April 19, 2015

Cincinnati Enquirer Reporter: Cancellation of High School’s ‘Covered Girl Challenge’ May Signal ‘Bigotry’

At Mason High School in Ohio this past week, the school’s administration originally supported but has now cancelled a “Covered Girl Challenge.” The goal, according to a school email captured in full at Jihad Watch and almost nowhere else, was to “celebrate … diversity and promote open mindedness” by promoting the Muslim Student Association’s invitation to “all female students to … wear a headscarf for the whole school day.”

Jihad Watch, unlike every other Ohio-based establishment press outlet report I have seen, including one found in the Cincinnati Enquirer, also linked readers to a reminder that collegiate chapters of the Muslim Student Association, which also encourages the creation of high school chapters under its aegis, have served as breeding grounds for terrorism (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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April 7, 2015

New Republic Writer: Rolling Stone’s Failure Due to Use of ‘Rightwing Tactics’

New Republic staff writer Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has clearly run out of defenses for the conduct of those involved in the disgraceful, scandalous journalistic malpractice which gave rise to the now-retracted and thoroughly discredited “A Rape on Campus: The Struggle for Justice at UVA” at Rolling Stone.

So here’s her last refuge: Conservatism deserves some of the blame, because Sabrina Rubin Erdely and others associated with the story supposedly “Used Rightwing Tactics to Make a Leftist Point” (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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April 5, 2015

Consequence-Free: ‘Scathing’ Columbia Report Leads to No Firings at Rolling Stone

Earlier this evening, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued its report on Rolling Stone Magazine’s November “A Rape on Campus” story. The report follows up on the magazine’s request of Columbia to conduct an independent review of how the disastrously false 9,000-word story made it through to publication.

USA Today is reporting that for all the harsh criticism the piece’s author and the others at the magazine received, and despite the fact that RS has now formally and fully retracted the story, no one is losing their job or suffering any other visible consequences. In fact, the magazine considers the whole affair “an isolated and unusual episode” (bolds are mine):

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March 24, 2015

CNN Panelist: Suggestion That ‘Jackie’ Made Up UVa. Rape Story ‘Flies in the Face of Statistics’

On CNN yesterday, after the network cut away from the press conference where Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department announced that it “found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012,” network panelist and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin bizarrely resorted to “statistics” to defend “Jackie,” the student-fabulist involved.

The panel discussion which followed the press conference seemed to be all about telling viewers that “Despite what everyone says, it’s really not over.” Hostin’s major contribution to that meme was to essentially contend that because “only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false,” any allegation that “Jackie” was making things up is unfair and likely incorrect because it “flies in the face of statistics” — even though, in a new development, we learned that “Jackie” claimed that she was the victim of a second gang-rape incident in April 2014. Police also could find no evidence supporting that incident’s occurrence. Video and a transcript follow the jump:

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March 23, 2015

USAT Reaction to Discredited Rolling Stone Rape Story: ‘Didn’t Quite Hold Up’

The press’s reluctance to let go of a popular but debunked meme — in this case, the nonexistent “epidemic” of college campus sexual assaults — is sometimes inadvertently humorous, though still intensely annoying.

Take how John Bacon and Marisol Bello at USA Today characterized the news that “Police in Charlottesville were unable to verify that an alleged sexual assault detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article ever took place at the University of Virginia”:

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February 28, 2015

Classless and Spiteful: Jezebel’s ‘Update’ to False Walker Sexual Assault Reporting Story

As noted this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jezebel’s Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote a Friday morning hit piece directed at Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor, calling him a “conservative werewolf” for including a provision in the Badger State’s latest proposed budget to elminate the requirement that universities report campus sexual assault statistics to the state.

Vargas-Cooper took this to mean that all such sexual assault reporting would end. Hardly. Hours later, an unbylined Associated Press story carried at USA Today (but still not carried at its national site) made it clear that a) the University of Wisconsin system had requested the provision, and b) such statistics would continue to be reported to the federal government. Jezebel’s “correction” and Vargas-Cooper’s spiteful tweeted reaction follow the jump.

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Jezebel Writer Falsely Accuses Walker of Wanting to Stop Reporting of Campus Sexual Assaults

On Friday morning at Jezebel, a Gawker-affiliated web site, Natasha Vargas-Cooper thought she had Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by the — well, you know.

In a post tellingly tagged “Conservative Werewolves,” Vargas-Cooper was absolutely sure — so certain that she apparently felt no need to check any further — that Walker’s proposed budget would allow its colleges to “to stop reporting sexual assaults.” Vicious vitriol ensued (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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February 23, 2015

Juan Williams: There Are ‘Elements of Racism’ in Today’s Constitution

In a discussion with plenty of other objectionable elements on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Friday, Juan Williams asserted that “There’s no question that if you look at our Constitution, there are elements of racism right in it.” Note his use of the present tense.

The version of this country’s founding document Williams was referencing must be 147 or more years old, because the only element of the original Constitution which was arguably racist — the inclusion of non-free persons as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of allocating House seats in Article I — went away when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. Even that argument ignores the existence of white slaves at the time of its adoption.

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February 16, 2015

TEA Party Leader to Fox News: 11 Reasons to Stop Calling Kasich ‘Conservative’

Because he’s not.

The harsh truth was delivered in an open letter to Fox News’s Bret Baier, who consdiers Kasich a center-right Republican politician, by Mike Snead, Dayton TEA Party President. It reflects his personal views.

Well done, sir.

NY Times Corrects Gail Collins Column Which Gave Walker Credit For Time Travel; Problems Remain

It took well over 24 hours, but the New York Times finally corrected (HT Instapundit) op-ed columnist Gail Collins’s ignorant Saturday contention about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker caused teacher layoff in 2010: “As well as the fact that those layoffs happened because Walker cut state aid to education.” Collins was so sure of herself that she emphasized how Walker’s 2010 state aid-caused layoffs were a “fact.” Trouble is, Walker didn’t become Badger State Governor until January 2011.

Instapundit’s reaction: “So basically, it’s now an Emily Litella column. Never mind! The Old Gray Lady’s excision from Collins’s cranky column hardly solves all of its problems.

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February 15, 2015

AP Obsesses Over Walker’s Refusal to Answer Evolution Question; Time Interviews His High School Teacher

In London, England earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered a speech about global trade at the Chatham House think tank. Given that the group’s mission is “to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world,” and that it encourages “open debate and confidential discussion on the most significant developments in international affairs,” it seemed a reasonable expectation that those present would ask questions relevant to those matters.

Instead, Scott Walker was asked several brazenly off-topic questions, including if he believed in evolution. He refused to answer them. In the case of evolution, he said, “I’m going to punt on that one … That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another,” while reminding the audience that “I’m here to talk about trade and not pontificate on other issues.” The smug establishment press apparently wants to believe that Walker’s refusal has created a political crisis of epic proportions which they contend (translation: hope) may harm his presidential aspirations.

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February 14, 2015

Gail Collins, in NY Times Op-ed: Scott Walker Cut Teachers’ Jobs in 2010 … Before He Was Even Governor

What an ironic title New York Times op-ed columnist and former editorial page editor Gail Collins used — “Scott Walker Needs an Eraser” — in her February 13 opinion piece blasting Wisconsin’s Republican governor.

In her nitpicky, selective mind, Walker must already have an eraser, one that’s so powerful that it could reach back to the year before he became Badger State chief executive and eliminate teachers’ jobs (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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February 10, 2015

Challenging ‘Kelly and Michael,’ John Kasich, the General Assembly, and Ohio’s Media: Heed the Warnings of the ’2014 Top Teacher’ Driven Out by Common Core

From Elyria, Ohio (HT Paula Bolyard at PJ Media):

Elyria High’s Stacie Starr announces resignation

Stacie Starr says mandated state testing is pushing her away from teaching.

The veteran Elyria Schools educator said Monday she plans to resign at the end of the school year.

Gasps of disbelief followed the announcement made during an education forum aimed at unraveling for parents the intricacies of the standardized testing system. Starr was at the podium, delivering a talk on how special education students are suffering under the new system based on Common Core standards and more rigorous assessments. She said as a veteran intervention specialist at Elyria High School, she could no longer watch silently from within the confines of a structured school day.

Instead, she is leaving education in the traditional sense.

“I am going to teach in a different way,” she proclaimed.

Starr wants to start an after-school mentoring program for at-risk students in hopes of saving them from the school-to-prison pipeline.

Starr garnered a reputation of being a rock star teacher long before “Live with Kelly and Michael” picked her as the winner of the 2014 Top Teacher Search. She has mentored middle school boys, putting books in the hands of at-risk youth and ties on their necks to foster a sense of pride. Handing out high school diplomas to those same students was a highlight of her career, a testament that getting a child to graduation sometimes requires more than just lesson plans and homework.

She has coached football, taken students on field trips to meet authors and adopted a “failure is not an option” approach to some of the hardest-to-reach students. Yet with a stellar 16-year career under her belt, Starr said the new testing culture is killing education.

Okay, so maybe the school board can do something about this. Common Core’s proponents have long guaranteed that their regime is not a threat of any kind to local control, right?

Wrong:

Chief among … (Dawn Neely Randall’s) complaints was the rigor and relevance of the upcoming assessment known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. To be administered soon, the test is said to be more in line with state Common Core standards and will be a better evaluating tool to determine if students are on track to be successful in college and their careers.

But, as Randall put it during the meeting, planning for the test is virtually impossible, and teachers and students are being forced to spend more time on test preparation.

“It keeps hitting me over the head that this life is too short, but with this testing schedule we are doing nothing for our kids but taking their childhood away with test after test,” she said.

Randall called on board members to advocate for Elyria students and take whatever steps necessary to bring the testing culture to an end.

… Kathryn Karpus, (Elyria School) board president, was the only one to speak after Randall’s speech, which was met with applause from fellow teachers who attended the meeting. She thanked Randall for her passion and concern but offered no indication the board would act.

After the meeting, Karpus said members’ hands are tied. Every concern Randall spoke of is dictated by state legislation, and it will take legislative action for change to come.

“All we can do is speak for students in numbers and hope Columbus listens and acts,” she said.

“Kelly and Michael” absolutely must get Stacie Starr back onto their program and give her a chance to tell America why their Top Teacher feels she must leave.

Hardcore Common Core supporter John Kasich and the all-too-pliant members of Ohio’s Legislature need to wake up, smell the failure, and get Common Core out of Ohio for good — as in for everyone’s good, and forever.

Additionally, the folks in Ohio’s establishment press who have been giving the Common Core crap sandwich an ignorant pass during the past several years need to recognize and tell their readers the truth about this unconscionable, counterproductive, privacy-destroying lunacy before it irretrievably implants itself and permanently ruins K-12 education.

Time is running short.

January 20, 2015

A ‘Statist of the Union’ Response From C.S. Lewis

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:17 pm

I got an email today suggesting that I post a one-hour video.

Usually, no matter how good it might be, I don’t do that without also posting excerpts for those who don’t have the time to get through a full hour.

When I indicated that to David Theroux of the Independent Institute, he pointed me to a transcript of that video, which effectively serves as a response to yet another “Statist of the Union” speech by President Barack Obama:

Key excerpts (bolds are mine; some paragraph breaks added by me):

… Throughout his work, Lewis infused an interconnected worldview that championed objective truth, moral ethics, natural law, literary excellence, reason, science, individual liberty, personal responsibility and virtue, and Christian theism. In so doing, he critiqued naturalism, reductionism, nihilism, positivism, scientism, historicism, collectivism, atheism, statism, coercive egalitarianism, militarism, welfarism, and dehumanization and tyranny of all forms.

Unlike “progressive” crusaders for predatory government power over the peaceful pursuits of innocent people, Lewis noted that “I do not like the pretensions of Government—the grounds on which it demands my obedience—to be pitched too high. I don’t like the medicine-man’s magical pretensions nor the Bourbon’s Divine Right. This is not solely because I disbelieve in magic and in Bossuet’s Politique. I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ it lies, and lies dangerously.”

… “Of all tyrannies,” he stated,

a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.

… Throughout his books, he defended the rights and sanctity of individuals against tyranny not just because he opposed evil, but because he considered a life in freedom—including both social and economic freedom—to be essential: “I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he had “the freeborn mind.” But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology.”

…  (Rodney Stark has pointed out that although almost every other early culture and religion viewed human society in terms of the tribe, polis, or collective, “it is the individual who was the focus of Christian political thought, and this, in turn, explicitly shaped the views of later European political philosophers.” 

This focus produced a radical change in a world where, despite notable but limited exceptions of political decentralization, slavery and nearly universal and unyielding despotism had ruled, where people were treated as mere members of a group without rights. With Christianity, each and every person is “a child of God” or a holy object (res sacra homo) who has free will and is individually responsible for the choices he or she makes.

… As a proponent of natural law, Lewis was a supporter of the “law of equal liberty” but a firm critic of imposed egalitarianism for any reason. He further understood that egalitarianism is too often a cloak for envy (the sin of coveting) and that such appeals for regimentation are tyrannical

… Lewis understood that without this necessary natural-law framing of social, legal, and political culture, mankind would no longer be recognized as worthy of rights or even common decency, but instead would be left defenseless to any and all forms of oppression …

… Lewis fully understood that democracy, if unchecked, becomes egalitarianism and will trample on liberty as a collectivist force for evil by celebrating pride and envy as it fosters tyranny.

… recognizing the implications of every development in the galloping socialism of post–World War II England (Lewis wrote): “The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once “rulers.” … We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’ Our whole lives are their business.”

Certainly damned near it.

January 16, 2015

Author of Bogus ’1 in 3 Men Would Commit Rape’ Study Still Buys the False ’1 in 5′ College Assault Stat

On Tuesday, I posted (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on a bogus “study” out of North Dakota University contending that “almost one in 3 college men would commit rape ‘if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.’” Media exposure from favorable and unfavorable outlets continues to grow.

In that post, I noted that the study disqualified itself from credibility by uncriticially relaying the thoroughly discredited “1 in 5″ statistic, namely (quoting the study’s opening) “Federal data estimate that about one in five women becomes the victim of sexual assault while in college,” and took that as a clear indication that the trio of academics involved “are not dispassionate researchers, but instead are agenda-driven individuals who are not interested in facts, but are instead looking to reach desired conclusions.” In an exchange with the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow, study leader Sarah Edwards confirmed my assessment, and ratified the idea that any media outlet which takes their work seriously is deliberately spreading disinformation (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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