Category Archives: Education

The Road to Hell Was Paved with College Safe Spaces, by Michael Krieger

If snowflakes don’t want to hear people they don’t agree with, they should buy some earplugs. Instead, they DEMAND that such people be banned from their campus. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, like the CIA with its history of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup where they take the elected President and prevent him from enacting his policy. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that.

– From Glenn Greenwald’s recent interview with Democracy Now

Earlier today, I posted the following tweet:

Still waiting for “the resistance” to arrive.
So far it looks like an alliance between Romper Room and Allen Dulles.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) February 16, 2017

This observation was merely my latest twist on a theme I’ve been hammering home ever since Trump won the election. Namely, given there are so many obvious things to be concerned about when it comes to Trump (his love affair with Goldman Sachs, support of civil asset forfeiture and a statist mentality overall), why are we being manipulated into focusing all our outrage on a largely invented conspiracy theory that he is some sort of Putin stooge?

The reason is both extremely simple and extraordinarily clever. The main reason Russia is such an obsession within the fake “resistance,” is because it’s a way to demonize Trump while defending the police state apparatus. In other words, it prevents well-meaning people from taking Trump to task on issues that really matter. This way, they can simply distract with Russia noise and continue to loot and pillage society at large. It’s genius really. You create a fake yet salacious narrative and rally the gullible public around it in order to distract from real domestic problems. This way you can be “anti-Trump,” while at the same time being pro-Wall Street fraud, corporatism, war, unconstitutional spying, and the national security state. This is your “resistance” as it stands today.

To continue reading: The Road to Hell Was Paved with College Safe Spaces

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UCLA banned my book on Islam from a free speech event, by Elan Journo

Is there anybody left in a major American university who understands and is willing to defend the concepts of civil liberties and intellectual freedom? From Elan Journo at thehill.com:

At UCLA Law School last week, a squad of student “thought police” tried to ban my book, Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond. They don’t want you to know the book even exists, let alone what’s inside it. And the UCLA administration enabled them. This ominous episode underlines how students are learning to be contemptuous of intellectual freedom.

The story of what happened at UCLA is laced with ironies. On Feb. 1, the UCLA chapter of the Federalist Society and the Ayn Rand Institute co-sponsored a panel discussion at UCLA Law School on the vital importance of freedom of speech and the threats to it. My book shows how certain philosophic ideas undercut America’s response to the jihadist movement, including notably its attacks on freedom of speech.

Naturally, the book was displayed and offered for sale at a reception prior to the event, which featured Dave Rubin, the contrarian YouTube host; Flemming Rose, the Danish editor who published the now-infamous Mohammad cartoons in 2005 and author of The Tyranny of Silence; and Steve Simpson, editor of Defending Free Speech (these two books were also displayed).

During the reception, however, a group of UCLA students assembled in front of the book table and objected to mine. Why? Had they read the book, weighed the evidence, and found it lacking? Had they formed a considered evaluation of the book’s argument?

No: They felt the book was “offensive” and “insulting.” They had “issues” with the views that I and my co-author, Onkar Ghate, put forward. Our views, it seems, were “Islamophobic.” Based on what? Apparently, for some of them, it was the book’s title.

To continue reading: UCLA banned my book on Islam from a free speech event

He Said That? 2/14/17

From Frank Zappa (1940–1993), American musician, composer, songwriter, producer, guitarist, actor, and filmmaker:

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.

America’s Outmoded “Factory Model” Educational System Needs to be Radically Reinvented, by Charles Hugh Smith

The changes Charles Hugh Smith believes are necessary in our educational system will never happen as long as governments are involved. He’s looking for private sector solutions in that most entrenched bastion of the public sector—education. However, Smith’s ideas are certainly worthwhile. From Smith at oftwominds.com:

It’s obvious that we desperately need a new decentralized, individualized and far more productive system of education.

I have long held that America’s educational system is an outmoded “factory model” designed to produce interchangeable industrial and service workers en masse for an industrial economy of factories and a 1960s-era service sector that needed millions of employees with basic-skills: Is Our Education System Based on a Factory Metaphor? (November 15, 2005)

Our “factory model” funnels hundreds or thousands of students into set courses within large mechanistic plants, regardless of their individual attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Like an assembly line of manufactured items, some students are “rejects” who couldn’t make the “quality control” grade, and they’re thrown on the scrap pile.

What if a kid has no aptitude in math but is a near-wizard in metal-working? Do we scrap him because he didn’t meet some factory-defined narrow standards for “knowledge worker”?

What about all the jobs which aren’t in biotech and technology? What if we required basic understanding of making meals with real food rather than the processed contents of a box? What if we required kids to know how to fill out a Schedule C form (small business) for a tax return, or change the oil in their car, or install shelving, or fill out a loan application and understand credit, adjustable rate mortgages and deductibles in insurance policies? Aren’t these skills more productive for the vast majority of workers than advanced math?

To continue reading: America’s Outmoded “Factory Model” Educational System Needs to be Radically Reinvented

Left Behind, by James Howard Kunstler

Betsy DeVos may be unqualified to be Secretary of Education, but her “qualified” predecessors have made a spectacular mess of education, especially for inner-city minority youth trapped in awful schools. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

By her public utterances, Betsy DeVos seemed spectacularly unqualified to lead the bureaucratic enterprise called the US Department of Education. But you really have to wonder: could she do any worse than the exalted mandarins of educational bureaucracy who preceded her?

There is so much not right with public education these days that it could be the poster child for institutional collapse in America. Certainly in terms of the money spent per student, it illustrates perfectly Joseph Tainter’s classic collapse dynamic of over-investments in complexity with diminishing returns. Young adults are floundering in high school, or “graduating” as functional illiterates despite the vaunted widespread application of computer “technology.” They can do Instagram on a cell phone, but they can’t read an application for a driver’s license. And the mania for “diversity and multiculture” has left kids without the armature of an American common culture to successfully mold a life onto.

That common culture, by the way, is exactly what allowed waves of immigrants from the early 19th century until the Second World War to find a place and thrive in an American life that was new to them. It also enabled the sons and daughters of former slaves to enter professions and business, even despite Jim Crow segregation. Today, according to the official diktat of the Department of Education, and the propaganda of the politicized teacher corps, the very mechanisms that made previous success possible are essentially outlawed or banished beyond the pale of a functional consensus. For instance, instruction in speaking English correctly.

I have said this before to the scorn and derision of my auditors: it should be the primary mission of schooling to teach kids how to speak English grammatically and intelligibly. Without that capability, they may not be able to learn much of anything else. That this is not regarded as important anymore is a spectacular disgrace. It also brings us to the horrifying issue of race in American schooling. (Yes, this is part of that “conversation about race” that the professional race relations establishment calls for incessantly but doesn’t really want to have.)

To continue reading: Left Behind

Innocent Mom Jailed, Children Kidnapped by Police, for Homeschooling, by Jay Syrmopoulos

Homeschool your kids, go to jail, have your kids put in foster care. It has actually happened at least twice in New York, notoriously hostile to homeschoolers notwithstanding its many crappy public schools. From Jay Syrmopoulos at thefreethoughtproject.com:

Buffalo, NY – In a case that highlights the drastic overreach of the state into the private lives of citizens, single mother Kiarre Harris was arrested and her children thrown into foster care after she was charged with “educational neglect” for officially removing them from public school and enrolling them in a homeschooling program.

It’s now been three weeks since Harris has seen her children after their legalized kidnapping by the state.

I felt that the district was failing my children and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool,” Harris told WKBW 7.

According to Harris, she began researching homeschooling last November, after deciding the failing Buffalo Public School system wasn’t providing her children with the necessary tools for a successful academic future.

Harris says she was methodical in filing documents at Buffalo City Hall, following all the necessary procedures, and informing the school district of her intention to homeschool her children.

Harris provided the officially stamped documents to WKBW, which verified the school district had received them on December 7.

I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school,” said Harris.

Only a week after un-enrolling the children from public school, Child Protective Services (CPS) called Harris to inquire as to why her kids weren’t in school.
I told them that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them,” Harris told WKBW.

Harris then went on with her regular homeschooling routine thinking everything was settled, but she was blissfully unaware of what was transpiring. Less than a month later Harris was confronted by police and CPS workers, who claimed they had a court order to take her children. When Harris told them they could not take her children she was arrested for obstruction of justice.

To continue reading: Innocent Mom Jailed, Children Kidnapped by Police, for Homeschooling

Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary: Enjoy the Delicious Tears of Teachers Unions, by Robby Soave

A proponent of school choice—charter schools and voucher plans—is now the Secretary of Education. SLL would prefer full-on privatization, but it’s a start. From Robby Soave at reason.com:

With Vice President Mike Pence formally casting the vote to break a 50-50 tie in the Senate, Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the next Secretary of Education.

DeVos, whose vigorous enthusiasm for school choice and presumed support of Title IX reform make her one of Trump’s better Cabinet picks, encountered furious opposition from Democrats. Indeed, the left fought DeVos harder than they fought Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General pick. Sessions opposes criminal justice reform, asset forfeiture reform, and immigration reform, but knocking out DeVos was a higher priority for liberals.

That’s due to the all-consuming influence of public teachers unions, which remain one of the most powerful political forces in the Democratic Party and a constant obstacle to education reform. If DeVos can do anything to diminish the teachers unions’ ability to thwart change in the education system, her nomination will have been well worth the fight.

Needless to say, enemies of education reform are freaking out.

Randi Weingarten called DeVos’s confirmation “a sad day for children.”

Here was Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson in a since-deleted tweet:

Not an exaggeration in any sense.

The Women’s March tweeted an anti-DeVos statement as well—undermining the idea that the movement is grounded in opposition to mistreatment of women:

Here was Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani:

But it was the Dems who voted strictly along party lines: two Republicans actually voted against DeVos. And no one deserves as much criticism for using children as pawns as union leadership does. The unions claim to be serving the interests of kids and families, but their job is to protect bad teachers from accountability and use membership fees to fund left-wing causes.

To continue reading: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary: Enjoy the Delicious Tears of Teachers Unions