Busted for Sex with Student and Sending Nude Pics, Connecticut High School Teacher Danielle Watkins Not Looking Happy in Police PhotoPosted: July 18, 2014
Danielle Watkins, a 32-year-old English teacher at Stamford High School, turned herself in Thursday on charges that she had sex with one of her students numerous times throughout the school year, sent him naked pictures of herself and gave him marijuana. She allegedly threatened to fail the student when he tried to put an end to their sexual encounters. Watkins has an unlisted phone number, attempts to reach her Friday morning were not successful.
Who’s Up for Another Teacher Sex Scandal? For the NY Daily News, Michael Walsh reports: Danielle Watkins, 32, of Norwalk, allegedly had sex with the 18-year-old male numerous times in her car during school hours, off school property from September 2013 until June 2014, according to the Stamford Police Department.
Police say they recovered 2,000 text messages, including nude photos sent to the teen’s phone.
At one point the victim tried to end the sexual encounters but Watkins attacked him and accused him of being with someone else, he said.
Watkins allegedly threatened to fail the student if they did not continue having sex so he waited until the school year ended in late June before telling a counselor about the predicament. Read the rest of this entry »
Jon Stewart Wrong on Israel-Gaza ‘I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.’Posted: July 17, 2014
It’s an asymmetrical war, all right. But America’s satirical news host has got it the wrong way around
Yeah, it misrepresents what’s going on here. But hey, it is funny, and all those millions of Americans who watched it on Monday know that it’s just satire, don’t they?
Except I fear that they do not. I think they take the very funny Mr. Stewart very seriously. Which, in this case, is a bit of a problem.
Why? Let’s take it joke by joke.
Our super-smart, engagingly frustrated host starts up despairing over a news report of the intensifying conflict which says Israeli troops are poised to invade Gaza, and which ends with the words “as the aerial bombardment from both sides continues.”
Stewart: “Tastes great. More killing.”
See, right off the bat, I’m unhappy. Because, first up, he’s begun with talk of Israel being set to invade Gaza, but without any cited reason — such as, say, Hamas being a terrorist organization with a notorious track record of suicide bombings, individual killings, kidnappings, and incessant rocket fire. And, second, because the implication here is that the combatants — Israel and Hamas — are both happy to be back killing again, and that’s just plain false. Hamas is avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel and holds to a perverted interpretation of Islam that claims killing Jews, Christians and non-believing Muslims is your guaranteed path to paradise if you also die in the process. Israelis, by contrast, would much rather live and let live. (We left Gaza unilaterally in 2005, under international pressure, hoping that the security risk would be worth it, and that we’d be rewarded with tranquility rather than rocket fire, but I wouldn’t expect Stewart to go back that far.)
Stewart: “Both sides are engaging in aerial bombardment, but one side appears to be bomb-better-at it. (Studio laughter at the wordplay.) Most Hamas rockets are neutralized by Israel’s Iron Dome technology, and Israeli citizens can even now download a warning app. (Cut to clip of Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer explaining how Israelis can know where and when they’re being attacked.) So Israelis seem to have a high-tech, smart-phone alert system.”
Let me see if I understand the point he’s making here: Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is, Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us. Read the rest of this entry »
Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem
This reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld’s abstract musings on “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”. But then, Zach Carter–The Huffington Post‘s senior political economy reporter–would have to know who Donald Rumsfeld is.
Mollie Hemingway rocks. Read the whole thing here.
Last week, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Zach Carter, who is The Huffington Post‘s senior political economy reporter. The interview’s purpose was to discuss Carter’s negative response to Hewitt’s previous interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney. The interview was lively and interesting but it did not go well for Carter, who was forced to admit his ignorance of the historical context of the situation in Iraq.
Looked at one way, the interview might almost seem like pointless point-scoring. In response to Hewitt’s questions, Carter admitted he didn’t know who Alger Hiss was and that he hadn’t read The Looming Tower. Those two questions are standard questions for Hewitt’s interviews.
…he was unaware that Bill Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998…
But then Carter said he hadn’t read various other books, such as Bernard Lewis ’Crisis of Islam, Robin Wright’s Dreams and Shadows, or Thomas P. M. Barnett’s The Pentagon’s New Map. He said he hadn’t read Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War but that he’d “read a lot of the stuff that he’s written for The New Yorker.” Filkins joined The New Yorker in 2011. He said he does not read politician’s memoirs, including Cheney’s or George W. Bush’s. That he was unaware that Bill Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998 or that Gadhafi had reportedly disarmed in 2003. He admitted he doesn’t know who A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistan bomb and godfather of Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, is.
“I give him credit for sticking through the entire interview.”
It’s such a display of ignorance that it seems almost unfair. But looked at another way, it’s simply a good interview where Hewitt seeks to establish Carter’s background and breadth of knowledge in order to help listeners know on what basis he critiqued Cheney.
“But it speaks to a larger problem we face with our media, which is that they frequently are not well read and, more importantly, they do not realize it.”
"He then asked the 31-year old Carter if he knew who Alger Hiss was. I've been on Hewitt's show before—he can be a fantastic interviewer, especially of politicians—but this was unusual."
Unusual? Call me old-fashioned, but let's not pretend Alger Hiss was an "obscure" figure in American history, an unfair "gotcha" question to ask of a 31-year-old college graduate.
Alger Hiss was a high-ranking U.S. State Department official and Secretary-General of the United Nations founding conference. He was convicted of perjury in 1950 after denying involvement in Soviet espionage. Hiss partisans and many on the ideological left for many years hotly disputed the jury’s verdict in the case, putting forward a variety of conspiracy theories. The overwhelming consensus among historians today is that Hiss was guilty.
Note: If history had revealed Alger Hiss to be not guilty, every child in America would be subjected to endless Alger Hiss Day classroom assignments, "Alger Hiss Day" would be registered as a national holiday, and there would be a monument in Washington D.C. honoring his noble sacrifice.
Back to Mollie…
I don’t mean to pick on Carter, who was a good sport. If anything, I give him credit for sticking through the entire interview. But it speaks to a larger problem we face with our media, which is that they frequently are not well read and, more importantly, they do not realize it.
My favorite line was when Carter was asked if he’d heard of George Weigel and he replied, “I’ve heard of Dave Weigel.”
Writing for a website called The Zinn Education Project, the teacher, Bill Bigelow, also manages to criticize American firework displays on the Fourth of July because “the United States is waging war with real fireworks around the world.”
“…Bigelow then gets to the real reason for his rant, which is to criticize American middle-school and high-school history and social studies curricula for not being sufficiently leftist or revisionist”
Bigelow claims that “U.S. drone attacks have killed at least 2,600 people in five countries, including as many as 247 children” since 2001. He also charges that the Iraq War began in 2003 with “shock and awe” – which is a lot like fireworks, sort of – and has created “seemingly endless internecine fighting.”
For Bigelow, it somehow follows, in the very same paragraph even, that “[t]he pretend war of celebratory fireworks thus becomes part of a propaganda campaign that inures us – especially the children among us – to current and future wars half a world away.”
While stopping short of telling a bunch of damn kids to get off his lawn, the obscure Portland, Ore. teacher further bellyaches that fireworks create too much noise, cause injuries, start fires and can even lead to lung inflammation. Read the rest of this entry »
[Below, ReasonTV talks with FIRE about challenges to free speech on college campuses]
“Universities’ stubborn refusal to relinquish their speech codes must not be tolerated,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff during a press conference.
An OU student’s rights organization, OU Students Defending Students, ran afoul of university administrators because he created T-shirts for the organization that featured a risque phrase “We help get you off”
For now, suits have been filed against Ohio University, Iowa State University, Chicago State University, and Citrus College in California. These universities have all trampled students’ free speech rights, according to FIRE. Read the rest of this entry »
“The framers believed that members of each branch of government would transcend individual political ambitions to vigorously defend the power of their institutions.”
After announcing that he intended to act unilaterally in the face of congressional opposition, Obama ordered the non-enforcement of various laws — including numerous changes to the Affordable Care Act — moved hundreds of millions of dollars away from the purposes for which Congress approved the spending and claimed sweeping authority to act without judicial or legislative controls.
A growing crisis in our constitutional system threatens to fundamentally alter the balance of powers — and accountability — within our government. This crisis did not begin with Obama, but it has reached a constitutional tipping point during his presidency. Indeed, it is enough to bring the two of us — a liberal academic and a conservative U.S. senator — together in shared concern over the future of our 225-year-old constitutional system of selfgovernance.
We believe that people of good faith can likewise transcend politics and forge a bipartisan coalition to examine these changes. In our view, the gridlock in Washington is not simply the result of toxic divisions. The dysfunctional politics we are experiencing may in part be the result of a deeper corrosion — a dangerous instability that is growing within our Madisonian system. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the deal:
1. In all states, shooting someone who is simply impeding you, shouting at you, and moving towards you loudly and aggressively (absent more), is a crime. The crime is called, assuming you shoot and kill the person, “murder.” (It could also be attempted murder if you miss, or aggravated assault if you hit and injure the person.) Yup, same crime as if the person wasn’t impeding you, shouting at you, or moving towards you loudly and aggressively (though in some states, it’s conceivable that if the person is shouting insults at you and that is viewed as “adequate provocation” — unlikely, but conceivable — you’d get lucky and get off with a voluntary manslaughter charge).
This is because “stand your ground” simply means that, if you reasonably believe that you face imminent death, serious bodily injury, rape, kidnapping, or (in most states) robbery, you can use deadly force against the assailant, even if you have a perfectly safe avenue of retreat. In non-stand-your-ground states, when you face such threats outside your home (and, in some states, your business), you can only use deadly force against the assailant if you lack a perfectly safe avenue of retreat. In no states are you allowed to shoot someone who is simply shouting at you or moving towards you loudly and aggressively, unless you reasonably believe that you’re in danger of death, serious bodily injury, or the other harms I listed. (When the person is coming into your home, in many states you can indeed shoot, but that doesn’t apply to confrontations on the public street.) Read the rest of this entry »
Want To Party Like A Rock Star For Three Years Of Law School? Graduate Programs.com Lists Top ‘Social Life’ Law SchoolsPosted: June 19, 2014
Law school is no walk in the park and, once you gradaute, the job market for attorneys is atrocious. When you get a job, the work is generally mind-numbing and awful.
If you are going to spend three years in law school and a hundred grand or so on tuition, then, you may as well have a damn good time for three years.
With this thought firmly in mind, GraduatePrograms.com has compiled a list of the top 25 law schools for social life.
Here are the top 10:
“The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military.”
For The National Interest, John Allen Gay writes: There was a minor kerfuffle in the press last week when reporters began picking through the academic writings of David Brat, the Virginian economics professor who bested House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary. Brat had written that “If you refuse to pay your taxes, you will lose. You will go to jail, and if you fight, you will lose. The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military.” That sentence, “The government holds a monopoly on violence,” was held up by a number of publications—the Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News among them—as a sign that Brat was some sort of extremist. Of course, that phrase is actually a rather standard definition of a successful government: that there are no forces in the polity other than the government that use force in an organized manner. Governments without a monopoly on the use of force have trouble providing the basic social goods of government—security, order, some semblance of justice—or protecting their citizens’ rights.
A MONOPOLY ON IGNORANCE
French writer and entrepreneur Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry was dismayed by the media misread of Brat’s remark, seeing the failure of professional political reporters to recognize a basic political-science concept as symptomatic of a broad and dangerous trend. He writes:
In the understanding of both the great Ancient philosophers and, taking after them, of the thinkers who gave us the Enlightenment and the intellectual scaffolding for our prosperous liberal-democratic society, including the Founding Fathers, democracy did not simply happen. Democracy depended on a robust citizenship, and this citizenship, in turn, was a struggle of all the men (and, now, women) of the polity; it conferred rights as well as responsibilities. In particular, two of the most fundamental requirements of citizenship were virtue and a liberal education.
Liberal education, he says, “helps make us free” by showing us “not only the empirical scaffolding of our Universe–a.k.a. science–but also its conceptual scaffolding, a.k.a. the ideas, concepts and history which shape the world we live in.” Erode that education and you’re eroding freedom, citizenship and ultimately democracy itself. When the political elite doesn’t know politics, that’s a sign that liberal education is indeed being eroded. And Gobry suggests that the erosion is only going to continue as America retools its education system to produce more science and technology degrees: “Nobody stops to ask what education is for, because the answer is implicitly accepted by all: an education is for getting a job. It is, in other words, for being a cog in the giant machine of post-industrial capitalism. It is, in other words, for the opposite thing that our forefathers wanted for us.”
Gobry’s remark that “democracy did not simply happen” is an understatement. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Daily Caller, Eric Owens reports: No fewer than seven faculty members and other employees at a community college amid the suburban sprawl of New Jersey complained after they were forced to sit through a faculty member’s rendition of part of “The Vagina Monologues” at a staff-wide event.
A sampling of the monologues on offer includes “My Angry Vagina,” “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” and “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could.”
School spokesman Jim Gardner said all full-time profs and administrators were “expected” to attend the end-of-the-year assembly, which was a celebration of the highlights of Mercer’s academic year.
One highlight of the gala event was a production of “The Vagina Monologues” on campus back in March.
“The Vagina Monologues” is a series of soliloquies designed to be read by women. Initially, playwright Eve Ensler performed the entire show herself. It is now common to have a number of women perform the monologues. Also, actors choose their monologues, so each piece isn’t necessarily used in a given production. Read the rest of this entry »
The provocative documentary, which hit select theaters on Friday, demonstrates in sad detail how American college students and their families are struggling to cope with tuition prices that have skyrocketed 1,120 percent in “absolute dollars” since 1978.
Rossi observed that salaries for bureaucrats ranging from incredibly cushy to downright obscene have been a huge factor in tuition increases.
“The increase in administrators and professional staff has far outpaced the growth of full-time faculty.”
– Director Andrew Rossi
Many college presidents now bring home seven-figure salaries, he noted. Read the rest of this entry »
For mindingthecampus.com, Mark Bauerlein writes: The thesis of my 2008 book, “The Dumbest Generation”, was that digital tools and media have become so prominent in teens’ and 20-somethings’ thoughts and acts that their intellectual and civic capacities are bound to deteriorate. While devices and social networks allow the possibility of intellectual and civic engagement, I argued, they mean something else entirely for the young, in a word, contact with one another, anywhere and anytime. Because of the anti-intellectual nature of peer pressure, the more they communicate with one another, the less they acquire historical knowledge and cultural literacy (of the non-youth culture kind), both of which are essential to responsible citizenship.
Moreover, I said, the lessons in school that might counteract digital youth culture were happening less and less. In colleges, for instance, U.S. history general education requirements have given way to some version of a “History, Society, Culture” umbrella which covers copious identity and diversity offerings, in part because my colleagues have lost faith in American greatness and feel that it would be chauvinistic and authoritarian to impose a core tradition of events, figures, texts, and values upon the rising generation. In high school, too, instruction in the Puritans, the Founding and Founders, natural rights, World War II, the Cold War, and other accomplishments of the nation has diminished, and when they are taught, the manner of presentation is often skeptical and critical, highlighting the sins and victims of the past. Students leave school feeling little pride in their country. The Gettysburg Address is just a syllabus assignment, that’s all. Youths complete their homework as quickly as possible, then get back to reading and writing the 3,500 text messages they rack up each month.
[VIDEO] Facing Rape Charge, Lusty Gym Teacher Accused of ‘Doing the Secret Handshake’ with Second Male StudentPosted: June 5, 2014
A 38-year-old (some reports say 39) gym teacher is accused of rape after allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old boy in the closet of her Queens high school, authorities say.
The teacher, Joy Morsi, was charged with third-degree rape and a third-degree criminal sexual act in connection with the alleged abuse, police say.
According to the criminal complaint, Morsi had sexual contact with the boy as many as 30 times over a six-week period last summer.
Police say Morsi was arrested after the boy told a friend, and that friend told a parent, who alerted school officials. Authorities say the 16-year-old student also has a sexually explicit video that is being investigated.
Universities are the least transparent of U.S. institutions, defending protocols more secretive than those of the Swiss banking system.
For National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes: Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.
[Order Victor Davis Hanson's book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]
For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism. But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs. Read the rest of this entry »
For Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, stumbled Tuesday over basic American history, crediting Thomas Jefferson for authorship of the Bill of Rights during a debate over the First Amendment and campaign finance.
“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.”
- Harvard graduate, Senator Charles E. Schumer
While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.
Indeed, Jefferson was out of the country, serving as minister to France at the time of both the Constitution convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights. Read the rest of this entry »
Wanna Wrassle? Queens Gym Teacher Joy Morsi Raped 16-Year-Old Wrestler in School, Second Student Comes ForwardPosted: June 4, 2014
For NY Daily News, Jill Castellano , Taylor Hintz , Stephen Rex Brown report: A Queens gym teacher accused of a year-long tryst with a teen student wrestler also bedded a second student, sources said Tuesday.
“We had a feeling that something was going on. They would always be together around the school.”
– Ninth-grader Josie Gonzalez.
Hours after Joy Morsi, 39, of Massapequa, L.I., pleaded not guilty to charges of raping the Grover Cleveland High School student when he was 16, two sources confirmed to the Daily News that additional charges were expected after a second student lover came forward.
“This case is particularly disturbing because the defendant is a teacher and schools should be safe havens for children,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
“I see them together all the time. It’s not like they were sexual and touched each other, but they used to hug and stuff in the halls all the time.”
– Bianca Racz, 18, a senior
The relationship with the wrestler at the Ridgewood school began in June 2013, when Morsi began trying to help him lose weight, prosecutors said. Read the rest of this entry »