Friday, March 14, 2014

Air Force Academy Removes Bible Verse From Cadet's Whiteboard

The Air Force Academy removed a Bible verse posted on a cadet's whiteboard after it determined the posting had offended other cadets, a spokesman for the academy said.

The cadet wrote the passage on the whiteboard posted outside his room. "I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me," the verse from Galatians read.

Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me 29 cadets and four faculty and staff members contacted his organization to complain about the Christian passage.  "Had it been in his room - not a problem," Weinstein told me. "It's not about the belief. It's about the time, the place and the manner."

He said the Bible verse on the cadet's personal whiteboard created a hostile environment at the academy.

"It clearly elevated one religious faith (fundamentalist Christianity) over all others at an already virulently hyper-fundamentalist Christian institution," he said. "It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism and supremacy at USAFA."

Who knew that a Bible verse posted on a whiteboard could generate such outrage?

Weinstein said he immediately contacted the Air Force Academy and filed a complaint. Exactly two hours and nine minutes later, the Bible verse had been scrubbed from the cadet's whiteboard.

A spokesman for the AFA confirmed that the religious text was cleansed from the board.  "The whiteboards are for both official and personal use, but when a concern was raised we addressed it and the comment was taken down," Lt. Col. Brus Vidal told me in a written statement."

Weinstein told me the Air Force Academy did a good job in fixing the problem and credited Lt. Col. Denise Cooper.  "She immediately said this is wrong and will use it as a teachable moment," he said.

The academy said the cadet will not be punished.  "We don't see misconduct here but the division between your personal room and the hallway is a gray area," Vidal said.

Weinstein took umbrage with that comment and said the cadet must be punished.  "It's not a gray area, this is absolute misconduct," he said. "Not only should the cadet be punished but (also) his/her responsible USAFA cadet and officer chain of command who ignored this blatant and egregious violation of Air Force regulation 1-1 and the United States Constitution."

The 1-1 regulation Weinstein cited is an extensive document with a section on religious proselytizing and other religious matters.

An academy spokesman tells me the whiteboard Bible verse did not violate Air Force regulations

Retired General Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council told me he was outraged by the removal of the Bible verse.  "Once the academy allowed cadets to use these whiteboards for their personal use, censorship of religious commentary is unacceptable," Boykin told me. "Either the Air Force Academy is very confused about the Constitution of the United States or they don't really believe in the liberties that are provided by that document."

Boykin said the academy needs to take a few moments for some personal reflection.  "In essence, what they are doing is preparing young men and women to defend the Constitution while at the same time depriving these cadets of their own constitutional liberties," he charged.

Michael Berry, an attorney with Liberty Institute, told me it appears the Air Force Academy's decision is in violation of a new Pentagon regulation meant to protect religious liberty.

"If the cadet didn't violate any rules, then why was the quote removed?" Berry asked. "It appears that the Air Force now believes Bible verses are now a violation of AFI 1-1."

Berry said Liberty Institute, which specializes in religious liberty cases, stands ready to defend any cadet whose religious rights have been violated.


Feminist Studies Professor Accused of Attacking Teenage Female Pro-Life Demonstrator


During a pro-life demonstration at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), a feminist-studies professor allegedly stole a sign at a pro-life demonstration before attacking a student attempting to retrieve it.

The pro-life demonstrators, mostly from nearby Thomas Aquinas College, were standing in the free-speech zone at a demonstration on March 4 alongside large three-by-five-foot displays of graphic abortion photos before Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young arrived. Miller-Young, who specializes in black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work, reportedly led a group of students to chant “tear down this sign,” while saying that abortion is a women’s right.

After leading the chant, Miller-Young allegedly took a sign from the group of twelve young students and stormed off with the UCSB students she was with. Then, one of the 16-year-old pro-life demonstrators, Thrin Short, followed Miller-Young to retrieve the sign, recording the incident on a video currently in the custody of Santa Barbara law-enforcement officials.

Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, the group that trained Short and some of the other demonstrators, detailed the students’ version of the events on their website, saying that Short followed Miller-Young to a building where she confronted the professor in an elevator, trying to get the display back. Miller-Young then reportedly scratched and pushed Short before leaving via the elevator.

The remains of the sign were reportedly found destroyed. Santa Barbara law-enforcement officials are currently investigating the incident.


Teacher orders British boy, 10, to remove Help for Heroes wristband worn in memory of Lee Rigby 'because it might cause offence'

A teacher allegedly ordered a 10-year-old boy to take off his Help for Heroes wristband because it could cause offence.

Tracy Tew was shocked when her son Charlie was put on a report card at Maldon Primary School in Essex after he refused to take off the charity rubber bracelet sold to honour injured soldiers.

Charlie wears the wristband - bought at the Colchester Military Festival - in honour of murdered solider Lee Rigby and service personnel in his family, including his great-granddad and uncle.

Mrs Tew, 38, a domestic service assistant at a hospital, said: ‘We are really proud of Charlie for sticking to his guns. He wanted to keep it on and he didn’t agree with the reasons why he shouldn’t.

The mother of two added: ‘When the teacher said she was worried it was going to offend people, I thought it was disgusting. Our family are up in arms because we are all military minded.  ‘With what happened with Lee Rigby, Charlie really wanted to wear a wristband.’

Drummer Rigby, 25, was killed by two Islamic fanatics in Woolwich, south-east London, in May last year. Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were jailed for the murder last month.

Headteacher Tracy Thornton insisted wearing wristbands is against the school’s jewellery policy.  She said: ‘They are not allowed to wear jewellery, and that includes wristbands, for health and safety reasons because they could get caught.

‘I can’t comment on what one particular teacher said, but for the general perspective of the school, the children are not allowed to wear jewellery except small silver studs and watches, which have to be taken off for PE.’

Bryn Parry, co-founder and CEO of Help for Heroes, told MailOnline: ‘A school's uniform policy is a matter for the principal and governors.  ‘However, over 6million wristbands are proudly being worn in support of our wounded servicemen and women, including many wristbands on the frontline in Afghanistan.

‘We have not heard of a single health and safety incident connected to them, nor have we ever had a complaint that they are offensive.

‘We do also have a wonderful range of other items such as lapel badges for those who are keen to show their support for our wounded.’

Terry Sutton, Colchester president of the Royal British Legion - a separate charity to Help for Heroes - said he has never heard of anyone taking offence to wristbands backing military charities.

He said: ‘It’s hard to see how the band would cause offence, except, I suppose, to the radical Muslim community. I don’t think that will be a problem in Colchester and in its surrounding area.

‘Help for Heroes bands are something young people in particular have latched onto and it’s great, as a former serviceman, to see them showing their support.’

The school has around 400 pupils aged between four and 11. In its last Ofsted report in January 2013, it was rated as 'good' overall - an improvement from 'satisfactory' in the previous inspection


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Left Versus Minorities

Thomas Sowell

If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left's avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now -- and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.

These schools have given thousands of low income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life. Last year 82 percent of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed city-wide mathematics exams, compared to 30 percent of the students in the city as a whole.

Why would anybody who has any concern at all about minority young people -- or even common decency -- want to destroy what progress has already been made?

One big reason, of course, is the teachers' union, one of Mayor de Blasio's biggest supporters. But it may be more than that. For many of the true believers on the left, their ideology overrides any concern about the actual fate of flesh-and-blood human beings.

Something similar happened on the west coast last year. The American Indian Model Schools in Oakland have been ranked among the top schools in the nation, based on their students' test scores. This is, again, a special achievement for minority students who need all the help they can get.

But, last spring, the California State Board of Education announced plans to shut this school down!

Why? The excuse given was that there had been suspicious financial dealings by the former -- repeat, former -- head of the institution. If this was the real reason, then all they had to do was indict the former head and let a court decide if he was guilty or innocent.

There was no reason to make anyone else suffer, much less the students. But the education establishment's decision was to refuse to let the school open last fall. Fortunately a court stopped this hasty shut-down.

These are not just isolated local incidents. The Obama administration has cut spending for charter schools in the District of Columbia and its Justice Department has intervened to try to stop the state of Louisiana from expanding its charter schools.

Why such hostility to schools that have succeeded in educating minority students, where so many others have failed?

Some of the opposition to charter schools has been sheer crass politics. The teachers' unions see charter schools as a threat to their members' jobs, and politicians respond to the money and the votes that teachers' unions can provide.

The net result is that public schools are often run as if their main function is to provide jobs to teachers. Whether the children get a decent education is secondary, at best.

In various parts of the country, educators who have succeeded in raising the educational level of minority children to the national average -- or above -- have faced hostility, harassment or have even been driven out of their schools.

Not all charter schools are successful, of course, but the ones that are completely undermine the excuses for failure in the public school system as a whole. That is why teachers' unions hate them, as a threat not only to their members' jobs but a threat to the whole range of frauds and fetishes in the educational system.

The autonomy of charter schools is also a threat to the powers that be, who want to impose their own vision on the schools, regardless of what the parents want. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to impose his own notion of racial balance in the schools, while many black parents want their children to learn, regardless of whether they are seated next to a white child or a black child. There have been all-black schools whose students met or exceeded national norms in education, whether in Louisiana, California or other places around the country. But Eric Holder, like Bill de Blasio, put his ideology above the education -- and the future life -- of minority students.

Charter schools take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.


British school head forced out by fanatics: They saw me as the enemy, says Muslim moderate

A Muslim headmistress told last night how she was driven out of her job by extremists bent on taking over state schools.

Her school is one of 12 apparently targeted by Islamic fundamentalists in a plot dating back two decades.

In a letter seen by the Mail, a fanatic brags about enlisting four radical parents to help oust her in 1993.

She said: ‘I was the victim of a pernicious, well-orchestrated smear campaign I have never been able to recover from.

‘People need to know this is a dangerous, well-organised and sinister group who have the capacity to destroy. They are producing fear in society and playing on paranoia. They are extremely powerful.’

The 69-year-old believes she was seen as an enemy because she was too moderate a Muslim. She was confronted with a number of allegations, including one of financial mismanagement.

Despite protesting her innocence her dismissal followed in 1994.

She added: ‘I was involved in a campaign so nasty that, since I lost the headship, I’ve never been able to raise my head above the parapet.

‘I was shocked to read this letter after 20 years and I am genuinely scared by it.’

Details of the extraordinary plot, which have been referred to the police, emerged on Friday after the letter was passed to Birmingham Council and a number of newspapers.

The unnamed author admits making false claims against several teachers in Birmingham in order to oust them.

The document discusses extending the ‘jihad’ operation to Bradford and Manchester – cities with fast growing Muslim populations.

The letter identifies specific schools as targets and names heads it claims to have ousted through dirty tricks campaigns, forged resignation letters and false allegations of cheating and financial irregularities.

It claims the former head of Birmingham’s Regents Park Primary, Tina Ireland, was forced to resign after the group ‘planted the seed’ that she was encouraging pupils to cheat in exams.

Another head, who is understood to have resigned following a plot to oust him, said he had been vindicated by exposure of the wider campaign, which the extremists called ‘Trojan Horse’.

Balwant Bains, former headmaster of Saltley School, said: ‘I had to leave. I am trying to move away from a very horrible, horrible experience, and I am pleased that it has been exposed.’

Another school – also named in the letter as a target – is alleged to have allowed extremist preachers into school assemblies.

Governors at Park View Academy, whose pupils are almost all Muslim, apparently organised an ‘extended Islamic assembly’ for its Year 10 and 11 children with Sheikh Shady Al Suleiman, who has called on Allah to ‘destroy the enemies of Islam’ and to ‘prepare us for the jihad’.

The academy was rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2012 and has been praised by the Prime Minister. But according to former staff, the Trojan Horse operation is taking hold.

A former supply teacher at the school told the Mail she was forced to wear the head scarf at work against her will.

Park View Academy, which is headed by Lindsey Clark, was given a snap Ofsted inspection this week after claims were raised of unfair treatment of non-Muslim staff.

The chairman of governors, Tahir Alam, is referred to several times in the letter as being involved in the plot. But the senior activist in the Muslim Council of Britain and vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools said the letter was a ‘malicious fabrication’.

Birmingham City Council has launched an investigation which is being monitored by police and the Department for Education.

The Mail understands Education Secretary Michael Gove met the leader of the council last month to discuss the documents.

The letter says: ‘We have caused a great amount of organised disruption in Birmingham and as a result we now have our own academies and are on our way to getting rid of more headteachers and taking over their schools.

‘Whilst sometimes the practices we use may not seem the correct way to do things you must remember this is a jihad.’


A dog's dinner! Clegg 'gave officials just hour's notice of chaotic' free school meals plan - then refused to listen to doubts

Nick Clegg ‘put his fingers in his ears’ when told his free school meals policy was in chaos, it was claimed last night.  The Deputy Prime Minister is accused of ignoring Whitehall warnings that the £1billion plan was a ‘dumb gimmick’.

Dominic Cummings – a former adviser to Education Secretary Michael Gove – said officials were given only one hour’s notice of the policy announcement.

On Monday, headteachers savaged the schools meal plan – for pupils aged four to seven – saying they did not have the facilities to cope with an extra 1.5million lunches.

Mr Cummings said the Department for Education had dismissed the policy but Mr Clegg struck a deal with David Cameron to be allowed to push it through in return for the Tories announcing marriage tax breaks.

‘Officials in the DfE were unanimous that it was a bad gimmick and introduced in a way that makes it hard to avoid implementation chaos. Officials were obviously right,’ Mr Cummings said.

He described the £150million funding announcement for new kitchens as a ‘back-of-the-fag-packet’ calculation from Mr Clegg’s spin doctors.

He added: ‘Because Clegg only thinks about politics ... he assumed that our opposition was because it was a Clegg idea. It wasn’t.

‘Our opposition was because it is a dumb idea, badly executed, which shows why politicians should have less power over schools.’

He had earlier tweeted: ‘Officials warned Clegg/Downing St and told them the £150million is junk but fingers in ears.’

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch and Nick Clegg’s dog’s dinner of a policy is proof of that.

‘Taxpayers are footing the bill for a policy that was about winning applause at conference rather than helping children or families struggling with the cost of living.’

Mr Laws dismissed the claims from Mr Cummings, saying: ‘What he said about the backdrop to the introduction of this policy is complete and utter balls. The DfE was not opposed to this policy, it was the result of pilots undertaken since 2009.

‘This stuff from Dom reflects his personal views, it doesn’t reflect the views of the Secretary of State, who I have spoken to extensively about this, including before our policy announcement.’

Mr Clegg weighed in with an article on the Lib Dem website, writing: ‘I would love the Liberal Democrats to be able to take all the credit, but the truth is that Whitehall has been looking at this for the last five years.

‘This isn’t back of the fag packet stuff. The evidence shows that free school meals make a real difference in our classrooms.’

But Labour said Mr Cummings’s claims amounted to ‘very serious allegations which call into question the quality of decision-making in the Department for Education and in the Coalition as a whole’.

Heads criticised new guidance that urges schools to ask pupils to choose their menu options at least two hours before they eat and operate staggered lunch breaks which could mean some youngsters eating as early as 11am.

Kevin Baskill, head of Christchurch Primary in Ilford, Essex, expressed his doubts about the policy yesterday.  ‘It’s a fantastic idea, but not very well thought out. It’s a pity they didn’t sort out the details and then announce it,’ he said. ‘What we’ve discovered is that we’ll end up with a scenario where every day is rather like a Christmas lunch.

‘I wanted a second canteen so 150 four-year-olds could have a nice pleasant experience at lunchtime. Now, I suspect, that will become a very busy canteen.

‘I know money has gone to local authorities that will be passed through to schools, but I’m not sure it will meet the huge demand.’

Peter Malcolm, head of Rayleigh Primary in Essex, said the school needed extra kitchen equipment.

‘We don’t know if we will get the funding yet, so we don’t know if we can even cook the food yet,’ he added. ‘It’s very difficult to make a plan, if you don’t know what you can afford to do,’ he said.

The free meals policy will save even the best-off families an average of £437 a year per child.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two Myths About the SAT

Since the recent announcement that major changes are coming to the SAT, I've seen about 10,000 articles claiming that (A) the correlation between family income and SAT scores proves that the test is biased against poor kids and (B) the SAT is easy for the rich to "game" through test prep.

There are indeed problems with the SAT, including problems relating to parental income. Here is a persuasive argument by Charles Murray that the SAT should be scrapped entirely and replaced by subject tests like the SAT II. But we shouldn't be shocked by the simple fact that parental income is linked to children's academic achievement, and the effects of "gaming" the SAT have been wildly exaggerated.

The problem with treating the SAT-income correlation as an argument in itself is that richer kids, fairly or unfairly, actually do have higher academic capabilities. As I've written before, and frankly as anyone with eyes in his head ought to know, there are numerous ways that parents can pass advantages on to their kids -- genes, better schools, better neighborhoods, and so on. The simple correlation between income and scores tells us nothing at all about whether the SAT has an income bias, because it's exactly what we would expect from a legitimate measure of academic ability.

Income gaps are evident on basically every academic measure we have. Here is an informative paper bringing together all sorts of achievement-test results in regards to the 90/10 gap -- the gap between kids at the 90th and 10th percentiles of parental income.

It provides two important charts, with Y axes indicating the gap in standard deviations. Here's the gap in reading:

And here's the gap in math:

As you can see, across plenty of different tests, in recent years the 90/10 gap has usually been a full standard deviation or more. Measuring the gap with one test instead of another makes little difference.

[Update: Also, the ACT and SAT show very similar income trends, as I show here.]

And what about "gaming" the SAT? Well, here is a report finding that SAT prep typically raises math scores 10-20 points and reading scores 5-10 points. The standard deviation of each subtest is around 110 points, and the black/white gap is about the same. What's more, free test-prep services are targeted toward poor and minority kids -- surprisingly, black and Hispanic kids are actually more likely to use test prep, and they gain slightly more than whites from doing so (though Asians seem to gain unusually large amounts, as much as 70 points).

I'm glad to see a discussion about the merits of the SAT. But let's drop these two unhelpful talking points.


Student government candidates at California university fined $100 for talking to reporters

Members of the university’s Associated Students, Inc., formerly known as the Elections Committee, met Friday to discuss next steps regarding the alleged violations. ASI spokeswoman Michelle Broom said the fines have since been suspended until staffers consult with legal counsel pertaining to the inconsistencies in the code.

Politicians have always loved to see their names in the newspapers, but at California Polytechnic State University, candidates for student government face fines of $100 just for talking to reporters.

J.J. Jenkins, editor-in-chief of the Mustang News, the school’s student newspaper, told that two of four candidates for president at the public university in San Luis Obispo have been fined $100 after they or their campaign staff spoke to the student-run publication. The students were notified they violated code banning active campaigning including “non-verbal public display” until 10 days before the April 23 election.

“I do think the poorly written code did not and does not allow the media to fully vet the candidates before the election,” Jenkins wrote in an email. “It also restricts information flowing to students, allowing the student government to, in a way, tailor what information the public gets and at what point they get it.”

“I do think the poorly written code did not and does not allow the media to fully vet the candidates before the election."
- J.J. Jenkins, editor-in-chief, Mustang News

Members of the university’s Associated Students, Inc., formerly known as the Elections Committee, met Friday to discuss the next steps regarding the alleged violations. ASI spokeswoman Michelle Broom said the fines have since been suspended until staffers consult with legal counsel pertaining to the inconsistencies in the code.

“Although we don’t know when we will hear back from our legal counsel, he is aware of the urgency of this matter,” Broom wrote in an email obtained by “We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Reached by phone on Monday, Broom referred to Friday’s statement and said ASI officials were working to provide additional information.

Jenkins, meanwhile, told that junior Connor Paquin and senior Joi Sullivan were both fined $100 prior to the announced suspension. Junior Jake Rogers was not fined, however, because a student who spoke to Mustang News was not officially associated to his campaign. A fourth student, Will Blumhardt, had spoken to the publication but was not directly fined, Jenkins said.

“They told us their [$100] filing fee will not be returned to them,” Jenkins told, referring to Paquin and Sullivan.

Jenkins said the election code was written so broadly that any mention of the candidates’ name in print — or “non-verbal” venues — is technically a violation.

“So basically, it’s so broad that if I write their names down on a sticky note and hand it out, that’s a violation,” he said.

The amount of the fine, Jenkins said, isn't peanuts for a college student either.

"$100 is probably about a week's worth of food or about a month's worth of utilities out here in California," he wrote in an email. "A lot of students work $10-an-hour jobs, so that's 10 hours of work and that might be all they have time for in a week."

It's bad enough to silence candidates in the name of a "level playing field," said Robert Shibley, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. But it is also not fair to expect the student newspaper to cover an election when it can't interview the candidates, he said.

"Students, like all Americans, depend on the press for information," he said. "Instituting rules that guarantee students will have less information about what's happening on campus is a very bad idea and teaches students the wrong lessons about free speech in our democratic society."

Michael Latner, a professor of political science at the school, said it’s not unusual for laws to restrict how long candidates can campaign prior to an election. But the “bizarre” takeaway of the code, he told, is that it limits an independent press, including the school’s student newspaper, from vetting candidates properly.

“It’s pretty clear that it’s had some adverse consequences,” Latner said of the code, adding that it amounts to a regulation on journalists. “The press has an obligation to provide information to voters prior to an election. If we think about this in the most general terms, the Framers recognized the crucial importance of a free press and the media provides the necessary vehicle for that.”

Latner urged ASI officials to reconsider the regulation despite perceived good intentions.

“It would certainly behoove ASI to rethink this regulation,” he said. “It seems clear to me that they didn’t think through the consequences,” he said.


UK: Strict health rules for school dinners scrapped despite warning against more than six spoons of sugar a day

Healthy eating rules which ensured children ate enough vitamins and minerals in school dinners are to be torn up, ministers said today.

The government claims rules setting out detailed nutritional standards for pupils are too complex and costly for school cooks.

However it comes just a day after the World Health Organisation warned children should try for less than six teaspoons and avoid cans of fizzy drink such as Coke altogether.

The changes to school meals are being made ahead of the introduction of free school meals for all infant pupils from this September.

To ensure pupils get a healthy, balanced diet, council-run schools must currently follow strict food and nutritional standards that set down the specific amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and vitamin A, that should be included in each meal.

However, the Department for Education said the regulations are difficult for schools to understand and have needed computer programmes to analyse the nutritional content of menus to ensure that they comply with the rules.

It follows an independent review of school food, led by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent of the Leon restaurant chain.

It is claimed some councils or catering companies had to pay for meals to be analysed costing around £20 for each recipe.

Now ministers have ditched the rules, and will instead just state the types of food and drink that pupils should be offered, for example fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.

The new standards will apply to all local council-run schools and new academies, although they will not initially be mandatory for existing academies.

Schools minister David Laws said: ‘With six months to go, we want to support and encourage all schools to step up their preparations and these extra measures will support them in doing so.

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and we know from pilots that children in schools that offer universal free school meals are academically months ahead of their peers and also more likely to eat vegetables at lunchtime instead of less healthy food like crisps.’

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg announced last year that from September 2014 all five to seven-year-olds  in England would be given a free school lunch.

But there was criticism that some schools were not prepared and would struggle to provide the meals at a high standard,

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: ‘All schools support the vision of providing nutritious meals to pupils but we must not underestimate the challenge of delivering it.

‘There are practicalities remaining to be addressed on how every primary will be able to deliver the full service by September - especially for those without existing catering facilities on site and with so many other initiatives hitting schools at the same time.’


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ditzy dame has 17 GCSEs

Which shows how corrupted the GCSE system became under Tony Blair

Gemma Worrall, 20, from Blackpool, sent a tweet referring to 'barraco barner' as 'our president'.  She had been watching a news programme about the unrest in Ukraine and decided — in hindsight, unwisely — to get involved in the debate.

‘If barraco barner is our president, why is he getting involved with Russia, scary,’ Gemma wrote.

It’s a corker of a gaffe by anyone’s standards. Making the most powerful man in the world sound more like the fizzy vitamin supplement Berocca is one thing. Demoting him to leader of the UK is quite another.

Gemma, a receptionist at a beauty salon in the seaside town, was quick to point out that politics is not her strong suit. But the ripple effect of her blunder was like nothing she could have foreseen.

Within just 12 hours, her comment had been retweeted (where people send on your tweet for others to read again) almost 7,000 times and screenshots of her words were appearing on television news programmes as far afield as Australia, Canada and America.

On Twitter, the hashtag #Barracobarner began trending across Britain (this means it was one of the most popular hashtags in the country). And a parody account @Barracobarner already has more than 1,500 followers.

It was clearly an extraordinarily dippy thing to write. So is Gemma as dumb as her tweet would have her appear?

While Gemma might not be signing up for Mensa any day soon, she’s certainly no Jade Goody. Softly spoken and articulate, she was educated at a local Catholic school and insists that she has 17 GCSEs — an extraordinary number, as most people obtain 11 at most — in subjects including English, Business Studies, Religious Education, Textiles, Technology and Media Studies, all with passes of grade C and above. She also says she has two A-levels, in Travel and Tourism.


What U Penn Teaches Muslim Law Students

Saturday evening, Feb. 22nd, University of Pennsylvania Law School hosted the "Eighth Annual Muslim Law Students Conference," on the topic of "MUSLIM OBLIGATIONS IN PROMOTING JUSTICE IN AMERICA." Our interest in Islamic law as American citizens is to learn first-hand exactly what Muslim American law students are being taught.

The fairly innocuous and well-meaning title of the program masked the true intent, which we believe is to lull the audience and our society into a false sense of complacency regarding the real aims and effects of Islamic incursion in our society - which Stephen Coughlin covers in his must-read thesis, " To Our Great Detriment."

We were greeted with "As-Salamu ' Alaykum" (Peace be upon you), upon entering the conference and by each speaker, prior to presentation. What a comforting greeting. I responded with "Aslim Taslam."

As is typically the case, conference attendees were highly educated and polite. This is a high-end mix of people who are difficult to fault on any personal level.

The attendees, primarily American and foreign Muslim law students, as well as a few foreign lawyers, presented a mixed canvas racially, yet each person is culturally Islamic and a member of the ummah, the global body of believers. The speakers and each future American lawyer we spoke with advised us that Islam has been misinterpreted for 1,400 years. Isn't that amazing? As if we had no ability to study the history of Islam from both Muslim and non-Muslim sources on our own.

We are authoring this report in response to what we believe is attempted hoodwinking, enabled by the practice of Taqiyya and Kitman, forms of lying encouraged in Islam, if such lying is to be useful for the spread of Islam. No other religion/culture encourages its adoption by lying. But, because Islam is also a political theory that embodies military notions, the ability to further aims by deception is enshrined in the Qur'an and in Shari'ah, as it would be on the battlefield. The intended recipients of this mendacity were not only us, but the attendees and the law school itself.

The first speaker, Professor Faisal Kutty, presented us with a bogus definition of the terms "jihad" and "Islamophobia." He spoke of jihad, as if it were apple pie with vanilla ice cream, splitting the term jihad into its normative components - the "Lesser Jihad," meaning defensive or offensive military struggle, and the "Greater Jihad," meaning, personal struggle for good against evil. She downplayed the importance of Jihad's military meaning to relative insignificance, ignoring the vast majority of references in the Qur'an on Jihad, compelling Muslims to wage a military struggle as the Sixth Pillar of Islam. 

Jihad is offensive.  Duplicity and deception as tactics to throw off the opponent are inherent in Islam and that's why Islam states that jihad is purely defensive. In fact, jihad was, and is still, used as the normative call to action in the military conquest of vast tracts of formerly Christian, Jewish ,Hindu lands within 100 years of its founding by Muhammad. That empire still stands in terms of the Islamic culture it forced on the conquered Nations and cultures.

The reality of jihad is that Islam considers itself to be supremacist and must triumph, be victorious, over all other religions and cultures. Islam compels Muslims to spread Islam to all corners of the earth, first by invitation, Aslim Taslam, which means, "Submit and Be At Peace."

And, if that isn't effective, then by the sword or forcing subject people to accept Dhimmi status.  Living in dhimmitude relegates subjects to second-class status, with vastly diminished rights, including no right for the Dhimmi peoples to defend themselves.  Muhammad conquered many with that simple statement, Aslim-Taslam, which was intended to strike terror into the hearts of those offered the choice, and it did. This is the beginning of the Muslim Mafia mentality, perfected by the Ikhwan, Wahhabis, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.

Likening it to the Mafia is no facile rhetoric. Islam offered three choices to the people of the book; Convert, Pay the Jy'izia tax or lose the right to life and property. So when Islam characterized this choice as the benefit of protection, one must ask, protection from whom? Obviously, the answer is protection from Islam, which reserved the right to take life and property if the conditions of conversion or the payment of the Jy'izia tax were not met. How different is this from the Black hand extorting protection money from the neighborhood grocer?

If Islam does not succeed in becoming the world's only true religion, then Muslims will not have fulfilled Allah's commands in the Qur'an. Thus, Muslims are obligated to proselytize Islam throughout the world through da'wa and Jihad. Whether violently or nonviolently, this is accomplished with 100% impunity from Allah, as per the Qur'an. One could make the comparison with Christianity being a proselytizing religion, but Christianity as found in the Gospels does not allow the use of violence to spread the faith, whereas, Islam specifically does. Muslims may quote the Koran saying, "There is no compulsion in religion." But, that statement is superseded and abrogated by later statements in the Koran that enthusiastically endorse violent compulsion in the spread of Islam.

Professor Faisal Kutty went on to make further incredible claims, saying that Terrorism had only killed 5 people in the last ten years. In this, presumably he was referring to within the US, and ignoring events like Major Hassan's slaughter of fellow military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas. But, he also ignored the more than 10,000 terror attacks worldwide, in the last 10 years; almost all committed by Muslims and in which, ironically, many of the victims were fellow Muslims as well. Thousands of Christians, Jews and Hindus were victims as well.

He also claimed that the popular definition of jihad is only accepted by the Taliban and by al-Qaeda, stating that they had sought to reinterpret the historical meaning of jihad to support their violent means. In this, he ignored 1,400 years of written teaching on Islam readily available from Muslim sources, as well as established treatment of jihad in recognized Sharia sources like, "The Reliance Of The Traveller,"  Shafi'i Shari'ah , Section O9.1- Page 600 - Justice-jihad. 

In reality, his analysis is Taqiyya and Kitman. Is this what the law students are taught about jihad by a respected law professor?

Lecture number two was delivered by Amara Chaurhry-Kravitz, a female, secular Muslim lawyer, who detailed her experience with Arab/Muslim Civil Rights in the Arab/Muslim community, pointing out that the profiling was cultural, not racially based, because Islam is a culture not a race. She spoke of her work representing women and LGBT victims, seeming to suggest the many violations known to occur within the community against women in child custody, domestic violence and inheritance rights.

We further "learned" from Ms. Chaurhry-Kravitz, who locally represents CAIR, how absurd it is that her organizations, Council American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) should be associated in the popular mind with terrorism. She made light of the Holy Land Foundation Trial, and their being named unindicted Muslim Brotherhood co-conspirators. 

In this she purposefully ignored the fact that ISNA, CAIR and the Muslims Students Union are all organizations founded by the Muslim Brotherhood.   

She also blithely dismissed the dangers of Shari'ah, by suggesting that efforts to import Shari'ah only relate to matters of family disputes and inheritance rights. If that were so, no one would care about Shari'ah, likening its presence in the US to Jewish Halacha adjudication and Catholic Canon courts' judging on the annulments of marriages.

It is precisely Shari'ah teaching about Jihad, the killing of apostates and Ridda blasphemy laws as well as the definition of Democracy as blasphemy that raises the most profound concern. These violations of our Bill of Rights, along with others, are what make Shari'ah incompatible with a representative free Democracy and our constitution, but these were not even hinted at in the lecture.

She attempted to define what constitutes Muslim racial and civil rights profiling, giving examples of harassment of Muslims "flying while brown." Of course, Muslim racial profiling flyes in the face of reason as she herself had acknowledged, because Islam represents a culture not a race.

She went on to define Islamophobia as an irrational fear of Islam, as if it weren't a real concern. It's real enough to Hindus, Jews, Coptic Christians, Maronite Christians, Sudanese and Nigerian Christians etc.  How is Islamophobia irrational, as we daily read about murderous attacks on innocent populations?

Just this past Feb 25th, 2014, fifty-nine children were hacked to death and burned in Nigeria. And what about Sudanese, Egyptian Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan Christians, all of which have suffered extreme oppression, from sporadic massacres to outright genocide.

Lecture number three was by a Muslim women's lawyer, Fatina Abdrabboh Esq., experienced with Arab civil rights violations by Muslims against other Muslims, in the Arab Muslim community and out of that community. She, somewhat uncomfortably, spoke of the many violations within the community against women, without making the connection that the violations often appear to be a result of Shari'ah Law conformity in Muslim society.

Our fourth and final lecture was by Professor Ramzi Kassem, defender of prisoners' rights in Guantanamo Bay and in other "black sites," where jihadists are interred without due process, by renditions. He painted a picture of the US as a Stalinist state where the organs of internal security were violating every Muslim's privacy rights on informer recruiting and fishing expeditions. 

Professor Kassem decried the use of classified evidence that, if fully released to the defense counsel, would have identified intelligence assets, instead twice mentioning an unidentified Israeli Agent as being the witness against a particular detainee.

This, of course, was code for US investigations working at Israel's direction. Of course, he did not mention that the majority of GITMO detainees that have been released have gone right back to the battlefield as jihadist's and terrorists. Many have subsequently died in these actions. So, we were listening to a smooth, well mannered, handsome lawyer who, in fact, is in the business of representing terrorists and duplicitously dealing in Taqiyya and Kitman.

In sum, the conference presenters described Islamic concepts of Justice almost in a Marxist model of oppressors and the oppressed. Because Muslim concepts of justice exist only under Shari'ah, satisfying this would require legalizing Shari'ah in America. We believe that the presenters were, therefore, engaged, at best, in Political Correctness or, at worst, in Stealth Jihad in America,

Shari'ah Law and its compelling actions originate primarily from the Qur'an, with influence from other Islamic dogma and doctrine, Shari'ah is expected by Muslim authorities to be central to a Muslim's existence. This BBC program is an example of da'wa-jihad.

We recognize that of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, not all Muslims wish to live under the strictest norms of Shari'ah and, perhaps, a majority do not. However, a significant minority which, incidentally, is the minority willing to use guns, violence and savagery to enforce Shari'ah, remains in position to call the shots.

Muslim moderates, therefore, are for the most part too weak to do anything other than delude themselves in Political Correctness or, in rare cases where it is possible in the West, attempt to reform Islam by re-interpreting Shari'ah. This holds no doctrinal currency.

Where Islam is strong, these efforts are easily silenced by Ridda, or blasphemy laws. Furthermore, Islam can never be reformed by Political correctness from America. If it is to ever be reformed, it must happen in Mecca, Medina, Qum and Al-Azhar in Egypt, as well as on the battlefield where the neck-cutters are strongest.

If Jihadists and their supporters (based on polls taken) represent 20 % of the world's Muslim population, that would equal approximately 300,000,000 people globally. That is roughly equal to the entire population of the USA. A similar percentage of the US Muslim population would result in 60,000 Jihadists and supporters among American Muslims.

After absorbing the four presentations with our existing knowledge of Islam and Shari'ah, we feel obligated to reach out to you with what the present-day of Islam in America involves and what future it has planned for itself. This future is unfolding now !


British parents fury as pork sausages are banned from the school menu and replaced with halal meat

Parents have condemned a school's decision to ban all pork products from the menu and replace other meats with halal versions.

Pupils aged between three and 11 at Brinsworth Manor Infant and Junior Schools in Rotherham - which Ofsted identifies as having only a small number of pupils from minority ethnic groups - will no longer be able to enjoy sausages, bacon or ham.

Parents at both schools, which share a site, were told of the decision in a letter from Rotherham Council’s principal catering officer Ron Parry, who wrote that there had been ‘minor adjustments’ to the lunch menu.

The move comes as Britain's vet John Blackwell called for Muslims and Jews to use more 'acceptable' methods of killing.

And parents have branded the decision 'a scandal' as only twenty per cent of the 600 pupils are Muslim and the decision to provide halal meat was up to individual schools in the town.

The school governors at both schools are understood to have agreed to the menu change to ensure the meals are more inclusive

'The children love pork and it’s a scandal to take these meats off the menu to please, what I consider to be, a low number of children who require halal meat.

'The majority of the children are now having school meals that are made for the minority. The halal children have always had the vegetarian and fish options. '

A mother of two said parents who do not know much about halal meat had not been given enough information or time to understand it.

She said : 'Normally the school is good at consulting parents but with this we have just been told what is going to happen.

'I’d want to know more about halal meat before I’d be happy for my children to eat it. I’ve been told it is not as well refrigerated.

A spokesman for Rotherham Borough Council confirmed that school meals at both Brinsworth Manor schools have changed and now include halal and non-halal meat on the menu.

She added that the Schools Catering Service supplies about 17,000 school meals every day to children at infant, junior, primary and secondary schools in Rotherham.

She said: 'The provision of both halal and non-halal is not unusual in Rotherham's school. Currently, nine schools out of 115, select one of our menus that provide a mix of both halal and non-halal meals.

'All meat on our menus, including halal, is sourced from reputable companies, which fully comply with the quality standards of the relevant individual meat boards.

'The meals are also nutritionally balanced and cooked fresh on-site every day using locally sourced meat, fruit, vegetables and dairy products where possible.

'Our menus are designed to meet both national nutritional standards and dietary requirements so that all the children of Rotherham benefit.'

An Ofsted inspection last year found Brinsworth Manor Junior School 'required improvement' having been rated 'outstanding' after the previous visit.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Idaho Legislature Overwhelmingly Passes Campus Carry

Despite the emotional outcry from faculty and college administrators, the Idaho House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a law enabling citizens with an enhanced concealed carry permit to carry handguns on college campuses

    Idaho lawmakers on Thursday approved a measure allowing concealed guns to be carried onto university and college campuses.

    The legislation, which cleared the state House of Representatives by a 50-19 vote and was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate last month, now heads to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature.

    If the Republican governor signs the bill into law as expected, Idaho will be the seventh U.S. state that allows guns on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    The passage of the Idaho bill comes amid a tense debate on the extent of gun ownership restrictions in the United States, which has seen a string of recent shootings at schools, movie theaters and other public places.

    Under the legislation, those who gain a so-called enhanced concealed-carry permit in Idaho can carry firearms on campus except in such places as residence halls and public entertainment facilities like football stadiums.

The law is expected to be signed by Governor Otter and should be in effect for the next academic year.


College Sends Police to Arrest Its Employee After She corrected a map

When Ginger Anderson, a Utah Valley University employee and student, made a small change to an incorrect wall map inside of one the school’s buildings, she had no idea it would result in her being manhandled and arrested by police officers.

The 48-year-old, who works in the information center at the university, says she marked on the map with a marker because students were having trouble getting to classes. In fact, it was literally depicted upside down. She claims she corrected the map’s compass, and wrote in marker that the map was upside down.

That was in January.

Two days later, two officers with the UVU police department confronted Anderson and informed her that she would be issued a citation for “criminal mischief.” What happened next was caught on one of the officer’s lapel cameras.

When Anderson refused to immediately comply with the officers’ demands to come to the police station, one of the cops grabbed her, pushed her against the wall and took her to the ground.

Police say Anderson resisted while the UVU student and employee claims the officers used excessive force. Anderson also claims officers tried to handcuff her hands behind her back while she was wearing a large backpack, making that task difficult.

“Let me take my backpack off!” the woman can be heard shouting in the video.

An independent review found that Anderson did indeed resist — both passively and actively — and therefore officers did not break any laws or act inappropriately, KUTV reports.

Anderson says she’s more shocked that the police department decided to take such extreme action over a marking on a map that was intended to help students.


UK: GCSE shame of 'flagship' academies as it is revealed six of the Coalition's schools are among the country's worst

Six of the Government’s flagship Academies [charters] can today be revealed as the worst  schools in England for GCSE results.

The academies performed  so poorly last year that at least half their pupils did not gain any passes at C grade or above, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.

Some of the schools have been warned by Ministers to improve their standards or face intervention by the Department for Education, while others say they have not been academies for long enough to turn around results.

Christopher McGovern, chairman of the Campaign For Real Education, said: ‘These results represent  a massive betrayal of the young people concerned.’

The controversial academies programme has been backed by Education Secretary Michael Gove as a way  of boosting standards.

The new figures, obtained from the Department for Education under Freedom of Information laws, differ from official exam tables because they show only the schools’ GCSE results and exclude  so-called ‘equivalent’ national vocational qualifications.

But they will renew criticism that academies, which operate independently of town halls, often having business-backed sponsors, lack accountability.

Worst performing was the Barnfield Business and Enterprise Studio Academy in Luton, where 71 per cent of pupils failed to get a pass.

The school defended its record saying it provides ‘a unique, skills-focused education for students  who would otherwise be disengaged’, adding results based solely on GCSE passes did not reflect its students’ real improvement.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Teen: Teachers Made Me Stand Outside In Wet Bathing Suit, Barefoot

She Says She Got Frostbite After Standing Outside For 10 Minutes During A Fire Alarm

A ninth-grader says she has frostbite after standing outside for 10 minutes in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm.  It happened around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Como Park High School in St. Paul. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz says she was in the school’s pool when the fire alarm went off.

While other students had gotten out earlier and were able to put on dry clothes, Hagen-Tietz said she was rushed out with just her towel.

On Wednesday morning, the temperature was 5 below, and the wind chill was 25 below.

“So the alarm went off, and I thought it was like just a drill, like: Do I  have to go outside?” Hagen-Tietz said. “And then he was like no, we usually don’t have fake ones in the winter.”

Hagen-Tietz says she and the another student were rushed out by the teacher. Her classmate had clothes by the pool, hers were in her locker. So she grabber her towel and went outside.

“As soon as they’d seen her outside in her swimsuit, soaking wet and barefoot, they should have done something,” said Eva Tietz, Hagen-Tietz’s mother.

A teacher eventually gave Hagen-Tietz a jacket, and one of her friends gave her a sweatshirt to wrap around her feet.  But due to school policy, she wasn’t allowed to sit in a faculty-member’s car.  “We kind of huddled up and made a circle around me, and the other kids who were cold,” Hagen-Tietz said.

Eventually, a teacher did get permission to allow Hagen-Tietz and her classmate to sit inside her car.

But by that time Hagen-Tietz had already stood barefoot and wet for 10 minutes in some of the coldest conditions of the year.

Hagen-Tietz mom then picked her up and took her to the doctor, who determined she has frostbite on her feet.

“If I had a fire and brought my children out in that condition, you know, I’m sure I would be charged in some way or another if I didn’t instantly bring them into a neighbor’s house or someplace else,” Tietz said. “The ultimate goal is to keep them safe and protect your children, and, in this instance, they did a really poor job.”

In a statement, St. Paul Public School officials said they continue to work with the St. Paul Fire Marshal to regularly review these procedures, including cold weather modifications, and they will make any changes based on their recommendations.


NY Dem Wants Mandatory Parenting Classes; Would Punish Kids for Parents’ Non-Compliance

New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. is apparently unsatisfied with the least-free status his state has earned. The Bronx Democrat now wants to tell parents how to raise their children.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Diaz is sponsoring legislation that would require parents to attend four “parent support programs” before their children enter seventh grade. He believes this is necessary because many do not attend optional parent-teacher conferences. The key word is “optional”, Mr. Diaz and, unlike certain politicians, many adults have more to do with their time than impose their will on people they’ve never met.

Interestingly, the Senator thinks people who feel confident in their abilities to raise children should not object. “We are trying to expand their skills. Especially good parents would not miss an opportunity to expand their parental skills and get involved with their children’s psychological problems,” he told U.S. News & World Report. So, it’s settled. Every kid has psychological problems and their parents have nothing better to do than have incompetent bureaucrats brainwash educate them.

It gets worse. If mommy and daddy don’t show up, their children won’t be allowed to advance to seventh grade. So, if a little Einstein’s parents happen to conservative, libertarian or hold any other non-statist views and refuse to be reeducated, his academic performance won’t mean a thing.


Honest College Commercial

This video presents a satirical (but not very inaccurate) look at the modern frenzy to push every kid into college.

Well-known scholar Charles Murray describes the current U.S. higher education system this way:

First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that seldom has anything to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn't meet the goal. We will call the goal a "BA."

Elsewhere, Murray has argued that pushing everyone towards college creates a nation divided among class lines, besides wasting many students' time and money. Videos like this demonstrate some kids, at least, agree.