Thursday, March 26, 2015

So-called Rape Culture

From Instapundit:
Campus rape is a serious problem. But while public attention is focused on students carrying mattresses and the discredited Rolling Stone report about rape at the University of Virginia, the fact is that sexual assault is more common off campus than on.
Consider this: If you lived in Gallup, New Mexico in 2013, you were 47 times more likely to be raped than if you attended Harvard, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics. Yet chances are you won’t see any protesters in New Mexico. Coverage of campus rape has likely increased for a variety of reasons – the social media influence of the at-risk demographic, the ability of victims and supporters to articulate the problem and because it — like any other type of violent crime in poor communities — is more of a surprise. That’s not to lessen one or the other; just a diagnosis of the arc of public attention.
A 2014 report from the Department of Justice called Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013 found that non-students aged 18-24 were 20% more likely to be sexually assaulted than students. Also, as these Reuters graphics show, the severity of the assault was worse for non-students, the rate of completed rape as opposed to other kinds of assault being 50% higher.
Follow the link for the graphics. Also, note that 6.1 out of 100,000 isn’t the same as 1 in 5.
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh emails: “I think 6.1/100,000 is the yearly attempted/completed/threatened sexual assault rate as reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and so isn’t directly comparable to the 1 in 5 assertion, which purports to measure the rate for the entire span of time in college; to make it comparable, I think you’d need to multiply it by 4 or 5 years. The difference remains vast, but not quite as vast.” A fair point. 24.4 out of 100,000 is still well below the 20,000 out of 100,000 we’d need for the 1 in 5 figure.
If you talk about “rape culture” but refuse to accept the FBI’s statistics, you’re more interested in touting your liberal bona fides than in reality--which, in this case, is really kind of sick, don't you think?

Do You Really Care About The Achievement Gap?

From Joanne:
In 41 cities, charter students learn significantly more than similar students in traditional public schools, according to a new report by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO. The average gain was the equivalent of 40 more days of learning in math, and 28 more in reading.

Disadvantaged students — blacks, Latinos, English Learners, low-income and special-education students — gained the most. Whites did worse in urban charters than in traditional schools.
If you talk about the achievement gap but don’t support charter schools despite their proven success, you’re really just interested in touting your liberal bona fides rather than actually having children learn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Joanne has two consecutive post up on reading:
Finland: Girls Read Well But Not Boys, and
Boys Are Catching Up In Reading (but presumably not in Finland!).


A round-up of Iraq topics--including video, so no one can challenge what was really said--is available here.  It's nice to have all that information available in one place.

You can't get clearer evidence that this president has been a disaster.

Then Enviro-wackos Are Going To Have To Turn Up The Heat On Americans

Why?  Because Americans just aren't buying their global warming alarmism:
Americans' concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change.
Who says so?  Gallup.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What Price Diversity?

Would you rather your kid have a teacher of the same skin color, or one that's bright?
Should we select teacher candidates for their smarts? asks the National Council on Teacher Quality Bulletin. If so, “can we raise the bar without endangering equitable access to strong teachers or limiting diversity?”
I wouldn't want to work at a place that hired me, or not, because of my skin color.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Guess If You're Foul Enough, University Professors Will Adore You

The so-called reality-based community has never explained, at least to my satisfaction, the allure of communism, especially given its death toll in the 20th century.  In overall numbers the communists make the Nazis look like pikers, and that's not an exaggeration.

About 5 months ago I wrote about UCLA's having Angela Davis' picture on banners around campus, holding her up as an exemplar of what UCLA students should aspire to and how they should act.  I didn't mince any words in that post and I'm not going to mince them now--Davis is a sickening human being.  Yes, her ideas are "different", but that doesn't mean they hold any value for sane people.  That the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will pay her as much money for one speech as I make in three months--well, they're sick, too:
Massachusetts taxpayers are questioning the speaking fee for activist communist Angela Davis to talk to students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst this month. reported on Tuesday that Davis is scheduled to deliver a talk titled “Sustaining Social Justice Movements and Intersectional Struggles” at the university’s Fine Arts Center March 30.

The announcement drew criticism from taxpayers online, who commented on Davis’ controversial past.

Davis was tried as a conspirator in the 1970 armed takeover of a Marin County, California courtroom in which four people died. Davis purchased the guns used in the tragic incident, and was on the run from the FBI for a time before she was eventually acquitted of aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder, according to

Davis was a leader in the Communist Party USA in the 1960s and reportedly had close relations with the Black Panthers. She was fired from her teaching position at UCLA in 1970 for repeated references to cops as “pigs,” and other “inflammatory language,” according to media reports.

MassLive commenter seekthetruth posted that he didn’t appreciate the public university using tax dollars to finance Davis’ speaking engagement.
What value can she possibly bring to university students?  What redeeming qualities does this thing have to merit such money and feting? 

I'm glad there's someone in Massachusetts willing to challenge this.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

California Governor Beclowns Himself

Governor Brown said today that Ted Cruz' stance on global warming should be disqualifying for president:
Responding to comments made by Cruz on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Democratic Governor Brown said of Cruz, "That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data. It's shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office"...

Brown said the drought being experienced in California could be traced to the buildup of carbon from coal and other sources, and that leaders need to take measures to prevent dire consequences. 

"Could be"?  If Brown likes science (and government) so much, perhaps he should pay attention to NOAA:
Natural weather patterns, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought parching California, says a study out Monday from federal scientists.

"It's important to note that California's drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state," said Richard Seager, the report's lead author and professor with Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. The report was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report did not appear in a peer-reviewed journal but was reviewed by other NOAA scientists.

"In fact, multiyear droughts appear regularly in the state's climate record, and it's a safe bet that a similar event will happen again," he said.
That he has been elected to so many offices in California, so many times, shows that the drought isn't necessarily California's biggest problem.

The Purest Science

Reverse Midas

Can you come up with one foreign policy success of the Obama Administration?

It certainly wasn't his Grand Apology Tour.

Iraq, which in 2010 had been touted as a success (video here), is now run partly by IS and partly by Iran. 

President Obama thought Afghanistan was the right war and Iraq the wrong one.  How are things going there?

Remember when the American Left was going nuts over President Bush's mythical preemptive war against Iran to keep it from getting nukes?  Is that worse than a fake deal that would essentially allow Iran to develop nukes?

President Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's elections.  That didn't turn out well for the US, for Egypt, or for the Muslim Brotherhood. President Obama offered to meet with the incoming president of Egypt but couldn't bring himself to make a phone call of congratulations to Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel this past week after he won the election there.  After Morsi was overthrown the standing of the US in Egypt was greatly diminished.

President Obama chose to "lead from behind" in Libya and then wanted to tout our great success.  That hasn't turned out well for the US or for Libya, which isn't even a real country anymore.

President Obama asked Russian president Medvedev to let Vlad Putin know that after the 2012 election he would have more "flexibility" to deal with the Russians because he wouldn't have to run for election again.  That hasn't turned out well for the US or for Ukraine.  A missile defense system sound like a good idea right now, especially to Eastern Europeans.  And remember this comment from the 2012 debates?  It was a witty zinger--but who ended up being right?

President Obama drew a "red line" in the sand regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  Syria used such weapons, Obama responded with silence.  Actually, no, not with silence, he denied ever having made the "red line" threat in the first place and tried to say that the world did so by passing a "no chemical weapons" treaty--when, after World War I?  Anyway, his stance hasn't turned out well for the US or for the Syrian civilians who were killed with chemical weapons.

President Obama, a mere 6 months ago, touted Yemen as an anti-terrorist success story.  That hasn't turned out well for the US or for Yemen, which this past week fell to Iranian-backed rebels.  All that was missing from the US withdrawal was an iconic picture of a helicopter on the roof.

Where in the world is the US better off today than it was in 2008, when this disaster of a president was elected?  Where in the world is the US more respected and more valued today than it was in 2008, when this disaster of a president was elected?  Where in the world have US actions contributed to peace, stability, and a better life since 2008, when this disaster of a president was elected?

Where has our stature been diminished?  The list above is a good start.  The Instapundit has been saying since 2009 that a "Carter rerun is a best-case scenario" and, sadly, he could not have been more correct.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Joke, Or Real?

I'm not one who believes that racial jokes should never be made.  On the other hand, when such a joke is made it should be very clear that it's a joke--and in the video here I can't tell at all whether he's joking or not:
A principal at a middle school in Fresno, Calif., has come under fire for saying “I just don’t like black kids” in a video taken on the cell phone of a student.

Scandinavian Middle School Vice Principal Joe DiFilippo was put on paid administrative leave while an outside investigator gathers facts and makes a “credible determination,” according to the Fresno Bee.

After the investigation, Fresno Unified spokesman Jed Chernabaeff says administrators will decide DiFilippo’s future with the district.

In the video that was posted on YouTube, DiFilippo wears dark sunglasses and stands casually against a pole outside the school cafeteria talking with a student. A young voice is heard asking, “Mr. DiFilippo, who at this school do you not like?” Another voice responds “All of us.” Following a flurry of inaudible comments, DiFilippo says, “I just don’t like black kids.”

Friday, March 20, 2015

Truth Is No Defense

How do you even deal with people so nuts that they think that that banning a college student from class for being right is entirely acceptable:
A student at Reed College has been banned from class for denying the existence of “rape culture” in the United States and arguing that the oft-repeated statistic that one in five women are raped at college is bogus.

Jeremiah True, 19, received an email from professor Pancho Savery on March 14 telling him he was making his classmates so uncomfortable that he was no longer welcome to participate in the “conference” sections of his Humanities 110 class, a course which focuses on the art and literature of classical Greece, according to BuzzFeed News.

True says he sparred with his classmates on a variety of issues, but says it was his criticism of the 1-in-5 rape statistic that ended up being the tipping point.
The 1-in-5 statistic has been debunked more than just about any other statistic in recent memory.  Facts are never an impediment to the left, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Three Months From Today

The flights have been paid for.

Hotels have been booked.

Yesterday I went to the bank and picked up two different foreign currencies.

Today I made the final payment on the cruise.

Three months from today, baby.  Stuff is getting real!

People Like This Are Exactly Why We Need A First Amendment

For starters, she's so stupid that she thinks Bill Maher is a right-winger:
In the US, however, no such laws exist.  Right-wing hatemongers like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Bill Maher, and Sarah Palin (to name just a few) are allowed to freely incite hatred and violence, oppose human rights, and undermine progress with impunity.  When people like this are allowed to sway public opinion against the common good, it can have disastrous consequences.  Just ask the millions of people killed due to wars pushed by right-wingers, even though propaganda for war is illegal under international human rights law (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mandates that all countries outlaw propaganda for war).
Freely incite hatred and violence?  Really?  Read her entire piece and see who you think is inciting hatred (as well as who you think is bat-crap insane).

She would limit free speech to those who think like she does.  That's no freedom at all.

I'm thankful every day for the First Amendment.  And I hope that author gets the mental health help she needs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Most Transparent Administration in History

Perhaps the most transparently corrupt, or the most transparently anti-Western, or the most transparently un-American administration in history:
The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

Its backlog of unanswered requests at year's end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000. It also cut by 375, or about 9 percent, the number of full-time employees across government paid to look for records. That was the fewest number of employees working on the issue in five years.
And this comes from the Associated Press, a very left-leaning source.

In so many ways, this president is a disaster.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This Is A Good Dress Code, Not A Sexist One

Watch the video here first, about the dress code at a Catholic school's awards event.

Several of us worked at last Friday's dance and we were shocked at the way the girls dressed.  When I started at that school a dozen years ago, girls came to dances dressed in one of three ways:  a small number were way overdressed, as for cotillion; most were nicely dressed; a small number dressed as hookers.  Those three categories are essentially gone now; by almost universal agreement, the vast majority of the girls at Friday's dance were dressed in what I'll nicely call "pole-dancing chic".

For starters, 14-17 year-olds don't need to be wearing 6" heels.  Most of them can't walk in them anyway, and sometimes it's funny to watch them clomp around in them.  After pictures are taken they ditch the shoes anyway, walking around the gym and the concrete breezeway in their bare feet.  One wonders what they think when they go into the restroom.

Then there are those dresses, the ones that are Saran-Wrap-tight and are so short that every few steps the girls are pulling the backs of their dresses down to ensure their butts are covered.  I am not making this up.

And there was a school administrator at the door who allowed all of them in.  This floors me.

With boys it's pretty easy.  They wear slacks and a shirt, probably a tie, and that's it.  There's no need to tell boys that they can't wear muscle tees to a nice event, and there's no societal norm, even for adult men, to have their pants slit up to their you-know-whats.  Dress codes for guys are easy.  "Keep it classy" is a fairly clear instruction, as was the rest of the boys' dress code in the video above.

It's is not so clear with women.  "How do you put into a dress code that dresses shouldn't be skin tight like that?" was a question that came up in the staff lounge just today when discussing what's appropriate attire at a school dance.  Dress codes for girls need to be more detailed because there are more ways for girls to dress, both good and bad, than there are for guys.  It would be nice if "choose an outfit pretty enough to show you are a woman and covered enough to show you are a lady" were all that was needed to ensure the girls dressed appropriately, but sadly it's not.

The dress code isn't sexist, it's appropriate.  Perhaps if someone addressed how having breasts or butt cheeks popping out of a tiny dress could be considered sexual harassment, just the same as a dirty joke can....

Remember, Media Bias Is A Myth

It's a myth if you're a leftie, because all the media agrees with you--how could there be any bias in that?
A sweeping study of some 130,213 news articles on the 2012 presidential match between President Obama and Mitt Romney has proven anew that there was a strong pro-Democratic bias in the U.S. and international press...

"Overall, media reporting contained more frequently positive statements about the Democrats than the Republicans. Overall, the Republicans were more frequently the object of negative statements," wrote the study authors, Their conclusion: "The Republican Party is the most divisive subject in the campaign, and is portrayed in a more negative fashion than the Democrats."

Teachers, THIS Is What Your Union Dues Pay For

I got this post wrong.  I retract it, and I'll leave it here so that you know what I'm retracting.

I misunderstood the nature of the banner.  I understood the "all cops are bastards" banner to have been printed by the organization; rather it appears to have been a hand-drawn poster that may, or may not, have been sanctioned by anyone at the NEA.  While Wisconsin Jobs Now is obviously a leftie organization and NEA no doubt supports them financially and ideologically, the NEA isn't responsible for every utterance (or every poster) of every loser in that organization.

Here's my original post (from a few hours ago) which, again, I retract:

Good job, NEA, you continue to make all of us look bad:
Attendees at an anti-police protest in Wisconsin funded heavily by the National Education Association — America’s largest teachers union — unfurled a banner declaring “ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS.”

The Wednesday event was organized by Wisconsin Jobs Now, reports

Despite the name “Wisconsin Jobs Now,” the small, radical group has spent considerable time and energy in recent months protesting police tactics.

Wisconsin Jobs Now has long targeted the Milwaukee police department. It has now branched some 80 miles west to Madison.

The National Education Association is a major financial donor for Wisconsin Jobs Now. The teachers union — the largest in the United States — gave $125,000 to Wisconsin Jobs Now in 2014 alone.
Imagine the hue and cry if someone were to suggest that all NEA officials were bastards.  At least that comment would be correct.

An Honest Discussion Of Race Includes Discussing The Race-Baiters

This president has been a disaster, which I expected--but I didn't expect him to be a disaster in race relations, which every poll has shown have gotten worse during his time in office.  Think of his response to Cornel West's run-in with the police (they acted "stupidly"), his involvement in the Trayvon Martin imbroglio (if he had a son, he'd have looked like Trayvon), and the Ferguson, MO riots:
The most recent news from Ferguson concerns what Eric Holder has rightly called the “ambush shooting” of two police officers outside the city’s police department. This incident occurred in the wake of two detailed reports released by the Department of Justice. The first report deals in depth with the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson....

Let’s start with the DOJ report that exonerated Wilson. The federal prosecutors ran an exhaustive review of all the physical, forensic, and testimonial evidence in the case. It is necessary to state its final conclusion in full: “Darren Wilson’s actions do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242, which prohibits uses of deadly force that are ‘objectively unreasonable,’ as defined by the United States Supreme Court. The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. Accordingly, under the governing federal law and relevant standards set forth in the USAM [United States Attorneys’ Manual], it is not appropriate to present this matter to a federal grand jury for indictment, and it should therefore be closed without prosecution.”

The legal conclusion is surely correct, but the tone of the report’s findings are slanted against Wilson. It is not just the case that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. It is that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence supports that Wilson’s conduct was fully justified. During the initial encounter, Brown had tried to wrest Wilson’s gun from him by reaching into Wilson’s Chevy Tahoe SUV. Wilson’s story was corroborated, to quote the report, “by bruising on Wilson’s jaw and scratches on his neck, the presence of Brown’s DNA on Wilson’s collar, shirt, and pants, and Wilson’s DNA on Brown’s palm.” Later on, the evidence also showed that Brown was running toward Wilson at the time Wilson fired the fatal shots, not knowing whether Brown was armed or not. The incident was far clearer than the oft-ticklish situations in which the courts have to decide whether a police officer used excessive force against a person who was resisting arrest, as with the controversial grand jury decision not to indict any police officer for the killing of Eric Garner.

What the DOJ now has to do is to acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson, by condemning unequivocally the entire misguided campaign against him, which resulted in threats against his life and forced his resignation from the police force. Eric Holder owes Wilson an apology for the unnecessary anguish that Wilson has suffered. As the Attorney General for all Americans, he must tell the protestors once and for all that their campaign has been thoroughly misguided from start to finish, and that their continued protests should stop in the interests of civic peace and racial harmony. In light of the past vilification of Wilson, it is not enough for the DOJ to publish the report, and not trumpet its conclusions. It is necessary to put that report front and center in the public debate so that everyone now understands that Wilson behaved properly throughout the entire incident.
In other words, "hands up, don't shoot" was a lie from the beginning, but it was aided and encouraged by a black president and a black attorney general for reasons too sick to tolerate.  When the attorney general said, early in his tenure, that America is a nation of cowards because it doesn't talk about race, I say we're just the opposite--too many people talk too much about race and nothing else. 

It's not 1957 anymore.  The president and the attorney general should join the rest of us in the 21st century.

"Checking" White Privilege

This guy makes sense to me:
When students are compelled to have “White Privilege 101” classes, we have every right to ask: Why, and for whose benefit?

If you’ve been white lately, you have likely been confronted with the idea that to be a good person, you must cultivate a guilt complex over the privileged status your race enjoys.

It isn’t that you are doing, or even quite thinking, anything racist. Rather, your existential state of Living While White constitutes a form of racism in itself. Your understanding will serve as a tool … for something. But be careful about asking just what that something is, because that will mean you “just don’t get it.”
He's right so far.
To be sure, there is, indeed, a distinct White Privilege. Being white does offer a freedom not easily available to others. You can underperform without it being ascribed to your race. And when you excel, no one wonders whether Affirmative Action had anything to do it. Authority figures are likely to be your color, and no one associates people of your color with a propensity to violence. No one expects you to represent your race in a class discussion or anywhere else.

These are the basics of White Privilege, disseminated in key campus texts such as Peggy McIntosh’s foundational “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” from 1988. It’s become a meme of Blue America’s mental software, recently focused by the murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner.
Schools are giving "white privilege" lessons, too. Gotta indoctrinate the young, I guess.
“This is messy work, but these conversations are necessary,” says Sandra Chapman, director of diversity and community at Little Red School House in New York City. OK—but why? Note that the answer cannot be, “So that whites will understand that they are the privileged … etc.” That makes as much sense as saying “Because!” So I’m going to dare to ask a simple question: What exactly are we trying to achieve with this particular lesson?


I assume, for example, that the idea is not to teach white people that White Privilege means that black people are the only group of people in human history who cannot deal with obstacles and challenges. If the idea is that black people cannot solve their problems short of white people developing an exquisite sensitivity to how privileged they are, then we in the black community are being designated as disabled poster children.
Did you catch that? For those of you who need to know this before evaluating his comments, the author is black.  And his last remark is a body blow to why affirmative action is so insidious.
The question, then, becomes: Precisely what benefit do White Privilege 101 lessons add to all of what there already is? (Again, “knowing about White Privilege” is not an answer.) What are we hoping will happen in the wake of these lessons that hasn’t been happening before, and crucially, upon what evidence has that hope been founded?

America is by no means post-racial, but it is not 1960 either; change happens.
For liberals it's always the 1960s (or earlier).
It is often assumed that someone expressing views like these has roughly the take on race of Samuel Jackson’s character in Django Unchained. Not. I am neither criticizing activism nor saying that everybody needs to just pull themselves up by those proverbial bootstraps.

I get too much hate mail from the right to submit gracefully to the sellout label. I deplore the War on Drugs, linguistic discrimination against black people, and naïve dogma that keeps poor black kids from learning to read. I support prisoner re-entry programs, supported the Ferguson protests ardently, and was behind Barack Obama earlier than many black writers. I have never voted Republican in my life.

However, I firmly believe that improving the black condition does not require changing human nature, which may always contain some tribalist taints of racism. We exhibit no strength—Black Power—in pretending otherwise. I’m trying to take a page from Civil Rights heroes of the past, who would never have imagined that we would be shunting energy into trying to micromanage white psychology out of a sense that this was a continuation of the work of our elders. I am not “being a contrarian” or “stirring up the pot”—I do not consider this a renegade position. Plenty of ordinary black people nationwide would agree with me on the difference between White Privilege teach-ins and continuing the struggle.
Seems to me like he would rather channel his energies into something useful, not something just for show. In that we entirely agree.

And here's the finale:
They deserve civil answers to their questions. The white high schooler who doesn’t get why she needs to be smilingly commanded to recognize her status as an unjustly “privileged” white person is not a racist because she doesn’t “get” it. She deserves to be given a rationale, and if that rationale is essentially a repetition of the White Privilege lesson paradigm, then we need to ask some more questions.
Well done, sir.

School Discipline

How can it be that letting students get away with whatever they want doesn't lead to Utopia?
“Progressive” discipline policies such as “restorative justice” are reducing suspensions — and making schools less safe, argues Paul Sperry in the New York Post...

All over the country, teachers are complaining that student behavior has worsened under lenient policies, writes Sperry.

It has created a “systemic inability to administer and enforce consistent consequences for violent and highly disruptive student behaviors” that “put students and staff at risk and make quality instruction impossible,” wrote Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern in a letter to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Los Angeles Unified also is seeing problems, writes Sperry.