When Melissa Harris-Perry’s producers invited J.J. Goldberg on to speak about the Jewish community in France, they were probably expecting textbook politically correct responses from the editor at large of America’s largest left-wing Jewish newspaper, the Forward. Which is why it’s so funny to watch Harris-Perry attempt not to balk at Goldberg’s frank candor on the radical Islamist roots of anti-Semitism in France. “The anti-Semitism problem in France is not primarily a problem of anti-Semitism from French Muslims,” she rushes to clarify at 2:32. “There is a problem of anti-Semitism there, but it is not primarily a problem of Muslim versus Jewish populations there, but rather a question of – sort of — French citizens in the broadest sense.”
“Um, I don’t think so,” Goldberg begins before detailing in brief France’s dance with anti-Semitism over the past century, noting that the incidents happening now are “happening from the Muslim community.” He then rattles off a series of French leaders who are Jewish and have established bonds with the Israeli Jewish community. “The integration of Jews into France and the acceptance of Jews in France is very, very thorough,” he explains. He ends his segment by noting that 70% of Jews in France today have come from Sephardic countries of origin where they have experienced “tension with their Arab neighbors”.
Harris-Perry attempts to interrupt his scholarly explanation twice before giving in and going to the commercial break.
President Obama invites Americans to join him in some classic Orwellian doublethink as he asks them to accept two contradictory policy proposals that are supposed to coexist: students can have two “free” years of college if they “work” for it. Here’s how the president (sounding like a used car salesman) explained it from Air Force One on Friday:
Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it. That’s right, free for everybody that’s willing to work for it. It’s something that we can accomplish and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.
Here’s the fine print of what they actually intend, via the L.A. Times:
Obama’s proposal would make two years of community college “as free as high school for responsible students,” Munoz told reporters, saving a full-time community college student an average of $3,800 in tuition per year. Obama also plans to propose a new fund to pay for high-quality technical training programs.
The program would cover half-time and full-time students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average — about a C-plus — and who “make steady progress toward completing a program,” the White House said.
In other words, these students won’t have to “work” for their education in the way that Americans have traditionally worked their way through college — by waiting tables or laboring at a summer landscaping job in order to scrape together tuition money. By “work,” the president means the students will merely need to maintain minimum academic standards. No lousy fast food job required.
There’s a reason many Israeli satellite providers don’t waste their money on CNN. The infamously anti-Semitic cable news channel’s reporter Jim Clancy blamed Wednesday’s terrorist attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on — who else — the Jews.
To be completely accurate, he dubbed the radical Islamist “pro-Muhammed” mentality that led to the terror attacks “Hasbara.” Hasbara is the term used to describe pro-Israel international PR. What does hasbara have to do with fostering or endorsing radical Islamist terrorism? Nothing. Unless, of course, you’re taken to task for your inaccuracies by a Jew. Then, suddenly, your gross inaccuracies along with all the world’s problems are because of the Jews.
Kessler proceeds to present Clancy with facts (something CNN reporters avoid at all costs), and the most Clancy can generate in terms of a response is:
.@clancycnn Or you could admit that your tweet was mistaken, and your response to me was inappropriate.
— Oren Kessler (@OrenKessler) January 7, 2015
Yeah, that didn’t happen, because there’s something else CNN reporters lack: journalistic integrity. There’s another Jewish word for that, Jim. It’s called “schmuck.”
Hat tip: Mediaite
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to reduce the current 108 questions on the form for federal student aid to just two.
Those would be: What is your family size? What was your household income two years ago?
The “Student Aid Short Form” would be a postcard and would let high school students know in their junior year via a reference table how much college aid they’ll receive.
The sponsors are Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Angus King (I-Maine).
“Simplifying the overly complicated federal aid application and giving students and parents the opportunity to receive aid information easier and earlier will be an important tool in helping them choose a postsecondary institution that is right for them,” said Isakson. “Additionally, by protecting students from over-borrowing and helping them to better understand their repayment options, students will be better equipped to responsibly repay their loans.”
The bill would also consolidate current student loan programs and restore year-round Pell grant availability.
Sponsors say it would discourage overborrowing by tailoring the amount available to how much you’re in school that semester. A part-time student, for example, would be able to take out a part-time loan only.
Repayment plans would also be streamlined. Students would either get a 10-year repayment plan or an income-based repayment plan.
Cinemablend reports on the backlash over TLC’s My Husband’s Not Gay, a special focusing on Mormon men, both married and single, “who are attracted to men but who cultivate relationships with women”:
Over at Change.org, former Christian Josh Sanders wrote about his experiences as a gay man whose church convinced him to undergo reparative therapy so that he would no longer be gay. His petition calls for TLC to “stop spreading such dangerous misinformation” by canceling My Husband’s Not Gay.
GLAAD also backs up the petition, and the organization’s President and CEO made a statement this morning calling My Husband’s Not Gay “downright irresponsible”. Here’s the whole statement:
“This show is downright irresponsible. No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm’s way.”
The Cinemablend article expresses the bias made common by activist groups like GLAAD in their own explanation of the show’s premise:
Apparently boys aren’t born to hit girls.
In a social experiment exploring violence against women, young boys in Italy were asked to slap a girl. …Italian media company fanpage.it created the video to show how both violence and pacifism can be taught at an early age.
The boys are introduced to Martina, who has a giggly love-struck effect on all the young admirers. When asked to caress her, the boys do not hesitate to stroke her cheek in a gesture of intimacy. When asked to make a funny face at her, they do so.
However, when the boys are asked to slap Martina, they all look surprised and confused. Obviously torn between wanting to obey, and their own moral objections, all of the boys eventually shake their heads at the unseen camera crew, refusing to comply.
When asked why they wouldn’t slap her, all of the boys responded that they did not want to hurt her, or that they did not believe in violence, and all agreed that they should never hit girls.
“Why? ‘Cause I’m a man!” replied one of the boys.
According to the website Feminist.com, “…men have been taught to relate to the world in terms of dominance and control, and they have been taught that violence is an acceptable method of maintaining control, resolving conflicts, and expressing anger.”
This little experiment just blew that theory out of the water.
Citing the catcalling, along with “the rape, the murder, the beatings” the Guardian declared 2014 as the “year of feminist insurrection against male violence.” But if male violence is socially, not genetically forged, what exactly is feminism’s War On Men doing to combat the creation of a gender of outsiders conditionally harassed into violent behavior?
Cathy Young writes in Time:
The other side of sexism must be recognized. Former Jezebel editor Lindy West has argued that such “men’s rights” problems as unequal treatment of fathers in family courts or bias against male domestic violence victims are rooted in patriarchy and that feminism is already addressing them. Unfortunately, facts say otherwise. On these and other issues, feminist activists and commentators have tended to side with women, oppose measures to help men, and promote women-as-victims, men-as-bad-guys narratives. Such double standards need to be confronted.
After a year of campus rape myths dispelled, feminists would do well to rethink their strategy when it comes to stereotyping men. They can start by learning a lesson from a group of rather intelligent and extremely cute little boys.
Wondering how to find the perfect feminist boyfriend? Lisa Bonos has written you a handy guide over at the Washington Post. It includes misinterpreted statistics:
A true male feminist is supportive of, interested in and enthusiastic about his partner’s career. He might not expect to earn more than his partner or think that his career trumps hers; a feminist couple might relocate for the woman’s career. Things are moving in this direction: A 2014 study by the moving company Mayflower found that 72 percent of millennials would move for a female spouse’s job, compared with 59 percent of baby boomers.
Follow the links and read the stats to find the real truth of the move scenario, that men often pick jobs that require geographic moves for growth, while women often pick jobs that allow for greater flexibility. And while 72% of millennials might be willing to move for a female spouse’s job, it’s often because, for millennials at least, women are the primary bread-earners in the family, a generational first.
Then the article explains that the passion and impulsive romance that generally keep relationships alive are not feminist:
“If you’re a woman who wants a man to grab you and kiss you because that’s what sweeps you off your feet, realistically, a feminist man is not going to do that,” says Rita Goodroe, a 38-year-old life coach in Northern Virginia who works mostly with singles. “He’s going to ask for permission.”
Which is why most feminists date via the Internet (Bonos references flirting hookup site Tinder) so they can pre-screen potential candidates for the perfect ideological match. Because, God forbid you might get to know someone and develop feelings for them. Where’s the STEM in that?
UK Guardian writer Peter Ormerod
…tells NPR’s Arun Rath that he’s not at all against gratitude. His argument has more to do with the spirit of the thing. “It’s really because gratitude is so important to me. I don’t, however, think that forcing children to write what’s often quite formulaic letters — I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way of helping children develop gratitude.”
Instead, he thinks the emphasis should be on getting kids to feel and experience gratitude, rather than just make a show of it. And once they feel it, he says, they can express it in fun or creative ways, “ways that feel much less like a chore.” That could involve drawing pictures, taking photos or baking. Ormerod says he’s even written songs for people.
Ormerod tags thank you letter-writting as an “anachronism” and an “exercise in lying” designed to “maintain respectability” among parents because no one wants to have a child who is an “ingrate.” So, would you dear parents of America choose to let your child feel gratitude by baking cookies or Instagramming their gift? In this social media age, where we share photographs of our meals and ruminations on our work lives, would expressing thanks through a written message add much needed veracity to an otherwise seemingly meaningless milieu? Would a handwritten note express deeper, longer lasting emotion than a public message? Or is it better to follow Ormerod’s advice and simply have the kid do nothing at all?
If “nothing at all” is the answer, take a look at the statistics. Not saying “thank you” in a written note may cost you big time down the line. According to a recent survey conducted by the Royal Mail:
New research by Royal Mail has revealed the true cost of not saying thank you for Christmas presents. Of those people expecting thank you letters, over half (52 per cent) say they would reduce the cost of their gift by up to £10 next year if they did not receive a thank you letter.
A further 10 per cent said they would cut their budget from £25 to £21 if they were not thanked properly in writing.
The survey also found that 20 per cent would be so offended that they would not bother buying their loved one a gift again.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of those surveyed said it was important for children to say thanks via a note, while over half of adults (53 per cent) think thank you letters are important too.
Note that for all of his heavy-handed philosophizing about parenting, Ormerod is childless and bases his theory in having to arduously write out thank you notes as a child. If you’re looking to exemplify “petulant” to your child, have them read his screed. They’ll thank you, if not now then definitely later.
Over at Salon, the apparent temple of all things sex-worship, Tracy Clark-Flory chronicles “The Year In Sex Writing,” explaining in part:
I read about sex, constantly. At least five days a week, I do a Google News search for “sex.” It’s one of the first things I do each morning. …As I look back at the year in sex writing, these are the pieces that stand out, the pieces that most validated that daily sex-news slog. (I’m excluding myself and Salon in general from the list, because to do otherwise would be lame, wouldn’t it?)
Some of the less graphic stories highlighted include:
“The Japanese Firm Selling Videogames to Women, Using Sex” by Daniel Feit
Synopsis: A journalist reports on a Tokyo gaming convention, where women line up for the chance to interact with actors modeled after characters in hugely popular dating simulators.
Choice quote: “‘We’re basically hitting on them, without being too forward,’ said Kyle Card, an actor and model who lives in Tokyo. ‘A lot of the reactions are hands over the face, unable to speak, laughing to themselves. Lots of silence.’”
“For Women In Porn, The Personal Is Political And Profitable” by Susannah Breslin
Synopsis: A look at how women are faring in the new porn industry landscape.
Choice quote: ”‘Women control the industry,’ she opines. ‘They just don’t realize the power they have.’”
A growing number of pop culture outlets possess an evangelistic zeal for the act of sex. Whether it is through ever-more visible bodies on network television or full-fledged sexually oriented nudity on premium cable, shows like Californication and Masters of Sex now compete with basic cable’s Sex Sent Me to the E.R., Strange Sex and Let’s Talk About Sex. Sex was so prevalent this year that Slate declared 2014 to be a “banner year for sex on television.”
In a painfully intellectual breakdown of the American struggle to comprehend ISIS, the New York Times discusses the educational endeavors undertaken by Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, to “defang” the Islamic State:
Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.
That’s right, your tax dollars are paying for professors to develop even more politically correct terminology and intellectual strategy to dodge the dangers of radical Islamic militants in favor of convincing themselves and the American public that said religiously-motivated lunatics couldn’t actually be as powerful as they appear to be.
General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.
And when the President is losing on the ground, the President turns to think tanks to fix the problem. Stay tuned for the nomination of Obama’s “ISIS Czar” to lord over the
…disagreements among the experts over whether ISIS’ main objective is ideological or territorial — General Nagata encourages competing views, urging the group to have “one hell of a debate” over his questions.
But the panel raised doubts whether ISIS “has the bureaucratic sophistication necessary to govern.”
Apparently the panel of experts is unaware of a little militant group-turned-governing body known as Hamas.
“When I watch Americans use words like cowardly, barbaric, murder, outrageous, shocking, etc., to describe a violent extremist organization’s actions, we are playing right into the enemy’s hands,” General Nagata added. “They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate.”
The funny thing is, academic papers and speeches don’t motivate public opinion or soldiers the way the plain, simple truth does. But as long as Nagata is determined to avoid the truth of radical Islam’s dual ideological and territorial goals that are, indeed, barbaric, murderous and outrageous, ISIS and their radical Islamic terror allies will continue to gain ground in this global battle. Our bureaucratic waste is the Obama Administration’s tacit declaration that time is on radical Islam’s side.
Michael Walsh linked to an excellent article on the inability of many millennials to fix the simplest of household devices. Walsh was joined by many of my Boomer/Gen-X friends in his comment that it’s usually cheaper to throw out and buy new, but speaking as one of those Gen-X/millennial crossovers, going shopping isn’t always the cheapest thing to do. Especially when you’re caught up in a lousy economy.
Here’s where I praise my incredibly handy husband who grew up learning fractions via wrench set before he ever encountered them in school. When he lost his job shortly after the recession hit, we newlyweds risked becoming a statistic, joining the millions of college graduates like us who were out of work at a time when no jobs could be found. Thankfully, along with raising us with a fabulously humble work ethic, our parents also trained us to make the most out of nothing. My husband saved us thousands of dollars by repairing cars, plumbing, even our household heater himself when times were lean.
Fixing things doesn’t always mean owning crap, either. How did my husband manage to drive a Mercedes in college? He found a wreck in a salvage yard and spent one summer fixing it up with his dad after work. That car lasted him over 10 years and remained a great investment because he took the time to learn how to maintain and repair it when necessary.
His Mr. Fix-It habit is far from over now that he’s back in the work force. Do you know how much it costs the average young homeowner to re-do a bathroom in their first fixer-upper? Enough to make them not bother, or mortgage more for a home that’s already been upgraded. Every project we’ve done in our home we’ve done ourselves with little to no outside help. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it’s hard work. But when you’re young and newly married in a depression marketed as a recession, knowing how to be handy around the house is a lifesaver for your budget and your marriage.
According to Refinery 29, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s oldest biological child, Shiloh, has decided to identify as a male at the tender age of 8. The painfully politically correct story attempts to paint a picture of the child, who now refers to herself as “John” although born a girl, as gender-confused at an early age:
Jolie told Vanity Fair in a 2010 interview that John has been exploring their identity since the age of three. ”She wants to be a boy,” Jolie said. “So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”
Here’s the actual quote in context:
“She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers. Shiloh, we feel, has Montenegro style. She dresses like a little dude. It’s how people dress there. She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. Shiloh’s hysterically funny, one of the goofiest, most playful people you’ll ever meet. Goofy and verbal, the early signs of a performer. I used to get dressed up in costumes and jump around,” the actress explains.
Stylists at the time balked at Jolie’s attempt to coin the term “Montenegro style” stating, “she was trying to say something intellectual or funny, and it just sounded dumb.” Probably about as dumb as the Advocate grasping at straws via the stale tale of Shiloh Pitt, who apparently has been dressed in boyswear and given boyishly short haircuts by her parents since she was a toddler. Four years later, why wouldn’t an 8-year-old girl think she ought to be called “John”? If anything she’s aiming for a more defined gender identity than her parents have yet to give her, either through her name, her hair, or her clothing, let alone the gender-neutral pronouns being used to identify her in the media. As the Advocate explains:
Editor’s note: This article uses “they” as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun in an effort to respect the young Jolie-Pitt’s gender identity, whatever that may end up being.
Apparently smear ads during campaigns can sometimes tell the truth. Compare Republican Joe Lhota’s ad from the 2013 New York City mayoral campaign to the big, fat Drudge header captured below. The article linked reads in part:
New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday that tensions in the city are echoing those in the 1970s — a fear he expressed only days prior to the ambush killings of two police officers.
“Who would’ve ever thought déjà vu all over again, that we would be back where we were 40-some-odd years ago,” Bratton said in an interview on NBC’s “Today.”
Actually, Joe Lhota thought as much. Too bad New Yorkers didn’t listen.
When asked whether he had seen such tensions or divide before, Bratton replied, “1970, when I first came into policing — my first 10 years were around this type of tension.”
…Lawmakers and police unions have accused New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of inciting anti-police rhetoric — or at least failing to do enough to cool tensions. Over the weekend, a video circulated online showing police officers turning their backs to the mayor as he entered the hospital where the two slain officers were taken.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Saturday in a statement. “That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor.”
On “Today,” Bratton acknowledged the internal rift between City Hall and the police.
Not every HBO woman is one of Lena Dunham’s girls. Seventeen-year-old Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams made a brilliant observation about contemporary feminism in a recent interview:
We talk about actor Emma Watson’s recent UN speech, in which she talked about her reasons for becoming a feminist, and the need for men to be onside; Williams says she is impatient with this kind of “first-world feminism”. “A lot of what Emma Watson spoke about, I just think, ‘that doesn’t bother me’. I know things aren’t perfect for women in the UK and in America, but there are women in the rest of the world who have it far worse.”
Self-identified feminist or not, Williams appears to have fallen into a trap of, well, totally taking for granted the gains western feminism has made. The assertion that the inequalities that persist in the UK and United States “don’t bother her” is a milder version of women against feminism rejecting the progress wrought by the women’s movement only as they bask in it.
Kutner then lists a series of first-world feminist issues that Williams and feminists everywhere are obviously required to care about: “pay inequality” (myth), “restricted reproductive healthcare access” (myth), “rape culture” (BIG myth, BIG – like Rolling Stone big) and “institutional sexism” (that creates a hostile environment for men as much, if not moreso, than women). She then uses her own big, white, first-world feminist journo privilege to paint Williams’s honest observation about the inequalities within the women’s movement as an example of that ugly buzzword “privilege”:
— Sushi (@NYPDJew) December 21, 2014
The Daily Mail reports:
It was a somber addendum to an earlier December post in which he honored his dad’s 40th birthday.
‘Happy birthday to the best dad in the world, you are always there for me even when it’s almost impossible,’ he wrote December 9. ‘We have so many good times it’s not even funny, I love you so much.’
There isn’t a single social media user who shouldn’t be ashamed of the hashtag “Black Lives Matter” right now. And “NYPD Lives Matter” isn’t enough of a response. “Lives Matter” is the plain, simple and much needed truth. As the eloquence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrates, cop killing has nothing to do with civil rights:
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
The New York Yankees have already stepped up to the bat, offering to pay college tuition for Jaden and his older brother. As for the rest of us, we owe it to Jaden to confront and eliminate ghetto culture so he and the rest of his generation can grow up as victors, not victims in the minds of the mainstream media and race-baiters who seek to divide and conquer our culture for their own nefarious purposes.
Larry Elder at Real Clear Politics breathes essential statistical insight into the ongoing fight over whether or not white cops have a predilection for shooting black men:
In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.
Police shootings, nationwide, are down dramatically from what they were 20 or 30 years ago. The CDC reported that in 1968, shootings by law enforcement — called “legal intervention” by the CDC — was the cause of death for 8.6 out of every million blacks. For whites the rate was was .9 deaths per million.
By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.
So what’s driving this notion that there is now an “epidemic” of white cops shooting blacks when in the last several decades the numbers of blacks killed by cops are down nearly 75 percent?
As Elder points out, there was no mention of race or racial motivation in the cases of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, or Michael Brown. When questioned about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict, “several jurors later said that during jury deliberations ‘race never came up.’” Elder asserts
This white-cop-out-to-get-black-civilian narrative advances the interest of many. The media loves what Tom Wolfe called the “Great White Defendant” — a bad white guy everybody can agree to dislike. For the Democrats, it furthers their assertion that race remains a major problem in America, that Republicans/tea partiers/black conservatives are out to get them, and you must vote for us. For “activists” like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and local wannabes, it gives them continued relevance.
In reality, the facts provide a startling lack of evidence in support of the theory of racial motivation. At the same time, they do provide solid evidence that both the media and so-called community activists like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to promulgate the myth of ghetto culture in order to maintain power over an audience and presumed authority over an entire segment of the American population.
In an interview with People magazine, Michelle Obama gets serious about “the impact of stereotypes” in the “wake” of the Brown and Garner incidents:
“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE.
“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
Word to the wise: The next time someone asks you to help them with an item on a shelf, they’re obviously racist. Michelle probably wanted to reply, “Can’t you see I’m the first lady?!” but instead checked her privilege. I’m sure she rewarded herself for that at Bergdorf’s later.
The president also chimed in:
Last week, [Robby Soave] wrote [at Reason's "Hit & Run" blog] about how “students are so coddled by the feelings-protection regime at university campuses that they now believe disheartening national news developments—such as the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases—entitle them to final exam extensions.”
Columbia Law School delayed final exams for students who felt unable to take them in the wake these developments. Students at Harvard and Georgetown began demanding their universities follow suit.
One might think that Oberlin College, known for it’s ultra-crunchy reputation, would be all about this. At least one professor at Oberlin, however, is having none of it…
What follows is absolutely epic.
Here is the Facebook exchange between a student (who is, sadly, a product of the self esteem and participation era) speaking out for minority groups to which she doesn’t belong and the professor’s response. (click to enlarge):
Look for this guy to be out of a job within the year. Dissent from the progressive orthodoxy is not tolerated.
Millennials are “increasingly more pro-life and supportive of restrictions on abortion” than their Boomer and Gen-X parents.
“There’s a window into the womb with ultrasound. Just having the look into the womb you can see, even in the first trimester, the early development of the child — you can see the humanity of the child,” Rose said. “Now that we have that imagery and it’s more prevalent, people are having that personal encounter with the child, so it’s easier to recognize their human rights.”
…”Years ago, it was the case that advocates for abortion would talk about the ‘thing’ growing in a woman’s womb as a lifeless blob of tissue,” Monahan explained. “And I think our advances in sonography and ultrasounds, and even our understanding of fetal development has dispelled those myths.”
She continued: “We know that, from the moment of conception, a baby has all of its DNA that it needs for the rest of its life. It has everything inherent that it will need for later on. Really, the only difference [between the preborn and adults] is in size and development.”
When most millennials were in the womb, ultrasound technology was still relatively new to pregnancy. Mothers of Gen-X/millennial crossovers most likely only had an ultrasound if there were suspected complications with the pregnancy. Today, however, those crossovers and their fellow millennials will have an ultrasound as early as 8 weeks to confirm pregnancy, including fetal heartbeat. One-dimensional sonograms will continue throughout the pregnancy. Parents will also have the option to have a 3-D or 4-D ultrasound done so that they may see their smiling baby in the womb.
Abortion is at an all-time low in the United States. And while abortion advocates are quick to note that the majority of women who are required to view sonograms before their abortions will choose to proceed with the abortion, the reality is that the majority of abortions in America are being performed before an 8 week ultrasound can be done. The women who abort after the ultrasound are in the minority that is growing smaller by the year.
Think the Elf on the Shelf is a cute little holiday tradition to keep your young one on their toes? Think again.
Laura Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology recently published a paper concluding that Santa’s little spy “sets up children for dangerous, uncritical acceptance of power structures.”
When children enter the play world of The Elf on the Shelf, they accept a series of practices and rules associated with the larger story. This, of course, is not unique to The Elf on the Shelf. Many children’s games, including board games and video games, require children to participate while following a prescribed set of rules. The difference, however, is that in other games, the child role-plays a character, or the child imagines herself within a play-world of the game, but the role play does not enter the child’s real world as part of the game. As well, in most games, the time of play is delineated (while the game goes on), and the play to which the rules apply typically does not overlap with the child’s real world.
“You’re teaching (kids) a bigger lesson, which is that it’s OK for other people to spy on you and you’re not entitled to privacy,” she tells the Toronto Star.She calls the elf “an external form of non-familial surveillance,” and says it’s potentially conditioning children to accept the state acting that way, too.
“If you grow up thinking it’s cool for the elves to watch me and report back to Santa, well, then it’s cool for the NSA to watch me and report back to the government,” according to Pinto.
According to the report, some parent bloggers agree with Pinto’s conclusions. However, others think she’s gone overboard with a fun holiday tradition. Pinto also fails to criticize the Elf’s Jewish counterpart “Mensch on a Bench” for exhibiting the same surveillance state tendencies since the Mensch spends his nights watching the menorah, not the kiddies.
Is this another case of academia gone too far, or is there something to this notion of Big Brother Elf?
The Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial may have been in progress since September, but this week it has taken some bizarre twists and turns that more resemble a soap opera than a courtroom trial.
This week alone, we’ve learned of teachers who continued changing answers on standardized tests because no one explicitly told them that their actions were wrong, along with teachers who threatened and insulted students when it came to the test cheating.
On Monday, one teacher testified that she and other teachers erased answers on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in order to elevate scores for their school:
Former Dunbar Elementary School second-grade teacher Rose Neal testified that she saw second-grade teacher Diane Buckner-Webb and first-grade teachers Pamela Cleveland and Shani Robinson cheat on Georgia’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in the spring of 2009. Neal said she too cheated.
Buckner-Webb, Cleveland and Robinson all face charges of racketeering and making false statements. A statewide analysis found an abnormally high number of wrong-to-right erasures on standardized tests taken by their students in 2009.
No one in the room — including former Dunbar testing coordinator Lera Middlebrooks — suggested cheating was wrong or that they should stop, Neal said in response to a prosecutor’s question.
“I wish they had, but no,” she said.
On Wednesday, another school system employee testified that certain teachers insulted their students’ intelligence while those same students went on to perform too well the CRCT:
Certain fourth-grade teachers at Dobbs Elementary School told their students things like “You all just dumb. You can’t learn anything,” former Dobbs teaching coach Lori Revere-Paulk testified in the Atlanta test-cheating trial Wednesday.
But many of those students went on to ace state tests, even though results from other tests suggested they would fall short, Revere-Paulk said.
On Thursday, students testified that teachers threatened them when they witnessed or reported cheating:
“If I lose my job, I’m ’a beat your ass,” former Dobbs Elementary School teacher Derrick Broadwater told one fifth-grader after the boy reported possible cheating to a school employee, according to the student’s account, which Broadwater disputes.
Then Broadwater came closer to the child and shared another message.
“He was going to kill me,” the student testified.
The boy, now a broad-shouldered 17-year-old in his Atlanta high school’s ROTC program, said he was too scared to report the threats until recently.
Two other former Dobbs students testified that [teacher Angela] Williamson told them and other students the answers on fourth-grade state tests.
But the girls didn’t tell anyone about the cheating at the time. Williamson told them not to, they said.
“If you tell anyone, it’ll be the last person you tell, I promise you that,” Williamson told the class, one of the girls testified.
The cheating scandal came to light when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution questioned unusually high scores on the CRCT between 2002 and 2009 at certain Atlanta schools. Indictments went all the way to the top, including to former superintendent Beverly Hall, who will not testify because she is gravely ill with cancer.
Stay tuned as we bring you more unusual details from the trial as they unfold.
One of the running gags in Canadian playwright Jason Sherman’s controversial 1995 work Reading Hebron sees its overwhelmingly liberal Jewish characters regularly sighing, “Ah… Chomsky…” with the kind of ecstatic reverence you’d expect from Catholic saints in the midst of a mystical trance.
The play is still semi-regularly revived, and I doubt any dramaturge has felt it necessary to single out that line as anachronistic.
Unpopular opinion alert: Chomsky’s not all bad.
And asking why it takes 90 minutes longer to get from Boston to New York than it did in 1970 is more than reasonable.
(Although I suspect his solution might not be…)
However, one of Chomsky’s recent speeches has just been uploaded to YouTube, and one of my fellow Canadian bloggers, Richard Klagsbrun, is tearing into it with relish, as you’ll see on the next page. (Language warning.)
So this happened — where else but on the campus of one of our institutions of higher fascism:
The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that “all lives matter.”
Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men…
“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail,in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”
But you just know there’s a “but” coming…
But she soon received backlash from students for her phrasing. They were offended that she did not stick with the slogan “black lives matter.” The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, “it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”
In response to student backlash, McCartney apologized in another campus-wide email Friday, saying she had made a mistake “despite my best intentions… I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag “all lives matter” has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against Black people,” she wrote.
American universities today: re-education camps for administrators.
Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have filed two separate bills for the upcoming legislative session which would do away with Common Core educational standards and replace them with a system developed within the state. One bill would have new standards in place by the 2016-17 school year, while the other would implement new standards sooner.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell filed legislation Monday that would establish a Tennessee Standards Commission that would later recommend changes to the State Board of Education. It would also “cancel” Tennessee’s memorandum of understanding regarding Common Core standards in English language arts and math.
New standards to replace Common Core, which has phased into Tennessee classrooms for the past four years, would be ready by the 2016-17 school year.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens, has introduced a separate House bill that would require the state board of education to adopt new Tennessee-developed standards before July 1, 2016. It would halt future Common Core expansion beyond this school year, establish teams of educators to review and recommend new standards and create what would become known as “Volunteer State Standards.”
This legislative groundswell puts Republican lawmakers at odds with Tennessee’s Governor Bill Haslam, himself a member of the GOP who has overseen the state’s implementation of Common Core. Haslam, who some call a potential 2016 candidate for the White House, recently did an about face and called for a public “vetting” of Common Core, via a website where citizens can voice concerns.
Haslam said he was not surprised that the legislature is considering rolling back Common Core.
“I’ve said all along: We’re here to do a full review of the standards,” Haslam said. “I don’t know how to say that any other way. The good news is people are engaging — 15,500 people have already commented on the standards. That’s great news.”
He said he’s willing to be a part of any discussion that maintains high standards and takes a “realistic view” of the current standards.
“I’ve always said it’s not about what we call the standards. Let’s talk about what the standards are. My commitment is to make certain we have the very best standards we can,” Haslam said.
Multiple bills last year failed to gain traction, but growing opposition to Common Core leaves GOP lawmakers hopeful they can defeat it this legislative sesson.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach kvells some wise advice in the Jerusalem Post:
On Wednesday night, my son Mendy held a demonstration inside an event held by the Students for Justice in Palestine at New York University. They were screening a documentary by Israeli filmmaker (or should I say anti-Israeli filmmaker) Lia Tarachansky, called On the Side of the Road.
…My son sought to show the other side of the story. While there were indeed hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, there were even more Jewish refugees driven from Arab lands and Iran beginning at the same time. The number of these refugees amounted to 850,000 Jews. My son and his fellow students held 6-foot signs displaying this number. These refugees fled their countries due to the fierce anti-Semitic atmosphere that had begun to envelop them. In the 1940s, and especially after 1948, pogroms were set against the Jews of the Middle East, with hundreds killed. In Iraq in 1941, 180 Jews were murdered, with 900 Jewish homes, schools, businesses and synagogues destroyed.
In Tripoli, 1945, 140 Jews were massacred and another 4,000 were left without homes. In 1947, 75 Jews were murdered across Syria, and another 80 were killed in the anti-Jewish Cairo bombings of 1948. That year 82 Jews were murdered in Aden, in what has come to be known as the “Yemeni Holocaust.”
These killings were not carried out by armies, but by enraged civilian populations who stormed the Jewish areas of their cities.
My son put this information onto signs and set them before SJP’s audience for all to absorb.
…There was another side to this story. The NYU students deserved to see it.
Get ready to laugh. Apparently the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) kids didn’t think Mendy’s demonstration was permitted. That’s right, professional protesters didn’t think Zionists had the right to protest. Then again, perhaps it had less to do with “right” and more to do with being shocked that college kids would dare to go against the campus trend.
When the SJP organizers saw him and the other students protesting the event, they were shocked. “Is this allowed?” asked the director.
It was, and Mendy had the papers to prove it. She was at a loss for words, and just stared at the display. In the decade that the SJP has been operating, they had never seen something like this inside the walls of their very own event.
…The fight for Israel at leading Western universities is the singles greatest PR war on campus.
It’s a war that is winnable if Jewish and pro-Israel students learn that the time has come to fight back.
However, recent research shows that the broad contours of the environment described at UVA—where women report widespread sexual assault with no consequences for perpetrators—is not unique on America’s college campuses. As one expert told RS contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely, “the depressing reality is that UVA’s situation is likely the norm.”
Except for the fact that we now know the “UVA situation” was a lie. And if you’re worth your weight as a scientist or statistician, your “norm” can’t be based on a lie. Therefore, neither can your “depressing reality” no matter how “broad contours” you stroke into the picture you are painting. (“Pretty little contours,” Bob Ross instructs.) And when it comes to the 1 in 5 undergraduate women are sexually abused stat, you’re talking some of the broadest strokes imaginable in both execution and interpretation. (“Pretty little lies,” Bob Ross chimes in.)
Mother Jones uses the art of the infographic to cite disturbing statistics regarding campus rape. For instance, 57% of sexually abused undergraduate women are “under the influence of alcohol and drugs.” No comment is made comparing that stat with the next one that reads “4% of college women are given drugs without their knowledge.” In other words, 53% of undergraduate women who are sexually assaulted have had that assault occur after knowingly imbibing in drugs and alcohol. Out of those women, 85% “have previously seen or spoken with their assailant.”
Reporting on the most idiotic study involving babies to date, Mother Jones covers a Yale (that’s right, the Ivy League university) study performed by cognitive scientist Paul Bloom that is focused on answering the question: “ Can the youngest of our species distinguish good from evil practically from birth—or does morality need to be taught?”
Bloom’s thesis, in all its eugenic creepiness:
“I think all babies are created equal in that all normal babies—all babies without brain damage—possess some basic foundational understanding of morality and some foundational moral impulses,” says Bloom on the Inquiring Minds podcast. “They’re equal in the same way that all babies come with a visual system, and the ability to move around, and a propensity to learn language.”
To this end, Bloom showed babies a series of morality puppet plays, one-act jobs where cats either steal or return balls to dogs and babies choose which kitty they like better. They invariably choose the nice kitty. No comment on whether or not these babies prefer the color grey (the evil cat is orange) or the actor handling the grey kitty puppet for any particular reason — because those variables don’t matter in science. Even more stupefying to the scientists, “babies show a preference for characters who reward good and punish evil.” Isn’t it amazing that babies would respond well to rewards? I bet no parent alive ever guessed that one!
The latest cultural meme to make it big in feminist circles is Feminist Hacker Barbie:
Last week, the internet was disappointed to discover that, countary to the title, Mattel’s illustrated book Barbie: I Can be a Computer Engineer sends pretty much the opposite message. Instead, Barbie says things like: “I’m only creating the design ideas. I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a game.” She infects her sister’s computer with a virus and can’t even restart it on her own.
Enter Feminist Hacker Barbie. Real-life computer programmer Kathleen Tuite launched a website where you can hack the original book, creating re-captioned and much improved images. Check out some more of the user-submitted images here.
As if computer guys didn’t already have a hard enough time with chicks, now Barbie has to one-up their game. Is that how pathetic contemporary feminists have become, that in their absurd need to “do it all” they wind up emasculating the most de-sexualized men among us? As if The Big Bang Theory hasn’t already done a good enough job, there’s the incessant whining about the lack of female employees in the tech sector (because you should obviously hire based on boobs, not binary) and, of course, #GamerGate. If a guy so much as goes near a keyboard he’s obviously a misogynist. If he’s actually good at operating, let alone building, a computer, he’s an obvious threat to the female sex. And if Barbie dares to suggest teamwork with male participants, well, she’s obviously just a tool to empower the patriarchy.
The home-schooling boom is getting a new push due to opposition to Common Core, the controversial national education standard that some parents claim is using their children’s public school lessons to push a political agenda, according to critics of the Washington-backed curriculum.
North Carolina, already a home-schooling hotbed, saw a 14 percent rise last year in the number of students being educated at home, according to a report from Heartlander Magazine. Similar increases have been seen in Virginia, California and New York, according to education activists.
“If you look at national, and even state polls, you can see that the more familiar people become with Common Core, the more they dislike it,” Bob Lubke, a senior policy analyst for the North Carolina-based Civitas Institute, told FoxNews.com. “They feel like they are losing control of what their kids are learning.”
The exact number, as calculated using Common Core standard math, is: 7 oranges divided by feelings times Oprah, carry the ferret.
Enjoy the option to home school while you can, people. You can safely bet that the Nanny State Über Alles progressives will be coming for your children soon, which is one of about a thousand reasons they need to be stopped.
Nicholas Kristof devoted precious New York Times space to the pleadings of one Christian Pakistani family to save their wife and mother from a death sentence:
Note: Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman, was sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam in 2010. The year before, while picking fruit with Muslim women, she took a sip of water from the local well. She was immediately accused of making the water impure by the other workers, who told her that they could no longer use the well. According to her husband, Ashiq Masih, and others, men and women started beating her and accusing her of making derogatory remarks against the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies. Asia is currently in prison waiting to be hanged after losing an appeal on Oct. 16. She has told her story in a memoir, Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death over a Cup of Water, written with French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet.
Below is an open letter by Ashiq addressed to the world community. (Madam Mayor refers to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has offered her support to Asia.)
Her husband writes, in part:
I live in hiding with my five children as near as possible to Asia. She needs us very much to help keep her alive, to bring her medicine and good food when she is sick.
After my wife had spent four long years in prison in terrible conditions, we were hoping that the High Court of Lahore would free my wife. She did not commit blasphemy, never. Since the court confirmed the death sentence on the 16th of October, we do not understand why our country, our beloved Pakistan, is so against us. Our family has always lived here in peace, and we never had any disturbance. We are Christians but we respect Islam. Our neighbors are Muslims and we have always lived well with them in our little village. But for some years now the situation in Pakistan has changed because of just a few people, and we are afraid. Today many of our Muslim friends cannot understand why the Pakistani justice system is making our family suffer so much.
We are now trying our best to present the final case to the Supreme Court before the 4th of December. But we are convinced that Asia will only be saved from being hanged if the venerable President Mammon Hussain grants her a pardon. No one should be killed for drinking a glass of water.
IJReview picked up on one of the funniest SNL sketches in recent (a.k.a. post-original cast) history. It was a Schoolhouse Rock! parody that aired last night, mocking Obama’s latest immigration-related executive order and complete disregard for the constitutional process:
It starts out with the familiar boy climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and asking what kind of bill is on the Hill with him. The bill responds with a jingle that he is an “immigration bill” and that he hopes he can be passed into law someday.
Cue the President shoving the bill down the stairs before inviting his buddy, the cigarette smoking “executive order,” into the picture.
The boy exclaims in bewilderment that what the President is doing is unconstitutional, but the executive order just laughs at the boy’s belief that he still thinks that is how government works.
The sketch may be tongue-in-cheek payback on the part of NBC after being snubbed by the president, whose administration just so happened not to request air time from the Big 4 to announce his executive order plans in prime time. Dubbed “The Commander-in-Chief of MSNBC,” Obama has employed his “heckler’s veto” multiple times in the past, and Saturday Night Live sketches were far from immune. Last night’s humor is obviously a sampling of what can happen when Tina Fey no longer manages the Obama campaign from its 30 Rock location.
Despite the president’s latest appearance on Univision and Telemundo, the majority of Latino voters disagree with his executive order and rate amnesty low on their list of priorities:
By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”
When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.
Apparently SNL did a better job of marketing to a new target demographic than the Big-O.
Watch the video on the next page.
In what seems to be an escalation of his previous public comments, tenured Kent State University professor Julio Pino is using his personal Facebook page not only to post anti-Semitic epithets and threats, but also to declare his solidarity with the terrorist group ISIS.
In August, we saw the incendiary, anti-Semitic Facebook posts by Pino, the Cuban-born associate history professor who converted to Islam in 2000. Dr. Pino’s posts supported Hamas, made vile, racist comments about Jews and Israelis, and even seemed to support ISIS. Pino, who has a long history of anti-Semitic behavior, also vowed that he wouldn’t work with fellow staff members who supported Israel:“Collaborate with no one who collaborates with Israel, and let her or him know why. I have started with the head of our ‘Religious Studies’ program, who sends student-dupes to Israel every year.” Pino remains employed by the taxpayer-supported university and it seems he has been emboldened by the cover Kent State is providing for him.
In a post this week, he declared, “We will wage jihad from al-Quds to Canada!” Pino posted this comment along with a video from Russia Today (the state-funded news outlet) showing allegedly “uncut” footage of the “bloody caliphate” in Iraq.
In another post with a link to a YouTube video warning of a possible Islamic State attack in New York City, Pino calls a Canadian jihadist his brother: “Canadian Brother from ISIS ‘We love being attacked! We seek martyrdom!’”
On Friday, Pino posted a link to a BBC article warning that the Islamic State is setting its sights on Saudi Arabia, where the Muslim holy site of Mecca is located. “No Sleep Till Mecca!” Pino vowed.
Back in October, Pino scoffed at reports that ISIS is a great military threat. “From the bourgeois media: ‘ISIS is the greatest military threat the U.S. has faced since 1945.’ You mean that whole Cold War, nuclear arms race, Korea, Viet Nam thing was for kids?” he asked.
Last week Pino applauded the Ayatollah Khamenei, calling him his “favorite tweeter.”
Here’s the tweet that got Pino so excited:
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 8, 2014
Freedom of speech: Awesome. Using said freedom to tweet racist, profane taunts? Not so awesome. Being unemployed now because people figured out that you’re a public school English teacher, and having to look for new work in the Obama economy.
A Texas teacher who posted a profanity-filled tweet over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. — telling those who disagreed with her to “kill themselves” — is being fired, school officials said Monday.
Vinita Hegwood, an English teacher at Duncanville High School, was suspended without pay Monday pending her discharge after posting a “reprehensible” message on her personal Twitter account, according to the Duncanville Independent School District.
On Friday, Hegwood tweeted the following: “Who the f–k made you dumb duck a– crackers think I give a squat f–k about your opinions about my opinions RE” #Ferguson? Kill yourselves.”
In her Twitter account, which has been taken down, Hegwood described herself.
“Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Teacher. Delta. Football fan. Still defining and fine tuning the awesomeness that is me,” it read.
Geez. What a load.
Duncanville ISD had no choice here. Sure, they could have kept her on, but what parent in their right mind would leave their kid in her class after this? Is it the racism, the stupidity or the inability to express herself without resorting to profanity that’s supposed to attract parents to have their kids in her classes?
For the kids, their former English teacher provides a value life lesson. Freedom of speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say in all but a handful of circumstances (terroristic threats, etc). Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you never have to face consequences for what you say — especially if you’re a public employee and you’re placed in a position where you’re expected to be a role model.
In a prima facie violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Minneapolis School Board has decided to begin segregating their students into two different categories – white, and everyone else. If teachers and administrators want to suspend a white student, there will be no questions asked. But if they dare attempt to suspend a “student of color,” the act will be reviewed by the school district superintendent and “her leadership team.” BringMeTheNews reports:
The move comes after Minneapolis’ suspension policies have been under increased scrutiny from civil rights officials inside the U.S Department of Education and also follows a moratorium on suspensions of pre-kindergartners, kindergarteners and first graders that Johnson says has reduced suspensions by 50 percent.
She predicts reviews of suspended students of color could reduce them by a further 50 percent by 2016, telling the Tribune: “It’s about reducing disproportionality of student suspensions.
“Changing the trajectory for our students of color is a moral and ethical imperative, and our actions must be drastically different to achieve our goal of closing the achievement gap by 2020.”
Along with proving blatantly racist and likely unconstitutional, this practice stands as ridiculous policy. Why would your goal as an administration be to reduce the number of suspensions? Shouldn’t the focus be on reducing incidents of unacceptable student behavior? If you’re just going to arbitrarily ban suspensions or bottleneck the disciplinary process, how are you addressing students’ actual needs?
The assumption seems to be that suspensions are being handled out arbitrarily to punish children for being minorities. But that should be something you can prove. Where’s the example of a student having been suspended for being black? Where’s the example of a student being suspended without violating school policy on multiple occasions? Is there one? Or are administrators simply looking at the numbers and assuming that a disproportionate number of minority suspensions means the suspensions are motivated by race?
This idea, that racially disproportionate anything signals institutional racism, has been taken as gospel by the political left and informs policies which explicitly discriminate against white people. But how is explicit discrimination as policy better than implicit discrimination by an individual? Why should a white student be subject to a different disciplinary process than their minority peers? And how can such policy be characterized as anything other than racial segregation?
Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut succinctly detailed the crisis situation faced by women across the Islamic world. In doing so, she leveled her gaze at Western progressives, particularly feminists, who have a penchant for sweeping Islam’s crimes against women under the rug of “multiculturalism,” to the continued detriment of their sisterhood abroad:
Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.
To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.
There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.
Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative.
Feminists in the Islamic world have a laundry list of Western progressive feminism’s “Excuses for Abuses” which include:
Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”
“Injustices against women take place all around the world, not just against Muslims or in Muslim countries.”
“What you are seeing is not the real Islam; Islam has been hijacked.”
“It is not about Islam. Crimes were committed and are being committed in all places throughout history.”
Bulut’s responses to the last two “Excuses” are particularly interesting:
“Not all Muslims are the same. There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.”
First of all, thank you very much for this genius discovery. But how can it help reduce the Islamic violence around the world?
Of course it is true that there are many good Muslims, whose values do not follow Islamic teachings verbatim, but also include humanitarian values. They do not wage war on other religions or try to bring them under submission to Islam. In the eyes of jihadis or Islamists, however, who live by the harshest interpretation of most doctrinaire Islamic teachings, such a quality makes them “bad Muslims.”
“All religions are essentially the same.”
Well, not quite. Biblical values are far more benign than Islamic ones, and generally descriptive rather than proscriptive. Furthermore, the most violent of them were long ago abandoned.
No religion, for instance, other than Islam, has ever commanded that those who insult or leave it should be put to death. (See Surahs 6:93, 33:57, 33:61)
Bulut’s conclusion acts as a clarion call to Western feminists: You can defend Islam, or you can defend women, but you cannot defend both.