the Elyria school board. “Look through the test books and you tell me if you think they are developmentally appropriate. No one is advocating for our district, and I am asking my district to be honest with the parents about what we are doing to students.”
Board president Kathryn Karpus responded to Neely’s speech by saying the district’s hands are tied. They are bound by Ohio laws that mandate the testing.
“All we can do is speak for students in numbers and hope Columbus listens and acts,” Karpus said.
It was a typical rambling Barry interview until 1:45 when he declared,
It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.
We’re in a War on Muslims, folks, and Offensive General Obama has no trouble causing much offense when it comes to the Jews. While American Jewish leaders scramble to speak out against Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress, General Barry is warning his soldiers not to “bow” to Jewish donors. He’s also paying lip service to America and Israel’s historic relationship while making it very clear that he and Netanyahu disagree on Iran. Then there’s that pesky “anybody but Bibi” V15 campaign kerfuffle that’s appearing more and more like an undercover op by the day.
But this isn’t just about the Jews. When he’s not picking on Christians for their near-thousand year-old response to the war crimes of the radical Islamic world, General Obama is meeting with his War on Muslims coalition, including representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood. The General is right when he states this isn’t a Republican/Likud versus Democrat/Labor thing. This is obviously a reality versus War on Muslims thing, and the General is doing everything he can to make sure the world knows he has 2 years left to use both Jews and Christians on the front lines of his own personal Operation Human Shield, better known as “Bunches of Random Acts of Violence.”
Canadian liberals have always been jealous of their American comrades for getting all the “cool” history, like the civil rights movement and Watergate.
But at least those two things really happened (if not always quite the way they’ve been reported).
In a new low, left-wing Canucks are now whining that our campus rape stats aren’t as high as America’s (aren’t, actually.)
Sex assault reporting on Canadian campuses worryingly low, say experts
Has the CBC hired that disgraced Rolling Stone rape beat reporter or something?
Ha! Show’s what you know. At a cost to taxpayers of over $1 billion a year, the CBC is perfectly capable of screwing up their own narrative all by themselves, thanks.
As they permit one of the libeled universities in this “study” to point out:
The CBC has chosen to ignore the flaws inherent in its research in an effort to present comparative data with no relevance to many of the universities in its survey sample. Presenting comparative data on a per 10,000 student basis has no relevance for a university campus with only 3,500 full time students unless it is a deliberate effort by reporters to sensationalize an otherwise extraordinarily important and complex issue.
Even commie pinko Ryerson “University,” which has never seen a “progressive” fad it didn’t like, suddenly doesn’t believe in a “campus rape epidemic” anymore. At least, not at their campus!
At Ryerson University, which is situated in downtown Toronto, 57 assaults were reported to the university between 2009 and 2013. In 2013, Ryerson had a full-time student population of almost 24,000.
“Regarding the data, unfortunately, there is little consistency in how Canadian post-secondary institutions collect and report sexual assault data,” the university told CBC News in a statement. “[At Ryerson] we also collect data that includes non-community members reporting incidents that have happened within our precinct, which extends over a large area of downtown Toronto.”
A likely story, Ry-High. What were you wearing?
Now hurry up and get yourselves raped, young ladies.
Don’t let math be the only thing hard around here!
We need to get those stats up, stat!
Oh for the days when music was about music. Perhaps that hasn’t truly existed since the pioneers strummed banjos on their front porches, but hey we can dream. Anything is better than the farce dished out at this year’s Grammy Awards by the likes of sinner-turned-saints Katy Perry and Queen Bey and the Grand Poobah of Liars Barack Obama. Kanye was still Kanye, terrorizing the stage with his unwanted opinions, but at least he’s being true to his Messiah complex. The rest of them cracked open the Eau de Hypocrisie in their SWAG bags way too early.
On the Sunday night preceding the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in movie theaters nation-wide, the music industry famous for turning women into greased-up, slimmed-down sex objects suddenly decided it gave a damn about sexual assault. Not because they really do, but because sexual assault sells. Just ask Lena Dunham and that chick who lugs a mattress around Columbia U. Autism replaced AIDS and now that we’ve decided vaccines aren’t an assault on our children we’ve turned our collective head and trumped up statistics towards sexual assault.
Big Brother Barry broke into the awards show to lacquer us with the false 1 in 5 narrative before commanding us to hashtag our support for the White House’s campaign against sexual assault on campus. Cue “domestic violence activist” testimony neatly leading into a performance of “By the Grace of God” by Katy Perry sans beach-ball bikini and shark dancers. Beyonce, far from the wet, lap-dancing prostitute of last year, appeared in angelic white garb to sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” for the show’s holiest of finales. Pop-meets-penance, it was a spectacle worthy of a holy institution. The only thing missing was Steve Martin in his sparkling jacket promising to heal us all, at least the straight men, of their demon sexuality.
Prior to this tent revival escapade, Madonna touched on the music industry’s pagan affair with lusty sexuality in her trademark style. Clad as a matador, men dressed as faceless bulls with Satanic horns danced around her while she declared her ability to rise up (via harness, apparently) and “live for love” despite being “knocked down” by previous lovers. Lyrically she hasn’t generated anything unique since the ’80s and the techno-pop beat was more worthy of Cher or Kylie Minogue than Madonna at her most innovative. But her visual style paid homage to the reality of a Hollywood soaked in bizarre, painful sex and enjoying it thoroughly.
Were honest statistics and less theatrics used in addressing the real issue of sexual violence, the Grammys would have seemed more authentic and less like damage control following Rolling Stone‘s massive faux pas when it came to reporting on the campus rape epidemic that isn’t. When Perry and Bey quit getting naked on their knees, call me. Until then, regardless of how many layers of white they wear they’re just dancing in the shadow of Madonna, the music industry’s reigning pagan priestess.
Want to see Obama’s 2008 campaign in a nutshell? Check out the young political activists recruited by the V-2015 campaign to elect “anyone but Netanyahu.” If you thought the “anyone but” goal was vague, try listening to their platform. Count how many times “hope and change” is repeated and remind yourselves that this is what got an American president elected — twice.
Dear God, let Israelis be smarter than us. With the polls neck-in-neck between Bibi’s Likud and the Livni/Labor “Zionist Camp” mashup, it’s questionable exactly how much impact the V15 campaign stands to have on the Israeli electorate. Likud came out swinging at V15, accusing the group of backing the Labor Zionist Camp. The accusation was later apologized for by Bibi’s lawyer, but that doesn’t leave lawmakers on this side of the ocean are without due cause to question Obama about V15′s involvement in the Israeli elections. Haaretz reports, “Two Republican lawmakers asked the Obama administration to explain OneVoice’s involvement in the election, given that it has received State Department funding.”
Anyone wishing to understand the Zionist Camp would be remiss to ignore Liel Leibovitz’s excellent analysis over at Tablet magazine:
Why, then, go to all this trouble to reclaim the ancient ideology? Why not just run, as generations of Labor leaders have in the past, as purveyors of new hopes rather than old ideas? In part, it’s because doing so would require Labor to state just how it distinguishes itself from Likud when it comes to safeguarding Israel’s security, a question that, in light of the Palestinian reluctance to engage in good-faith negotiations, is growing more and more difficult to answer. Livni herself was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s chief peace negotiator and was in agreement with the government’s policies on everything from the John Kerry peace initiative to last summer’s war in Gaza. She and her new partners in Labor can hardly claim to have an agenda that provides new answers to the tough questions of war and peace Israelis face each day. Instead of looking to the future, then, Labor is gazing longingly at the past.
That doesn’t sound like very much “hope n’change” to me.
In New York City, of course, where it’s well-nigh impossible to fire one of these people:
Six strikes and she’s not out. The city Department of Education has failed to fire a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” for six consecutive years. Ann Legra, 44, a first-grade teacher at PS 173 in Washington Heights, racked up “six years of failing her students,” the city argued in a 16-day termination hearing.
Hearing officer Eugene Ginsberg upheld charges of Legra’s “inability to supervise students,” excessive lateness and absence and poor lesson planning in the 2012-2013 school year. But Ginsberg dismissed evidence that Legra was a lousy instructor, saying she didn’t get enough coaching. He imposed only a 45-day suspension without pay. Legra keeps her $84,500-a-year salary, but is now assigned to a pool of 1,400 teachers who serve as substitutes.
In case you’re wondering:
“Students up out of their seats, at least one was running, another was demonstrating karate moves on the closet door and the majority of the students were not involved in anything instructional — an issue that has repeatedly plagued your tenure as a classroom teacher,” he wrote at the time.
Three of her 6-year-olds were injured in a classroom melee that day, he added. Amid the “mayhem,” Goodman wrote, Legra was “buried in a corner at a computer table” where she could not monitor all the kids.
Legra said she was “re-sharpening pencils” that were too sharp — to prevent accidents. She claimed the students were “walking around the room working on word activities.” Over the school year, Legra was absent 27 times and late 37 times. Legra said she suffers asthma and had to go to court for a custody fight with her ex.
Then there’s this kicker:
Legal [sic -- I think the Post means Legra] has since filed a federal lawsuit against the DOE, charging discrimination based on her race, gender, national origin and medical disability.
Over at the New York Times, gender feminist Sally Kohn chronicles her recent experience taking her five-year-old, princess-obsessed daughter to Disney World for her birthday. To read her account of the event, you’d presume the mother would’ve rather experienced a root canal without anesthesia than be forced to spend quality time celebrating her daughter’s birth. Every choice her five year old made, from wearing dresses to having her hair done at the Bippity-Boppity Boutique, drew nothing more than a cringe from her self-described “tomboy” mother, who whined and moaned through the article, oddly enough, like someone her daughter’s age:
I don’t know how it is that in the modern era, I still can’t get decent reception on my cellphone but somehow traditional gender norms are silently communicated and crystal clear. My partner and I certainly didn’t teach our daughter to like pink and ruffles and such. And I can’t fathom some genetic or biological nodule that predisposes my girl to like dolls while little boys like trucks. Baloney. But somehow, even in the midst of our hyper-liberal and hyper-diverse neighborhood with girls and boys of all kinds on display every day, it happened. Did I do something wrong? Is feminism mysteriously skipping a generation? Meanwhile, I have to bribe her to wear jeans.
People say it’s a phase and not to resist it or else Willa will just dig in longer.
If you’re looking for the loving, supportive parenting and expressions of affirmation and joy a mother would normally take in a child, you’ll need to scroll down to the end of the article to find the reason for the praise:
“But you’ll have to wait awhile to marry your prince,” one Fairy Godmother says to Willa.
“No,” Willa replies. “I don’t have to marry a prince if I don’t want to. I could marry another princess. Or I don’t even have to get married.”
The Fairy Godmothers-in-Training are momentarily speechless. And then, one by one, they start to applaud. One even pumps her fist in the air. Feminism didn’t skip my daughter, it was just hiding underneath all that pink and glitter.
Glad to know Komrade Mommy eventually did reward her good little Fem-bot. Even if it did mean stealing her tiara out from underneath her, the self-aggrandizing theft was done in the spirit of wanting “to be just like” her well-trained daughter. God help little Willa if she ever dares to make a decision of her own. That’s clearly not in Mommy’s gender feminism handbook.
Harvard University, best known for its former, albeit laconic *, Law Review president, has now distinguished itself in another way. Last year, Harvard received gifts in excess of $1.5 billion — that’s Billion, as in “you didn’t Build that.”
The president undoubtedly Tweeted Harvard’s Dean of Donations this week to remind him that “at a certain point you’ve made enough money,” and that, while he doesn’t want to punish Harvard’s success, “when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.”
Obama probably urged his Crimson comrades to consider the egalitarian generosity of Charles and David Koch, who recently contributed $25 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to help needy students at historically-black schools. President Obama almost certainly encouraged his alma mater to emulate this field-leveling behavior, even if doing so might cause a backlash from AFSCME, the union of government employees, which cut ties with the UNCF in protest over the Koch donation.
With only 106 historically-black colleges and universities, many of them struggling financially, Harvard could simply divide up that $1.5 billion in equal shares of $14 million (with Harvard also receiving its fair share.) What could be a more equitable way of addressing such savage income inequality?
It was, after all, a $37.5 billion record year for giving to America’s 4,800 colleges and universities, but $6.75 billion of that went to just 10 schools. In other words, the top two-tenths of one percent got 18 percent of the money.
As a millionaire, living in a palace, with servants meeting his every need, security watching his every step, becking and calling limousines and luxury aircraft, vacationing in posh resorts, and golfing his days away — Barack Obama clearly has the prestige, and the leisure time, to petition the captains of Cambridge, Mass., to redress this lingering injustice.
However, you may contend, the donors to Harvard did not intend their wealth to be spread around so liberally.
Yes, but what is Harvard, if not an educational institution? Should that education stop after a few years of undergraduate work, a master’s or a doctorate? No, I say, let the learning continue for a lifetime, as Harvard teaches its wealthy capitalist alumni the vanity of greed and the surpassing value of selfless giving.
May Obama’s elite friends in academia experience the full blessing of his legacy of leveling.