San Francisco State University sued for fostering hostile environment for Jewish students

“In particular, the suit accuses university administrators and police of being complicit in disruption of a speech last year by Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem. According to the suit, students and attendees were met with protesters shouting offensive chants and blaring bullhorns while school officials instructed campus police not to intervene.”

It is very likely that university administrators and police were complicit in this. At the University at Buffalo in April, university administrators and police did nothing while Leftist and Muslim protesters shouted me down for an hour and a half. They don’t want to face the wrath of the Leftist and Muslim students, and they agree with them anyway.

“San Francisco State University fosters anti-Semitism, lawsuit alleges,” by Emily DeRuy, Bay Area News Group, June 19, 2017:

Students and other members of the local Jewish community allege that San Francisco State University is anti-Semitic, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

“SFSU and its administrators have knowingly fostered this discrimination and hostile environment, which has been marked by violent threats to the safety of Jewish students on campus,” reads the suit, which also names California State University’s Board of Trustees and other university employees as defendants.

The suit alleges that San Francisco State has “repeatedly denied” Jewish student groups, including Hillel and the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, equal access to campus events.

In particular, the suit accuses university administrators and police of being complicit in disruption of a speech last year by Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem. According to the suit, students and attendees were met with protesters shouting offensive chants and blaring bullhorns while school officials instructed campus police not to intervene.

“These defendants seem to believe that they are above the law, that discrimination against Jews is entirely acceptable, and that their response to criticism must go only so far as to placate Jewish donors,” said Amanda Berman, director of legal affairs for the Lawfare Project, which is representing the plaintiffs, in a statement….

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LGBT Groups: Christians ‘Have No Place in Government’

In a Christian Post column Samuel Smith reports:

LGBT activist groups are outraged that the Trump administration’s Department of Education invited speakers from two prominent conservative Christian family organizations to participate in a panel discussion on fatherhood held in advance of Father’s Day last week.

Politico reports that experts from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family were invited to speak at a day-long conference hosted by the Education Department that addressed how fathers can be engaged in their children’s lives.

Both FRC, headed by Tony Perkins, and Focus on the Family, led by Jim Daly and founded by James Dobson, are known for advocating in accordance with biblical beliefs on sexuality and the belief that marriage is only a union between one man and one woman.

However, the pro-LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign believes that the organization’s’ beliefs in traditional marriage and opposition to same-sex marriage should make their employees disqualified from being given a government-funded platform to voice their views on marriage and family.

Read more.

This sentiment was echoed by Senator Bernie Sanders during the questioning of Russell Vought, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget:

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the family and individuals like Russell Vought, are exercising their right to exercise their Christian religion.

GLAAD has labeled the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family “anti-LGBTQ hate groups.” In April 2017 the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) had their Free Speech bus damaged. According to NOM:

LGBT extremists did everything in their power to prevent us from completing the #FreeSpeechBus tour to promote a national conversation on the biological nature of gender – including engaging in violence, property damage and acts of intolerance, as well as coordinating with anarchist groups – but I’m pleased to say that we overcame them and completed the tour this morning in Washington, DC.

NOM joined with CitizenGO and the International Organization for the Family (IOF) to sponsor the tour as a way of provoking a national discussion about the biological truth of gender and to hit “pause” on the headlong push by the left to redefine gender based on “identity” and “feelings.” Throughout the tour we encountered the ugly side of the LGBT movement, which repeatedly engaged in violence and assault, and inflicted substantial property damage, in a failed effort to derail the bus tour.

Shockingly, we also discovered the deep coordination that exists between Democratic politicians, LGBT groups and extremists, including anarchists who are bent on destroying civil society.

Read more.

America’s public schools, via homosexual groups like the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN), have worked to recruit America’s youth to the homosexual lifestyle. GLSEN has used the mantra of bullying and ideology of diversity to gain access to our most vulnerable, our prepubescent children.

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VIDEO: Dr. Sharifa Alkhateeb in 2009 states the goal of Muslim Education is to make America Muslim

Sharifa Alkhateeb

Below is a C-SPAN video from 1989 taken at a conference hosted by the Islamic Society of North America featuring Sharifa Alkhateeb, a Muslim educator. In the video Alkhateeb shares the ultimate goal of Muslim education in America.

Alkhateeb states the objective of Muslim education in America is to make all of America Muslim.

According to Discover the Networks:

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in July 1981 by U.S-based members of the Muslim Brotherhood who also had a background as leaders of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). As author and terrorism expert Steven Emerson puts it, ISNA “grew out of the Muslim Students Association, which … was founded by Brotherhood members.” Indeed, Muslim Brothers would dominate ISNA’s leadership throughout its early years, when the Society was highly dependent upon Saudi funding. ISNA’s founding mission was “to advance the cause of Islam and serve Muslims in North America so as to enable them to adopt Islam as a complete way of life.”

On October 29, 2016 the Independent Sentinel reported:

Sharifa Alkhateeb was a friend of Huma Abedin’s and Hillary Clinton’s but she died of cancer in 2004. She referred to herself as a feminist and was an advocate for establishing Muslim culture in America and making America Muslim. She encouraged other Muslims to have patience setting up “our own Islam systems” and to think of all Americans as potential Muslims.

An active member of the Muslim Students Association in the 1960s, she last served as president of the North American Council for Muslim Women in northern Virginia. Both organizations are tied to Hamas.

[ … ]

She worked with US Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to allegedly forge ties with other religious communities.

Alkhateeb was born and reared in the United States by immigrant parents–her father is from Yemen and her mother is from Czechoslovakia.

Hillary invited her to the White House in 1999 for a NARA conference when she was first lady. The event was organized by Huma Abedin.

During her address, Hillary said: “Sharifa Alkhateeb of the North American Council for Muslim Women has been largely responsible for working with the White House staff in bringing us here. As many of you may know, Sharifa was the chair of the Muslim Caucus in Beijing in 1995. And she is also a great friend to me and to my staff for many, many occasions when we call upon her for advice and counsel. And I am pleased that once again she could be so helpful, both on her own behalf and on behalf of the Council in helping us out.”

Muslim education has become standardized in public school textbooks, in America’s college and university departments of Middle East studies. Alkhateeb’s vision is bearing fruit today as American children are being indoctrinated to embrace Islam and become followers of Mohammed.

RELATED ARTICLE: Complaint Filed Against Pro-Islam Policy Of San Diego School Board

EDITORS NOTE: Hat tip to Anthony Küster for sending us this video clip.

 

Lawsuit Against Collier School Board To Halt Political Indoctrination Of Students

When it comes to our children and their future, “Where is your line in the sand?”  FLCA has found ours, and we invite you to join with us.

After two years of trying to get the Collier School board to do the right thing, we are suing the Collier County School Board for violating Florida Sunshine law and multiple statutes that require them to teach our founding values and principles, and which require balanced, unbiased and factual material (see a copy of the filed complaint).  We issued a press release about the lawsuit on May 31st.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Florida Citizens Alliance has decided,  “Enough is enough!”  We are now an active participant along with Collier parents in a lawsuit for an emergency injunction to stop this “flawed” textbook adoption process. This lawsuit was filed today, May 31st , 2017 in The Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial Circuit in and for Collier County. The Collier County School Board (CCPS) has violated Florida Sunshine Law and ignored at least four Florida statutes, all at the expense of our 46,000 plus students who deserve the “highest quality .instructional materials of professionalism and historical accuracy”.  Quote: FS 1003.42

[Full press release]

We strongly believe the School Board here in Collier County has violated Chapter 128, Florida’s sunshine law and at least four other Florida Statutes including FS 1003.42, FS 1006.28, FS 1006.31(2), and FS 1006.283.

UPDATE:video clips from the Collier County Public Schools “Special Hearing” meeting on June 1, 2017 show clearly that CCPS is NOT interested in community and parental input, nor are they interested in following Florida law.

RELATED ARTICLE: Florida Teacher Bans Cross Necklaces in Class, Promotes LGBT Day of Silence

School Kids Fidget Because They Feel Trapped by Kerry McDonald

You’ve likely seen the headlines lately regarding the latest fad frenzy: fidget toys. These toys, most popularly fidget spinners and fidget cubes, are simple gadgets that have taken over schools and classrooms across the country, to the point that they are now being banned by many of them.

Initially touted as a concentration tool for children with attention issues, these hand-held fidget toys are apparently becoming distracting for teachers and disruptive to classrooms. In a recent Working Mother article, 6th grade teacher, Cristina Bolusi Zawacki, writes:

Fidget spinners: The very phrase makes me cringe. Its claim to fame is that it allows one to channel their excess energy to help maintain focus. The only thing my students seem to focus on, however, is the spinner, itself, and not their work. It’s like a friggin’ siren song. The allure of someone else’s spinner spinning is too much to bear.”

The teacher goes on to ask:

How is it that my 2-year-old is able to sit long enough to fill the pages of an entire coloring book, yet adolescent students cannot function without these helicopters of distraction whirling feverishly on their fingertips? Mind you, these are the same kids who can sit and text for hours, spend incalculable amounts of time on social media, and take enough selfies in one sitting to carpet The Cloisters.”

Learning to Avoid Work

Perhaps the problem is not the fidget toys but the lack of autonomy, self-direction, and relevance characteristic of the mass schooling model that gives rise to the fidget toy craze. Boston College psychology professor and author of Free To Learn, Peter Gray, writes that all children love to learn and eagerly explore their world with enthusiasm and great dedication – until they go to school.

In his research on unschoolers and others who have rejected mass schooling for alternative forms of education, Dr. Gray discovered that human curiosity and commitment to learning endure beyond early childhood. He writes:

This amazing drive and capacity to learn does not turn itself off when children turn 5 or 6. We turn it off with our coercive system of schooling. The biggest, most enduring lesson of our system of schooling is that learning is work, to be avoided when possible.”

Dr. Gray’s observation is not new. Decades ago, the well-known educator and homeschooling advocate, John Holt, wrote in his best-selling book, How Children Learn:

We like to say that we send children to school to teach them to think. What we do, all too often, is to teach them to think badly, to give up a natural and powerful way of thinking in favor of a method that does not work for them and that we rarely use ourselves. Worse than that, we convince most of them that, at least in a school setting, or any situation where words or symbols or abstract thought are concerned, they can’t think at all.”

Relief from Educational Tedium

Through the process of mass schooling, childhood curiosity and exuberance for learning are steadily replaced by a system of social control that teaches children that their interests and observations don’t matter. Is it any wonder that within this educational framework young people would gravitate toward behaviors, like fidget spinning, that grant them some semblance of freedom and control in the classroom?

For adolescents, like those with whom the teacher quoted above interacts, fidget toys likely provide much-needed relief from the tedium and artificiality of mass schooling. Largely cut-off from the authentic adult world in which they are meant to come of age, adolescents immerse themselves in behaviors that grant them some degree of control and autonomy that are otherwise absent from their daily lives.

Playing video games in which they are in charge, participating in social media, and texting friends are all examples of adolescents seeking freedom, engagement, and usefulness within a culture that does not provide many authentic opportunities to do so.

In their book, Escaping the Endless Adolescence, psychologists Joseph and Claudia Allen conclude:

There’s been a gradual, insidious change occurring in the very nature of adolescence over the past several generations – a change that has been stripping this period of meaningful work and of exposure to adult challenges and rewards, and undermining our teens’ development in the process.”

Rather than complaining about this latest fad, and banning these fidget toys from schools across the country, we should look more closely at what the toys reveal: Children and adolescents who are bored with and frustrated by the irrelevance of mass schooling and who crave education freedom and autonomy.

Education models, separate from mass schooling, already exist and are wildly successful at retaining childhood curiosity and promoting academic excellence. Perhaps these fidget toys can help turn our attention to those alternatives.

Reprinted from Intellectual Takeout.

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.

Anarchy in Academia: Cry-Bullies Gone Wild

The recent events at Evergreen College would make a great Saturday Night Live skit if they weren’t so serious and such an alarming portent of future social chaos.

Academia trains the future leaders of society – if colleges and universities are breeding racist anarchist cry-bullies instead of thoughtful leaders who can listen to other points of view, the future for America is tyranny of thought and totalitarianism.

The racist and infantile demands of the Evergreen students expose the childishness of cry-bully functioning. Like two-year-olds screaming “I WANT WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT IT” these student outbursts create cognitive dissonance for any rational adult watching. There is a sense of unreality that “this cannot be happening on campuses in America” – but it is happening all over the country at colleges and universities where cry-bullies have gone wild.

What is the source of their tantrums? Why are they being tolerated by the “adults” in charge? What is the purpose of cry-bullying outbursts?

The complete self-absorption of infants and young children is an expected condition of infancy and early childhood. There is no “other” in their consciousness – they operate on the narcissistic principle of self. When that narcissism is advanced into adulthood it is not only shocking it is dangerous. Early childhood is distinguished by its narcissism and society’s acceptance of that narcissism because growing up is a process and early childhood is the beginning of the process.

The first sign of emotional development is the baby’s recognition of “other.” The baby begins to recognize his mother/caretaker as separate from himself. The baby learns that if he cries mother will come to him. As he gets older the child realizes that he is dependent upon the care of the “other” and the child only experiences ”other” as existing to meet his/her own needs.

Only when the child begins to understand that “other” exists as a separate self who is as important as his own self as the child is to himself can the concept of reciprocity develop and ethical living begin.

What is so stunning about the behavior of cry-bullies on campus is their complete unawareness of “other.” Their infantile narcissism keeps them insulated in a prism of self. They do not see the staggering hypocrisy of ordering all white students and faculty off campus. If all black students and faculty were ordered off campus the cry-bullies would go wild screaming RACISM! Cry-bullies do not see the hypocrisy of demanding respect when they behave so disrespectfully. If professors started screaming and swearing at them the cry-bullies would go wild demanding SAFE SPACES! Cry-bullies do not see the hypocrisy of demanding no homework at an academic institution.

The long-term consequences of a narcissistic perspective advanced into adulthood is that it is self-destructive. Thought precedes behavior. If an individual thinks like a child he/she behaves like a child. Childhood is distinguished by its powerlessness. Thinking like a child produces a victim mentality of blame and powerlessness that creates cry-bullies and temper tantrums instead of self-actualized adults capable of rational thought and constructive effective change.

The question is WHY would the “adults” in charge submit to the childish demands of a two-year-old? Why do ineffectual parents submit to the demands of their two-year-old?

Some are simply intimidated by the cry-bullying. Some are emotional children themselves and actually support cry-bullying. Some want to ingratiate themselves to the cry-bully and be their friend. Some are Leftists promoting anarchy. No matter what the motive, submitting to the demands of a two-year—old whether that child is chronologically two or emotionally two is a flawed strategy for the survival of a democratic America.

Parents need their children to grow into emotional adulthood and society needs its citizens to become emotional adults. A society of children is not sustainable – it will eventually collapse or be challenged and taken over by a society of adults. This is why the social chaos created on campus and advanced into society by the graduating cry-bullies is so dangerous.

Social chaos is the condition necessary to collapse American democracy and replace it with socialism -> internationalism -> globalism -> and ultimately one-world government ruled by the globalist elite. Social chaos is the agent of change for anarchists.

American campuses need an adult in charge to fend off the infantile demands of its cry-bully students. America needs adults an charge to fend off the infantile demands of the left-wing liberals promoting anarchy and the victim mentality of identity politics. American universities are the canary in the coal mine.

Candidate Hillary Clinton famously said that they (Democrats) need a public that is unaware and compliant. Unaware and compliant are the conditions of childhood. Children are powerless and can be exploited and controlled – exactly what Hillary wanted. When Hillary was unexpectedly defeated the Left went into overdrive to delegitimize, destabilize, and destroy Trump’s presidency. The “resistance” movement lead by EX-president Barack Obama is an attack on American democracy.

Americans voted for an adult when they voted for Donald Trump. If the Left and their cry-bully politicians fomenting anarchy succeed in their campaign to overthrow constitutionally elected President Donald Trump then American democracy will be destroyed and the globalist elites will be able to impose one-world government on the unsuspecting cry-bullies on campus who were duped into believing they would get social justice and income equality for their efforts.

One-world government is a binary socio-political system of masters and slaves described unapologetically in chilling detail by Lord Bertrand Russell in his 1952 book The Impact of Science on Society. The irony for these black student cry-bullies is that they are participating in their own destruction. There is no freedom or upward mobility in one-world government – only tyranny and totalitarianism.

The student cry-bullies will learn the hard way that their infantile behavior will reduce them to slaves like their ancestors.

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Lawsuit filed to Stop the Political Indoctrination of Collier County, Florida Students

Collier County, FL – Florida Citizens Alliance has decided, “Enough is enough!”  We are now an active participant along with Collier parents in a lawsuit for an emergency injunction to stop this “flawed” textbook adoption process. This lawsuit was filed today, May 31st, 2017 in The Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial Circuit in and for Collier County (see a copy of the filed complaint).

The Collier County School Board (CCPS) has violated Florida Sunshine Law and ignored at least four  Florida statutes, all at the expense of our 46,000 plus students who deserve the “highest quality instructional materials of professionalism and historical accuracy”. Quote: FS 1003.42

We strongly believe the School Board here in Collier County has violated Chapter 128, Florida’s sunshine law and at least four other Florida Statutes including FS 1003.42, FS 1006.28, FS 1006.31(2), and FS 1006.283.

As parents, grandparent and taxpaying community members, we demand that the Collier School Board pause the current process and start the adoption process over on June 1st for three overriding reasons:

  1. The text book adoption process, that the prior board authorized and that has been used under  the current Board’s supervision, violates Florida Sunshine law (Chapter 286 of the Florida Statutes).
  2. This process included hand-picked reviewers with an extreme political bias. Many of these reviewers do NOT represent Collier demographics and have turned this process into biased and political indoctrination.
  3. The Social Studies materials Collier School Board members are considering to adopt are riddled with violations of several Florida laws including FS 1003.42, FS 1006.28, FS 1006.31(2), and FS 1006.283.

To approve both the process and any of the materials considered….we repeat, any of these materials, the Collier School Board not only violates the School Board’s legal/constitutional responsibility but also is fiducially a major waste of budget and taxpayer money.

THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. IT IS ABOUT OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE, following FLORIDA LAWS and adopting FACTUAL, UNBIASED TEXTBOOKS that are not used to indoctrinate our children.

This is three year adoption process. There is no rush and the process can be corrected by following Florida laws.

Reluctantly, after numerous and varied interactions to get Collier School Board members to honor Florida Statutes, we have concluded that our only course of action is to seek an emergency injunction to stop this injustice to each and every student, parent and community member in Collier County.

According to Florida Statute, the Collier School Board is constitutionally responsible for the Instructional materials- NOT the Superintendent, NOT the FL Dept. of Education!

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Alt-left: ‘Rioting … or physically attacking a conservative speaker are not enough’

Now the Left is trying to kill us. And more is to come. A good piece from my friend Thomas Craughwell in the American Spectator on my being poisoned last week in Iceland:

“Ecstasy on Ice — But Not the Good Kind,” by Thomas J. Craughwell, American Spectator, May 19, 2017:

Somebody just tried to poison one of my friends.

You may know him. He’s Robert Spencer, the director of the news-and-commentary blog JihadWatch and author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammed. He appears pretty regularly on cable news as an expert on Islamist terrorism, and he’s led seminars on jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, among others. Robert also gets a lot of speaking engagements. His most recent event was in Reykjavik, Iceland, and that’s where someone laced his drink with something nasty….

Art Moore, writing for World Net Daily, reports that doctors at the Reykjavik hospital found Robert tested “positive for amphetamine and MDMA.” MDMA is a synthetic drug commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly. A high dose of MDMA can cause liver, kidney, or heart failure and may even be fatal. The drug is commonly available in tablet or capsule form, but it is also available as crystals, a powder, or a liquid. Those last three options would be the easiest to slip into someone’s drink….

Among our friends on the left, Robert Spencer is not a popular guy. For years, he has been exposing Islamist extremists who have launched terror attack after terror attack across the globe. And he has made the case that in the eyes of the terrorists, they are doing Allah’s work because there are verses in the Koran and other sacred Islamic texts that approve of attacking infidels. Christians and Jews and every other non-Islamic religion fall into the infidel category. But as we continue to see in Iraq and Syria, ISIS also targets Muslims who, from the terrorists’ point of view, are the wrong kind of Muslims.Nonetheless, Robert has been denounced as a hate monger by the Southern Poverty Law Center, his books are banned in Muslim-majority nations, and in 2013 the British Home Office barred Robert from traveling to the U.K. for any speaking event. When he appealed the ban in court, the British Court of Appeals dismissed his case, arguing that “this was a public order case where the police had advised that significant public disorder and serious violence might ensue from the proposed visit.”

It’s only May, but already we’ve seen some ugliness directed at conservatives who were invited to speak at various colleges. At Middlebury College in Vermont, protesters mobbed conservative social scientist Charles Murray, injuring a professor who was trying to escort him to safety. At NYU, provocateur and actor Gavin McInnes was rushed by protesters who physically tried to stop him from holding a seminar for College Republicans (police arrested about a dozen demonstrators). And at Berkeley, chaos erupted, even before conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos got to the university. Berkeley’s administrators blamed the riot, which caused $100,000 worth of damage, on “150 masked agitators,” who egged on about 1,500 anti-Milo demonstrators.

It appears that rioting, or howling down, or physically attacking a conservative speaker are not enough. Now we have to worry that some “progressive” might slip an overdose into a conservative’s drink.

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New York Times demonizes Young America’s Foundation for bringing alt-views to college campuses

The real story of my appearance at the University at Buffalo was how campus Left-fascists and Islamic supremacists screamed abuse at me for an hour and a half, such that I was able to say very little. The real story, in other words, is about how Left-fascists on campuses nationwide are increasingly authoritarian, unwilling to allow views that depart from the Leftist establishment agenda to be heard. The real story is about how campus Leftists and their Muslim allies are emulating the Nazi Brownshirts, shouting down and physically menacing campus speakers whose views they hate.

The real story of my appearance at the University at Buffalo is that university campuses today are radioactive wastelands of hard-Left indoctrination, in which any views that dissent from the Leftist line are stigmatized, demonized, and not allowed a fair hearing.

But the New York Times glosses over all that, not surprisingly, since the Times itself is a flagship of the Leftist establishment, and a cheerleader for any effort that marginalizes and silences dissenting voices. So for the Times, the real story is the wealth of and donors to the Young America’s Foundation, which labors tirelessly to try to bring some small measure of free inquiry to university campuses by sponsoring speakers who invite consideration of ideas that are usually forbidden at these Leftist indoctrination centers. For the Times, it’s some sinister and well-heeled effort to hurt the feelings of the poor fragile snowflakes by encouraging thoughtcrime.

The Times’ approach is laughably ironic in light of the massive amounts Soros lavishes upon groups such as the Center for American Progress that further the hard-Left agenda. YAF’s money is a pittance compared to the money Leftist organizations have, and Leftist speakers such as Reza Aslan command speaker fees exponentially larger than mine and Ann Coulter’s as well. Where is the Times article about the Leftist money machine sending hard-Left speakers to campuses to reinforce the propaganda students are being fed by their professors?

Of course, such a piece will never appear in the Times. Instead, we get this whiny, dreary piece: “‘It’s part of a larger systematic and extremely well-funded effort to disrupt public universities and create tension among student groups on campus,’ said Alexandra Prince, a doctoral student at Buffalo who circulated a petition to block Mr. Spencer.” Create tension? Yes: by making students think about uncomfortable truths, issues and perspectives they have been told to ignore and shun as evil.

The one good thing about this ridiculous article is that it features a wonderfully villainous photo of me. The University at Buffalo, not content to let the fascist Brownshirts scream at me unimpeded, also turned up the heat in the room; it was sweltering in there, and they refused requests to turn it down. So we get this marvelous photo of a sweaty, sneering, disheveled thought criminal, fiendishly poisoning snowflakes’ pure minds, and planning to stop on the way out of town to tie a few maidens to the railroad tracks.

More below.

Robert Spencer. Photo: New York Times.

“The Conservative Force Behind Speeches Roiling College Campuses,” by Stephanie Saul, New York Times, May 20, 2017:

BUFFALO — “Let’s give it up for the racists that are hosting this event!” someone yelled, and the crowd roared, foot-stomping in unison, then breaking into song: Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” One member of the audience held up a sign, “Queers Against Islamaphobia.” Another unfurled a banner: “Muslims Welcome. Fascists Get Out.”

Close to 200 students kept up the noise for more than an hour in a University at Buffalo lecture hall on May 1, mostly drowning out the evening’s featured speaker, Robert Spencer, a conservative author and blogger who espouses a dark view of Islam.

The event appeared to follow a familiar script, in which a large contingent of liberals muzzles a provocative speaker invited by a small conservative student club. But the propelling force behind the event — and a number of recent heat-seeking speeches on college campuses — was a national conservative group that is well funded, highly organized and on a mission, in its words, to “restore sanity at your school.”

The group, the Young America’s Foundation, had paid Mr. Spencer’s $2,000 fee, trained the student leader who organized the event and provided literature for distribution. Other than the possibility of outside interference, little had been left to chance….

“It’s part of a larger systematic and extremely well-funded effort to disrupt public universities and create tension among student groups on campus,” said Alexandra Prince, a doctoral student at Buffalo who circulated a petition to block Mr. Spencer.

But Ron Robinson, who has served as Young America’s president for more than three decades, said the group’s goal is simply “to increase appreciation and support of conservative ideas, not to stir up leftists or Muslims.”…

In addition to its fiery speakers and marquee names like Newt Gingrich, the organization’s roster includes many low-fuss speakers like the publisher Steve Forbes and the author Ben Stein. It was not associated with the divisive campus appearances recently made by the right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos.

But it does sponsor Mr. Spencer, whose writings, including on his website Jihad Watch, are full of dire warnings about the global threat of radical Islam. His work was cited repeatedly in the 1,500-page manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Breivik again. If he didn’t exist, the Left would find it necessary to invent him. If the Times had any real journalistic standards, it might ask itself why, if my writings incite violence, Breivik remains the only example of this, and he was six years ago. It might wonder why no one else has been stirred up to kill by my books and articles. The answer is that Breivik wasn’t incited to violence by me either. He was a psychopath who cited a lot of people, including Barack Obama and Gandhi. Are they responsible for him? He counseled working with al-Qaeda and Hamas, so his ideas and mine are not the same, but even if they were, is every idea discredited because someone commits violence over it? Was abolitionism discredited by John Brown?

Given the current climate, Mr. Spencer’s Buffalo speech was virtually guaranteed to cause a commotion. Even so, Mr. Robinson said he was surprised by the reaction.

“If you disagree with Spencer to that extent, don’t come to his lecture, don’t call attention to him,” Mr. Robinson said in an interview at the group’s modern offices, where photos of the Reagan Ranch and of influential conservative leaders are on display.

“If you’re 17, 18, 19, 20 years old, do not say that a person doesn’t have the right to express their ideas, and other people to hear those ideas,” he said. “That’s not the United States I understand and it’s not what the American college education should be about.”…

Mr. Spencer was invited to the University at Buffalo by a Young Americans for Freedom chapter organized in the past year. It was no match for a much larger Muslim Student Association, which organized a 1960s-style sit-in at the lecture hall that began hours before Mr. Spencer arrived.

About 30 minutes before his speech, many members of the group, as well as non-Muslim sympathizers, had nearly filled the hall.

A small group of Young Americans for Freedom members gathered near the front, looking buttoned up in business attire and taking on expressions of disgust.

“It’s one of the most disrespectful displays I’ve seen in my life,” said one member, Patrick Weppner, a sophomore majoring in computer science.

When he was able to talk above the noise, Mr. Spencer cited excerpts from the Quran as evidence that the text is used as justification for violence.

During a question-and-answer session, Pasha Syed, an imam from a local mosque, cited a New Testament passage about killing one’s enemies. Mr. Spencer said the difference was that the Quran entreats followers to violence.

There is actually no passage in the New Testament about killing one’s enemies. Syed was misrepresenting a parable of Jesus regarding the divine judgment.

“Jihad is obligatory for everyone able to perform it, male and female, and it is definitely warfare that they are talking about,” Mr. Spencer said. An audience member yelled out, “You are not an intellectual, sir!” prompting a new round of heckling from the crowd.

Incisive, thought-provoking response! In any case, I wasn’t at that point citing the Qur’an, but an Al-Azhar-endorsed Islamic legal manual, which explains that defensive jihad is obligatory upon every Muslim when an Islamic land is attacked. This was garbled in the Times, but I have to give them some slack since the fascists were screaming so loud I was rarely given time to construct a rational argument.

Mr. Spencer warned that the audience would live to regret its behavior. “The forces you are enabling are going to come back to haunt you,” he said.

Indeed.

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Florida: HuffPo wants Catholic Teacher fired for telling the truth about Islam

Mark Smythe, Teacher

Mark Smythe, Teacher

TFP Student Action reports:

Mark Smythe is a well-liked Catholic teacher at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Ocala, Florida.  He recently used Saint John Bosco’s writing on Islam in his 6th grade social studies class.

The Islamist propaganda machine Huffington Post found out that Saint John Bosco’s writings were critical of Islam and immediately went public, attacking the teacher for sharing them.

The Office of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools — with the support of the Human Resources Department of the Diocese of Orlando — has reportedly not only reprimanded Mr. Smythe for using Saint John Bosco in class, but also threatened to dismiss him from his job. (The Catholic World Report)

Catholic teaching should not be censored and banned at Catholic schools especially as a result of the Huffington Post’s Islamist propaganda and political correctness that compels non-Muslims to comply with Sharia law’s mandate not to criticize Muhammad or Islam.

Under Sharia, those who insult Muhammad or Allah are to be executed. Islamists attacked Charlie Hebdo in France after the company published cartoons of Muhammad.   Islamists tried to kill nearly two hundred people who gathered in Garland Texas to compete for the best artistic rendition of Muhammad.    Many Americans have lost their jobs, education and social status after being assailed for daring to speak the truth about Islam.

1-1-Saint_John_Bosco_Quotes2Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send that urges the Diocese of Orlando and the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Orlando to keep Mr. Smythe as a teacher.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.

Click here to send your email to urge the Diocese of Orlando and the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Orlando to keep Mr. Smythe as a teacher.

Contact information:

Most Reveren John Noonan, Bishop
Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando
jnoonan@orlandodiocese.org
cruiz@orlandodiocese.org

Henry Fortier, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Orlando 
hfortier@orlandodiocese.org

Jason Halstead, Principal 
Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Ocala, Florida
jhalstead@btschool.org

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Religious Liberty Group Suing San Diego Schools Over CAIR-backed ‘Islamophobia’ Program

Betsy DeVos Says We Should ‘Start Fresh’ on Higher Ed. Here’s Where to Begin

Is School Driving Kids Literally Crazy? by Kerry McDonald

May can be a particularly dangerous month for schoolchildren. According to 13 years of recent data collected on mental health emergency room visits at Connecticut Children’s Mental Health Center in Hartford, May typically has the most.

Under Pressure

Boston College psychology professor, Peter Gray, looked more closely at this data and found that children’s mental health is directly related to school attendance. Dr. Gray found that children’s psychiatric ER visits drop precipitously in the summer and rise again once school begins. The May spike likely coincides with end-of-school academic and social pressures.

Dr. Gray concludes:

“The available evidence suggests quite strongly that school is bad for children’s mental health. Of course, it’s bad for their physical health, too; nature did not design children to be cooped up all day at a micromanaged, sedentary job.”

School-related anxiety and depression are real, serious issues that can lead to catastrophe, as evidenced by the rising suicide rate among children. In fact, according to the CDC, the suicide rate among 10 to 14 year olds has doubled since 2007. And for girls in that age group, the suicide rate has tripled over the past 15 years.

Beyond these extreme mental health crises, Dr. Gray’s research, and that of others, has shown that generalized anxiety and depression are skyrocketing in children. Dr. Gray maintains that much of this rise in anxiety and depression in children is due to lengthier, more restrictive schooling over the past several decades. He writes:

Children today spend more hours per day, days per year, and years of their life in school than ever before. More weight is given to tests and grades than ever. Outside of school, children spend more time than ever in settings in which they are directed, protected, catered to, ranked, judged, and rewarded by adults. In all of these settings adults are in control, not children.”

A national study of trends in adolescent depression rates found that teens reporting a major depressive episode (MDE) within the previous year skyrocketed from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.5% in 2014. The report, published last November in the journal Pediatrics, reveals: “The risk of depression sharply rises as children transition to adolescence.” The researchers cite stress and bullying as contributing factors.

More Stressed than Adults

A 2013 study by the American Psychological Association found that school is the main driver of teenage stress, and that teenagers are more stressed-out than adults. According to the study: “Teens report that their stress level during the school year far exceeds what they believe to be healthy (5.8 vs. 3.9 on a 10-point scale) and tops adults’ average reported stress levels (5.8 for teens vs. 5.1 for adults).”

The report reveals that 83% of teens said that school was “a somewhat or significant source of stress,” with 27% of teens reporting “extreme stress” during the school year. Interestingly, that number declines to just 13% in summer.

Curious about mounting data showing correlations between school attendance and anxiety, Dr. Gray conducted his own informal, online survey of children who left conventional schooling for homeschooling or other forms of alternative education.

He found that, specifically for children previously labeled ADHD, often with related anxiety issues, “the children’s behavior, moods, and learning generally improved when they stopped conventional schooling…” Results were particularly positive when children engaged in self-directed education, like unschooling, where they had more freedom and control of their own learning.

An advocate of autodidacticism, and founder of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, Dr. Gray urges parents and educators to think critically about the potential negative impacts of coercive schooling on children’s health and well-being. He asserts:

“We don’t need to drive kids crazy to educate them. Given freedom and opportunity, without coercion, young people educate themselves.”

Kerry McDonald

kerry_mcdonaldjpg (1)Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.

EDITORS NOTE: Get trained for success by leading entrepreneurs. Learn more at FEEcon.org

VIDEO: President Trump’s Remarks at the Liberty University Commencement Ceremony

President Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Saturday, May 13th, 2017.

TRANSCRIPT

Thank you very much. everybody. And congratulations to the class of 2017. That’s some achievement.

This is your day and you’ve earned every minute of it. And I’m thrilled to be back at Liberty University, I’ve been here, this is now my third time, and we love setting records, right. We always set records. We have to set records, we have no choice.

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve spoken on your beautiful campus and so much has changed. Right here, the class of 2017 dressed in cap and gown, graduating to a totally brilliant future. And here I am standing before you as President of the United States, so I’m guessing — there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things, either one, would really require major help from God. Do we agree? And we got it.

But here we are celebrating together on this very joyous occasion, and there is no place in the world I’d rather be to give my first commencement address as President than here with my wonderful friends at Liberty University. And I accepted this invitation a long time ago. I said to Jerry that I’d be there, and when I say something I mean it.

I want to thank President Jerry Falwell and his incredible wife, Becky, stand up, Becky, for their kind words, their steadfast support, and their really wonderful friendship. Let me also extend our appreciation to the entire Falwell family, Trey, Sarah, Wesley, Laura, and Caroline, thank you for everything you do to make this university so exceptional, one of the truly great, great schools.

Most importantly to our new graduates: Each of you should take immense pride in what you have achieved. There’s another group of amazing people we want to celebrate today and they are the ones who have made this journey possible for you, and you know who that is? Nobody, you forgot already. You’re going to go out, you’re going to do whatever you’re going to do, some are going to make a lot of money, some are going to be even happier doing other things — they’re your parents and your grandparents, don’t forget them. You haven’t forgotten yet, have you? Never, ever forget them, they’re great.

And especially this weekend, let’s make sure we give a really extra special thanks to the moms. Don’t forget our moms, because graduates, today is your day. Today is your day. But in all of this excitement don’t forget that tomorrow is Mother’s Day, right? I had a great mother, she’s looking down, now but I had a great mother. I always loved Mother’s Day.

We’re also deeply honored to be joined by some of the nearly 6000 service members, military veterans and military spouses who are receiving their diplomas today. Will you please stand. Please stand. Wow. That’s great. Thank you very much, great job. We’re profoundly grateful to every single one of you who sacrificed to keep us safe and protect God’s precious gift of freedom. It is truly a testament to this university and to the values that you embrace that your graduating class includes so many patriots who have served our country in uniform. Thank you very much.

To the class of 2017: Today you end one chapter but you are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Just think for a moment of how blessed you are to be here today at this great, great university, living in this amazing country, surrounded by people who you love and care about so much. Then ask yourself, with all of those blessings, and all of the blessings that you’ve been given, what will you give back to this country and, indeed, to the world? What imprint will you leave in the sands of history? What will future Americans say we did in our brief time right here on Earth? Did we take risks? Did we dare to defy expectations? Did we challenge accepted wisdom and take on established systems? I think I did, but we all did and we’re all doing it.

Or did we just go along with convention, swim downstream, so easily with the current and just give in because it was the easy way, it was the traditional way or it was the accepted way? Remember this, nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy. Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right — and they know what is right, but they don’t have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it. It’s called the road less traveled.

I know that each of you will be a warrior for the truth, will be a warrior for our country, and for your family. I know that each of you will do what is right, not what is the easy way, and that you will be true to yourself, and your country, and your beliefs. In my short time in Washington I’ve seen firsthand how the system is broken. A small group of failed voices who think they know everything and understand everyone want to tell everybody else how to live and what to do and how to think. But you aren’t going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you’re right. And those of you graduating here today, who have given half a million hours of charity last year alone, unbelievable amount of work and charity and few universities or colleges can claim anything even close, we don’t need a lecture from Washington on how to lead our lives. I’m standing here looking at the next generation of American leaders. There may very well be a president or two in our midst. Anybody think they’re going to be president, raise your hand.

In your hearts are inscribed the values of service, sacrifice and devotion. Now you must go forth into the world and turn your hopes and dreams into action. America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers. When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times, because in America we don’t worship government we worship God. That is why our elected officials put their hands on the Bible and say, ‘So help me God,’ as they take the oath of office. It is why our currency proudly declares, ‘In God we trust,’ and it’s why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance.

The story of America is the story of an adventure that began with deep faith, big dreams and humble beginnings. That is also the story of Liberty University. When I think about the visionary founder of this great institution, Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., I can only imagine how excited he would be if he could see all of this and all of you today, and how proud he would be of his son and of his family.

In just two days we will mark the 10th anniversary of Reverend Falwell’s passing, and I used to love watching him on television, hearing him preach, he was a very special man. He would be so proud not just at what you’ve achieved but of the young men and women of character that you’ve all become. And Jerry, I know your dad is looking down on you right now and he is proud, he is very proud, so congratulations on a great job Jerry. Reverend Falwell’s life is a testament to the power of faith to change the world. The inspiring legacy that we see all around us in this great stadium — this is a beautiful stadium and it is packed. I’m so happy about that. I said, ‘How are you going to fill up a place like that?’ It is packed, Jerry.

In this beautiful campus and in your smiling faces but it all began with a vision. That vision was of a world class university for evangelical Christians. And I want to thank you, because boy did you come out and vote, those of you that are old enough, in other words your parents. Boy oh boy, you voted, you voted.

No doubt many people told him his vision was impossible, and I am sure they continued to say that so long after he started, at the beginning with just 154 students, but the fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can’t be done. Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done. But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics. the future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say because they truly believe in their vision.

At Liberty your leaders knew from the very beginning that a strong athletic program would help this campus grow so that this school might transform more lives. That is why a crucial part of Reverend Falwell’s vision for making Liberty a world-class institution was having a world-class football team much like the great teams of Notre Dame, great school, great place, in fact, Vice President Mike Pence is there today doing a fabulous job as he always does.

A few years ago, the New York Times even wrote a story on the great ambitions of the Liberty Flames. That story prompted a longtime president of another school to write a letter to Jerry. It’s a letter that Reverend Falwell would have been very, very pleased to read. Jerry tells me that letter now hangs in the wall in the boardroom of your great university. It came from the late Father Theodore Hesper, who was the beloved president of the university of Notre Dame 35 years ago. Like this school’s founder, he was a truly kindhearted man of very, very deep faith. In the letter, Father Hesper recalled that Notre Dame’s own meteoric rise from a small Midwestern school to a national football powerhouse. And then he wrote something so amazing and generous. He wrote, ‘I think you are on that same trajectory now and I want to wish you all the best and encourage you from the starting and from being able to start very small and arriving in the big time.’

Thanks to hard work, great faith, and incredible devotion those dreams have come true. As of February of this year, the Liberty Flames are playing in the FBS, the highest level of competition in NCAA football. Don’t, don’t clap, that could be tough. Don’t clap. That could be tough. I’m a little worried. I don’t want to look at some of those scores here. Jerry, you sure you know what you’re doing here? Those other players are big and fast and strong but I have a feeling you’re going to do very well, right?

From the most humble roots you’ve become a powerhouse in both education and sports. And just wait until the world hears the football teams you’ll be playing on your schedule starting next season. President Falwell gave me a list of some of those schools, the ones you’re going to be playing 2018. Would you like me to read the names? Just came out, would you like to hear them? I’m a little bit concerned. UMass, Virginia, Auburn — Jerry, are you sure you know what you’re doing? Jerry, Auburn? I don’t know about that James. This could be trouble, Jerry. Rutgers, Old Dominion, Brigham Young, Army — I might be at that game, who am I supposed to root for? Tell me. I don’t know. That’s a tough one, Jerry. I don’t know, Jerry, I’m going to have to think about that one, Jerry. Buffalo, Troy, Virginia Tech, oh no, Jerry, Ole Miss and wake forest, those are really top schools. maybe in four or five years I’ll come to a game, right, you’ll build it up. Well good luck.

The success of your athletic program arriving on the big stage should be a reminder to every new graduate of just what you can achieve when you start small, pursue a big vision and never, ever quit. You never quit. If I give you one message to hold in your hearts today, it’s this. Never, ever give up. There will be times in your life you’ll want to quit, you’ll want to go home, you’ll want to go home perhaps to that wonderful mother that’s sitting back there watching you and say, ‘Mom, I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ Just never quit. Go back home and tell mom, dad, I can do it, I can do it. I will do it, you’re going to be successful. I’ve seen so many brilliant people, they gave up in life, they were totally brilliant, they were top of their class, they were the best students, they were the best of everything, they gave up. I’ve seen others who really didn’t have that talent or that ability and they’re among the most successful people today in the world because they never quit and they never gave up. So just remember that. Never stop fighting for what you believe in and for the people who care about you.

Carry yourself with dignity and pride. Demand the best from yourself and be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures. Does that sound familiar by the way? The more people tell you it’s not possible, that it can’t be done, the more you should be absolutely determined to prove them wrong. Treat the word ‘impossible’ as nothing more than motivation. Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. Embrace that label — being an outsider is fine, embrace the label — because it’s the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference. The more that a broken system tells you that you’re wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead, you must keep pushing forward.

And always have the courage to be yourself. Most importantly, you have to do what you love. You have to do what you love. I’ve seen so many people, they’re forced through lost of reasons, sometimes including family, to go down a path that they don’t want to go down, to go down a path that leads them to something that they don’t love, that they don’t enjoy. You have to do what you love, or you most likely won’t be very successful at it. So do what you love.

I want to recognize a friend who is here with us today, who can serve as an inspiration to us all. Someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit’. Real champion. A true, true champion. Both on the field, off the field, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, really a good friend of mine, an amazing guy, Jim Kelly, where is Jim, he’s here some place. Where is Jim, stand up, Jim. What a great man. Jim Kelly, he was tough. Jim do you have any idea how much money you’d be making today? They’d hit Jim, it was like tackling a linebacker. They’d hit Jim, four guy, five guys that weighed 320, and he’d just keep going down the field. He was much more than a quarterback. He had tremendous heart and he knew how to win. Jim is tough, and his toughest fight of all was that he beat cancer not once but twice.

And I saw him and his incredible wife as they were in a very low moment, Jill, very, very low moment, and it was amazing the way they fought. It didn’t look good, I would have said, maybe, maybe it’s not going to happen. But there was always that hope because of Jim and Jim’s heart. But I want to just say it’s great to have you here today Jim and these people are big, big fans and if you can get a young version of Jim Kelly, you’ll be beating a lot of teams, Jerry.

So, interestingly, though, I said ‘I wonder what Jim’s doing here,’ his daughter Erin crosses the goal line to you and today with you so, Erin, stand up. Where are you, Erin? Where is Erin? Congratulations, Erin. Congratulations. Graduating from Liberty. Great choice, thank you.

Liberty University is a place where they really have true champions and you have a simple creed that you live by: To be, really, champions for Christ. Whether you’re called to be a missionary overseas, to shepherd a church or to be a leader in your community, you are living witness of the gospel message of faith, hope and love. And I must tell you I am so proud as your president to have helped you along over the past short period of time. I said I was going to do it, and Jerry, I did it. And a lot of people are very happy with what’s taken place, especially last week, we did some very important signings, right James? Very important signings.

America is better when people put their faith into action. As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what’s in your heart.

We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings. America is beginning a new chapter. Today each of you begins a new chapter as well. When your story goes from here, it will be defined by your vision, your perseverance and your grit. That’s a word Jim Kelly knows very well, your grit. In this, I’m reminded of another man you know very well and who has joined us here today. His name is George Rogers, Liberty University CFO and vice president for a quarter of a century. During World War II, George spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war. He saw many of his fellow soldiers die during the Bataan death march. He was the victim of starvation and torture as a prisoner of war. When he was finally set free he weighed just 85 pounds and was told he would not live past the age of 40. Today George is 98 years old.

Great. That’s so great, George. If anyone ever had reason to quit, to give in to the bitterness and anger that we all face at some point, to lose hope in God’s vision for his life, it was indeed George Rogers. But that’s not what he did. He stood up for his country, he stood up for his community. He stood up for his family and he defended civilization against a tide of barbarity, the kind of barbarity we’re seeing today and we’ve been witnessing over the last number of years and I just want to tell you as your president, we are doing very, very well in countering it, so you just hang in there. Things are going along very, very well. You’ll be hearing a lot about it next week from our generals Things are going along very, very well.

Through it all, he kept his faith in God, even in the darkest depths of despair. Like so many others of his generation, George came home to a nation full of optimism and pride and began to live out the American dream. He started a family, he discovered God’s plan for him and pursued that vision with all his might, pouring his passion into a tiny college in a place called Lynchburg, Virginia. Did you ever hear of that? Lynchburg? We love, we love it. Do you like it? We like it, right? I flew over it a little while ago. It’s amazing, actually. What started as a dream with a few good friends he helped shepherd into the largest Christian university in the world. Just look at this amazing, soaring, growing campus and I’ve been watching it grow because I’ve been a friend of Liberty for a long time, now, Jerry. It’s been a long time.

Thanks in great part George’s financial stewardship hundreds of thousands of young hearts and souls have been enriched at Liberty and inspired by the spirit of God. George, we thank you, and we salute you, and you just stay healthy for a long time, George, thank you.

Now it falls on the shoulders of each of you here today to protect the freedom that patriots like George earned with their incredible sacrifice. Fortunately you have been equipped with the tools from your time right here on this campus to make the right decisions and to serve God, family and country. As you build good lives, you will also be rebuilding our nation. You’ll be leaders in your communities, stewards of great institutions and defenders of liberty and you will be great mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers, loving friends and loving family members. You will build a future where we have the courage to chase our dreams no matter what the cynics and the doubters have to say. You will have the confidence to speak the hopes in your hearts and to express the love that stirs your souls. And you will have the faith to replace a broken establishment with a government that serves and protects the people.

We must always remember that we share one home and one glorious destiny whether we are brown, black or white. We all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all salute the same great American flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. As long as you remember what you have learned here at Liberty, as long as you have pride in your beliefs, courage in your convictions and faith in your God, then you will not fail.

And as long as America remains true to its values, loyal to its citizens, and devoted to its creator, then our best days are yet to come, I can promise you that. This has been an exceptional morning. It’s been a great honor for me and I want to thank you, the students. I also want to thank you, the family, for getting them there ,and I want to thank and congratulate Liberty. May God bless the class of 2017. May god bless the United States of America. May God bless all of you here today. Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you.

Lawmaker Calls for the Repeal of Compulsory Schooling by Kerry McDonald

Most Americans agree that an educated citizenry is a priority for a thriving democracy. In fact, the first compulsory education statute was passed in Massachusetts Bay Colony not long after the Pilgrims arrived.

Forced Education in America

In 1642, that first compulsory education law prioritized childhood literacy, but it placed the responsibility on parents to educate their children.

It wasn’t until 1852 that Massachusetts passed the country’s first compulsory schooling statute, requiring attendance at a state-approved school.

That law required 12 weeks of school attendance per year for 8 to 14 year-olds, paltry in comparison to the minimum 180 days a year now mandated by most states.

Let Parents Choose

A lawmaker in Arizona is hoping to challenge the 165-year experiment with compulsory schooling, and once again place parents, not the state, in charge of children’s education. Paul Mosley, a junior Republican legislator in the Arizona House of Representatives, wants to repeal compulsory education laws that he says limit choice and parental empowerment.

On his campaign website, Mosley writes:

“A good quality education is essential in preparing the next generation. I believe that parents understand the needs of their children better than bureaucrats and I am a proponent of education choice. Competition in education is good and I support district schools, charter schools, private schools, home schooling and tuition tax credits.”

The U.S. spends more on education than most other developed countries.

This week, Mosley elaborated on his vision for broader education choice by calling for the elimination of restrictive, outdated compulsory schooling laws. In an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Mosley states, “The number one thing I would like to repeal is the law on compulsory education.”

Mosley challenges the idea of the state, and not the parents, being in charge of children’s education. He says:

“So now it’s not the parents’ responsibility to educate their children. It’s the state’s responsibility because the state took it from the parents

The Results Are InRepresentative Mosley joins a growing number of citizens concerned about the rise in forced schooling and the decline in overall competence. Despite data showing that the U.S. spends more on education than most developed countries, current education outcomes are disappointing.

On international comparison tests, such as the well-regarded Programme for International Student Assessment, U.S. students are lagging far behind their peers in other nations, with U.S. 15-year-olds ranking 38th out of 71 countries in math, and 24th in science.

According to the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress—known more widely as the Nation’s Report Card—student reading and math skills declined.

Over the last century, education and schooling have become inextricably linked, to the point where it’s hard to imagine being educated without being schooled.

Perhaps by separating education from forced government schooling, and equipping parents with broader education choice, we can achieve better education outcomes for all children.

Republished from Intellectual Takeout.

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.

RELATED ARTICLE: Betsy DeVos Says We Should ‘Start Fresh’ on Higher Ed. Here’s Where to Begin

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Victimhood Has Become the Ultimate Status Symbol by Sean Rife

In recent years, campus activists have become an increasingly visible aspect of American life. In 2015, Yale professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis came under fire for encouraging students to critically consider a new policy on Halloween costumes. The controversy reached a boiling point when Nicholas Christakis met student demonstrators in a courtyard and attempted to engage them in discussion:

More recently, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray and Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger were assaulted shortly after they were driven out of a lecture hall where Murray was scheduled to speak. The protesters succeeded in shutting down the talk by simply speaking over him:

This behavior is condemnable for a host of reasons, the least of which is that much of what the protesters are shouting is just factually incorrect (for example, Murray has long supported gay marriage, but the chant “racist, sexist, anti-gay” is simply too good to pass up). That the protesters eventually resorted to violence speaks to their moral certitude (a phenomenon that can be observed in other, similar protests), which is all the more troubling.

And yet, there are seemingly respectable people willing to defend this kind of savagery. Writing for Slate, Osita Nwanevu argued that the protesters were correct (and presumably, the violence that they employed was acceptable) because Trump: “In the Trump era, should we side with those who insist that the bigoted must traipse unhindered through our halls of learning? Or should we dare to disagree?” At Inside Higher Education, John Patrick Leary quipped that the protesters had “every right to shout him down.”

Disagreement is one thing. But shouting down opponents or – worse – engaging in violence in an effort to silence them is something else.

Cultural Evolution: From Honor to Dignity

In a country that has traditionally touted its tolerance for the expression of a diverse range of views, how did we get here? Let’s take a moment to review American cultural evolution.

Anyone who thinks that the nasty tone of American politics today is a historical anomaly should take a brief stroll down Google Lane and read about the Hamilton-Burr duel. The short version goes like this: Alexander Hamilton (former Secretary of Treasury) and Aaron Burr (Vice President of the United States) are longstanding political rivals. Upon learning that Hamilton had made particularly bruising comments about him at an elite New York dinner party, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel. On July 11th, 1804, Burr shot Hamilton, who died the following day.

This sordid moment in American history is a classic example of what social scientists call a “culture of honor” – that is, a culture in which one’s reputation is made and maintained by a protective attitude and aggression toward those who would attempt to exert their dominance. Reputation – what others think of you – is paramount.Such cultures are blessedly rare in the Western world, having been largely supplanted by what sociologist Peter Berger called “dignity culture.” In dignity cultures, a person’s worth is internal, and isolated from public opinion. What matters most is how one handles the minor slings and arrows that accompany many human interactions; a person with dignity does so quietly, usually by addressing the offending party directly and in private, if at all.

Dignity cultures are necessarily individualistic. There is no widespread notion of common guilt. Human agency is, by implication, paramount. It should be no surprise that for most of the 20th Century, Western societies have evolved to prize dignity over honor.

Let me be clear: this is a good thing. Most of us would recoil in horror at the thought of Mike Pence killing Jack Lew in a duel. I do not consider this point to be controversial. Some cultures are better than others, and Western culture today is certainly morally superior to its earlier instantiations, where slavery, sexism, and segregation were the norm. A culture in which dignity rather than honor is the standard bearer should be regarded as an appreciable improvement.

Victimhood Culture

But for many young Americans (and yes, this does appear to be a uniquely American phenomenon), the notion of quietly bearing one’s trials has become passe. Getting back to the issue at hand: I believe that much of what we have witnessed on college campuses in recent years can be explained by the rise of what sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning call “victimhood culture.” They state:

A culture of victimhood is one characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large. Domination is the main form of deviance, and victimization a way of attracting sympathy, so rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization.

Watch the videos again: these students are engaging in precisely the behavior Campbell and Manning describe. They are demanding recognition of various victimhood statuses, and are unwilling to engage in any form of dialogue with those with whom they disagree. The category of “victim” is a moral absolute: no one can argue in favor of its fallibility.

But our understanding of victimhood culture and its relationship with the campus culture wars is incomplete without a commensurate recognition of what Nick Haslam calls concept creep: our understanding of what constitutes harm has broadened to include unintentional verbal slights, rather than being limited to overt, deliberate physical aggression.

This can be seen throughout the footage in question, but is particularly visible at one point in the Yale/Christakis row, when complaints take a turn for the hyperbolic: in response to an attempt by Christakis to appeal to the common humanity of everyone present, one student replies that such appeals are inappropriate “because we’re dying!”

It is difficult to understand how a student at one of the world’s top universities – well positioned to enter the halls of power after graduation – could reasonably be considered a member of an oppressed group, much less one that is being exterminated. Students at Yale, regardless of race or ethnicity, are among the cognitive and social elite. The idea that a simple e-mail about Halloween costumes could constitute an existential threat is nothing short of delusional.

But this observation is unlikely to quell the kind of uprising seen at Yale and Middlebury. As Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt point out, the students in these instances are likely engaging in a kind of emotional reasoning: making inferences about the state of the world based on their feelings, rather than an attempt to evaluate matters from a disinterested position that prizes objectivity.

Whither the Culture Of Victimhood

Advancing victimhood as a meritorious state while simultaneously expanding the criteria by which it is established means that those seeking social status are in constant competition. This “oppression olympics” (as some have termed it) means that marginalized status will become defined in an increasingly divisive manner. In this way, victimhood culture sows the seeds of its own destruction.

Indeed, it is no wonder that victimhood culture has risen to prominence on elite colleges in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Only under such relatively comfortable conditions could this kind of silliness prosper.

In fact, any worldview that prizes victimhood cannot survive outside the cloistered environment of a college campus. The real world – with its job markets, mortgage payments, and adult responsibilities – has a way of encouraging us to prize dignity over victimhood. Capitalism insists on results, and is relatively unconcerned with our subjective emotional evaluations of the world.

This is the primary reason why we ought not take the protesters at Yale and Middlebury too seriously. They will be forced to grapple with the real world and leave their activism behind.

Republished from Learn Liberty.

seanrifeSean Rife

Sean is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Murray State University.

7th Grader ‘Likes’ Toy Gun Photo on Instragram, Gets Suspended from School

If you follow gun control politics even casually, you know three things.

One, gun control advocates are positively and unshakable fixated – not just on taking your guns – but on making the very idea of a gun a thoughtcrime.

Two, there is nothing “reasonable” about their methods or their goals.

Three, their activities have nothing to do with public safety (or reality, in most cases) and instead spring from a pathological impulse to assert their will and ideology over others.

Occasionally, though, their zealousness and absurdity are so extreme that you have to wonder how much steeper the slippery slope can get.

Ground Zero for all that epitomizes the antigun worldview is any place that purports to “educate” young minds. And young people just love to communicate with each other on social media about their shared pastimes.

When you put the two together, you get what happens to Zachary Bowlin, a hapless kid just trying to get through Edgewood Middle School in Trenton, Ohio on his way to growing into adulthood. Zachary is hapless because he is surrounded by unreasonable people acting as educators.

Last week, according to a report by the local Fox affiliate WBRC (Fox19 News), Zachary was innocently minding his own business, doing what millions of other American kids do at night after school. He was checking his social media account, in this case, the video and image-sharing app, Instagram.

Coming across a friend’s picture of a realistic-looking Airsoft gun, Airsoft enthusiast Zachary pushed “Like,” an absent-minded gesture many people engage in dozens of times a day on images depicting such things as pets, deserts, and objects involved in hobbies they share with their friends.

The next morning, Zachary told a WBRC reporter, school officials “called me down … patted me down and checked me for weapons, then they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.”

According to a note from the school the Bowlins provided to the reporter, Zachary was to be suspended effective May 4, with his return date to be determined later. The reason: “Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”

AOL.com posted a picture of the offending post, which merely depicted the plastic gun on the table, with the caption, “Ready.”

To say that the post, to a casual observer, would indicate potential school violence would be akin to claiming that a picture of the sun would indicate the potential of a cataclysmic gravitational collapse that would extinguish all life on earth.

Except that the sun really is dangerous and Airsoft guns really are not.

To be fair, you could imagine a scenario where a facially innocent picture of a toy gun on social media was merely one in a series of circumstances known to school officials that would justify them taking strong action.

But that wasn’t this case. Indeed, Superintendent Russ Fussnecker essentially admitted that the school’s reaction was based only on the picture, coupled with his own vivid imagination about its worst possible significance.

“When you’re dealing with school districts nowadays and there are pictures of guns, regardless of the kind of gun it is, it’s a gun,” Fussnecker told WLWT News in Cincinnati. “And there are certain images or words, I can’t determine if that’s playful or real. And until I can get to an investigation, I have to look into it, those students have to be removed.”

Fortunately, Zachary’s parents knew enough to go to the media, whose intervention apparently allowed cooler heads to prevail. The school eventually rescinded the suspension (at least of Zachary, the student who posted the photo remains barred from school), but Superintendent Fussnecker appeared ready to stick to his … well … delusions in a statement to Fox19 News.

“The Board has a ‘zero tolerance’ of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students,” it read. Fussnecker continued: “As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools, I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious [sic] including those who ‘like’ the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”

Superintendent Fussnecker – obviously no English major – apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the words “threat” or “endangers” or the irony of his own proposition. Taken at face value, the image was neither inherently threatening nor aimed in any overt way at the school or “educational process.” Zachery himself understood exactly what it meant. “I figured he’d cleaned his gun and was ready, wanting to play and stuff,” he explained to WLWT News. His father added, “The young man that posted it and my son, and probably four or five other kids, play airsoft in our field. … So I really wasn’t concerned.”

And if adverse effects on the “educational process” are the true concern, what is more likely to accomplish that than summarily suspending an innocent student for harmless behavior – not to mention exposing the entire school and its staff to national ridicule – before “investigating” the situation?

The real problem with this and other “zero tolerance” abuse isn’t just that it’s stupid or overbearing but that it means even decent, well-meaning kids have no path through school that isn’t mined with hysteria that could suddenly and unpredictably explode in their face and derail their future.

Fortunately, Zachary’s parents stood up for their son, and the school (to its credit) eventually did the right thing in his case.

But for every Zachary, who knows how many other students are harshly punished and stigmatized without recourse, simply because the educational establishment has officially adopted an antigun, anti-Second Amendment posture?

However many it is, it’s too many. And there’s certainly nothing to “Like” about that.