WASHINGTON — What a weekend it was! The soft gentle air of early autumn was upon us. Sweater weather. Straw hat weather. Perfect weather to be on campus with a convivial crowd of like-minded friends taking in a Saturday afternoon football game — and for me, something more. It was another episode in my long-standing reconnoitering of college life, always done incognito with a smile on my face and a pen and pad nearby to record the continued decline of a once-great American institution, the American university.
During my student days at a UCLA economics department faculty/graduate student coffee hour in the 1960s, I was chatting with Professor Armen Alchian, probably the greatest microeconomic theory economist of the 20th century. I was trying to impress Alchian with my knowledge of statistical type I and type II errors. I explained that unlike my wife, who assumed that everyone was her friend until they prove differently, my assumption was everyone was an enemy until they proved otherwise. The result: My wife's vision maximized the number of her friends but maximized her chances of betrayal. My vision minimized my chances of betrayal at a cost of minimizing the number of my friends.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, a number of shows on the major networks late last week ran with reports of a racist bullying incident at Springfield, Virginia's Immanuel Christian School that, by late Monday morning, was revealed to be a hoax. The family of 12-year-old Amari Allen admitted that their daughter made up her story accusing three white classmates of forcibly cutting her long hair.
On Monday's New Day on CNN, host Alisyn Camerota gave Joe Biden campaign official Kate Bedingfield a sympathetic forum to react to the Donald Trump campaign's charges that Biden's son, Hunter, is linked to corruption in Ukraine, and even invited her to promote the Democratic presidential candidate's gun control plan.
Camille Paglia is a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has been a faculty member since 1984. Paglia describes herself as transgender, but unlike so many other transgender people, she is pro-capitalism and hostile to those who'd restrict free speech. She's a libertarian. As to modern ideas that include “gender-inclusive pronouns” such as zie, sie and zim, Paglia says it is lunacy.
The U.S. Department of Justice has recently sued the Baltimore County government alleging that its written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against black applicants. It turns out that black applicants failed the written test at a rate much greater than white applicants. That results in fewer blacks being trained and hired as police officers. John A. Olszewski Jr., Baltimore County Executive said: “A law enforcement agency should look like the community it serves. As I have said repeatedly since taking office, I am committed to increasing diversity in the county's Police Department.”
Over the past several days, in contrast with the other networks, Fox News Channel has been giving attention to one of the Parkland parents who is pro-gun and blames President Barack Obama and other Democrats for school policies making it easier for Nikolas Cruz to murder his daughter, Meadow, and 16 other students at Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Andrew Pollack has appeared on a number of Fox News shows to promote his new book, Why Meadow Died, which gives the results of his own investigative efforts into the school's history of covering up Cruz's severe behavioral problems that should have already landed him with a criminal record, making it harder for him to purchase his murder weapon.
Just when we thought colleges could not spout loonier ideas, we have a new one from American University. They hired a professor to teach other professors to grade students based on their "labor" rather than their writing ability. The professor that American University hired to teach that nonsense is Asao B. Inoue, who is a professor at the University of Washington in Tacoma in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. He is also the director of the university's writing center. Inoue believes that a person's writing ability should not be assessed, in order to promote “anti-racist” objectives.
For many parents, August is a month of both pride and tears. Pride because their teenager is taking that big educational step and tears because for many it's the beginning of an empty nest. Yet, there's a going-away-to-college question that far too few parents ask or even contemplate: What will my youngster learn in college? The American Council of Trustees and Alumni provides some answers that turn out to be quite disturbing. ACTA evaluated every four-year public university as well as hundreds of private colleges and universities.
There is discrimination of all sorts, and that includes racial discrimination. Thus, it's somewhat foolhardy to debate the existence of racial discrimination yesteryear or today. From a policy point of view, a far more useful question to ask is: How much of the plight of many blacks can be explained by current racial discrimination? Let's examine some of today's most devastating problems of many black people with an eye toward addressing discrimination of the past and present.
Here's what President Donald Trump tweeted about Baltimore's congressman and his city: “Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is far worse and more dangerous. His district is considered the worst in the USA.”
While Full Frontal host Samantha Bee briefly weighed in on the Democratic presidential debates, she devoted most of her opening monologue Wednesday night to promoting student loan forgiveness. After highlighting some of the candidates’ proposals for dealing with the student debt crisis, Bee declared that “we need student loan forgiveness now.”