Tag Archives: the coming dark age

Connecticut locks all train bathrooms because half are not ADA compliant

The coming dark age: Because of a complaint, Hartford officials have locked all bathrooms on a new train line because half are not ADA compliant.

Restrooms on half of the Hartford Line trains — those operated by the state as opposed to Amtrak — will remain closed until they are made accessible to individuals with disabilities in early 2019, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. The closure comes in response to a reversed decision from the Federal Railroad Administration, which had previously granted the state a temporary exemption from the Americans for Disabilities Act, according to the DOT.

Disability Rights Connecticut, a nonprofit advocacy group for state residents with disabilities, said it filed an ADA complaint with the FRA on June 8 regarding the new commuter line, which is scheduled to open June 16.

In other words, because a small number of people are unhappy, no one can be happy. They rule, and if they don’t get what they want then no one will get anything.

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Max Planck scientists criticize institute for lack of support over animal rights

The coming dark age: The scientists at the Max Planck Society in Germany have written two letters criticizing the institute for its lack of support and its willingness to bow to animal rights protests.

It appears the scientists have followed all the rules, and have acted reasonably, but the longtime director of one of the Society’s main research divisions, Nikos Logothetis, was still indicted for the death of one monkey.

The struggle began in September 2014, when a German television channel aired footage taken by an undercover animal-welfare activist who had infiltrated Logothetis’s lab, purporting to show mistreatment of research monkeys.

Death threats and insults to Logothetis and his family followed — and in 2015, Logothetis decided to wind down his primate lab and replace it with a rodent facility. Events came to a head on 20 February this year, when Logothetis was indicted for allegedly violating animal-protection laws, after an animal-welfare group made complaints to police on the basis of the 2014 footage. Logothetis denies the charges. A trial date has not yet been set.

…The indictment follows contradictory judgements about Logothetis and his work at the MPI-Biocyb. Immediately after the September 2014 documentary was broadcast, an external specialist appointed by the MPS leadership found no welfare violations at MPI-Biocyb. But two months later, the German Animal Welfare Federation, a non-profit organization in Bonn, filed multiple complaints with police about animals at the institute.

In August last year, a local judge in Tubingen dismissed all but one charge; for that charge, allegedly delaying euthanasia in three rhesus monkeys, the judge offered an out-of-court settlement, which Logothetis accepted. But in October, prosecutors in the state capital, Stuttgart, overturned the settlement decision. They pursued the delayed-euthanasia case against Logothetis and two other staff members, who have not been publicly named, leading to their indictment in February.

Logothetis says that the decisions about whether and when to kill the monkeys, which contracted infections after surgery, were appropriate and complied with the law. Veterinary staff attempted to treat the infections, he says, and two of the monkeys recovered. The third was humanely killed when staff decided that it was unlikely to recover.

Despite this history, the Society’s management has removed Logothetis as director. It has also made the research division he headed persona non grata, causing harm to the other researchers who work there.

In response the scientists have submitted two different letters lambasting the actions of the Society, signed by dozens of its scientists.

MPI-Biocyb scientists take issue with the MPS’s decision to impose these sanctions on Logothetis before the case is considered by a court. “We are very upset that the society is failing to uphold the principle of innocence before guilt is proven,” says neuroscientist Hamid Noori, a junior group leader at MPI-Biocyb. “With this attitude, any activist can attack us freely, without consequence.”

Noori is one of four MPI-Biocyb scientists who spoke to Nature about the situation. Their criticisms are echoed in the two letters: the first, sent in December, was signed by 54 scientists; the second, sent in February, was signed by 94, a majority of those who work with animals at MPI-Biocyb, says Noori. The February letter describes “an extremely distressful situation” that “has seriously compromised our working conditions”.

In other words, even though the evidence strongly indicates that Logothetis followed the rules and did not act with malice towards the primates in his care, the Society has caved to the animal rights protesters.

This is the present, and the future. Someone with an ax to grind, usually from the left, will make a complaint, and everyone will bow to them out of cowardly fear, no matter how baseless or unproven the charge. Science research will stop, free speech will end, and an oppressive shadow will fall upon western civilization.

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Texas law school capitulates to leftist racist dogma

The coming dark age: Because someone complained about a test question that required law students to write an essay arguing in defense of segregation (in connection with the defenses used prior to the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954), the University of Texas law school capitulated and allowed any students offended by the question to avoid dealing with the details of this legal issue.

In other words, law students at the University of Texas can now get a degree despite never learning how to understand the opposing point of view. And the ones who will follow this policy are also the most fascistic, desiring to impose their will on all others.

Anyone who is donating to this university should contact its administrators now and tell them donations will cease unless they go back to becoming a real university. And the Texas legislature should reconsider its funding to the fake school.

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School lets everyone qualify for cheerleader squad

The coming dark age: Because the parent of one student who did not make the team complained, a New Jersey school has decided that everyone who wants to be part of the cheerleader team will be included, regardless of their talent or skill or training.

Not surprisingly, the students who had trained and worked hard to qualify were not happy.

“All my hard work has been thrown out the window,” seethed cheerleader Stephanie Krueger about the ruling during a Board of Education meeting last week in East Hanover.

…Krueger and several other cheerleaders voiced their anger last Wednesday during a board meeting, according to News 12 New Jersey. “I came up here to state that I did not put in 18 months of work to lead up to this moment, just to be told it didn’t matter anymore,” said sophomore Jada Alcontara.

No matter. Being “inclusive” and catering to those who are lazy or untalented is far more important that encouraging quality and hard work. That’s the modern way, and the future.
» Read more

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Penn State cuts support for outdoor clubs because they are not perfectly safe

The coming dark age: Penn State has pulled all support for three outdoor clubs, two that have existed for 70 and 100 years respectively, because a risk analysis suggested they were simply too risky.

These organizations have a long history attached to Penn State.

Nittany Grotto has been a resource that introduced students to caving with regularly scheduled Wednesday trips for 70 years, while the Outing Club is nearing the century mark in bringing students together hiking, backpacking, kayaking and enjoying the outdoors in whatever capacity possible.

“Losing affiliation with the university as a recognized student organization or club sport at Penn State means losing all privileges granted to a student organization,” Outing Club president Christina Platt said via email. “These privileges include the ability to reserve rooms to meet on campus, to be protected with $1,000,000 liability insurance, to use ASA to manage club funds, to fundraise through special university funding opportunities (such as stadium cleanup), to recruit at the Involvement Fair, and to use the university name on merchandise.”

More here, which notes the following:

Two other outdoor recreation clubs — the spelunking Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers SCUBA Club — also have been directed to end trip offerings.

“Safety is a legitimate concern, but it wasn’t an open dialogue,” Waltz said. Christina Platt, the Outing Club’s incoming president, said, “I can hardly blame Penn State for protecting itself against further litigation after a number of high-profile scandals in the past decade.” Student safety is the school’s primary focus, university spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in a statement.

Penn State conducted a “proactive risk assessment” not based on any previous participant injuries, according to Powers. She said Outing Club activities were rated high risk because they take place in remote environments with poor cell service and distance from emergency services.

I guess students must only be allowed in a safe space where nothing bad can ever happen to them, and they can therefore avoid the horror of experiencing life to its fullest.

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More delays threaten the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii

The coming dark age: The delaying tactics of the opponents to building the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii has caused the consortium to announce that it now seriously considering moving the telescope to Spain’s Canary Islands.

These have been the most recent delaying tactics:

On Thursday, the Hawaii Senate approved a bill to ban new construction atop Mauna Kea, and included a series of audits and other requirements before the ban could be lifted. But House leaders said they don’t have plans to advance the bill. Democratic House Speaker Scott Saiki told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the “bill is dead on arrival in the House.”

There are also two appeals before the Hawaii Supreme Court. One challenges the sublease and land use permit issued by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources. The other has been brought by a Native Hawaiian man who says use of the land interferes with his right to exercise cultural practices and is thus entitled to a case hearing.

When the telescope gets moved, expect these barbarians in Hawaii to celebrate loudly, claiming their victory as a victory for “native rights.” What they will really be telling us is two things. First, they are against gaining new knowledge and new technology in a manner that does no one any harm. And two, they put racial rights above all, making them the worst sort of bigots.

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Collapsed bridge did not have tower and suspension cables

The coming dark age: The Miami pedestrian bridge that collapsed yesterday only five days after installation did not have its required tower and suspension cables in place.

Engineering experts say investigators looking into the collapsed ‘instant’ bridge in Miami will want to know why a central tower which is usually built to support a suspension bridge was not in place when it collapsed onto Tamiami Trail on Thursday afternoon.

Last week, Florida International University’s official Twitter account posted a rendering of the bridge in its completed form as envisioned by the planners before its opening to foot traffic in early 2019. The rendering shows a tall central column with cables connecting it to the main span. Engineers say the design is known as a ‘cable-stayed bridge,’ which is a kind of suspension bridge, according to USA Today.

The bridge did not have the central tower in place, even though experts say it is usually placed at the early stages of construction. In the absence of a tower, there is usually a temporary support, though in this case it is unclear what the builders were using in the absence of a central structure.

I have never heard of any kind of suspension bridge ever being built in this sequence. Such bridges always install the towers and the cables, then the roadbed. Here, it increasingly looks like they put up the road bed before the tower and cables, an approach that practically guarantees the bridge will fail.

The images at the link show the presence of temporary support structures under the bridge, so it could be that the builders were using these to support the bridge until the central tower and cables could be installed. However, the bridge was made of concrete, which is far heavier and does not have the same structural strength as steel. It could be they overestimated the ability of this concrete structure to stand, without the cables.

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No obscenities on Behind the Black

I have stated this now bluntly more than a few times. I will not tolerate obscenities or curse words on this website. Despite this, today two different regular commenters thought it was perfectly fine to ignore these rules. One I have suspended for a week. The other might be.

The rest of the world might want to wallow in barbarism and ill behavior, but it will not happen here. This is my workplace. If you want to participate in the conversation on Behind the Black, I expect you to act like a civilized adult. If you can’t abide by these rules, then go somewhere else.

And don’t think it is okay to quote someone else verbatim and get away with this. As I noted just now in a reply to the suspended commenter, when Richard Nixon’s White House used the term [expletive deleted] everyone knew what it meant. It wasn’t a great solution, but it at least showed that they recognized that it was inappropriate to nonchalantly print obscenities, even ones spoken by the president. At the same time, they knew they couldn’t edit the transcripts, so they found a way to make it clear what was on the tapes without adding to the misbehavior.

Consider this a final warning. From now on I will not simply delete the obscenity and issue a warning. From now on, any violation of this rule will get an immediate suspension for a week. A second violation by the same person will get them banned.

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Survey finds universities teach a “thin and patchy education”

The coming dark age: A national survey has found that today’s universities no longer teach a well-rounded education but instead allow their students to skip important subjects so that their education is “thin and patchy.”

The group evaluated more than 1,100 colleges and universities based on their requirements in seven “key areas of knowledge”: composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. history, economics, mathematics and science. The results showed that 66.5 percent of the schools required only three or fewer of those subjects.

This leads to a “thin and patchy education,” the report states. “Students may have dozens or even hundreds of courses from which to choose, many of them highly specialized niche courses,” it states. “Once distribution requirements become too loose, students almost inevitably graduate with an odd list of random, unconnected courses and, all too often, serious gaps in their basic skills and knowledge.”

Additional key findings include that fewer than 18 percent of colleges and universities require a foundational course in U.S. government or history, and only about 3 percent of the institutions require students to take a basic economics class.

Read it all. It is quite depressing, but also not surprising. It also suggests that parents and their high school children need to demand more from colleges, and reject those colleges that are failing in providing the basics of a college education.

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Wisconsin students protest Lincoln because “he owned slaves”

The coming dark age: The American Indian student group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is protesting a statue of Abraham Lincoln because “he owned slaves” and because there were Indian wars during his administration.

The activist group is now demanding a disclaimer be put up saying Lincoln was complicit in the murder of Native Americans.

Why would they be so angry about Lincoln?

“Everyone thinks of Lincoln as the great, you know, freer of slaves, but let’s be real: He owned slaves, and as natives, we want people to know that he ordered the execution of native men,” said one of the protesters.

For a college student to believe that Lincoln owned slaves is to illustrate an appalling level of ignorance. Moreover, the claim that Lincoln “executed” Indians is to also demonstrate an almost incomprehensible ignorance of the history of the American west. The author at the link gives an accurate though simplified history lesson:

During the war, Minnesota was in a state of chaos due to soldiers abandoning their posts and armies moving east to join the main war effort. On top of that, the Office of Indian Affairs was mired in corruption that was exacerbated by wartime negligence. As a result, money promised to the Sioux tribe in Minnesota in exchange for its land wasn’t coming through, and many of its people starved.

This led to a bloody uprising called the “Dakota War,” which the U.S. government eventually put down.

Over 300 Sioux were sentenced to death for connection to the rebellion. Lincoln saw this as extreme, however, and pardoned all but 38 of the alleged perpetrators, whom he believed were guilty of the worst crimes such as rape and murder.

It was the largest mass hanging in American history, but it could have been much worse if not for Lincoln’s compassion. He believed that the Sioux were getting a raw deal, but needed to ensure peace on America’s borders in a time when the future of the United States was seriously in question.

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School district dumps To Kill a Mockingbird because of complaints

The coming dark age: A Mississippi school district has removed To Kill a Mockingbird from its reading list because it “makes people uncomfortable.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird” has a long history atop banned books lists, but here’s a new reason: the 20th century classic about racism in small-town Alabama “makes people uncomfortable.”

The Biloxi School District in Mississippi removed the novel by Harper Lee from an eighth-grade reading list after receiving complaints about the book’s language, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported. “There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books,” school board vice president Kenny Holloway told the paper.

I suspect the complaints were because the book used the slang for blacks common at the time and historically correct but absolutely banned from use today. The people complaining probably never read the book, and also likely haven’t the faintest idea what it is about. Worse, for the school board VP to go along with this ignorance is shameful.

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Canadian Inuit officials demand halt to rocket launch

The coming dark age: Canadian Inuit officials are demanding that the launch of a European atmospheric research satellite by a converted Russian ICBM be stopped out of fear of the pollution it might cause.

The position of the rocket company is based on calculated engineering:

In a statement to CBC News, the European Space Agency insisted the fuel won’t reach Earth’s surface. “Please remember that under standard pressure, hydrazine boils at 113.5 C,” the agency said. The stage containing the fuel will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere much hotter than that, it said. “The structural parts lose their integrity and by melting the destruction of the stage occurs. The agency said that six kilometres above the ground “the propellant components have completely burnt up.”

The position of the protesters is based on fear and lack of knowledge:

The concern for Inuit is the rocket’s second stage, which contains hydrazine-based fuel and is expected to splash down in the North Water Polynya. Though it’s outside of Canada and Denmark’s international waters, it’s home to a vast array of birds and marine mammals that Inuit rely on for food.

“It’s the birthing ground of all the animals that we eat, that people in the North depend upon,” said Eva Aariak, Canada’s commissioner on the Inuit Circumpolar Council and former Nunavut premier. “I know it’s being played down in terms of the kind of effect it would have, but nobody knows. This is the most concerning part is that nobody really knows. And before people know exactly what kind of effect it can have, we will keep fighting.” [emphasis mine]

The article also interviews a pro-Inuit scientist whose primary evidence apparently comes from a youtube video.

There is no doubt that hydrazine is very toxic, which is why it is generally not used as the launch fuel for rockets. However, these protests appear based on mindless fear, almost like the protesters were primitive tribesman afraid of thunder. Ah, but maybe that is exactly what they are!

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To protect students from eclipse some schools will close Monday, or will keep their students indoors

The coming dark age: Fearful of the thunder gods, some school administrators have decided to close their schools or to keep their students indoors so they can’t see the eclipse on Monday.

CBS Miami reports some local schools in South Florida are giving kids an excused absence or even the day off to enjoy the eclipse, while others have decided to keep students inside for their safety.

The Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona decided it was just too dangerous to let kids view the eclipse, especially after some reports of fake eclipse glasses on the market that might put eyes at risk, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO reports. “So without us being able to control the equipment that’s being used, if it’s donated or something, and also when you’re talking about a large amount of children it’s also very difficult to convince all of the kids to not look up. That’s not to say our kids won’t be very well behaved but if there’s even a question that there could be something unsafe, Scottsdale’s not going to take the chance,” said Erin Helm with Scottsdale Unified.

The quote is from the second link above. The first link describes the decision of Ohio schools to close.

It is horrifying that there are school officials out there who would actually act to prevent children from experiencing the eclipse out of fear. Kids are smart enough to know not to look at the Sun, if you tell them not to. And it is the responsibility of the school to provide them the right kinds of eclipse glasses, which do not cost a lot and can easily be purchased.

In fact, it is revealing that the schools doing this are all public schools, and thus provides more evidence that the public schools might be the worst place to send kids to get educated.

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University scrubs professor’s plan to let students pick their grades

This is a victory: The University of Georgia has told a professor that his plan to let students pick their grades if they feel stressed in any way is not in accordance this school policy and will not be allowed.

Terry College of Business Dean Benjamin Ayers has since released a statement on the matter, calling Watson’s policy “an ill-advised proposal” that “will not be implemented in any Terry classroom. … The syllabus stated that his grading policy would allow students inappropriate input into the assignment of their own grades. I want you to know that the syllabus did not conform with the university’s rigorous expectations and policy regarding academic standards for grading,” Ayers added, noting that he has “explained this discrepancy to the professor” who “has removed the statement from his syllabus.”

“Rest assured that this ill-advised proposal will not be implemented in any Terry classroom,” he concluded. “The University of Georgia upholds strict guidelines and academic policies to promote a culture of academic rigor, integrity, and honesty.”

I wonder how many alumni donars contacted them in the past day telling them that this policy would end their support.

Personally, if I was in charge of this school I would consider firing this teacher. I certainly would not trust him to give honest grades, based on his willingness to institute this absurd policy.

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Georgia University professor allows students to pick their grades

The coming dark age: A Georgia University professor, in establishing what he calls “a stress reduction policy,” will allow students to change their grades should any grade cause them “undue stress.”

As he instructs his students:

If you feel unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable material or the overall course, you can email the instructor indicating what grade you think is appropriate, and it will be so changed. No explanation is required.”

The professor also will allow students to quit any group assignment if they don’t like “the group’s dynamics.” He will also forbid any negative comments about anyone’s work in class.

If this reflects the standards of this university, I question why anyone would want to attend it. Your degree will essentially be a waste of money.

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California’s public colleges to no longer require students to know math or read

The coming dark age: California’s public universities have decided to drop its requirements that all in-coming students be able to do basic math and be able to read and write English.

Cal State will no longer make those students who may need extra help take the standardized entry-level mathematics (ELM) exam and the English placement test (EPT).

The new protocol, which will go into effect in fall 2018, “facilitates equitable opportunity for first-year students to succeed through existing and redesigned education models,” White wrote in a memorandum to the system’s 23 campus presidents, who will be responsible for working with faculty to implement the changes. The hope is that these efforts will also help students obtain their degrees sooner — one of the public university system’s priorities. Cal State has committed to doubling its four-year graduation rate, from 19% to 40%, by 2025.

…“This will have a tremendous effect on the number of units students accumulate in their first year of college,” said James T. Minor, Cal State’s senior strategist for academic success and inclusive excellence. “It will have an enormous effect on college affordability, on the number of semesters that a student is required to be enrolled in before they earn a degree, and it will have a significant impact on the number of students that ultimately cross a commencement stage with a degree in hand, ready to move into the workforce, ready to move into graduate or professional school.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, the university has no interest in producing graduates with any useful skills. All the university wants to do is to give them a degree, so that they can claim success. Under this new policy, students incapable of reading and writing English and doing math will still be able to take normal courses that require such skills the moment they enter college. They will likely be pushed through the system, given passing grades, so that when they graduate, they will be like the characters in the movie Idiocracy, functionally illiterate but expected to run society as college educated elites.

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Hawaiian protesters fail to block mirror for solar telescope

The coming dark age: Protesters today tried, and failed, to block the delivery of the primary mirror of a new solar telescope being built on top of Haleakalā on the island of Maui.

Protesters chanted, sang, marched, and blocked the road with two bamboo altars on which they presented offerings of flowers and garlands in a traditional ceremony. Police stood by for about an hour, periodically coming forward to talk with protest organizers.

At 4 a.m., they moved in to clear the road. Protesters were lying down in the road with their arms linked. Police lifted them out of the way to allow the trucks to pass. Several men then rushed forward and threw themselves in front of and under the massive trucks. Police removed the men, along with several others, as protesters shouted, “auwe” (alas), and “shame.” Organizers say three men and two women were arrested.

I think this quote from one of the protest organizers (who happens to be an assistant professor of Hawaiian Studies & Language at the University of Hawaii, epitomizes their movement:

Earlier in the evening, organizer Kahele Dukelow vowed to continue to oppose future construction and to ultimately bring existing telescopes down. “This struggle is going to go on for generations. It’s not going to stop with us,” she told protesters. “We will never accept it.”

Apparently the idea of gaining knowledge about the universe is unacceptable to this college professor and her allies. Such knowledge is evil, and must be blocked at all cost. The only knowledge that matters is the ethnic race heritage of native Hawaiians, no matter how primitive and uncivilized.

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Anti-vaccine campaigns are threatening the return of measles

The coming dark age: The ignorant and mindless campaigns against vaccination is making it more likely that the U.S. will see a return of major measles epidemics.

Researchers Nathan Lo and Dr. Peter Hotez were motivated to conduct the study after seeing data showing growing vaccine hesitancy and use of non-medical exemptions—largely due to lies and misinformation about the safety of vaccines and the threat of devastating diseases, such as measles. Currently, about two percent of kids aged two to 11 have a non-medical vaccine exemption.

Measles, in particular, requires vigilant vaccination. The highly infectious virus can linger in the air for hours after a cough or sneeze. Those sickened develop high fevers, rashes, inflamed eyes, and cold-like stuffy nose and cough. But people can spread the infection days before those symptoms appear. About 30 percent develop complications, such as pneumonia, brain swelling, and blindness.

To thwart infections, a population must have between 90- and 95-percent vaccine coverage to maintain herd immunity. Many communities and counties in the US are already on the brink of dipping below that range and thereby losing their protection from a case of measles going, well, viral. And there’s room for those vaccination rates to continue to slip. Presently, 18 states allow for personal belief exemptions, and all but two states allow for religious or philosophical exemptions.

They of course propose forcing people to get their kids vaccinated. I say, if you have kids, you have the responsibility to get informed and get them vaccinated, instead of taking advice from uneducated television stars who know nothing about science and doctors who have had their licenses revoked.

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California community colleges consider eliminating algebra requirement

The coming dark age: Because algebra is hard for many minority students, the California community college system is considering eliminating their algebra requirement.

“The second thing I’d say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans,” [said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system.] If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.”

Hey, Chancellor Oakley, you know that you are implying that blacks and minorities are not capable of understanding algebra.

Meanwhile I, as a conservative, instead think that if we demand them to do better, they will do better.

So who’s the racist?

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Academic invents new non-oppressive physics to protect minorities

This paper is not a prank: A feminist gender studies academic from the University of Arizona has invented a theory of “intersectional quantum physics” to fight the oppression of Newtonian physics.

Whitney Stark argues in support of “combining intersectionality and quantum physics” to better understand “marginalized people” and to create “safer spaces” for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review. Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity’s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

What is also important is that this college researcher, who also has an appointment in the culture and gender studies department at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, got her paper published in a journal published by Duke University Press. Below is her full abstract. I dare you to tell me what it means.

In this semimanifesto, I approach how understandings of quantum physics and cyborgian bodies can (or always already do) ally with feminist anti-oppression practices long in use. The idea of the body (whether biological, social, or of work) is not stagnant, and new materialist feminisms help to recognize how multiple phenomena work together to behave in what can become legible at any given moment as a body. By utilizing the materiality of conceptions about connectivity often thought to be merely theoretical, by taking a critical look at the noncentralized and multiple movements of quantum physics, and by dehierarchizing the necessity of linear bodies through time, it becomes possible to reconfigure structures of value, longevity, and subjectivity in ways explicitly aligned with anti-oppression practices and identity politics. Combining intersectionality and quantum physics can provide for differing perspectives on organizing practices long used by marginalized people, for enabling apparatuses that allow for new possibilities of safer spaces, and for practices of accountability.

I also dare you to build a rocket using this new physics. I also wonder if anyone can tell the difference between this legitimate paper and this fake one.

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College eliminates English and math placement tests

The coming dark age: A West Virginia community college has stopped giving English and math placement tests, while also eliminating any comparable remedial classes.

A careful read of the article suggests that this decision is a desperate attempt by the college to deal with its influx of unqualified students, as noted by this quote:

“We are still getting some students who literally cannot read above a third-grade level, and I have never learned how to help such students,”

The college still wants these students to attend (which is a cash cow for the college) but it finds itself struggling to find the right approach for teaching them. Since there is no right approach (these individuals should simply not be in college), the situation results in a poorer learning environment for everyone.

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University removes weight scale from gym because TRIGGER

The coming dark age: Carleton University in Canada has decided to remove the weight scale in their gym because someone complained it “triggered” them.

Several students were completely onboard with the decision. Per the Charlatan, one student named Samar El-Faki said it was a good call that accommodated people with eating disorders. “Scales are very triggering,” she said. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.”

But she was in the minority, as many other students criticized the college for pandering to special snowflakes. “Next it will be the mirrors,” wrote another student on Facebook.

This is essentially the heckler’s veto. One person complains that they don’t like something, and the university bows to that one person’s wishes, banning something that everyone else uses and needs. More important, the whiner had a very easy solution that would not have required removal of the scale: Don’t step on the damned scale and it won’t bother you! That they didn’t take that route illustrates that power and intimidation was their real game.

I should add that even though the university is considering bringing the scale back because of the criticism it has faced for removing it, that its officials were willing to bow so easily to this heckler’s veto suggests this is not a good university to send your kids.

But, then, what university today is a good place? They all seem infested with these fascists who have the support and aid of the administrations in power.

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New York dumps literacy tests for teachers

The coming dark age: In the name of political correctness and ethnic diversity, New York has decided to eliminate literacy tests for its teachers.

It seems that about one third fewer black and hispanic applicants passed the test.

“We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there,” Pace University professor Leslie Soodak told the AP. Soodak was a member of the task force that advocated abandoning literacy tests for teachers.

“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added. [emphasis mine]

Having an uneducated workforce that can’t read, that’s okay however.

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The ships of Hanjin six months after it went bankrupt

Real news: Six months ago the shipping company Hanjin went bankrupt, stranding its 96 container ships worldwide. This article takes a detailed look not only on what happened to those ships since, but also at the state of the entire shipping industry.

There was a time when Hanjin’s collapse in August and this follow-up story would have been major news stories, covered by all the leading mainstream press outlets. No more. Even though it indicates significant financial and economic trends that should concern anyone who is serious about being an educated citizen, the press doesn’t cover it, and the public today really doesn’t care.

Just another indicator that a new dark age is looming.

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George Washington University drops American history requirement

The coming dark age: George Washington University has eliminated the requirement that its history majors take American history.

The department eliminated requirements in U.S., North American and European history, as well as the foreign language requirement. Thus, it is possible that a student can major in history at GWU without taking a survey course on United States history.

The new requirements mandate at least one introductory course, of which American history, World History and European civilization are options. Yet, like at many elite universities, the introductory course requirement may be fulfilled by scoring a 4 or a 5 on the Advanced Placement exams for either U.S. History AP, European History AP or World History AP.

As a result, it will be possible for a graduate of this university’s history department to earn a degree and not even know who the university is named after.

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Fatal clinical drug trial failed because company did not review all data

The company that conducted a fatal French clinical drug trial that killed one and left four permanently damaged has revealed that it did not review all the available data before administering increased dosages to patients.

Not only is it astonishing that they failed to use all the available data, it is even more amazing that the company itself admits to this.

As I noted when this story first broke in February, this is a big deal, and should get major coverage by news organizations.

…it is disturbing that a research company could be so cavalier about the lives of the human beings it is using as test subjects.

This story also illustrates indirectly the significant decline in the state of today’s modern mainstream press as well as the greater interests of the general public. This is a major science story. For a clinical drug study to kill one of its test subjects is a big deal. Yet I am certain that this will get no coverage in any cable news outlet. (If anyone see a video story about this, please let me know.) The written news outlets on the web will likely do a story, but it will not give it wide exposure.

As far as I can tell, this story got no coverage in the press then, and I expect none now. A dark age is surely coming.

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Autistic boy disqualified from victory because he swam too fast

Madness: A nine-year-old autistic boy was denied a gold swimming medal in a special Olympics competition in Wales because he set a personal best time that was more than 15% better than his previous best.

Rory Logan, nine, was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, and won the 50 metres race in 53.15 seconds – a personal best and smashing his heat time of one minute and three seconds. However, when it came to the medal ceremony, Rory, from County Antrim, was simply given a ribbon for participating instead of the gold he was expecting.

Now mum Briony claims that officials told her that he didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race. She told Belfast Live: “Rory came to me and said, ‘Mum I didn’t do anything wrong, I won fair and square, what did I do?’. I was absolutely gutted for him. I went to speak to the officials and basically they said he had been disqualified because he swam too fast. No one can get over this decision. Apparently you can’t be more than 15% faster than the time you swam in your heats just in case you are trying to swim slower in your heat to be placed in a lower division’s final.”

The boy went on to win gold in two other races, for which he should be cheered, but that he was denied a medal because he did his best is beyond disgusting.The worst part of this story is that in the future this kid is likely going to sandbag his achievements in order to avoid getting punished for success.

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Modern college students think America invented slavery

The coming dark age: Modern college students not only think America invented slavery, they know even less about American history.

Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define “capitalism” and “socialism” in one sentence each.

Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery then could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students— six of 32—actually believed Ben Franklin had been president.

The biggest irony of all is that it was in the United States that the abolition movement was born. Until that happened, the idea of slavery had been considered morally acceptable by all nations in all previous human history.

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The end of freedom

Below is only a small sampling of the many stories I have been reading in the past two weeks that clearly signal the end of freedom and western civilization. Tolerance for opposing viewpoints is dying, even as our academic community descends into insanity.

The last story is especially depressing. The head of a university advocates the idea that students shouldn’t be forced to hear ideas they don’t like, that they shouldn’t be exposed to any thoughts or statements that might offend them. He then proceeds to insult and denigrate anyone who disagrees with him. This is a man in charge of a university! I read this, as well as the other stories, and realize that the coming dark age is coming far sooner than anyone imagines.

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