University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/university-drops-sonnets-because-they-are-products-of-white-western-culture/

University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

By Margaret Kelly

May 18, 2022

The form has appealed to major poets for five centuries

The University of Salford, a public university in Greater Manchester, England, removed sonnets and other “pre-established literary forms” from a creative writing course assessment, The Telegraph reported.

Course leaders of a creative writing module titled “Writing Poetry in the Twenty-First Century,” removed an exam section that required students to write the traditional forms, including sestinas and sonnets, according to the newspaper.

The sonnet, a poetic form that likely originated in Italy in the 13th century, has been taken up by writers such as Petrarch, Shakespeare and John Donne, according to Britannica.

“The sonnet is unique among poetic forms in Western literature in that it has retained its appeal for major poets for five centuries,” the encyclopedia stated.

A University of Salford slideshow shared with staff stated that teachers have “simplified the assessment offering choice to write thematically rather than to fit into pre-established literary forms…which tend to the products of white western culture,” according to documents cited by The Telegraph.

The slideshow affirmed the change as an example of best practice in “decolonising the curriculum.” The Telegraph defined “decolonising” as “a term used to describe refocusing curricula away from historically dominant Western material and viewpoints.”

Instead, the course will incorporate “inclusive criteria” that better “reflect and cater for a diverse society,” according to internal training materials review by The Telegraph. The materials also showed that the courses could be upgraded by utilizing “a choice of assessment methods” allowing students to be tested “in a way that suits them.”

British historian: assuming sonnets alienate non-white students is ‘hugely patronising’

The Telegraph quoted Oxford-trained historian Zareer Masani’s statement that the course overhaul was “outrageous.”

“It is hugely patronising to assume non-White students would be put off by Western poetic forms,” he said. “Poetic forms vary widely across the world, but good poetry is universal.”

Scott Thurston, leader of the creative writing program at Salford, said the course was “often updated to take account of new trends and development in contemporary writing,” according to The Telegraph.

Thurston said that teachers would still instruct creative writing students in traditional forms in their first year and give them exercises in writing them. However, the curriculum would also include creative experimentation with students’ “own forms.”

May 20, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Books, Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

The 2000 Mules Investigations Have Begun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLBkvDUduuA

May 19, 2022. Tags: , , , . Movies, Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

Washington D.C. schools spent more per pupil than any state but had the lowest scores in the nation

https://thebullelephant.com/washington-d-c-schools-spent-more-per-pupil-than-any-state-but-had-the-lowest-scores-in-the-nation/

Washington D.C. schools spent more per pupil than any state but had the lowest scores in the nation

By Hans Bader

May 14, 2022

“D.C. Public Schools Spent $31,843 Per Pupil; But D.C. 8th Graders Had Lowest Math and Reading Scores in Nation,” reports CNS News. Washington, DC spent more per student than any of the 50 states:

The public schools in Washington. D.C., spent a total of $31,843 per pupil in fiscal year 2020…Meanwhile, the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered in 2019 showed that only 23 percent of the eight graders in D.C. public schools were proficient or better in reading and only 23 percent were proficient or better in mathematics.

The average reading test score for D.C. eighth graders was lower than the average for eighth graders in any of the 50 states. The average math score for D.C. eighth graders tied with the averages for eighth graders in Alaska and New Mexico for lowest in the nation.

By contrast, Utah spent only $9,424 per student — less than a third as much as D.C. — yet its students performed above average. The Washington, DC schools have been spending more than any state for years, even as its students lag behind the students of all other states on tests, according to the National Center for Education Statistics:

In 2019 …. eighth graders in D.C. public schools had an average score of 250 out of 500 in the NAEP reading test. That was a lower average than any of the 50 states.

That same year, according to NCES, D.C. public school eight graders had an average score of 269 out of 500 in the NAEP mathematics test. That tied D.C. eighth graders with those in New Mexico and Alabama for the lowest average mathematics score in the nation.

You can find all this data and more in reports from the National Center for Education Statistics.

May 15, 2022. Tags: , , , . Dumbing down, Education. Leave a comment.

I solved the May 14, 2022 Quordle in just 6 guesses!

Quordle is like Wordle, except you have to guess 4 words instead of 1.

I solved the May 14, 2022 Quordle in just 6 guesses.

My guesses were STRAP, LUNCH, SUNNY, SLIMY, THIRD, and AVIAN.

Here’s a screenshot:

Quordle May 14, 2022

May 15, 2022. Tags: , , , . Word games. Leave a comment.

Attention Los Angeles Times! This article that you recently published is not a good argument for abortion. Instead, it’s a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 7, 2022

The Los Angeles Times recently published this article, which the paper seemed to think was a good argument in favor of abortion.

But I read the entire article, and I don’t think it’s a good argument in favor of abortion. Instead, I think it’s a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

Another thing that I dislike about this article is that it makes no mention whatsoever of the father(s) of the three children that this single woman had already given birth to before aborting her fourth child.

So this unmarried woman has three children out of wedlock.

Then she has unprotected sex, with an irresponsible man whom she considers to be the exact opposite of father material, gets pregnant, and has an abortion.

Nothing in this article is a good argument for abortion.

Instead, the article is a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220506121740/https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-06/texas-woman-needing-an-abortion-found-love-in-california

A Texas woman needed an abortion. Here’s how far California went to help her

By Anita Chabria

May 6, 2022

The first sign of Stephanie’s pregnancy was nausea, as it so often is — that particular debilitating queasiness that knocked her off her feet, sometimes all day, days at a time.

It kept Stephanie, who asked me not to use her real name for all the obvious reasons, from working. She runs her own business in Austin, Texas, braiding hair, a skill she learned as a teenager.

“Men, women, children,” she told me with a Lone Star twang. “Yes, ma’am,” she does them all and loves it, loves making her customers feel beautiful.

When Stephanie took a pregnancy test and it came back positive, she was shocked at first, then dismayed. Then things got worse.

Though she hadn’t thought much about it, Texas had just passed its law banning abortions after a heartbeat is found. California, the Golden State of both sunshine and liberty, has of course doubled down on access to reproductive health, also something Stephanie wasn’t yet thinking about.

Stephanie had been dating a man who had been a friend for a few years. They met at a restaurant during a Sunday lunch, and in retrospect, Stephanie wishes she’d kept him “in the friend zone.” As soon as she knew she was pregnant, she also knew he wasn’t someone she wanted to be in a long-term relationship with. He was never going to be the kind of partner she could count on, and she didn’t need more of that.

“Dealing with him, that would have brought a lot of negative problems in my life,” she said.

She has three children, ages 14, 6 and 5. She’s a single mom with all the hard work that comes with it, but “my kids are my main priority,” she says.

The youngest is a “dancing machine” who will start kindergarten soon, a little girl with a big personality. Her 6-year-old is the comedian, a clown, she says, with a helpful side.

Her teenage daughter dreams of being a nurse who works with babies. The young girl thinks being a RN will give her a life of luxury, Stephanie says.

That may not work out quite how the teen thinks, but Stephanie is proud of her drive. “She’s a go-getter, very mature,” she says.

Stephanie, 33, prayed about the pregnancy. She ran through her savings being off work. She thought about the bills a baby would bring, what it would mean for her kids, and for her own future. Then she decided to have an abortion.

“Where I am at in my life, I am on a journey where I am still trying to find myself, trying to be the best mother I can be,” she said. “And I feel like it’s hard enough already and I don’t want to bring another child into this world.”

This is of course none of our business, and requires no justification, no back story to make us understand a choice that is hers alone. But Stephanie shared her story with me both to help explain what it really means for California to be a sanctuary state for abortion, how urgent it is that this state keep the promises its politicians are making, and to let others in need of an abortion know that there is help in these dark and frightening days.

What Planned Parenthood Los Angeles did to help Stephanie, the lengths it went to, surprised me. It made me proud to be in a state that isn’t backing down from this ugly fight, and it made me realize that we are far beyond putting on pink hats and protesting at a statehouse where the governor and legislators already have doubled down on making California a sanctuary for reproductive care.

This is no longer just a culture war between those with political and ideological differences, if it ever was. This is a crisis of identity that will determine the future of this country for decades to come, a dividing line between inclusive democracy and a white Christian nationalism that is seeking, successfully for now, to domino our rights one by one in a vicious fight to keep power for a few at the expense of equality and equity for most. It is racist, sexist, hate-filled and un-American.

I asked Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the nation’s pre-eminent constitutional scholars and a professor at UC Berkeley, where we are headed if the leaked Roe decision becomes law. His assessment was bleak.

“Justice Alito’s opinion, assuming it becomes the final decision, will put many rights in danger,” he said.

“The right to custody of one’s children, the right to keep the family together, the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children, the right to purchase and use contraceptives, the right of consenting adults to engage in same-sex sexual activity, the right of competent adults to refuse medical treatment,” all those will be vulnerable, he warned.

He predicts that if Roe is overruled, states will “adopt laws prohibiting contraceptives that act after conception, like the IUD, the morning after pill, some birth control pills. They will outlaw IVF where embryos are not implanted. They will prohibit women from leaving a state for an abortion and more.”

Stephanie knows exactly what that oppression feels like.

After the positive test, she went to a Texas clinic. She was only about six weeks pregnant, but they found a heartbeat and that was that. Suddenly the Texas law was about her, and her future narrowed down to panic and fear.

“Before I went though this situation, I really didn’t care,” she said of the Texas law. “But then when it affected me, it was like, ‘Oh, s—.’ ”

She said the clinic basically kicked her out. She was crying, and she went back inside to ask if they knew anyone who could help her. The answer was a hard no. Luckily, a friend persuaded her to call Planned Parenthood in Texas that day, and that clinic got her in touch with the Los Angeles office. She said she was thinking there was no way she could get to California, but her friend told her to make the call anyway, a last-ditch hope.

“Immediately they were so helpful,” Stephanie said. “They were concerned. They made me feel good in that moment. Everybody down here just turns up their nose.”

The coordinator who handled her call got to work, Stephanie said. Planned Parenthood booked her flights between Texas and L.A. — 1,242 miles each way — and paid for them. They arranged transportation and a hotel — and paid for those, too. They even gave her money to pay for incidentals such as food.

But it was the way they made her feel that she remembers most, “like it wasn’t an embarrassment or a shame,” she said.

She was at the lowest point in her life and she found “love from strangers,” she said.

She flew in on a Monday and had the procedure on a Tuesday, then headed home to her kids the next day. No complications, no drama.

“I didn’t expect all this,” she said. And that’s why she’s willing to talk about it. She thinks the Texas law is “trash” but California welcomes those in need.

“I want people to know that in this life you cannot judge anyone,” she said. “I also want people to know there is help and support out there. Don’t feel alone, don’t feel embarrassed, do what’s best for you.”

She — a smart, resourceful adult — barely figured out how to get access to the reproductive care she needed. She thinks about a 14-year-old girl too scared to tell her mom she’s knocked up, or a mom who just can’t figure out where to go for help when that daughter does come to her.

It doesn’t have to be rape or incest. We don’t need the horror stories or worst-case scenarios. Thousands of women, girls and transgender people find out they are pregnant every day, with thousands of back stories that are none of our business.

But the fact that they no longer have choices in states such as Texas and Oklahoma — or even know where to go for help — should be everyone’s business.

Sue Dunlap, the head of Planned Parenthood L.A., told me they see about 100 people a month from out of the state for reproductive care. Across California, clinics are gearing up to help many more than that, possibly several hundred per week at the bigger facilities.

The state Legislature is working to increase access to reproductive care by allowing more types of medical professionals to handle abortions, and by creating state funds that would help cover costs. Organizations like Planned Parenthood are collecting money and marshaling resources.

Dunlap didn’t want to call it an underground railroad for reproductive care, maybe for all the harsh history that term holds, but I’ll call it that. That’s how far backward the current moment is, and how steeped in past racism it is — because a lack of access to abortion hits Black and brown people the most, and hurts those who are poor and marginalized with greater brutality.

If you do nothing else, I hope you will share Stephanie’s story far and wide, so that others in need of reproductive care know the help here is real.

Even Stephanie still can’t quite believe what California did for her, and her family.

“I didn’t expect all this,” she said.

None of us did, but here we are. And while fighting to help individuals such as Stephanie is critical, we have to be real about how much is at stake. California might prefer to focus on its own needs, but as a leader of civil rights, it is being thrust into a national role of protecting the vulnerable — whoever they may be.

It pains me to end a reproductive rights column with a quote from someone without a uterus. But credit where credit it due.

“Pay attention, America, ” Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week, speaking outside Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “They’re coming after you next.”

May 7, 2022. Tags: , . Abortion. Leave a comment.

Check out all these awesomely beautiful songs by Mickey and Sylvia!

I’m So Glad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMf30eoU22c

Se De Boom Run Dun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0frF4kPQIE

Forever and a Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vH1aC-Qh4I

Rise Sally Rise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVkZBBgbaXw

Love Is Strange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35eBlOs6DOQ

I’m Going Home

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk6jE514gOU

There Oughta Be a Law

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yycfhrcuULA

Dearest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4bq9LneZ9s

Love Will Make You Fail in School

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcwK3WoFY1g

Let’s Have A Picnic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIop-8SeG3I

There’ll Be No Backin’ Out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXxaL_EPauI

Peace Of Mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlMFX5qlEek

Who Knows Why

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erx4cSwIVZU

Say The Word

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFvsbYDa9tY

Too Much Weight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4veTz_FSwA

A New Idea on Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M8KE9xX9fE

I’ve Got a Feeling (In My Heart)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZPDEnPccKg

Can’t Get You On The Phone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySM2cdPoBys

Oh Yeah! Uh Huh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjKJ9EancJk

What Would I Do

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9Kqhd0Ze54

 

April 28, 2022. Tags: , . Music. Leave a comment.

Flight that crashed and killed 66 people was caused by pilot’s cigarette, investigation finds

https://nypost.com/2022/04/27/egyptair-flight-ms804-fatal-crash-caused-by-pilot-mohamed-said-ali-ali-shoukairs-cigarette/

Flight that crashed and killed 66 people was caused by pilot’s cigarette, investigation finds

By Snejana Farberov

April 27, 2022

An EgyptAir flight that crashed en route to Cairo, killing all 66 people on board, was brought down by a pilot who had a cigarette in the cockpit and started a fire, a new report found.

EgyptAir flight MS804 was traveling on May 19, 2016, from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport when it fell out of the sky between the Greek island of Crete and northern Egypt.

France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) has since concluded that pilot Mohamed Said Shoukair’s mid-air smoke break led to a fire onboard the Airbus A320 jet when his cigarette ignited oxygen leaking from an oxygen mask in the cockpit.

The air disaster resulted in the deaths of 56 passengers and 10 crew members, among them 12 French nationals, 30 Egyptians, two Iraqis, one Canadian and one British citizen.

Egyptian authorities initially said that the plane crash was the result of a terrorist attack, claiming that traces of explosives had been found on the bodies of the victims, but those allegations were widely discredited.

In 2018, France’s BEA determined that the flight went down because of a fire onboard based on analysis of data from the aircraft’s black box recorder, which was recovered from deep water near Greece by the US Navy — though at the time investigators did not say what specifically caused the onboard inferno.

But in March 2022, BEA released a new report that alleges that oxygen had leaked from a pilot’s oxygen mask in the cockpit shortly before the crash, based on black box data that captured the sound of the oxygen hissing.

The oxygen mask in question had been replaced just three days before the fateful flight by an EgyptAir maintenance worker, but for an unknown reason it had its release valve set to the “emergency position,” which, according to the Airbus safety manual, could lead to leaks.

Incredibly, at the time of the incident, EgyptAir pilots were allowed to smoke in the cockpit – a rule that has since changed. The onboard smoking, combined with the leaking oxygen, had set the stage for the fire, according to French aviation experts.

The deadly plane crash is currently the subject of a manslaughter case before the Paris Court of Appeals.

The 134-page report, which was reviewed by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra, was released to the Parisian court at the request of local judges.

Egypt has refused to release its own report into the crash and in 2018 rejected BEA’s initial findings, dismissing them as “unfounded.”

Families of victims have accused the Egyptian authorities of failing to cooperate with the investigation into the crash.

Antoine Lachenaud, a lawyer representing the family of Clement Daeschner-Cormary, a 26-year-old passenger who died, said the new report showed that the crash was caused by human error.

“When warnings are ignored in a systematic manner this results in a crash and it becomes impossible to maintain that this is due to chance,” he said.

April 27, 2022. Tags: , , , . Smoking. Leave a comment.

2000 Mules Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTfXCLv6nlM

April 23, 2022. Tags: , , , . Movies, Stop the steal, Voter fraud. 2 comments.

Judge rules against school that had lowered its admissions standards in order to admit more black students

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Bcgl11-9bNcJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/25/judge-thomas-jefferson-high-admissions/+&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Judge calls Thomas Jefferson High admissions changes illegal

The prestigious Fairfax school ‘disproportionately deprived’ Asian Americans of a level playing field, according to the ruling

By Hannah Natanson

February 25, 2022

A federal judge ruled Friday that a new admissions system for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a prestigious magnet program in Fairfax, discriminates against Asian American applicants and must end.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton concluded that an effort to boost African American and Latino representation at TJ, as the school is known, constitutes an illegal act of “racial balancing.” He added that the school board’s alterations to the admissions process — including eliminating a notoriously difficult test and a $100 application fee, and choosing instead to evaluate students on “experience factors” such as socioeconomic background — took place in a rushed, sloppy and opaque manner.

Hilton wrote that “emails and text messages between Board members and high-ranking FCPS officials leave no material dispute that, at least in part, the purpose of the Board’s admissions overhaul was to change the racial makeup to TJ to the detriment of Asian-Americans.”

“The proper remedy for a legal provision enacted with discriminatory intent is invalidation,” Hilton wrote, before issuing a stark order: “Defendant Fairfax County School Board is enjoined from further use or enforcement of” its revised admissions system.

An attorney for Fairfax County Public Schools, John Foster, said Friday that he believes “the ruling is not supported by law.” He said Fairfax “will consider asking a federal appeals court to review the decision.”

Foster said officials were studying what the ruling will mean for how the school conducts admissions for the next cycle of TJ applicants, those destined for the Class of 2026.

The plaintiff, the Coalition for TJ — a group of TJ parents, students and alumni that formed to oppose the admissions changes — celebrated Friday afternoon. Asra Nomani, who is co-founder of the coalition and parent to a TJ student who graduated in 2021, said in a statement that Hinton’s ruling is thrilling.

“Today’s decision is a victory for all students, all families and the United States of America,” she said. “It is victory for equality under the law, merit education and the American Dream.”

The case, filed in March of last year by the Coalition for TJ, was supposed to go to trial Jan. 24. But Hilton chose to issue a ruling and avoid a trial because, he said, no facts were in dispute.

The Fairfax school board voted to revise admissions at Thomas Jefferson in 2020, a move meant to boost diversity at the school, which has long enrolled single-digit percentages of Black and Hispanic students.

The new admissions system is a “holistic review” process that, in part, judges students on four “experience factors”: their income status, their English-speaking ability, whether the applicant has a disability and whether the applicant comes from a historically underrepresented high school.

In 2021, the first year the admissions changes took effect, officials at TJ enrolled the most diverse class in recent memory. The TJ Class of 2025 includes far more Black, Hispanic and low-income students than any class in recent memory. But Asian American representation dropped from roughly 70 percent to around 50 percent of the class.

The changes were controversial from the start; they inspired two swift lawsuits. In November 2020, a group of parents sued to stop the revisions, arguing that they violated a Virginia law. That suit, filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, is ongoing.

In March 2021, members of the Coalition for TJ — some of whom were also plaintiffs in the November lawsuit — sued in federal court over the admissions changes. They are being represented pro bono by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a California-based conservative legal group that opposes affirmative action.

The coalition claimed that the TJ admissions changes were specifically designed to drive down the number of Asian American students. As proof, the lawsuit cited presentations, documents and comments given or made by the superintendent and school board in the months leading up to the admissions changes.

Fairfax officials denied every allegation. Foster repeated those denials Friday: “The new process is blind to race, gender and national origin and gives the most talented students from every middle school a seat at TJ,” he said. “We believe that a trial would have shown that the new process meets all legal requirements.”

But in his 31-page ruling Friday, Hilton, a Ronald Reagan appointee, sided with the Coalition for TJ on almost every count.

He wrote that throughout the revision process, Fairfax school board members and the superintendent made clear that their goal was “to have TJ reflect the demographics of the surrounding area, described primarily in racial terms.” Hilton wrote that this aim amounts to “racial balancing for its own sake,” and as such is “patently unconstitutional.”

He pointed to text messages and emails exchanged between school board members and some of the highest-ranking school officials in the Fairfax district. These communications, he wrote, prove that the school system’s goal was always to decrease the percentage of Asian American students enrolled at TJ — to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students.

“The discussion of TJ admissions was infected with talk of racial balancing from its inception,” Hilton wrote.

What’s more, Hilton said, Fairfax’s use of racial data and attempt to consider the racial composition of TJ’s student body demonstrates “discriminatory intent.”

“Discriminatory intent does not require racial animus,” he wrote. “What matters it that the Board acted at least in part because of, not merely in spite of, the policy’s adverse effects upon an identifiable group … The Board’s policy was designed to increase Black and Hispanic enrollment, which would, by necessity, decrease the representation of Asian-Americans at TJ.”

He also criticized the revisions process more broadly, writing that the changes were rushed and that the decision-making process lacked transparency. School officials, he charged, did not properly engage the public.

He concluded by noting that Asian American students have been “disproportionately deprived of a level playing field” in competing for a spot at TJ.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who said during his campaign last year that he would work to undo the new admission system, tweeted Friday evening to praise Hinton’s ruling. He posted that “today’s decision reaffirms that TJ’s admissions should be based on merit.”

But another school advocacy group — the TJ Alumni Action Group, which supports the admissions changes — criticized Hilton’s ruling Friday. In a statement, the group said “this decision will make TJ less accessible once again for underrepresented students, including Asian American students who are low-income or English Language Learners.”

April 21, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

North Korean communists can’t figure out how to get elevators or water to the top floors of residential skyscrapers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-8glaZNXFk

https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-korean-penthouses-look-glamorous-233656358.html

Why only the poorest North Koreans live in the country’s high-rise penthouses

By Daniel Anderson

April 15, 2022

North Korea has finished construction of an 80-story residential skyscraper complete with penthouses in the capital of Pyongyang, but only some of the least fortunate in the country reportedly choose to live on the top floors of the country’s high-rise apartments.

Defectors have said that many North Koreans take issue with the higher floors of these apartments due to a lack of working elevators, electrical issues, minimal water supply and poor overall safety and quality, according to Reuters.

“In North Korea, the poor live in penthouses rather than the rich because lifts are often not working properly, and they cannot pump up water due to the low pressure,” Jung Si-woo, a 31-year-old North Korean defector, told Reuters.

Jung gave an example, adding, “A friend who lived on the 28th floor of a 40-story block had never used the elevator because it was not working. Most elevators worked just twice a day, during peak commuting hours from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the same timing in the evening.”

North Korean citizens are not given many options because housing is assigned, and the buying and selling of homes is illegal.

According to state media, housing development is an important goal for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and he has promised to build thousands of apartments. On Wednesday, the country completed construction on 10,000 new apartments, taking pride in their completion time and quality.

In Jung’s opinion, however, the efforts are theatrics. “It’s to show how much their construction skills have improved, rather than considering residents’ preferences.”

The editor-in-chief of Daily NK, Lee Sang-yong, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, corroborates Jung’s claims, saying his sources reported that the “apartments for regular people were not ready to live in.”

“Windows had only frames, and water taps, though installed, were not working; but the recently completed luxury homes come complete with furniture and utensils,” Lee explains.

Kim Jong Un recently gifted a two-story luxury apartment to North Korean TV anchor Ri Chun-hee as thanks for her loyalty, saying, “There is nothing to spare for national treasures like Ri Chun-hee, who has led a virtuous life with the revolutionary microphone.”

April 19, 2022. Tags: , , . Communism, Housing. Leave a comment.

San Diego’s largest high school eliminates advanced English, advanced history, and advanced biology, and says it’s because of “equity”

https://web.archive.org/web/20220410124259/https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2022-04-10/san-diegos-largest-high-school-quietly-eliminated-several-honors-courses-parents-are-outraged

San Diego’s largest high school quietly eliminated several honors courses.

Parents are outraged.

Principal wanted to eliminate stigma of non-honors courses, but parents say their kids need the courses for a competitive edge.

By Kristen Taketa

April 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO — Pamela Broudy was set on enrolling her eighth-grade daughter at Patrick Henry High School this fall. Her older son, a junior, is already enrolled there, and the school has done well for him — he’s enrolled in five AP classes and he has been in the school’s gifted program.

Then Broudy learned last month that the high school’s principal had quietly eliminated several advanced courses from the school’s catalog, including advanced English, advanced history and advanced biology, according to the school’s course listings.

If the principal doesn’t bring them back, Broudy said, she will enroll her daughter at a private school instead.

“My daughter’s coming from a private school who didn’t have learning loss (during the pandemic), and now she’s going to be bored to tears,” she said.

Broudy is one of many parents who are up in arms after they found out Patrick Henry High School’s principal, Michelle Irwin, has been cutting several honors, advanced and gifted education courses without their knowledge or input.

Irwin cut the courses for equity reasons, according to an email she wrote to parents. She told parents she wanted to move away from “stratifying” classes and remove the stigma from non-honors courses. She has also cited racial disparities in honors course enrollment — a problem that is mirrored nationwide.

But parents question whether cutting honors courses is the right solution.

The controversy has rattled Patrick Henry, a racially diverse school in the middle-class neighborhood of San Carlos that is also San Diego’s largest high school, with more than 2,500 students.

Parents emailed complaints to the principal, San Diego Unified School District leaders, journalists and school board members. They created a Facebook group that now has 300 members to exchange information. Some parents, like Broudy, said they are planning to leave Patrick Henry for a charter or private school, which parents say may cause a “brain drain” of high-achieving students from the campus.

“Parents who have the means to send their kids to another school are going to do so … because they’re losing faith that their kids will be prepared to be successful,” said Happy Feliz Aston, a parent of a fourth- and sixth-grader in the Patrick Henry High School cluster.

Parents are concerned that the course cuts will hurt their children‘s chances of getting into their preferred colleges. Honors courses boost grade point averages with a weighted credit, and college admissions officers consider how many advanced courses a student has taken.

“Unilateral decisions to eliminate these classes unfairly disadvantage the students at Patrick Henry because their competition around the nation, not just in California, is having these classes,” said Lauren Hotz, a parent of two Patrick Henry sophomores.

Irwin and district officials argued that the advanced and regular classes share a curriculum and are essentially the same, so district officials said it was disingenuous to have one class labeled “advanced” and another labeled “regular.”

While advanced classes may cover the same material as regular classes, advanced courses typically go at a faster pace and often cover more material or go more in-depth into the content.

Irwin didn’t ax all of Patrick Henry’s advanced courses. There are still honors and advanced math and science classes, according to the school’s course catalog. The high school also offers more than 20 Advanced Placement classes, plus several dual-enrollment community college classes, all of which offer weighted GPA credit.

But parents argue it’s still important for the school to offer a range of honors courses because they provide a less-overwhelming alternative to AP classes and still give students weighted GPA credit. They say honors courses are also a stepping stone that can prepare ninth and 10th graders for the rigors of AP and college classes.

And some of the advanced courses that were eliminated are prerequisites for AP classes, parents noted.

Some parents argue that it’s not equitable to cut the courses when students at other San Diego high schools, like La Jolla and Crawford, still have access to them.

“If this is about equity, then it seems to fly the face of that argument because your zip code shouldn’t determine your access to classes, and in this case it appears to do so,” Aston said.

San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Richard Barrera said that in the district’s efforts to address inequities, the district is not taking anything away from students — it’s not watering down curriculum, it’s not lowering standards and it’s not taking away chances for students to earn weighted GPA credit, he said.

“We believe in expanding access to opportunities for all of our students, and when we expand access … that doesn’t mean that we’re taking anything away from students who have already had access to those opportunities,” Barrera said.

“I understand parents are worried about that, and when they hear we’re making a change from … decades of existing stratification, and if your students are part of the higher stratification … of course you’re gonna be concerned about that. But that’s not what we’re doing.”

A problem of representation

Experts have long known that honors, gifted, Advanced Placement and other selective academic programs enroll disproportionately lower numbers of students of color.

Latino students made up 54 percent of California’s public school students in 2017 but they represented only 43 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course, according to the U.S. Civil Rights Data Collection. Black students made up 6 percent of the state’s enrollment but just 4 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course.

A similar trend is happening at Patrick Henry, according to limited data presented by Irwin at a school council meeting earlier this year. White and Vietnamese students made up a disproportionately higher percentage of enrollment in Honors American Literature and Honors U.S. History, while Latino students were disproportionately lower, according to Irwin’s data.

The underrepresentation is a problem because enrollment in advanced courses is associated with a host of academic benefits, such as better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher graduation rates. Participation and success in honors and AP courses are also key factors considered in college admissions.

Experts say the disparity in enrollment is not because Black and Latino students are less capable, but because educators often enforce prerequisites, such as a teacher’s recommendation, for honors courses that end up shutting out students of color due to bias.

“A lot of times it happens … because of the implicit or explicit biases of the adults who are making decisions about either who to enroll in these courses or who to encourage to enroll in these courses,” said Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at Education Trust, a nonprofit that focuses on education equity.

San Diego Unified leaders have not recently announced any system-wide policy changes on honors and advanced classes. But in recent years they have taken other steps that move away from the classification of students.

For example, the district has cut classes specifically for gifted students, and enrollment in the district’s gifted programs has shrunk over time. And the district rolled out a new math initiative called “enhanced math,” which is meant to make general math instruction more rigorous for all students without using an “honors” or “accelerated” label.

District officials said they are wary of labels such as “honors” and “advanced” that could be excluding students of color.

“Now whether … it’s labeled in a certain way, that’s a question of, is that label getting in the way of expanding opportunities of access to more students?” Barrera said.

But some parents said it seems like the district is cutting programs that cater to students’ different needs, and is instead trying to put all students of different learning styles in the same classroom.

San Diego Unified officials said the district expects all of its educators to differentiate their teaching to cater to all students’ needs within the same class. But some parents said it’s unrealistic for all teachers to do that.

“If you put everybody in the same class, your distribution of needs of the students is going to be wider and one teacher is going to have to address those needs — which they can’t,” Hotz said.

Expanding access

Patrick Henry parents suggested other ways to address inequities in course enrollment besides cutting classes.

Hotz said she wants to see the school invest more in counseling and tutoring, while Aston suggested that Patrick Henry enroll more students in AVID, a program that helps underrepresented students hone study skills and prepare for college.

“How about we up the actual representation in those classes, and give students options?” Hotz said. “Killing the classes … it’s actually a disadvantage to the entire population.”

Education Trust recommends expanding eligibility to advanced courses, adding advanced courses to schools that serve the most Latino and Black students, and providing more support to prepare students for advanced courses.

“In general, what we want to see is more access to rigorous, engaging, culturally relevant courses that prepare students for college and meaningful careers,” Socol said.

April 19, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Seattle liberals tolerate meth use, heroin needles on sidewalk, homeless camps, violence, and gunfire right outside an elementary school

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jL61J3WbKE

April 19, 2022. Tags: , . Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

In California, “punching a girlfriend, dragging her from her home by her hair and whipping her with a belt” is classified as “nonviolent”

https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-shootings-prisons-arrests-26a5da7716f51d24cce3f12eadf09523

Law reduced prison time for man tied to Sacramento shooting

By Don Thompson

April 8, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A suspect arrested in connection with last weekend’s mass shooting outside bars in Sacramento served less than half his 10-year sentence because of voter-approved changes to state law that lessened the punishment for his felony convictions and provided a chance for earlier release.

Smiley Allen Martin was freed in February after serving time for punching a girlfriend, dragging her from her home by her hair and whipping her with a belt, according to court and prison records.

Those count as nonviolent offenses under California law, which considers only about two dozen crimes to be violent felonies — such as murder, rape, arson and kidnapping.

Martin, 27, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun. He is among the 12 people wounded during Sunday’s shooting, which killed six others.

Police have said the violence was a shootout between rival gangs in which at least five people fired weapons, including Martin’s brother, Dandrae Martin, who also was arrested. No one has yet been charged with homicide in the shooting.

Smiley Martin typically would have remained behind bars until at least May after serving a minimum of half his time for his previous arrest in 2017, but prison officials evidently used a very expansive approach to applying lockup time credits to his sentence, said Gregory Totten, chief executive officer of the California District Attorneys Association and a former Ventura County district attorney.

“They’ve been given very broad authority to early release folks and to give them additional credit and all kinds of considerations for purposes of reducing the length of sentence that somebody serves,” Totten said.

Corrections officials did not dispute that Martin was among thousands of inmates who received additional credits that sped up their releases under state law. But the officials said their policy prohibits disclosing what prison time credits Martin received.

They cited credits through Proposition 57, the 2016 ballot measure that aimed to give most of the state’s felons a chance of earlier release. Credits were also broadly authorized in California to lower the prison population during the pandemic.

Proposition 57 credits include good behavior while behind bars, though corrections officials declined to release Martin’s disciplinary report. Good conduct credit is supposed to be reserved for inmates who follow all the rules and complete their assigned duties.

The state “has implemented various credit-earning opportunities to incentivize good behavior and program participation for incarcerated individuals, including those created in furtherance of Proposition 57— which was overwhelmingly approved by voters,” state corrections spokesperson Vicky Waters said in a statement.

Supporters of the credits, including former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed for Proposition 57, have said it’s important to give inmates a second chance. The opportunity for earlier release encourages inmates to participate in education and other rehabilitative programs and helps to reduce mass incarceration.

“The most recent reforms in California are seeking to change a culture that has been churning out recidivism problems for generations,” said Will Matthews, spokesperson for the Californians for Safety and Justice group, which backed the changes. “The question we need to be asking ourselves is, how are we engaging in behavior change?”

Under Proposition 57, credits are granted for completing rehabilitative or educational programs, self-help and volunteer public service activities, earning a high school diploma or higher education degree and performing a heroic act. Officials added credits during the coronavirus pandemic, including 12 weeks of credit that applied to most inmates.

Martin was denied parole in May 2021 under California’s process for nonviolent offenders to get earlier parole, after a letter was sent from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors said they objected to his parole based on his lengthy criminal record and asserted that Martin “clearly has little regard for human life and the law.”

Six months after he turned 18, Martin was caught in January 2013 with an assault rifle and two fully loaded 25-bullet magazines, prosecutors said. Months later, he pushed aside a Walmart clerk to steal computers worth $2,800, they said. In 2016, he was arrested as a parolee at large. And less than six months after that was the assault that sent him back to prison.

It’s not clear if Martin has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.

Martin pleaded no contest and was sent to prison on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury in January 2018 under a plea deal in which prosecutors dismissed charges of kidnapping — considered a violent felony — and intimidating a witness or victim.

The sentencing judge awarded Martin 508 days of credits for time he spent in Sacramento County jail before his conviction, based on a California law that allows judges to double the actual time in jail, which in Martin’s case was 254 days.

Martin also had “a variety of additional post-sentencing credits,” which corrections department spokesperson Dana Simas said were awarded for time served while awaiting transfer to state prison from county jail.

Before Proposition 57, he would have qualified for 20% “good time” credits — meaning he could reduce his time served by one-fifth — but corrections officials used their authority under the ballot measure to bump those to 50%. Pending regulations opposed by most of the state’s district attorneys would further increase good time credits to two-thirds of a sentence for such repeat offenders.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, a progressive Democrat who formerly led the state Senate, was among those upset when he learned of Martin’s record.

“If people have a history of committing violent acts, and they have not shown a propensity or willingness to change, I don’t think they should be out on the streets,” he said at an event where officials requested more than $3 billion from the state to expand crime prevention programs.

Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen, who once headed the state parole board, said “good time” credits are generally awarded automatically, without inmates having to do anything to earn them.

“It gives them enormous opportunity to free up beds,” said Nielsen, an opponent of earlier releases.

The state has relied on such efforts, particularly its powers under Proposition 57, to keep the prison population below the level required by a panel of federal judges who ruled that inmate crowding had led to unconstitutionally poor conditions.

Martin was released to the supervision of the Sacramento County Probation Department in February. County probation officials wouldn’t provide the terms, saying their records are not public documents.

Without discussing Martin’s case, Karen Pank, executive director of the Chief Probation Officers of California association, said generally someone coming out of prison under the state’s Post Release Community Supervision program with an extensive and violent criminal history would likely have been treated on a “high-risk” caseload.

That would subject the person to more intensive supervision, including a requirement to check in with a probation officer more frequently and in person, although individualized determinations on risks and needs would be made and treatment and services would continue to be offered.

Hours before Sunday’s shootout, Martin posted a live Facebook video of himself brandishing a handgun, a law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to public discuss details of the shooting investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pank said if there is evidence of a felon in possession of a firearm, that can be grounds for a violation, which may result in time in jail. However, it’s unlikely anyone from law enforcement could have acted in time even if they had seen the video.

“The big if is would they have known about it,” said Totten. But in this case, “it didn’t matter — it was so close to the time” of the shooting.

April 12, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Social justice warriors, Violent crime. 1 comment.

The Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, wrote: “Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board shows that we need regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.”

This is hilarious!

Jeff Bezos, the second richest person in the world, owns the Washington Post.

The Washington Post just wrote:

“[Elon] Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board shows that we need regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication.”

This is hilarious, and extremely hypocritical!

April 9, 2022. Tags: , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Film of PRINCE at age 11 Discovered at Archival Footage of 1970 Minneapolis Teachers Strike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik8Np8Jt8gY

April 4, 2022. Tags: , . Music. Leave a comment.

Fake hate crime at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento

https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article258524378.html

Student admits to racist graffiti at Sacramento school: ‘A prank that went sideways’

By Rosalio Ahumada and Nathaniel Levine

February 18, 2022

Investigators have identified a Black student is responsible for racist graffiti found over a water fountain at C.K. McClatchy High School with a message that alluded to segregation, community leaders announced Thursday.

Mark Harris, a community liaison with Sacramento City Unified School District, said the student confessed to writing “colored” on one side of the dual water fountain and “white” on the other side. He said he saw video that showed the student writing the graffiti that corroborates her confession.

“I’ve been practicing law for 40 years, people typically don’t confess to things they didn’t do, unless they’re under duress or coercion. And nobody has claimed that; not her, not her family,” Harris told reporters Thursday afternoon during a news conference outside McClatchy High. “There is video corroborating her confession.”

Harris, an attorney with an expertise in social justice and civil rights matters in Sacramento, was appointed last month to help the school district address racism and improve on equity, social justice and civil rights. He said Thursday that it shouldn’t matter whether the student responsible was Black or any other ethnicity.

“It was a prank that went sideways is my characterization of what the young woman said in her confession,” Harris said while standing along side Black community leaders. “It should be a moment for our community to come together and make sure this doesn’t destroy this person’s life.”

A photo of the graffiti was taken last week and circulated on social media. Soon after, the school district announced plans to investigate the graffiti with the Sacramento Police Department.

“We don’t know why she did it,” said Harris. “This is not a situation that is the same as an overt deliberate move to do something that is racist, destructive, negative, etc.”

School district announcement

In a news release issued Thursday, district officials said the student will face “appropriate disciplinary action.”

“Sac City Unified takes any instance of racial intolerance extremely seriously because such acts harm our students and our entire community,” Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said in the news release. “While identification of the person involved in this incident has been addressed, we also will remain focused on supporting the healing of students and staff who have been impacted by this troubling act of vandalism.”

Betty Williams, president of the Greater Sacramento NAACP, said she’s troubled the investigation at McClatchy High came to a conclusion a week later, while the investigation into racist graffiti at West Campus High School continues to linger months later unsolved.

“Why is it when you find something like this we find the Black students quicker than we find the white students,” Williams said. “I want you to put that same energy into West Campus. I want you to put that same energy into every school district that’s dealing with these issues. It’s a problem. We have racism that’s rooted in this school district.”

West Campus High incident

West Campus Principal John McMeekin has said that the racially derogatory vandalism was directed at Assistant Principal Elysse Versher, who told The Sacramento Bee she found a racial slur written five times on a wall near her assigned parking spot on campus on Nov. 6.

In mid-December, the Sacramento Police Department announced that investigators reviewed “several hours” of security camera video and spotted three people who detectives are seeking to “identify and interview” regarding the West Campus High incident.

This week, the district announced racist graffiti was discovered at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. The school district pledged to “fully investigate” the racist vandalism and is consulting with the Rancho Cordova Police Department on what to do next there.

Williams said she wants more transparency from the district as it conducts these racist incident investigations, and she wants community groups and students to be involved in coming up with solutions.

Berry Accius, founder of the Sacramento community activist group Voice of the Youth, said there should be consequences for writing the graffiti at McClatchy High, calling it an “ignorant” act. But he said the school district should not lose sight of the problems with racism and privilege at McClatchy High.

Accius pointed to the West Campus incident as well as a Kit Carson International Academy teacher who used a racial slur in front of her students. Last month, officials announced the district had fired the seventh-grade teacher for her conduct.

“Because of the racism here in this school, the microaggressions here in this school, makes me feel like I do not belong. This is a problem; not only with the school but the district,” Accius said. “And this is why we’ve been loud.”

April 3, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Fake hate crime at Rosemont High School in Sacramento

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2022/03/29/graffiti-rosemont-high-african-american-girls/

Two Girls Accused Of Writing Racist Graffiti On Wall At Rosemont High School

March 29, 2022

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has identified two students, who, they say, are responsible for writing racist graffiti on a wall at Rosemont High School.

The incident happened on March 22 near the end of the school day. The graffiti read: “All n******* should die.”

It was referred to detectives who worked closely with the school district and administrators, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday. Rosemont High School administrators say they obtained video surveillance footage showing two African-American female juveniles clearly writing the graffiti on the wall.

From the video, school officials and sheriff’s office detectives learned the identities of both students. The sheriff’s office says it will consult with the Juvenile Division of the District Attorney’s Office if criminal charges are warranted.

When the graffiti was first found, Sacramento Unified School Dist. Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar said,

“As a community, we need to loudly condemn this hateful act. Racist incidents will not be tolerated in our schools. We will work to provide the support needed for our students and staff experiencing trauma from this incident as soon as possible.”

Several similar incidents have happened at district schools over the last few months.

In February, a Black student wrote the words “White” and “Colored” on water fountains at McClatchy High School.

A few days before that, hateful graffiti featuring the n-word, “KKK” and swastikas were found on multiple buildings at Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Rancho Cordova.

Rosemont High School 1

Rosemont High School 2

April 3, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Fake hate crimes, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Here’s a 17 minute analysis of “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDpcVKtxB4g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE-dqW4uBEE

April 3, 2022. Tags: , , . Music. Leave a comment.

VMI will change honor system that expels Black cadets at disproportionate rates

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w2r3GFRr3jwJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/05/vmi-honor-court-reforms/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

VMI will change honor system that expels Black cadets at disproportionate rates

By Ian Shapira

February 5, 2022

Virginia Military Institute will make changes to its student-run honor court to make the system fairer to cadets accused of lying, cheating, stealing or other transgressions that can lead to expulsion.

VMI detailed the reforms in a progress report Friday in response to a state-ordered investigation into racism and sexism at the nation’s oldest state-supported military college.

The 70-page report, which the college gave to General Assembly members and the Virginia secretary of education, describes initiatives approved, enacted or begun last year, including mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training for administrators and members of VMI’s Board of Visitors, and changes to the Lexington school’s one-strike-and-you’re-out honor court system.

Black students at VMI were expelled by the honor court at a disproportionately high rate, according to data obtained by The Washington Post for the three academic years between the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2020. Though Black cadets made up about 6 percent of the student body, they represented about 43 percent of those expelled for honor code violations. Twelve out of the 28 VMI students dismissed in those three academic years were Black. When students of color were included in the count, the number of expelled rose to 15, or about 54 percent of the total, even though minorities made up about 21 percent of the student population in that three-year period.

Barnes & Thornburg, the law firm hired by the state to investigate racism and sexism at VMI, recommended in its final report that the college “consider changing” its policy of allowing convictions without unanimous verdicts by student juries.

But VMI, which received $21.6 million in state funding for the 2021-2022 academic year, reported Friday that it will keep allowing student prosecutors to win cases with non-unanimous verdicts. The school did make one major concession: The student juries will expand in size and guilty verdicts will require nine out of 11 jury votes instead of five of seven votes.

The move, the college said in its progress report, “increases the Court’s burden of proof and further reduces the potential (real or perceived) of forcing a guilty verdict based on insufficient or circumstantial evidence.”

Another key honor system change will allow cadets to use pro bono attorneys during their trials. VMI used to allow lawyers to represent cadets during the proceedings, but stopped about a decade ago because of complaints that the professional litigators prosecuted the system itself and that only affluent students could afford them.

Now, VMI will draw up a list of pro bono lawyers willing to work with cadet defendants and their “defense advocates” — typically VMI faculty or staff members — before and during trials. But the attorneys will be allowed only to observe and consult their client or their defense advocate during the hearing, not argue the case themselves.

The college also said it will begin retaining “key demographic data” to “monitor the fairness of the system.” VMI’s chief diversity officer, Jamica Love, the report said, will help “facilitate annual reviews” of the honor system.

All of the new honor court changes will go into effect in August 2022, at the beginning of the next academic year.

Though there has been intense resistance from some alumni, students and parents to VMI’s cultural makeover, the progress report chronicled the college’s efforts to “temper” its links to the Confederacy.

The 182-year-old school sent many of its cadet to fight for the South during the Civil War. More than 250 cadets fought at the Battle of New Market in May 1864, and 10 were killed in battle or died later from wounds. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson taught physics at VMI before the Civil War.

The reported noted the school’s decisions to remove many of the tributes to Jackson, including his 108-year-old statue that stood at the campus’s center, plus his name that was emblazoned on the student barracks.

But VMI is still deciding whether to preserve many more Confederate tributes, including an award and another monument partially named after and honoring Jackson, and a bronze statue of its first superintendent, Francis H. Smith, who enslaved nine people and served as the commander at abolitionist John Brown’s execution in December 1859.

The progress report noted that VMI’s new commandant, retired Col. Adrian Bogart III, has instituted an “open-door” policy on Fridays that the school hopes will encourage students of color “to discuss participation in any activity that has the potential to stir cultural or other demographic sensitivities.”

The school also detailed numerous trainings for cadets meant to crack down on racist jokes, slurs, misogyny and sexual violence.

VMI’s chief diversity officer, Love, has also begun training freshmen on “inclusive excellence” and will educate the remaining students later this academic year.

According to a survey the college conducted on the sessions, three-quarters of the freshmen were “mostly or completely satisfied” with the program; 88 percent found that it helped “connect them with their peers;” and 94 percent said the activities “helped initiate dialogue about inclusivity.”

Much of the racism and sexism at VMI is also found online, especially via the social media app Jodel, where cadets anonymously denigrate one another day-in, day-out. The report said the school’s communications and marketing team monitors Jodel’s traffic and said that “there has been a noticeable decrease” in inflammatory posts on the app and an uptick in “corrective or regulating” posts when provocative comments surface.

“Both the Superintendent and the Commandant have clearly and publicly – on numerous occasions and in various venues – expressed to the Corps of Cadets and the greater VMI community what is and is not acceptable behavior,” the report said. “These incontrovertible statements by VMI leadership establish straightforward expectations for moving VMI forward to a more diverse and inclusive environment that is also a physically and emotionally safe place of higher learning.”

VMI completed the progress report at the behest of Barnes & Thornburg. In its final investigative report, released in June, the law firm the said that school suffered from an “overall racist and sexist culture.”

Barnes & Thornburg said the college should issue these reports every quarter for three years to its Board of Visitors, the General Assembly and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, an agency that makes higher education policy proposals to the commonwealth’s lawmakers.

“VMI will likely follow through on its promised reforms only if it is forced to do so,” the Barnes & Thornburg report said. “For the betterment of the school, VMI must be held accountable to its promises and plans to change the current culture.”

March 27, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Education, Military, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Hamburger vending machine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf6aa-TwHRE

March 27, 2022. Tags: , . Food, Technology. Leave a comment.

The ‘Fittest Woman on Earth’ shared the diet she eats to lose weight, including bagels, bacon, and peanut butter

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fittest-woman-earth-shared-diet-110000684.html

The ‘Fittest Woman on Earth’ shared the diet she eats to lose weight, including bagels, bacon, and peanut butter

By Gabby Landsverk

March 22, 2022

Tia-Claire Toomey

Tia-Clair Toomey is a five-time CrossFit Games champ who has also competed at the Olympics in weightlifting.

Tia-Clair Toomey is a five-time CrossFit Games champion and trained for Olympic bobsled.

She said her diet was designed to help her lose weight slowly, while maintaining performance.

Toomey eats about 2,500 calories a day, including bagels, peanut butter, meat, and fruit.

To lose weight, the “Fittest Woman on Earth” relies on a heaping breakfast packed with bagels, bacon, and peanut butter, as well as plenty of protein and carbs sprinkled throughout her day, to support an intense workout schedule.

Tia-Clair Toomey, a five-time champion of the CrossFit Games, shared a YouTube video on Monday showing what she ate to transition from training for the Olympic bobsled team back to CrossFit.

CrossFit incorporates multiple fitness disciplines, from weightlifting to gymnastics, and tests of stamina, like long trail runs and open-water swimming. As a result, it can be advantageous if CrossFit athletes put on muscle mass in the offseason, then try to get leaner for competition.

Toomey’s fat-loss diet focuses on dropping weight slowly, while making sure she has plenty of energy to complete her training, according to her coach (and husband), Shane Orr.

In total, her day of eating clocks in at about 2,500 calories, compared with the 3,000 to 3,500 daily calories she consumed during bobsled season.

For breakfast, Toomey has a bagel with bacon, two eggs, another half a bagel topped with peanut butter and banana, blueberries, and supplements.

At 790 calories, it’s the biggest meal of the day with plenty of fats, protein, and carbs, which Toomey said helped her perform more effectively.

“I find I have enough energy and I recover very well,” she said.

Toomey has said she relies heavily on high-carb foods to fuel workouts. She incorporates about 790 calories’ worth of snacks throughout the day to keep her energy up, including oatmeal, bananas, fruit snacks, and protein smoothies.

Lunch is 500 calories, high-protein with quick-digesting carbs, which Toomey eats during a long break between training sessions. The meal consists of ground beef, liver, and white rice. It’s high in iron, zinc, and vitamin A.

Toomey rounds out the day with a light but filling dinner of pork tenderloin, potatoes, avocado, and salad, which is about 440 calories.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KOSvt6ME6M

 

March 25, 2022. Tags: , . Food, Sports. Leave a comment.

New Orleans is pro-crime

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/investigations/teen-suspect-in-fatal-carjacking-had-at-least-7-prior-arrests-on-25-charges/289-76b0736e-c686-4c02-966f-156d11459cc5

Teen suspect in fatal carjacking had at least 7 prior arrests on 25 charges

The charges include armed robbery, possession of a firearm, auto theft, flight from an officer and – in one case alone – 18 burglaries related to car break-ins.

By Mike Perlstein

March 24, 2022

NEW ORLEANS — Of the four teenaged defendants who appeared in juvenile court Wednesday after being booked in the fatal carjacking of 73-year-old Linda Frickey, who was dragged to her death Monday afternoon in front of horrified witnesses, 17-year-old John Honore stood out.

Not only because Honore’s three co-defendants were 15-year-old females, but because of the number of times he has been in that court over the past several years.

WWL-TV obtained Honore’s criminal history showing at least seven prior arrests on more than 25 charges dating back his first arrest for criminal damage to property at age 12.

The charges include armed robbery, possession of a firearm, auto theft, flight from an officer and – in one case alone –18 burglaries related to car break-ins.

Now that Honore is facing a second-degree murder charge, Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission questions how he was allowed to pile up so many arrests in such a short period of time without more serious consequences.

“What you’ve uncovered does not surprise me,” Goyeneche said when shown the rap sheet. “I would term this offender, based on the documents that you’ve presented to me, a walking crime wave.”

While the juvenile court system has recently moved in the direction of seeking out alternatives to incarceration, one of Honore’s cases –the violent home invasion of a relative in May 2020 – led to his transfer to adult court to face an aggravated burglary charge.

In that case, according to a police report of the incident, a woman was holding her young child when five people – allegedly including Honore – broke into her home and beat her while she was curled up on the floor in a “fetal position.”

Honore’s transfer to adult court was made in 2020 at the request of then District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. Court records show the case fell apart and was dismissed by current DA Jason Williams in March 2021.

In a videotaped statement, Matt Derbes, the DA’s Office chief of trials, explained why prosecutors decided to drop the case.

“The victim was his family member,” Derbes said in the video. “She stated she did not want to cooperate in his prosecution and requested that our office drop the case since the defendant was a relative.”

But while that home invasion case was still pending, the records show that Honore was arrested at least five times while he was supposed to be on home incarceration awaiting trial in adult court. Those cases include the 18 car burglaries in October 2020, an armed robbery and gun charge in December 2020, and possession of a stolen car in October 2021.

“When the police chief gets up and passionately speaks about the fact that they’re arresting the same people over and over again,” Goyeneche said, “this is the type of case that resonates with that.”

The outcome of Honore’s juvenile cases are not available because of that court’s privacy laws to protect young offenders. However, if Honore is brought to adult court on the murder charge in Frickey’s death, he faces life in prison if convicted.

Shortly after the juveniles were arrested, Williams issued this statement: “Any and all persons that the evidence shows participated in the murder of this elder will be prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law.”

When asked if that statement means prosecuting the juveniles as adults, the DA’s office responded Thursday that it will wait for the full police report of the fatal carjacking before making that determination.

March 25, 2022. Tags: , , . Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Video: Here are some of the Wisconsin nursing home patients who “voted” in the 2020 election, even though their relatives say they were far too sick to vote or to request an absentee ballot. The “voter” turnout at these nursing homes was between 95% and 100%.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 12, 2022

A study of Wisconsin nursing homes showed that they had voter turnout between 95% and 100% in the 2020 election. Relatives of many of these “voters” say they were far too sick to vote or to request an absentee ballot.

On page 90 of the study, it cites a bunch of nursing homes in Wisconsin where the voter turnout was between 95% and 100%. Here’s an image of that:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220302014030/https://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/22/brandtjen/media/1552/osc-second-interim-report.pdf

Wisconsin nursing home voter turnout

The video at this link shows some of the Wisconsin nursing home patients who “voted” in the 2020 election:

https://www.bitchute.com/video/I9Jcjdd7xgGr/

March 12, 2022. Tags: , , . Stop the steal, Voter fraud. Leave a comment.

New York City repeatedly lets this violent serial criminal out of jail so he can keep committing more and more violent crimes

https://nypost.com/2022/03/10/criminal-indicted-on-murder-charge-freed-without-bail-by-nyc-judge/

Career criminal indicted on murder charge freed without bail by NYC judge

By Joe Marino and Kenneth Garger

March 10, 2022

A career criminal indicted in February on a murder charge for allegedly beating to death a 67-year-old man was freed without bail by a Manhattan judge on Thursday, The Post has learned.

Eugene Clark was on parole when he was initially charged by cops with assault for the Sept. 20, 2020 pummeling of Ramon Luna, 67, who was knocked into a coma before dying from his injuries last August, police sources said.

Clark, 54, allegedly socked Luna in the head, causing the victim to fall to the ground and lose consciousness at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, police sources said.

As Luna lay defenseless on the ground, Clark and another man allegedly rifled through the victim’s pockets and snatched some of his belongings, prosecutors said.

A third suspect, Unique Powers, allegedly poured an unknown substance on Luna’s face and also rifled through his pants, sources and prosecutors said. She’s been charged in the case with assault and grand larceny.

Luna was taken to Harlem Hospital after the vicious attack. Doctors there discovered he had suffered multiple brain bleeds, according to a criminal complaint.

Police busted Clark nine days after the brutal attack. During questioning, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video that captured the incident and admitted to pushing the victim to the ground, according to prosecutors and sources.

The alleged assailant was also slapped with a grand larceny charge and ultimately released on bail on his initial charges.

But following Luna’s death on Aug. 4, 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office convened a grand jury in the case.

On Feb. 2, a grand jury in Manhattan Supreme Court indicted Clark with murder in the second degree, assault, two counts of robbery and grand larceny.

The suspect was arraigned Thursday on the superseding charges. At the hearing, Manhattan prosecutors requested that Clark be remanded without bail.

But in a shocking move, Judge April Newbauer released Clark on his own recognizance.

Clark, who will be screened for electronic monitoring, is due back in court on June 12.

Sources said Clark has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1983 for charges including robbery, gang assault and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

At the time of his alleged attack on Luna, Clark was out on parole for a past robbery, sources said.

One source familiar with the investigation slammed Newbauer’s decision to free Clark.

“I couldn’t believe it,” the source said. Never, in all my years, have I heard of something like this before. [Clark] implicated himself in [Luna’s} death and now he’s free? Even the DA asked for remand,” the source fumed.

March 11, 2022. Tags: , , . Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

This person is “so confused” by the concept of compound interest

https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/im-so-confused-im-a-school-nurse-who-took-out-about-30k-in-student-loans-but-over-the-years-they-have-ballooned-up-to-96k-how-could-this-even-happen-and-what-can-i-do-about-it-01646747369

‘I’m so confused.’ I’m a school nurse who took out about $30K in student loans — but over the years they have ballooned up to $96K. How could this even happen and what can I do about it?

March 9, 2022

Question: I’d like to obtain advice on tackling student loan debt. I do not have private loans, and I owe approximately $96,000. I’m so confused because initially my loans were less than $30,000, but I think the rest of it comes from interest. I’m not sure what I am looking at with my loans. My loans have been in forbearance, and I want to investigate loan forgiveness options. I am a school nurse and support my family, so my income is limited. Can you provide direction? It would be greatly appreciated.

March 9, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Education, Math. Leave a comment.

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