URLs du Jour

2021-07-05

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  • At Haverford, Respect is a One-Way Street. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) looks at the new rules at Haverford College and is not amused. Here is the latest version, with additions bolded and removals struck out:

    In particular, we recognize that acts of discrimination, microaggression, and harassment, including, but not limited to, acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, tokenism, cultural insensitivity, discrimination based on citizenship status, discrimination based on religion, and discrimination based on national origin, accent, dialect, or usage of the English language are devoid of respect and therefore, by definition, violate this Code. We understand that these discriminatory acts can take many forms, and smaller acts such as microaggressions are also devoid of respect and thus violate the Code. …

    We also recognize that a person’s there are a range of political opinions at Haverford College, are necessarily intertwined with their values and outlook, and thus influence their practices. These practices may violate the Honor Code. As such, Thus, we expect that when expressing or encountering others’ political beliefs, students will must be respectful of community standards as befits adherence to this Code. when expressing political opinions. As the Social Honor Code applies to all of our interactions at Haverford, engagement in political discourse falls within its jurisdiction, and political beliefs may not be used to excuse behavior that violates the Code. If we find that our political beliefs perpetuate discrimination, we are obligated to re-evaluate them as we would any of our beliefs that perpetuate discrimination.

    [C]onfronted students weaponizing the Code’s expectation of respect in order to silence and/or invalidate the experiences of harmed parties—including invalidating experiences of harm by claiming discrimination against a privileged identity (e.g., claims of reverse-racism) or refusing to reflect on their actions—is a violation of the Code. Using one’s political beliefs to justify disrespectful or discriminatory words or actions is also a violation of the Code.

    Man, I really like that last bit: "weaponizing the Code's expectation of respect".

    I (once again) turn to that open letter from "UNH Lecturers United" which complained that they were being "encouraged" by UNH Administration to "respect and tolerate the political positions of students that they may find reprehensible."

    They should be made aware of the Haverford solution; simply deem that to be "weaponization"! Obviously a bad thing!


  • Even Bigger Question: Do They Deserve to Recover? In her Bloomberg column, Virginia Postrel ponders The Big Question: Can America's Public Schools Recover from the Pandemic?. She (VP) is interviewing Austin Beutner, the former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District:

    VP: Back in 2019, before Covid, teachers in your district went on strike for the first time in 30 years. During that strike, they enjoyed a lot of support from parents and students. Has that relationship changed at all, especially with disputes about whether schools should go back in person or not? Has that changed who’s trusted?

    AB: It’s a good question to which I don’t know the answer. But to put the strike in context, it was a very public conversation about the inadequacy of funding for public schools in Los Angeles. Class sizes were too big. We didn’t have the dollars to hire reading specialists. I agreed with that. But the state funds public education in California, not school districts. When I started three years ago, when the strike occurred, funding per student was about $17,000; at that same time, funding in New York City was approaching $30,000, even though our costs are relatively similar. This year, our budget is $24,000 per student, so for the first time we have a path to adequacy. Now we have to deliver on that promise.

    Austin reveals that Uncle Stupid (i.e., you and me) is providing about 25% of LAUSD's funding for the next two years. (At least. We'll see if that continues.)


  • Hi. I'm From The Federal Government, and I'm Here to Lie to You.. Sally Pipes reviews the dismal history of America’s Centers for Disease Confusion.

    America’s vaccination campaign is stalling. In late June, pharmacists and other providers were administering roughly 800,000 shots a day — down 80 percent from a peak of more than 4.6 million in mid April.

    Because of this precipitous decline, the Biden administration recently admitted it would miss its self-imposed goal of vaccinating at least 70 percent of American adults by Independence Day. So far, only 66 percent have gotten the jab.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deserve much of the blame for plummeting vaccination rates. Public-health officials have botched their pandemic response and messaging nearly every step of the way — inadvertently stoking skepticism of the vaccines.

    Note that the various screwups mentioned in Sally's article probably wound up killing thousands.

    But don't worry, there's a crack investigation upcoming from Congress.

    Oh, wait a minute. That's investigating January 6. Which killed a grand total of one, Ashlii Babbitt. (And I bet it won't reveal much about that.)