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Preview: Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher

Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher



Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.



Updated: 2017-04-24T03:40:08.315-07:00

 



Can You Imagine Having A Professor As Unhinged As This One?

2017-04-23T11:25:33.480-07:00

To lefties, she is the victim in this story:
A feminist professor said she was so triggered by a male student’s paper that “I began to have trouble distinguishing him from the man that [raped me].”

Writing anonymously in Inside Higher Ed, the professor described a lesson on rape culture she included in her gender class, saying she was frustrated with male students skeptical that it exists.

But one male student’s paper left her “thrown back into a pit of traumatic, fragmented memories,” she wrote.

The student cited a men’s rights advocacy group, referenced a case where a woman raped a man, questioned whether feminism was relevant, and said that concerns about gender inequality were overblown...

“As I went over his paper,” she wrote, “I realized that I was reading a paper that sounded word for word like something the man who raped me would say. And not only did this sound like something my rapist would say, this student fit the same demographic profile as him: white, college male, between the ages of 18 and 22.”

She said she was so upset that she could no longer grade papers or read...

She recounts screaming “Zero! You get a f*cking zero!” at the computer screen as she graded the student’s two-page paper, saying that she also felt that simply by writing the paper, he had undermined her authority as an instructor.
Does the (male) student have any recourse against such a teacher and such an obviously unjust grade?  Likely not.



Another Reason Not To Support "Free" College

2017-04-23T11:28:02.836-07:00

Does anyone really trust our state universities enough to believe that we taxpayers should fund "free" college?
In other words, administrators have been hiring more administrators for make-work positions and giving each other raises without sufficient accountability in a self-perpetuating cycle of bureaucratic decay that is sadly endemic to academia at large.

These findings should give pause to those who think that larger and larger state subsidies are the answer to higher education’s woes. Much of the public money spent on “free college” schemes championed by left-wing populists would end up being pocketed by the ever-expanding bureaucratic class of student services directors, Title IX coordinators,and HR managers, raising costs while steadily diluting quality.



Maybe We're Not All Racists After All

2017-04-22T16:57:57.063-07:00

It was probably 2 years ago now that I was supposed to attend 3 3-hr professional development presentations on "unconscious bias".  Presented by one of the most biased people I've ever encountered--one of the first things she said was that people opposed President Obama's policies because of his skin color--this CTA employee (are you surprised?) used this "Harvard University" tool to show that we're all racists.  I bailed on the remaining two sessions on the training, opting instead to review statistics with several of my math department colleagues who also chose not to attend and thought their time could be better spent reviewing material they'd soon be teaching under the Common Core standards that our district and state adopted.  It's not like my colleagues couldn't teach basic "normal curve" material, but since I teach statistics, we all thought it would be nice to "go deeper" so that they'd understand more than what they needed to teach.  We all agreed that our time was better spent.So anyway, Ms. CTA enjoyed convincing everyone else that they're all racists.  Maybe the tool she loved so much isn't all it's cracked up to be, and maybe it found what it did because its creators wanted it to:Since the IAT (implicit association test) was first introduced almost 20 years ago, its architects, as well as the countless researchers and commentators who have enthusiastically embraced it, have offered it as a way to reveal to test-takers what amounts to a deep, dark secret about who they are: They may not feel racist, but in fact, the test shows that in a variety of intergroup settings, they will act racist. This notion, and the data surrounding it, have fed into a very neat narrative explaining bias and racial justice in modern America. Sure, explicit measures of racism have been in decline for a while in the United States. It’s less socially acceptable than ever to say that black people and white people shouldn’t get married, or that black people are less intelligent than white people (though, to be sure, a solid minority of Americans still endorses such views). And yet, more than a half-century after the end of Jim Crow, all sorts of racial discrepancies persist: On average, darker-skinned people have less access to solid education, housing, and health care than lighter-skinned ones, and face various other forms of discrimination. The IAT suggests that, having addressed many of the most outrageous and explicit forms of public discrimination, our progress toward genuine racial equality may be continually stalled or undone by implicit bias.That is, many IAT proponents argue that if people who don’t feel like they discriminate do, in fact, discriminate, that could explain those disparate outcomes. Maybe some white cops who claim racial empathy are still, deep down, more likely to pull the trigger in an ambiguous situation involving a black suspect than a white one. Maybe white real-estate agents who are proud Obama voters conjure up thin excuses — excuses that feel legitimate to them — to avoid renting nice units to black families. And the data produced by the IAT suggests that a solid majority of Americans hold implicit biases against marginalized groups — which means they are likely to commit acts of implicit bias against these groups...Those co-creators are Mahzarin Banaji, currently the chair of Harvard University’s psychology department, and Anthony Greenwald, a highly regarded social psychology researcher at the University of Washington. The duo introduced the test to the world at a 1998 press conference in Seattle — the accompanying press release noted that they had collected data suggesting that 90–95 percent of Americans harbored the “roots of unconscious prejudice.” The public immediately took notice: Since then, the IAT has been mostly treated as a revolutionary, revelatory piece of technology, garnering overwhelmingly positive media coverage...Given all this excitement, it might f[...]



Cool Coin

2017-04-21T12:00:42.761-07:00

2 ngwee from Zambia:
click image to enlarge





Stupid Should Hurt

2017-04-20T16:53:30.902-07:00

The first time I read the phrase "stupid should hurt" I thought that it made a lot of sense.  In a sort of "even a flatworm moves away from pain" way, survival dictates that we not do things that cause us harm.  It's a very non-emotional, sounds-scientifically-reasonable phrase.

"Stupid should hurt" is what came to my mind when I read this story:
Massey considers Harris her "son" and has been his advocate since early 2014 when he was struggling to finish his senior year at Columbus High.

Massey also began looking for a way to get Harris into college. She discovered a $70,000 Georgia National Guard scholarship to the University of North Georgia that paid for everything,

All that could end this week because of a photo Harris took on Nov. 3, 2016 of one of his instructors, Maj. Richard Neikirk, in an on-campus bathroom, according to a recent report on ajc.com. Neikirk was at a urinal but had his shorts pulled below his buttocks, ajc.com reported.

Harris then sent the photo to three friends, who shared it with hundreds of people on the messaging platform GroupMe, according to ajc.com

A university investigation has recommended that Harris be suspended for two years and lose his scholarship, Massey said. He also faces criminal charges. He was arrested and charged with unlawful eavesdropping or surveillance, a felony, and transmission of photography depicting nudity, a misdemeanor. He faces up to six years in prison and a fine of more than $50,000 if convicted in Lumpkin County Superior Court.
Make excuses for the man all you want--who could possibly think it's ok to surreptitiously take pictures of someone in the restroom?

Now, reasonable people could disagree on whether or not this particular offense merits the maximum penalty, but I lean for more penalty rather than less.  The younger generation may have grown up with phones in their hands, but they need to learn when it's appropriate to record (audio, video, picture) someone and when it's not.  Is it our job to teach them?  Maybe--and perhaps this is how we teach them.  Again, I just can't imagine what kind of person would think, "I'm going to take a picture of this guy taking a leak, it'll be so cool to show this to people, haha."  Maybe that kind of person isn't smart enough to be in college.

Stupid should hurt.  I get the impression this guy's gonna hurt a bit.  Hopefully he won't be so stupid in the future.



Discussion Today

2017-04-20T16:55:18.680-07:00

I have one student in particular whom, before today, I'd have guessed would have had no interest in knowing whether or not I'm alive.  I'd have thought that I didn't register in his world at all.

Yet, today, as soon as the bell rang for lunch, he came to talk to me.  Usually I'd have ended the conversation quickly and rushed off for my "30 minute duty-free lunch", but as I haven't been hanging out in the staff lounge the last couple days, I decided to engage in the conversation.  This student--who, again, I'd've thought wouldn't have given me the time of day--started talking about majors, how to choose them, how to know what you want to study, how you know what kind of job you want to have, all that.

I guess my existence has registered in his universe.

We had a very nice conversation that took the entire lunch period.  I don't think I gave him any answers, just some things to consider.  I always tell students that I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so I understand their lack of a laser-like focus on their futures and consider it entirely reasonable and understandable.  I don't know if it helps, but at least they know someone understands.



Obama Spying -- On Journalists and Others, Not Just Trump Associates

2017-04-19T18:05:08.280-07:00

That this is so believable is bad enough. I cannot come up with a strong enough word to describe the situation if it turns out to be as bad as has been reported here.



The 80s Are Calling And They Want Their Foreign Policy Back

2017-04-18T17:12:54.681-07:00

Yeah, that one from Barack Obama was a real thigh-slapper, that one was:
Russian bombers fly near Alaska; Air Force scrambles jets



What A Waste

2017-04-18T17:34:06.820-07:00

I spent days studying for the test I took this afternoon.  It was a waste of time to do so.  If I'd have had the answers in front of me, I don't think I could have copied them all within the allotted time of 1 hour.  Of course this leaves no time for thinking about a problem or formulating an answer.  By the time I got done with the definitions and proofs (which I had pretty much memorized) there was next to no time left for the problems, for which I'd have had to think a little.

I didn't even have a chance to succeed.



Earth Is Doomed

2017-04-17T20:02:58.414-07:00

If you believe "the science", we're past the point of no return:
Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added.
Were they wrong just 8 years ago?   If no, then what's the point of trying to save the earth if we're already doomed?  And if they were wrong, why would you believe them now?  What additional evidence do we have today that would justify their being wrong 8 years ago but right today?

Disaster is always just around the corner--and that's how the alarmists like it, so they can keep people ginned up and on a war footing.



The "Battle of Berkeley"

2017-04-19T18:03:46.441-07:00

I've long read that the left will regret resorting to violence when the right decides to fight back, and this past week the right started fighting back.  Literally.The cowardly, cover-their-face Antifa goons thought they'd disrupt another conservative rally.  They were mistaken:The leftist mob has sown the wind. Now, the whirlwind looms. If the media accurately and comprehensively reported on leftist mob violence, it would see that a pattern has emerged: On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress. This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly “peaceful” protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders...At Berkeley, a mob blocked Milo Yiannopolous from speaking, before going on a violent rampage that included arson, smashed windows, and assault on innocent bystanders. Americans were pepper-sprayed and beaten for the “crime” of supporting Donald Trump while the police stood idly by, letting the riot play out before arresting a grand total of one person. Urban and academic progressive leaders can respond to violence with all the scolding tweets, sternly worded statements, and calls for calm they want. But until those who break the law and violate university policies are aggressively brought to justice, it won’t matter...Saturday, we saw more clashes in what now threatens to become an increasingly vicious, violent war for control of America’s streets. Leftist “antifa” or “black bloc” rioters met pro-Trump “Oath Keepers,” bikers, and alt-right goons in a barely contained battle royale, with assaults and beatings streamed live and posted to YouTube. Police struggled to control the violence and often appeared completely absent as brawls broke out across entire city blocks. By the end of the fighting, Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer said, “Militias, alt-right, nazis etc. won today in Berkeley. They outnumbered the opposition, pushed it back, and held downtown.”Yes, Mother Jones will resort to name-calling--but the right held. I've even seen pictures of some of the rightists giving wedgies to the Antifa types. You have to love that sort of humiliation.See?  Even I start to lean towards violence when it seems to be the only currency accepted in the land.We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws? If it is, then it’s time to grow a backbone, protect free speech, punish rioters, and expel those who disrupt the educational environment regardless of ideology. There should be no more sympathy or leniency for the lawless social-justice warrior than there is for the lawless neo-Nazi.Governor Reagan addressed just this issue in Berkeley back in 1969: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bpg0UfpuUAs?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" width="560">If you don't want to watch the entire 1:53, just scroll over to 1:31 and hear these logical words:"All of it began the first time some of you who know better, and are old enough to know better, let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest."Reagan saw things so clearly, without the muddling mush of liberalism.  You follow the law, or you pay the c[...]



The Intellectual Forebears of Today's Leftists

2017-04-16T11:37:00.105-07:00

Does any of this sound familiar to today's ears?
In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia...

Indeed, the index of Soviet success is that most of us no longer think of these memes as Communist propaganda. It takes a significant amount of digging and rethinking and remembering, even for a lifelong anti-Communist like myself, to realize that there was a time (within the lifetime of my parents) when all of these ideas would have seemed alien, absurd, and repulsive to most people — at best, the beliefs of a nutty left-wing fringe, and at worst instruments of deliberate subversion intended to destroy the American way of life.



All Sorts of Bad

2017-04-14T14:37:34.483-07:00

While I see some advantages to living in a surveillance state, there are too many disadvantages; I'd rather pay the price of not living in one that the price of living in one.

Similarly, I can see the advantage of having unfettered access to student cell phones, but what lessons would we be teaching students if we did?  No lessons that would be good for the republic, that's for sure, and I'm glad this bill was defeated:
In January, a California lawmaker introduced legislation, backed by school administrators, that would give K-12 school administrators broad powers to search the phones and electronic devices of their students without a warrant.

On Wednesday, AB165 met its death, at least for now, after intense lobbying by more than 60 groups (PDF), including everyone from the American Civil Liberties Union to the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
As are most such measures that diminish personal freedoms and privacy, this one, too, was couched in terms of "safety" and, since it's related to schools, "anti-bullying".

It's not surprising that this bill was proposed in the one-party state of California:
California may be considered the land of the liberals, but sometimes its legislators float not-so-liberal laws akin to this warrantless search bill. Two weeks ago, opposition killed a proposed law outlawing "fake news" for instance.
People can be pretty illiberal when they think there's no one to tell them "no".



Cool Coin

2017-04-14T12:00:14.760-07:00

10 kronur from Iceland, worth less than 10 US cents.

click image to enlarge





Are Berkeleyites Mature Enough To Handle This?

2017-04-13T13:44:05.196-07:00

Fascists kept Milo from speaking at Berkeley, will they also stop Ann Coulter?  And will they be considered misogynists if they do?  (Of course not--she's a conservative woman, so that doesn't count.)
Now the Republicans are hosting another columnist and provocateur: Ann Coulter, who labels herself a “mean-spirited, bigoted conservative” (but “a Christian first”). 
 
“It’s only when we invite more provocative speakers that it generates a campus-wide dialogue,” said Naweed Tahmas, 20, of the Berkeley College Republicans, noting that his group also invites mainstream conservatives to their weekly meetings: Republican National Committee leaders Harmeet Dhillon and Shawn Steel, for example...

Republican students say they hope to avoid rioting and retaliation this time by co-hosting Coulter with a new moderate student group, BridgeCal, born from the riot’s ashes and the election year’s ideological war zone.

“BridgeCal seeks to fix the political divide,” said freshman Pranav Jandhyala, 19, who founded the UC Berkeley chapter of the national BridgeUSA after rioters beat him and gave him a concussion as he videoed the Yiannopoulos violence for the Tab, a campus news site. “BridgeCal is a place where political adversaries can discuss issues in an environment that is respectful and solutions-based.”

The concept will soon be tested. Coulter is scheduled to speak about immigration on April 27.
They beat him and gave him a concussion--and he's willing to engage them civilly.  He's a stronger man than I am.

And for those of you for whom skin color and ethnicity is important, Naweed Tahmas and Pranav Jandhyala don't sound like names of people whose ancestry is from Yorkshire.



How Much Rain Has California Had So Far This Season?

2017-04-13T13:32:58.777-07:00

I post this with a few dark clouds still hanging in the sky:
We did it!

With one more soaking-wet storm front dumping its stuff special-delivery over Wednesday night, California woke up on Thursday to a new all-time record for rainfall, as measured in the all-important “Northern Sierra eight-station index,” a catchment area that pretty much defines the Golden State’s water-level health.

“We didn’t just beat the record,” said meteorologist Craig Shoemaker with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “We shattered it"...

“And we’re expecting more rain in the coming days,” said Shoemaker, “with a storm on Easter Sunday and another one in the middle of next week.”
The American River near downtown was pretty full when I crossed it on Monday, even with Discovery Park's not being entirely inundated.



If They Fear This, They're Too Skittish To Be Out In Public

2017-04-12T18:41:37.319-07:00

Universities should make strong people.  After all, they're supposed to challenge you, sharpen your brain, expose you to new ideas and experiences.  All of these things should make you stronger.

Unless you're a snowflake, someone who needs "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" and "bias incident teams" who hunt down people who use an undesired pronoun.  What about these gentle little petals?
Some students at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University live in “fear” of the arrival of a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant to their college’s food fair, Campus Reform reports.

Now student senators at the university say they can’t abide a Chick-fil-A location at their school and are trying to cancel plans for the restaurant to open in the fall.
One wonders if such people will ever find gainful employment--or even be able merely to function in the real world.

On a related note:
VIOLENT MASS HOMOPHOBIA IS ALWAYS DESCENDING IN THE UNITED STATES, AND YET LANDS ONLY IN MUSLIM-DOMINATED REGIONS: More than 100 gay men reportedly sent to “prison camps” in Russia’s republic of Chechnya.
Communists, Nazis, and Fascists were all pretty anti-gay, too.

Update:



When Truth Becomes Hate Speech

2017-04-11T12:17:59.110-07:00

I've not previously heard of psychology professor Jordan Peterson, but I like what he says here:
Peterson also sharply criticized ‘safe spaces’ on college campuses, women and gender studies, and activism.

Discussing his public refusal to use pronouns other than “he” and “she,” Peterson said, “One thing I won’t do is use the made-up words of postmodern neo-Marxists, who are playing a particular game to gender identity, as an extension of their particular reprehensible philosophy"...

“I think disciplines like women’s studies should be defunded,” he said. “We’re causing full time, destructive employment for people who are causing nothing but trouble. What they promote has zero intellectual credibility.”  
The response is, of course, predictable:
Some students criticized the group for inviting these speakers, arguing that it gave a platform to hate speech.
Hate speech is obviously defined as "speech I don't like".



Doesn't Happen Often, But...

2017-04-09T20:12:28.969-07:00

I try never to bring work home with me--I have enough of my own master's degree homework to do here at home.  But it's break, I didn't feel like grading tests this past week after administering them on Tuesday, so...

I'm going to go grade 10 tests now.   No more, no fewer, just 10.  Put a dent in that stack.



CNN Anchor Didn't Vet This Refugee Before Putting Him On The Air

2017-04-08T11:39:56.374-07:00

Oh, she tried to bait him into saying something against President Trump.  Instead, he called her out on her own hypocrisy (that's the word he used) and praised President Trump's recent cruise missile attack in Syria:
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s3uaf1NFxXc?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" width="560">
I'm not one who believes lobbing a few cruise missiles is going to solve any problems in Syria unless you happen to take out Assad himself--and who knows what that will lead to.  The refugee above, though, shares a different opinion.

The CNN anchor made an ass out of herself.



Why I Don't Believe In Anthropogenic Global Warming

2017-04-07T18:47:57.994-07:00

It doesn't get any clearer than this:
When the discussion of climate change comes up, the left has been preaching doom and gloom for decades. However, no matter what they claim, reality keeps proving them wrong. For myself, that's kinda a sticking point.

How can we take their predictions for the future seriously when none of their predictions for the present panned out? We can't and shouldn't, of course...

Show us some real success, and I'll consider changing my tune, as will many others, I suspect. Until then, understand that you're advocating the destruction of modern civilization based on pseudoscience.



This Does Not Surprise Me

2017-04-08T14:13:23.732-07:00

I'm sure we'll skyrocket from last in the country to first in maintained infrastructure:
With no votes to spare, the California Legislature Thursday night narrowly mustered the support it needed to pass a $52 billion transportation package with a two-thirds vote.
You know, just the other day I was lamenting that taxes are too low here in California.  Finally I can pay 12 cents a gallon more for gas.



I Really Didn't Think He'd Do It

2017-04-07T18:25:49.975-07:00

I thought he'd keep us in crisis mode in order to push the sheeple around, but I was mistaken:

A deluge of wet weather this winter and unprecedented water conservation prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to end California’s drought emergency on Friday.

But Brown said he would maintain water reporting requirements and bans on wasteful practices like watering during or immediately after rains…

Brown’s Friday order also cancels emergency proclamations from 2014 and other drought-related executive orders issued that year, and the next.
Guess I can water my lawn when it needs it this summer.



Cool Coin

2017-04-07T12:00:17.403-07:00

A simple yet effective design from Swaziland: