24 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 6

A college in New Jersey has deemed a student-sponsored "American BBQ" event "offensive" because the students used an "I Want You" image of Uncle Sam to promote their event. (You'll probably feel compelled to read that again, but don't waste your time. You read it correctly the first time.)

The college administrative snowflakes said this imagery was "too militaristic and not inclusive of the entire student population."
. . . they had been using the famous ‘I want you’ image of Uncle Sam in several posters around campus to get the word out about the event, and the administration thought that these posters were too militaristic and not inclusive of the entire student population.” . . . the Uncle Sam flyers in question said simply, “We want you...to come to our BBQ.”
I suppose they could have used a smiley face image instead but then, I suppose, that would have offended sad people. While many folks in academia continue to have, in the words of Professor Gordon S. Wood, their "incestuous conversations", a growing number of people  are simply laughing at them. You just can't make this stuff up.

23 September 2016

Emerging Civil War & Essential Civil War Curriculum

I've written for both of these sites and it's nice to see ECW give a plug for Virginia Tech's Essential Civil War Curriculum in their latest newsletter:

22 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 5

Professor Daniel Jacobson, who teaches philosophy at the University of Michigan, has written an excellent essay at the Cato Institute's website about the attack on free speech on American college campuses. While Jacobson does not specifically mention the term "political correctness" it is, of course, part of the tactic limiting free speech. 

A few of the money quotes from Jacobson's piece:
Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. What they call free speech fundamentalism is misguided at best, in their view, and an embarrassment before our more sophisticated European counterparts.
And . . .
In considering this phenomenon, note that academia is now overwhelmingly dominated by progressives and other leftists, many of whom are not only skeptical of freedom of speech but intolerant of dissenting opinion.
And . . .
Academic freedom, too, is now championed primarily as a matter of guild privilege, in defense of an activist pedagogy that promotes political orthodoxy and does not shrink from stifling dissent.
And . . .
The great irony at the heart of the current attack on freedom of speech in academia is that the antagonists of free speech claim to be defending the victimized when, in fact, they are the oppressors.  
And . . .
What is more, such intolerance creates an incentive for hypersensitivity, since it empowers campus activists—again exclusively leftist activists—to suppress dissent. . . . This movement encourages the cultivation of intellectual vices that are antithetical to an intellectually diverse society by granting power to the thin-skinned and the hotheaded—or at any rate to those most ready to claim injury or to threaten violence. And it does so subversively, by pretending to enforce norms of civility and tolerance, while doing violence to the classically liberal ideals of a freethinking and intellectually diverse university.
[All emphasis mine.]

A devastating knockout punch to the flat-earthers.

Read the rest here.

21 September 2016

Should Public School Teachers Do This? - Part 2

Story here.

As an aside, have you noticed that all the CW bloggers who are so critical about any display of the Confederate flag, never make even the weakest criticism of the desecration of the flag that was carried into battle by Union soldiers? Isn't that amazing? And isn't it rather telling? I've told you over and over again that Confederate iconography was simply the low hanging fruit. The SJW's aren't anywhere near finished.

19 September 2016

Should Public School Teachers Do This?

When I first began discussing the dismal state of the American education establishment on this blog, several academics and educators routinely poo-pooed that there was a real problem. Some, revealing either their ignorance or complicity, still do. They used to come here and do it - until their argument was shown to be demonstrably absurd. Some of these folks were especially loud about denying the politicization at the K-12 level. If nothing else, the last few years has, for the most part, sent the deniers slinking back to their safe-spaces. Here's the latest:
Teachers at a public elementary school in Seattle plan to wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts to school on Friday, Sept. 16 to show their support for the movement.
If that's ok, what about if these same teachers all decided to wear "Unborn Lives Matter" t-shirts to school in order to "show their support" for that movement? Would that be tolerated? We know the answer and we also know that the children in these schools are being indoctrinated with a particular political viewpoint.

Go ahead, keep denying it.

15 September 2016

Trump & Old White Men

Off topic a bit, but not too much. If you read Civil War & History blogs, you've invariably noticed that many of the comments in the posts quickly devolve into Trump bashing and "old white men" being the source of all evil on the planet. The hate directed at this demo is palpable on these blogs. With that in mind, I came across a piece today which discusses how an LA Times reporter was "stunned by the diversity of volunteers who are committed to seeing him win the Golden State and the presidency."
“It was as if the whole thing had been staged, in Cambodia Town, no less, to belie the notion that Trump’s appeal is largely limited to older white males,” the Times‘s Steve Lopez wrote.
And this:
Gary Fultheim, the Jewish man who is also part-owner of the building that Trump’s HQ is located in, reportedly said one of the main reasons he is voting Trump for president is because he believes Trump will do a better job of protecting Israel from Iran than the Democrats will.

The "protecting Israel" comment is interesting to note; particularly when you understand the growing anti-semitism in academia and the intellectual support it's getting in a growing number of American universities and colleges. I find that trend deplorable, don't you?

08 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 4

The University of Iowa could become the first school in the state to add a bachelor’s program in social justice to its list of degrees, provided its Board of Regents approves the motion.

Of course SJW and PC are related. But I would disagree with the author. I don't believe PC has peaked. 

06 September 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 3

Lead off to the latest on political correctness and free speech suppression in academia:
In the midst of national debates concerning free speech on college campuses, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has opted to clamp down on students who challenge the reigning orthodoxy regarding manmade global warming. . .  . “We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” the professors said in their letter obtained by The College Fix.
Yes, challenging the "reigning orthodoxy" has always been suppressed by the intolerant and powerful. Can't have too much free thought goin' 'round these days, don't ya know. And suppressing the "other side" is, more often than not, due to the fact that the "orthodoxy" is unable to stand up to scrutiny. In other words, they can't defend their position.

And how about this:
The professors, backed by University Communications Director Tom Hutton, said that the ban on debate even extends to discussion among students in the online forums.
Wow. And yet we still have deniers.

Story source

And how about this little gem from Clark College in Worcester, Mass:
And don’t say “you guys.” It could be interpreted as leaving out women, said Ms. Marlowe, who realized it was offensive only when someone confronted her for saying it during a presentation.
Full disclosure: I don't like "you guys" either, though it usually comes out like, "you gieez." Reminds me too much of New Jersey. Anyway, I scold my grandchildren for saying "you guys." We prefer "y'all." It's a rule in my household. Besides sounding more melodious, it also saves time. It's also more inclusive. I suggest colleges and universities make the term "y'all" mandatory so as not to offend anyone.

And PC can be rather costly:
In August, the University of Wisconsin system, which includes the Madison flagship and 25 other campuses, said it would ask the State Legislature for $6 million in funding to improve what it called the “university experience” for students. The request includes money for Fluent, a program described as a system wide cultural training for faculty and staff members and students. But that budget request has provoked controversy. “If only the taxpayers and tuition-paying families had a safe space that might protect them from wasteful UW System spending on political correctness,” 
Wouldn't you love to see a breakdown of how that $6 million would actually be spent? LOL.


03 September 2016

Indoctrination is Expensive

And how 'bout the prices on those used textbooks? $183 for a used psychology textbook?
I think maybe George Mason made the wiser choice. LOL.

31 August 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 2

For those who may still be on the fence about PC's reality, particularly on college campuses, I offer:
  • Man is stopped from praying at Clemson University because "this is not a designated a free speech area." Yeah, we know. Video here.
  • And then we have some example "trigger warnings" provided to us by a student of Barnard College who is critical of such idiocy. One "trigger warning" is the U.S. Constitution. Now that one certainly fits the agenda, doesn't it?
By the way, isn't the term "trigger warning" itself problematic? I mean, after all, the phrase does contain the word "trigger" which could cause feelings of anxiety and oppression in the minds of some snowflakes in academia since "trigger" will conjure up images of guns, the 2nd amendment and the Wild, Wild West.

30 August 2016

PC Deniers Are Flat-Earthers: Part 1

While several Civil War bloggers/historians continue to deny the reality of political correctness, others within academia are not only recognizing it, a few are standing up against it. How refreshing. For example, the University of Chicago:
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own. ~ Jay Ellison, dean of students for undergraduates

Mr. Ellison must be mistaken! There's not really anything to PC. No, it's all made up. Gee, he must have fallen for the right-wing boogie-man conspiracy. 

Perhaps some of the flat-earthers in the Civil War blogosphere should leave their own "intellectual safe space" and take a class or two at the University of Chicago. LOL.

29 August 2016

Education is NOT Rocket Science

Even though the "experts" in Big Education would like for you to believe it is. Why? 3 *reasons, primarily:
  1. Control
  2. Job security
  3. They've been brainwashed into believing it is. Why? See #'s 1 and 2.
A recent article at The Imaginative Conservative explains why education is not rocket science. So simple, yet so profound, which is why homeschooling is so amazingly successful:
One of my favorite professors in graduate school grew up on his grandfather’s farm in Saskatchewan, back in the days when a wheat farmer would spend long hours behind the plow. He told us that his grandfather’s neighbor spent those hazy hours sometimes reciting Milton’s Paradise Lost.  He had gotten it by heart. Notice what great difference there is between the phrases “learning by rote” and “getting something by heart”? You cannot do such a thing without considerable intelligence and love.
This is, in part, why the Founders of our nation were so much wiser and intelligent than most moderns, elites and members of academia are today. The agrarian lifestyle gave them a perspective (and time to contemplate it) that most moderns simply do not comprehend. It is also why the Founders are under attack by their inferiors in academia. They're jealous. Agrarian or not, the same method of learning is, of course, still available - if you can cut through all the PC idiocy and nonsense coming from the "experts."

And this . . .
Read good books to the children, have them read them also to you, and have them read them on their own. . . . The Good Books are food for a wholesome imagination. They are well-written. They introduce young people to characters they will never forget. They soar beyond easy cynicism or nihilism. They soar beyond the sweaty halls of politics. They may well have villains in them, there may be warfare, but there will not be the creepy relish for bloodshed—no itch for the base, the sick, the bizarre, the filthy, the evil. No girly vampires.
And this one will drive the moderns and elitists up the wall . . .
Find textbooks written before 1950—grammar, history, even geography. Then surround young people with beauty and goodness. It is not like going to the moon. It is like looking up at the stars. But will your students be ambushed by the detestable standardized tests? Do not fear. Do not let the confidence men and elixir salesmen fool you. Homeschoolers regularly take those tests apart . . .
And finally, this gem . . .
The superintendent has no clothes. The commissars of the Common Core have no clothes. The developers of curricula have no clothes. They are all a great big herd of balding and belly-sagging naked people, swaggering and blustering and ordering everybody around. 
You may read the rest here. The piece is authored by Anthony Esolen who teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College. 

*Once again, to be clear, I'm speaking in broad terms and realize there are still many good, hard working, dedicated teachers who do not buy into all the PC garbage and control freak aspects of what we're seeing among many other educators. I do believe, however, that the problems are prevalent and it's an uphill battle.

27 August 2016

Should New York Change Its Name?

After all, "New York" is named after James II of England (the Duke of York). And, as Wikipedia notes:
The Royal African Company was a mercantile company set up by the Stuart family and London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa. It was led by James, Duke of York, Charles II's brother. Its original purpose was to exploit the gold fields up the Gambia River identified by Prince Rupert during the Interregnum, and it was set up once Charles II gained the English throne in the Restoration of 1660. However, it was soon engaged in the slave trade as well as with other commodities.
And this . . .
In the 1680s the Company was transporting about 5,000 slaves a year across the Atlantic. Many were branded with the letters 'DY', for its Governor, the Duke of York, who succeeded his brother on the throne in 1685, becoming King James II. Other slaves were branded with the company's initials, RAC, on their chests.
Between 1672 and 1689, the Company transported 90,000 to 100,000 slaves.
I am quite confident that since several Civil War bloggers and historians moral reformers were so delighted to see Vanderbilt take steps to begin the process of sandblasting a building (which is on the National Register of Historic places), they will no doubt now turn their focus to a target just as deserving of cleansing: everything named "New York."

26 August 2016

Hit & Run: Free Speech in Academia . . .

is limited to 2 minutes per week. Aren't we all glad that PC is just a figment of our imagination? LOL, you just can't make this stuff up.
A public university in Louisiana has a speech code that permits students to express their beliefs freely for two hours per week at three predetermined locations.
How gracious of them.


25 August 2016

Homeschooling: When Will The "Experts" Concede They've Lost the Argument?

 Homeschooling, Westmoreland Homesteads, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, 1936
Business Insider:
Recent data collected by the Department of Education reveals homeschooling has grown by 61.8% over the last 10 years to the point where two million kids — 4% of the total youth population — now learn from the comfort of their own home.
Contrary to the belief that homeschooling produces anti-social outcasts, the truth is that some of the most high-achieving, well-adjusted students are poring over math problems at their kitchen table, not a desk in a classroom. According to leading pedagogical research, at-home instruction may just be the most relevant, responsible, and effective way to educate children in the 21st century.
Yes; and contrary to the control freaks in much of the public (and some private) education business. I understand their fear - besides the elitist notion that "we know best", paid educators are also concerned about protecting their turf. That's a natural reaction, but not one that has the *best interests of the child at heart.

And BI gets this right as well:
The biggest stereotype surrounding homeschooling is that constant one-on-one teaching deprives kids of the socialization they need to thrive. Not so. Homeschooled kids are just as likely to play soccer and do group projects as any other students.
We've had that discussion here before

Click here to read the BI piece.

And another recent piece points out that African-American families are increasingly joining the homeschooling movement as well. African-American public school teacher turned homeschooling Mom Nikita Bush, was recently quoted in the Christian Science Monitor as saying:
“people are starting to realize that public education in America was designed for the masses of poor, and its intent has been to trap poor people into being workers and servants. If you don’t want that for your children, then you look for something else,” she says. To her, the biggest flaw in public education is a lack of character education, an "absence of a moral binding," that contributes to low expectations – and lower outcomes for children of color.
The CSM piece adds:
The reasons black parents cite for home-schooling their children cover a wide range. Some sound similar to the  homeschooling movement as a whole: religious beliefs, a desire to shelter children from an increasingly crass or materialistic society, a conviction that they are best-suited to teach their kids the values they need to live a fulfilling life.
You can read the interesting CSM piece here.

I will add that we are currently in the infant stages of a similar movement when it comes to college education as well - and for many of the same reasons. What many have referred to as the democratization of education is making much of this possible. Technology has reshaped how we learn much more than some realize. Regardless, the dinosaurs in academia and government schools who continue to advocate a centralized, top-down approach to education will stubbornly fight on to protect their turf. They are fighting for their own relevance.

But the genie is out of the bottle. Parents are taking back control of the education of their children from the "experts." The failure of the bloated education industry, with its misdirected priorities, will be the reason for its own demise. 

*As always, I acknowledge that there are dedicated teachers in public and private education that do have the best interests of their students at heart. Those teachers have my appreciation and prayers. But that does not change the facts of the education establishment and its failures in general.

24 August 2016

The Politics of Our Military

A new poll shows that members of the U.S. military overwhelmingly support presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Given the traditionally conservative makeup of the military, this is not really surprising. Though I have to believe that Trump's anti-interventionist, "America first" positions have to be rather attractive to soldiers who have been in a perpetual war since 2001.


And in related news, the Military Times just profiled Trump's new campaign manager (and Breitbart News's Executive Chairman), Stephen K. Bannon referring to the the former Naval Officer (and fellow Virginian) as "a pretty extraordinary guy."
“When he was on the [Naval operations] staff, he attended, at night, Georgetown University, studying international affairs, and he got a master's degree there,” Masso said. “This guy was amazing. How many people have a busy, 12-hour job at the Pentagon and then go to Georgetown University at night? To me, that says a lot about this guy.” 
More here.

And Wikipedia notes the following:
Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class." Bannon's daughter, Maureen, is a West Point graduate and, as of October 2015, a lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division. 
Stephen Bannon also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard. I can already hear the gnashing of teeth. It's music to my ears.