Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

By now, tons of ink has been spilled talking about the riot that happened prior to Milo Yiannopoulos’s performance at UC-Berkeley. Hopefully, this post will talk about something that hasn’t been talked about. I hope this takes a bit more of an historic perspective than those other articles. I hope this article exposes the wimpiness of the anarchist/Soros/progressive movement.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, UC-Berkeley gained notoriety for celebrating some of the greatest debates imaginable. The exchanges were testament to the intellectual heft of the students and personalities that participated in those debates. Today’s reporters, by contrast, talk about the students’ First Amendment rights to protest. Shame on them for that wimpy, obvious drivel. Nobody’s disputing the fact that students have the right to protest. That ‘reporting’ is missing the point, though.

The anarchists that inflict bodily harm on other students are the point that the MSM is missing. The point is that these anarchists aren’t interested in putting together a coherent argument, much less win a substantive debate. These rioters’ first instinct is to injure defenseless people. This is a perfect example of that:

People that pepper spray a student like that should be arrested, convicted and thrown in prison for lots of years. Period. That rioter’s intent was to harm and/or terrorize that young lady. There’s no justification for that.

BONUS QUESTIONS: Q1: Why do the anarchists show up wherever the Soros-funded protesters protest? Q2: Is Soros funding both operations?

Keeping the protesters and the rioters separate is important because the protesters, aka snowflakes, are intellectual wimps. They’re also fascists without knowing it. The snowflakes and anarchists don’t vote for Republicans. That word sets them off. If the Democratic Party wants to rebuild itself, they need to utterly repudiate these fascists’ actions. Otherwise, Democrats will become known as the party that won’t stand up to fascist or stand for the rule of law.

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Apparently, Brian Fallon didn’t get beat up enough during the election when his candidate, Hillary Clinton, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. After defending the worst presidential candidate in recent history, Fallon has decided that he’d like to match constitutional wits with Alan Dershowitz. Fallon wrote this op-ed to spin the Democrats’ BS that President Trump’s firing of an insubordinate acting AG was scandalous.

Fallon’s lightweight arguments aren’t persuasive. In the op-ed, Fallon said “It is an entirely appropriate exercise of the attorney general’s authority to determine whether, and how, to defend a president’s executive orders in the face of legal challenge. In this case, while Trump’s executive order may avoid explicit mention of banning Muslims or assigning preference to Christian refugees, the order will certainly have that discriminatory effect.”

Meanwhile, Prof. Dershowitz wrote that “Sally Yates is neither a hero, nor a villain. She made an honest mistake when she instructed the entire Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s wrong-headed executive order on immigration. The reasons she gave in her letter referred to matters beyond the scope of the attorney general. She criticized the order on policy grounds and said that it was not ‘right.'”

Firing Sally Yates wasn’t just proper. It was essential. She disagreed with President Trump’s policy. Prof. Dershowitz said that that’s wrong:

There are significant differences between the constitutional status of green card holders on the one hand, and potential visitors from another country who are seeking visas. Moreover, there are statutory issues in addition to constitutional ones. A blanket order to refuse to defend any part of the statute is overkill.

If she strongly disagreed with the policies underlying the order, she should have resigned in protest, and left it to others within the Justice Department to defend those parts of the order that are legally defensible.That’s what happens when you send a boy king to do a man’s job.

This article contains a little wishful thinking. Sen. Franken told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that “no Democrat will vote to confirm Betsy DeVos” and that “Democrats were actively looking for Republicans to vote against her.”

That’s wishful thinking and then some. There isn’t a chance that Republicans will vote against an education secretary that’s a major advocate for school choice. Further, I’m more than a little skeptical that all Democrats will vote against DeVos.

If all 48 Democrats and independents vote against school choice, Republicans will hang that around their necks in 2018. If Democrats play their obstructionist card on DeVos, they’ll get painted as the obstructionists that they are.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in full pander mode to the Democrats’ special interest allies, saying “The President’s decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefitted from the public education system in this country. Public education has lifted millions out of poverty, has put millions in good paying jobs, and has been the launching pad for people who went on to cure disease and to create inventions that have changed our society for the better.”

What Sen. Schumer omitted is that public schools have destroyed lots of young people’s lives while demolishing their potential. Then he said this:

Betsy DeVos would single-handedly decimate our public education system if she were confirmed. Her plan to privatize education would deprive students from a good public education, while helping students from wealthy families get another leg up. It would deprive teachers of a decent salary, and it would make it harder for parents to get a good education for their kids.

That’s more than a little over-the-top. That’s bordering on outright lying. Nobody thinks that a cabinet secretary can do all that without help from Congress, the Senate, the President and state legislatures.

If ever there was a reason why progressive spinmeisters should steer clear of getting interviewed by Tucker Carlson, Jonathan Gruber’s interview offers the biggest reason to avoid Carlson. During the interview, Carlson caught Gruber in his spin at least half a dozen times. Throughout most of the interview, Dr. Gruber came across as elitist and intellectually outmatched.

When Carlson asked Gruber why recent polling showed fairly strong disapproval of Obamacare, Dr. Gruber replied “I think they feel that way because there’s been a lot of misinformation about what the law has done.” Carlson immediately picked up on that, inquiring “You once famously said that the law got passed because of the stupidity of the American voter, not understanding the intricacies of the funding of this law. You since apologized but it seems as though you still feel that way. You just said people don’t like it because they don’t understand it. But I mean, it’s their health care. Are they that dumb that they don’t understand how great it is?”

That led to another misstep by Dr. Gruber when he said “Tucker, that isn’t what I said. What I said was inartful. That’s why I apologized.” Let’s get honest about something. What Dr. Gruber said wasn’t inartful. It was intentional. It was repeated:

Something that’s repeated that often isn’t off-the-cuff. It’s intentional. It’s elitist, too. Then there’s this exchange:

CARLSON: I thought this law was supposed to help everybody.
DR. GRUBER: This law was never supposed to help everybody, Tucker. The law was actually supposed to leave the vast majority of Americans alone.

That isn’t true. The plan was always intended to push people into policies that the ACA’s architects were pushing. That’s why Politifact rated President Obama’s statement that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as their Lie of the Year” a few years back. Dr. Gruber was exposed as a political shill Wednesday night. It isn’t that Dr. Gruber was “inartful.” It isn’t that he wanted people to keep their health care plans that they liked. It’s that he wanted to tell the people he thinks of as too stupid what’s best for them.
Watch this entire video. It’s a frightening insight into a progressive elitist’s mind:

Finally, this Trey Gowdy interrogation of Dr. Gruber is must-see TV:

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Minnesota State, aka MnSCU, has requested a budget increase of $178,000,000 over the next biennium. The higher education committees should reject that request if it isn’t tied to significant reforms. MnSCU is run by a chancellor who’s in way over his head. MnSCU’s Board of Trustees is, at least theoretically, supposed to provide oversight over the system. They’ve failed in that assignment.

The Department of Higher Education, which is run by former Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, hasn’t lifted a finger, either. The shop of cronies continues without interruption. No interventions are anticipated because, frankly, nobody wants to deal with the unpleasantness of doing what’s right for the taxpayers who support the system or the students who are attending MnSCU.

If you think that’s all, think again. The House and Senate Higher Education committees, chaired by Bud Nornes and Michelle Fischbach respectively, haven’t lifted a finger on oversight or proposed any reforms. This morning, I sent this email to Chairman Nornes:

I could’ve written a much longer letter if I’d wanted to but I’m confident Chairman Nornes got my point. The question now is whether he’ll act on this. I’m not confident about that. Large-scale reform of Minnesota State, aka MnSCU, is required. As I wrote in my email to Chairman Nornes, more Minnesota students have left for North Dakota and Wisconsin than students from North Dakota and Wisconsin have come here. That’s been happening for years. It’s time that stopped.

The mismanagement has been apparent to anyone who’s paid attention. It’s cheating taxpayers and students. It’s time to stop.

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Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight how unimaginative MnSCU leadership is, adding that the legislature isn’t doing its job in pushing much-needed reforms on MnSCU’s Central Office.

The chief culprit at MnSCU is Dr. Rosenstone, though he’s abetted by MnSCU’s Board of Trustees. As I said in Monday’s post, MnSCU’s Board of Trustees is meeting today. One of the big things that they’re thinking about is a permanent funding mechanism fund the universities. According to the Trustees’ information packet, the big thing that they’ll consider is identifying “additional sources of public revenue beyond the general revenue fund (e.g., dedicated lottery funds; local sales or property tax options; other dedicated state or local revenue streams) that could support our colleges and universities across the state.”

One of the things that’s led MnSCU into this situation is their declining enrollments. The problem is virtually system-wide. That points directly at Chancellor Rosenstone’s failed decision-making, MnSCU’s Board of Trustees’ lack of leadership and the Legislature’s invisible oversight.

The Board of Trustees failed Minnesota’s parents and students when they picked Dr. Rosenstone. Putting it bluntly, he was a political pick. The other candidate at the time had run a university, had legislative experience and was overqualified for the job. Dr. Rosenstone had none of those qualities. That didn’t matter to the Board of Trustees. They picked Dr. Rosenstone anyway. It wasn’t difficult to predict that Dr. Rosenstone wouldn’t succeed.

Throw in the GOP chairs of the Higher Education committees (Bud Nornes and Michelle Fischbach) and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Which thoughtful person can read this and think these committee chairs are serious?

House Higher Education Chairman Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, said serious decisions regarding higher education allocations will have to wait for the February economic and budget report. However, he said, he believes most representatives would see the new funding as a good investment.

“Between the University of Minnesota and (Minnesota State), it adds up to a pretty sizeable request,” he said. “But we trust it’s all needed. I don’t think anybody comes here and asks for more than we need.”

That’s disgraceful. It’s pretty obvious Chairman Nornes doesn’t know the first thing about negotiating. That funding request is, essentially, an opening bid.

Rosenstone’s administration hasn’t stopped North Dakota and Wisconsin from winning the recruiting wars the past 5+ years. That’s a leadership failure. MnSCU’s Board of Trustees hasn’t required Dr. Rosenstone to put together a plan to stop the outmigration of students from our state. That’s a failure of leadership, too. The House and Senate Higher Education committees haven’t brought in members of MnSCU’s trustees to grill them over what they’re doing to stop the outmigration of students from Minnesota to North Dakota and Wisconsin. That’s a failure of leadership.

It’s one thing when this happens 1-2 years. It’s another when it happens year after year. MnSCU’s declining enrollment and their financial predicament stem from their financial mismanagement and their lack of clear-sighted leadership.

This is what happens when cronyism is valued more than clear-sighted leadership. It’s something that shouldn’t be tolerated.

This article highlights MnSCU’s mismanagement under Chancellor Steve Rosenstone’s ‘leadership’. It’s stunning how wasteful they are.

Laura King, chief finance officer with Minnesota State, said “We are a substantial provider of trained citizens into the economies all across Minnesota. Those citizens are increasingly diverse, the communities are growing increasingly diverse and our colleges and universities stand to provide a tremendous service to the communities in years ahead, but we need to be financially healthy to do that.” What’s needed, according King, is a paltry “$178 million in additional state funding over two years.”

That’s only part of their spending increase story. A loyal reader of LFR sent me information on Minnesota State’s Plan B. According to the report, the state of Minnesota should partner “with Minnesota State colleges and universities to identify additional sources of public revenue beyond the general revenue fund (e.g., dedicated lottery funds; local sales or property tax options; other dedicated state or local revenue streams) that could support our colleges and universities across the state.”

That’s a Hail Mary attempt worthy of Aaron Rodgers. “Minnesota State”, which is what MnSCU is now officially called, knows that there isn’t even a slight chance of this happening with a Republican legislature. Republicans are looking at tax relief, not tax increases.

Minnesota State isn’t the only place where mismanagement is the rule, not the exception. This fossil needs to be replaced ASAP:

House Higher Education Chairman Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, said serious decisions regarding higher education allocations will have to wait for the February economic and budget report. However, he said, he believes most representatives would see the new funding as a good investment.

“Between the University of Minnesota and (Minnesota State), it adds up to a pretty sizeable request,” he said. “But we trust it’s all needed. I don’t think anybody comes here and asks for more than we need.”

That’s stunning. Rep. Nornes needs to be removed from that committee ASAP. Clearly, he isn’t interested in investigating whether the universities spend the state allocation wisely.

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To: Larry Jacobs, Walter F. Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota
From: Gary Gross, Uppity Peasant
Subject: The US Constitution

Dr. Jacobs, during your appearance on Almanac this past Friday night, you said that conservatives should be “on high alert” because President Trump didn’t mention the Constitution in President Trump’s Inaugural Speech. While that’s technically true in a narrowly defined way, it isn’t reality.

Early in President Trump’s Inaugural Speech, he stated “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.” Perhaps you didn’t recognize this constitutional principle but I definitely noticed it. I wasn’t alone, either, because that constitutional principle is called federalism.

The Tenth Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, the things that aren’t affirmative responsibilities of the federal government are sent to the states or the people by the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution.

Dr. Jacobs, it’s time you started reading the US Constitution so you don’t miss obvious constitutional principles like federalism.

Frankly, Dr. Jacobs, I’ll be thrilled if President Trump moves power out of Washington, DC. Based on the articles I’ve read, I think that’s quite possible.

This article highlights the disjointedness of the unhinged left. It also highlights universities’ political leanings. It isn’t surprising that the protest is being organized by a bunch of unhinged lefties.

According to the article, “St. Cloud State University and the College of St. Benedict are exploring options to send students, staff, faculty and the public to the Jan. 21 event.” When asked what they’ll be protesting, Jane Olsen, the director of the Women’s Center at St. Cloud State, said “Probably every single person you would ask would have a different response, as we’re taking our personal histories and experiences with us to the march. I think one, the importance and the belief in democracy is honored by being public and raising our voices about equity, respect, democracy, human rights and, really, a challenge to the behavior of Donald Trump and his associates during the campaign.”

TRANSLATION: We’re upset that Hillary lost. We’re upset that Trump won. We’re upset that a bunch of hicks from flyover country didn’t listen to their betters.

There’s really 2 issues in play here. The local issue is that large parts of SCSU are inhabited by unhinged, bitter progressives. Jane Olsen never tried organizing anti-Obama protests during President Obama’s inaugurations. This isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing.

Olsen is getting paid handsomely for a job that shouldn’t exist. Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for collegiate activists. If private citizens want to pay for collegiate activists, that’s their right. Olsen’s job isn’t essential, especially while SCSU is running a deficit. Here’s Olsen’s SCSU bio:

Jane Olsen has been the Director of the SCSU Women’s Center since its founding in 1989. She has more than 31 years of administrative, programmatic, activist and advocacy experience in women’s organizations in both Minnesota and Illinois. Olsen holds a master’s degree and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois-Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University). Her position includes responsibility for the overall program and administration, as well as budgeting, staffing, services and programming functions at the Women’s Center. Olsen is a member of the National Women’s Studies Association, including active participation in the national Women’s Center Committee. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Women’s Consortium from 2007 to 2013, and continues to support the Consortium through service on the Governance Committee. The Minnesota Women’s Consortium is a statewide coalition of 150 member organizations that support equality and justice for women and girls in Minnesota. (

After reading that, it isn’t surprising that SCSU is running a deficit.

Betsy DeVos has the chance of being one of the best secretaries of Education ever. According to this WSJ article, Mrs. DeVos has gone toe-to-toe with the ‘education establishment’ and lived to tell about it. In fact, she didn’t just live to tell about it, she defeated them. In fact, she didn’t just defeat them, she kicked some serious ass.

According to the WSJ article, “Mrs. DeVos is a philanthropist who has devoted years and much of her fortune to promoting school reform, especially charter schools and vouchers. She chairs the American Federation for Children (AFC).”

This year, “AFC was especially successful … as 108 of the 121 candidates it supported won their elections. AFC candidates in Florida won 20 of 21 targeted races. The group’s biggest coup was ousting a scourge of school choice in a Miami-Dade Senate district where Democrats are a majority. The teachers’ union dumped $1 million into the race but still lost.” [Editor’s note: winning 108 of 121 elections is a winning percentage of 89.25%, which certainly qualifies as kicking ass.

It’s especially heartening to see this many school choice advocates getting elected. They’re the future civil rights leaders of the next 15 years. Even more importantly, being seen as school choice advocates will help Republicans in minority communities irrespective of what Randi Weingarten said in this interview:

In Ms. Weingarten’s over-the-top statement, she said “In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America. DeVos has no meaningful experience in the classroom or in our schools. The sum total of her involvement has been spending her family’s wealth in an effort to dismantle public education in Michigan. Every American should be concerned that she would impose her reckless and extreme ideology on the nation.”

This is a perfect illustration of the left’s wanting money out of politics … if the money is spent opposing the left’s monopolies. Mrs. DeVos has spent a portion of her wealth trying to increase educational competition in the hopes of forcing the forces of the status quo into providing a better product. The reason why the minority community likes school choice is because public schools have failed their children too often.

Here’s hoping that Mrs. DeVos carries out President-Elect Trump’s school choice agenda when she’s confirmed.