A 12 year old girl is suing the Chicago Board of Education for negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress after a substitute teacher led her 8th grade class to watch the film Brokeback Mountain with the warning, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," according to the lawsuit.
The teacher then proceeded to show the 8th grade elementary school class the R rated gay themed film; a film that garnered its rating for sexual content, language and drug use.
According to the suit, a substitute teacher introduced herself as Ms. Buford to Jessica's class at Ashburn Community Elementary School, 8300 S. St. Louis Ave. She then said, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," the suit claims. Buford then had a student close the door, and started showing the controversial R-rated film, which features two men engaged in sex.
The Volokh Conspiracy reported that yet another college has cracked down on a conservative student paper. The Primary Source, published a fake ad called “Islam-- Arabic Translation: Submission.” It satirized the events of an upcoming Islamic Awareness Week which quoted verses from the Koran and included unpleasant but true statements about Islam and ended with the statement, "If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we'd really like to hear from you!" This earned the students a quick trip before a disciplinary committee facing charges of "harassment and creating a hostile environment." The school ultimately decided not to punish the students, but from now on, TPS must identify who created which content.
Liberally-minded people and liberal institutions may say that they support free speech, but that claim is parsed down to what the definition of “is” is. This is yet another example of “hate speech is not free speech.” Stepping on and even burning the American flag is allowed (as it should be), but stepping on a flag that has the name of Allah written on it, such as a Hamas flag is not. It is fine for atheists to criticize or make fun of Christianity, but they are not allowed to criticize Islam. A liberal calling Condoleeza Rice Bush’s “house n***a” is acceptable, as is using digital blackface, but conservatives who say “tar baby” are hounded. The idea of “hate speech” is rarely applied equally.
Former Clinton adviser and current “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos mercilessly grilled Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards Sunday on a number of issues, including his numerous flip-flops when he was a U.S. senator.
At first glance, one would think that Stephanopoulos must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, or, given that there was a Republican presidential debate Thursday, forgot that Edwards was actually a Democrat.
However, upon reflection, recognizing Stephanopoulos’ ties to the Clintons, maybe this was a calculated attack on a political rival.
If you think this might be a stretch, just take a gander at the following questions asked by ABC’s chief Washington correspondent, and consider the last time you saw him or any other liberal media member grill a Democrat like this (video available here):
It's commencement speech time again at colleges and universities across America. Goshen College is one of the few to have already graduated its class of 2007, and CBS producer Greg Kandra took notice. Kandra plugged a speech by the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis* at Goshen College:
In the days to come, we'll be reading a lot of snippets from
commencement speeches. 'Tis the season. Some will be hilarious. Some
dreadful. A few will actually say something that make you put down your
morning coffee and think. This speech is one of those.
Print it. Save it. Share it. It's worth it.
So I'm following Kandra's advice. I printed it (should I buy a tree-offset too?) and I'm sharing it with you. Unfortunately it contains the usual liberal platitudes you hear in a college commencement speech. Here's a sample:
Many conservatives don't like Bill O'Reilly. He's an advocate for gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, believes in global warming, etc. Still, you have to respect the fact that an entire journalism department just created a "study" which accuses him of being the most vile type of propagandist, going so far as to compare him to a Nazi sympathizer.
You'd think that the Indiana University department has better things to be doing (how about teaching kids about real diversity and fairness in journalism?) than studying a one-hour show on cable, but there it is.
According to the gurus of IU, O'Reilly is eerily similar to Father Charles Coughlin, a Nazi sympathizer during World War II:
"In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and
less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin," the geniuses tell us.
I think the operative word is "this study." A more objective department might have compared O'Reilly to a myriad of other media figures such as Bill Moyers or Dan Rather who hardly present the news in an objective fashion, all while saying that's exactly what they do. Click past the jump to read an excerpt.
ESPN's Chris Berman likes to say "no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills." He might add "or the Boston Globe." Its editorial of today, A telling admission, heaps of paeans of praise on Marilee Jones, who resigned her position as MIT Dean of Admissions after an investigation revealed that she earned none of the academic degrees she had claimed.
The Globe quickly gets out of the way its acknowledgement that "no doubt, Marilee Jones did the wrong thing." But you'd hardly know it from the rest of editorial:
"I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago," she said in a statement, "and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." Admitting to that lack of courage means being brave enough to be oneself, even if one is short on credentials but long on potential.
She deserves credit for her straightforward apology.
This forthright admission stands in contrast to others who have denied, delayed, or justified. Last year, David Edmondson, chief executive of RadioShack, said he planned to stay in his job even after it was revealed that he had not earned two college degrees listed on his resume. Days later he resigned.
Jones has had to face her own messy truth. She has done so in a commendable way.
The Globe comes close to excusing others who tell similar lies:
Since the VT shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia, we have seen all manner of wild-eyed, anti-gunners come out of the woodwork to cynically use this crime as a chance to beat their gun grabbing drums. But, proposing that we send government Stormtroopers to smash down the doors of every home with a gun in it to confiscate their Constitutionally legal firearms is a step I haven't seen in a purportedly responsible newspaper. That is, until the Toledo Blade published a proposal for taking away our right to self-protection that included "Special squads of police" with unlimited powers to confiscate all guns. A hit squad that would traipse about the country invading homes at will and accosting peaceful citizens everywhere.
The author of this tyrannical proposal is Dan Simpson, who is described as "a retired Ambassador" and a "member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. " He is a former US Ambassador to various African states... which can easily be read to mean one who thinks government knows best, darn the citizen's rights, apparently.
Rod Paige, the first Education Secretary under George W. Bush, has a new book on the dangers of teacher unions, so you wouldn't expect a nice review in The Washington Post. Richard Kahlenberg of the "radical centrist" vogue at the New America Foundation argues that Paige can't find the nuances, and then finds Paige's nuances. First he argued:
Like his old boss, Paige doesn't "do nuance," even when given more than 200 pages to state his case. Granted, teacher unions are by no means perfect. As Paige notes, too often the unions protect incompetent teachers and resist efforts to pay the teacher who works long hours any more than the one who springs for the parking lot the moment the bell rings. But "The War Against Hope" does little to acknowledge the innovative proposals that some teacher unions have backed on those two issues and the positive roles they play in education.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
What happened at Virginia Tech today is not a "tragedy" in the way that tragedy is usually defined as being a sudden accident. No, it was a cold-blooded crime. But, the criminal action at Virginia Tech had barely finished before news sources began their meme against guns, those "permissive laws" controlling them and the "easy access" to them. All are common phrases used to attack gun rights and this incident is being used as a platform to launch that line of attack everywhere. It's as if, before the last victim was even cold, every anti-gun advocate in the country hurriedly warmed up their cars to race to their local media source to call for more gun control. The debate over this issue is perfectly reasonable, of course, but that the MSM would use this crime as a springboard for their attacks on guns so soon after this incident had been perpetrated smacks of political opportunism.
CBS News gives us the claim that it is "much too easy to get guns in the state of Virginia." And they assure us this crime happened because "there's no gun registration, no mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons. The only major restriction: a limit of one gun purchase per month." And, the CBS report is echoed all across the news media.
CNN reporter Christine Romans agreed, but then took the conversation a step further smearing drug companies in the process.
“And when you look at sort of the business plan, you look at what some of the allegations are in this – in this industry scandal, you see that these sound like drug companies. ‘Let’s get our representatives into the financial aid office, let’s give gifts, let’s get people owning stock, let’s get them on our boards, so that our student loan can be right up there, preferred student loan for students, whether or not it may be the best fit for students,’” said Romans.
Citing a new study that shows no statistical difference in sexual activity between kids taught abstinence-only sex ed and kids taught about contraceptives, the April 14 Washington Post presented the results as a moral and scientific vindication for critics of abstinence-only education.
In an April 4 blog post to "Couric & Co.," the University of Virginia alumna (Class of 1979) worries that kids these days don't know their way around the library, and hence will be up a creek when they drift into the college library cramming for term papers:
Many kids skip the library altogether and head for the store. Sales of
juvenile books rose 60 percent from 2002 to 2005. It's an encouraging
sign that kids value reading, but many tech-savvy kids never experience
the joy of using the library's shelves as a place to discover new
worlds. And students are arriving in college unable to navigate
libraries with a Dewey decimal system many have never used.
Of course, kids love books, they just need authors that know how to capture their attention. Katie knows this well, having plugged the heck out of Harry Potter novels repeatedly over the years. But it's the last line in the above excerpt that caught my eye about students being unfamiliar with "a Dewey decimal system many have never used."
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.
When it comes to slurring innocent Duke lacrosse players, New York Times sports columnist Selena Roberts is apparently angling to become the Amanda Marcotte of the New York Times. Even after the three lacrosse players have been all but formally cleared of the sexual assault of a stripper (in a case brought forward by a zealous local prosecutor Mike Nifong, to go on trial himself for ethics violations in his handling of the case), Roberts apparently thinks it was worth it in her Sunday column, "Closing a Case Will Not Mean Closure at Duke."
"University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."
While the University of Florida Faculty Senate's decision to deny former Governor Jeb Bush an honorary degree is, in the big picture, an unimportant kerfuffle, it is nonetheless a cheap and gratuitous insult by a group of malcontented profs who clearly don't appreciate what an objectively outstanding governor the President's younger brother was (previous posts on Jeb Bush's tenure are here, here, and here).
The linked Associated Press story about the honorary degree denial, and others I've seen, fail to mention how low Florida university tuitions are compared to much of the rest of the country. A quick look at that unreported part of the story indicates that what Jeb Bush may really deserve is a statue in his honor from Florida's taxpayers and parents.
Just one example: Business Week rated the top undergraduate business schools a few weeks ago (link appears to be free). Here are the rankings of the Ohio and Florida public universities on the list, followed by their respective annual tuition bills:
Oy, did Google's algorithims ever misfire. There at the top of my Gmail inbox this morning was an ad, which the Google wizards presumably determined to be geared to my predilections, for a book called . . . "Why Mommy Is a Democrat."
I suppose Google was right, in the sense that the ad piqued my interest, though the odds of my buying a copy of the book are as remote as Outer Mongolia. But let's have a look. According to the About page:
Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. . . this colorful 28-page paperback illustrates the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance and peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their committment to these principles and explain their support for the party.
Why Mommy is a Democrat may look like a traditional children's book, but it definitely isn't just for children. With numerous subtle (and not-so-subtle) swipes at the Bush administration and the Republican party, Why Mommy is a Democrat will appeal to Democrats of all ages.
Citing the investigator and one student who "says he trusted NYU, but now he wonders if his trust may have been misplaced," ABC's "World News" on March 18 attacked universities and lending companies and did not include representatives from either.
Anchor Dan Harris only presented New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's view that students are being taken advantage with the practice of preferred lending. Cuomo faulted schools and lenders for "illegal, deceptive business practices."
Harris did not include an on-air interview with any college, university, loan company or industry expert, rather he only said several major lenders "all denied wrongdoing."
Now, as a lifelong resident of the Free State, I can attest that Maryland is a fairly liberal state and it spends at the state and county levels in a fairly liberal manner. Today's Washington Post characterized Democratic Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's first budget proposal as detrimental to the county's public schools.
"Leggett to Offer Cautious Budget: 6% Increase Would Shrink School Request," read the headline to Miranda S. Spivack's Metro section front pager.
What makes the Leggett budget so cautious compared to the last one sought by his predecessor, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Duncan?
Perhaps because Duncan's last budget, Spivack noted, increased county spending by 9 percent. Of course both 6 and 9 percent growth rates for county spending well outpace the growth in the U.S. gross domestic product.
It turns out that the utopian dream, Wikipedia, has a problem. And I don’t just mean the consistent subtle, and at times, blatant leftward tilt. Wikipedia is an “open-source” encyclopedia—an online encyclopedia created by users instead of contributors who are chosen for their expertise. The idea is that “the community” can do just as well or better than the professionals. The anonymity of the Internet and the lack of oversight on Wikipedia means that all contributors may not be who they seem. A prominent and influential editor, “Essjay,” lied about his credentials and education, exposing one of the problems with the open-source encyclopedia model. (A Wikipedia editor isn’t the same as an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica; everyone who contributes material is called an editor) The New York Times describes who this Wikipedia editor said he was, who he really was and what he did:
I know print publications tend to move slower than online outlets, but this is ridiculous.
On March 6, The Washington Post featured a story by staff writer Darryl Fears entitled "In Diversity Push, Top Universities Enrolling More Black Immigrants." Fears found critics who complain that some university admissions diversity policies end up drawing in more foreign black students at the expense of accepting more black American students for admission.
That's old news to Cybercast News Service correspondent Nathan Burchfiel, who beat Fears to the story not by a day or a week, but one month.
See for yourself. An excerpt is posted after the page break. [cont'd...]
What is it about the New York Times where they can't stay above their talking points even when trying to interest the people in a higher level of political discussion and debate?
The Times was bemoaning the current sad state of political discourse amongst political candidates today (and rightfully so, I might add) in a story reporting the interesting extended debate between Newt Gingrich and ex-Senator Mario Cuomo sponsored by New York's Cooper Union Hall, the great room in which Abraham Lincoln first came to national prominence prior to his running for president of the United States.
There is a saying that is often bandied about by whites feigning what might be ridiculed as an American Black person's defeatist demeanor. It is used when whites want to make fun of the kind of attitude that assumes everyone in power is somehow out to get you. It goes like this: "I'm tired of the white man keeping me down." It's an eye-rolling proclamation, but it is one that many whites assume is inculcated in Black Americans all across the country. Of course it is an unwelcome stereotype.
It is a stereotype, however, that has been adopted as reality in all too real a sense by American Universities and is posited as a raison d'etre for wasting time and money on things like "Black studies" programs. The sentiment is replicated in "Hispanic studies", "Women's studies", and "Gay studies" in equal measures and with as much illegitimacy.
The (insert group here) is keeping you down so rebel against it. Be angry. "Speak truth to power".
This is a tale of two editorials. The New York Times this morning applauds a New Jersey court ruling holding public schools liable when they fail to take measures to stop the taunting or bullying of gay students. Coincidentally, a Boston Globe editorial today applauds a Massachusetts court ruling upholding the right of the Lexington school district to expose elementary school students to children's books -- such as 'Who's in a Family?' and 'Molly's Family' -- that feature same-sex parents. This was done pursuant to a state law law that "requires that all public school districts develop curricula advancing respect for diversity, including for gays and lesbians."
In the Bay State case, parents had claimed that their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion were violated, as were their rights as parents to raise their children as they see fit. The court disagreed, ruling that "options remain for the parents, such as private school or home schooling, so their rights were not abridged." Not only did the Globe declare the judge's ruling "reasonable," it opined that "the earlier most students learn [to 'respect difference'], the better."
Better get a trash receptacle handy just in case this turns your stomach: former Vice President Al Gore is rumored to be up for an honorary doctorate in climatology. As unbelievably reported by the Minnesota Daily (h/t Drudge):
Former Vice President Al Gore could pay a visit to the University [of Minnesota] in the near future to receive an honorary degree for his work in climatology.
University President Bob Bruininks spilled the beans at the February Board of Regents meeting, saying that "two of our colleges are working with Vice President Gore to provide, we hope, an honorary doctorate."
Amazing. This guy makes a science fiction schlockumentary creating unwarranted hysteria about an unproven theory, and an American university wants to give him a degree? You’ve got to be kidding?
Here is a refreshing change of pace. According to Editor and Publisher, New Mexico Radio station KSFR has made a new policy to eschew usage of newswire stories based on quotes from "unnamed officials" or other unattributed sources.
News director Bill Dupuy sent the following message to his news staff:
Effectively immediately and until further notice, it is the policy of KSFR's news department to ignore and not repeat any wire service or nationally published story about Iran, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia or any other foreign power that quotes an "unnamed" U.S. official.
What we have suspected and talked about at length before is now becoming clear. "High administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity," "Usually reliable Washington sources," and others of the like were behind the publicity that added credibility to the need to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq.
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus newspaper, Niner Online, reports that the Student Government Association is calling to rename the UNCC SGA complex, the "Colbert Complex" after the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report or as the SGA bill calls him, "the pillar of truth." SGA’s act explains why they think Colbert is important and why anything should be named after him:
Recognizing Stephen Colbert as a pillar of truth in a world of wavering opinions and television personalities, further recognizing Stephen Colbert's noble cause to educate and inform young people of current events and topical political themes…declares all rooms within Cone 369 (SGA Complex) to be officially named 'The Colbert Complex' on behalf of the Student Government Association to honor Stephen Colbert and spread the message of truth across the campus of UNC Charlotte.
In her latest "Couric & Co." blog entry to support quotas (oops, "affirmative action") and whisper "Hillary for President" between the lines, Couric cheered Drew Gilpin Faust, the new female president of Harvard and jeered outgoing Lawrence Summers. She also mourned the loss of feminist Harriett Woods, best known to political junkies as the Democrat who almost beat Sen. John Danforth in 1982:
Harvard, the nation's first university, is NOT the first to put a woman at the head of the class. Princeton, Brown, and Penn all beat Harvard to the punch. But nationwide, less than a quarter of colleges and universities are run by women.
Harriett Woods, head of the National Women's Political Caucus, died last week. She pushed to elect women and to name them to powerful positions. Bill Clinton once called her a "bean counter." But sometimes, bean counting really counts.
If you're a regular viewer of network morning news shows -- a practice I don't really recommend, we watch them so you don't have to -- you know that CNN's "American Morning" is particularly concerned about the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, CNN's top doc, Sanjay Gupta, lamented a lack of regulation on Internet "advergaming" to children You know, playing Spoons with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that sort of thing.
But this week, well, the crew at "American Morning" actually found it ridiculous that the makers of M&Ms have agreed to stop advertising to children. Not that they do much of that anyway, they just won't anymore, now that European regulators are breathing down their necks. And today, anchor Soledad O'Brien preached the virtues of moderation as she mocked schools that ban cupcakes. [cont'd...]
Brooklyn College professor Robert KC Johnson has done more than anyone except defense attorneys to expose the investigative and legal travesties of what’s really the DA Nifong Hoax case but is usually called the Duke lacrosse case.
Johnson hasn’t just taken on Nifong and certain Durham police officers who conspired to frame the players. He’s also called attention to those such as Duke’s administration, much of it’s faculty, and some media and “rights groups,” who by silence or active encouragement, have enabled the ten month long series of injustices that grew from the false witness made at Duke Hospital the morning of March 14, 2006.
The New York Times has been one of Nifong’s most consistent enablers.