Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

What are parents of UCLA students paying for? ‘Finals Can Wait, Masturbate!’

‘Finals Can Wait, Masturbate!’ Event Scheduled for Tonight at UCLA
May 27, 2014 by Daniel Mael

First reported by the UCLA Daily Bruin and covered by Campus Reform, an event titled “Finals Can Wait, Masturbate!” is scheduled for Wednesday night. “The workshop aims to promote healthy masturbation practices,” Savannah Badalich, the Undergraduate Students Association Council student wellness commissioner, told the Daily Bruin. ​“We talk a lot about safe sex in the context of heterosexual individuals, but we don’t really talk about self pleasure and masturbation.”

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corruption, culture, education, extremism, health, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, sex

Filed under: corruption, culture, education, extremism, health, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, sex

How Education ‘Reform’ Serves Everyone But Our Kids

May 25, 2014 by Whitney Neal

It’s the quintessential tragedy of education reform today. Paychecks – not children – are the golden ticket of a movement that has been hijacked by consultants and experts with years of business experience yet none in the classroom. Bureaucrats and reformers talk a big game about closing achievement gaps, raising high school graduation rates, and improving accountability and performance mechanisms for school districts and classrooms. Yet they fail to deliver when the time comes to put visions into workable, applicable plans. Paychecks are cashed while schools are shuttered and children are left holding the textbooks, unable to read them.

For a case in point, look at Newark, New Jersey, where massive philanthropic gifts have done nothing to stem budget shortfalls, school closures and teacher layoffs. Just this week, The New Yorker released a 12-page expose on Cory Booker’s vision for Newark Public Schools. Consistently one of the most underperforming school districts in the country, Newark has been in immense need of transformational reform for years. Booker, a national advocate for school choice, sought help from an unlikely source – CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, who pledged $100 million with a requirement for matching funds to enact Booker’s plan.

On the surface, this looks like a powerful combination of philanthropic individuals seeking to improve local schools. The reality is, because these were not public funds, Booker and Newark did not have to allow for public review of priorities and spending, meaning they could and did have a free-for-all with the funds. Despite his claims to support local control of community schools, Booker abandoned his principles in favor of top-down solutions that he said couldn’t be taken captive by special interests.

In fact, Booker was more focused on media attention and marketing than analyzing the solutions being presented to the public and ensuring they could be applied effectively, efficiently and, in fact, at all. Booker had already failed on his first-term promise – crime reduction – and was making millions in speaking fees while his city crumbled. He courted Hollywood and the mainstream media, becoming a national celebrity appearing on Oprah and Morning Joe and receiving accolades from First Lady Michelle Obama while Newark parents anxiously awaited his solutions for their most valuable assets – their children.

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bureaucracy, children, corruption, education, nanny state, reform

Filed under: bureaucracy, children, corruption, education, nanny state, reform

Walter E. Williams: White Privilege

May 28, 2014

What would you think if your 8-year-old came home and told you that “white privilege is something that white people have, meaning they have an advantage in a lot of things and they can get a job more easily”? You would have heard that at the recent 15th annual White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, attended by 2,500 public-school teachers, administrators and students from across the nation.

The average parent has no idea of the devious indoctrination going on in classrooms in many public schools. What follows are some of the lessons of the conference.

In one of the workshops, “Examining White Privilege and Building Foundations for Social Justice Thinking in the Elementary Classroom,” educators Rosemary Colt and Diana Reeves told how teachers can “insert social justice, anti-racist information” into their lessons that “even little kids” can understand.

Kim Radersma, a former high-school English teacher, hosted a session titled “Stories from the front lines of education: Confessions of a white, high school English teacher.” She said that teaching is a purely political act and that neutral people should “get the f— out of education.” She also explained: “Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor. I have to every day wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply embedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose every day to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”

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bias, bigotry, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, government, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, propaganda, racism

Filed under: bias, bigotry, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, government, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, propaganda, racism

Higher ed becoming a joke: Column

May 19, 2014 by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

As college graduates around the country fling their caps into the air, college and university administrators are ending the year in a less positive state. It has been a tough year for higher education in America, and it’s not especially likely that next year will be a lot better. As an industry, higher education is beset with problems, problems that for the most part aren’t being addressed.

One set of problems is economic. With tuitions climbing, and graduates’ salaries stagnant, students (and parents) are becoming less willing to pay top dollar. This has caused some schools — especially expensive private institutions that lack first-class reputations — to face real hardships. Yeshiva University’s bonds have been downgraded to the status of junk. Credit downgrades have also hit several elite liberal arts colleges. Other private schools, such as Quinnipiac College, are actually laying off faculty. Georgetown in Kentucky cut faculty by 20%.

Even fancy schools such as Harvard and Dartmouth have seen applications decline, with Dartmouth’s dropping 14% last year, a truly staggering number.

It’s no picnic for public institutions either. “There have been 21 downgrades of public colleges and universities this year but no upgrades,” reported Inside Higher Ed. It’s gotten so bad that schools are even closing their gender studies centers, a once-sacrosanct kind of spending.

The decline in enrollment seems to be slowing, but the long-term problem remains: With costs growing, and post-graduation incomes stagnant or worse, students (and parents) are growing more reluctant to take on the extensive debt that is required to attend many private, and some public, institutions.

That is only made worse by the decline in higher education’s image, damage that is mostly self-inflicted. As Twitter wag IowaHawk japes: “If I understand college administrators correctly, colleges are hotbeds of racism and rape that everyone should be able to attend.”

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bias, bigotry, budget, bureaucracy, columns, crisis, diversity, economy, education, nanny state, philosophy

Filed under: bias, bigotry, budget, bureaucracy, columns, crisis, diversity, economy, education, nanny state, philosophy

Child Disciplined for Thinking about a Gun

May 23, 2014 by Bobby Eberle

The thought police are at it again, and this time the victim is an 8-year-old boy. As part of a school “imagination” project, the boy drew a picture of a gun. Of course, the school freaked out and claimed the boy’s action demonstrated “bad behavior.” What is going on in this country?

As reported KKTV.com in Colorado Springs, second grade student Cody Smith was at school and was told to go outside with his class, “look at the clouds, and then use his imagination to draw what he saw.” Cody looked up and drew a picture of a gun.

Because it was a gun, the teacher at Talbott Elementary in Widefield, Colorado called him into the office, and then filed a behavior report. His parents say that’s too much.

The report says Kody showed behavior that is disruptive to the entire learning community. The parents were worried that this would be on his permanent school record. The Widefield School District says it will not be.

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children, culture, education, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, pandering, political correctness, second amendment

Filed under: children, culture, education, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, pandering, political correctness, second amendment

New York Program Pushes HIV Tests for 13-year-Olds and Sex-Ed for Elementary School

May 22, 2014 by Steve Ertelt

LifeNews recently ran an article about a former abortion business owner who is now pro-life. For six years Carol Everett operated four abortion clinics in Texas and, over the years, she has shared the secrets of the abortion industry.

Everett has talked at length about how the abortion industry uses sex ed to recruit young girls as clients who will ultimately have abortions when they become pregnant. Everett said that the counselors at the clinics are more like telemarketers. They are trained to schedule abortions and use wording to eliminate a potential clients’ fears and objections concerning abortion.

Everett, who left the abortion industry after a Christian business counselor she hired lead her to Christ, also talked about how damaging government-funded sex education programs are. In her speech at the Rose Dinner, she took aim at the programs for stealing away the innate modesty of children and creating a rift between children and their parents.

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abortion, abstinence, children, culture, education, government, ideology, indoctrination, nanny state, political correctness, propaganda, relativism

Filed under: abortion, abstinence, children, culture, education, government, ideology, indoctrination, nanny state, political correctness, propaganda, relativism

The Left’s Line On School Choice Is A Joke From The 1800s

April 29, 2014 by Andrew Quinn

In the classic Charles Dickens novel Bleak House, the reader meets a woman named Mrs. Jellyby. Mrs. Jellyby has an ordinary family, but no time for them at all. This woman has her eyes fixed on something more important.

Her real calling, she feels certain, is overseas charity work. She opines constantly about the tragic conditions in Africa. She throws herself into dubious missionary efforts that are both offensively paternalistic and completely ineffective.

The question of real-world impact hardly seems to cross Mrs. Jellyby’s mind. She derives so much purpose and pleasure from the act of meaning well that actually doing good appears irrelevant. The suffering of others is chiefly a means to self-satisfaction, not a problem to solve.

And she is blind to the pain her fixation causes. Her neglected husband is miserable. Her children run wild. Her home is a disaster. But the matriarch ignores her family’s struggles. Who has time for such worries? There are foreigners to pretend to save!

Dickens heaps scorn on this character’s crazy priorities. The reader is meant to laugh at her disinterest in the efficacy of her work and her inattention to her family.

Updating the parody
What if Dickens were rewriting this story today? The object of Mrs. Jellyby’s concern would need to change. Christianizing Africa is hardly the trendy topic du jour. He’d need another subject on which a self-appointed social justice crusader would feign expertise. Let’s say he picks public education.

How would modern Mrs. Jellyby approach American schools? We can be sure of two things. First, her own sense of self-righteousness would get priority over actual results. And second, her duties to her own family would take a backseat to her grand plans for society.

In short, a comedic case study in how not to help people would look exactly like this op-ed from the New York Times.

Professor Gautney starts by claiming that school choice exacerbates inequality. She backs up this allegation with one study that looks at the racial makeup of schools in New York. The report doesn’t cite a single student outcome. Its sole concern is old-school ethnic arithmetic.

read full article: http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/29/the-lefts-line-on-school-choice-is-a-joke-from-the-1800s/

culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, public policy, racism, regulation

Filed under: culture, diversity, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, pandering, political correctness, public policy, racism, regulation

Radical Far Left Professor Leads Workshop in Chant, “Capitalism Will Fail. Capitalism Is Dead!”

May 23, 2014 by Jim Hoft

This is the kind of filth the left is peddling today at American universities.
//www.merrittafram.com/faculty.html#imara”>Nehandra Imara of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party addressed the 2014 Law & Disorder Conference at Portland State University in May. Imara, a professor from Merritt College in Oakland Hills, California. During her speech Nehandra railed against the evil and racist system of capitalism.
Via Laughing at Liberals:

“Capitalism is an evil system. It is built on an unjust racist, classist, sexist system… It is militaristic terrorism on steroids… Capitalism is the root of all evils. It is built on unjust, racist, classist system, based on 400 years of slavery.”

At the end of her toxic dishonest speech the room starts chanting, “Capitalism will fail! Capitalism is dead!”

watch the video

bigotry, capitalism, education, extremism, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, propaganda, racism

Filed under: bigotry, capitalism, education, extremism, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, propaganda, racism

Teacher: I helped write Common Core to combat WHITE PRIVILEGE

May 21, 2014 by Ben Velderman

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Here’s a defense of Common Core that we haven’t heard before: American schools need the nationalized learning standards so minority students can learn to read as well as white students.

In other words, supporting the experimental learning standards is a matter of social justice.

That view was articulated by teacher David Pook during a recent Common Core debate that occurred at a New Hampshire college, according to Examiner.com.

When Pook, who teaches history at the private and pricey Derryfield School, explained his position, it elicited laughs, groans and jeers from the audience:

“The reason why I helped write the standards and the reason why I am here today is that as a white male in society, I’ve been given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn. … I think it’s really important that all kids have an equal opportunity to learn how to read. I think I had decided advantages as a result of who I was, not because of any (inaudible).

“And when I walk into places like Roberto Clemente High School on the west side of Chicago, I think it’s really important those kids learn how to read just as well as I had the opportunity to read. And in creating an equitable educational opportunity for all kids, I think this is actually the greatest civics lesson we could teach our kids.”

Kimberly Morin, author of the Examiner.com article, takes Pook to task for claiming to help write the Common Core standards.

read full article/video

culture, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, marxism, nanny state, propaganda, public policy, socialism

Filed under: culture, education, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, marxism, nanny state, propaganda, public policy, socialism

The Inevitable Failure of Centralized Government

Most people realize words mean things. I say this satirically, since most of us at some point realize this fact, but often we forget it. Much of the time we all blindly accept terms thrown on the table without realizing what we are actually saying.

One common example is Climate Change Deniers. Supposedly there are people who deny the Earth’s climate changes (though I can’t find anyone who will admit to this belief). But there are two major fallacies with this term.

First, the words Climate Change are often used as synonymous with Anthropogenic Climate Change. The fact that climate change is ALWAYS happening is often forgotten, while the notion that it can be stopped is blindly accepted as not only a possibility but an obligation. This is done purposefully, so most of us forget natural climate change has been happening for as long as the planet has existed. When we forget this, it becomes accepted politi-speak to say “climate change” when we actually mean “human-caused climate change”. These two meanings are vastly different from each other.

This leads us to the second fallacy with the “deniers” label. When the so-called deniers say climate change isn’t real, the agenda-driven alarmists remind us that the climate is changing after all, but conveniently gloss over the fact they are referring to natural climate change, while the deniers are referring to anthropogenic climate change, while both groups use the same words. This purposeful confusion of concepts utilizing the same term is a very effective tactic among those who rely on obfuscation to promote an agenda few would support if they knew what was really going on behind the smoke and mirrors.

When the debate is handled this way few people think for themselves long enough to ask how climate change occurred before the industrial revolution, or how a natural phenomenon like climate change could possibly be stopped even if most people wanted to do so, or exactly what is this ideal static climate (which never existed) that we wish to preserve by imposing so many environmental regulations (and taxes)?

This semantic slight of hand is happening on many issues facing Americans today. What I wish to bring attention to in this post is the term “crony capitalism”. The term itself is designed to mislead us from the reality of the situation. Most people believe crony capitalism is a flaw/feature of, well, capitalism. But few stop long enough to realize this form of corruption cannot happen without GOVERNMENT help.

Think about it. This idea of crony capitalism is inherently a collusion of business and government. So why do so many people think of it as exclusively a capitalism problem and not a government problem? Probably because of the label we use to discuss it.

It would be more accurate to speak of this issue as crony government. I think P. J. O’Rourke said it best when he stated

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

This quote is true not only on its face, but it also alludes to the prime issue obscured by the misleading term “crony capitalism”. The prime issue is this: big government inevitably becomes corrupt.

Many of us like the idea of campaign finance reform. Unfortunately the notion of money corrupting politics falsely suggests the politicians were clean and pure souls to start with. The reality is much more likely the money merely revealed the greed that was already there. So while politicians and citizens debated campaign finance reform to “get the money out of politics” did you hear any one ask about the gazillions of dollars being collected and spent by actual legislation by those same politicians? I mean, if we’re really serious about addressing greed in politics…

But I digress. Just like record breaking campaign spending makes headlines while record breaking government expenditures get disregarded with a ho-hum attitude, so too are we deluding ourselves when we discuss crony capitalism while missing the bigger picture of corrupt government. One scary aspect of this is that, while we talk about wanting to rid politics of corruption, we seem oblivious to the fact centralizing government control invites corruption.

Consider this. The United States federal government now collects and spends more tax dollars than ever before. Concentrating that much money in one place, with politicians eager for re-election and a matching desire to spend that money, is begging for corruption. And when we look around we see an age where, more than ever before, our lives are highly regulated and subsidized by government. We live in an age where big business is foolish to NOT lobby for policial support, because their competitors are doing the same thing. Putting that much power and money in the hands of so few is begging for corruption.

Likewise, a big government demands big bureaucracy. Do we realize what bureaucracy really means? It means multiple levels of paperwork, bogged down in mountains of policy compliance, with numerous agencies all trying to perform their compartmentalized tasks. The more work done by big government the more red tape, and the more error and inefficiency result. This is the nature of big government.

Centralized power in Washington D.C. cannot avoid the outrageous levels of corruption and waste we have grown accustomed to in the United States. We keep acting like mega corporations are a problem but then demand government do more, tax more, regulate more, grow more to deal with it – all the while not realizing government involvement makes its own significant contribution to the problem in the first place. How convenient that the same people and organizations used to create corruption and waste are the same we expect to fix it all.

This is why local government is better than distant government for some things. I appreciate having a strong fighting force to deal with the horrible things happening around the world. That is a job better suited for our federal government. But is education better handled by our federal government? Is retirement? Is health care? Is commerce? Our society acts as if our sex lives should be free from government control yet demand government regulation of just about everything else.

If we allow ourselves to ask these questions we may eventually realize there are some things in life better handled by state or local government. We might even discover there are some things in which government has no business involving itself at all (like marriage). Wouldn’t that be a novel thing to see in a nation of free people?

bureaucracy, campaign, capitalism, corruption, culture, ethics, freedom, global warming, government, indoctrination, nanny state, politics, propaganda, regulation, spending

Filed under: bureaucracy, campaign, capitalism, corruption, culture, ethics, freedom, global warming, government, indoctrination, nanny state, politics, propaganda, regulation, spending

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