Oversight Fail: U.S. Has Lost Track of Tens of Thousands of Foreign Students Who Came to Study Then Took JobsPosted: March 10, 2014
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t even consistently collect information or have the tools to monitor all of the foreign students who take part in the optional practical training (OPT) program, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report released late Friday.
“The problems with [optional practical training program] are extensive and serious. The report not only calls into question the department’s oversight of the program, but also whether such lack of oversight is a serious national security risk”
– Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican.
“The problems with OPT are extensive and serious. The report not only calls into question the department’s oversight of the program, but also whether such lack of oversight is a serious national security risk,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who released the report, said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Officials who run the Student and Exchange Visitor Program have deemed OPT to be a low-risk program, but the new findings suggest that may be wrong.
MSNBC Map of Ukraine Features Czechoslovakia
It’s not just CNN that’s struggling with broadcast disasters [see here] MSNBC is having trouble correctly identifying countries on a map. When defending and promoting the president, they’re in top form. But when forced by international events to set aside their priorities and cover the news, it’s amateur hour.
Free Speech Smack-Down Victory: California College Student Teaches School $50,000 Lesson on ConstitutionPosted: February 25, 2014
“What are the rules? Why are the rules tied to my free speech?”
– Student Robert Van Tuinen
“… if you’re going to start an organization like that you have to go through the rigamarole.”
– Campus Police Officer
It’s impossible to watch this video without getting mad. It’s a priceless document, capturing the most offensive and absurd violation of free speech perhaps ever recorded on the campus of a public University. The bureaucratic run-around given to this student by a Campus Law Enforcement Official, and an unidentified University official, is spectacularly, breathtakingly stupid. It’s heartbreaking to listen to their justifications, false objections, and rationalizations. More common than you might think. Blatantly illegal. Is this America? Welcome to modern Academia. Watch the whole thing:
Do these public servants realize they’re exposing the University to a lawsuit? This footage could be preserved as a training video for University staff members. Explicitly demonstrating how to violate a student’s constitutional rights. They couldn’t have performed a more perfectly-worded constitutional rights violation if they had a script written for them by a KGB public relations expert. Example, telling the student that there’s a ‘designated place..”
“…in front of the student center, in that little cement area,” where free expression is allowed…”
– University official
Here’s the legal victory story from Fox News:
A California college student who was blocked last year from handing out copies of the Constitution gave his school a lesson in civics and the law, winning a $50,000 settlement and an agreement to revise its speech codes.
Robert Van Tuinen, 26, settled with Modesto Junior College just five months after his run-in with school officials on Sept. 17 – National Constitution Day. Van Tuinen said he’s more excited about getting the school to revise its speech codes, which previously confined the First Amendment to a small area students had to sign up to use.
Robby Soave writes: If this Harvard University student got her way, free speech on campus would be abolished and professors with dissenting views fired, because radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy and the First Amendment is a barrier preventing modern colleges from fulfilling their proper role as indoctrination camps.
In a recent column, Korn unambiguously insisted that the university should stop guaranteeing professors and students the right to hold controversial views and pursue research that challenges liberalism.
“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?” asked Korn in her column.
The column’s subtitle was even more direct: “Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice.”
Cathy Young writes: The idea that sexual consent requires an explicit “yes”–one step beyond “no means no”–has long been the dogma of feminist anti-rape activists. In the early 1990s, when Ohio-based Antioch College incorporated this principle into its code of student conduct to mandate verbal consent to each new level of intimacy, it was widely ridiculed as political correctness gone mad. Yet policies similar to Antioch’s, though not as detailed, were even then spreading to college campuses across the country. In 1994, a senior at Pomona College in California was nearly prevented from getting his diploma because of a sexual assault complaint brought with a two-and-a-half year delay, in which the alleged victim admitted that she never said no but claimed that she never gave consent, which the college policy defined as “clear, explicit agreement to engage in a specific activity.”
Now, for the first time, this standard may be codified into law–not criminal law (as yet), but law regulating sexual assault investigations on college campuses. SB-967, a bill proposed in the California state legislature in response to the “crisis” of campus rape, would establish “affirmative consent” as the standard for disciplinary proceedings for sexual assault complaints. The bill allows that “willingness to participate” in sexual activity can be conveyed through “clear, unambiguous actions” as well as words, but also cautions that “relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.”
Five students were burned as they made hot chocolate in a cooking class at Northside College Prep High School on the city’s Northwest Side, police said.
[MORE PHOTOS: Hot chocolate 'explosion' evacuates Northside Prep]
“…I don’t know if you’d call it an explosion. The product was possibly over-heated to the point it bubbled over, it splashed out.”
– Chicago Fire Department Deputy Dist. Chief Patrick Brennan
The most seriously injured suffered received burns to her face. She, and the others, are all expected to be OK. Four were taken to the hospital, and one student declined treatment, officials said.
They go together—so long as the politics are left-wing
Adam Freedman writes: Mitch Daniels, the former Indiana governor and current Purdue University president, got himself in hot water back in October for giving a speech to a Minnesota think tank. Not that anyone objects to Daniels making speeches in general; indeed, it comes with being a university president. In this case, however, the venue for the speech was the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative organization. And in the eyes of Indiana’s cultural elites, that made all the difference.
The Lafayette Journal and Courier blasted Daniels for addressing the Center. Though the editors conceded that they didn’t know “the particulars of the speech,” they voiced concern that Daniels may have discussed what he had done as governor to “cut taxes and preserve state finances”—perhaps fearing that such talk would incite further outbreaks of fiscal responsibility.
[Order Freedman's book: The Naked Constitution: What the Founders Said and Why It Still Matters from Amazon]
As it happens, the speech focused on nonpartisan themes such as “how to deliver basic services effectively, how to bring people together across political lines, the importance of civility in public discourse, and the centrality of social mobility,” according to Daniels. Not exactly red meat for the Tea Party. Even after Daniels issued an apology for accepting the engagement, his critics weren’t appeased. According to Bill Mullen, a hard-left professor of English and American studies at Purdue, it was inexcusable for Daniels to use the “platform” of a public university to talk about such incendiary topics as “lowering taxes”—clearly a partisan endeavor.
h/t Dana Perino
People are truly insane. http://t.co/fE8jO0da7u
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) February 19, 2014
Meredith Powell in Custody of Her Mother: Boy-Crazy High School Teacher Accused of Rape Resigns, Surrenders Teaching CertificatePosted: February 19, 2014
The News Tribune‘s Debbie Cafazzo reports: Meredith Powell, the 24-year-old Lincoln High School math teacher charged last week with child rape for having sex with students, has resigned from her job and surrendered her state teaching certificate, according to a letter from Powell received by Tacoma Public Schools Thursday.
Powell pleaded not guilty Feb. 7 to two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
Court documents say Powell is accused of several acts of sexual misconduct with three boys ages 15 to 17, including kissing, fondling and performing other sex acts – some inside her Lincoln classroom.
She is also accused of sending inappropriate text messages and suggestive photos of herself to the boys.
…Gallup reported that 14% percent of adults between the ages of 24 and 34 – those in the post-college years when most young adults are trying to establish independence — report living at home with their parents. By contrast, roughly half of 18- to 23-year-olds, many of whom are still finishing their education, are currently living at home…
(AFP)—Americans are enthusiastic about the promise of science but lack basic knowledge of it, with one in four unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun, said a poll out Friday.
The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.
Nine questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score — 6.5 correct — was barely a passing grade.
Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.
Fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals.
Frances Martel writes: The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, released a statement this week urging university students to “refine your souls and to approach God,” but also to prepare for “cyber-war.” According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, the Ayatollah released a message urging students to “ready for such war wholeheartedly.”
The Mehr report includes a number of disjointed messages about self-improvement and the future of the nation, telling students that they should strive for achievement but never forget their duty to the nation. “You are the cyber-war agents and such a war requires Ammar-like insight and Malik Ashtar-like (two Prophet’s Companions in early Islamic history) resistance,” the Ayatollah’s message reads, “get yourselves ready for such war wholeheartedly.”
After bashing The Onion earlier, it seems they’ve unexpectedly redeemed their street creed…
BROOKLYN, NY—Acknowledging that the man’s right-wing views are more nuanced than one might expect, 36-year-old liberal Diana Hardwick confided to reporters Tuesday that her conservative acquaintance Brady Daniels is, quite frustratingly, not racist. “We got to talking about immigration, and I really wanted him to undermine his argument for stricter border controls by saying something disparaging of Latinos, but apparently his opinions are based entirely on national security issues instead of race—which is super irritating,” Hardwick said of Daniels, who reportedly describes himself as a “strong conservative” on fiscal issues but, annoyingly, exhibits no racial biases. “It would be so much easier if I could just write him off as a bigot, but as far as I can tell he harbors no resentment or disdain toward people of color. For God’s sake, we argued every issue from states’ rights to income disparity but nope, he didn’t say anything even tacitly racist. Not once.” Hardwick later concluded that her acquaintance’s opposition to most of President Obama’s policies meant he was probably “close enough” to count as a racist.
Poisonous Government Snow
Georgia isn’t good at snow. Two inches fell in Atlanta last month and, amidst car crashes and television parodies, snow skepticism was born. Georgians bravely took to YouTube, determined to demonstrate that neither matches nor lighters nor blowtorches (a disproportionate number of Georgians seem to own blowtorches) could melt that strange, white stuff that the government insisted was just frozen water. On film, the snow blackens, twists like plastic, and stubbornly refuses to melt.
Although entire Web pages are dedicated to debunking the chemical snow theory, the simplest way to deal with snow skeptics is to put the stuff in a microwave or on the stove. Spoiler: It melts. The blackened snow was caused by soot from the lighter, because butane burns inefficiently, and as snow turns into slush under a blowtorch, it only appears not to melt. Bad Astronomy blogger Phil Plait explains how the snow is, in fact, slowly melting.
The entire episode, however, brings up a good question: Who was the first Georgian to decide to burn the snow, just to see what would happen?
Adam and Eve? Superintelligent Beings From Outer Space
Now that even Bill Nye has weighed in on the debate about creationism and evolution, some of us would welcome any sort of common ground between science and religion. The ancient alien theory may offer a solution: Adam and Eve were extraterrestrials who traveled to Earth aboard a space ark piloted by—you guessed it—Noah.