Mind-Reading, Canadian Hate Speech Criminals Protest Ann Coulter Hate Speech Before She Speaks It, and Threaten Injury and Mayhem

Canadians are so polite it’s just amazing. For example, the other day Ann Coulter received a letter from a provost at the University of Ottawa warning her to watch her mouth or she might be arrested and thrown in the hoosegow. The interesting part went like this.

Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges. Outside of the criminal realm, Canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed. I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind.

There is a strong tradition in Canada, including at this university, of restraint, respect and consideration in expressing even provocative and controversial opinions and urge you to respect that Canadian tradition while on our campus. Hopefully, you will understand and agree that what may, at first glance, seem like unnecessary restrictions to freedom of expression do, in fact, lead not only to a more civilized discussion, but to a more meaningful, reasoned and intelligent one as well.

Ann Coulter responded with musings about how she would file a Hate Speech complaint, including in a letter to the Ottawa Citizen:

The provost simply believes and is publicizing his belief that conservatives are more likely to commit hate crimes in their speeches. Not only does this promote hatred against conservatives, but it promotes violence against conservatives. [link]

Whose speech stirred up violence and hatred again? Was it Coulter’s or the provost’s?

The Snarky Economist

You have to read Thomas E. Woods’ deliciously snarky response to an economic illiteratista who dubs himself “Che.” Che’s commentary is in bold, and his fisking by Woods follows.

If free market principles were allowed to rule, like Schiff wants, what that means is everything is based on maximizing profit.

At this point we are all supposed to gasp at what a terrible prospect this would be. After all, the track coach and Michael Moore have told us about the wickedness of “profits,” so what more is there to say, really?

But as we’ve seen above, profit is simply society’s way of ratifying a firm’s past production decisions. It indicates what consumers want, and (by the process of imputation) the best process for producing it. Profits attract further investment in a given line of production, until the increased supply of goods in that industry brings the rate of return there back down to the level that exists elsewhere in the economy. This is how we ensure that our limited resources are not wasted, and that the most urgently desired goods are produced.

In the absence of profit as a driving force, how exactly would Che like to see resources allocated? We can either allow consumer preferences to guide production, or let the personal preferences of a monopolist (i.e., government) dictate what should be produced and how. When the question is posed this way, the choice is pretty clear, which is why the question is never posed this way.

Incidentally, would Che prefer to base economic decision making on maximizing losses instead? Would that be better?

There is so much more you have to read. Che was dumb, in his own way, but it was a completely different way than Che the Bloggista.

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Illegal Immigration has Consequences

K. Gonzalez, the student of unknown (by me) gender who worked so hard to get into Berkeley, to pay for one semester, and wrote this about the experience, sounds like a wonderful person, with one exception: The part that breaks immigration law. But the editorial drone who wrote the headline needs to be slapped silly.

A College Dream Ends Too Soon
I worked hard to get into Berkeley and I worked even harder when I got there. But when my funds ran out, I had to leave.

That headline says one thing: This undocumented alien is a victim. But this excerpt from the article says something completely different: This undocumented alien is a very hard worker and is incapable of acting like a victim.

I found a tiny room near the campus, enrolled in classes, and landed a job selling jewelry in a San Francisco mall. From Friday through Monday, I worked full-time, waking up at 6:30 a.m. to get to work by 9. I couldn’t spend the weekends like other students, lazing in the sun or exploring neighborhoods. Still, for two glorious days each week, Tuesday and Thursday, I had classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and was taught by some amazing professors. Continue reading

Calling all Educators: Can the Science of Economic Success be Taught?

This naive* article at WaPo and Megan McArdle’s response have prompted a thought, as to what it would take for even impoverished hard-cases to get themselves out of poverty. For that is the true story of America, the rags to riches story. It’s the story of an orphaned boy who is so poor his shoes have holes in the soles, who starts by selling newspapers and apples on the street corner, becomes a wealthy and successful man, gives generously of time and money to charity when he is among the elite of his city, and opens an orphanage to take care of kids who are just like he was once. America is a place where that has happened and can happen again. It is not a place where people are trapped in poverty by class or legal restrictions; at least not yet.

To those who have taught teens:

Let’s say you were given the opportunity to teach the skills of success to a bunch of teenagers who are mostly aimless without any understanding of how to succeed in life. How would you go about it? Continue reading

Bill Ayers joins the high Q score reprobates at HuffPo

Bill Ayers, Obama buddy and neighbor, likely Obama ghostwriter, co-founder of and bomb-maker for the terrorist Weatherman/Weathermen/Weather Underground and author of the charming (not!) revolutionary communist manifesto Prairie Fire, is writing again. He’s at Huffington Post with the rest of the high Q score reprobates, natcherly.

In his first blog at HuffPo, Ayers talks about Obama and education reform. Most of the education reform portion of the article identifies the same problems any conservative education reformer would see with the government monopoly schools. Schools are there to dumb kids down, to turn them into good worker bees who can work in the factories that the government monopoly schools were designed to complement. The factories have been driven out of America by ecowarriors, trial lawyers, and their allies, but the schools have not adjusted. Public Schools are not now and never have been there to teach kids how to think, how to become adults who understand the principles that underlie their wants, and have a plan for their own success and thriving in life. Schools are there to turn kids into factory worker sheeple who drink a sixpack every night while watching the ball games.

As far as that goes Ayers and I agree.

Here is where we do not agree.

Obama is not a monarch — Arne Duncan is not education czar — and we are not his subjects. If we want a foreign policy based on justice, for example, we ought to get busy organizing a robust anti-imperialist peace movement; if we want to end the death penalty we better get smart about changing the dominant narrative concerning crime and punishment. We are not allowed to sit quietly in a democracy awaiting salvation from above. We are all equal, and we all need to speak up and speak out right now.

Ayers talks a good game in most of the article as he identifies the weaknesses in education. But in this paragraph he gives away his game. He is not in favor of teaching kids how to think with ideologically neutral materials. Rather than teaching kids how to use logic and reason to dismantle bad arguments, or how to use empirical methods to test economic and sociological assertions, Ayers intends to use the teachers’ higher status compared to their students to brainwash the students into “changing the dominant narrative” concerning all sorts of things: Private property; human rights; class warfare; not just crime and punishment.

Keep that on your mind as we dig into into Ayers’ past to disinter his hidden goals. Zombie transcribes an interview with Larry Grathwohl, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Weather Underground, in which he relates the gang’s plans for how to carry out their revolution.

I bought up the subject of what’s going to happen after we take over the government. We, we become responsible, then, for administrating, you know, 250 million people.

And there was no answers. No one had given any thought to economics; how are you going to clothe and feed these people.

The only thing that I could get, was that they expected that the Cubans and the North Vietnamese and Chinese and the Russians would all want to occupy different portions of the United States.

They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter-revolution. And they felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education centers in the southwest, where we would take all the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them… how things were going to be.

I asked, well, what’s going to happen to those people that we can’t re-educate; that are die-hard capitalists. And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further, they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. And when I say eliminate, I mean kill. 25 million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

And they were dead serious.”

And they still are. As Zombie demonstrates, Ayers still believes everything now that he believed then. He still anticipates a rebellion against the US government, perhaps after Obama drives the economy further into a ditch. Imagine 10% inflation combined with 15% unemployment, falling house prices, and stagnant wages. People will not have enough money to survive, there will be bankruptcies everywhere, and revolution is a serious and dangerous possibility. Ayers has always intended to be on the front line, a revolutionary vanguard poised to organize the revolution, turn it into a communist coup and a mass slaughter.

In Prairie Fire Ayers stated the first step toward revolutionary communist hegemony is to impose socialism. Socialism has always, everywhere produced misery and violence. This is exactly what revolutionary communists like Ayers like about socialism. It prepares the ground for a revolution they can subvert and take over, to end up as the revolutionary elite, a communist aristocracy ruling a victim nation with guns, hunger, and terror.

SUMMING UP

My problem with Ayers’ ideas for educational reform is that Ayers does not wish to improve education. He likes the idea of brainwashing students instead of educating them. His desired change is to turn the students into a different brand of sheeple: vicious partisans for the new Red army.

It would be a good idea to keep on eye on the elderly but still dangerous Ayers.

Here is his RSS feed.

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Interesting Posts 10/9/08

The article is old, but I missed it before. Why did the Great Depression Last so Long?

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

h/t: Jonah Goldberg.

Stanley Kurtz, Planting Seeds of Disaster: ACORN, Barack Obama, and the Democratic party.

‘You’ve got only a couple thousand bucks in the bank. Your job pays you dog-food wages. Your credit history has been bent, stapled, and mutilated. You declared bankruptcy in 1989. Don’t despair: You can still buy a house.” So began an April 1995 article in the Chicago Sun-Times that went on to direct prospective home-buyers fitting this profile to a group of far-left “community organizers” called ACORN, for assistance. In retrospect, of course, encouraging customers like this to buy homes seems little short of madness.

Robert Weissberg, The Noble Lies Of PC

“..the one aspect of American culture and society most in need of improvement and investment–education–has been greeted by deafening silence on the part of all candidates.”

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College in his “charge” to the Class of 2008. Leon forgets to mention that all of today’s presidential candidates, including also-rans, offer detailed prescriptions for fixing education and US spending on education has for decades out-paced inflation and even government health care spending. In other words, class of 2008, when it comes to saving the world, just make it up. Why bother with inconvenient truths.

Universities, it would seem, are committed to uncovering truth. Exceptions occasionally occur, and a small contingent insists that there is no such thing as objective truth, but for the most part, professors who make up data or plagiarize are usually caught and punished. Recall that Ward Churchill was fired for research misconduct and fraud, not his loathsome views, and even fellow travelers could not justify deception. Professors may exaggerate a bit, disregard awkward findings or even tilt research towards pre-conceived outcomes, but it would be professional suicide to insist that 2+2=5.

Unfortunately, a major exception exists, and this might be called the “Grand Noble Lie” whose purpose is not to deceive (the usual aim of a lie) but to reassure listeners so as to advance a career. Whereas conventional liars seek to cover their tracks (e.g., what is “is”), the effectiveness of the Grand Noble Lie depends on its blatant, plain-to-see falseness. It is insufficient to claim that 2+2=5 or for the timid 2=2=4.01; rather 2+2=100. This is an incredibly upside down world whereby those saying 2+2=100 may go on to glory while Professor Joe Average dreads being humiliated for citing a book he never read. That Grand Liars are more likely to be distinguished university presidents, or at least Deans, not under-the-gun junior faculty concocting data to get published, only makes the phenomena even more remarkable.

What are these Grand Noble Lies? They have undoubtedly existed forever (recall Plato’s Golden Lies) but today they overwhelmingly concern university policy regarding race or, more generally, diversity.

Investor’s Business Daily, Obama’s Real Problem With Ayers

Election ’08: At an education forum in Venezuela, Bill Ayers showed the real issue is not his terrorist past. It’s the socialist revolutionary agenda that he and Barack Obama want to impose on the nation’s schools.

Still more evidence of how the media are in the tank for Obama was evident in Tom Brokaw’s description of Ayers on Sunday’s “Meet The Press.”

“School reformer” is how Brokaw identified the co-founder of the Weather Underground, the radical organization that, among other activities, bombed government buildings, banks, police departments and military bases in the early 1970s.

Yeah, right: Ayers is a school reformer in the same sense, as City Journal’s Sol Stern put it, as Joe Stalin was an agricultural reformer.

Douglas Johnson, Unholy Messaging: Obama’s faith-based try vs. his positions

Americans are learning that the real Barack Obama is firmly committed to an agenda of sweeping pro-abortion policy changes that, if implemented, could be expected to drastically increase the numbers of abortions performed.

One component of the Obama abortion agenda, the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA, S. 1173), is coming under increased scrutiny from many quarters. The FOCA is the most sweeping piece of pro-abortion legislation ever proposed in Congress. It is a bill that would establish a federal “abortion right” broader than Roe v. Wade and, in the words of the National Organization for Women, “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”

In mid-September, every congressional office received a pointedly worded two-page letter on the FOCA from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed by Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-life Activities. Rigali notes, in his opening paragraph, “Pro-abortion groups and some of the bill’s congressional sponsors have said they want this legislation enacted soon.”

Personally, I am aware of only one congressional sponsor of the “Freedom of Choice Act” who has said anything publicly, in the past year or so, to indicate that he would like to see the bill enacted soon. That sponsor is the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama.

Obama is not “merely” a cosponsor of the bill, but someone who has declared enactment of the FOCA to be a top priority. In his too-little-noted speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Obama said, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”

Rigali’s letter, and an accompanying six-page memorandum from the USCCB’s legal office, explain with great clarity the sweeping power of the language contained in the FOCA. Both the letter and the memorandum deserve a wide reading. Here, I will quote only briefly from Rigali’s letter: “First it [the FOCA] creates a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, including a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined ‘health’ reasons. No government body at any level would be able to ‘deny or interfere with’ this newly created federal right. Second, it forbids government at all levels to ‘discriminate’ against the exercise of this right ‘in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.’ For the first time, abortion on demand would be a national entitlement that government must condone and promote in all public programs affecting pregnant women.”

Rigali also wrote: “However, there is one thing absolutely everyone should be able to agree on: We can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortion. . . . We cannot reduce abortions by insisting that every program supporting women in childbirth and child care must also support abortion. No one who sponsors or supports legislation like FOCA can credibly claim to be part of a good-faith discussion on how to reduce abortions.”

Peter Ferrara, Prepare for the Worst

Just two weeks ago, a book on economic policy was released that will be a classic for the ages. Entitled The End of Prosperity, by Art Laffer, Steve Moore, and Peter J. Tanous, the book explains in full detail the economic disaster that will befall America if it takes a sharp left turn to neo-socialism under the leadership of the far left President Barack Obama, the ultraleft Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with 60 liberal Democrat Senators, and their pal the ultraliberal Howard Dean heading the Democrat party.

Indeed, one of the insights of the book is that a major factor already tanking the stock market and leading foreign capital to flee America is the threat of the economic policies promised by Obama.

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Ig Nobel Prizes for Scientific Jokers

Harvard University

Image via Wikipedia

Dueling scientific studies at Harvard University and from a group of Taiwanese doctors proved that Coca-Cola was and was not an effective spermicide. A study from New Mexico proved that strippers get more tips when at their peak fertility. A study from Sao Paulo Brazil showed that armadillos make a big mess when they get into archaological digs. A study from Toulouse France showed that dog-dwelling fleas can jump higher than cat-dwelling fleas. A study from Duke University showed that expensive fake medicine is more effective than cheap fake medicine. Many ludicrous studies were eligible for IgNobel Prizes and these were some of the winners. Is “winners” really the word I am looking for?

What is truly astounding is how many joke studies were in the field asking to be raised to the Ignobility. Why are researchers and educators spending time on this piffle? Is this the next step after the successful leftist usurpation of the educational establishment; the wholesale replacement of all research and teaching with jokes?

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Title IX’s faults

Alison Kasic (a chica, not a chico) writes at the CS Monitor regarding the aftereffects of Title IX.

When Title IX was being debated in Congress at its inception, several sponsors assured their fellow members that the bill would not be used to promote gender quotas. Sen. Birch Bayh said that such quotas were “exactly what this amendment intends to prohibit.” Quotas might not have been intended for the original law, but, in effect, were later added by government bureaucrats.

The original law simply states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

That’s where it started. And in a perfect storm of red tape, the Education Department has implemented regulations that enforce strict gender quotas in athletics and is threatening math and science programs in which males outperform females.

Read it all.

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Too many people are going to college

So says Charles Murray in his new book, Real Education. Actually that is one of four truths upon which he bases his argument. Here are all four.

Ability varies. Children differ in their ability to learn academic material. Doing our best for every child requires, above all else, that we embrace that simplest of truths. America’s educational system does its best to ignore it.

Half of the children are below average. Many children cannot learn more than rudimentary reading and math. Real Education reviews what we know about the limits of what schools can do and the results of four decades of policies that require schools to divert huge resources to unattainable goals.

Too many people are going to college. Almost everyone should get training beyond high school, but the number of students who want, need, or can profit from four years of residential education at the college level is a fraction of the number of young people who are struggling to get a degree. We have set up a standard known as the BA, stripped it of its traditional content, and made it an artificial job qualification. Then we stigmatize everyone who doesn’t get one. For most of America’s young people, today’s college system is a punishing anachronism.

America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted. An elite already runs the country, whether we like it or not. Since everything we watch, hear, and read is produced by that elite, and since every business and government department is run by that elite, it is time to start thinking about the kind of education needed by the young people who will run the country. The task is not to give them more advanced technical training, but to give them an education that will make them into wiser adults; not to pamper them, but to hold their feet to the fire.

The universality of college is based in the Supreme Court’s Griggs and Albermarle decisions against testing job applicants. Requiring a college degree sorts out a certain number of “unacceptable” job candidates just as pre-employment testing once did (and a watered-down college degree is an even more questionable requirement for many jobs than a high school degree was in the original Griggs case). The appearance of this book and the reaction to it promises to be a good show.

And it promises to be more than spectator sport. It may influence home education as well. Tom Wolfe blurbs the book on Amazon:

“Charles Murray is one professional contrarian who cannot be written off–not since his first book, Losing Ground, led to a complete restructuring of America’s welfare system. At first Real Education, with its plan for identifying “the elite,” may strike you as an elaboration of his hotly contested views on IQ. But suddenly–swock!–he pops a gasper: a practical plan for literally reproducing, re-creating, a new generation of Jeffersons, Adamses, Franklins, and Hamiltons, educated, drilled, steeped, marinated in those worthies’ concern for the Good and Virtuous with a capital V–nothing less than an elite of Founding Great-great-great-great-great Grandchildren.”

—Tom Wolfe

That would be spectacular!

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Critical Thinking and Homeschool

Sandra M. comments on an article by Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress, at PJM.

I see great hope for the future in the homeschooling movement.

My grandmother, a language teacher, taught me to read when I was 4. Obviously, she used PHONICS, not the epistomologically disastrous look-say method. Once I had that skill, there wasn’t much Manhattan’s Marxist Mafia, dominant in our schools, could do to destroy me.

I always had a first generation American’s intense love for this country, but It wasn’t until I was in my 60’s that I finally found an American History textbook that reflected my love for this country and it was written by a Brit, Paul Johnson, whose HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE I recommend to everyone.

Luckily, as a child I was prone to chronic bronchitis, so I happily shared my bed with The Count of Monte Cristo, (from whom I got my curriculum) , and Sherlock Holmes who imbued me with a desire to learn logic, which only intensified when I met Ayn Rand, the “sorceress of reason.” Her best gift was introducing me to the works of “The Master of Those Who Know” Aristotle.

I am not a great logician but I try. Decades ago, I used to work logic exercises in logic texts, the greatest text I found being LOGIC: AN INTRODUCTION by Lionel Ruby, which is especially good on scientific method and research which is very applicable to those with allergies and health problems. I also recommend his very entertaining THE ART OF MAKING SENSE, which resulted from 10 radio talks called “How to Think Logically”. Ch. 13 covers The Logic of Gambling and Ch. 17 The Logic of Sherlock Holmes. Enjoy!!!

I wish I had found John Saxon (former Marine) and his mathematics texts as a child. They are so good, that I once saw burly math teacher cry on 60 minutes because they were replacing the Saxon texts with books more profitable to Texas bureaucrats and teachers. Textbook publishers will pay and pay well to get their books selected.

I always hated the dingy public schools with barred windows, loud bells, indifferent teachers and a curriculum designed to baffle and dismay a child. John Taylor Gatto’s DUMBING US DOWN explained my loathing for school which co-existed with a real desire to learn.

Today, the homeschooling movement is so organized and powerful that when an idiot Congressman who knew how powerful the teachers; unions were spoke out on the floor of the House against homeschooling, the Congess was inundated with more angry mail than they’d ever received on any issue.

I deeply regret virtually almost every day I ever spent in school and this even includes a good part of 4 years of college and a year in graduate school Just give me the books and get out of my way. Let me learn at my own speech the subjects I want to learn and let me find creative ways of studying subjects of not much interest to me such as jigsaw puzzles for the states and countries of the world with capitols and other pertinent matters listed. I wish I’d known of CLEP and could have studied on my own and taken exams for college credit. It would have saved me a lot of time. Because of another role model, Bill Buckley, I did learn from debating in college and writing a column for the school newspaper. Other than these extracurricular activities, I learned from books not lectures. I’m an ADDer and start to think while someone is speaking so I miss part of what’s being said. With books I can underline and post tape the parts most important to me.

If vouchers were given to students and their families instead of money to schools, schools would immediately improve, which is why leftist bureacrats and teachers will fight to the death against school vouchers, lest parents destroy a system designed by the Prussians and adopted by John Dewey to produce obedient soldiers and workers.

Word!

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