These two ‘intellectuals’ figure that violating individual rights doesn’t matter as long as the total society get to where they believe it should be.
Absolute utilitarian communism. The individual doesn’t matter.
Intellectuals have caused more problems in this world because they’re actually overeducated morons.


W&M philosophy professor, alumnus co-author paper on gun control and self-defense

Faculty member Philip Swenson and Dustin Crummett ’12 were never at William & Mary at the same time, but their connection has now been forged in print.

Swenson, an assistant professor of philosophy at W&M since the fall of 2017, met Crummett while the two were at Notre Dame a few years back. Later, they ran into each other at a conference and started discussing their thoughts on a certain argument on gun control and self-defense.

That conversation resulted in their co-authored paper, “Gun Control, the Right to Self-Defense, and Reasonable Beneficence to All,” which was recently published in the philosophy journal Ergo.

Crummett earned his Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 2018 and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He works on animal ethics as part of a European Research Council project on animals in the philosophy of the Islamic world.

“Philip had been thinking about an argument from Caspar Hare, a philosopher at MIT, and how it might undermine an argument against gun control, which has been defended by Michael Huemer and some other people,” Crummett said.

“Huemer’s argument is supposed to show, roughly, that gun control violates the individual’s right to self-defense, even if it saves lives on balance. I suggested that we co-author a paper about it, so we did. We presented it at the American Philosophical Association Central Division meeting in Chicago in 2018, as well as at the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress that year.”

Huemer’s argument claims that even if a particular gun control measure has good results overall, it infringes, in a manner which is prima facie seriously wrong, the rights of those who end up being killed or significantly harmed due to their resultant inability to defend themselves, according to the paper’s abstract.

“We claim that uncertainty on the part of the government about who will be harmed by a particular gun control measure underwrites a strong response to this argument,” it continues.

“If gun control measures save lives on balance, then they may increase each person’s chance of remaining safe relative to the information available to the government, even if they will cause some people to be harmed who otherwise would not have been.”

Swenson had connected some of his reading on the self-defense argument against gun control with Hare’s writings on examples of people having to make decisions without knowing beforehand whom they’re saving and whom they are killing, he said.

“There’s this argument against gun control that goes like this: Look, even if say, some gun control policy would save more lives overall, that doesn’t mean it would be OK to do because you might still be violating important rights,” Swenson said. “And the right to self-defense might be one of those very important rights.”

Swenson gave an example where a person being attacked by a mob armed with baseball bats has their gun grabbed from their hands, leaving them defenseless. He likens that to the government implementing a restrictive gun control policy that would keep people from having firearms at the ready, Swenson said.

“And then the argument goes like this: It’s often wrong to violate people’s rights even if you make things better overall,” Swenson said. “It’s not OK to just do whatever makes things better overall; you have to also take into account people’s rights. So you might think the gun ban would have to make things way, way better in order to justify violating people’s rights. So the burden of proof on defenders of a gun control policy would become much higher.”

The pair took it a step further.

“The idea Dustin and I were trying to develop is that in particular types of cases where you’re acting in everyone’s best interest given your information at the time, you don’t have to worry about rights in the same sort of way,” Swenson said.

He gave an example of a doctor trying to decide about giving a patient a treatment with a 90% chance of saving his or her life, or a 10% chance an adverse reaction would be fatal. Most would agree that the overriding factor of survival precludes worrying about violating rights.

“So in cases where you’re acting in everyone’s best interests or the people involved’s best interests, you can sort of ignore this risk of violating their rights,” Swenson said.

The authors argue that the same is true with gun control; the government can consider beforehand what gives each person the best chance to survive. Though a very few might not survive because they won’t have a weapon at hand when needed to avoid dire peril, for most it will be best not to have it available.

“They could say well, what gives each citizen a better chance?” Swenson said. “If passing the gun control measure gives them a better chance, then we don’t have to worry about violating the rights; we can just give them their best shot to survive and pass the gun control law.”

‘Antifa Has Been Given Free Rein on College Campuses, ‘ Cabot Phillips Says

Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Cabot Phillips said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning that colleges are the “perfect place for Antifa to recruit” because of the type of atmosphere that’s been festering in academia for years.

Phillips responded to former Antifa member Gabriel Nadales, who is now an employee of Campus Reform‘s parent organization, the Leadership Institute, who said that colleges “allow Antifa to work under their noses.” Phillips said Antifa has been able to grow on campuses because “they know that classrooms are places that are inundating students with these anti-capitalist, anti-cop, anti-conservative messages.”

Trump Administration to Expel Chinese Graduate Students Linked to China’s Military Schools

The Trump administration plans to revoke thousands of visas held by Chinese graduate students and researchers in the United States, escalating its crackdown on the Chinese government’s theft of intellectual property.

Those with direct ties to universities affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army will have their visas canceled, American officials with knowledge of the discussions told the New York Times. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the matter with President Trump on Tuesday at the White House….

Chinese researchers and students have been under increased scrutiny from the U.S. government over the Chinese government’s economic espionage. In recent years, the FBI and Justice Department have briefed universities on potential national security threats posed by Chinese students.

Now 59% of American Parents More Likely to Consider Homeschooling, Skyrocketing Past 40% Just Last Month

New polling indicates that a majority of American parents are more likely to consider homeschooling their children after the coronavirus recession.

A survey conducted by Ipsos/USA Today indicates that a majority of 59% of American parents are more likely to homeschool their children.

Nearly all public education systems have been shut down as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns, essentially placing the education of most American students on hold. Homeschooling could present an alternative that would enable students to continue learning in spite of the restrictions.

An earlier poll in April revealed that 40% of American parents are more willing to consider homeschooling.

The aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic may have lasting effects on public education systems, with more polling suggesting that 1 in 5 public school teachers don’t plan on returning to schools in light of the lockdowns. Such a development is likely to preclude broad consequences for public education, with far greater class sizes that lower the quality of individual education.

Some liberals have become increasingly hostile to the very concept of home education, with Harvard Law School recently planning a conference to question the very basis of its legality and level reaching insinuations against parents that decide to homeschool their children. But it appears in the wake of the epidemic that the concept of homeschooling is alive and well.

CCRKBA, SAF HOSTING FREE ONLINE GRASSROOTS TRAINING SESSIONS

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Second Amendment Foundation will co-host a FREE online Grassroots Activism Summit on three consecutive evenings, each timed for a separate U.S. time zone, though users can choose which session they would like to join, on Zoom.

The programs will air Tuesday, May 26 (Eastern), Wednesday, May 27 (Central) and Thursday, May 28 (Pacific). Each session begins at 7 p.m. in the respective time zones. Each program will be live, with recurring material.

This FREE program will feature Glen Caroline, who recently joined CCRKBA and SAF as Director of External Affairs. He spent 29 years at NRA, primarily as NRA’s Managing Director of Grassroots Programs & Campaign Field Operations. Also appearing are SAF founder and CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, and Andrew Gottlieb, SAF Director of Outreach.

The program is titled “Grassroots Activism in the COVID Environment.” The session runs approximately one hour and will discuss steps local activists can take to enhance your defense of the Second Amendment in our current pandemic situation. The sessions are FREE.

Pre-registration is required.

To register for the Tuesday, May 26 evening program, Click Here.

To register for the Wednesday, May 27 evening program, Click Here.

To register for the Thursday, May 28 evening program, Click Here.

“We’re encouraging all Second Amendment activists to sign up, participate and learn new strategies to help us win in the months and years ahead, and make the Second Amendment great again,” Gottlieb said. “We look forward to greeting all of you.”

School District’s Fight For Armed Teachers Heads To OH Supreme Court

Officials in an Ohio school district are appealing a decision that struck down its policy of arming volunteer, trained teachers to carry firearms in the classroom, and the decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will have an impact on dozens of districts across the state.

The Madison School District in Butler County, Ohio first adopted a policy allowing for teachers to volunteer for training that would allow them to carry on school grounds as a first line of defense against an active shooter, but shortly thereafter, several parents filed suit with the help of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun legal firm, Everytown Law. A district judge upheld the policy, but earlier this year the 12th Appellate Court in Ohio ruled that armed teachers must have the same training as police officers before they can carry. Now the school district is appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court, and the case could upend existing policy in districts across the state if the Supreme Court upholds the appellate court’s decision.

The district filed the appeal to the high court Thursday and several other school districts and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support. They said “it would be difficult to argue that this case does not present issues of public or great general interest.”

“This is more than a picayune squabble about how much training should be required when a school district exercises its right under the authorizing statute,” attorneys for the district wrote. “As a practical matter, this decision eliminates the ability of a local board of education to decide that the best way to protect students and staff from a hostile actor is by allowing some staff to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.”

The brief by attorneys for Madison Schools argues that the 12th Appellate Court panel erroneously read Ohio law as requiring armed staff to undergo law enforcement training, and Sean Maloney, an Ohio attorney who’s part of the FASTER Ohio organization that has trained thousands of educators in the state, told Bearing Arms back in April that the state legislature has actually approved funding in recent years for the FASTER program. If lawmakers are approving money to provide training for armed teachers, clearly the legislature must believe that these school districts have the ability to set their own training requirements.

The state’s Attorney General agrees, and says if teachers are required to undergo hundreds of hours of law enforcement training, it will simply result in a ban on armed school staff.

In addition to arguing Gabbard’s attorneys and the 12th District Court misinterpreted laws governing armed staff, Attorney General Dave Yost’s staff said there are practical reasons the decision must be overturned. He said it would cost the district $7,265 to send a staffer through peace officer training at Butler Tech. Plus the program is eight hours a day, five days a week, it would take a little over eighteen weeks to complete.

“The reality is that few if any teachers or school administrators can train to become police officers while maintaining their day jobs,” the brief reads. “Thus, as a practical matter, the Twelfth District’s erroneous decision strips schools of an effective means they have to defend schoolchildren from a school shooting.”

I suspect that Everytown Law is going to have their rear ends handed to them by the Ohio Supreme Court on this issue, but if for some reason the state’s highest court upholds the lower court’s decision, expect a quick response from the legislature in the form of a bill making it crystal clear that school districts have the right and power to establish policies and procedures for armed school staff.

Yeah, like maybe all that proggie political propaganda indoctrination might wear off.


Pediatrician: Keeping Children Out of School Could Have Long Term Consequences

Dr. Dimitri Christakis knows a thing or two about children as the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, including the consequences of keeping children out of a school setting for an extended period of time because of the threat of coronavirus.

His latest addition to the more than 170 original research articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics has a stern warning about decisions made in the wake of the virus: ‘They will hold us accountable,” Christakis wrote.

Arkansas Professor Arrested for Concealing Communist Chinese Funding

An engineering professor at the University of Arkansas has been arrested by the FBI and faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly hiding funding that he received from the communist Chinese government.

The New York Times reports that “Simon Ang of the University of Arkansas, was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday with wire fraud.”

“He worked for and received funding from Chinese companies and from the Thousand Talents program, which awards grants to scientists to encourage relationships with the Chinese government,” the report notes, adding that “he warned an associate to keep his affiliation with the program quiet.”


Emory Prof Admits to Chinese Spy Ring Involvement

A former professor at Emory University pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns by failing to disclose $500,000 in income from Chinese sources.

The professor, Xiao-Jiang Li, worked at two Chinese universities as part of China’s Thousand Talents Program, according to the Department of Justice. Li was ordered to pay $35,089 in restitution and sentenced to one-year probation.

Court findings revealed that in 2012, while still working at Emory, Li began working for the Thousand Talents Program and continued to work for the program until 2018. During this time period, Li worked at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and at Jinan University, where he reportedly conducted animal research. Li’s tax fraud was discovered when the National Institutes of Health examined his applications for research grants.

I think what the perfesser is really worried about homeschooling is the missed opportunities for progressive indoctrination.


Harvard ‘Anti-Homeschooling’ Event ‘Cancelled’ Amid Conservative Backlash

Opponents of a controversial Harvard homeschooling summit claim the event has been canceled, but the Ivy League institution is still tight-lipped as to whether that is indeed the case.

The purpose of the invite-only event, “Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform,”was to “discuss child rights in connection with homeschooling in the United States,” with a focus on “problems of educational deprivation and child maltreatment that too often occur under the guise of homeschooling, in a legal environment of minimal or no oversight.”

With agenda items such as “Concerns with Homeschooling” and “Litigation Strategies for Reform,” the aim of the event was to equip critics of homeschooling and educators against the practice with “strategies for effecting such reform.” The co-organizer and one of the most controversial featured speakers was Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor of law and faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program.

Campus Reform previously reported that Bartholet framed homeschooling as “authoritarian” and suggested the government ban it.

In an interview with Harvard Magazine, Bartholet said, “We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling.” Her reasons for wanting to ban homeschooling include the lack of regulations setting standards on which parents are allowed to homeschool, the isolation of children, the absence of teachers who could act as “mandated reporters,” and the threat it creates that will ultimately jeopardize America’s democracy……………

This is not an article from the Babylon Bee.


Arizona: Muslim Students Threaten to Kill Prof for Suggesting Islam Is Violent.

This will teach those Islamophobes that Islam is a religion of peace: a professor is facing death threats for suggesting otherwise. Nicholas Damask, Ph.D., has taught political science at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona for 24 years. But now he is facing a barrage of threats, and his family, including his 9-year-old grandson and 85-year-old parents, is in hiding, while College officials are demanding that he apologize – all for the crime of speaking the truth about the motivating ideology behind the threat of Islamic jihad worldwide.

Damask, who has an MA in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C., and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, says he is “to my knowledge, the only tenured political science faculty currently teaching in Arizona to write a doctoral dissertation on terrorism.” He has taught Scottsdale Community College’s World Politics for each of the 24 years he has worked at the school.

Professor Damask’s troubles began during the current Spring semester, when a student took exception to three quiz questions. The questions were:

  • Who do terrorists strive to emulate? A. Mohammed
  • Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law? A. The Medina verses [i.e., the portion of the Qur’an traditionally understood as having been revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career]
  • Terrorism is _______ in Islam. A. justified within the context of jihad.

Damask explained: “All quiz questions on each of my quizzes, including the ones in question here, are carefully sourced to the reading material. On this quiz, questions were sourced to the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the sira (biography) of Mohammed, and other reputable source material.” And indeed, the three questions reflect basic facts that are readily established by reference to Islamic texts and teachings and numerous statements of terrorists themselves.

Despite this, the student emailed Damask to complain that he was “offended” by these questions, as they were “in distaste of Islam.” Damask recounted: “Until this point, notably, the student had expressed no reservations about the course material and indeed he said he enjoyed the course.”

Damask sent two lengthy emails to the student responding to his complaints, but to no avail. A social media campaign began against Damask on the College’s Instagram account. Damask notes: “An unrelated school post about a school contest was hijacked, with supporters of the student posting angry, threatening, inflammatory and derogatory messages about the quiz, the school, and myself.”

At this point, College officials should have defended Professor Damask and the principle of free inquiry, but that would require a sane academic environment. Scottsdale Community College officials, Damask said, “stepped in to assert on a new Instagram post that the student was correct and that I was wrong – with no due process and actually no complaint even being filed – and that he would receive full credit for all the quiz questions related to Islam and terrorism.”

On May 1, Damask had a conference call with Kathleen Iudicello, Scottsdale Community College’s Dean of Instruction, and Eric Sells, the College’s Public Relations Marketing Manager. Damask recalls: “I was not offered to write any part of the school’s response, and there was no discussion of academic freedom or whether the College was even supportive of me to teach about Islamic terrorism. The very first point I made with them on the call (and virtually the only input I had) is that I insisted that the College’s release was to have no mention of any actions to be required to be taken by me personally, I was very clear about that.”

Predictably, Iudicello and Sells ignored that. They issued an apology to the student and to the “Islamic community,” and stated on the College’s Instagram page that Damask would be “required” to apologize to the student for the quiz questions, as the questions were “inappropriate” and “inaccurate,” and would be permanently removed from Damask’s exams.

Damask also had three phone calls with Iudicello, who gave him a bracing introduction into today’s academic funhouse world, where if someone is offended by the truth, it’s the truth that has to be deep-sixed. “During one call with Iudicello,” Damask recounts, “she stated that my quiz questions were ‘Islamophobic,’ that before continuing to have any further class content on Islamic terrorism I would likely need to meet with an Islamic religious leader to go over the content, and that I would likely need to take a class (perhaps at Arizona State) taught by a Muslim before teaching about Islamic terrorism.”

“The irony here,” says Damask, “is that literally during this phone call, I and my wife were tossing socks and jammies and our nine-year-old grandson’s toys into a suitcase to get the hell out of the house because of the death threats made by Islamic commenters on the College’s Instagram page.”

If a foreign nation forced us to have this kind of education system, it would be seen as an act of war.


Study: Historic Drop in U.S. Reading and Math Scores Since Common Core ‘Debacle’

A study released Monday by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute reveals a historic drop in national reading and math scores among U.S. students since the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum Standards a decade ago.

“Nearly a decade after states adopted Common Core, the empirical evidence makes it clear that these national standards have yielded underwhelming results for students,” said Pioneer executive director Jim Stergios in a statement. “The proponents of this expensive, legally questionable policy initiative have much to answer for.”

The study, titled “The Common Core Debacle” and authored by education policy researcher Theodor Rebarber, asserts the “shocking trends” in American student performance in critical math and reading skills since the creation of the U.S. Education Department 40 years ago recommends reevaluation of federal involvement in education.

Performance in reading and math since the adoption of Common Core has especially declined in the nation’s lowest-achieving students – many of whom come from low-income families and failing public schools – widening the achievement gap and creating further inequality.

Supporters of Common Core, however, touted the Obama-era federally incentivized standards would be “rigorous” and also “level the playing field.” The Common Core State Standards Initiative boasted that the standards are “important” because:

[h]igh standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations to ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life upon graduation from high school, regardless of where they live. … The standards promote equity by ensuring all students are well prepared to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad.

Rebarber observed, however, that while national fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores were rising at about half a point each year from 2003 to 2013, since that time, reading scores have dropped.

“Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance,” Dr. Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said in October 2019 following the release of the Nation’s Report Card [National Assessment of Educational Progress] assessments in math and reading for fourth- and eighth-graders.

“The lowest performing students – those readers who struggle the most – have made no progress in reading from the first NAEP administration almost 30 years ago,”


 


The result of a ‘modern’ college education


A new bout of mind-boggling economic illiteracy from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Monica Showalter

Oil prices went into negative territory yesterday, meaning there was more oil sloshing around on the market than buyers, and for the first time producers were literally offering to pay people to take it way. The prices actually went negative.

That’s an indicator of a crashed economy.

And a dinner triangle for morons. Who should show up but Boston University economics major, professional socialist, and Milton Keynes fan, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

She tweeted this:

Hear that? She celebrated.

Hear that? She celebrated.

Then when someone alerted her that the cheer was ill-advised, given all the oil workers who were losing their jobs, she got rid of the tweet, but in the way of a stubborn banjo-kid-level ignoramus, stood her ground. According to Fox News:

After deleting her post, Ocasio-Cortez tried again, writing: “This snapshot is being acknowledged as a turning point in the climate movement. Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity.”

Throughout the day, Ocasio-Cortez has also reposted various messages essentially saying the oil crash presents an opportunity for environmentalists.

Her simpleton logic was that with the oil industry crashing, a new green energy industry would rise as a result.

It’s ridiculous. The green energy industry, such as it is, came about because of high oil prices. High oil prices meant buyers were looking for alternatives, and if oil prices were going to be high, then it might not make that much difference price-wise if one got one’s energy from wind power or ethanol or solar power or manure fires, or whatever it takes to call an energy source ‘green.’ Ocasio-Cortez, of course, has big plans to end all fossil fuel use in the country and convert it all to the pipe dream of green energy.

She reads the crash of the oil industry as the wake up call to go green.

In emitting her gaseous cheers, she demonstrated with perfect pitch that she doesn’t understand the simplest laws of supply and demand.

Oil prices are crashing because people aren’t buying.

And if cheap oil can’t be so much as given away by sellers because of the lack of buyers, why would anyone want to buy more expensive green energy instead? The oil industry is literally paying people to take their oil away and nobody’s doing it because the economy is dead. And here she thinks economically battered people somehow have lots of money to pay for green energy, which even if they did, would choose overpriced, under-performing green energy instead getting oil for free? The idiocy of this creature boggles the mind.

What’s especially stupid here in this brain-of-a-seven-year old cheering is that big league socialists, the ones with real power, have always grasped the importance of high oil prices. Hugo Chavez, the late socialist dictator of Venezuela, and a clown who didn’t know a whole lot about economics either, understood that little detail. Less than 20 years earlier, he vowed to drive oil prices up to $200 a barrel and leave America prostrate by cutting off our access to oil as a means to “defeat” us. Instead of watching America grovel, he ended up with an own-goal, triggering the great fracking boom that effectively ended his capacity to use oil as a weapon.

All petrotyrants went downhill after fracking transformed America into the world’s largest oil producer as well as a net exporter of energy. Vladimir Putin loves high oil prices and bankrolls greenie groups in Europe to encourage a stranglehold on fossil fuel production in the name of going green. Other socialist tinpot dictators in Africa and elsewhere also thrive on high oil prices. Not a one of them wants these prices to go down, because they recognize that high oil prices keep them in power.

But then we have Ocasio-Cortez, babe in the woods, imagining that in this hellish oil price situation, a green paradise beckons.

And speaking of power, oil also keeps the lights on in Ocasio-Cortez’s New York City, too, as Fox News noted:

Added Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas: “I don’t ‘love to see’ oil & gas workers & their rural communities suffering as a result of this devastating price collapse, @AOC. Places like West Texas & hard-working men & women in the oil patch power the bright lights of NYC… including the hospitals!”

It just doesn’t get stupider than this. Ocasio-Cortez has revealed a lot about her economic illiteracy with this ignorant tweet. It’s time for Boston University to be investigated for issuing diplomas to fools this ignorant. Nobody should pay attention to another thing this blithering idiot says.

 

Yeah, dangerous to their mind numbing indoctrination plan.


Harvard professor: Too much homeschooling freedom is ‘dangerous’

A prominent Harvard professor argued recently that homeschooling, particularly the largely unregulated style of it that exists throughout much of the United States, constitutes a danger to the country and to schoolchildren, arguing that homeschooled children are ripe for abuse and that it poses a legitimate threat to the stability of American society.

Elizabeth Bartholet, the Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, writes in The Arizona Law Review that American homeschool law, which generally grants parents broad latitude to control the education of their children, is “inconsistent with a proper understanding of the human rights” of those children.

Homeschooling has in recent decades exploded in popularity across the United States, thanks in no small part to the work of activist groups like the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has lobbied on behalf of homeschooling families since the early 1980s. Homeschooling is legal in every state in the country; around 3.5 percent of American students are homeschooled.

This regime, Bartholet argues, “means that parents can deny their children rights to education and to protection against maltreatment simply by not sending them to school.”

“Formal law, of course, does not affirmatively grant parents the right to deny education or to commit child maltreatment. But effectively it does just this by allowing homeschooling and failing to regulate it in meaningful ways,” she adds.

Citing several studies as well as “anecdotal evidence” that indicate some families abuse children under the guise of homeschooling them—as well as some evidence that homeschoolers don’t go to college at the same rate as non-homeschoolers and that they graduate “less likely to volunteer and…less politically engaged”—Bartholet argues that the potential for abuse and educational neglect within homeschooling necessitates a government system to more closely monitor and regulate homeschooling families:

We could say that because most parents don’t abuse or neglect their children, we don’t need a system protecting children against abuse and neglect. We could say that because most people don’t commit murder we don’t need laws prohibiting murder. But we don’t. We say instead that we need systems designed to protect at-risk subsets.

We should have a comparable system governing homeschooling, designed to ensure all children an adequate education and adequate protection, even if we believed that most homeschooling parents are capable of and interested in providing such an education and that few would abuse or neglect their children when free from any surveillance in the privacy of their homes.

“The legal claim made in defense of the current homeschooling regime is based on a dangerous idea about parent rights—that those with enormous physical and other power over infants and children should be subject to virtually no check on that power,” the professor argues in her paper.

Speaking to Harvard Magazine about her article, Bartholet claimed: “I think an overwhelming majority of legislators and American people, if they looked at the situation, would conclude that something ought to be done.”

 

Bull.

“the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed”,  is more absolute , grammatically and legally, (the Constitution being ‘the Supreme Law of the Land’)  than “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.”

In any case, the Preamble to the Bill of Rights makes clear that the original articles (amendments) were declarations concerning certain rights the people have, and of restrictions on government power over those rights., not the other way around.

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

The Grammarian Professor is being disingenuous at best – and I’m being quite generous – when he states he “…simply wants the law based on a proper grammatical understanding.”

He is advocating for the side that wants restrictive government power over a fundamental right and he’s conceited enough to have believed he’s got a perfect answer on how to do it.


Gunslinging Grammarian: How a retired Grand Rapids professor was compelled to clarify the Second Amendment

Jim Vanden Bosch didn’t expect the Second Amendment to dominate his life and research time.

Vanden Bosch, a retired professor of English at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, calls his many hours of labor on the grammar of the much-debated Constitutional right, “a social and civic obligation.”

“I’m just a blue-collar kid from Zeeland,” Vanden Bosch said, “but I have become well-versed on the grammar of the absolute phrase in the late 18th century.”

An absolute phrase modifies the entire clause that it belongs to. The phrase typically provides additional detail to that clause.

And, he notes, perhaps the most famous absolute phrase in American history begins the Second Amendment.

While the Second Amendment begins with an absolute phrase—“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”—it is the second half of the amendment, the main clause, that gets most of the media, political and legislative attention: “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In Vanden Bosch’s view, the debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment hinges entirely on what one does with that absolute phrase. The temptation to dive into the controversy proved irresistible.

“I’d been working on absolute phrases for over a decade,” he said. “It has been a major area of my academic research through most of the last decade.”

Vanden Bosch’s quest to understand the grammatical structure, and hence the meaning, of the Second Amendment began in late 2014 while he was sitting at his kitchen table reading the landmark 5-4 Supreme Court decision on gun legislation in the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, written by Justice Antonin Scalia.

In that decision, Scalia wrote: “The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.”

The grammarian’s hackles were raised. How, Vanden Bosch thought, did Justice Scalia come to such a conclusion regarding the grammar of this importance sentence?

And so began an amazing grammatical adventure, spanning the last five years.

“That sentence in the ruling struck me as untenable from a grammatical point of view, but I’m not a person who rushes to public judgment,” said Vanden Bosch. “The grammar and meaning of such a phrase is my academic territory, but I wanted to be certain and do good research and analysis.”

Vanden Bosch is a practitioner of corpus linguistics, which is a subfield of linguistics that uses corpora (or samples) of text from the history of the written language to determine meaning. With today’s technology, billions of words have now been catalogued in databases and can be examined by persons with expertise to extract the words and phrases needed for a particular study.

“I went to London to study the ICE-GB, The International Corpus of English—Great Britain,” said Vanden Bosch. “I had to be trained in how to use the database, and then I could buy a license.”

The humorous side to this work is that the software to examine this database works only with Windows 7—grammarians don’t have the time or money to upgrade the system—and that meant Vanden Bosch had to get an old computer out of mothballs at Calvin University to run the program.

“It is incredible,” he said. “These databases have every written word grammatically marked, every phrase marked, every clause marked. For example, you can run a program to pull out every absolute phrase. That took 250 different formulas.”

There are many corpora he works with from Brigham Young University, including the Corpus of Historical American English and a corpus of U.S. Supreme Court Opinions from 1790 to the present.

Common absolute phrases in the English language are “All things considered,” “God willing,” “Weather permitting,” and “All things being equal.”

Or, in the case of the Second Amendment, “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of the state.”

In 2017, Vanden Bosch gained access to a new corpus housed at BYU Law School, the Corpus of Founding Era American English (COFEA), a corpus of 133,488,113 words from 119,801 texts published in America between 1765 and 1799—a very large corpus of American English from the precise historical and political context that produced the Second Amendment in 1789. (It was ratified by all the states in 1791.)

In this corpus Vanden Bosch found 295 absolute phrases that shared the basic structure of the absolute phrase at the front of the Second Amendment: all of them are variations on the theme of “something” (a noun or noun substitute) “being necessary.” All of them are connected to a main clause, and they constitute rich evidence that the “something being necessary” absolute construction was quite common during this period, and that it was often used to provide explanatory material for the main clause to which it was attached.

He read Scalia’s 2008 Second Amendment opinion again, which dismissed the importance of the absolute phrase indicated by the words “being necessary.”

“You can’t simply disregard the first part of that sentence,” he said. “The ‘being necessary’ functions as a clarifier for the entire meaning.”

And Vanden Bosch’s assessment is backed up by the use and understanding of the absolute phrase in the common writing of the 1790s, in both popular language and in legal briefs and opinions.

Today, in generally accepted Constitutional law practice, one examines the main clause thoroughly and comes back to the rest of the sentence for clarity if there is ambiguity in the main clause. Of course, Vanden Bosch (along with many others) sees plenty of ambiguity in the phrasing of the Second Amendment, enough ambiguity to demand a careful study of the entire sentence and what was meant when it was written.

“I’m just surprised no one checked Scalia on his grammatical comments in the Heller opinion,” said Vanden Bosch. “There were grammarians involved in the deliberations, but no one was an expert on the absolute phrase.”

Vanden Bosch is that expert. And what he found in his study, using written examples from the era in both Britain and America—including the famous Federalist Papers—is that an absolute phrase using “being” as its key word was in common usage.

“At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, this type of grammar was typical,” he said. “Understanding this fact should give today’s legislators, courts and voters more courage to insist that interpretations of the amendment should not be wide open.”

Taking the absolute phrase into proper account, the amendment ensures that states could maintain armed militias. It did not comment on an individual’s right to keep any kind of gun in any place at any time.

Vanden Bosch notes that part of the confusion stems from the fact that the absolute phrase as written in the 1790s has faded from common usage today. In his research, the “something being necessary” variety of absolutes dropped in frequency from 200 per million words in the late 18th century to approximately 20 per million words today.

No wonder the Second Amendment’s wording looks strange to readers today.

But—and here’s Vanden Bosch’s point—it wasn’t strange in 1790. And the way the amendment was interpreted in 2008 is very unusual.

“There is a world of difference in interpreting the language of the Second Amendment before and after Scalia’s 2008 opinion,” said Vanden Bosch. “I feel a calling to this project. No one else has done this, and it needs doing.”

He plans to complete the careful documentation of his research and get the grammatical word out: Don’t mess with an absolute phrase!

Will it make any difference? Well, that’s not up to the grammarian and he is not advocating any particular legislation. He simply wants the law based on a proper grammatical understanding.

We the people have responsibilities, too.

Just in case you forgot:
This crap-for-brains anti-civil right/anti-self defense drivel is what is being taught at American Universities and touted to the citizenry by the propaganda organs of Michael Bloombutt AKA ‘The Trace’ et al’
The ending book review is point on.


Trust in Guns During Crises Is a Triumph of Marketing

Caroline Light is a Harvard professor whose field of study includes “America’s love affair with armed self-defense,” as she put it in the subtitle of her latest book. Reading the extensive reports this week of a surge in gun buying around the country, she was not surprised.

Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

Caroline Light is director of undergraduate studies in the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of That Pride of Race and Character: The Roots of Jewish Benevolence in the Jim Crow South.

After a young, white gunman killed twenty-six people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, conservative legislators lamented that the tragedy could have been avoided if the schoolteachers had been armed and the classrooms equipped with guns. Similar claims were repeated in the aftermath of other recent shootings—after nine were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the aftermath of the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Despite inevitable questions about gun control, there is a sharp increase in firearm sales in the wake of every mass shooting.

Yet, this kind of DIY-security activism predates the contemporary gun rights movement—and even the stand-your-ground self-defense laws adopted in thirty-three states, or the thirteen million civilians currently licensed to carry concealed firearms. As scholar Caroline Light proves, support for “good guys with guns” relies on the entrenched belief that certain “bad guys with guns” threaten us all.


To be fair, this is not strictly the usual anti-gun polemic. The eternal villains here are not guns, conservatives, or the NRA, but a much bigger target: The Patriarchy itself, an apparently toxic brew of white men, American history, and the very concept of self-defense.

Any reader who habitually checks under the bed to see that there are no men hiding there … or racists … or anything else nasty, like white people … or printed copies of the Bill of Rights … or legal concepts such as the right to self-defense, or the presumption of innocence … will feel right at home with this book. And anyone who peppers conversations with words like “normative” or “cis-“anything will just love it. But anyone else, not so much.

Consider a few samples. These are entirely typical; note that throughout 200-plus pages, the author puts a great deal of weight on imaginary crimes, crimes which are not even argued to be real, but are just assumed to be so.

“The Heller decision conveniently ignored the race and gender exclusions of the amendment’s original historical moment, where a ‘law-abiding citizen’ was a white, property-owning man, who openly carried a rifle not only to defend his ‘hearth and home,’ but also to assert his dominance over enslaved labor and his access to land seized from Native Americans.” (Page 7)

“In spite of widespread efforts by DIY-security proponents to recruit women, nonwhites, and LGBT people to the cause of armed citizenship, the adjudication of lethal self-defense continues to privilege white hetero/cis-masculinity.” (Page 15)

“That contemporary celebrations of armed citizenship can *appear* to be race- and gender-inclusive attests to the power of collective amnesia.” (Page 16)

Etc cetera, et cetera. One more, from a bit further along … more of the same;

“Now, more than ever, a man’s castle – the sanctuary of white, property-owning heteromasculinity – seems under siege by forces within as well as beyond the nation’s boundaries.” (Page 155)

The modern so-called “stand your ground” laws do indeed have a history, but if that legal history is anywhere in this book, my eyes must have glazed over before I reached it. But I don’t think I missed much of substance, because I have no great confidence that the author has any idea what the SYG laws are.

I base that statement on the author’s comments on the Zimmerman/Martin case; her apparent belief that the case had anything at all to do with Florida’s SYG law shows the grossest misunderstanding of both the trial and the relevant law.

SYG was not cited by either prosecution or defense at any point in the Zimmerman trial, although the press was obsessive in its pretense that SYG was somehow involved. (But one would expect a researcher to be able to distinguish between a hysterical Press and a slightly less hysterical Court.)

The author glosses over the actual evidence presented at trial with an airy “accounts are mixed as to what happened next”; but to anyone who followed the televised proceedings, the salient facts are not in dispute. And they have nothing at all to do with “Stand Your Ground”.

This book really isn’t about America or its current gun control laws. It seems to be more about feminist intersectional theory. And whether feminist intersectional readers would find anything of interest here, I’m not qualified to say.

Well, Paul did make the point that there could be what might be called a steep ‘learning curve’ for parents who start home schooling.

“4 minutes of free play and only an hour of Greek?
I just don’t understand today’s permissive parenting.”


 

Wash Your Hands, but Also Take a Nap

Now it’s naps too? Okay. I think I can handle this one as well as the others.

As our campuses prepare to close and plans are developed to move our courses online, faculty, staff and administrators are moving into crisis-management mode. At my institution, Duke University, our team has quickly come together, by circumstance and by choice. Emails are flying, spring breaks have been forgone, phone calls are being taken in the carpool lane and so forth. We are on it!

Except how long can we sustain this?

We already know that work-life balance is a myth in the academy, and it certainly gets skewed in times of crisis. But COVID-19 threatens to be a long-term crisis. We’re not just closing campuses now but also canceling important events in the future (even graduation, maybe?), impacting enrollments in the fall and beyond, for example. We can expect many continuing reverberations.

How are we going to sustain ourselves now and for the long term?…….

We can also remind each other to take breaks, to reassure each other that it is okay to log out of email once in a while. In my case, I reminded my colleagues to pay attention to nearby Duke Forest, where there are more trout lilies than I’ve ever seen! We need to get outside and breathe deeply of our spring air before pollen descends.

Given that we are responding to a public health crisis, it only makes sense to prioritize our personal health. Yet for many of us, that is the first thing to go.

School Canceled Because of Coronavirus? A Homeschooler Offers Some Tips.

For those parents who haven’t already converted to home schooling to remove their children from public school those cesspools of leftist indoctrination

COVID-19 is in the news with new cases reported every day. The list of schools, colleges, and other institutions suspending their efforts is also adding up. But there’s one education sector that may get away with minimal disruption: homeschoolers. Families that take responsibility for their kids’ education have a distinct edge in terms of flexibility and adaptability when it comes to unexpected events like … well … a worldwide pandemic that has people on edge.

“Closing schools and using internet-based teleschooling to continue education” was the scenario envisioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Nancy Messonier in a February 25 press conference. “You should ask your children’s school about their plans for school dismissals or school closures. Ask if there are plans for teleschool.”

Teleschool? Homeschoolers are so on that. Or if they’re not into teleschooling, they have a stack of books and papers, kitchen-counter science experiments, video lectures … The list goes on, and much of it adds up to the “social distancing measures” of which teleschooling is supposed to be part.

What’s “social distancing”? As Messonnier noted, social distancing is “designed to keep people who are sick away from others.” That means breaking up large gatherings where germs can be shared and spread.

Discouraging gatherings is an important move from a public health perspective, but it’s enormously disruptive to businesses, government bodies, and organizations that are designed around assembling large numbers of people in one place. That means big challenges for, among other institutions, traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Homeschoolers, however, have an edge because their efforts are not inherently constructed around large gatherings.

That doesn’t mean that homeschoolers never get together. Contrary to accusations from critics, family-based education is not an inherently solitary venture.

Homeschooling often involves group lessons that take advantage of specialized expertise, collaborative projects, field trips with homeschooling associations, sports teams, and more—which means that homeschoolers have changes to make in a time of pandemic, too, in terms of reducing or eliminating outings and activities. But that doesn’t mean cutting down on education; these days, there are loads of relatively easy work-arounds for homeschooling families.

If you’re new to family-based education, and especially if you’re busy with your own remote work, you may find it best to go with a comprehensive online program, like a virtual publicly-funded charter school or tuition-charging private school.

Virtual private schools are available anywhere in the United States, while the availability of charters depends on your local laws. Arizona, where I live, maintains a list of virtual charter schools, but you’ll need to do a bit of research for your own state.

Besides full schools, the Internet is a treasure-trove of learning materials that don’t require you to trek to a bookstore, a lecture hall, or even to wait for package delivery. Classic literature is available for free in electronic format through Project GutenbergKhan Academy has long since expanded beyond its original mission of delivering math lessons, the American Chemical Society gives away a complete chemistry curriculum, and a variety of lesson plans are freely available from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Edsitement. If you’re interested, I’ve prepared a downloadable list of resources.

I’ve never met a conference software that I’ve loved—video sometimes freezes, audio drops out, and connections fail. That said, my son has used both Blackboard and Zoom in the course of his lessons, and he and his peers as young as 10 or so took to it naturally, even troubleshooting glitches as needed. Conferencing software will accommodate presentations, feedback, shared screens, and other means of simulating a classroom across distances and without putting students in one place to share germs. Teachers and students can even transfer files back and forth.

Skype is an excellent stand-by for online meetings with teachers. Yes, your kids can be verbally quizzed in a foreign language across that platform while the teacher looks on to check for cheat sheets or other shortcuts. The kids might then receive messaged feedback through the same software.

For teamwork on projects, I think working online may be more effective than getting a bunch of kids together in one room. Recently, I got to listen to a bunch of 14- and 15-year-olds collaborate on a script for a skit that they edited in Google Docs. For presentations, they’ve worked the same way in Google Slides. One nice feature is that the technological solutions really cut down on the “I left my work at my friend’s house” factor. No, you didn’t, kid; it’s sitting in the cloud.

(Incidentally, collaborative software doesn’t make teenagers act any less like teenagers. If forced to listen in, you will still want to bang your head on a table.)

When it comes to sharing short pieces of work, art, and the like, my son and his friends sometimes take photos of their efforts and text them to each other or to an instructor. That’s a quick and easy solution in many cases when uploading and downloading documents is more effort than necessary.

The hard part isn’t finding work for your home students to do; it’s keeping them focused. Every child is different, and some are more self-directed than others.

Yes, you will have to check on them even if you’re not directly administering their lessons. That can be a challenge for new homeschoolers, but my experience is that most kids respond better to mom and dad than they do to teachers they barely know and won’t see after the year’s end.

Socializing is where the “social distancing” recommended for our virus-ridden times bites deep. But I have to imagine that cell phones, social media, and video chat make easier work of dealing with the requirements of the pandemic than what our ancestors suffered when they dodged polio or the Spanish flu. The kids can all complain to each other over their favorite apps about the privations they’re suffering in these hard times.

Fast delivery, downloadable books, and streaming video do away with a bit of the sting, too. The kids can still consume current media and discuss their favorite shows and novels—just not face-to-face for a while.

And here’s the thing. If you try homeschooling, you may discover that it’s not just a good way to keep COVID-19 at bay, but an effective approach to education more generally and a good fit for your family. If so, well, welcome to a happy, healthy, and growing club.

How modern education has destroyed the next generation’s soul.
Students are taught self-esteem and sexual promiscuity more effectively than science and civics

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear the question: How did we get in this mess?
Where did this lunacy come from, and how did it all happen so quickly?
Well, let’s play a game. Let’s play “imagine.”
Imagine that we live in a day where we intentionally sever a man’s arm from his body and then expect him to win a fight.
Imagine that we live in a country where it’s common practice to remove a woman’s eyes from her head and then ask her to paint her portrait.
Imagine that ours is a time where we surgically alter a child’s frontal lobe and then demand he explain an algebraic formula.

Imagine that we live in such a world; a world where, as C.S. Lewis warned, the elite among us claim it makes sense to “remove the organ and demand the function;” a time and a place where we “geld the stallion and then “bid him be fruitful.”
Just imagine. As John Lennon said, “it’s easy if you try,”

How did we get in this mess?
One answer: As Richard Weaver said, “Ideas have consequences.” Education matters.

Why would we expect decades of teaching sexual promiscuity in our schools to result in sexual restraint in our students?
Why are we surprised at the selfishness of our culture when we have immersed several generations of our children in a curriculum that teaches self-esteem more effectively than it does science and civics?
How can we possibly think that teaching values clarification rather than moral absolutes will result in virtuous people?

Where is there any evidence in all of human history that the subordination of a child’s right to be born to an adult’s right to choose ever resulted in the protection of any individual’s unalienable right to life? And why would any culture ever think that after decades of diminishing the value of marital fidelity that the same culture would then be able to mount a vigorous defense for the meaning of marriage and morality, or anything else for that matter?

This list could go on and on. The evidence is clear. All you need to do is Google the daily news to see the proof. When you have schools that revel in separating fact from the faith, head from heart, belief from behavior and religion from reason, the result will never be liberty. It will always be licentiousness.

Severing things that should be united has a very predictable result.
“Removing the organ while demanding the function” gives us “men without chests,” an electorate of those who have nothing but a gaping cavity in the center of their being; a callousness of mind; an emptiness of conscience; vacuity where there should be virtue.
As the wisdom of Solomon tells, cutting babies in half always results in dead babies.

Ours is a day of delusion. We destroy ourselves by our dishonesty. We boast of freedom and yet live in bondage to deception. We champion human rights, yet we ignore the rights promised to us by reason, revelation and our own Constitution. We march for women while denying that women are even real.

We claim to stand for the dignity of children but remain silent while their dignity is mocked in the ivory tower’s grisly game of sexual nihilism. We are what M. Scott Peck called “people of the lie.” The road to hell is before us, and we enter its gates strutting with the confidence of an emperor with no clothes. And, when we are challenged, we belittle the “incredulous rubes” and the “deplorables” who dared shout out of our nakedness.

Santayana once said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Well, here is one irrefutable lesson of the past: Ideas always have consequences. Education matters. It will always lead somewhere. Our schools will either take us toward the liberty found in that which is right and just and true and real or toward the slavery made of our own dysfunction and lies.

Why are we in this mess? It is because of our local schools, colleges and universities. When you relentlessly work to remove the next generation’s soul, you should not expect your culture to stay out of hell.

“All your life long you are slowly turning … either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, and rage … Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.” — C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

Law students storm out of ‘purely legalistic’ DACA discussion

Law students, LAW STUDENTS.  Students, supposedly in university to study LAW. What irony…and idiocy,  from those that have been propagandized until they totally lack self awareness.

Stanford University law students, upset about a “morally affronting” discussion of the arguments for and against the legality of DACA, staged a walkout of the event in protest.

On Feb. 10, Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins spoke at Stanford Law School, sponsored by Stanford’s Federalist Society chapter. After Hawkins began his speech on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, more than half of those in the room got up and left. The purpose of Hawkins’ speech was to discuss the issues of legalities of repealing DACA.

Hawkins stated that he would be covering and arguing both sides for and against DACA…………

The walk-out from Hawkins’ speech was arranged by the Stanford Latinx Law Students Association (SLLSA) along with various other student groups. SLLSA member Raquel Zepeda wrote in an email to law students that the lecture was an “intellectually cheap and morally affronting topic.” In protest, students held posters that read, “No human being is illegal”, and “Everyone is welcome here.”

While Hawkins spoke about both sides on DACA he mentioned that Trump’s motion to repeal “did not say that DACA was unworkable…it just says that DACA is unlawful.”

“DACA is unlawful for the same reason that DAPA was unlawful, according to the fifth circuit,” Hawkins added.

Hawkins also spoke about the Obama administration not having the authority to put DACA into place as it “confers on someone a status Congress would otherwise deny.”

In a statement, SLLSA  and other groups said that “purely legalistic discussions of DACA ignore the human element, which must be front and center… we can not agree to disregard the presence and importance of DREAMers in all places, including here at SLS,” being that those who walked out did not find legality to be of importance in this aspect.