October 03, 2007

Failing Public Schools

Parents cannot always rely on public schools to do their job. Textbooks are tailored to please the largest customer, the liberal California textbook committee. Teachers, for the greater part, drop the ball further.

One of my son's history books had only three paragraphs on World War II but had enough room for two full-page color pictures showing Bill Clinton and Maya Angelou. Fortunately, my son had a teacher who put together his own curiculum with articles and research papers that he collected over the years and on the topics where the textbooks failed.

Many students are not as fortunate, as evidenced by this sample of ninety students tested in San Francisco high schools.

For class of S.F. high school juniors, WWII details are elusive

If high school juniors' answers to a World War II questionnaire were strung together, here's how history would look:

World War II took place in 19-something, when Theodore Roosevelt was president and the Germans claimed to be the best race.

Hoping to aid Third World countries, the United States joined the war to stop racism and end the dispute over Jews.

The head of the Nazis was a killer named Hitler whose evil partner, Mussolini, was president of the USSR. Ultimately, the war ended with the bombing of Iwo Jima and Hitler's suicide. Then a treaty was signed.

To make it worse, San Francisco city leaders never want to honor our military or teach that it has made people free throughout the world.

Parents need to be more involved and demand that their children get the education necessary to make livings and to learn history so as to avoid making mistakes of earlier generations. Education departments and teacher's unions need to start caring less about their power and more about "the children."

When will they start?

Posted by Woody M. at 09:50 AM | Comments (4)

September 12, 2007

UC-Irvine Enters Bizarro World [Updated]

The new law school at UC-Irvine hired a professor from Duke as its new dean, and then fired him a week later because he's a liberal. What a reversal from the normal ways of colleges. I guess they didn't want any partisans either.

Information and links can be found at UC-Irvine Hires, Then Fires, Chemerinsky as Inaugural Dean. Here are some of the comments which give information that you won't find in most articles.

As a UCI grad and Irvine resident, I'm guessing the Chancellor didn't know how thoroughly Chermininsky has placed himself in the public eye. It's not just that he's very, very liberal - it's that he's very very liberal every week on radio, in the newspapers and on TV.

"Since when did the UC system fire ANYONE for being too liberal?"
Uh yeah -- isn't that sort of like firing a basketball player because he's too tall?

His sponsoring of a petition opposing Judge Roberts appointment to the Supreme Court based on distortions of Roberts appellate record and smearing him by association for the clients he represented (which is ironic considering some of the cases that Chemerinsky has taken) was disgusting behavior.

Well, what goes around comes around. I'm sure that some good TV lawyer would be willing to take the case for him.

(Our buddy Celeste Fremon teaches at UC-Irvine. Watch out, Celeste. You might want to change your politics from the dark side.)

[Update]

Assignment: Compare and contrast how liberals and conservatives approach this firing. See Celeste's post titled UC Irvines New Gag Rule with additional emphasis on the commenters to look into the soul of liberals (if they haven't already promised them to the devil.)

Posted by Woody M. at 04:40 PM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2007

What's Wrong With Our Colleges?

No elaboration necessary.... Just consider the faculties.

Academics Give Millions to Put Democrat in White House
By Fred Lucas, CNSNews.com Staff Writer, August 14, 2007

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama received about $1.5 million in contributions this year from college professors and others in the education field, outpacing the party's front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who got $940,000 from academics.

Still, Clinton's near-$1-million second-place finish was almost as much as academia's total combined donations to leading Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. (See Complete Candidate Breakdown)

That many college professors and academics lean to the political left is no surprise -- 76 percent of their donations went to Democratic candidates in the first two quarters of 2007. But the volume of their donations is increasing, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which tracks money in politics.

"College professors and others in the education field have contributed more money than the oil industry and drug makers, with the nearly unanimous goal of putting a Democrat in the White House," the report said.

Continue reading "What's Wrong With Our Colleges?"
Posted by Woody M. at 10:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 09, 2007

Stay in School - It Pays!

Liberal lunacy is telling kids that the rewards of staying in school are not enough. Well, given the way that liberals have ruined a lot of schools, they may have a point.

It pays exactly $25 for Tucson kids to stay in school

More than 20,000 Arizona teens dropped out of the class of 2006.

To fight the problem, 75 students from low income families at Amphi High and 100 from Rincon high were picked for the new program.

The students will get $25 a week as an incentive to stay in school.

What happened to doing the right things without having to be bribed? Staying in school to make a better future for one's self should be reward enough. Next thing you know, there will be ten thousand kids threatening to leave school if they don't get the money, and then they'll want "pay raises" each year. Maybe they learned something on the streets that liberal advocates for schools don't understand.

Me? I want $25 a week to take out my trash. That should go over well with the wife. Besides rewards, there can be penalities, too.

Posted by Woody M. at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 30, 2007

Conservative Values - We Give Because We Choose To!

Dear Friends,

My daughter is a Teacher who uses and benefits from DonorsChoose.org, an amazing nonprofit organization that is a finalist in The Members Project. The prize is up to $5 million, and the outcome will be decided by votes of American Express card holders. If we help DonorsChoose.org win, all the proceeds will go to classroom projects in public schools.

This doesnt require money; it requires just 2 minutes of your time. You could impact hundreds of thousands of public school students by voting now for:

Teachers Ask. You Choose. Students Learn.

http://www.membersproject.com/Education/5630

If the registration/voting process is at all confusing, please see these simple instructions:

http://www.donorschoose.org/html/AMEX_voting_guide.pdf

And if you dont have an American Express , please take a few minutes to forward this message on we are up against some tough competition, but together we can do it!

The outcome will likely be decided by fewer than a hundred votes. Your vote now is essential.

On behalf of all the schoolchildren whom your vote will impact, thank you for helping this great charity at such a critical moment!

If you are a regular reader of GM's Corner, or even if you are not, and you carry American Express, go help, this could be a biggie.

Thanks

GM (it will only cost two or so minutes of your time.)

Posted by gmroper at 04:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2007

Easier to Fire a QB than a Tenured Professor

Tenure for teachers has outlived its usefulness and makes it nearly impossible to fire those who are incompetent or dishonest. Two-and-a-half years were needed to terminate Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado. Finally, the school administration did that, after it displayed its own incompetence by ignoring one of the major charges by misapplying the First Amendment.

Regents vote to fire Churchill (Selections)

BOULDER The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted to terminate controversial professor Ward Churchill on Tuesday evening.

Churchill touched off a firestorm in 2005 after an essay surfaced which he wrote shortly after 9/11 likening some victims in the World Trade Center to Adolf Eichmann, who helped carry out the Holocaust.

University officials concluded he could not be fired for his comments because they were protected by the First Amendment, but they launched an investigation into allegations that he fabricated or falsified his research and plagiarized the work of others.

So, Churchill couldn't be fired for his comments, which were protected by the First Amendment. How stupid can university adminstrators get? The First Amendment grants the freedom of speech. The government cannot arrest someone and charge them with a crime for speaking his mind. That's it.

However, employers are completely within their rights to demand that people who work for them to adhere to certain standards of conduct and to not involve the employer in their controversies. The greeter at WalMart cannot tell everyone coming in the store to go to hell without expecting to be fired.

Two-and-a-half years...but, the firing will be contested in a lawsuit, so it's not really over. John Rocker formerly with the Braves and Michael Vick soon to be formerly with the Falcons have learned that what one says or does in his own time can get them fired in less time. Even the former president of private Harvard University, found out what happens by issuing an honest statement--but, he wasn't tenured and offended the politically correct crowd.

Why are our leftist, ivory tower campuses so intent on keeping bad employees? When and how will tenure end?

Posted by Woody M. at 09:00 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2007

2006 Hero of the Year

This young man's bravery and sacrifice saved many others, but he has not received much attention and should. It's a great story to read and ponder.

Jeff May: 2006 Hero of the Year

Posted by Woody M. at 09:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2007

No Dentist Left Behind

I'm in favor of accountability in education, but there are other viewpoints as well, viewpoints that need to be considered. The following was forwarded to me by my beloved daughter Jennifer, a teacher of some experience and who has been "Teacher of The year" early in her career. Read it, think about it.

No Dentist Left Behind
My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups.

He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth.

When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.

"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said.

"No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"

"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice."

"That's terrible," he said.

"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"

"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."

"Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can't control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don't get to do much preventive work. Also many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"

"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. "I can't believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn't fear a little accountability."

"I am not being defensive!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."

"Don't get touchy," I said.

"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth.

"Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"

"I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'...I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.

"What's the DOC?" he asked.

"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."

"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.

The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"

"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."

"That's too complicated, expensive and time- consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line.

It's an absolute measure."

"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly.

"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."

"How?" he asked.

"If you receive a poor rating, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.

"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!"

"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."

"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children's progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."

I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senators," he said. "I'll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point."

He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I, a teacher, see in the mirror so often lately.

If you don't understand why educators resent the recent federal NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, this may help. If you do understand, you'll enjoy this analogy, which was forwarded by John S. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools for the Lancaster County, PA, School District. Be a friend to a teacher and pass this on.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:17 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

November 21, 2006

Latest Nutcase Teacher from the Left

For his third grade lesson on Thanksgiving, a teacher wore a Pilgrim hat and started taking pencils and backpacks from students claiming that those things belonged to him because "he discovered them." Of course, he believes that approach is better and "more realistic" than traditional Thanksgiving lessons illustrating that Pilgrims and Indians came together in peace and to feast for the purpose of offering thanks. Yep. Let's not teach our children the good lessons of Thanksgiving but rather teach them to despise our nation and view its origins and the white settlers as bad. Third grade is a good place to start beating kids up with that distorted attitude. Well, at least if you're from the left.

Hey, Teacher. Leave Those Kids Alone

Now, would he support adding another Thanksgiving message by having the kids scalp him and savagely murder his family? Not in the world of liberal PC. It's too bad that a voucher program to make schools compete is opposed by these teachers, but it's no wonder why.

G.M. UPDATE: From the news report cited above:

Chuck Narcho, a member of the Maricopa and Tohono O'odham tribes who works as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, said younger children should not be burdened with all the gory details of American history.

"If you are going to teach, you need to keep it positive," he said. "They can learn about the truths when they grow up. Caring, sharing and giving that is what was originally intended."

Mr. Narcho has it right.

Posted by Woody M. at 10:00 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

October 23, 2006

I know it. They Won't Admit It. Professors Push Liberalism.

Have you ever thought that college professors are liberal--and, that they push that view on students? If so, what made you come to that conclusion? For many of us, it was because of personal experiences in the classroom or tales of professor indoctrination from our kids. How accurate are these perceptions? Consider findings of this recent study:

"A Profile of American College Faculty Volume I: Political Beliefs & Behavior."

"Major Findings (Undelined emphasis mine)

"Faculty Political Ideology Is Overwhelmingly Liberal
Faculty at colleges and universities of all kinds in America are overwhelmingly liberal in their political ideology, creating a strong campus political culture. Categorized according to both self-identification and voting patterns, faculty are heavily weighted towards the Left. Indeed, those who identify as independents and moderates actually vote more like liberals and Democrats.

"Faculty Are Not Representative of the American Public
The majority of faculty are liberal and Democratic, and therefore the full spectrum of beliefs and political behavior of the American public is underrepresented on campus.

"Faculty Are Ideologically Critical of America and Business, Supportive of International Institutions
Faculty hold a certain number of beliefs that are pervasive, but not monolithic. They include:
Criticism of many American foreign and domestic policies.
Propensity to blame America for world problems.

Continue reading "I know it. They Won't Admit It. Professors Push Liberalism."
Posted by Woody M. at 09:40 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

October 17, 2006

The Sissification of American Kids by Educators

As a kid, I played tag, football, and other contact sports--and, I lived. So what? Well, according to this article and film clip , the people who run the public schools in Attleboro, Mass. think that these games for kids should be forbidden because of safety risks--and lawyers, who seem to ruin a lot of things. But, my gripe here is with the boards of education that deal in such silliness. It's not just Addleboro, but here are others:

Santa Monica, Calif: "The principal said children playing tag suffered both physical and emotional injuries." Emotional? He means self-esteem. If someone tries to win, then he's hurting someone else's self-esteem and is bad, bad, bad. No competition allowed. Here's more.

Cheyenne, Wyo, Wichita, Kan.; San Jose, Calif.; Beaverton, Ore., Rancho Santa Fe., Calif., ...: "The bans were passed in the name of safety, but some children's health advocates say limiting exercise and free play can inhibit a child's development. ...Critics of the bans say playing freely helps kids learn to negotiate rules and resolve disputes."

Spokane, Wash.: Principle (sic) Terren Roloff told Fox News she chose to ban tag because it encourages victimization and students are encouraged to play. ...The National Association of School Psychology agress with Roloff, and other schools have been banning tag as well."

Sacramento, Calif: "Concerned about safety and injuries and worried about bullying, violence, self-esteem and lawsuits, school officials have clamped down on the traditional games from years past. ...At Natomas Park...yard supervisor Janice Hudson spotted a first-grader pushing a girl on the swing. 'Do not push,' Hudson told the student. 'Let her push herself, please.'"

Silver Spring, MD: "The school had been cracking down on those games at recess because, as Principal Doris Jennings explained, 'Body contact is inappropriate for recess activities.'"

Or, you can read a study that influences these school decisions. Neil Williams, chair of the health and physical education department at Eastern Connecticut State University, has compiled and updates "The Physical Education Hall of Shame" list of recess activities that he feels are inappropriate.
"The Physical Education Hall of Shame was established to identify certain activity programs or games which, although physically demanding, do not contribute to the development of motor, cognitive, and affective skills of the students. Such meaningless activities have limited physical activity time, promote minimal participation, embarrass students in front of their classmates and are primarily concerned with having fun. Line Soccer, Red Rover, Simon Says, Spud, Tag and Messy Back Yard are examples of such activities."
Well, we can't have games "primarily concerned with having fun," can we? His list also adds Dodge Ball, Duck Duck Goose, Kick Ball, Musical Chairs, and Steal the Bacon, the last of which I think is a game for inner city school kids.

Many of these schools banning tag are in Massachusetts and California, which are trying to overtake France as the land with the most weenies. Instead of exercising, maybe kids could take up some other activity that is non-contact, like target shooting, walking over to McDonald's to eat and hang out, or playing video games. Those are non-contact, so they might be good.

The education establishment is getting worse and more out-of-touch with the real world, desires of parents, and the best interests of the kids.

Posted by Woody M. at 08:00 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

August 22, 2006

School Assignment-Teaches Freedom or the Left is Nuts?

Imagine that you're back in school. A teacher wants you to write a paper on freedom of speech. That sounds patriotic. As inspiration, images of Patrick Henry come into your head. Well what was the inspiration that a middle school teacher gave his classes?

A Stuart Middle School teacher has been removed from the classroom after he burned two American flags in class during a lesson on freedom of speech.... Dan Holden, who teaches seventh-grade social studies, burned small flags in two different classes Friday and asked students to write an opinion paper about it.

How did the students react?

A sixth-grader said students were abuzz about the incident yesterday. "They just can't believe that a teacher would do that -- burn two American flags in front of the class. A teacher shouldn't do that, even though it was an example."

How did their parents react?

(A student told her father), 'Our teacher burned a flag.' I'm like, 'What?' " (her father) said. "When I was (at the school) at 8 a.m., the lobby was filled with probably 25 or 30 parents" who were upset, he said.

How did the ACLU react?

"...if a school is masking their objections to flag burning under the guise of safety, it raises questions about freedom of speech and academic freedom."

How did the teacher's union react?

"It was not a political statement and was meant to illustrate a controversial issue. To fire someone because of that would be inappropriate. It wasn't like he was taking one side or another."

How did the PTA President react?

...parents who called for Holden to be fired were "going a little bit overboard."

How does one school board member react?

...the flag burning was unnecessary and could have offended some students, including those in military families. "A teacher doesn't do that. It's just disrespectful." (Do you think? At least someone has some sense.)

How do you react?

Do we abandon hope for public schools?

Posted by Woody M. at 06:10 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2006

What Took So Long?

...but, appeals still exist.

Follow the history of leftist professor Ward Churchill from The Denver Channel in its story (excerpts below) through chronolgical links under that which start in January, 2005.

The University of Colorado announced Monday that it will dismiss controversial professor Ward Churchill.

"Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder," CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Monday afternoon.

Churchill, who ignited a firestorm by calling some of the World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns" in an essay he wrote after Sept. 11, 2001, has vowed to sue the school if he was fired.

How many chances of lying and insubordination would your employer give you? It's about time that he got kicked off of the reservation.

Posted by Woody M. at 08:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

What Took So Long?

...but, appeals still exist.

Follow the history of leftist professor Ward Churchill from The Denver Channel in its story (excerpts below) through chronolgical links under that which start in January, 2005.

The University of Colorado announced Monday that it will dismiss controversial professor Ward Churchill.

"Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder," CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Monday afternoon.

Churchill, who ignited a firestorm by calling some of the World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns" in an essay he wrote after Sept. 11, 2001, has vowed to sue the school if he was fired.

How many chances of lying and insubordination would your employer give you? It's about time that he got kicked off of the reservation.

Posted by Woody M. at 08:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2006

NCLB: Teachers, Either Buy In or Get Out of the Way

As mentioned in a recent post, schools are cheating on statistics about the performance of their students as related to the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, to no one's surprise, we find this:

AP Poll: Teachers Dubious of 'No Child'

Teachers are far more pessimistic than parents about getting every student to succeed in reading and math as boldly promised by the No Child Left Behind Act. That's left a huge expectations gap between the two main sets of adults in children's lives.

An AP-AOL Learning Services Poll found nearly eight in 10 parents are confident their local schools will have students up to state standards by the 2013-14 school year target. Yet only half of teachers are confident the kids in their schools will meet that deadline.

Many teachers, along with their unions, need to support reforms for the program to work. Yet, we see them throwing obstacles in the way of attempts to make schools better and trying to downplay expectations. If the teachers refuse to "buy-in," then they are not acting as team players but as selfish government workers fighting accountability for their performance.

Our kids and our students deserve teachers who are dedicated to success for them rather than mediocrity and status quo for themselves. Maybe we need to speed up competition and allow vouchers for schools that will meet superior goals and are committed to student success. The failing schools can continue to teach liberals, who show no hope for learning.

Posted by Woody M. at 08:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2006

No Child Left Behind - Unless Educators Cheat on Tests

Do educators care more about teaching or in making it easy on themselves? Check this. The No Child Left Behind Act attempts to make sure that children of all races get a good education by monitoring their academic progress. Yet, school systems are cheating by changing the grades on their report cards by not counting the very students that the No Child Left Behind Act is trying to help.

States Omitting Minorities' Test Scores

An Associated Press computer analysis has found....nearly 2 million children whose scores aren't counted when it comes to meeting the law's requirement that schools track how students of different races perform on standardized tests. ...And minorities — who historically haven't fared as well as whites in testing — make up the vast majority of students whose scores are excluded.

Schools receiving federal poverty aid also must demonstrate annually that students in all racial categories are progressing or risk penalties that include extending the school year, changing curriculum or firing administrators and teachers.

To the lazy left, having a protected easy career is the purpose of public schools. It is so important that they cheat on their own tests and fight accountability. There is an all out effort by teachers unions and liberal school boards to fight the purposes of the NCLB Act. They don't want a system that proves what poor jobs they are doing and that might make them work or leave. Who do their efforts help? Bad teachers. Who do their efforts hurt? Students with greater needs.

So, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to see what is going on in the school system of your own child? Are you going to contact editors, school boards, and Congressmen: or, will you sit back and expect others to do it? The left is waging an all-out war against accountability and deflecting expectations by parents and conservatives. It's time to call their hand and expose them. "No-count" teachers should be gone and "no-count" school systems need changes. Students and taxpayers deserve better.

We can start by counting everyone...or, to paraphrase the left on another issue, every student counts, so count every student.

Posted by Woody M. at 11:00 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

March 06, 2006

Academic Reform -- Can We Trust the Professors?

I've never suggested reading an op-ed from "The New York Times"-until now. And, I'm doing this because an op-ed contributor got something right rather than half-cocked in the wrong direction. What's even more scary to me is that I even agree with a statement in the article by radical Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The issue has to do with problems in the field of academics--partly about the forced resignation of Harvard University's President Lawrence H. Summers, who was tarred and feathered by liberal professors, and it has to do with the future of who runs our universities. The current crisis should force academe to re-assess and reform itself--but it likely will not. If not, maybe contributors to the university might re-assess where their money goes and maybe someone else will step up to the plate to reform out-of-control professors. Here are selected passages from the article, but be sure to read all of it to get the full message from an excellent piece.

Academic, Heal Thyself
The New York Times, 03/06/06
By Camille Paglia, Op-Ed Contributor and
University Professor, University of the Arts in Philadelphia

What went wrong at Harvard?

...Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary, assumed the presidency with a high sense of mission. ...But whatever his good intentions, Mr. Summers often inspired more heat than light. His stellar early career as an economics professor did not prepare him for dealing with an ingrown humanities faculty that has been sunk in political correctness for decades. As president, he had a duty to research the tribal creeds and customs of those he wished to convert. Foolishly thinking plain speech and common sense would suffice, he flunked Academic Anthropology 101.

...(T)he controversy that will inevitably symbolize his presidency was the manufactured outcry early last year over his glancing reference at a conference to possible innate differences between the sexes in aptitude for science and math. The feminist pressure groups rose en masse from their lavishly feathered nests and set up a furious cackle that led to a 218-to-185 vote of no confidence by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last March.

...Mr. Summers's strategic blunders unfortunately took the spotlight off entrenched political correctness and changed the debate to academic power: who has it, and how should it be exercised?

...It now remains to be seen whether Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences is capable of self-critique. Will its members acknowledge their own insularity and excesses, or will they continue down the path of smug self-congratulation and vanity? Harvard's reputation for disinterested scholarship has been severely gored by the shadowy manipulations of the self-serving cabal who forced Mr. Summers's premature resignation.

...If Harvard cannot correct itself in this crisis, it will signal that academe cannot be trusted to reform itself from within.

Unfortunately, I'm betting that the faculty will only get worse from this "victory." In one divergence from the writer, I don't even want them or trust them to reform and keep power. They've had their chance and it's been too long. Maybe it's time to take away the somewhat phony and over-used "academic freedom" shield and make professors responsible for their words and actions. Maybe it's time to dismantle tenure and make them earn their jobs like we do. If you do a good job, you can come back the next day. If you don't, then you're gone...and, you don't get an extra year and a big pay-off like Chief Ward Churchill did from Colorado.

But, what's the first step and who is willing to take it? Who will have the nerve after this?

Posted by Woody at 09:30 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

February 15, 2006

Marine Ace Who Downed 28 Enemy Planes Is Downed Himself by Snot-Nosed College Student

It's so typical. University students get infected with academic liberalism and take great pride and glee at attacking and destroying the memory, reputation, and heroic deeds of our military. The latest victim at the hands of the left was a military hero for whom a memorial was proposed by the student senate at the University of Washington. Here are the credentials of this hero. Can you guess his name before I reach the end? ...Medal of Honor winner, Navy Cross recipient, Purple Heart recipient (won honestly, John Kerry), World War II Marine combat pilot hero, destroyed twenty-eight Japanese aircraft, survived Japanese POW camp, and a graduate of the university snubbing him. Who is he? Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of the famed Blacksheep Squadron

Neal Boortz had an excellent entry on this matter, which was covered by the WorldNetDaily. The complete discussion by the students is documented by a copy of the 02/07/2006 minutes of the Washington student senate meeting. Here is part of Boortz's article.

Under old business there was a discussion of a resolution calling for a tribute to Pappy Boyington. Student senate member Jill Edwards immediately moved to table the resolution. She wanted other issues to be considered. Another member said that the issue was at the top of the agenda and should be dealt with. Jill's motion failed, but she wasn't through. There was then some discussion on why Andrew Everett, another student senate member, wanted the memorial. Everett responded that Colonel Boyington "had many of the qualities the University of Washington hoped to produce in its students." Well, I guess that might be true, if leadership and courage are considered to be good qualities. Anyway ... that's when Jill Edwards spoke up and showed her true colors. She questioned whether it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. Then the lovely Jill Edwards said that a member of the Marine Corps was not an example of the sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce. By the way .. there's at least one more moonbat on the U of W student senate. Her name is Ashley Miller. Ashley says that there are already enough monuments at UW commemorating "rich white men." Well .. I guess you have to get that wealth-envy stuff in there somewhere.

(Note: Boyington was not rich and, in addition, he was part Sioux, according to the discussion at Paradosis, of which the writer personally knew the man.)

Boyington Grave.jpg

Lasting Memorial for Denounced "Person Who Killed Other People"

How pathetic of the student representatives at the University of Washington. How pathetic and typical of the arrogant and unappreciative attitudes of those in college academics. Maybe the next time that they want protection from our enemies or terrorists, they can find someone who can stop the attackers without killing them. Maybe one day they will learn that war is fought with bullets and not college text books.

Posted by Woody at 09:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Marine Ace Who Downed 28 Enemy Planes Is Downed Himself by Snot-Nosed College Student

It's so typical. University students get infected with academic liberalism and take great pride and glee at attacking and destroying the memory, reputation, and heroic deeds of our military. The latest victim at the hands of the left was a military hero for whom a memorial was proposed by the student senate at the University of Washington. Here are the credentials of this hero. Can you guess his name before I reach the end? ...Medal of Honor winner, Navy Cross recipient, Purple Heart recipient (won honestly, John Kerry), World War II Marine combat pilot hero, destroyed twenty-eight Japanese aircraft, survived Japanese POW camp, and a graduate of the university snubbing him. Who is he? Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of the famed Blacksheep Squadron

Neal Boortz had an excellent entry on this matter, which was covered by the WorldNetDaily. The complete discussion by the students is documented by a copy of the 02/07/2006 minutes of the Washington student senate meeting. Here is part of Boortz's article.

Under old business there was a discussion of a resolution calling for a tribute to Pappy Boyington. Student senate member Jill Edwards immediately moved to table the resolution. She wanted other issues to be considered. Another member said that the issue was at the top of the agenda and should be dealt with. Jill's motion failed, but she wasn't through. There was then some discussion on why Andrew Everett, another student senate member, wanted the memorial. Everett responded that Colonel Boyington "had many of the qualities the University of Washington hoped to produce in its students." Well, I guess that might be true, if leadership and courage are considered to be good qualities. Anyway ... that's when Jill Edwards spoke up and showed her true colors. She questioned whether it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. Then the lovely Jill Edwards said that a member of the Marine Corps was not an example of the sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce. By the way .. there's at least one more moonbat on the U of W student senate. Her name is Ashley Miller. Ashley says that there are already enough monuments at UW commemorating "rich white men." Well .. I guess you have to get that wealth-envy stuff in there somewhere.

(Note: Boyington was not rich and, in addition, he was part Sioux, according to the discussion at Paradosis, of which the writer personally knew the man.)

Boyington Grave.jpg

Lasting Memorial for Denounced "Person Who Killed Other People"

How pathetic of the student representatives at the University of Washington. How pathetic and typical of the arrogant and unappreciative attitudes of those in college academics. Maybe the next time that they want protection from our enemies or terrorists, they can find someone who can stop the attackers without killing them. Maybe one day they will learn that war is fought with bullets and not college text books.

Posted by Woody at 09:50 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (1)

November 22, 2005

First Amendment Charade? Warren County Community College Stoops To Silence Student UPDATED

Remember this post from only forty four hours ago? College "Teacher" in N.J. Urges Fragging of Officers In Iraq Now, forty four hours is not a lot of time, not even two full days. Yet, that is all the time it took for Dr. William Austin, President of Warren Community College to trounce the free speech rights of Rebecca Beach.

rebecca beach.jpg
Rebecca Beach

A little background if I may. As I previously recounted, Rebecca sent out an e-mail urging professors at her community college to support an appearance by Lt. Col Scott Rutter who was going to speak about what is going on in Iraq. Needless to say, there would have been some truth telling there, not the hidden agenda of the MSM. But, Mr. Daly didn't see it that way. His full e-mail to Ms. Beach is here:

Dear Rebecca:

I am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. Your main poster "Communism killed 100,000,000" is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that CAPITALISM has killed many more and the evidence for that can be seen in the daily news papers. The U.S. government can fly to dominate the people of Iraq in 12 hours, yet it took them five days to assist the people devastated by huricane [sic] Katrina. Racism and profits were key to their priorities. Exxon, by the way, made $9 Billion in profits this last quarter--their highest proft [sic] margin ever. Thanks to the students of WCCC and other poor and working class people who are recruited to fight and die for EXXON and other corporations who [sic] earning megaprofits [sic] from their imperialist plunders. If you want to count the number of deaths based on political systems, you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war. Or the million African American people who died from lack of access to healthcare in the US over the last 10 years.

I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your [sic] won't dare show their face [sic] on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs--such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.

Prof. John Daly

(This guy is an English Professor, and he can't spell "Hurricane Katrina," or "profit" or "mega-profits?") Full Disclosure: I'm a lousy speller, but then I'm not an English Professor either.

"Real Freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes..." this was bad enough, now, Dr. Austin, a man who should certainly understand the difference between free speech and shouting fire in a theater (or urging soldiers to shoot their superiors as the case may be) and yet, Dr. Austin

said Prof. John Daly has “first amendment rights” to harass Rebecca. Furthermore, the President is trying to bully Rebecca into silence. He said Rebecca, not Prof. John Daly, is ruining the college’s name by going on talk radio and television exposing Daly’s mean spirited email. [From Young America's Foundation website]
Now, this is to my way of thinking totally outrageous and despicable. How in the heck can a College President, no less, claim that a student's rights are trumped by a professors right. I'm not saying that the so-called professor (hmm, from the root profess meaning: To practice as a profession or claim knowledge of: profess medicine. To teach (a subject) as a professor: profess literature. ) doesn't have the right to share with Ms. Beach his thoughts about her organization, her claims, his claims or his beliefs. He does not have the right to suborn murder, he does not have the right to intimidate a student. Daly's own words are his conviction in any court of common sense:
I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus."
What, do you imagine, would be the MSM, leftist, ACLU-ish outcry if that had come from a conservative professor towards a liberal student?

Daly and Austin should be drummed out of the college, not because of their expression of first amendment rights, but because they have tried to trash the first amendment rights of a student, one that they are required to inculcate civil discourse, respect for others, and yes, diversity of thought. For shame Mr. Daly, Dr. Austin, for shame!!!

Wonder how either of those two Yahoo's would react if a student paraded around with a sign "FRAG PROFESSORS, NOT OFFICERS!" Somehow, I don't think they would be appreciative of that!

Others reporting on this travesty: Stop and Think For A Minute, Baby Troll Bolg, Maxed Out Mama [a must read], Professor Mike Adams [also a must read], News Gnome, And Rightly So, Big Dog's Weblog and others. Keep the pressure up!

UPDATE: Daly has resigned (via Mikes America)

Posted by GM Roper at 05:37 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (4)

October 10, 2005

The Left Attacks Columbus: Fantasy World vs. New World

I hope that everyone had a special Columbus Day holiday with parades, festivities, and knowing that honoring Columbus infuriates liberals. That last part always makes it better for me. Columbus Day brings out the "hate everything about America" crowd, who blame Christopher Columbus personally and the rest of America by inference, for displacing indigenous people on our continent. But, it's more than a fight over claimed wrongs--it's a battle in the war of the left against Western Civilization.

Brief History Lesson:

As a brief and interesting historical review, you may want to pick through a well researched study of Columbus and the "discovery of the new world," found at this site titled Examining the History, Navigation, and Landfall of Christopher Columbus by Keith A. Pickering. It has excellent information, including the map below. The map alone tells me that Columbus had to have a lot of know-how and nerves of steel to sail into the unknown and be able to return to Europe with his discovery.

Also, of special interest is the section titled Columbus and the Destruction of Native peoples. This addresses the surface complaint against Columbus of genocide by essentially saying that the causes of war go beyond the control of an individual and that most societies, including Native Americans, "view killing in wartime as acceptable; few would claim that it is morally equivalent to murder, much less genocide."

(After you complete your history lesson, you may continue with the rest of this entry. You have fifteen minutes.)


"In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

Who Hates Columbus and Why?

Okay, welcome back. When I did quick research on Columbus Day, I found numerous postings by individuals and organizations who have made it their "cause" to discredit Columbus and the civilization brought from Europe.

Here's an example in a post titled The Great Columbus Day Farce.

...why do we celebrate a man who was no more than a murderer?' Columbus sparked many a great western ideal. Capitalism, science as a religion, the establishment of a global monoculture, the enslavement of other races, the destruction of the environment, the eradication and abuse of life, and the genocide of America’s indigenous people are just a few of those ideals. If these are the ideals that he sparked, then why should we celebrate a power-hungry man, no better than Hitler?

Wow! I bet you didn't know that Columbus is responsible for the terrible crimes of capitalism (horrors), environmental ruin, and genocide--and that he is just like Hitler. I wonder if the author admires Stalin who was against capitalism and fought Hitler. Yeah!

Another site titled Transform Columbus Day has a fun quiz! In the quiz titled "How Does Columbus Compare to some of the most oppressive, criminal regimes in history?," they mention horrible crimes against man and nature, and you are supposed to match the crime with the person. Fun, huh!? Hold on, though. It's a trick. While the choices include Mussolini, Hitler, Pol Pot, Caligula, Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Nero, Jefferson Davis, Genghis Khan--and, Christopher Columbus: all of the "crimes" in the quiz were really committed by Columbus! I hate trick questions like that. (As an aside, how did Jefferson Davis get into this group? Also, I'm sure that Saddam Hussein was an error.)

Other examples are summarized in Looks Are Deceiving: the Portraits of Christopher Columbus originally published in a 1993 "Visual Anthropology."

But by the 500th anniversary, revisionist authors were charging that Columbus was simply a fortune hunter who left a legacy of exploitation and genocide. The National Council of Churches resolved that the anniversary should be a "time of penitence rather than jubilation." After much heated debate within the chambers of the United Nations, it was decided that the organization would not sponsor any celebrations to mark the event. Native American groups began planning protests of local festivities for Columbus, charging that they honor a man who "makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent." As John Noble Wilford, science writer for the New York Times, aptly concluded, "Another Columbus for another age."

Well, I can't think of a better way to form an opinion about Columbus than to find that he was attacked by The National Council of Churches, The United Nations, radical Indian groups, and a New York Times writer.

Will you get to the point!?

Okay, I'm almost there. Why do these individuals and organizations oppose honoring Columbus? It has less to do with what he did than it has to do with them having a focal point to attack Western Civilization. This attack is often led with calls for multiculturalism.

Here's an analysis at First Things: "The Crimes of Christopher Columbus" by Dinesh D'Souza. (I know little about this site, but I'm sure that the liberals will say that it is radical right wing--which means that it is okay.) The entire article is somewhat long, but worth reading in its entirety. Here are excerpts:

At its deepest level, multiculturalism represents a denial of all Western claims to truth. Yet both in the world and in the traditional curriculum, all cultures are not on the same footing. Consequently multiculturalism in practice is distinguished by an effort to establish cultural parity by attacking the historical and contemporary hegemony of Western civilization.

Multiculturalism is based on the relativist assumption that since all cultures are inherently equal, differences of power, wealth, and achievement between them are most likely due to oppression.

In order to see the multicultural paradigm at work, we would do well to consider the passionate debate that has raged in the academy over the legacy of Christopher Columbus. ...Yet it is not Columbus the man who is being indicted but what he represents: the first tentative step toward the European settlement of the Americas. Consequently, the debate over Columbus is a debate over whether Western civilization was a good idea and whether it should continue to shape the United States. Many critics argue the negative:

-"Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent"....
-Columbus (was) "a murderer, a rapist, the architect of a policy of genocide that continues today."
-"Could it be that the human calamity caused by the arrival of Columbus was a sort of dress rehearsal of what is to come as the ozone becomes more depleted, the earth warms, and the rain forests are destroyed?"

Let us examine the consistent portrait that emerges in multicultural literature about the legacy of Columbus.

It is true that Columbus harbored strong prejudices about the peaceful islanders whom he misnamed "Indians"-he was prejudiced in their favor. He praised the generosity and lack of guile among the Tainos, contrasting their virtues with Spanish vices. So why did European attitudes toward the Indian, initially so favorable, subsequently change? ...the reason given by the explorers themselves is that Columbus and those who followed him came into sudden, unexpected, and gruesome contact with the customary practices of some other Indian tribes.

In the next item of the multiculturalists' indictment, Columbus-and by extension the West-is accused of perpetrating a campaign of genocidal extermination, a holocaust against native Americans. The charge of genocide is largely sustained by figures showing the precipitous decline of the Indian population. ...the vast majority of Indian casualties occurred...because of contagious diseases that the Europeans transmitted to the Indians. From the Indians the Europeans contracted syphilis.

Columbus has metamorphosed from a grand crusader into a genocidal maniac and a precursor to Hitler. American Indians are now beyond reproach, canonized as moral and ecological saints.

...multiculturalism (insists) that we should understand cultural differences without applying (inherently biased) standards of critical evaluation, it forbids at the outset the possibility that one culture may be in crucial respects superior to another.

An authentic multiculturalism would expose students to "the best that has been thought and said" not simply in the West but in other cultures as well.

That last statement, to me, explains Western Civilization the best and explains why Western Civilization has been so successful. Western culture examines all ideas and accomplishments and adopts those which are good and make society better and more successful. The multiculturalists want everyone to "be equal," so they go the other way. They don't adopt or approve of the methods that made Western Civilization successful. They would rather tear it down, even to the detriment of their own people, just to feel good or to gain political influence. That, to me, is just one more reason to study and appreciate the predominate culture in the U.S., which itself is attacked by attacks on Columbus Day, which is where this started.

Can you end this with a really stupid conclusion?:

Well, having made my point, sure.

If we need to cast blame for Columbus coming to the "new world," I think that it might be found in For Teachers: Columbus's "Enterprise of the Indies" and its impact on African peoples

Europeans of Columbus's time were eager to find a route to the source of this trade, in order to avoid the Arab middlemen who drove the prices up and controlled the routes to India that passed through the Mediterranean. Therefore, they needed to find another way to reach the Far East and abundant riches there.

There you have it! Nothing changes. The consumers in the West were having its transportation costs driven up by the Arabs, so they looked for a way around them. Because the Arabs raised prices so much, Columbus was forced to find another route by sailing west. What happened when he got there and the problems that brings today can be blamed on one group--the Arabs who were gouging everyone. And now, you know the rest of the story.

Summary:

Except for that last part, consider the attacks on Columbus and the day that we honor him and see them for what they are. The attackers are pitiful people who can only feel better by bringing others down. That doesn't make them successful. They would rather feel equal in worth than to get ahead. They spread false doctrine, and their efforts should be recognized and resisted. Give Columbus, with his day, and Western Civilization its due and appreciate and honor the accomplishments of both.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 28, 2005

The Professors Who Are Left Are Left

Do you believe that university professors are overwhelming liberal? Well, there have been recent studies (here and here) to confirm that. Have you wondered why universities are reluctant to admit that this is a problem and why the trend continues? Well, below are excerpts from articles that present two sides of this issue--first from the left and then from the right. (Be sure to read the articles in their entirety.) Who's right?


From the left
:

Proving the Critics’ Case
(via The Volokh Conspiracy with good comments)
By KC Johnson

Inside Higher Ed recently reported on four University of Pittsburgh professors critiquing the latest survey suggesting ideological one-sidedness in the academy. “Many conservatives,” the Pitt professors mused, “may deliberately choose not to seek employment at top-tier research universities because they object, on philosophical grounds, to one of the fundamental tenets undergirding such institutions: the scientific method.”

1. The cultural left is, simply, more intelligent than anyone else. As SUNY-Albany’s Ron McClamrock reasoned, “Lefties are overrepresented in academia because on average, we’re just f-ing smarter.”

2. A left-leaning tilt in the faculty is a pedagogical (d. befitting a teacher or education necessity), because professors must expose gender, racial, and class bias while promoting peace, “diversity” and “cultural competence.” According to Montclair State’s Grover Furr, “colleges and universities do not need a single additional ‘conservative’ .... What they do need, and would much benefit from, is more Marxists, radicals, leftists..."

3. A left-leaning professoriate is a structural necessity, because the liberal arts faculty must balance business school faculty and/or the general conservative political culture. ...

The intellectual diversity issue shows no signs of fading away. Ideological one-sidedness among the professoriate seems to be, if anything, expanding.

Now from the right:

Fear and loathing in faculty recruitment
Mike S. Adams

When I was hired as a professor, I didn’t have to worry about political or religious discrimination. That was because I was an atheist and a Democrat. ...Because the university Left freely admits to engaging in race and gender discrimination in hiring, I will not make race and gender the subject of this article. Instead, I will focus on two factors they deny using in the hiring and promotion process; religion and political affiliation.

I did manage to serve on a number of hiring committees.... I heard and recorded a number of instances of direct and indirect religious and political discrimination.

• the label “too religious” was attached to an applicant who had graduated from a religious institution
• the label “too conservative” was attached to an applicant who had written an article for a conservative publication
• the label “too much of a family man” was attached to an applicant who was married and had several children before the age of 30.
• a feminist objected to another female candidate after having dinner with the applicant and her husband. She specifically complained that the applicant’s husband played “too dominant a role in the marriage.” In other words, only women who are also feminists need to apply.
• a job candidate was asked the following question during an interview: “Who did you vote for in the 2000 election?”

The obvious political and religious discrimination at UNCW does not end with faculty recruitment. It is also extended to the tenure and promotion process. I once witnessed a non-feminist with a weak record labeled as “clueless” and in need of training in “impression management” by her angry feminist “colleagues.” But the story is different when a Leftist comes forward with a weak record. They are simply labeled as in need of “nurturing” by caring and concerned tenured Leftists.

A tenured UNCW English professor recently tried to convince me that the absence of a single Republican in their department of 31 full-time faculty members was just a coincidence.

Several questions come to mind:
Is there a liberal bias in hiring and tenure? It seems so.
What are the real causes for that?
Why aren't colleges doing more to promote a broader range of ideas?
What are the implications on the lives of students in one-sided academics?

One thing that wasn't mentioned is that liberals appear to create an extremely hostile work environment in colleges for conservatives. How can someone work at a place where you are attacked and your advancement blocked because of your political and religious views--which have nothing to do with your work?

And, here's my question: Are liberals really smarter than conservatives, as the left says? Does that make us liberal or make them wrong?

Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 25, 2005

NEA: Parents should step aside "for the children"

The National Education Association (NEA) wants what's best for your kids, and it thinks what's best is for parents to mind their own business. In this case, the NEA says don't home school your kids. As the left often whines, it's for the chilllll-drennnnnn (Be sure to draw out the word "children" to make the whining sound realistic). On the other hand, maybe it's to protect the education establishment so that it can keep money in its pockets and keep indoctrinating your kids.

The NEA had one of its "top people" assess home schooling, which has become very popular and successful across the nation. Here's the article by Dave Arnold titled "Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning Amateurs". Countering that is a site run by a home schooling mother, who does this on her own time and on her own web site titled "Another Anti-Homeschooling Fisking". (As a good mom, she features her kids and her church, but the link is for her rebuttals to the NEA article.)

Most people who oppose home schooling often know little about it or have a financial or political interest in fighting it. People who have taught their own children have done it for altruistic reasons--doing what is best for their children as they view it. I trust parents to make the best decisions for their children. On the other hand, when education discussions touch home schooling, vouchers, and accountability: the NEA can always be found in opposition, which maybe is not usually best "for the children."

By the way, I should know something about this subject, as we home schooled our children for many years, and they are doing quite fine. We chose to obtain our resources through Calvert School, and there are many other professional programs for home schoolers including programs for military kids. You can judge for yourselves.

Oh, yes. The NEA author and expert, Dave Arnold, is head custodian at an elementary School in Illinois--a noble and useful job, but not one that would indicate that he is an expert on this subject. But, based upon its position, apparently the leaders at the NEA aren't either.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2005

Ebonics in Schools - Whaddup wid dat?

Liberals can feel good inside because a government school system has implemented an Ebonics program ""to improve black students' academic performance". Of course, it doesn't matter if this actually hurts the students in the long run, because no one is being "judgmental" about how someone else speaks or writes. Employers will just have to get use to it. Yeah. Let's stand in a circle and light candles.

One can only feel badly for these students whose education and opportunities are being thrown away by people who mean well but actually make problems worse.

However, if this becomes a trend and if you're an educator in need of Ebonics language lessons to teach, you can go to this on-line course. You could be the most popular teacher in da hood. (Be careful of strong language and don't go to any links.)

All joking aside, this is really sad and not the direction that any schools should be taking.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Zero Casualties at Student- Marine Event - Principal Relieved (or should be)

Last month a Marine returning from Iraq was tossed out of a middle school by a principal who claimed that she was concerned for "the safety and welfare of our children." This Marine had requested and been invited to meet and thank the students who had written him. Because of this school principal, the event was moved off of school property--and, guess what. The students met with this Marine and his fellow Marines and no one was killed or maimed! In fact, they look pretty happy to me. Thank goodness the fears went unfounded.



Students Honor Marine.bmp

By looking at the picture, one might conclude that the community disagreed with the school decision by 1,000 to 1--with the one being the principal. As a principal she may be relieved; and now, maybe, she should be relieved as the principal. (For having bad principles?).

Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2005

Greatest American Vote Over! - Liberals break F keys in responding.

The best part about the final outcome of the Greatest American Vote is reading the ranting and wailings of people from the left (Warning: Language). The winner, as selected by the American public, is President Ronald Reagan!

In our other discussions, I didn't disclose my preference of George Washington--who led our country to independence and rejected the idea of an imperial president.

Below in order of votes is the Top Ten. (The Top 25 in order can be viewed here.)

01. Ronald Reagan
02. Abraham Lincoln
03. Martin Luther King, Jr.
04. George Washington
05. Benjamin Franklin
06. George W. Bush
07. Bill Clinton
08. Elvis Presley
09. Oprah Winfrey
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Do any of you have the same sense of dismay that I do in reading that Bill Clinton barely beat out Elvis Presley and Oprah Winfrey? Now, you can guess whether my dismay is because Clinton only barely beat Elvis or Oprah or that that they didn't beat the pants off of Clinton--so to speak. The choices show a considerable lack of knowledge of our history by Americans, but the choices are certainly better than those from a similar BBC poll given exactly two years ago, in which the British public selected Homer Simpson as number one and Mr. T as number four--both ahead of Washington, Clinton, and Roosevelt (showing no appreciation for his support in WWII.)

That ends this contest. Not my pick, but not a bad choice.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:00 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2005

Greatest American Vote - Elvis and Oprah Eliminated

Two weeks ago we discussed on this site the voting at the Discovery Channel to select the Greatest American in our nation's history. First the public selected a top 100, reduced that to a top 25, and now we have the top 5.

Those removed from last week's list include Neil Armstrong, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson (favored by many), John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley (?), Franklin D. Roosevelt (another surprise not to make the finalists), and Oprah Winfrey (who deserved to be a finalist as much as Elvis.)

As expected, the five finalists offer a more realistic representation of the Greatest American than do the earlier and broader lists. In alphabetical order, here are the remaining finalists for the Greatest American who are awaiting your votes for number one:

Benjamin Franklin
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan
George Washington

The presidents on the list are two Republicans and one Federalist. Most Democrats must have voted for Elvis or Oprah. Obviously, the Federalists threw their weight behind one person. Sorry if your favorite pick was eliminated. Now, we have to choose just one, so make your selection from the above list and go to this Discovery/AOL site to vote online.

Let us know who your selected and why. I'm not predicting a winner until I see the exit polls from Ohio.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

Got a minute? No? Well, take a free one.

I don't know what the people of Columbus, Ohio have done to deserve this, but now they have to listen to a public address system with the ranting and ramblings of anyone--including you.

A "work of art" named One Free Minute is a mobile sculpture that plays one-minute messages over a public address loudspeaker from anyone who calls in to share wisdom, unload, spread messages of goodwill, tell a joke, give messages of hope (if Republican) or despair (if Democrat), pretend to be God sending a message, give sports scores, or whatever turns you on.

So, what would you say, given one free minute of anonymous, uncensored speech? Let us know, and participate if you wish. (I believe that they need more conservatives to call.)

There are three ways to participate:

1. Place a call to the answering machine and leave a one-minute message to be played back during the next public performance: 1-614-441-9533 in Ohio.
2. Connect live. Email the "artists" the day before the performance, and they will send you the live phone number and a description of where and when you'll be speaking: info@onefreeminute.net
3. Email them an mp3 of your free minute: speech@onefreeminute.net

[Offer not good from any phone that steve uses. There are some things to which even the people of Ohio should not be subjected. ;-) ]

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 10, 2005

Greatest American Vote - Carter Kicked Off Island

Ready to learn? The Discovery Channel is having a special series to review notable people in the history of this country and allowing the public to vote on "The Greatest American." It runs each Sunday night during June. They have already compiled a "Top 100" and reduced that to a workable "Top 25." Now, you have the opportunity to vote on this.

Unfortunately for many of you, you have missed out on some of these notable favorites, who already have been sent packing:

Maya Angelo, Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Hillary Clinton (oh, too bad), Bill Cosby, Brett Favre (he was a finalist!?), Hugh Hefner, Michael Jackson (currently detained), Rush Limbaugh, Abraham Lincoln, Madonna (you're kidding me), Dr. Phil McGraw, Michael Moore (big, I mean really big laugh), Richard Nixon, George Patton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Martha Stewart

My question is how did some of these people get on the Top 100 list at all?

Okay, so who represents the remaining 25 people who have not been voted off of the island as of yet. Well, I have a problem with some of the names on the list and some of the names off of the list, but they are what they are. Here are the finalists in alphabetical order. I have included brief comments about what each did. Be sure to click on each name to see a special picture or feature about that person.

25 Finalists for Greatest American

Muhammed Ali - World Champion Boxer (still a draft dodger in my eyes)
Lance Armstrong - Won Tour de France six times and married to shacks up with slut Sheryl Crow.
Neil Armstrong - First man on the moon to mess up his lines
George W. Bush - Leader of greatest nation in the world
Bill Clinton - President, perjurer, and philanderer
Walt Disney - Mickey's father. Made me smile and got a lot of my money.
Thomas Alva Edison - Invented electric light and a million other things (My mom met him with Henry Ford & Harvey Firestone.)
Albert Einstein - Bombed in math. Used letters instead, like E=MC squared. Made passing physics harder.
Henry Ford - Made NASCAR possible. Introduced mass production of cars.
Benjamin Franklin - Great patriot, on $100 bill, electric personality.
Bill Gates - Made some money as founder of software company.
Billy Graham - One of nation's biggest "savers"
Bob Hope - Entertained our troops. "We thank you so much."
Thomas Jefferson - President, patriot, drafted Declaration of Independence
John F. Kennedy - President, PT Boat skipper, inspired race to moon, model for Bill Clinton
Martin Luther King Jr. - Had a dream, wrote letter from Birmingham jail, led non-violent change, won Nobel Peace Prize.
Abraham Lincoln - President, preserved union, Gettysburg Address, honest, and many "coincidences" with JFK.
Rosa Parks - Sparked civil rights movement by refusing to move to rear of the bus.
Elvis Presley - The King, sang and in movies, was on Ed Sullivan Show, served his country, featured on many velvet paintings.
Ronald Reagan - President, Governor, actor, Ended Cold War, Restored pride and confidence in America.
Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady, active in social issues, ghost still speaks to Hillary Clinton.
Franklin D. Roosevelt - President, Governor, led U.S. through depression and WW II, began Social Security, moved U.S. left.
George Washington - Father of our Country, President, General, patriot, First in the hearts of his countrymen.
Oprah Winfrey - Television talk show host, actress, inspiration to others, hard worker, came up from poverty.
Wright Brothers - Flew first powered airplane, had to take shoes off and empty pockets before flight.

Okay. Wasn't that fun and educational? It's great to learn! So, now, it's your turn to think.

Who is your "Greatest American" of all time? That person does not have to be on the list. But, if you're going to vote at the Discovery Channel, then you have to pick from the finalists. Now, I may like someone best but might expect another to actually win. If that's you, then, also, let us know whom you think might be the choice of the American public.

Give you answers and your reasons. After you finish commenting here, go vote. Madonna and Michael Moore have been eliminated, so I still have some faith in the American public. Let's do our part and help out more.

To cast your vote, go to THIS PAGE--and, keep up with the program the rest of the month to see if your choice wins. Remember to vote early and often.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:10 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (1)

Commencement Speeches Follow-up - Liberals Still Dominate

Back on May 14th, we had an entry titled "Commencement Speeches - Last Opportunity to Brainwash." It centered on colleges picking liberal speakers for the commencement addresses--boring and insulting parents while spewing their leftist agenda in one last effort to influence the graduates.

That entry was made before a comprehensive list of speakers could be compiled. Now that the graduation exercises are over, below is a broader evaluation of the commencement addresses. There seems to be some improvements for political and philosophical balance, but clearly the colleges are still weighted heavily for the left.

Here's a section of the article which is referenced at the bottom:

Notably, successful conservative media personalities such as Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and Tony Snow are absent from the list of commencement speakers at top universities despite FOX News Channel’s growing ratings and the success of talk radio. Instead, speakers similar to Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw, and Andy Rooney appear on the list each year.

Prominent intellectual conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, and Dinesh D’Souza, are absent from the top school commencements while liberals such as Thomas Friedman, Howard Zinn, and controversy-ridden Kweise Mfume frequently speak at top schools’ commencements.

In a time of war, there was only one military official, a liberal, who spoke: General Wesley Clark at Cornell University. Conservative military heroes such as General Tommy Franks, General Colin Powell, and General Norman Schwarzkopf were absent from the list.

Then this:

Pulitzer Prize winning writer William Kennedy asked graduates at St. Lawrence University, “Does [President Bush] actually have a mind? If he does, why don’t we detect it?”

Ha Ha. Isn't he cute? And, we know that he elicited some smiles and snickers as he looked smugly over the audience. That's generally how it works as liberals seek adoring approval. Popularity is more important than doing what is right or saying something intelligent. Well, if any proof is needed for Wm. Kennedy, Bush did have better grades than his opponent.

Well, the graduates now have taken the smartest move of their college careers--finally getting away from their liberal professors. Welcome to the real world, graduates--and good luck applying some of the "feel-good" ideas you were fed.

For your interest, here's one commencement speech that will never be heard but would be a bigger help than the others: The Neal Boortz Commencement Speech

And...here's the link to the article:
Young America's Foundation (Not to be confused with "Rock the Vote")
Liberals Again Dominate Spring Commencement Exercises
Some Balance Found

Your thoughts?

Posted by GM Roper at 11:40 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

June 05, 2005

Marine More Welcome in Iraq Than U.S. Public School

What's wrong with our educational system and its administrators when this happens:

• A U.S. Marine comes back from Iraq.
• He wants to personally thank students in a sixth grade class for their letters.
• The teacher arranges for his visit.
• The Marine arrives at the school to meet the children.
• BUT, the principal refuses to let him speak and orders him out of the school.

Is she the academic type who hates the military or are we supposed to believe her later statement that she was concerned for "the safety and welfare of our children"?

Don't read the story if you are prone to tear out your hair.

by: Neal Boortz
GOVERNMENT SCHOOL --- SOLDIERS NOT WELCOME

Posted by GM Roper at 06:40 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack (1)

May 19, 2005

This Day in History

It's helpful to look back at our past to understand why we are where we are today. Sometimes it's just entertaining and brings back memories. At first, I intended to focus on just one event, but I recognized that many of the events I scanned might be of interest or could have affected us. So, I am broadening "This Day in History" to several events that happened around today. Most of these were obtained from On-This-Day and The History Channel, whose programming would be mostly empty if not for Hitler and the Nazis.

Of course, I have added some editorial comments and you should feel free to add your comments or reminders of other events.

May 19, 1962 - Politics and Hollywood collide when Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" in her breathy voice to President Kennedy for his 45th birthday at a Madison Square Garden fundraiser. It raised more than funds, perhaps including the ire of Jackie Kennedy which, it is rumored, whom the president calmed by telling her that he "did not have sex with that woman." It was Monroe's last major public appearance before her tragic death--which opened up uneasy questions about her relationships. (Kennedy's actual birthdate is May 29, 1917.)

May 19, 1910 Cy Young (Cleveland Indians) got his 500th win. In an ironic twist of fate, he did not win the Cy Young Award that year.

May 22, 1900 - The Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative in New York.

May 22, 1967 - "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" premiered on PBS. Sudden surge in sales of sweaters and slippers occur.

Continue reading "This Day in History"
Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2005

Commencement Speeches - Last Opportunity to Brainwash

Today I have to go to college graduation events for my daughter. Even guest hosts have conflicts, so please accept this paltry post until I get back tonight.

One thing that I'm not going to miss is some awful left-wing, boring, go get 'em, change the world, Bush is wrong drivel by a wacko liberal that the university thinks would be the perfect commencement speaker who can top off its mission of creating good liberal robots for the good of socialism. It's the last chance to brainwash, so make it good and don't worry about insulting the more intelligent parents who can see through it and who support the institution of higher(?) learning with their taxes and kids tuition. The university already has their money.

Well, my wife is telling me to get going or we're going to be late, and I fear the repercussions from that more than having a short post.

Let me leave you with this, so that you can participate in the research.
What have been your experiences on commencement speakers?
Who is giving the commencement address at your nearby colleges this year?
What are the political persuasions of the commencement speakers?

Stay tuned. There will be more on this.
_______________________

UPDATE: In a reply to a comment, I mentioned the impact that Hillary Clinton had on the graduates at Agnes Scott College, a women's college in the Atlanta area. Here's what the Drudge Report has to offer this next day after that. See what I mean?


'Mass Hysteria' For Hillary Clinton At Commence Day Speech
Sat May 2005 14 20:10:30 ET

"Everyone was screaming and jumping up and down. It was mass hysteria," claims a graduate of a women's liberal arts college in Decatur, GA, site of Sen. Hillary Clinton's commencement day address this weekend.

With her presidential potential adding to the pomp and circumstance of commencement day, Sen. Hillary Clinton on Saturday urged graduates of Agnes Scott College to spread the cause of women's rights and education around the world.

Now, which women's college has invited Ann Coulter?

Wait.... I just found "Accuracy in Academia", the site for a non-profit organization that publishes "Campus Report" and monitors the use of classrooms for indoctrination. Here's a short paragraph from an article from last year that may give me a clue.

Another area where universities demonstrate a liberal bias lies in which speakers get invited to come to campus. The University of Central Florida, De Pasquale said, offered $40,000 for Michael Moore to come speak while refusing to pay for Ann Coulter.

Okay. I'll put that in my "handy-dandy notebook of Blue's Clues" and will determine Ann Coulter's chances of speaking at Agnes Scott next year.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:20 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2005

Whither Education? Part II

Whither education? Or should that be wither education? There has to be something deeply wrong when the National Education Association (AKA the LTO - Leftist Teachers Organization) is suing to prevent No Child Left Behind Act (popularly called NCLB) from being enforced. Now, this appears to be quite a conundrum, teachers not wanting to have teaching enforced.

Oh, I know the typical leftist cant -- "you got it wrong Roper, we want to teach, but this law is flawed, unconstitutional, terrible, and most of all wanted by Bush." In reality, as Eduwonk has noted:

"the core of the lawsuit boils down to the contention that No Child Left Behind is forcing school districts (and by extension states) to spend too much on education. This is, to put it mildly, a novel argument from the NEA."
This may require a bit of rethinking. My daughter belongs to one of the Teachers Unions, ATPE (Association of Texas Professional Educators) but is decidedly conservative in her politics.(Additional Bragging Rights = She was just elected "Teacher of the Year" for her school) The district she teaches in is something around the neighborhood of 90% at risk students. Minorities in a poor area, the very children NCLB is meant to aide.

Jenny D, has a good MARVELOUS posting up calling the NEA on their tactics:

"The one thing Robert F. Kennedy wanted from ESEA and Title I was testing and accountability. He wanted to use test scores a lever to force educators and schools to do a better job educating poor and minority kids.

If he were alive today, he'd probably be blasting the National Education Association--the national teachers' union--which yesterday joined in a lawsuit with school districts to fight No Child Left Behind. (See articles and posts here, here, here, here.) In effect, the teachers' union has decided the best use of its resources is not to work to improve teacher knowledge, or teacher practice--but instead to hire lawyers to fight in court. Instead of taking a long look at the racial achievement gap, or the struggles of poor kids, or anything that might improve the professional knowledge (and ultimately the reputation) of teachers and teaching, they're going to wage a public relations war in federal district court."

If the NEA is successful and the amount of funding is cut for educational purposes (but not, one would think, for administration, football, other sports, and of course organizing) these are the types of students that would be hurt the most. Has the NEA really thought this through?

Now, Eduwonk isn't letting Bush off the hook either:

"Overplaying the funding hand by pushing it in this high profile/high stakes way may be still yet another way to make President Bush appear better on an issue than he really is. In addition to the aggregate funding levels, because it's his secretary of education getting sued, he'll be perceived as standing up for the kids in the public debate. This tact also further obscures the areas where the Bush Administration may be meeting the legal definition of a "funded" mandate but is still not promoting good public policy. For instance, in the case of assessments where more funding can help stave off a race to the bottom on quality."
None the less, by going after the funding aspects, the NEA is in essence saying we don't want school districts and states to spend money on minority and at risk children - those very children that NCLB is meant to help. As Eduwonk noted
"NCLB, though not without its flaws, is a law aimed at forcing states and school districts to do right by poor and minority kids. In the long run, does the NEA really want to be remembered for having gone to court to stop that?"

Just as the International Buggy Whip Makers of the AFofL finally bit the dust, so too does the NEA need to bite the dust. Then maybe Johnny will learn to read.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:49 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

March 12, 2005

SOMETHING NEW - WHIMSICAL CREATIONS

1087764.jpg
This is the logo for my new cafepress store. With other blogs, you are asked to tip or donate to support the blog and it's a safe way to do it. But I decided that something more was needed, a way to get value for your "tip" and, if you want, a great source of gifts - gag or otherwise. If you click on the button at the top of the sidebar on the right, it will take you to the GM's Corner Store.

I have received a number of rave comments both on the blog and via e-mail about some of my photographs in the Alaska Blogging and Baltic Blogging Series. All of these will be available on all the items in the "store" just by sending me an e-mail to gmroper-at-gmroper-dot-com (remove the dashes, and use the @ and . where appropriate) telling me which photo (or drawing) you want on which product. I'll upload it onto the product, send you a return e-mail and you will have 3 days to order that product. After that, the "logo: "I got caught" goes back.

I hope you will use the store to buy whimsical gifts for others and useful (tho 'unusual') items for yourself.

Thanks.... GMR

Posted by GM Roper at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 06, 2005

More on Ward Churchill

Marc Cooper has an Update on Ward Chuchill in which he notes a longish posting on Churchill by one Timothy Burke, Professor of History at Swarthmore. Reading Professor Burke's piece I followed a link to Professor Margaret Soltan at the site University Diaries in which she questions Churchill's academic Credentials. Apparantly, the man calls himself a Ph.D. but doesn't have the credential at all. Interesting to say the least. Then Professor Soltan links to a 1903 article by the famous William James of Harvard University entitled the "Ph.D. Octopus" If you don't read both, you are cheating yourself of a very thoughtful time of intellectual stimulation. Go there - NOW!!! Oh, and enjoy.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




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