Category Archives: Religion

University of Wisconsin adopts racial/sexual “diversity” in grading students

W. Lee Hansen, a professor emeritus of economics at UW-Madison, wrote the following op-ed piece for the John William Hope Pope Center for Higher Education, a North Carolina-based think tank, about the latest “diversity” plan for the UW-System’s flagship school.

Madness in Madison

Professor W. Lee HansenThe University of Wisconsin’s latest diversity plan calls for “equity” in high-demand majors and the distribution of grades.

By W. Lee Hansen

July 16, 2014

Many American colleges and universities are in the thrall of “diversity,” but none more so than my institution, the University of Wisconsin. This spring, the university adopted a new plan that, according to Board of Regents policy, “[p]laces the mission of diversity at the center of institutional life so that it becomes a core organizing principle.

That is, promoting diversity appears to be more important than teaching students. 

This Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence sailed through our Faculty Senate without the least bit of attention, much less the “sifting and winnowing” on which it prides itself.

Although much of the language is a thicket of clichés, no one dared challenge it. Moreover, there was no probing of the ramifications of the plan. Apparently, “diversity” has become such a sacred cow that even tenured professors are afraid to question it in any way.  

To begin, the university’s justification for the new policy is difficult to understand: “Our commitment is to create an environment that engages the whole person in the service of learning, recognizing that individual differences should be considered foundational to our strength as a community.”

That language is mere education babble, but the Faculty Senate swallowed it whole. So did the academic staff and the students.

The plan’s definition of diversity focuses on a wide array of differences that can be found in every enrolled student. Here’s what it includes:

Individual differences in personality, learning styles, and life experiences, and group or social differences that may manifest through personality, learning styles, life experiences, and group or social differences. Our definition of diversity also incorporates differences of race and ethnicity; sex; gender; and gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; age; country of origin; language; physical and intellectual ability; emotional health; socio-economic status; and affiliations that are based on cultural, political, religious, or other identities.

[Question from Eowyn: Does "diversity in intellectual ability" means certified morons and idiots, since they are under-represented in America's colleges and universities, should get an "A" or minimally a "P" (passing) grade?]

The list is so expansive that it leads one to conclude that every student is “diverse.” And I believe that is correct. Every student is different in so many ways that it makes no sense to say that some students “increase diversity” while others don’t.

The new plan provides no information on how the addition of these “individual and group/social differences” can create an environment that “engages the whole person,” whatever that means. Based on my experience, I would have no idea how to incorporate these “differences” into my economics teaching.

I wish someone had asked what bearing these particular “individual and group or social differences” have on student learning. Most people believe that individual differences in intelligence, aptitude, motivation, commitment, high school class rank, ACT/SAT scores, and academic preparation are far more important in contributing to student learning.

Those latter differences, what most people view as indicators of academic excellence, indeed are appropriate considerations at an institution priding itself as being a world-class teaching and research university.

How will the university assemble information on these supposedly crucial “differences”? Most applicants will not be able to describe their “learning styles,” or how to characterize their “personalities,” or how to assess their “emotional health.” Moreover, many students would hesitate to disclose personal information about their “cultural, political, religious, or other identities.” Without that information, it won’t be possible to use them “in the service of learning,” assuming that this notion is something other than empty rhetoric.

To achieve the plan’s vague aims, the Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee formulated five goals and thirty detailed recommendations. Unbeknownst to faculty senators, these goals and recommendations are based on the “Inclusive Excellence” framework adopted earlier by the Board of Regents. (See Agenda Item II.6 for the March 5, 2009, meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents; in the PDF file: Madness in Madison)

That framework includes eight essential “working definitions,” among them the already-discussed diversity, as well as others: “compositional diversity,” “critical mass,” “inclusion,” “equity mindedness,” “deficit-mindedness,” “representational equity,” and “excellence.”

Let us take a closer look at one of these working definitions included, namely “representational equity.”

It calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.” 

We are not told exactly what adherence to this will entail. It appears to mean that directors of programs and departmental chairs will have to somehow ensure that they have a mix of students with just the right percentages of individuals who embody the various “differences” included in the definition of diversity. I cannot see how that is possible and even if it were, how it improves any student’s education.

Suppose there were a surge of interest in a high demand field such as computer science. Under the “equity” policy, it seems that some of those who want to study this field would be told that they’ll have to choose another major because computer science already has “enough” students from their “difference” group.

Especially shocking is the language about “equity” in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, “historically underrepresented racial/ethnic” students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.  

At the very least, this means even greater expenditures on special tutoring for weaker targeted minority students. It is also likely to trigger a new outbreak of grade inflation, as professors find out that they can avoid trouble over “inequitable” grade distributions by giving every student a high grade.

Is there any reason to believe that the UW system’s Inclusive Excellence plan implemented at UW-Madison is going to improve the education of its students? I can see no reason to think so. Actually, the contrary seems more likely.

One problem is that the obsession with all those non-academic details about students comes with a cost—the cost of good students who are not admitted because they don’t seem “diverse” enough. Also, some of the preferred, “diverse” students will be admitted with significantly weaker academic capabilities than their classmates.

Although campus officials regularly fail to publicize detailed results of their diversity programs, my investigations show that roughly a quarter of its “diverse” targeted minority students do not meet the competitive admission standard applied to other applicants. This means that the students UW-Madison is trying to help instead find themselves at an immediate academic disadvantage.

Moreover, the obsession with groups distracts everyone from what truly matters—whether or not each student makes the best academic progress.

The campus climate has worsened by constantly referring to minority students as “targeted” minority students, and in the process stigmatizing them. It has also led to an unseemly “us versus them” mindset among many of those students.

That manifested itself several years ago when Roger Clegg, general counsel of the Washington-based Center for Equal Opportunity came to Madison to report on his research showing that the university’s racial preference policy meant severe discrimination against white and Asian applicants. Two senior UW officials orchestrated a disgraceful pro-diversity mob-like student demonstration at the hotel near campus where Clegg was making his presentation.

The demonstrators burst in and shouted Clegg down until he left the building. (Peter Wood has a good account of the entire matter in this Chronicle piece.)

It is impossible for me to imagine anything less consistent with the values of any educational institution than organizing a mob to protest a talk. It is also impossible for me to think that such a thing could have happened at Madison but for the obsession with diversity that has been building for years.

The University of Wisconsin adopted its first diversity plan back in 1966 and every few years it launches a much-touted new one. During my 30-year teaching career at Madison, followed by more than a decade of retirement, I have seen not the slightest bit of evidence that the fixation on “diversity” has made the campus better in any respect.

I predict this new Inclusive Excellence plan will fail to produce its hoped-for utopian outcomes. In a few years, the university will hear demands for yet another diversity plan.

Achieving “diversity” is like sailing toward the horizon.

You never get there.

H/t EAGnews

~Eowyn

One candle visible at 30 miles

eyeball001

LiveScience

How Far Can the Human Eye See?

The Earth’s surface curves out of sight at a distance of 3.1 miles, or 5 kilometers. But our visual acuity extends far beyond the horizon. If Earth were flat, or if you were standing atop a mountain surveying a larger-than-usual patch of the planet, you could perceive bright lights hundreds of miles distant. On a dark night, you could even see a candle flame flickering up to 30 mi. (48 km) away.

Read the rest at: http://www.livescience.com/33895-human-eye.html

one_candle_001

As things get darker out there, let’s keep our little candles burning. ~ TD

Creation: Baby turtles still in shells coordinate hatching by talking to one another

baby turtles

Rachel Newer reports for the Smithsonian, July 17, 2014:

Turtles are generally thought of as silent creatures, but recent evidence has emerged that at least 47 turtle species make some form of sound. Those sounds communicate various messages, from social standings to reproductive signals. But it’s not just adult turtles who are speaking their minds. It turns out babies, too, make sounds – even before they hatch from their eggs.

Researchers from Brazil, Mexico and the US got together to study the nests of 12 leatherback sea turtle nests in Oaxaca, Mexico. Starting on day 51, the point at which the babies’s ears should be developed enough to hear sounds, they monitored the nests for any signs of noise. They immediately began detecting sounds, recording more than 300 different noises in total. They classified the sounds into four categories, including chirps, grunts and “complex hybrid tones,” or sounds composed of two parts that they classified as pulse characteristics and harmonic frequency bands.

That latter sound – the most complex of the bunch – was only recorded in nests that contained just eggs, rather than eggs and hatchlings (most had begun hatching by day 55). The baby turtles, the researchers believe, may be coordinating their hatching timing by emitting the sounds. This phenomenon has been observed in other animals ranging from birds to crocodiles, likely as a survival mechanism. In the case of the turtles, hatching en masse brings a certain strength in numbers. While some babies will be picked off by predators, a bird can only eat so many sea turtles at a time, meaning at least a few will make it to the sea.

This finding, the authors point out, means that light pollution might not be the only anthropogenic nuisance threatening baby sea turtle survival. Noise pollution could be affecting them, too.

Matthew 6:24-34

“No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I tell you,
do not be anxious about your life,
what you shall eat or what you shall drink,
nor about your body, what you shall put on.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air:
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious
can add one cubit to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin;
yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying,
`What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’
For the Gentiles seek all these things;
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be yours as well.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional: Be good

Jesus with angels

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

yellow daylilies2In His peace and love,

~Eowyn

Advice For The Storm-tossed

Rembrandt_Christ_in_the_Storm_on_the_Lake_of_Galilee

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee – Rembrandt van Rijn

Jesus Calms the Storm

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

– Matthew 8:23-27


What kind of storm threatens you today?

Life in this fallen world serves up all kinds of problems, all the time. And some of those problems are life threatening like that storm.

Jesus rescued the people on the boat with him. But he also asked a puzzling question, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” My answer to His question might have been, “I don’t know, Lord. Maybe it was the big waves, swamped boat, and imminent drowning.” And then He took a very specific action to solve the problem. He spoke to the storm and rebuked it! He spoke to what we would think of as a big, blind, deaf, unthinking force of nature! Why speak to a thing that’s apparently not listening? Was that the faith Jesus wanted to see His disciples use? After all, He had been teaching them things like, “If you speak to this mountain,” in relation to their use of faith.   

They certainly had enough faith to ask the right person to solve the problem. And He did solve it. But He seems to have wanted more from them. They were “the 12,” His own version of “Seal Team 6,” and He expected them to use the moves He had been teaching them.

If you are like me, you were not taught that the power of faith, the kind of faith Jesus chided the disciples for lacking, is often released through the spoken word!

Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” 

This gives us all the more reason to be careful how we speak. I think that when we use foul language we do not only offend listeners, but we actually reduce the power of our words. We all have times when we need to speak to a situation. If the tongue intended to release the power of God has been weakened, it may not be able to rescue us at a critical moment.

One more example of faith combined with words

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

– Matthew 8:5-13


BTW, I’m preaching to myself, too. It’s time I clean up my speech. Now please excuse me while I have a few words with my car. :D  
~ TD

 

A.A.A.D.D.- KNOW THE SYMPTOMS! This Is Good. HeHeHe

Thank goodness there’s a name for this disorder.
Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
And notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first…

But then I think,
Since I’m going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table,
And see that there is only one cheque left.

My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside
So that I don’t accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye–they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I’ve been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter ,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I’ll be looking for the remote,
But I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The car isn’t washed,
The bills aren’t paid,
There is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter,
The flowers don’t have enough water,
There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,
I can’t find the remote,
I can’t find my glasses,
And I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
And I’m really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail….

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
Because I don’t remember who I’ve sent it to.

Don’t laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!
P.S. I don’t remember who sent it to me, so if it was you, I’m sorry

~Steve~                                    H/T Hujonwi

Target Says No to Guns: Store Assaults Begin Immediately

On July 2 of this year, Target issued a new policy asking customers not to bring guns to its stores. That same day, a Target shopper in Gainesville, Georgia was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot, and on July 5, a woman shopper at a Target store in Atlanta was punched in the head in the store’s parking lot by a black male, who then stole her car and attempted to run her over.

Lest, you think Target is merely another well-meaning, but misguided company, take a look at these ads from one of their recent catalogues, targeted at children:

image

image

 

For those who don’t understand the symbolism, the “OK” sign with three fingers spread out spells “6-6-6″, and covering one eye is a symbol of Lucifer just like the eye on the pyramid on our one dollar bills. I believe it was Franklin Roosevelt, the second worst president of all time, who put all-seeing eye of satan on our money.

Compare Target’s children with these photos featuring several well known satanists, and remember that another big company that is anti-gun and anti-Constitution, Starbucks, also has a history of satanic symbolism.

image

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Human sacrifice at Burning Man 2 in Utah

Burning Man is an annual event in the last week of August (through Labor Day) in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.

Begun in 1986, the event was capped at 50,000 attendees in 2011 after a phenomenal attendance by 51,515 people in 2010 — all amidst blowing sand, extreme daytime heat, porta toilets, and no showers.

Though it is advertised as “an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance” — whatever all that means — Burning Man has overt pagan tones in its ritual burning of a gigantic wooden human figure on the event’s last evening (see pic below).

burning manThe Burning Man at Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Utah has a copycat Burning Man called Element 11.

Christine McCarthy reports for KUTV that at Element 11 last Saturday (July 13) night at about 11 p.m., a festival-goer ran into the blazing bonfire and immolated himself.

The theme for this year’s sold-out Element 11 is “Into the Wild” — whatever that means.

A photographer captured a video of the incident (go to KUTV for the video), showing a man making his way through a crowd of event-goers and a circle of security personnel before spinning around, dancing, and then running into the bonfire hellfire.

Element 11a

Festival-goer Daisey McDonald said, “He was running out there. He was dancing around a little bit, and then all of a sudden he jumped into it. It’s like he didn’t even know it was fire. The whole time I was thinking, ‘He’s going to walk out, he’s going to be okay.’”

Each night of Element 11, a different, large structure is burned as a crowd gathers. J.P. Bernier, the director of safety volunteers for the event, said plenty of safety officials were present: “The fire was intentional, and it was planned. A great deal of preparation and care goes into the constructing of the effigy we burn in ceremonial fashion with attendance by Grantsville fire. We have a perimeter of safety officials that surround the fire. It was a very tragic event. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim.”

Police later identified the self-immolator as 30-year-old John Christopher Wallace of Salt Lake City. According to the police, he had told people earlier in the day of his intentions to kill himself by jumping in the fire which became his funeral pyre.

Grantsville police are investigating what led up to Wallace’s suicide.

A former co-worker of Wallace, who calls him/herself Benthewicked, wrote on on Reddit that Wallace was a copy-editor.

H/t FOTM’s CSM

~Eowyn

CDC Says Just 2.3 % Of The Population Self Identify As Gay Or Bisexual

Here’s an article from The Washington Post giving what I believe are probably more accurate percentages of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transtesticular/transcontinental/transohyougettheidea

LOL 

OK folks, I don’t know about you, but this just makes no sense. Why are all these corporations bending over backwards ( Oops) to go out of their way to tick off the 96.6 % of the Country who are not homosexual? I mean they could just take a neutral stance. But no they come out and embrace what many find wrong.  Dr. Eowyn has a post just today on Betty Crocker doing just this. HERE.

I’m telling you this is a well orchestrated plan. 

—————————————————————————————–

 July 15

Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation.

The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.

That’s 2.3 % for those keeping count.   :)

The overwhelming majority of adults, 96.6 percent, labeled themselves as straight in the 2013 survey.

Let me go out on a limb here. If I was in marketing and went to my boss and said ” Let’s go after 2.3% of market while we piss off the other 96.6%” How long would I have a job? No, friends, something is rotten in Denmark. It just doesn’t make sense.

An additional 1.1 percent declined to answer, responded “I don’t know the answer” or said they were “something else.”

Folks you just have to love the “I don’t know ” people of the world.

I don't know either.

I don’t know either.

The figures offered a slightly smaller assessment of the size of the gay, lesbian and bisexual population than other surveys, which have pegged the overall proportion at closer to 3.5 or 4 percent. In particular, the estimate for bisexuals was lower than in some other surveys.

In other words the other surveys were all wishful thinking!

The inclusion of the sexual-orientation question in an influential survey used to guide government funding and research decisions was viewed as a major victory for the gay community, which has struggled with a dearth of data about its special health needs.

Rest Of WAPO story HERE!!

~Steve~

Calling on FOTM’s army of prayer warriors

light in darkness

An important member of our Fellowship of the Minds needs our prayers.

He is Wild Bill Alaska, a military veteran and faithful Christian, familiar to all of you as the man whom I hat-tip (h/t) for so many of the joke posts on FOTM.

I just received an email from him, informing me that last month he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The oncologist gives him 2 to 10 months, depending on whether he gets chemo and radiation therapy.

Bill is leaving that decision to our lord, Jesus the Christ.

comfort

Here’s my prayer for our beloved Bill:

Psalm 71:1-3, 5-6, 8-9, 12, 14, 17-18, 20

In you, Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue and deliver me;
listen to me and save me!
Be my rock of refuge,
my stronghold to give me safety;
for you are my rock and fortress….
You are my hope, Lord;
my trust, God, from my youth.
On you I have depended since birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength;
my hope in you never wavers….
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
shall sing your glory every day.

Do not cast me aside in my old age;
as my strength fails, do not forsake me.
God, be not far from me;
my God, hasten to help me….
I will always hope in you
and add to all your praise….

God, you have taught me from my youth;
to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Now that I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, God….
Whatever bitter afflictions you sent me,
you would turn and revive me.
From the watery depths of the earth
once more raise me up.

~Eowyn