From the Annals of the “Careful What You Wish For” Department

 

My hometown of Birmingham in the United Kingdom has been rent for weeks by parental demonstrations against a new “Sex and Relationship” education mandate for primary (elementary) school children, and things are getting rather heated. Parents are objecting to the fact that, although they can request that their children not be taught the “Sex” part of the classes, they cannot remove their children from the “Relationship” part. That the “Relationship” part covers relationships between same-sex couples, which the parents find inimical to their core beliefs.

Fairly restrained coverage can be found in The Telegraph, but The Guardian has the photo that’s worth a thousand words (full disclosure: my family never read The Guardian. We only read The Telegraph. After a servant had ironed it, of course):

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Gregory Knapp discuss the Mexican government deploying 10,000 troops to the border to crack down on illegal immigration to the U.S. They cover the real concentration camps that the Chinese have constructed. And they discuss Bernie Sanders’ plan to wipe out all student loans. More

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Advice for Parents of College Kids on Sex Scandals

 

After seven years in the higher-ed administration industry, during which I largely dealt with “Title IX” issues, and having largely shepherded my own kids through college unscathed, I now have nieces and nephews on their way into the Octagon that is college life today. I doubt I’ll have a chance to tell them what they need to know, but I might be able to tell their parents.

I want to write something that explains to them what is happening on campuses today, the dangers it poses to their kids, and what they can do to make themselves safe. I’d start with four suppositions:

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Harvard’s decision to rescind the admittance of Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland shooting survivor and conservative, for controversial past statements. They analyze the general misinformation and public ignorance about Medicare-for-All. And for today’s crazy martini, they discuss O.J. Simpson joining the Twittersphere. More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss what readers can expect in Jim’s new book, Between Two Scorpions. Joe Biden flip-flops on trade and calls President Trump “an existential threat” to the United States. Meanwhile, Democrats in Iowa grow more uncertain as to who they will support from the busload […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America praise Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a series of conservative legislative victories. They also react as YouTube admits it is suppressing what it deems “borderline” content. And in a double crazy martini, they discuss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (literally) running from Republican competition while reportedly entertaining […]

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Before he wrote Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon was a professor and I suspect a very good one. On his great road trip he clearly pined for the academic life or lifestyle: when he wasn’t sleeping in his truck, he found modest hospitality at this or that university. As much as this appealed to […]

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Is it because most are government backed against default? Is it because colleges can knowlingly raise their prices due to the availability of loans in the first place? These are extreme examples in this article, but it does raise the issue once again: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-27/debt-laden-americans-flee-country-escape-crushing-student-loans More

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Thing a Day 1: Razib Khan’s Latest Article Was Not Good

 

So the last time I wrote a post was July 17, 2018. Sure, I comment around here from time to time (last time: April 16, 2019), and I was on quite the streak of promotions. However, I feel I am not contributing much to the conversation around here, and given I submitted grades this morning and am more or less on my own clock now, I’m going to attempt -this week -to have a thing a day I say something about. Doesn’t have to be long. Doesn’t have to be profound. My goal is just to say something about five things this week. Once a day. We’ll go from there.

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Thing a Day 3: Notes on the Corporate University

 

As I was in the car today, I listened to the latest Power Line Podcast, with Steve Hayward and Phillip Magness — of yesterday’s Thing a Day. In the course of the conversation, they discuss the idea of the “neoliberalizing” of the university, subjecting the university to the market, and some similar ideas. In particular, they discuss the death of the humanities being accompanied by an increase in humanities professors and more humanities requirements — even as humanities majors decline. They also discuss the idea that the university is being undermined by exposure to the market — which they do not agree with.

I don’t know whether neoliberalizing is the right description — I definitely don’t think the problem is “exposure to the market” given how regulated the higher education sector is. However, I would like to push back a little in a couple of places.

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Thing A Day 2: Equivocation and History

 

I had never heard of Kevin M. Kruse, of Princeton, until this semester. There’s nothing particularly shocking about that — he’s a historian and I am not. I think his name bounced around the edges of my awareness, but this semester I was on a panel discussing religion in the Founding Era, and one of the panelists was using Kruse’s book One Nation Under God as the primary source for his argument. Today, I saw this exchange on twitter:

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Brown v. Board of Education, 65 Years Later

 

The Monroe School historic site of Brown v. Board of Education, which is considered the start of the Civil rights movement in the United States.
The House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on April 30 to address the state of education in the United States sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) put an official end to legal segregation throughout the United States. When Brown came down, there was much uneasiness over whether that powerful assertion of judicial power could be justified by an appeal to what Professor Herbert Wechsler famously called the “neutral principles of constitutional law.”

Those doubts have largely vanished, but litigation in Brown was only the opening chapter of a protracted struggle that, as political science professor Gerald Rosenberg showed in his historical study of Brown, The Hollow Hope, ultimately required Congress and the Executive to overcome massive resistance from many southern states. By now, the original mission of Brown—formal desegregation—has been unquestionably achieved. There is also widespread agreement that while much progress has been made, much more work has to be done to increase educational opportunities for all students. But this consensus on ends has not been matched by a consensus on means, as was evident in the prepared testimony before the House Committee.

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At first glance, the latest legislation passed in the Florida State Senate is a step forward. It allows all teachers to be eligible for the “guardian program,” which would allow them to carry guns in school. But there is a catch: School districts would have to approve participation in the program and teachers would have […]

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They caught a bunch of parents using a “consultant” to bribe various college people, like soccer coaches, to get their little Olivias into “elite” colleges. (USC? are you kidding?). I won’t wax moralistic. I don’t care. The world has real problems. Whether one one rich white kid goes to Ivy U and another one has […]

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Kevin Williamson just published an article at National Review where he advocated eliminating all government and bank-financed student loans. While I understand the logic behind his ideas and support getting rid of government-based student loans, I think his ideas are woefully insufficient at dealing with one of the root causes for the over $1 trillion […]

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Hold on to Your Wallet: Elizabeth Warren Has an Idea

 

Elizabeth Warren fixed her gaze on the White House the moment she arrived at the US Senate. Today, she’s actually running for the presidency, but it is not going well. Monday morning, a poll out of New Hampshire showed her with just five percent. Residing next door in Massachusetts makes the Granite State a must-win for the senator, yet she trails Bernie, Biden, and Buttigieg by double digits.

You can’t say she isn’t trying. Each week she unveils another progressive plan to win over the woke. Today, she announced not only free college but debt cancellation for most grads. Here are the details:

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Sign of our Times: A Culture of Fear

 

Robby Soave: “On Monday, the boys were forced to meet with an assistant principal and an anti-bullying specialist, who quickly decided to punish them for clearly constitutionally-protected speech.”

Truly a sign of our times. Two boys go to a shooting range, train with legal firearms. Post some pictures and innocuous comments about their training and are immediately punished by their school because of the complaints of one panicked parent.

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I am giving a presentation on the current culture on college campuses to a local conservative group on Tuesday evening. My awareness stems from having three children in college over the last four years, teaching as an adjunct, and a keen interest in the subject. I follow FIRE, Campus Reform and similar organizations and will […]

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Because no one else is. But if someone else is, that may be helpful, as your duplication of them obscures your identity further. I presume, from the profusion of pseudonyms (I hope they are pseudonyms) as well as the absence of bios, that many subscribers don’t want to be unmasked. That may be wise. But […]

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More Misconceptions About College

 

Now that we’ve all had a good airing of grievances about elite colleges and their attendant injustices, let’s get some perspective.

While the number of high school graduates heading off to college has increased in recent years, the percentages graduating with a four-year degree have not increased much. Many students, especially those who are the first in their families to attend college, drop out before receiving a degree. (They cannot drop out of student loan payments though.)

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