The Left Loses its Mind Over Conservative Group’s ‘Professor Watch List’ 

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Trolling Success Level 100%

Annabel Scott reports: Turning Point USA, a conservative organization made up of high school and college students, has compiled a website database of more than 200 professors at universities across the nation that “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

“This list watches over us at our country’s darkest turning point, poised to inflame the tinder-dry, gasoline-soaked pitchforks of a mob that has just stepped boldly into the light.”

— Slate author Rebecca Schuman, hyperventilating at keyboard

The website, professorwatchlist.org, doesn’t list just any professo­r — TPUSA requires proof.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

“This watchlist is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations,” the website states. “While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported by a credible source.”

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“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo. This is, indeed, a turning point in our country, a time of fear unprecedented on this continent since the Second World War. Fear of being placed on a list, targeted as undesirable, and subjected to whatever happens next.”

— Slate author Rebecca Schuman

The website also says that TPUSA is not attempting to silence the professors on the list, but instead they are exposing “specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.”

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“The website has thin information in its entries and a less-than-smooth search function. That could be a reflection of how rapidly it was created to capitalize on the political climate, particularly after the election of Donald J. Trump as president.”

— Julio C. Pino, an associate professor history at Kent State

Since its recent debut, the list has seen no shortage of harsh criticism.

Slate author Rebecca Schuman deemed the watchlist “grotesque,” and called it “a stock agency for photos of self-satisfied young white people.”

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“If the professors are so scared of what’s going on in their lecture halls being made public then that is their problem, not ours. We’re not trying to prevent teachers from saying anything. All we want here is to shine a light on what’s going on in our universities and the response has been incredible.”

— TPUSA founder and CEO, Charlie Kirk, defending the list

“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo,” writes Schuman. Read the rest of this entry »


Most College Students Think America Invented Slavery

‘They are convinced that slavery was an American problem.’

Kate Hardiman – University of Notre Dame: For 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture.

“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America. They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.”

The most surprising result from his 11-year experiment? Students’ overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said.

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“They cannot tell you many historical facts or relate anything meaningful about historical biographies, but they are, however, stridently vocal about the corrupt nature of the Republic, about the wickedness of the founding fathers, and about the evils of free markets.”

“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America,” Pesta told The College Fix. “They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.”

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“Most alarmingly, they know nothing about the fraught history of Marxist ideology and communist governments over the last century, but often reductively define socialism as ‘fairness.’”

— Professor Duke Pesta

Pesta, currently an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has taught the gamut of Western literature—from the Classics to the modern—at seven different universities, ranging from large research institutions to small liberal arts colleges to branch campuses. He said he has given the quizzes to students at Purdue University, University of Tennessee Martin, Ursinus College, Oklahoma State University, and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

[Read the full story here, at The College Fix]

The origin of these quizzes, which Pesta calls “cultural literacy markers,” was his increasing discomfort with gaps in his students’ foundational knowledge.

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“They came to college without the basic rudiments of American history or Western culture and their reading level was pretty low,” Pesta told The Fix.

[MORE: Black studies prof says slavery ‘white people thing’]

Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define “capitalism” and “socialism” in one sentence each.

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[MORE — In defense of Prof. Saida Grundy: There’s a good chance she never learned black people owned slaves]

Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery than could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students— six of 32—actually believed Ben Franklin had been president. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Hidden World of Campus Conservatives

It’s a lot more tolerant than the critics say it is, argues Claremont McKenna Prof. Jon Shields. Conservatives have to hide in the closet, “until they get tenure”. Then they can come out of the closet, and it’s all okay. This demonstrates, according to Shields, how tolerant the climate is on college campuses today.

 


I GOT YOUR MUSCLE RIGHT HERE: Missouri Board of Curators Vote To FIRE Moonbat Anti-Free Speech Professor Melissa Click

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‘These have been extraordinary times in our university’s history, and I am in complete agreement with the board that the termination of Dr. Click is in the best interest of our university.’

Rudi Keller reports: Assistant Professor Melissa Click, captured on video calling for “some muscle” to remove reporters from a campus protest site, was fired Wednesday by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a prepared statement.

The board voted 4-2 in favor of termination during a closed session in Kansas City, with Henrickson and curator John Phillips opposing the move, UM System spokesman John Fougere wrote in an email Thursday. Curators David Steelman, Donald Cupps, Maurice Graham and Phil Snowden voted in favor of firing Click.

Click did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday. The board earlier voted to suspend Click with pay on Jan. 27.

“The board respects Dr. Click’s right to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protest or their views,” Henrickson said in the prepared statement. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”

The statement from Henrickson cited Click’s behavior at the Homecoming parade, when she cursed at a police officer who was moving protesters out of the street, and on Nov. 9 at Concerned Student 1950’s protest site on the Carnahan Quadrangle. Her actions at the protest site, Henrickson said, “when she interfered with members of the media and students who were exercising their rights in a public space and called for intimidation against one of our students, we believe demands serious action.”

The investigators hired by the curators reviewed videos, documents and conducted more than 20 interviews, Henrickson said.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Freedom of the Press Hall of Shame: Media Professor Wants To Ban Media Coverage

Sean Davis writes: After desperately trying to gin up media coverage of student protests at the University of Missouri, once of the school’s media professors is now furiously trying to “muscle” the press off campus to prevent them from covering student protests that rapidly spiraled out of control Monday.

Mizzou president Timothy Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday after members of the school’s 4-5 football team announced they would boycott team activities unless the school acceded to certain demands surrounding racial equality. Unsurprisingly, Wolfe’s resignation did little to quell the mob.

On Monday afternoon, activists who had demanded Wolfe’s resignation abruptly demanded that media stop covering their activities on the public campus of the taxpayer-funded university. At the center of those demands was Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media within Mizzou’s communications department….(read more)

Source: TheFederalist.com


Forbidden Words Update: A Statement from Washington State University President

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Washington State announces it will not allow professors to ban words they don’t like – thecollegefix.com

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University Thwarts Prof’s Attempt to Punish Students for Referring to Men and Women as ‘Male’ and ‘Female’

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PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University deeply values the tenets of freedom of expression for every member of our community, including all students, faculty and staff. Those First Amendment rights are reinforced in our policies, procedures and practices. Read the rest of this entry »


Washington State University’s Stalinist Thought Control: Professors Threaten Bad Grades for Saying Forbidden Words

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UPDATE: University Thwarts Prof’s Attempt to Punish Students for Referring to Men and Women as ‘Male’ and ‘Female’

Read Kat Timpf’s article at NRO.

Illegal Alien,’ ‘Male,’ ‘Female,’ Strictly Forbidden?

  • Washington State students risk a failing grade in one course if they use any common descriptors professor considers “oppressive and hateful language.”
  • In another class, students will lose one point every time they use the words “illegal alien” or “illegals” rather than the preferred terms of “‘undocumented’ migrants/immigrants/persons.”

Peter Hasson reports: Professors at Washington State University have explicitly told students their grades will suffer if they use terms such as “illegal alien,” “male,” or “female.”

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Welcome to Propaganda University

“According to her syllabus, students will lose one point every time they use the words ‘illegal alien’ or ‘illegals’ rather than the preferred terms of ‘undocumented’ migrants/immigrants/persons.’ “

Multiple professors at Washington State University have explicitly told students their grades will suffer if they use terms such as “illegal alien,” “male,” and “female,” or if they fail to “defer” to non-white students.

“Several other WSU professors require their students to ‘acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist’ or that ‘we do not live in a post-racial world.’”

According to the syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class, students risk a failing grade if they use any common descriptors that Breikss considers “oppressive and hateful language.”

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“Throughout the course, Fowler says, students will ‘come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions.'”

[Read the full story here, at campusreform.org]

The punishment for repeatedly using the banned words, Breikss warns, includes “but [is] not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and— in extreme cases— failure for the semester.”

“Streamas—who previously generated controversy by calling a student a ‘white shitbag’ and declared that WSU should stand for ‘White Supremacist University’—also demands that students ‘understand and consider the rage of people who are victims of systematic injustice.’”

Breikss is not the only WSU faculty member implementing such policies.

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“The socio-legal production of migrant illegality works to systematically dehumanize and exploit these brown bodies for their labor.”

Much like in Selena Breikss’s classroom, students taking Professor Rebecca Fowler’s “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course will see their grades suffer if they use the term “illegal alien” in their assigned writing. Read the rest of this entry »


Alan Dershowitz: ‘Forget about my standard or yours. By his own standard he is an abject failure when it comes to dealing with Iran’

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Exclusive interview with liberal lawyer and lifelong Democrat says Obama was ‘checkmated’. 

Paul Miller writes: The night the Iran nuclear deal was announced was a sleepless one for Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, utterly distraught by the terms of the agreement.

“People want to read about the deal. People want to be informed; they want to read the actual text of the deal. They want an informed judgment as to what’s good about it, what’s bad about it. There are some positive elements, but in my view most of the elements are quite negative and it virtually assures that Iran will get the bomb within a decade.”

“I got up and emailed my eBook publisher and said I have an idea. What if I do an eBook that could be out in time for the congressional debate? He thought it was a great idea,” Dershowitz explained in an exclusive interview with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. “He gave me two weeks to write it. He got it in eleven days.”

Fears of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon have haunted supporters of Israel and advocates of Middle East peace for over a decade, stoked by frequent public reminders by back-to-back regimes of the Islamic Republic that their goal is the annihilation of the Jewish State.

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“All of this has been said by Obama himself. When Obama first set out the red lines, he specified 24/7 inspections – we didn’t get that. He set out that Iran would never have nuclear weapons – we didn’t get that. He set out to end the nuclear facility at Fordow – we didn’t get that. He has crossed his own red lines at least three times.”

“This book took me less than two weeks to write and ten years to research, so I’ve been thinking about and writing about this potentially for ten years,” explained Dershowitz. “I wrote my first long article about this in 2005. I had my ideas and I’ve been following the deal very closely. As soon as the deal was announced, I read it and annotated it, and the pages appear as an appendage to the book.”

“The cynical theory, which seems to be supported by the data, is that once he was out of politics, that is, once he couldn’t run again and once the House and the Senate were firmly in the hands of Republicans, he was going to do what he always wanted to do and he was less than completely candid with those of us whom he told that the military option was on the table and that Iran would never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.”

Dershowitz explains that he has been writing and lecturing about the threat of a nuclear Iran for over a decade. He has discussed the 41Gl-0kahwL._SL250_subject directly with President Obama.

[Order Alan Dershowitz’s book “The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes? from Amazon.com]

Fifteen days after Dershowitz decided to write “The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes?. it was released on Kindle and the following day was the number one international Kindle best seller.

“The other theory is that he genuinely changed his mind when he saw that Iran had an opening for negotiations. And I leave it to the reader to judge which of those theories is true.”

“People want to read about the deal. People want to be informed; they want to read the actual text of the deal. They want an informed judgment as to what’s good about it, what’s bad about it,” said Dershowitz. “There are some positive elements, but in my view most of the elements are quite negative and it virtually assures that Iran will get the bomb within a decade.”

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“He took the military option off the table, and that was an extraordinarilynaïve and wrong thing to do because that allowed the Iranians to negotiate with us as equals. And I’m not the only one who has said this.” 

Dershowitz, who has been called by Newsweek “the nation’s most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer” and one of its “most distinguished defenders of individual rights,” wrote his latest book not just to educate the public, but to have it serve as a call to action with the hope that citizens will contact their representatives and encourage them to vote against the Iran deal.

“Many liberal Democrats I’ve spoken to believe we made a tragic negotiating mistake, that what we should have done was said to the Iranians: Look—You’re never, ever going to be able to develop nuclear weapons. That’s American policy, and we’ll stop you, whatever it takes.”

“I wrote the book, keeping in mind people I’ve known for years, Senator [Chuck] Schumer, Senator [Elizabeth] Warren, Senator [Ed] Markey, Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand, various United States senators, Democrats and also some Republicans,” Dershowitz explained. “Clearly I want to influence the outcome of their vote by engaging directly with the senators and congressmen, first with my own writing and ideas. Second, by encouraging their constituents to read it and write to them, call them and urge them to do the right thing.”

[Read the full text here, at the Observer]

He added, “This is not merely an academic book for posterity. It was designed to affect real policies in real time.”

Dershowitz explains that he has been writing and lecturing about the threat of a nuclear Iran for over a decade. He has discussed the subject directly with President Obama. Read the rest of this entry »


Professor Jessica Smartt Gullion Exposes REAL Agenda of College Gun Rights Activists: ‘Campus Carry Would Force Scholars to Give A Grades So They Don’t Get Shot!’

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Jennifer Kabbany writes: Jessica Smartt Gullion, an assistant professor of sociology at Texas Woman’s University, is actually arguing that scholars will be intimidated into giving students with concealed carry permits As so they don’t get shot.

“In nearly every state that has a Right-to-Carry law, as the measure was being debated, gun control advocates frantically predicted scenarios of Wild West-type shootouts in the streets.”

Suggesting students often get emotionally distraught over bad grades, scholars are at risk from gun-toting students…

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“This, of course, has not come to pass. Instead, modern America’s proliferation of firearms and lawful public carry have coincided with historically low rates of violent crime.”

…Gullion writes in a piece republished by Newsweek and the Houston Chronicle:

Texas college professors may soon face a dilemma between upholding professional ethics and protecting their lives. …

With this proposed law, a question coming up for many academics is whether they would be forced to give A grades to undeserving students, just so they can avoid being shot.

This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In my five years as a college professor, I have had experiences with a number of emotionally distressed students who resort to intimidation when they receive a lesser grade than what they feel they deserve. …

Allowing students to carry weapons to class strips off a layer of safety. Students are often emotional and can be volatile when it comes to their GPAs. Who would want to give a student a low grade and then get shot for it?

But the National Rifle Association quickly fired back, noting “Gullion’s arguments about heated exchanges escalating into gun-fueled carnage are similarly divorced from reality and logic.”

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“Gullion’s arguments about heated exchanges escalating into gun-fueled carnage are similarly divorced from reality and logic.”

“In nearly every state that has a Right-to-Carry law, as the measure was being debated, gun control advocates frantically predicted scenarios of Wild West-type shootouts in the streets. Read the rest of this entry »


Nick Gillespie on College Kids Today: ‘Human Veal That Cannot Even Stand On Their Own Legs Or Face The Sunlight Without Having Their Eyeballs Burned Out’

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…So when ’60s-radical-turned-Reagan-fanboy David Horowitz shows up at University of North Carolina to equate Islam with terrorism for the thousandth time, the student body gets the vapors, tries to shut him down, and creates the hashtag #notsafeUNC.

“But really, what the fuck is wrong with kids these days and, more important, the supposed adults who look after them?”

When a student publication prints a story called “So You Want to Date a Teaching Assistant?” in a special satirical issue, the whole run gets pulped.

“They act as if they are raising human veal that cannot even stand on their own legs or face the sunlight without having their eyeballs burned out and their hearts broken by a single deep breath or uncomfortable moment.”

When Laura Kipnis, a feminist professor at Northwestern, publishes an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education extolling her experiences sleeping with professors while a student, two current undergrads lodge complaints with the university’s Title IX office.

What does it say about the state of the campus today that comedian Chris Rock says he skips college tours now because today’s students are too “conservative”? He doesn’t mean that in a political sense. He means “in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘We Are Oregon’s’ Gender-Pronoun Alice in Wonderland PC Bubble: ‘Don’t Misgender Me!’

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Elle Mallon’s Additional Grievance Against ‘We Are Oregon’

 reports this puzzling, mock-worthy University-as-young-adult-nursery-school  update: Elle Mallon, who was the external vice presidential candidate on the Ducks F.I.R.S.T. slate, filed a second grievance against We Are Oregon regarding its response to her original grievance from April 3. Here’s how it played out:

March 29

We Are Oregon holds its kickoff event in PLC 180.

April 3

Mallon submits grievance against We Are Oregon for holding its kickoff event in a building with no gender-inclusive bathrooms.

April 4

The ASUO Elections Board rules that We Are Oregon broke the rules and as a result, it couldn’t campaign for 36 hours.

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April 5:

2:54 – We Are Oregon campaign manager Taylor Allison asks the Constitution Court to overturn the Elections Board’s decision, and We Are Oregon gets to keep campaigning while the Constitution Court makes that decision.

Allison’s appeal says that part of Mallon’s evidence was taken out of context.

6:21 – Mallon files a response accusing Allison of sexual harassment because she referred to Mallon as “Ms.” when Mallon identifies with the use of “Mx.”

7:30 – Allison apologizes in an email, saying:

“In every situation I’ve been in with Elle, Elle has said Elle’s pronouns were “She, Her, Hers,” including on the Ducks F.I.R.S.T website. With that information, I used “Ms.” when addressing Elle.”

April 8:

Mallon submits a second grievance saying Allison chose to misgender her. Read the rest of this entry »


Call Off the Meeting and Get Back to Work

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Maybe you’re sitting in a boring meeting right now, peeking at this on your phone. Don’t Just sit there! Get up! Walk out. Join the anti-meeting revolution!

Andy Kessler explains: I hate meetings. Everybody does. Yet Nancy Koehn, who teaches at the Harvard Business School, estimates that there will be 11 million meetings taking place today in the United States. Yes, just today. Maybe you’re sitting in a boring one right now, peeking at this on your phone. Not much consolation to know that millions of others are stuck in the same conference-table-shaped circle of hell.

“A 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average office worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings.”

Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in. That’s it. Someone has decided that a group needs to be informed about some new idea or process or scheme, and by the end of the meeting everyone has supposedly bought into this new vision of the world—one that, if you’re lucky, didn’t come with a 50-slide PowerPoint deck. But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.

“Meetings are supposed to be about discovery and buy-in…But meetings instead too often end up being about preening and politicking, and devolve into productivity-robbing, mind-numbing monotony.”

Given that the hours taken up by meetings increase when the profit motive is absent—a 2013 study by officebroker.com found that the average eat-peopleoffice worker spends 16 hours in meetings every week; government workers spend 22 hours a week in meetings—many companies have their own homeopathic cure for meeting madness.

[Check out Andy Kressler’s book “Eat People” at Amazon.com]

At Amazon, Jeff Bezos starts executive meetings with 30 minutes of silence and has everyone read a carefully crafted six-page report. That’s still a waste of 30 minutes. Some executives at Twitter and Apple set aside Mondays for meetings; the rest of the week is for full days of actual work. BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg is more lenient; he sets aside Tuesdays and Thursdays as “no meeting” days. Someone I met who runs a music startup bans electronics, restricts meetings to a single topic—and limits them to 10 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Buckley Birthday Bonus: William F. Buckley’s 1967 Saul Alinsky Interview

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William F. Buckley, one of the most influential figures in the history of conservatism, founder of National Reviewprolific writer and expert debater, stood athwart history, yelling Stop.

[Also see – William F. Buckley Jr: Conservative Icon – by  – Heritage.org]

But in yelling stop, he chose to engage with his ideological opponents, true to his belief that the American system requires a free flow of ideas in the intellectual marketplace.

[Celebrate William F. Buckley’s birthday with his tension-filled Saul Alinsky interview from 1967 – Read the full text at The Blaze]

To celebrate the legacy of the man born some 89 years ago today, we thought we would share the following video from the YouTube archives of Buckley interviewing “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky back in 1967 on Buckley’s “Firing Line” program.

Buckley attempts to cut to the heart of Alinsky’s philosophy, and Alinsky bobs and weaves around Buckley’s jabs, in a characteristically obfuscatory fashion.

In the video, Alinsky makes some interesting assertions…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] University of Tokyo Biped Robot Races Toward the Singularity at Record Speed

From JapanJun Hongo reports: A research team at the University of Tokyo has unveiled one of the fastest two-legged robots in the world that can reach speeds up to 4.2 kilometers per hour (2.6 mph).

While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »


When the Left Turned Against Free Speech

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The long, ugly journey from the Free Speech Movement to professors assaulting protesters

For Reason,  writes: On March 4, in a designated “free-speech zone” at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), associate professor of feminist studies Mireille Miller-Young walked over to a 16-year-old anti-abortion protester named Thrin Short and demanded that Short take down a graphic sign showing pictures of aborted fetuses. When Short refused, Miller-Young forcibly snatched the sign out of the smaller girl’s hands, then handed it to her students and walked away triumphantly. The rattled teen accurately accused Miller-Young of being a “thief,” to which the professor implausibly retorted: “I may be a thief, but you’re a terrorist!” Adding injury to insult, Miller-Young then shoved the protester and barred her from entering a campus elevator. Moments later, the professor and her students cut the stolen poster to shreds.freedom-of-speech-x

The story gets worse. According to the ensuing police report, Miller-Young maintained that she had set a good example for her students by acting like a “conscientious objector” to offensive hate speech that had “triggered” her emotions and violated her “personal right to go to work and not be in harm.” Many students, too, remained defiant about the assault long after tempers cooled.

“We, as students of UCSB, are in solidarity with Professor Miller-Young and urge our student body, staff, faculty, and community members to provide as much support as possible,” reads a petition submitted by “UCSB Microaggressions” that as of press time had received more than 2,000 signatures, dwarfing a rival petition asking for the professor’s ouster. “We do not condone the hate speech and media attention she has been actively receiving.” Read the rest of this entry »


Today’s Apps Are Turning Us Into Sociopaths

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Illustration: McMillan Digital Art/Getty

For Evan Selinger writes:  While I am far from a Luddite who fetishizes a life without tech, we need to consider the consequences of this latest batch of apps and tools that remind us to contact significant others, boost our willpower, provide us with moral guidance, and encourage us to be civil. Taken together, we’re observing the emergence of tech that doesn’t just augment our intellect and lives — but is now beginning to automate and outsource our humanity.

But let’s take a concrete example. Instead of doing the professorial pontification thing we tech philosophers are sometimes wont to do, I talked to the makers of BroApp, a “clever relationship wingman” (their words) that sends “automated daily text messages” to your significant other. It offers the promise of “maximizing” romantic connection through “seamless relationship outsourcing.”

Now, it’s perfectly possible that this app is a parody (the promo video includes bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and feminist voice Germaine Greer among the demo contacts), and its creators “James” and “Tom” didn’t share their last names with me. But my 29-year-old interlocutors — one who apparently has a degree in Engineering and Mathematics, the other in Design and Applied Finance — had clearly thought deeply about why relationship management tools are socially desirable and will be increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. Read the rest of this entry »


And the Obama Administration Wants to Identify, Isolate, Harass, Audit, Wiretap, Investigate, and Imprison that Remaining 7%

Percentage of journalists identifying as Republican falls from 26 percent in 1971 to 7 percent in 2013

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From “The American Journalist in the Digital Age,” by professors Lars Willnat and David H. Weaver

newly released study on American journalists in the digital age found that only 7.1 percent of journalists identified as Republicans in 2013, a sharp decline from 18 percent in 2002 and 25.7 percent in 1971. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Most Dangerous Monopoly: When Caution Kills

How the Free Market Can Better Ensure Safe Products

Everyone wants the items they buy to be safe to use or consume. Prof. Howard Baetjer of Towson University explains that when products undergo third-party certification processes to determine their safety, market forces are able to optimize the amount of testing conducted and consumers can use the information provided by certification firms to make their own decisions. It is difficult to say how much testing is enough: another test can always be run on a product, but at some point the benefit of the extra testing outweighs the costs.

In a free-market system, competition among certification firms allows the market to work as it should and prevents both under- and over-testing of products. Conversely, when the government holds the monopoly on safety standards, products are likely to be over-tested, delaying their entry into the market and making them more expensive. Sometimes the costs of such delays cannot be quantified; lives can be lost while life-saving medicines are held up in safety-testing processes. 

doyouevenliberty – runningrepublican

The most dangerous monopoly: When caution kills | LearnLiberty – YouTube

Read the rest of this entry »


The Death of the Humanities

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A liberal arts education was once a gateway to wisdom; now, it can breed ignorance and arrogance

Victor Davis Hanson writes:  The humanities are in their latest periodic crisis. Though the causes of the ongoing decline may be debated, everyone accepts the dismal news about eroding university enrollments, ever fewer new faculty positions, the decline in majors, and the lack of jobs for humanities graduates. Less than 8% of current BA degrees are awarded to humanities majors. The New York Times recently reported that while 45% of the undergraduate faculty at Stanford teach in the humanities, only 15% of the students major in them.

Of course, the numbers of humanities majors have been in decline since the 1970s. But what seems different today is that the humanities are less sacrosanct in the university. Literature, philosophy, and art are no longer immune from budget cuts by virtue of their traditional intrinsic value to the university. Either humanities professors can no longer make the case for the traditional role of their subjects or no one cares to listen to what they have to say.

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[VIDEO] In Memory of Actor Russell Johnson: “The Professor” Discusses His Favorite Gilligan’s Island Episodes

Full interview with Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson  “The Professor”  YouTube


The Outlaw Campus: Ten Steps to Reform

campus

The university has become a rogue institution in need of root-and-branch reform
NRO‘s Victor Davis Hanson writes:  Two factors have so far shielded the American university from the sort of criticism that it so freely levels against almost every other institution in American life. (1) For decades a college education has been considered the key to an ascendant middle-class existence. (2) Until recently a college degree was not tantamount to lifelong debt. In other words, American society put up with a lot of arcane things from academia, given that it offered something — a BA or BS degree — that almost everyone agreed was a ticket to personal security and an educated populace.

Not now. Colleges have gone rogue and become virtual outlaw institutions. Graduates owe an aggregate of $1 trillion in student debt, borrowed at interest rates far above home-mortgage rates — all on the principle that universities could charge as much as they liked, given that students could borrow as much as they needed in federally guaranteed loans.

Few graduates have the ability to pay back the principal; they are simply paying the compounded interest. More importantly, a college degree is not any more a sure pathway to a good job, nor does it guarantee that its holder is better educated than those without it. If the best sinecure in America is a tenured full professorship, the worst fate may be that of a recent graduate in anthropology with a $100,000 loan. That the two are co-dependent is a national scandal.

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[VIDEO] Are the Poor Getting Poorer?

People often say that “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.” Economics professor Steve Horwitz explains why in the United States, this characterization is largely a myth.

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Herpes Virus Found on Library Copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

50jpgJON DAVID KAHN reports:  Two Belgian university professors recently decided to submit the 10 most borrowed books at the Antwerp library to bacteriology and toxicology tests.

Traces of cocaine were found on all 10 books. The traces were small enough that readers would not feel the effects, but significant enough that they could test positive for cocaine.

But the real case of life imitating art was revealed when the scientists discovered traces of the herpes virus in the pages of the erotic tale Fifty Shades of Grey. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Disgraceful:’ University suspends prof who hoped for murder of NRA children

Katherine Timpf writes:  Administrators at the University of Kansas have suspended the journalism professor who suggested on Monday he would like to see the murder of the children of National Rifle Association (NRA) members.
Professor Guth has been placed on administrative leave.

Professor Guth has been placed on administrative leave.

KU’s chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, announced the suspension Friday morning, according to a local radio station, KMBZ.

“In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation,” he said.

“Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members,” he added.

And on Thursday the school released a statement condemning Guth’s tweet. Read the rest of this entry »


University Professor slashes anti-Obama student “free speech wall”

“As a First Amendment lawyer, I know at least two things: one, you have a sacred right as an American to insult the president in whatever colorful language you like, and, two, even some people who are very good about free speech in other contexts are weird about swearing. If you don’t think swearing is ever appropriate, please read no further…”

» Col·lege In·sur·rec·tion.