Category Archives: Education

President Trump discharging federal student loan debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans

Excerpts from the White House Memorandum:

“For the last decade, veterans seeking loan discharges have been required to submit an application to the Secretary of Education with proof of their disabilities obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The process has been overly complicated and difficult, and prevented too many of our veterans from receiving the relief for which they are eligible. This has inflicted significant hardship and serious harm on these veterans and has frustrated the intent of the Congress that their Federal student loan debt be discharged.

Only half of the approximately 50,000 totally and permanently disabled veterans who currently qualify for the discharge of their Federal student loan debt have availed themselves of the benefits provided to them by the Higher Education Act.

Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to express the gratitude of our Nation for the service of our totally and permanently disabled veterans, I hereby direct the following:

It shall be the policy of the Federal Government to facilitate — in a manner that is quick, efficient, and minimally burdensome — the discharge of Federal student loan debt for totally and permanently disabled veterans.

The Secretary of Education is hereby directed to develop as soon as practicable a process, consistent with applicable law, to facilitate the swift and effective discharge of the Federal student loan debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans pursuant to [USC sections listed].”

Read the whole memorandum here.

According to Breitbart, President Trump made the following statement: “Veterans who have made such enormous sacrifices for our country should not be asked to pay any more, rather it is America who owes our heroes a supreme debt of gratitude.”

President Trump tweeted the following:

“It was my honor to sign a Presidential Memorandum facilitating the cancellation of student loan debt for 25K of our most severely disabled Veterans. With today’s order, we express the everlasting love & loyalty of a truly grateful Nation. God bless our Vets, & God Bless America!”

DCG

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Chicago Teachers Union group take trip to Venezuela, praise socialist leader

The American public education system at work: Teachers crowdfunding a trip to Venezuela only to come back and teach your children about the greatness of socialism.

From MSN: The recent trip to Venezuela by a group calling itself a Chicago Teachers Union delegation has upset some union members and expats who question the point of the tour and take issue with the group’s praise of the country’s disputed government.

The four travelers, who crowdfunded the July trip under the banner of the CTU, met with Venezuelan government officials and educators, visited a commune and were featured in local media.

They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.

Critics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolas Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

“I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour,” said Karen Moody, a teacher and union member.

And though the four travelers regularly called themselves a “CTU delegation” online, the union representing close to 25,000 people has sought to distance itself from the trip, stating the CTU did not endorse, sponsor or fund the trip.

Asked on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” last week about “some controversy” surrounding the excursion, union President Jesse Sharkey said: “Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.

Yet, the official CTU Twitter account retweeted some of the group’s updates, including a blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela.”

CTU also retweeted another post by teacher Sarah Chambers, one of the travelers and a member of the CTU executive board, which read: “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless … This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention.”

Not a homeless person in Venezuela…

That prompted a rebuke from another Twitter user: “What the Delegation fails to acknowledge is they used the CTU name to raise the funds, to set up meetings, to blog their ‘findings.’ This was never voted on. They don’t get it. Irresponsible and reckless.”

Chambers, who appears to have made her Twitter account private, responded by referencing a resolution passed by CTU’s House of Delegates to “oppose the invasion of Venezuela.”

She added in her tweet: “Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

Blackout in Venezuela

When contacted by the Tribune, Chambers deferred to the group’s blog, Radical Educator Collective. The three who traveled with her – two other educators and a union organizer – did not respond to interview requests. Online, the group was clear the union wasn’t helping pay for the trip. At least 55 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign titled “Send CTU Strikers to Venezuela,” an apparent reference to their involvement in the CPS charter school strikes last school year.

In the photo accompanying the campaign, the three educators are wearing CTU hats. In comments, some donors expressed solidarity. One $50 donor wrote of admiration for his colleagues: “Proud of the CTU for their brave and visionary anti-imperialist resolution and enactment of ‘teacher-to-teacher’ solidarity between Chicago and Venezuelan teachers!”

A July 9 blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela” states, “This blog represents the members delegation of the Chicago Teacher’s Union that are currently in Venezuela to learn from educators and activists on the ground. We are three rank and file charter school teachers and one CTU organizer. We organized this delegation ourselves and fundraised for the trip independent of the CTU.”

In the latest post, one member of the group wrote that she’d wanted to observe a method for teaching reading that combines numeracy and literacy skills. She was also curious about if and how educators incorporated the country’s social movements into their curriculum, she wrote.

They visited a commune and talked to educators involved with Mision Robinson, a social welfare program to improve literacy started under former President Hugo Chavez.

Though the group was inspired by the resolution, the opinions on the blog are their own, they wrote.

Ana Gil-Garcia, who co-founded the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance and teaches in the College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University, said the trip was unacceptable, though it would be different if they’d gone on their own, without using the CTU brand.

“Once you go there as a delegation of a very powerful union like the Chicago Teachers Union, it’s questionable,” Gil-Garcia said, adding the trip could come off as the union endorsing the Maduro regime, which she said has killed and imprisoned opponents and contributed to widespread food shortages in the country.

“That’s what makes me really upset about it,” she said. “The Chicago Teachers Union should be very objective because the membership is formed by people with different ways of thinking.”

Read the whole story here.

See also:

Socialist Venezuela in 5th day of nationwide blackout
Chaos in Venezuela: Death toll rises and protests rage on amid blackout
Paging Sean Penn: Venezuelan women sell hair, breast milk & sex to survive as country crumbles
Venezuela socialist nightmare: Dead buried in plastic wrap because family can’t afford a casket

DCG

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Millennial has meltdown when boss corrects her spelling of ‘hamster’

Carol Blymire is an adjunct professor of public relations and journalism at Georgetown University. Her Twitter profile describes her as a “communications and public policy executive, branding consultant, professor, writer” and “Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006.

In a series of tweets on July 12, 2019, Blymire recounted a story she overheard of a millennial “in her late 20s” in Washington, DC, getting feedback on something she had written from her boss, who is also female:

Indeed, the “hampster” millennial is far from being unique. About 15 years ago, an undergraduate student demanded to know why I gave his midterm essay exam a B- grade (I actually was being generous). I explained to him that I had difficulty understanding his essay because it was riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. He declared, “I don’t subscribe to the rules of the English language!” and stormed out of the classroom.

That student was one of the impetuses that spurred me to study and write about the psychological-spiritual phenomenon of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a defining attribute of which is the narcissist’s claim that “rules don’t apply me”.

H/t Kelleigh

See also:

~Eowyn

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NeoMcCarthyism: University of California has a new ‘diversity’ political test for faculty hires and promotion

In 1950, the California Legislature created a McCarthyite Committee on Un-American Activities and enacted the Levering Act, requiring all state employees to sign “loyalty oaths” but specifically aimed at the University of California’s faculty. 31 tenured professors were fired for refusing to sign it.

In 1967, California’s Supreme Court voted 6-1 declaring the Levering Act to be unconstitutional.

Fast forward 52 years.

Now it is the Left who are engaged in the same McCarthyism that they decry. The unconstitutional Levering Act has returned in a new University of California (UC) policy requiring new faculty hires as well as applicants for promotion to pass a political test of the Left.

Dan Walters writes in CalMatters.org, July 30, 2019, that although UC’s Board of Regents officially declares that “No political test shall ever be considered in the appointment and promotion of any faculty member or employee,” a new UC policy is doing exactly that.

As part of its “commitment to diversity and excellence,” UC’s administrators are telling recruiters for faculty positions to take “pro-active steps to seek out candidates committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.” Applicants for new faculty employment and promotions must submit “diversity statements” that will be scored “with rubrics provided by Academic Affairs”. Only applicants who achieve a scoring cutoff will be be considered.

To illustrate, the academic affairs department at UC-Davis says that diversity statements from tenure-track faculty applicants should have “an accomplished track record…of teaching, research or service activities addressing the needs of African-American, Latino, Chicano, Hispanic and Native American students or communities.” Their statements must “indicate awareness” of those communities and “the negative consequences of underutilization” and “provide a clearly articulated vision” of how their work at UC-Davis would advance diversity policies.

Jeffrey Flier, former director of the Harvard Medical School, is among the respected academics who see the inherent contradictions and perils in UC’s new political litmus test. Flier wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

As a supporter of the original goals of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, my skepticism toward this policy surprised a number of friends and colleagues. But it is entirely inappropriate to require diversity statements in the process of appointment and promotion. Such requirements risk introducing a political litmus test into faculty hiring and reviews.

It’s not unreasonable to be concerned that politically influenced attestations might begin to re-emerge in the current hyperpartisan political environment, either in response to politically driven demands for faculty to support populist or nationalist ideas, or from within the increasingly polarized academy itself. Since progressive/left identifications are dominant in the academy, especially in the humanities and social sciences (as well as in administration), politically influenced litmus tests could easily arise in that sphere.

Ironically, given its already overwhelmingly liberal faculty, University of California’s new “diversity” litmus test would only make the faculty even less ideologically diverse and more totalitarian.

H/t California Political Review

~Eowyn

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Colorado State U. language guide: America, American, male, female among words to avoid

The Left’s language police is busy in taxpayer-funded Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Ethan Cai reports for Campus Reform, July 17, 2019, that the Inclusive Communications Task Force of Colorado State University (CSU) compiled an  Inclusive Language Guide, listing a slew of words and phrases to avoid, and appropriate replacements. The ostensible purpose of the guide is to help “communicators practice inclusive language and [help] everyone on [its] campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.”

CSU denied that the Inclusive Language Guide is an official policy, required practice, political correctness, or grammar policing, but claims the Guide is merely “intended as a resource to help our campus community reflect our Principles of Community, particularly inclusion, respect, and social justice” and to help “everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.”

Below are some “non-inclusive” words to avoid:

  • “America” and “American”: The guide claims that since America is more than just the United States, referring to the U.S. as America “erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.” The CSU guide suggests using “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.” instead of “American(s)”.
  • Gendered words and phrases to avoid include “male”, “female”, “ladies” and “gentlemen”, “Mr./Mrs./Ms.”.
  • “Straight”: According to the CSU language guide, the term “straight” when used to describe heterosexuals “implies that anyone LGBT is ‘crooked’ or not normal”.
  • The term “normal person” should be avoided because it “implies that ‘other’ people… are not whole or regular people.”
  • “Handicap parking” should also not be used because it offends disabled people by “minimizing personhood”. Instead of “handicap parking,” use the term “accessible parking”.
  • Other offensive words and phrases to avoid are “war”,  “cake walk”, “eenie meenie miney moe”, “Eskimo”, “freshman”, “hip hip hooray!”, “hold down the fort”, “starving” and “policeman”.

Aaron Allen, a third-year student at CSU, said: “What about the term ‘African-American’? Should I not use that term to describe myself?”

Azhar Majeed, spokesman for the free speech advocacy nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told Campus Reform that while “it is possible that the speech of some students will be chilled if they are confused into thinking that the document represents official policy of the university . . . I think it would be unlikely that any student carefully reading the guide would be mistaken and led to believe they could face disciplinary action for their speech.”

If we go by precedents, despite Majeed’s assurance, CSU students have every reason to fear there would be “disciplinary” consequences if they refuse to abide by the Inclusive Language Guide. See:

Indeed, Nicole Neily, president of Speech First, points out that “even though these guidelines are suggested and not mandatory, they place students in the uncomfortable position of reciting politically correct talking points that they may not agree with. Words like ‘American,’ ‘male,’ and ‘female’ are used every day by billions of people around the world. When these students graduate, they’re in for a rude awakening!”

In a statement to Campus Reform, CSU spokesman Mike Hooker said:

The version that Campus Reform, the Collegian, and one of our employees have shared online was a preliminary draft that was still under construction/revision back in October when the student newspaper posted it, and the language in question was removed before the document was finalized and released in January by the people who wrote it. Attached is the final version of this guide which was created as a resource for members of the CSU staff who had specifically requested this guidance. The old (October) link from the Collegian which you have in your original story from Wednesday was the preliminary draft that was still under discussion among internal members of the involved group.  The preliminary draft was also posted by a CSU employee for discussion purposes back in the fall (not the final attached here that the people working on it eventually agreed on in January) and it never got taken down.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Students say Obama’s immigration quote is racist…when they think it’s from President Trump

“Like, it never occurred to me that it could be Obama.”

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG

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Pediatric study claims fewer kids die from guns in states with stricter laws

This study was conducted for only a five-year period.

They speak about “mandated universal background checks” as if some states don’t even have UBCs.

From Yahoo (via USA Today): Children living in states with more restrictions on firearms are less likely to die from them, a new study says.

States with the strictest gun laws had about 40% fewer firearm-related deaths among children compared with states with the most lax laws, according to the study, published Monday in journal Pediatrics.

“This means, that we may be able to reduce the pediatric death toll in our country by nearly half with strengthened gun safety laws,” lead author Monika Goyal told USA TODAY.

Her team also found that states mandating universal background checks prior to gun purchases had 35% lower gun-related mortality rates in children.

Goyal, an epidemiologist and research director of the emergency division of Children’s National pediatric hospital in Washington, D.C., said she feels compelled to find ways to prevent gun violence – which many say has become a public health crisis. “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I personally have cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence,” she said.

Increasing gun-related deaths among children have become a key issue in the USA. A study released last fall found that firearm-related injuries were the second leading cause of deaths among children in the U.S. in 2016.

Rebecca Cunningham, lead author of the 2018 study and emergency medicine professor at the University of Michigan, said guns are especially dangerous around children because of a lack of maturity.

“Children and adolescents do not have the brain maturity to resist impulsive behavior successfully,” Cunningham said. “In other settings, this lack of mature impulse control is not fatal. When reaching for a gun as a toddler or as a depressed or angry teen, that impulsivity is often fatal due to the lethality of the firearms.”

The Pediatrics study found that 21,241 people under 21 died of firearm-related injuries from 2011 to 2015. This means more than 10 children die from gun violence every day, Goyal said.

Lars Dalseide, National Rifle Association spokesperson, said the NRA has made strong efforts to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms. One example is the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, a gun accident prevention program that teaches kids about gun safety.

Dalseide said he was skeptical of the study’s methods. “Any social scientist worth their salt has to question a study that cherry-picks a microscopic 5-year time window of data when there is more than 50 years of data available,” he said.

There’s still more work to be done in order to understand how legislation may effectively reduce gun-related deaths among children, Goyal said, but it’s a similar process to researching the relationship between car safety and laws.

“Just as we have invested in rigorous scientific research to inform policies related to motor vehicle passenger safety – which have in turn dramatically reduced the number of pediatric deaths from motor vehicle collisions – we must embrace the same evidence-based strategies if we wish to curtail the firearm epidemic in our country,” Goyal said.

Cunningham co-leads the Firearm-Safety Among Children & Teens Consortium (FACTS) researchers across the country working to prevent gun violence against children. She said it’s critical to pursue research into gun violence to gain a full understanding of the issue.

“We don’t have to accept the continued rise of deaths among our children and teens by firearm injury,” Cunningham said. “This is an addressable public health issue, that can be accomplished by injury prevention science while respecting the rights of our citizens.”

DCG

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“Manholes” out at Berkeley; must now be called “maintenance holes”

From SF Gate: At a Tuesday night city council meeting, Berkeley became the first city in America to ban the use of natural gas piping in new construction. But that was not the only utility-related issue they saw fit to attend to. No, there was another matter on deck: Eliminating the gendered connotations of words like “manhole” in the city municipal code.

No longer will the streets of fair Berkeley be dotted with manholes, nary a womanhole or nonbinaryhole in sight. With Tuesday night’s vote, they have all been transmuted into “maintenance holes,” that highest, hardest glass manhole-cover finally shattered.

The item, originally on the council agenda for March 12, was sponsored by councilmembers Rigel Robinson, Cheryl Davila, Ben Bartlett and Lori Droste, reports Berkeleyside. The ordinance eliminates all gendered pronouns from the city code, replacing “she” and “he” with “they.”

“Manpower” will be referred to as “human effort,” and “man-made” objects will be described with terms like “human-made,” “artificial,” “manufactured,” “machine made” or “synthetic.”

Gendered professional terms like “fireman,” “firewoman” and “craftsman” will be swapped out for gender-neutral substitutes like “firefighter” and “craftspeople.” “Heirs” will become “beneficiaries,” a “sportsman” is now a “hunter,” and an “ombudsman” is now just an “ombuds.” The estimated cost of the revisions is a modest $600.

It was approved Tuesday night as a consent item without council discussion or public comment, Berkeleyside’s Emilie Raguso reported.

When King County, Wash. enacted a similar measure last year, some on Twitter were left wistful for the halcyon days when manholes were manholes; Many others were indifferent. “I gotta say as a female engineer in Seattle,” one woman wrote, “I really don’t give a crap what you call a utility access point.”

DCG

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Feminist arrested after assaulting pro-lifer at U. of Wisconsin

The Left and their complicit media lapdogs portray Conservatives as uneducated, violent rednecks.

By now, we have ample evidence that the opposite is actually the case. What the Left do is psychological projection — attributing their own faults and disposition to others.

Here is another instance of the Left assaulting Conservatives.

LifeNews reports that on April 22, 2019, during a campus outreach by the pro-life organization Created Equal at at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a pro-abort woman vandalized the group’s signs. When one of the pro-life advocates tried to stop her from spray-painting the signs, she pushed him, yelled profanities at the group before driving away.

Police later arrested the woman, identified as Sasha Timofeeva, on charges of graffiti vandalism, assault and disorderly conduct.

Created Equal said in a statement:

[I]t’s not just the attack that is alarming but also the attacker’s response when police located her. She admits to premeditating the crime and that she was fully aware it was wrong. The assailant even laughs about a student encouraging her and how she doesn’t care how her victims felt.

The video of the incident taken by Created Equal shows Timofeeva yelling ““F— you, they’re triggering, they hurt people,” before she spray painted one of the signs.

A Created Equal member tried to stop Timofeeva from defacing his sign by asking her “Ma’am, don’t do this.”

Timofeeva responded: “F— you, and your stupid signs.”

The pro-life activist said “stop” and tried to take the spray paint from Timofeeva.

Timofeeva yelled “F— you and your stupid message,” and shoved the pro-life activist.

The activist said: “You just pushed me. You’re assaulting me. Stop.”

Timofeeva: “You just tried to grab my f—— spray paint. You going to tell the police that?”

Activist: “Because you’re spray painting our property. Yeah, I’m going to tell [the police].”

Timofeeva: “I don’t give a s—.”

The video also includes scenes from Timofeeva’s interview with police. She admits that the vandalism was premeditated — that after seeing the pro-life group, “I grabbed the paint and I drove back there.”

The police officer asks: “So you premeditated. And you intentionally sprayed their signs to damage them? You did that, knowing that you shouldn’t do that?”

Timofeeva replies: “Yeah, pretty much. Like, three girls walked by and they said that I’m a hero.”

Here’s the video:

Created Equal said its staff and volunteers regularly face threats of violence, vandalism and physical assault, and that they have seen an increase in the attacks in the past several months. Mark Harrington, the president and founder of Created Equal, said: 

“Pro-abortion activists who commit violence must be held accountable. And thanks to the law enforcement in the video, that is exactly what is happening. We refuse to back down in the face of these threats. The escalation of pro-abortion violence has forced us to take additional security measures to protect our team.”

See these FOTM posts on other instances of pro-aborts assaulting peaceful pro-lifers:

See also:

~Eowyn

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American Psychological Association to promote adultery, swinging & orgies

Psychology is already at best a soft, if not outright pseudo, science.

Now the American Psychological Association (APA) is venturing into the non-scientific, non-empirical domain of morality by giving their approval to adulterers, swingers, and orgiasts.

In 1985, “a group of pioneering LGB psychologists and their allies” at the APA founded Division 44, the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian and Gay Issues, for an explicitly nonscientific, political reason. Div. 44’s mission states:

Div. 44 (SPSOGD) is committed to advancing social justice in all its activities. The Society celebrates the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender nonconforming and queer people….

Div. 44 has over 1,500 members, and “represents” all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 foreign countries “on every inhabited continent.”

The latest Div. 44 initiative is the Consensual Non-Monogramy Task Force, the goal of which is to “promote awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships. These include but are not limited to: people who practice polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy and other types of ethical, non-monogamous relationships.”

The AMA task force’s justification for its promotion of open marriages, orgies (“polyamory“: “the practice of having sexual or romantic relationships with two or more people at the same time”), swinging, and “relationship anarchy” (whatever that is) is that everyone should have the “liberty” to find “love and/or sexual intimacy” without “social and medical stigmatization”.

The goal of the task force is to “generate” (pseudo-scientific) research and disseminate propaganda — “advocate for the inclusion of consensual non-monogamous relationships in the following four areas”:

  • Basic and applied research
  • Education and training
  • Psychological practice
  • Public interest

In other words, the American Psychological Association intends to use pseudo-science to promote adultery, swinging and orgies in schools/universities (“education”), in the offices of psychologists, and in the media (“public interest”).

You are forewarned.

H/t The Daily Signal

~Eowyn

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