This is so disturbing.
Police say two 12-year-old girls lured a friend into some woods in southeastern Wisconsin where one of them held her down as the other stabbed her 19 times.
The 12-year-old victim survived the attack on Saturday in Waukesha and police say her condition is stable.
Authorities say the suspects had planned to kill the victim for several months. Police say both girls were interested in a website containing stories of death and horror.
The victim survived and her attackers are expected to be in court today.
Lately we’ve all heard, and I’ve even written, stories focusing on the disturbing militarization of the police. It is disturbing. But this story is a flip side to that — the police should not be militarizing and buying up-armored tank-like vehicles and all that, but on the other hand, they are dealing with a less predictable environment than we’ve had in the past. Crime overall is down, but what might be called crazy crime is still out there and it’s likely that as the family weakens and society disintegrates at its foundation, and kids are less and less productively occupied in our post-agriculture economy, and kids grow up in a more and more coarse media environment with social media amplifying everything to maddening levels, there will be more crazy crime. Police don’t always know what they’re dealing with when they go into any environment. Could be a kid with a knife, or a barking dog that never deserved to be shot — or they could be facing a violent wacko looking to take out his whole neighborhood and commit suicide by cop. Or the cops could be in the wrong house, making deadly mistakes because they think they’re entitled to act like Marines in a war zone.
Life isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be, where we can just denounce “bad militarized cop!” and never think about how things got to be the way they are. Sure, big government is feeling its oats. It’s also largely doing that because alternatives to its power — namely, the family, the church, private institutions generally — are falling prey to libertinism, and chaos increases as a result. Government is also to blame, to a great extent, for fostering the destruction of those institutions that challenge its hold on us.
Along these lines, there’s a push these days among some younger libertarian-flavored folks on the right to do away with things like mandatory minimum sentencing. But how did we get to the point where mandatory minimums became so prevalent? A millennial probably has no idea, as it’s certainly not taught in schools, but those of us who lived through the 1970s and 1980s remember well, or should.
It became a routine thing in those decades for a multiple murderer to get handed a light prison sentence by liberal lifer judges, judges who based their weak justice on leftwing arguments placing poverty or social injustice on trial instead of dealing with the crimes at hand. Parole boards also routinely freed violent criminals who had been sentenced to “life” but only actually spent a few short years in prison on conviction for heinous crimes. That judicial activism put dangerous rapists and killers back on the streets to terrorize the public, and provided little sense that violent criminals would face justice, and that their victims or victims’ families would ever get any sense of justice. Using prison as a deterrent to crime just about disappeared.
Mandatory minimum sentences became the answer, forcing through legislation what those lifer liberal judges had proven themselves untrustworthy to do. Mandatory minimums were a reaction to judges who had proven that they would misuse their power and leave us all exposed to terrible criminals. Crime is down over the last couple decades at least in part because we decided, as a society, to force the system to keep violent criminals locked up. And also, because state gun laws have opened up and allowed more Americans to arm ourselves, and state castle laws have tilted the balance in favor of the law-abiding property and gun owner. The law wasn’t always tilted in favor of the law-abiding. It was also a routine thing in the past to hear about the man or woman who shot a suspect breaking into their house in the middle of the night, only to have the suspect survive and sue them, and for the law-abiding person to find themselves facing charges from the local DA.
Maybe mandatory minimums aren’t the answer. But what is the answer to keeping liberal judges from abusing their positions to pervert justice and blame the innocent for the actions of the guilty? It’s easy to rail from a libertarian perspective that mandatory minimums are wrong. It’s much harder to come up with an alternative that stands a chance of getting through legislatures, and stands any chance of doing any good for law-abiding Americans.
Opinionated rants are so easy that everyone can do them, even people who would be wiser to close their mouths tight and open up their minds a bit.
After actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death, The Daily Beast ran an opinion piece by James Poulos, “Everything is Politics to the Right, Even Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death.” One need not point out the irony that the article itself, written from a presumably Leftist perspective, politicizes Hoffman’s death. In this instance, we are too busy being asked to contemplate the dearth of morality on the Right, a movement so committed to their politics that not even death can rest in peace. Poulos essentially took offense at Ben Shapiro’s critique of “‘the broken leftist culture that dominates Hollywood,’ allegedly ‘enabling’ the suicides of its great talents.’” He then spun that offense into a critique of the inhumanity among the stereotypical Christian Right (note: Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew).
Originally dismissed by my editor and friend, David Swindle, as a puff piece written by a “contrarian narcissist” looking to make a buck off of the latest political controversy on the web, I was half tempted to ignore the story myself. But, certain elements within Poulos’s writing smacked of more than self-congratulatory prose.
Firstly, I noticed that the author blames conservatives for what has been a Leftist problem for decades – specifically that, to a Marxist especially, “everything is political.” (The wording I first heard from a critical studies professor, but an avowed Communist later backed him up.) Secondly, I noticed how the author attempted to defend a religious point of view by claiming that conservatives have none – specifically that they have no mercy. It’s a rather abusive point of view given the history of Marxism, specifically the way socialist governments relate to their constituents. Yet, it works to elevate progressive liberalism/Marxism to a holy state of reverence.
The bottom line is that critiques like this are published consistently. They seem fairly innocuous to most people because they address cultural issues as opposed to pressing political ones. But, I couldn’t help but wonder if they play an integral part in the broader disinformation campaign actively at work within our culture. So, I reached out to Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa for his take on the story.
Poulos’ story smacks of disinformation. Remember? There is a major condition for a disinformation to succeed: to be built around a “kernel of truth” that would lend credibility. Shapiro’s 130-word post about Hoffman’s death provided that kernel of truth. The rest of Poulos’ story is, in my view, a diversion. Hoffman’s horrible death risked stirring up ugly debates about liberals’ legalization of drugs in the US, and Poulos did his best to change the subject. In the process, he demonized Shapiro’s conservatism.
Poulos story looks to me like a version of Hillary’s “It takes a Village.” That was another diversion. In 1996 she was defending her involvement in Whitewater & Travelgate, and she changed the subject. Hillary also killed two birds with one stone — remember Obama’s “if you’ve got a business, you did not build that”?
Hillary’s diversion worked–in spite of all her problems, she became a US senator.
President Obama received recommendations from his task force on the My Brother’s Keeper program, which is intended to support boys and young men of color through the education system and job market.
Obama said the recommendations are intended to address “the fact that we have too many young men of color — black boys and young men, Latino boys and young men — who are adrift and don’t have those same opportunities and don’t have those same structures of support.”
“And so what I did was assign a process for us to inventory everything that’s already being done to help young boys of color and men of color to succeed, to have every agency — from Justice Department to Education to HUD to USDA — look at how they could contribute to the process to make sure that we’ve got the best data possible, and then to report back to me so that we can have a plan of attack,” he added.
“…How do we modify policies in schools where young men of color are being disproportionally suspended — which we know results in higher dropout rates, which we know results potentially in them ending up in the prison system — all the way to how do we deal with young people who have gotten into trouble with the law but can be redeemed if we have effective ways of reaching them.”
The blueprint delivered to Obama includes eliminating suspensions and expulsions in preschool and launching a public-private campaign “to actively recruit mentors for youth and improve the quality of mentoring programs.” Another initiative would encourage “a reading culture in more homes” so kids are at grade level by the third grade while yet another would focus on increasing Advanced Placement classes and other opportunities to get ahead in schools.
“We’ve got businesses who are saying, we know this is going to be the workforce of the future, and if we do not address this demographic, our companies aren’t going to prosper and the American economy as a whole is not going to grow as quickly as it could,” Obama said.
The blueprint also calls for addressing “racial and ethnic bias within the juvenile and criminal justice systems” as well as trying to “transform” the schools that produce the most dropouts.
“I’m just reminded that I am only here because a bunch of folks invested in me. We’ve got a huge number of kids out there who have as much talent, and more talent than I had, but nobody is investing in them,” Obama said. “And I want to make sure that I use this platform, and every Cabinet member here wants to make sure that they use the tools that they’ve got, so that these young men, young boys, know somebody cares about them, somebody is thinking about them, and that they can succeed, and making America stronger as a consequence.”
Pepperdine University’s business school vaulted into the national Top 25 rankings a year ago, but like the business leaders that the school develops, the Graziado School isn’t one to rest on its accomplishments. Pepperdine is now embarking on a new initiative that could prove to be a game-changer: It is bringing distinguished alumni back into the classroom as unpaid advisers to students in the Presidential MBA program.
Noelle Nguyen went through the Presidential and Key Executives MBA program a few years back. E-commerce retailer of USA-made products, American Love Affair, was her Presidential MBA capstone project (which went live after she graduated), and has since garnered much national press attention. But she and other successful alums wanted to give back to the school that shaped them and their careers.
“What students proposed to professors, is we said ‘Look, we loved our experience so much that we want to come back and advise — for free,’” Nguyen says. “Free” isn’t a word one hears often in business or anywhere else, and when you do hear it, there is usually a catch. But there was no catch in this case.
“Our alums have always been very keen on giving back,” says Dr. Demos Vardiabasis, economics professor and former adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “This is yet another display of that initiative.” Nguyen credits him and Dr. William Smith, the Presidential MBA committee chairman, for being the first at the Graziado School to embrace the initiative.
Robert Radi, one of the inaugural volunteer advisers, agrees that Pepperdine’s core values played a role in making the initiative possible: “The Pepperdine motto is cemented onto the moral value of giving back. Give back to our communities, our colleagues, our peers, and our school. It is most appropriate to contribute to the professional development of those that are joining the 43 year tradition of the Presidential MBA at Pepperdine.”
The Graziado School’s Presidential MBA programs cater to established professionals who seek to continue their education while they keep working and taking care of their families. The classes stay small, with just 15 to 20 students at a time, they meet on weekends, and the alumni advisers are available in and outside of the classroom during the 15-month schedule. They attend all classes with students and are advisers to the current crop of students, but they are not supplanting the existing faculty. They’re an add-on that both students and professors are finding to be valuable.
Mark Borao, a partner at Ernst & Young, says “Students have been taking full advantage. I have personally had about a half dozen calls from current students wanting to bounce business ideas and concepts off of me…they see me (and the others) as an independent set of advisers who are vested in them.”
As for faculty, any initial hesitation to try out a new program has been quickly set aside as the advisers’ value has shown through, according to Associate Dean Dr. Gary Mangiofico. The faculty, he says, has been “Very supportive,” adding that “Much like we teach, in terms of how to lead change in business, we practice it ourselves here. We involve the faculty for this degree in the dialogue and the discussions. It wasn’t like the alumni demanded to do this, or the administration just created it. Everybody was involved and felt good about it.”
Big Gulp banning Mayor Mike Bloomberg delivered an extraordinary speech at Harvard University. With conservative speakers getting banned and/or uninvited from university commencement ceremonies, Bloomberg took the opportunity at Harvard to, basically, tell the banners and uninviters to knock it off. He likened them to McCarthyism, which is unfair as McCarthy was actually fighting a totalitarian idea that was being pushed into the US by a hostile foreign power for the express purpose of weakening us and overthrowing capitalism. But that bit of moral confusion aside, and his support for the Ground Zero mosque aside along with it, Bloomberg delivers a strong defense of free speech. Stirring, even.
I’m as stunned to write that as you surely are reading it.
The important part starts after the six minute mark.
Bloomberg’s defenses of freedom of thought and speech are not a mere sidebar in the speech. They are the speech. Bloomberg strongly defends all dissent from the current leftist orthodoxy, even on gay marriage, and calls out universities for going so far left that they have become the very forces of intolerance they claim to oppose. And earns applause. No one even threw a pie at him.
Via Allahpundit, a few quotes.
“It is just a modern form of McCarthyism,” Bloomberg said of university “censorship” of conservatives. “Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species.”
“And that is probably nowhere more true than it is here in the Ivy League,” declared Bloomberg…
“In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96% of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama,” he said. “There was more disagreement among the old Soviet politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.”…
“Neither party has a monopoly of truth or God on its side. When 96% of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you really have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer,” Bloomberg continued, occasionally being interrupted by moderate applause.
That comment about the Politburo surely went over most of the students’ heads, but it found its mark among the faculty. Well done.
I am aware that Bloomberg remains a hypocrite on guns who believes that his use of wealth to push his policy preferences whether people want them or not will buy his way into heaven, even though he doesn’t really believe in God. He’s a small man with a gargantuan ego. But when he’s right, he’s right, and in this speech, he’s right. His commencement address is an important one.
Contra Allah, that doesn’t make Bloomberg presidential material. President of Harvard, maybe.
First lady Michelle Obama called congressional efforts to cut school districts some slack on strict nutritional standards “unacceptable to me not just as First Lady, but as a mother,” while the Alabama Republican backing the bill said lawmakers’ efforts are being mischaracterized.
“It’s really not opt out. They’re granted a one-year waiver. And it’s only for the schools that are finding it hard to meet,” Rep. Robert Aderholt told CNN. “What is happening as more students are not eating the food, the participation is going down. And the students that are eating it are throwing the food away. And you’re seeing just a tremendous amount of waste.”
“A lot of schools operator on a very tight budget. They’re having trouble meeting — financially trying to meet the standards that are required by them by this act and by the USDA as they are telling the schools what they have to do,” he added. “This is saying if you’re having a problem, that you can ask for a waiver and the USDA can grant you a waiver.”
Aderholt said the rules intended to ensure kids get nutrition they may not be getting at home are “onerous.”
“I was reading an article a couple of weeks ago where a school in Illinois decided to completely get out of the program because a bald egg does not meet the standards that are coming out of USDA. And anything over 12 ounces of skim milk has too much fat in it for these standards,” the congressman said.
“So we’re not talking about, you know, feeding hamburgers and hot dogs and pizza every day to the kids. The nutritional workers in these lunch rooms, they want to provide healthy foods for their kids. They’re wanting to do the right thing. And it’s not like they’re trying to make the kids obese.”
Michelle Obama, though, said at a roundtable yesterday with school leaders and nutrition experts that “so many kids write me every day” about the “health crisis in this country.”
“And so many families are looking for help now in their efforts to find new ways to feed their families balanced meals,” she said. “So moms and dads don’t want their efforts undermined when they send their kids off to school. Parents have a right to expect that their kids will get decent food in our schools. And we all have a right to expect that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars won’t be spent on junk food for our kids.”
“And with kids, it takes them a second to change their habits. We know that. Look, my kids growl at me every time we sit at the dinner table and there’s fish,” she added. “So we know that it’s tough to change the habits of kids, but that can’t be the reason why we start rolling these back.”
Aderholt said with “very little catsup, very little salt, the food is not tasty anymore.”
“The kids are not eating it. They’re going to McDonald’s. They go into — they’re bringing foods that are not half as healthy as the normal lunch program and it’s killing the program,” he said. “And a lot of these schools are having problems. And all they’re saying is we just are having problems. We’re asking for a waiver for 12 months to see if we can try to meet these standards.”
“That’s all we’re doing. We’re not asking to completely roll back the standards.”
Who are the millennial generation, and what does their rise mean for the future of the country?
Everyone is trying to figure millennials out — what makes them tick, what they care about. Like previous generations, millennials aren’t monolithic. They don’t all agree with each other on society and politics anymore than previous generations did. There are some divisions among millennials that hinge on racial background — white millennials prefer less government, while non-white millennials strongly prefer more. While they are more liberal on average than previous generations, according to Pew Research’s most recent major study, we all tend to be more liberal when we’re young and don’t own anything, and haven’t yet met the iron hand of the taxman. Not all of today’s earnest young liberals will remain so.
A couple of statistics suggest that many millennials will never outgrow their youthful leftism. One stat suggests that they are bequeathing a generation that will be even more in favor of big government than their own generation.
Millennials lead all generations in the share of out-of-wedlock births. In 2012, 47% of births to women in the Millennial generation were non-marital, compared with 21% among older women. … In 1996, when Gen Xers were about the same age that Millennials were in 2012, just 35% of births to that generation’s mothers were outside of marriage (compared with 15% among older women in 1996).
Millennials are slower to marry than previous generations. They have moved the median marriage age up to 29 for men and 27 for women. They are largely delaying marriage because they are loaded down with massive student debt, and because there are few jobs available to them upon which they can build their lives. The current Democratic administration’s anti-jobs policies are largely to blame for the latter. The lack of accountability in university practices and tuition is largely to blame for the former. Millennials are being squeezed by the Obama economy. Yet they remain more likely to vote for Democrats, if they vote.
I’m not here to slam single parenthood, but single parenthood has proven to be a very strong predictor of one’s economic outcome and one’s politics, meaning, one’s relationship to the government and the policies one tends to vote for. Simply put, single adults tend to vote in a certain way, and children of single adults tend to have poorer economic outcomes, which leads to a certain voting pattern. Marriage is a strong predictor of political behavior.
Currently just 26% of millennials — those between age 18 and 33 — are married. At the same age, 36% of GenX and 48% of the Baby Boomers were married. And 69% of millennials say they want to get married, but the lack of jobs is holding them back.
Children who grow up in single parent homes tend to have higher rates of incarceration, higher rates of drug use, lower academic performance, lower overall income — greater overall dependence on government, in one way or another — than children in two-parent homes. They tend to produce less for the economy and cost more taxpayer dollars.
Let’s start this post on a basic premise: There ought to be more accountability in higher education. Without much accountability, which is what we have right now, tuition rates zoom up well past the point at which most families can afford college without going into debt, universities become administration-heavy and teacher-light, and ridiculous fields of study pop up based more on activist whims than anything else. Also, politicians start pulling strings to get their underperforming relatives spots at prestigious institutions — University of Texas, I’m looking at you.
Accountability would be a good thing in higher ed, and there’s precious little of it. The Ivory Tower heaps hot tar on anyone who tries to introduce any level of market-based accountability.
The Obama administration has an idea to increase accountability. But it’s a terrible idea, and would be implemented by a gang of politicians who themselves have shown that they don’t even know what the word “accountability” means.
Put it this way: Do you trust the group that still employs the man who failed to clean up the Veterans Administration, and which kept failure Kathleen Sebelius around long after the botched Obamacare rollout, to demand and get real accountability from anyone else? This is a man who rose to the dizzying heights of adjunct professor in his stellar academic career. So, sure, he’s now qualified to tell university presidents what to do and how to do it.
WASHINGTON — The college presidents were appalled. Not only had President Obama called for a government rating system for their schools, but now one of his top education officials was actually suggesting it would be as easy as evaluating a kitchen appliance.
“It’s like rating a blender,” Jamienne Studley, a deputy under secretary at the Education Department, said to the college presidents after a meeting in the department’s Washington headquarters in November, according to several who were present. “This is not so hard to get your mind around.”
The rating system is in fact a radical new effort by the federal government to hold America’s 7,000 colleges and universities accountable by injecting the executive branch into the business of helping prospective students weigh collegiate pros and cons. For years that task has been dominated by private companies like Barron’s and U.S. News & World Report.
College presidents appalled because the government is proposing a top-down, Washington-centric solution to a problem? Or are they appalled at the idea of accountability itself?
These are people who pull down lavish salaries while, in many cases, their universities give them a house and a car or two and a driver while picking up a heavy portion of their living expenses. These are people who have done nothing at all to keep costs for students down. These are people who by and large favor Washington-centric top-down approaches as long as they’re imposed on other people and other industries. These are not people who deserve our sympathy.
And yet they have a point. And so does the Obama administration, as I’ll explain on the next page.
The media is aghast that the Russian Dictator-to-Be has banned cursing in the arts. The story is intriguing to both Left and Right largely because of its inherent controversy, but also because of Putin’s attempts to “pose as the defender of Christian civilization” and because of the place Putin’s latest law holds in the ongoing cultural conversation about political correctness.
But what does the seemingly socially idiotic law against vulgarity really mean for Russia? I brought the story to Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa for his take on the cursing ban, popular reaction, and Putin’s apparent attempt to restore traditional Christianity to the West:
I am encouraged by your interest in Putin’s ban on cursing. According to Suetonius and Cassius Dio, Nero sang the “Sack of Ilium” in stage costume while Rome burned, and popular legend claims that he was fiddling at the time — though there were no fiddles in the 1st-century.
Fast forward two thousand years. The international media had been busy day and night dealing with the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370, while being almost silent as masked KGB/FSB troops were quietly taking over the Crimea. Now the media is busy with Putin’s “ban on cursing” while he is quietly igniting a civil war in Ukraine. This is just another disinformation operation aimed at distracting attention from Putin’s secret efforts to rebuild the Soviet empire and to enthrone himself as tsar. I would not wonder to hear that he will sign a decree prohibiting the public consumption of vodka in Russia when his masked KGB/FSB troops will quietly start to take over.
People and the media understand the “Sack of Ilium” fiddling, airplane highjacking, cursing and drinking a lot better than they understand disinformation, which is clothed in innocuous civilian dress (as were the terrorists on 9/11) and is not easy to be discovered. This makes this “science” the most dangerous weapon of our century.
“I looked the man [Putin] in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy,” once stated George W. Bush. “I had looked into Putin’s eyes and I saw a stone-cold killer,” stated former CIA director Robert Gates. In my view, this immense difference is not rooted in American “political correctness,” and it has nothing to do with Putin’s desire to craft himself into the “savior of the Christian Church.” It is the secret, widely unknown “science” of disinformation at work. Knowing it could change night into day.
Alfred Hitchcock embraced a fairly common fictional device known as a MacGuffin, an element upon which the main character in a film is so totally focused that it misdirects their attention away from the real situation at hand. For example,his 1958 film Vertigo was never about the main character’s vertigo, despite the fact that the character was obsessed with and controlled by it throughout the film. The audience, given the advantage of a third person perspective, knows better than the main character and can often see the plot unfold long before the lead catches on.
When we encounter the latest story of Putin’s pariah-like behavior, we are easily outraged. Left or Right, it is easy for us to criticize Putin’s ban on cursing, easier than facing the reality of his dictatorial ambitions head-on. Putin’s silly actions are excellent MacGuffins. I wonder, though, if those in the media who are so quickly outrage realize that they have become the lead characters in a movie written, directed by, and starring this century’s little dictator?
Conquering Disinformation 101: Approach every action with impersonal indifference, understanding that the purveyors of disinformation seek to cause a distracting offense in order to accomplish a much more serious, global, and deadly goal.
Schools that are having trouble finding economical whole-grain pastas will get a short reprieve from the cafeteria police at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA announced “new flexibility for school districts working to meet updated whole grain requirements for school meals.”
“During the current school year, USDA received feedback from schools that the whole grain rich products currently on the market did not hold together when produced in large quantities for school cafeterias,” the agency said. “Based on this input, schools that demonstrate significant challenges in serving whole-grain rich pastas can now continue serving traditional enriched pasta products for up to two more years, as industry works to develop healthy pasta that works for schools.”
“Schools raised legitimate concerns that acceptable whole-grain rich pasta products were not available. We worked to find a solution which will allow more time for industry to develop products that will work for schools,” said Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon in a statement. “We continue to listen and work closely with schools and parents to implement common sense nutritional guidance that supports a healthier next generation. But, with one third of American children fighting obesity, we cannot accept politically motivated efforts to undermine standards and deny kids healthier options.”
That wasn’t just a stab at Republicans, as Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) had raised concerns with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that “schools in Michigan and throughout the country are still struggling to serve some whole grain items like pasta.”
“Like the modification to meat and grain maximums, the change to whole grains shows that we can work together to address these issues when they arise without rolling back important steps we have taken to improve the foods kids eat throughout the school day,” Stabenow said today.
Beginning next school year, all grains and breads in school meal programs must be “whole grain-rich,” meaning that they contain at least 50 percent whole grain meal and/or flour.
The USDA said school districts complained that the whole-grain noodles “degraded easily during preparation” in large-scale kitchen operations.
“Whole grain-rich pastas made from blends of whole grain and enriched flours maintain better consistency, but these products are still emerging in the marketplace. Therefore, USDA recognizes that USDA Foods and industry may need additional time to develop a range of acceptable whole grain-rich pastas. As such, USDA is offering flexibility in this area for those districts serving menu items with whole grain-rich pastas that do not hold together well,” the USDA said.
“School districts that wish to take advantage of this two-year flexibility must obtain approval from their state agency by demonstrating that they experienced significant challenges in preparing and serving whole grain-rich pasta products in their schools. This is a temporary flexibility intended to provide additional time for the development of acceptable whole grain products that meet USDA’s science-based standards.”
UPDATED They backtracked a bit and are blah blahing about better communication. So they’ve decided to do it after hours rather than during school, which is good but still is all about making sure the underachievers don’t feel bad about themselves.
American public school educators have lost their minds.
Concerned that an annual honors night for students is too “exclusive,” officials at a Rhode Island school have decided to scrap the event.
An email sent out to parents of students at Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich said students who would normally be honored at the spring event would instead be recognized during team-based ceremonies and graduation, the East Greenwich Patch reports.
“This will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective successes of all students and their effort, progress and excellence,” said the email sent out over the weekend, which was signed by Principal Alexis Meyer and Assistant Principal Dan Seger.
The email added that “Members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night.”
We are supposed to let the C+ students who devote most of their time to PlayStation piggyback on the work of the students who worked hard to achieve something for celebratory purposes?
My daughter is a varsity sophomore athlete and gets very good grades. She never gets to sleep in. She is either studying or working out. We had to cut her Confirmation celebration short last Sunday because she was at a track meet all day Saturday and had homework she still needed to do. Guess what? That kind of kid is more “exclusive” than some Doritos-munching, eye-rolling little miscreant who spends his homework time watching YouTube vids.
Exactly how do modern American educators exhort a student to put in the extra effort to achieve greater things if they are teaching them that greater things shouldn’t be rewarded? I know the lefties have had a good few years whining since The Idiot King became president but running around barking, “1%!” and “Privilege!” isn’t going to work as a life plan for very long, no matter how big the nanny state teats grow.
Here is an utterly shameless plug, but I cover most of this kind of nonsense that public educators are ruining our kids with in my Amazon bestselling ebook, Don’t Let The Hippies Shower. I would say “read it and weep” but I made it somewhat humorous, so you can laugh through the tears.
While the best options for the moment are private and charter schools or homeschooling, not everyone has those available. Also, we can’t cede taxpayer funded public education to these loons. We have to fight to take it back.
There is yet another new survey of millennials out. Like previous ones, this one shows that — surprise! — young people tend to be liberal.
This was also true of previous generations, spawning the saying that “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.” That saying has been attributed to some old white guy most millennials probably haven’t heard of, thanks to our pitiful schools and universities. All that guy did was save Western civilization, which is demonized these days in those same pitiful schools.
The new survey was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc. They work for Democrats. Their survey of millennials found that most millennials like lots and lots of government.
That’s a depressing set of graphs, as I’ll explain on the next page.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education ruling striking down racial segregation in schools should reinvigorate the school-choice movement.
“As we mark the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, we pause and remember its impact on our nation’s education system. It plainly said that the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ had no place in education and that every child, regardless of race, must have access to a quality education. The May 17th decision sparked new activism, engagement and action in the ongoing Civil Rights Movement,” Scott said in a statement.
“Our nation is indebted to the parents, community members, organizations and attorneys involved in the various cases resulting in Brown vs. Board. I think specifically about the parent and their determination to demand more for their children. They are an inspiration,” the senator continued.
“Today, we also remember that education is one of the strongest opportunities that too many children trapped in chronically failing schools are denied. I hope this anniversary reminds everyone to recommit themselves to the vital work of providing true opportunity to all, regardless of background.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said that tenets of the original decision were being threatened by affirmative action rulings.
“As we remember this great achievement, we must keep in mind recent shifts in jurisprudence that may drastically affect the social, economic, and political landscape between races in America. In two recent decisions, Shelby County v. Holder (2013) and Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (2014), the Supreme Court undid much of our nation’s progress, despite precedence and recorded acknowledgement of the inequalities and inequities that minorities have endured,” Hastings said.
“Let us build upon Brown and commit ourselves to ensuring equality for all Americans,” he added.
President Obama said the anniversary was a day to “recommit ourselves to the long struggle to stamp out bigotry and racism in all their forms.”
“We reaffirm our belief that all children deserve an education worthy of their promise. And we remember that change did not come overnight – that it took many years and a nationwide movement to fully realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children,” Obama said in a statement. “We will never forget the men, women, and children who took extraordinary risks in order to make our country more fair and more free. Today, it falls on us to honor their legacy by taking our place in their march, and doing our part to perfect the union we love.”
The senior Republican on the Senate committee that oversees education charged that an early education proposal by HELP committee Democrats would essentially create a national school board for preschoolers.
The Democrats’ early education plan would put decisions for states on such details as teacher salaries, class sizes, staff qualifications and length of the school day in federal hands, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said. States would then be required to pay half of the program’s cost after 8 years.
“The Democrat bill that’s being proposed today would, in effect, create a national school board for 3- and 4-year-olds. It would spend $27 billion in new funding over 5 years with Washington making the decisions about how states should run their preschool programs. It includes requirements I don’t think the federal government has ever even attempted with elementary and secondary education,” Alexander said.
“Never before, not even in No Child Left Behind, has the federal government told school districts from Maryville to Memphis how to run their schools in such detail,” he added.
HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D) said at the bill’s Wednesday markup that it’s a “disappointment” that the bill is “supported on only one side of the aisle here in the Senate.”
“States and localities are already moving in the direction of supporting high-quality early learning, but their efforts are limited in large part by inadequate resource,” Harkin said. “…The Strong Start for America’s Children Act will encourage the expansion of these types of programs. In the case of preschool, it will provide states with robust matching grants so that they can establish, enhance, or expand on their current efforts. In exchange, and over a period of several years, states will increase their current levels of investment in preschool programs.”
Harkin has slightly adjusted his bill from one he introduced last November — “among the most notable changes is that this bill will allow every state in the country to receive formula grants to expand high-quality preschool.”
He added that arguments against the bill don’t hold up “when we look at the harsh realities of early learning in the U.S. Despite states’ investments in preschool, and our federal investments in child care and Head Start which are the only major investments the federal government makes in early learning, we fall far short of meeting the needs of children from birth to age five.”
Alexander has a counter-bill that gives states the option of using up to $20 billion that the federal government is already spending across 45 programs on early education “and allow states to use it in the way that best suits their needs.”
“Under my proposal, in Tennessee, we’d have about $440 million a year. If we were given this kind of flexibility, we could increase the vouchers for child care from 39,000 to 139,000; or the state-funded voluntary preschool program, from 18,000 4-year olds to 109,000; or we could expand Head Start, from 17,000 children to 56,000; we could create Centers of Excellence—otherwise leave to Tennessee to figure out what works best for Tennesseans,” he said in a statement.
“So, the question is not whether, but how best to make early childhood education available to the largest possible number of children.”
Graduation Season? More like Disinvitation Season.
As students across the country prepare for pomp and circumstance, college and university administrators are grappling with a series of commencement speech boondoggles.
This year alone, nearly a dozen big-name commencement speakers — including the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — have been invited to speak at graduation ceremonies, only to withdraw or have their invitations rescinded in the wake of campus protests.
“It’s not necessarily that all that many people get disinvited, but students and faculty get together and demand that speakers get disinvited,” says Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
This kind of commencement controversy has picked up steam since 2009, Lukianoff says, with campus protests hitting a new peak in the last year.
These are dumb college kids (heavy emphasis on the “dumb”) who are egged on by activist professors, so it’s not really the popular uprising that the academics would have you believe. Academia is polluted with 1960s hippie remnants who offer virtually nothing to society but get to hijack our campuses to work out their various issues with capitalism, America and freedom in general.
As has been established time and again, nothing terrifies a leftist more than diversity of thought.
“I think we are seeing a disturbing trend,” says McCartney of Smith College. “I’ve been describing it as a lack of tolerance for a wide variety of views.”
Lawrence Bacow, the former president of Tufts College, says the uptick in back-outs is worrying. Universities are meant to be environments that promote free speech and open-mindedness, but, he argues, by protesting, students are self-selecting speakers who only reinforce what they believe.
“The role of a speaker — any speaker — who seeks to educate the audience that they’re speaking to is to challenge their beliefs and not necessarily to reinforce them,” Bacow says. “And so if the test for giving a speech on campus or commencement speech is that one has never offended anyone by virtue of anything ever one has done in public life, there are going to be very few people who can give commencement speeches.”
Except for radicals, of course.
On today’s Fightin Words podcast: The Obama administration has threatened to hold back federal funding from Indiana after the state dared to repeal Common Core standards, highlighting what may be the most pervasive obstacle to protecting individual rights – a corrupt federalism wherein state and local units of government are beholden to the feds.
Pick over what’s left of Rutgers University’s reputation, and you’ll quickly find that a pair of professors are largely responsible for blocking former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from addressing the university’s commencement. They are a professor of poetry and a professor of history.
The first is Distinguished Professor François Cornilliat. The Frenchman says that his “research mainly focuses on the evolving role of poetry and poetics in the rhetorical culture of the Renaissance.” That’s ironic, given how the Renaissance was a time when Europe awakened from the medieval period of superstition to develop the scientific method and examine ideas on evidence. Professor Cornilliat’s actions in blocking Rice’s speech indicate that he has no interest in ideas other than those he already agrees with, whatever contrary evidence may exist. He also wants others blocked from hearing evidence that might not comport with his own worldview. He may consider himself a Renaissance man, but his actions place him more comfortably among the medievalists.
His professor page at Rutgers is about as gassy as one might expect. It claims that the Frenchman has “worked on the use of verbal ornament in the epideictic verse and prose of the so-called ‘Grands Rhétoriqueurs,’ on the conception(s) of truth, praise, pleasure, beauty and persuasion developed by later poets from Marot to the Pléiade, and on the experience of ‘poetic failure.’ My last book studied the notion of subject matter in Renaissance poetry from Petrarch to Ronsard, which was another way to examine how poetry manages (or fails) to promote itself as a specific art; areas of investigation included genre theory and practice, the antagonistic roles of glory and love, and the poet’s actual or imagined relationship with the prince.”
He has apparently spent some time in culinary training. He sure knows how to build a word salad.
Professor Cornilliat distinguished himself a few years back when SUNY was facing budget cuts. In an open letter he titled “SUNY Under Siege,” the Frenchman called the university’s decisions to cut some departments “brutal,” and ironically called on the university to exhibit “human decency and institutional fairness.” Those are values that Professor Cornilliat did not extend to Professor Rice.
The other professor who led the protests against Rice, the first black woman in history to represent American foreign policy to the world, is Distinguished Professor Rudolph M. Bell. Bell is a history professor, who writes “I work in all aspects of Italian history but with particular attention to religion, gender, popular culture, mysticism, and the history of the book.”
Bell hasn’t left quite the hypocritical paper trail as his colleague, though both obviously share an intolerance for views they do not happen to agree with.
He is the author of a book, called Holy Anorexia, which seeks to establish a link between the Christian idea of fasting for the sake of spiritual cleansing, and the very secular idea of tossing one’s already eaten cookies for the sake of trying to look like a skinny supermodel. I don’t even have to read beyond the blurb to know that Professor Rudolph really isn’t onto anything. The connection is facile, at best.
Neither Cornillat nor Bell evidently had any problem with their university, which shut its doors to a former secretary of state because they wanted it to, opening those same doors — and the university’s wallet, to the tune of $32,000 — to Jersey Shore’s Snooki.
Common Core’s apologists, who now include education hero Michelle Rhee, can say whatever they want to defend the “national standards” program. This is indefensible.
The Rialto (California) school district planned to revise an eighth-grade assignment that raised red flags by asking students to consider arguments about whether the Holocaust — the systematic killing by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews and millions of others — was not an “actual event” but instead a “propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.”
In a statement released Monday, a spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District said an academic team was meeting to revise the assignment.
Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments,” a statement from district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri read.
“The holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Jafri said.
You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s interesting how we never, ever see people questioning whether, say, the Battle of Gettysburg happened or whether Mohammed ever lived. It’s always the Holocaust, which is one of the most well-documented sequence of crimes in human history. There are still living survivors around to testify to what happened to them.
The English/Language Arts assignment, first reported Sunday by the San Bernardino Sun and provided to KTLA by the newspaper, asked students to write an argumentative essay about the Holocaust describing “whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”
An eighth-grade assignment, shown, raised questions from a Jewish civil rights group.
The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.
“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”
In an interview, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, noted a section in the assignment that stated Anne Frank was a fraud.
The school district initially defended the assignment, with Jafri saying it was meant to engage students in “critical thinking.”
The district’s “CORE team” planned meet to revise the assignment, Jafri said in her statement provided to KTLA on Monday.
“This was a mistake. It should be corrected. It will be corrected,” Jafri said in an interview. “We all know it was real. The Holocaust is not a hoax. … I believe our classroom teachers are teaching it with sensitivity and compassion.”
The Common Core State Standards, adopted by most U.S. states including California, include writing standards that seek to have students make arguments and defend their answers based on texts they have read, among other goals.
It’s pretty clear that the school is only taking action because it got caught. There need to be some firings.
Some people just need to man up already and quit whining about words they don’t like.
A new word-discouragement campaign at Duke University has labeled phrases such as “Man Up,” “That’s So Gay,” and “Don’t Be a Pussy” offensive language that “delegitimizes” homosexuality and oppresses and insults people.
But as the campaign has gained national popularity, its detractors have bristled at the effort, calling it a politically correct war on words that will stifle free speech and suggesting its true aim is to redefine terms to control public opinion and – ultimately – public policy.
In fact, the “You Don’t Say” campaign creators have admitted as much.
“Language is a reflection of how we think about others and view the world,” Jay Sullivan, a student leader of the campaign, tells Duke Today. “My goal is to…. help facilitate discussion about how language affects many social issues, from race to gender and sexuality.”
No, the goal is to shut down discussion. It’s to shift standards in ways that give whiny leftists more power.
If they get their way, soon enough we won’t have any language left at all.
Emanuel’s Plan to Build Elite ‘Barack Obama High School’ in an Upscale Chicago Neighborhood Has Parents Enraged
Le’t work through a few things. Shortly after he became president, Barack Obama killed Washington, DC’s school voucher program. His own Department of Education had concluded that students who received the vouchers benefited from it and improved, but that did not matter a bit. He callously turned a deaf ear to pleas from parents and students who found the vouchers to be an escape from the city’s terrible schools. He sided with the teachers’ unions against those families and their children, even while claiming to be a champion of the oppressed and under-represented. Obama also sided with the unions on charter schools, another escape path for children from terrible public schools in Washington. He only relented under massive pressure three years later, in an election year.
So, Barack Obama’s record on education opened to scenes of him siding with the powerful teachers’ unions against the powerless children our public schools are supposed to exist to educate. Barack Obama stood in the doorways of private schoolhouses, keeping poor children out.
His former chief of staff from those days is now Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago. Emanuel’s ear is made of even thicker tin than Obama’s. Emanuel announced Thursday that he intends to build a selective-enrollment elite public school in one of Chicago’s upscale neighborhoods, and he is naming it after one Barack H. Obama.
Many of Emanuel’s constituents are not amused, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell.
Concerned African-American families on the South and West sides are still so outraged over the mayor’s decision to shutter 50 public schools last year, that “Anybody but Rahm” political campaign has formed to challenge Emanuel’s re-election bid.
And despite emotional pleas from community stakeholders outside of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, the mayor’s handpicked school board moved forward with plans on Wednesday to turn three more public schools over to a private contractor.
Now, Emanuel’s decision to open a selective-enrollment school named for President Barack Obama in an upscale community where roughly 70 percent of the seats will be filled through an admissions process adds insult to injury.
The poor and under-served lose again, just as they lost in Washington when Obama became president. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here?
To borrow from Emanuel’s language when he attacked Chick-fil-A, is favoring the rich over the poor and slapping the president’s name on a school that offends the latter “Chicago values”?
Prof. Brent Terry teaches Introduction to Creative Writing at Eastern Connecticut State University. In a lecture Monday morning, he said that Republicans are “racist, misogynistic, money-grubbing people” who want to turn the clock back and keep blacks and Latinos from voting. The Republican Party was founded to end slavery while the Democrats started a civil war to preserve slavery, but ESCU’s history department probably doesn’t teach that. He also said that if the Republicans win the Senate this fall, America will be a “very, very different kind of country” in which colleges will start closing up.
Campus Reform reports that the audio was captured by a student, who wishes to remain anonymous. ESCU has released a statement saying “Our faculty has academic freedom to conduct their classes in whatever way they choose, this is not a university matter.”
Just another day in academia.
What do you do if you’re falling behind and you’re wrong about, well, everything? If you’re Wendy Davis, you hire a castoff from Harry Reid’s house of lies and you just lie about whatever comes up.
The example is in today’s Dallas Morning News, via editorial writer Rodger Jones.
Fact No. 1: Texas public school districts that offer Pre-K already assess them for effectiveness.
Fact No. 2: The Davis campaign has been ridiculing the idea of assessing Pre-K kids, calling it “standardized testing for four-year-olds” and imposition of “Baby STAAR” tests.
Fact No. 3: The Davis campaign has been mum on whether she would ban Pre-K assessments that districts now administer.
Just this afternoon, the campaign put out an email that starts with this headline: “DAVIS CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO DMN EDITOR RODGER JONES”
Never mind that I’m not editor of the DMN, or an editor of any kind. The release continued this way:
FORT WORTH – Wendy Davis campaign communications director Zac Petkanas responded to editorial board editor Rodger Jones’ defense of Greg Abbott’s plan to impose standardized testing onto four year olds.
“Greg Abbott’s so-called education plan does something that Texas currently does not do: impose a top down mandate tying additional state resources for pre-K classrooms with how well four year olds do on standardized test assessments.
“Under Abbott’s plan, school districts with pre-K students who don’t meet the mark have their resources slashed.
“To say that this currently takes place in Texas today is just plain wrong.”
I’m saying one simple thing: Pre-K assessments happen today, a reality that may have caught the Davis campaign by surprise as they set out to criticize the very idea of making sure tax money is used properly.
This is aside from any comparison of the Abbott and Davis Pre-K plans. This is a reality check for the Davis folks. A sample of what they put out last week:
“Four-year-olds should be coloring with crayons, not filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils,” Davis told a crowd of about 80 people at the Texas State Teachers Association.
It’s a distortion for effect, and they know it.
It’s cute, how Wendy Davis and Zac Petkanas think they can just make up whatever reality they want.
The story of the bullied kid who recorded his bullies, only to then get bullied by his school and the local police, is about to end on a happy note. The District Attorney is getting the last say, and will drop the charges entirely.
No one in our office who was authorized to give advice on wiretap issues or school conduct issues was ever contacted in this matter. We have made multiple attempts to contact the officer who wrote the citation. Those attempts have been unsuccessful. It is our intention to withdraw the citation on April 29 because we do not believe his conduct rises to the level of a citation.
Would there have been a positive ending if blogs hadn’t turned the story into a national issue? Unlikely.
h/t Eugene Volokh.
The short version of the story: Kid gets bullied at his school in Pennsylvania, school pays no attention and fails to help him. So he records audio of the bully bullying him, to provide proof to his mother. His mother tells the school and lets them hear the audio. The school administrators do the absolute stupidest possible thing. They tell the boy to delete the audio, and call the cops. The responding officer then does the dumbest thing he can do, and charges the kid with a crime.
By the way, the kid who now has a conviction on his record has a learning disability.
The student didn’t even truly commit “wiretapping,” which is what the police officer initially thought to charge him with, despite the fact that there was no longer any audio recording at all. The boy used a school-issued iPad to record the audio. How is that “wiretapping?” I realize that in legalese it may be, but the law is often an ass. The boy was convicted of disorderly conduct last month and removed from the class in which the bullying took place. The bullies are still there, unmolested.
The 15-year-old is being punished harshly for defending himself nonviolently.
The incident and ongoing criminal case happened in Fayette Township, PA. South Fayette High School is the guilty educational establishment.
Everyone involved in the decision to slap the boy with criminal charges should be fired and they should face child abuse charges themselves. The administrator who called the police, the police officer, the judge, everyone — fire them all and slap them with civil lawsuits.
They make these idiotic decisions based on “zero tolerance” policies. It’s past time to hit the adults in these cases with zero tolerance policies as well.
Parents of children in Texas public schools need to pay attention to this one.
In the 2011 session of the Texas legislature, lawmakers considered a bill that made it easier for school districts to fire teachers who had been convicted of felony crimes. The need for such legislation, in an age when teachers have been caught having sex with underage students and other terrible misdeeds, is obvious.
The Texas House considered HB 1610 to make it easier for school districts to get felons out of classrooms. Sen. Wendy Davis was among a handful of Democrats who voted against the bill. The bill passed easily, without Davis’ vote. Davis then voted for a loophole that would have allowed felons to continue teaching if their crimes were unrelated to teaching.
A convicted felon is a convicted felon.
HB 1610 passed the Texas Senate and then passed the Texas House almost unanimously. Just one member voted against it in the House. It was one of the most bipartisan bills of the session.
But Wendy Davis voted against it.
Why would she do that? Why would Wendy Davis vote repeatedly to keep felons in our public school classrooms?
The Real Wendy (which is a political attack site — it also gets its facts right, though) speculates that she was voting to satisfy the teachers unions. Davis is the union candidate — teachers unions have donated more to her campaign than all of the three previous Democratic governor candidates combined.
Whatever the reason, Davis’ votes to keep felons in Texas public school classrooms is disturbing and appalling. There’s no way around that.
The students, faculty and staff of Brandeis University have submitted themselves to dhimmitude.
Brandeis University in Massachusetts announced Tuesday that it had withdrawn the planned awarding of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch critic of Islam and its treatment of women, after protests from students and faculty.
The university said in a statement posted online that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.
“She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world,” said the university’s statement. “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”
Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006, has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. That includes a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine in which she said of the religion, “Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”
Ali knows well of what she speaks. She was raised Muslim in Somalia, survived female genital mutilation, escaped Somalia’s civil war and became a member of the Dutch parliament. But Islam followed her, and credibly threatened her life. She and Theo Van Gogh produced a short film critical of Islam’s treatment of women, called Submission. A Muslim murdered Van Goch on an Amsterdam street in 2004. His killer used a knife to pin a note to Van Gogh’s body, and in that note he threatened Ali.
The threats became too much, and Ali was once again forced to move, this time to the United States.
So she knows very well what she is criticizing and why she criticizes it. Shame on Brandeis. The university probably thinks it is making a statement for tolerance, but in rescinding Ali’s honor, it is making a very different statement.
The formerly* most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States of America, said this today.
POTUS said, “[I] know it’s equal pay and not Obamacare day, but I do want to point out that the affordable care act guarantees free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care and ends the days when you can be charged more for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance. That’s true for everybody. That’s just one more place where things were not fair. We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right? I know that — I don’t know why it cost more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt.”
If he really doesn’t know, it’s probably because he never held a real job in his life. Or, he just isn’t very smart.
That remark prompted the Washington Post’s Juliet Epstein and Kate Zezima to study up and write a post about — I’m not making this up — why it costs women more than men to get dry cleaning.
They note that there is no federal law against charging women more. They noted that Obama isn’t even the first Democrat to bring this vital issue to our nation’s attention.
They fail to note that women’s clothes tend to be tailored more than men’s, and that women tend to wear more delicate fabrics than men. The Post’s two writers on this one story failed to even take any of that into consideration, even though it’s blindingly obvious. They note all of the politics, but none of the relevant facts.
A female commenter on the story sets them straight.
I was born in the dry cleaning business. My parents have been in the business for 18+ years.
That being said, I would like to say dry cleaners are not trying to be discriminatory. It’s business.
1.) Men’s shirts are dry cleaner’s loss leaders. We hate people who bring 10+ shirts without any dry cleaning because we make no profit.
2.) Dry cleaners have men’s shirts machines. These machines are fit for men’s shirts.
See link: http://www.mymartinizing.com/files/shirts/sankosha…
3.) Women’s clothing are more complex than men’s clothing. This article talks about cleaning a women’s blouse versus a man’s shirt, but what about pressing a blouse, dress or skirt?
4.) Think about the lines of a woman’s figure and the way that clothes are designed to contour this figure. Now think about a man’s body. It’s more boxy. No machines are manufactured that could form the many types of women’s blouses. See link above.
5.) Women’s blouses are usually more versatile in style, fabric material, and embellishments. If a woman brought in a silk shirt, a dry cleaner would not wash it. It must be dry cleaned. The cost of chemicals and pressing is more expensive. Thus, her blouse is more costly.
Overview: The time and effort that goes into cleaning women’s clothing is more labor intensive as well as time intensive. This is why Michelle’s blouse is more expensive than Obama’s shirt.
Thank you, Pres. Obama, for considering the discrimination of women in the area of dry cleaning. However, you spoke too soon.
*Barack Obama has devalued the US presidency to the extent that he is no longer the most powerful man in the world. Vladimir Putin might be, China’s president might be, George Soros might be…but Barack Obama is not.
Another kid behind him yelled “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie!” According to AWR Hawkins, that kid had been bullying Ethan Chaplin, the kid who was twirling the pencil.
And the idiots in charge of the school took the bullying to an entire new level.
The school suspended him. It ordered him to undergo both a psychological and a physiological examination. The boy’s father says his seventh-grader son was stripped and had to give blood samples and urine samples for drug testing. He passed out during the examination. Four hours after that, a social worker spoke with the boy for all of five minutes and cleared him of doing anything wrong.
When he went back to school, the principal reportedly followed him around all day.
That boy was abused by his own school. The authorities over him terrorized him. They bullied him. All just for twirling a pencil in his hand.
As has become typical in these cases, Superintendent Charles Maranzano defends the indefensible actions of those who work for him:
“We never know what’s percolating in the minds of children,” he told the news station. “And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty.”
Twirling a pencil is about a billion miles away from going on a murder spree.
It’s time to go Al Armendariaz on these people and make examples of them to deter this kind of abusive behavior. Our government is already doing that to citizens and has been for years. It’s time to turn the tables. The super needs to be sued personally, as does every other teacher and official involved. They’re not fit to be around children.
The California school that employs a professor accused of attacking a teen-aged pro-life demonstrator has issued an apology…sort of.
In a long-winded 1,000-word letter that reads more like a diatribe than a mea culpa, University of California at Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor Michael Young eventually conceded that women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young should not have snatched a pro-life sign from 16-year-old Thrin Short, giving backhanded praise to the framers of the Constitution.
“Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Young wrote in an open memo to the student body.
The price of freedom of speech, Young was enlightened enough to acknowledge, is that students, staff and faculty must tolerate “outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda.”
“Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” Young added, mentioning “evangelical types.”
Leftists (especially academics) are rarely sorry for their un-American behavior, they’re just sorry when they get caught with bad optics. Like an alleged grown-up ripping a sign from a 16 year-old girl’s hand while berating her as she exercises a Constitutional right.
That the Vice Chancellor had to get in a dig at the Founding Fathers before he could say anything nice about them show just what a pathetic bunch of pukes are running higher education in this country.
Quick question for the readers: are there any feminist studies professors who aren’t angry all the time?!?
From Duane Lester at The Missouri Torch.
Thou shalt not question your union or federal overlords.
There’s a lot to unpack in this story.
HEMPSTEAD – The Hempstead school board won’t renew the contract of a principal who instructed her students not to speak Spanish, in a rapidly-evolving district where more than half of the students, like many Texas schools, are now Hispanic.
Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey was placed on paid administrative leave in December after reportedly announcing, via intercom, that students were not to speak Spanish on the school’s campus. The Hispanic population of the rural area, roughly 50 miles northwest of Houston, is growing quickly, and Latino advocates say that it’s important to allow Spanish in public schools.
“When you start banning aspects of ethnicity or cultural identity,” says Augustin Pinedo, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens Region 18, “it sends the message that the child is not wanted: ‘We don’t want your color. We don’t want your kind.’ They then tend to drop out early.”
I actually agree with that last quote, just not its trajectory. It is true that if you send the message that something about kids makes them unwanted, you hurt those kids and their future.
Now, what messages have our public schools been sending over the past decade or two?
Males are less desirable than females, and a male who acts like a male stands a strong chance of being labeled ADHD and drugged out of being a young male. A kindergarten boy who has no idea what sexual harassment is can get suspended from school for sexual harassment these days.
Christianity has been all but driven from our public schools. Prayers before football games have been litigated to death. When a valedictorian quotes a Bible verse or acknowledges God, all Hell breaks out.
Our public schools tend to punish any expression of support for the Second Amendment. Wear an NRA shirt to school — get suspended. When a six-year-old boy makes a gun shape with his fingers, he gets suspended. Even when a little kid draws an innocent picture or says “Bang!” to a pal, he gets suspended. Kids playing around with airsoft guns on their own property after school get suspended from school and have their academic careers ruined.
In all of the above examples, the school administrators are never punished. They keep their jobs. And the kids get the message. Kids who get bullied in today’s schools also get the message that if they defend themselves, they will be punished right along with their bully. If the bully gets punished at all.
An upcoming conference on heterosexual marriage is being denounced as hate speech by the Stanford Graduate Student Council (GSC), which is seeking to quash the event. Last week, the council at the top-ranked California university voted ten to two to deny funding for the event “Communicating Values: Marriage, Family, and Media,” sponsored by the Stanford Anscombe Society.
The council withheld the $600 of requested funding after student outcry over the event’s “anti-LGBT” content, according to the Stanford Daily.
Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS) is a group that “promotes discussion regarding the roles of the family, marriage, and sexual integrity in the lives of Stanford students both now and after graduation.”
“Communicating values” was created in order to “engage in intellectual and civil discourse about the issues of marriage, family, and sexual integrity,” according to the event description.
However, other students weren’t so willing to engage in civil discourse on their campus.
Over 100 students, many organized by the queer graduate group GradQ, showed up at the GSC meeting on “Communicating Values” and, according to the minutes of the meeting, decried “Communicating Values” as hateful and even dangerous to LGBT members of the Stanford community.
In the minutes (transcribed without editing), one student claims that “an event such as this would be a negative event, in schools that have negative events there is a statistically significant increase in suicide.” Another said that “public schools cannot deny student group funding based on viewpoint, but enforcing viewpoint neutral policy that denies funding for hate speech is an entirely different ballgame. Even if Stanford was a public university, it would be perfectly legal to deny funding to events that make LGBT community feel unwelcome.”
One of the more insidious charades leftists participate in is pretending that elite American universities are churning out intellectually rigorous people who should be running the country. For decades, however, they mostly produce incurious drones who have an unnatural fear of even a slightly differing opinion. Political correctness provides the foundation for freedom’s house of horrors, allowing any non-leftist thought to be labeled “hate”.
It’s almost to the point where Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will be a feel good story relative to what is actually going on.
Legalism has gotten a 14-year-old girl a case of frostbite.
The trouble began when a small science experiment triggered the fire alarm at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz was swimming in the school pool for health class at the time. Her clothes were in her locker, and a teacher told her that there was no time for her to change. Hagen-Tietz was rushed outside–still wet and dressed in only swimsuit.
It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day. With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero.
Hagen-Tietz asked to wait inside an employee’s car, or at the elementary school across the street. But administrators believed that this would violate official policy, and could get the school in trouble, so they opted to simply let the girl freeze.
Her fellow classmates, at least, huddled around her to try to keep her warm. And one teacher did eventually lend her a coat.
At the risk of sounding like a dubstep repeat sequence, everyone involved with this who works in the school system needs to be fired. They literally endangered a student’s life, because they have had their brains shoehorned into narrow legalistic modes of behavior. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids, and criminal prosecution should be considered. No more fooling around with this idiocy.
Between this and the numerous cases of little kids suspended from school for making a gun with their fingers, going pow-pow, drawing a firearm or even wearing a shirt that mentions Second Amendment rights, our educational system has been unionized and overlawyered right out of common sense.
Here’s a radical set of proposals: Kick the unions permanently out of all public education, fire at least half the administrative staffs in every school system, cut excessive superintendent salaries, stop schools from building ridiculous sports palaces, and let those who do remain in the system think.
Zero tolerance/zero common sense strikes again.
A ten-year-old Ohio boy was suspended from schoolafter a teacher caught him brandishing a “level 2 lookalike firearm.” What lookalike firearm was this, you ask? Well, Nathan Entingh got in trouble after he pretended to use his finger as a gun. Yep, his finger.
The principal for the Devonshire Alternative Elementary School has reportedly warned students about using “pretend guns” before, though Entingh claims that other students caught doing the same thing weren’t suspended for three days like he was.
His father said they could have just given him detention or an in-school suspension, but to suspend him for that length of time is just “very excessive for what he had done.”
A 10-year-old boy making a gun with his fingers should not be a punishable offense at all.