(Video) Student Debt: the Game of Loans

November 10, 2015

From Prager University, an explanation of how student loans drive up the cost of a college education and drive students further into debt:

My college days, both undergraduate and graduate, we more than 30 years ago, but I can attest how even then student loans were a scam: easy to take out, hell to pay off. I was lucky and able to pay mine off thanks to the dot-com boom of the 90s, but many, many others are still trapped with that burden, if they haven’t blown them off altogether. I can only imagine how the problem has grown worse since then. The system is in desperate need of reform.

(Video) Who killed the Liberal Arts?

October 26, 2015


Consider this a companion piece to last week’s post about why Modern Art is so bad. In this video from Prager University, Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute looks at the decline of the once-essential liberal arts education. As the text describing the video asks:

What in the world happened to the liberal arts? A degree in the humanities used to transmit the knowledge and wisdom imbued in the works of great Western artists, writers, musicians and thinkers like Shakespeare and Mozart. But today, that same degree stresses Western racism, sexism, imperialism, and other ills and sins that reinforce a sense of victimhood and narcissism. So, what happened?

Watch and learn the answer:

I’m embarrassed to confirm that my alma mater, UCLA, did indeed drop the study Shakespeare as a requirement for a degree in English.

But, hey, at least they get to study racism and imperialism, both of which are crucial to understanding great literature.

True, they still have to take course in English Literature pre-1500, 1500-1700, etc., but it is now possible to get a degree in English without more than a passing acquaintance with the greatest writers the language has ever produced.

I shudder to think of what’s happening in History departments, not to mention the rest of what was once called the “Humanities.” It’s one thing thing to critique Western civilization for its genuine flaws and dark moments, but it’s another altogether to make those the focus and frame of students’ understanding of a civilization and culture that’s produced so much that is wonderful and created so much good.

It’s a learned self-loathing that amounts to cultural suicide.

RELATED: Not all at UCLA were happy with this change. Prager on the intellectual and moral decline of modern universities. Heather MacDonald’s original article that lead to this video.

San Francisco middle school principal disrupts student election for not being “diverse enough.”

October 21, 2015
Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

Lena Van Haren, Educator and Elections Commissar

If California is leading the way toward the nation becoming a banana republic, then San Francisco is the drum major at the head of the parade. Case in point: the Everett Middle School there recently held elections for student government. Great! The kids learn public speaking skills, how to hold office, and participate in a democratic process. One small step in the creation of future good citizens.

Except in progressive San Francisco, where the principal of Everett withheld the election results because the outcome wasn’t racially diverse enough.

The results had been withheld immediately after the election because the principal felt that the winners weren’t diverse enough.

We’ve learned that the majority of the winners were white, despite the fact that the student body is 80% students of color.

The incident happened at Everett Middle School in San Francisco’s Mission District. The voting was held Oct. 10, but the principal sent an email to parents on Oct. 14 saying the results would not be released because the candidates that were elected as a whole do not represents the diversity that exists at the school.

The email went on to say they were thinking of ways to value the students who won, while increasing the diversity of the group.

In other words, the candidates all went out and campaigned, and the voters made their choices. That should be the end of it, right? Content of character, per Martin Luther King, mattering more than the color of one’s skin, right? The student body, 80% of which are “students of color,” freely chose a student government that’s majority White. But ethnicity shouldn’t matter, right? RIGHT??

Wrong answer, class. Just ask the principal:

According to Principal Lena Van Haren, Everett Middle School has a diverse student body. She said 80 percent of students are students of color and 20 percent are white, but the election results did not represent the entire study body.

In other words, democracy and personal preference be damned, it’s the color of skin that really matters. One cannot truly be represented, unless it’s by someone of the same genetic background. Just as the Founders intended, of course.

Some parents, unsurprisingly, were incensed:

Todd David, whose son, Noah, is an eighth-grader at the school, said the principal undermined the democratic process in the name of social justice.

“I think it sends an unfortunate message to students when you say that the people you elected, they’re not representative of you even though you’re the ones who chose them,” he said.

Yeah, such as “the will of the people is important only so long as it delivers results acceptable to progressive elites,” such as middle school principals and other victims of modern teacher-training programs.

More Van Haren wisdom:

“That is concerning to me because as principal I want to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds,” Van Haren told KTVU.

Call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but isn’t that what participating in an election does? Again, the minority-majority of the school apparently freely voted for the winners, who just happened to be White. The voters’ voices were heard. And those who didn’t vote expressed their voices, too: they didn’t care.

Message to the administration of Everett Middle School: San Francisco is part of California, and California is a state in the United States of America, not Venezuela. When election results happen, you announce the results and live with it. And you never, ever teach American children that they can be fairly represented only by their own “race.” Leave that racialist, tribalist garbage on the ash heap of history, where it belongs.

And, as for Principal Van Haren, I’m not going to call for her firing, but she definitely needs re-education in democratic politics, Civics, and the rule of law.

(Video) Does Free Speech offend you?

August 31, 2015

Yesterday I wrote about politically-correct silliness at Wesleyan University, head-shaking but largely harmless identity politics.

Today’s video, however, takes a look at a far grimmer trend at our colleges and universities: the assault on free speech in the name of not hurting anyone’s feelings.

What were once places of free inquiry and defenders of intellectual liberty are more and more becoming places where speech –and, by extension, thought– is controlled by a progressive “PC police.” The irony is rich, because it’s the intellectual descendants of the free speech movement of the Sixties who have become the new enemies of freedom of speech.

Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss.

via Prager University

RELATED: The narrator of the video, Greg Lukianoff, has written two books about the assault on free speech at our universities — Freedom from Speech and Unlearning Liberty.

I’m sure Wesleyan University has offended someone by leaving a letter or two out

August 30, 2015

“Wait? Which letter am I?”

There have been plenty of silly moments in academia’s race to be offensive to none, inclusive of all, and apologizing to everyone for anything, but this really crosses into the realm of self-parody. Via Kat Timpf at National Review:

Weslyan University in Connecticut is now offering “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” housing, because apparently “LGBT” — or even “LGBTTQQ” — wouldn’t have been inclusive enough. For the culturally ignorant among us, “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, flexual, asexual, genderf**k, polyamorous, bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism.”

The name of this super-inclusive, social-justice-hero of a dorm is “Open House,” and it is meant to be a “safe space” for self-identified LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM students, according to the university’s official website.

In case your particular self-identification isn’t covered in that alphabet soup, Wesleyan assures you that your “sexually or gender dissident” lifestyle will still be welcome.

And probably have its own diversity counselor, pronouns, and safe rooms.

I wonder if a straight male student at Wesleyan could apply, claiming to be “sexually and gender-dissident” against the dominant LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM culture?

Nah. Too radical.

Reduce Out-of-Control College Costs by Ending Government Subsidies

April 5, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

Having watched college fees skyrocket over the years while the rolls of overpaid administrators gets ever more padded, Dan is exactly right. Student loans, a subset of subsidies to colleges, are really a racket by which the university charges more and more, the taxpayer (the source of the loan) pays now, the college gets the money, and the student spends decades paying the bill.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’ve written many times about the shortcomings of government schools at the K-12 level. We spend more on our kids than any other nation, yet our test scores are comparatively dismal.

And one of my points, based on this very sobering chart from one of my Cato colleagues, is that America’s educational performance took a turn in the wrong direction when the federal government became more involved starting about 40-50 years ago.

Well, the same unhappy story exists in the higher-education sector. Simply stated, there’s been an explosion of spending, much of it from Washington, yet the rate of return appears to be negative.

Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

Writing for the New York Times, Professor Paul Campos of the University of Colorado begins his column by giving the conventional-wisdom explanation of why it costs so much to go to college.

Once upon…

View original 931 more words

California school district buys $14,000 espresso maker to save jobs. Or something.

September 15, 2014
"For the children?"

“For the children?”

No, really.

The break room coffee machine is a staple of many a workplace. Usually though, it tends to fall on the “economical” or “value” side of the java spectrum.

But not in Castro Valley, California, where officials with the Castro Valley Unified School District are taking fire for the purchase of a $14,000 espresso maker.

The outrage was immediate. According to KPIX News in San Francisco, the school board’s facebook page was flooded with angry comments when word of the pricey espresso maker – paid for with taxpayer money – got out.

According to a school board official, buying the espresso machine was “an opportunity” to keep a part-time child nutritionist on staff. If you can’t see that, you must hate the children.

Though how a $14,000 espresso maker for the staff and child nutrition go together is a bit baffling. When I was in fourth grade, we were served chocolate milk, not a double shot.

And for an additional fourteen grand per year, maybe they could have made that nutritionist full-time? Or used it to… Oh, I don’t know. Buy new textbooks and school supplies for the kids?

Silly me. I guess a Mr. Coffee is just too déclassé for the Castro Valley school board.

Can’t wait to see the board members justify this to the voters.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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